2008 and 2009

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 – piracy
Pirates set free in case they claim asylum
Nick Britten
Daily Telegraph, 30 November 2009

The Royal Navy has regularly been allowing Somali pirates to go free because of the risk they would claim asylum if prosecuted in Europe.

Pirates terrorising ships in the Indian Ocean are often given medical checks and life jackets and fed after being caught, before being sent on their way.

This is sometimes because, although they are carrying guns and even holding hostages, they have not been caught in the "act of piracy".

More than 340 suspected Somali pirates have been captured by international navies in the past year and released.

Julian Brazier, Conservative shipping spokesman, said: "The fault lies not with the hard-pressed naval commanders, but the ridiculous rules of engagement and operating instructions they are given by their political masters."
[Newspaper link]


Welcome to heaven, how about a cup of tea? Mail on Sunday special investigation into why asylum seekers head to Britain
Edna Fernandes
Mail on Sunday, 15 November 2009

The latest figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) show asylum applications in industrialised nations rose by ten per cent in the first half of 2009 to 185,000, compared with the same period last year.

Europe received 75 per cent of all asylum applications, although the United States remained the largest individual recipient with 13 per cent of the total number of applications filed in rich nations.

France ranks as the second largest with 19,400 claims, followed by Canada (18,700), the United Kingdom (17,700) and Germany, ranked fifth (12,000).

Over the whole of last year, Britain received 30,500 claims, including dependants. That figure has fallen from a peak of more than 80,000 eight years ago.

Iraqis, Afghans and Somalis make up the biggest groups of claimants. Those heading to Europe are drawn by different factors ranging from personal to economic to which country offers the best chance of approval. ...

Between 24 and 30 per cent of people claiming asylum in Britain win their case - and this includes their dependants. Greece, by contrast, has a one per cent approval rate for cases. Many of those whose applications are refused in Britain end up staying anyway, according to the UK Border Agency.

Abdul Samad Samadi, chairman of the Afghan Association of London, says the traffickers are keenly aware of the commercial value of a one-way ticket to Britain. He estimates there are now 75,000 Afghans living here. He says 80 per cent of them used a trafficker.

'The asylum seekers are big business for the traffickers. People are paying $10,000 to $20,000 per person to come to Britain,' he says. ...

The lure of Britain is complex and there are many factors involved. But one commonly cited reason for it being a popular destination is that this country is a 'soft touch'. How true is this?

Groups such as Migrationwatch UK, which lobbies for controls on immigration, argue that, under European Union law, asylum seekers are meant to lodge their claim in the first EU country they land in.

In reality, many hold out for Britain where they believe they will get a better deal. Europe does not have a standard asylum procedure.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch UK, says that in theory, an asylum seeker's first country of arrival is where their case should be decided. 'But that doesn't happen. Traffickers tell their clients not to allow themselves to be identified in any other country but the UK. They say, "Don't be fingerprinted until you get to the UK, until you arrive in El Dorado."' ...

The cost to the British taxpayer in the last financial year was £478 million, down slightly from £485 million the previous year. ...

Of the 30,000-plus cases a year, one third of claimants and their dependants are approved, one third go home either voluntarily or through enforced removals and one third remain here illegally. These 'failed asylum seekers' are a massive political headache. ...

There are more than 140,000 failed asylum seekers still in Britain, says Migrationwatch UK's Sir Andrew. Each year, thousands more will join them.
[Site link]


Asylum – European Union
EU could force Britain to take more refugees
Martin Banks
Daily Telegraph, 22 October 2009

Britain would be forced to take a greater number of asylum seekers under European Union plans that would create a common asylum policy with uniform criteria for deciding on cases.

Commission officials yesterday announced that the "final building blocks" had been put in place to "harmonise" immigration.

However, critics condemned the proposal, saying it would strip Britain of its sovereign powers to determine asylum policy. ...

But Jacques Barrot, the European Commission's justice commissioner, said the system would "eliminate differences" and set out procedures to follow to avoid unequal treatment.

He said the plans were designed to ensure asylum seekers would have the same chance of being accepted or rejected in all EU member states. ...

The EU has made it clear it would like the allocation of asylum seekers to be "proportionate" based on population so that each country "shares the burden" of asylum applications. ... ...

The proposals will be discussed by the European Parliament in November.
[Newspaper link]


Asylum – border security
154,000 asylum seekers to be granted 'stealth amnesty'
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 12 October 2009

At least 154,000 asylum seekers will be allowed to stay in Britain after the Home Office allowed a backlog of applications to build up, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

Ministers have promised to clear the 450,000 so-called "legacy" cases, some of which date back to the 1990s, by 2011. Just under 200,000 cases have been dealt with so far, of which 63,000 immigrants have been told they could stay.

A memo seen by this newspaper contained an official projection of how the remaining cases would be dealt with.

The memo said that by completion, 154,000 cases would have been approved for indefinite leave to remain. By contrast, fewer than 40,000 would face removal.

Tens of thousands more asylum seekers were unlikely to be traced at all, officials said.

Most of those allowed to stay would be granted leave to remain under human rights laws because the delay in dealing with their claims meant they had effectively settled in Britain. ...

Damian Green, shadow immigration minister, said: "However you look at this, this is an amnesty by stealth. ..."

The memo, which was written in July by Matthew Coats, head of immigration for the UK Border Agency, was signed off by Phil Woolas, the Immigration Minister, and sent to Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary.
[Newspaper link]


Asylum rules relaxed to meet deadline
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 9 October 2009

Ministers agreed to quietly relax immigration rules to clear a backlog of asylum cases, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

Three years ago, the Government pledged to deal with an embarrassing backlog of 450,000 historic asylum claims by 2011.

However, officials realised that in the case of 40,000 claimants, it was going to be too difficult to remove them from Britain because they came from countries with poor human rights records.

These included Zimbabwe, Somalia, Iran, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Algeria, Nigeria and China.

A secret memo shows how ministers agreed that Home Office officials could change the guidelines to grant them indefinite leave to remain.

The memo was written by Matthew Coats, the head of immigration for the UK Border Agency, and sent in July this year to Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, and Phil Woolas, the Immigration Minister, who signed it off. In it, Mr Coats warns that under the existing guidelines, the 40,000 problematic claimants cannot be granted indefinite leave to remain. ...

He suggests they could be allowed to stay after having been here for as little as four years, rather than 10 to 12 years as the rules stated. ...

In another setback, the memo also discloses that the Home Office has lost track of 40,000 migrants who were refused extensions on their visas at least six years ago and does not know where they are.
[Newspaper link]


Allow one group to stay, then why not everyone else as well?
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 9 October 2009

For the past three years, the Home Office has been grappling with the consequences of Labour's failure in its first eight years in office to control immigration and asylum.

So many people arrived claiming to be political refugees that the system could not cope. ...

In 2006, the Government decided to get to grips with this. Officials identified 450,000 of these "legacy cases" and set a target either to reach a decision about their right to stay or to remove them by 2011. ... In order to have a chance of hitting the deadline, officials have had to bend the rules so that 40,000 of the hardest cases are dealt with by simply allowing them to stay, whether they are entitled to or not. ...

There are an estimated 6.5 million "irregular" migrants in the EU alone. How 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, is a problem that governments will struggle with for years to come.
[Newspaper link]


Asylum – European Union
Britain's part in EU plan to share out asylum claimants between countries
Roland Schilling, UNHCR Representative to the UK
Daily Telegraph, 25 September 2009
[Letter to the Editor]

Some states, mainly on the EU's southern and eastern flanks, such as Greece and Malta, are receiving disproportionate numbers of asylum claimants.

Regrettably, reception conditions and chances for refugees to find protection differ among EU countries. So asylum seekers will move to France, and even onwards, unless better standards are implemented across the EU. ...

Considering the long tradition of refugee protection in Britain, as well as the competence of its institutions, this country is well placed to encourage better practice and to share its expertise.

Of the 42 million uprooted people in the world last year, only some 0.7 per cent entered Europe and 0.074 per cent reached Britain. Britain is not in danger of being "swamped" by asylum claimants, as some media reports have suggested, but it is certainly in the position to extend its support to states elsewhere in Europe which, due to their location, bear a disproportionate refugee burden.
[Newspaper link]


Asylum – European Union
Europe to push for more asylum seekers in Britain
Robert Winnett
Daily Telegraph, 14 September 2009

A powerful new European commissioner for human rights who is expected to push for the protection of asylum seekers and workers is set to be appointed later this year.

The commissioner for fundamental rights and social rights is expected to put pressure on Britain to accept more asylum seekers from across Europe. Several Mediterranean countries claim that they are being put under undue strain from increasing numbers of migrants arriving from Africa. ...

The establishment of the powerful new role is a centrepiece of José Manuel Barroso's campaign for re-election as the president of the European Commission. Mr Barosso, who is expected to be re-elected on Wednesday, pledged to increase the human rights role of the EU to win the backing of liberal and socialist parties across Europe.

Europe's previous involvement in the rights of asylum seekers and workers has proved controversial in Britain. It is blamed for contentious legal decisions which have protected the rights of foreign criminals. ...

Although the role of the new commissioner has not been defined, it is expected to lead to greater intervention from Europe.
[Newspaper link]


Asylum – health care
Free care for failed asylum seekers
Rebecca Smith and Rosa Prince
Daily Telegraph, 21 July 2009

Tens of thousands of failed asylum seekers will be able to obtain free health care following a Government rethink, it was announced yesterday.

The decision was taken to allow treatment for some asylum seekers after doctors gave warning that they would not act as immigration officers by demanding to check passports before providing care.

An estimated 450,000 failed asylum seekers in Britain are currently denied free treatment on the NHS.

However, a joint review of the policy by the Department of Health and the Home Office ruled that up to 20,000 would now be allowed free health care, including children and those who would "otherwise be destitute", or could not return home "through no fault of their own".

With health charities claiming that the NHS faced the most challenging financial period in its 60-year history, ministers were last night accused of "jamming the door open for illegal immigrants".

Migrationwatch, the pressure group, said that over time, as many as a million foreigners could take advantage of the rethink.

The decision, details of which were released on the day before the parliamentary recess begins, follows five years of consultation. It was hailed by ministers as protecting the rights of the vulnerable. ...

However, Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch, said: "No wonder they are queuing up in Calais. These proposals amount to jamming open the door for illegal immigrants to access the National Health Service."

He said the Government "dithered" about the issue for years and chose "almost the last day of Parliament to announce their surrender to the immigration lobby."

"We accept that medics cannot be used as immigration officers. That is why we have proposed that each primary care trust should have a small office of trained personnel who could decide whether or not non-British nationals are entitled to NHS treatment." ...

A public consultation will be held on the changes.
[Newspaper link]


Asylum – deportation
144,000 asylum seekers here to stay
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 9 July 2009

At least 144,000 asylum seekers will be allowed to stay in Britain because of a backlog of claims.

More than 63,000 subjects of 450,000 historic cases that were found to have slipped under the radar for years have now been told they can stay.

Human rights laws mean that because they have been in the country for so long, the Home Office would have difficulty trying to remove them.

Officials working through the so-called "legacy" backlog have examined 197,500 cases and there has been a 32 per cent approval rate, Lin Homer, the Chief Executive of the UK Border Agency, told MPs yesterday.

If that continues then some 144,000 will be able to stay once all the case files have been looked at, in what the Tories have labelled an amnesty by the back door. ...

The 450,000 files in the Case Resolution Programme were unearthed in 2006. Among them are claimants who should have been deported as far back as the mid-1990s.

Ministers have promised to work through all the cases by 2011, while also having to deal with all fresh asylum claims and those failed cases still awaiting deportation.

Miss Homer told the home affairs committee that she was confident that target would still be met.

Human rights laws will be the reason most cases were approved, either because it is unsafe to return the asylum seekers or because they have been here so long they now have families and are protected under the right to family life.

The list includes 5,150 from Zimbabwe, 4,900 from Pakistan and 4,500 from Somalia.

Miss Homer also said that at least 7,000 may never be traced and their files have been archived.
[Newspaper link]


Asylum – deportation
Flawed £1m asylum project results in only one family leaving Britain
Alastair Jamieson
Daily Telegraph, 25 June 2009

A £1 million government scheme to help failed asylum seekers resulted in only one family leaving Britain, a report has found.

The UK Border Agency pilot project ran for less than a year and was "mismanaged from start to finish", a review by the charity, the Children's Society, claimed.

The scheme, in Kent, aimed to help families whose asylum applications had failed by taking them out of detention centres and placing them in a residential hostel. It was hoped some would leave the country voluntarily while others could obtain schooling and health care before deportation.

In a similar trial in Glasgow, failed asylum seekers will be housed in private flats rather than held in Dungavel detention centre.
[Newspaper link]


New law may give asylum to 22,500 refugees
Nick Fagge
Daily Express, 29 April 2009

Controversial plans will require the UK to accept one in eight of all migrants who set foot in any of the 27 European Union countries and demand refugee status.

It could mean an estimated 22,500 more people coming to Britain.

Taxpayers will be expected to foot the bill for their food, accommodation and clothing, plus legal fees while they apply for international protection.

Asylum seekers must also be given the right to work within six months of their arrival, enabling them to claim thousands of pounds in benefits if they cannot find a job. Their children must also be found school places.

Migrants can only be detained as a last resort and must not be held in secure accommodation more than 72 hours without a judge's approval.

The proposals, supported by Labour MEPs, are part of the EU's Common European Asylum System and will be put to the European Parliament in Strasbourg for approval.

Last night Conservative MEP Philip Bradbourn said: "Economic migrants posing as asylum seekers would have an easy ride under these plans.

"Once again, the EU thinks the only answer to justified immigration concerns is to take control of asylum policy. Controlling our borders is one of the most important roles of government.

"For more than a decade, Labour has been unable to form a coherent immigration policy, but that should not justify handing it to Brussels."

UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage said: "Brussels will soon be dictating who has the right to live and work in Britain. The EU is pushing for a common asylum and immigration policy but it is being pushed through without proper thought."

EU member states will be forced to take refugees or face huge fines under the proposals outlined on Monday.

Migrants will be rehoused from states "confronted with a large number of asylum applications" such as Malta, Greece, Italy and Spain's Canary Islands to larger countries such as the UK – a reversal of the rule that requires applicants to seek sanctuary in the first safe country.

Member states would be compelled to accept a percentage of applicants in accordance with their population.

This would mean the UK taking in 13 per cent of all refugees arriving in the EU – or 22,500 of the 322,000 average arrivals over the last 10 years.
[Site link]


Failed asylum seekers win right to stay amid hearings 'shambles'
Chris Hastings, Alex Ralph and Ian Johnston
Sunday Telegraph, 19 April 2009

Failed asylum seekers are winning the right to stay in Britain because of "shambolic" failings in the immigration hearing system, ...

Hundreds of appeal hearings are going ahead without a representative from the Home Office to defend its original decision to deny asylum.

Immigration lawyers admitted that the situation is helping their clients to win cases they might otherwise have lost.

The disclosure could help explain why the percentage of asylum seekers winning their appeals has risen from 17 per cent in 2005 to 25 per cent for the third quarter of 2008. ...

Over the last two weeks, reporters from this newspaper attended 25 hearings around the country. At 24 of them, no Home Office Presenting Officer (Hopo) – who is tasked with putting the department's case before the immigration judge – was present.

In the one remaining hearing, the officer turned up late and admitted that she was unprepared.

Senior sources close to the hearings have said the Home Office is failing to properly defend about a third of cases which come to appeal.
[Newspaper link]


Asylum – costs
Failed immigrant loses NHS test case
Auslan Cramb
Daily Telegraph, 31 March 2009

Failed asylum seekers are not automatically entitled to free treatment on the NHS, one of Britain's most senior judges has ruled.

Individual hospitals have the discretion to decide whether to treat penniless patients who are not British residents, and should use it in the most urgent cases, the judge said.

In the case of a Palestinian man refused free treatment for a liver condition, Lord Justice Ward ruled that it was not right to say that a failed asylum seeker who had been in the country for more than a year had "lawfully resided" in Britain for that period, and thus qualified for NHS care.

The ruling at the Appeal Court in London was made in a test case brought by a 35-year-old, identified in court only as YA, who was told he was not eligible for free treatment at West Middlesex University Hospital and was charged £9,000. He was refused leave to remain in Britain but had no travel documents, so could not return to the Middle East.
[Newspaper link]


Asylum magnet
Daily Telegraph, 25 March 2009

Britain was the third most popular destination for asylum seekers, the UN said yesterday. Some 159,000 people claimed asylum in Britain between 2004 and 2008, with the US and France receiving more out of the top 44 industrialised nations.
[Newspaper link]


Synod votes for asylum amnesty
Martin Beckford
Daily Telegraph, 14 February 2009

More than 300,000 asylum seekers should be allowed to stay in Britain indefinitely, the Church of England said.

The Church's governing body, the General Synod, voted overwhelmingly in favour of an amnesty for asylum seekers whose cases were still being decided. It said all those who wanted to live in Britain should be allowed to work.

The Synod added that a solution must be found to the "intolerable" situation of people who were refused the right to remain but could not return to their home countries, and that children and families must no longer be detained in immigration removal centres. The Rev Ruth Worsley, a priest in the diocese of Southwell and Nottingham who tabled a motion on the issue, said: "The financial cost to our country, as well as the human cost which leaves people in limbo for years, not knowing what their future might hold, seems unconscionable.

"The Gospel tells us that we are not a tribal nation but a global family."
[Newspaper link]


Asylum – deportation
Asylum seekers 'face one in 10 chance of removal'
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 23 January 2009

Asylum seekers who were told that they could not stay in Britain could face just a one in 10 chance of being removed, the Government's auditors said yesterday.

There was also no system in place to track those granted asylum, even though their cases were supposed to be reviewed after five years.

Their report suggested that the Home Office was going to miss its promise of clearing a backlog of 450,000 asylum cases by 2011.

Tens of thousands could not be dealt with because of "external factors," either in the person's home country or in Britain, the National Audit Office said.

The report found that 70 per cent of escorted removals were cancelled and thousands of emergency documents obtained to help return failed asylum seekers remained unused. The backlog of new asylum cases coming to Britain that had not been dealt with doubled last year.

The auditors found that of those who applied for asylum between January 2007 and February last year and were refused by new regional teams, between just seven and nine per cent were removed by August last year. In comparison, about 98 per cent of those under the detention fast-track system were removed.

A Home Office spokesman said: "This in no way reflects the total number of failed asylum seekers removed in 2007.

"In fact, we removed more than 13,700 people compared to an intake of 17,500 – that's a removal rate that's closer to eight out of 10."
[Newspaper link]


Asylum – crime
80 foreign murderers welcomed to Britain: Albanian killers allowed to stay despite being on Interpol 'wanted' list
Sue Reid and Arthur Martin
Daily Mail, 23 January 2009

Eighty foreign killers are exploiting the chaotic asylum system to set up home in Britain, it was revealed yesterday.

The convicted murderers from Albania have been given British passports despite being officially listed as 'wanted' by Interpol.

Most slipped across the Channel from Calais to Dover hidden in the back of lorries on ferries. They used bogus names and false papers to claim asylum, often pretending to be from the war-torn Balkan republic of Kosovo.

The scandal came to light when Albania's chief of police complained that 100 criminals from his country have been granted British citizenship and now live here.

The police chief said the criminals have been allowed to stay even though the Albanian government has informed the Home Office of the true identities of the men and their crimes, which also include rape and robbery.

Many of the convicted criminals have been living in the UK for up to ten years and have started new families here.

As the revelations exposed the shambles within the asylum system yet again, campaigners expressed their outrage.

Sir Andrew Green, of MigrationWatch, said: 'It is a real concern that people accused of, or even convicted of, very serious crimes should apparently find it so easy to gain asylum in Britain.'

Rose Dixon, of victim group Support After Murder and Manslaughter, added: 'I'm astounded. If this is correct, I'm appalled that these people are walking the streets of Britain. I think we should be told a lot more about this.'

After the Home Office was informed about the true identity of the asylum seekers, extradition proceedings against them were lodged by the Albanian Government.

But complex legal arguments and the need to find interpreters and psychologists has led to lengthy delays.

Albanian criminals use myriad loopholes in the extradition laws to avoid being sent home.

Their lawyers often claim they will suffer human rights abuse on their return, or that trials in their absence were unfair because they could not give their side.

The situation is even more complicated if they have become British citizens. Under the Human Rights Act 1988, this gives them further protection against being removed because their family life would be disrupted. ...

Ahmet Prenci, the Albanian chief of police, said he felt as if all his force's hard work in tracking down the culprits had been in vain.

'We have made a list of our people who are hiding in the UK,' he said. 'There are 100 criminals, and more than 80 per cent are wanted for murder and have been convicted in absentia.

'They have been given British citizenship despite our efforts to extradite them to serve prison sentences in our country.

'We are working intensively to identify, locate, and then to arrest wanted Albanian people in Britain. Unfortunately, many have British passports obtained after they claimed asylum by pretending to be Kosovans.

'We are unhappy that the courts repeatedly refuse extradition of these criminals. There is no reason for an Albanian citizen who has been involved in a crime not to be punished.'
[Site link]


Asylum – deportation
90% of failed asylum seekers remain in UK... and backlog of undecided cases doubles in a year
Matthew Hickley
Daily Mail, 23 January 2009

As many as nine out of ten failed asylum seekers are being allowed to stay in Britain despite having no right to remain, a report from a Government watchdog reveals today.

The backlog of illegal immigrants awaiting deportation is growing fast as the UK Border Agency fails to keep pace with the number of rejected applicants. The number of unprocessed cases is also growing.

And Government rules stating that all successful asylum seekers must have their cases reviewed after five years - to see if their country is now safe enough to return to - have descended into farce, because the Border Agency has no way of tracking those living in Britain and no plans for a review.

Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling called the report, from the National Audit Office, a 'shocking indictment of the shambles that is our immigration and asylum system'. Meanwhile, the Commons Public Accounts Committee, to which the NAO reports, claimed the Agency was 'struggling to cope.' ...

Today's report acknowledges that the £800million-a-year system is now 'better organised than before', but highlights grave problems which in many cases are getting worse.

A surge in the number of asylum claims saw the backlog of undecided cases more than double in a year, to almost 9,000.

The NAO tracked more than 25,000 claims lodged from January 2007 to February 2008, of which almost 14,000 were refused.

But of 10,719 cases processed in the seven regions around the UK, only 918 - less than 10 per cent - had actually been deported by the following August.

The rate was higher for 3,000 false claimants who were fast-tracked in detention. Including these claims, the overall removal rate was just one in four.

A severe shortage of detention spaces is making removals harder, the report warned, with much of the available capacity taken up by foreign criminals who have completed their sentences and are awaiting deportation.

The NAO also highlighted glaring inefficiencies, including:

• Seventy per cent of planned deportations - where security staff accompany deportees on flights home - are cancelled, often due to lack of proper coordination, leading to 'additional work and costs'.

• The Agency often has to buy emergency travel documents from foreign governments to deport failed asylum seekers, but 13,000 of these have been wasted because individuals absconded, or because the papers expired.

• Since 2005, Britain has granted asylum for five years only - after which cases should be reviewed in the hope that some immigrants will be able to return home.

But astonishingly the Border Agency 'has no process' to track refugees living in Britain and 'no plans in place to review these cases'.

There are 8,000 due for review next year.

Last night, the Agency's chief executive Lin Homer confirmed there was 'no requirement' for asylum seekers to tell officials when they move house.

Sir Andrew Green, of MigrationWatch, said: 'This is a shameful performance for the expenditure of hundreds of millions of pounds. It is no surprise that asylum seekers, many of them bogus, are queuing up in Calais.'
[Site link]


180,000 to stay in asylum fiasco
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 10 December 2008

At least 180,000 asylum seekers caught up in the claims backlog fiasco are likely to be allowed stay in Britain.

More than 50,000 out of 450,000 who were found to have slipped under the net in 2006 have so far been permitted to stay, Lin Homer, the chief executive of the UK Border Agency, told MPs.

If the 40 per cent approval rate continues, at least 180,000 will have been freed to stay once the backlog is cleared. Applicants whose cases have been ignored for up to a decade or more are now expected to be given the green light because sending them home would breach their human rights after they have effectively settled here.

Some of the files date back to the mid-1990s.

The list includes thousands of people from Turkey and Pakistan. Critics said the move was effectively an amnesty by stealth. ...

The 450,000 files in the Case Resolution Programme were unearthed in 2006 after the foreign prisoners scandal.

Among them are claimants who should have been deported years ago.

Ministers have promised to work through all the cases by 2011, while also having to deal with all fresh asylum claims and those failed cases still awaiting deportation. ...

Normally, just 10 per cent of asylum claims are granted in the first instance, although more are approved on appeal.

Human rights laws will be to blame for most cases, either because it is unsafe to return the asylum seekers or because they have been here so long they now have families and are protected under the right to family life.
[Newspaper link]


Asylum – border security
Children left at British ports
Daily Telegraph, 4 October 2008

Children as young as three have been found abandoned at British ports and airports, it emerged yesterday.

Home Office figures show 3,525 unaccompanied children under 18 applied for asylum in 2007, a two per cent increase on the previous year. Many of the youngsters were from Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq.

Children were abandoned at Southampton docks, airport and service stations, Hampshire county council reported. The youngest was three years old.
[Newspaper link]


Asylum – deportation
Rejected asylum seekers can stay
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 25 July 2008

Hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers whose cases were lost or overlooked by the Home Office and expected to be allowed to stay in Britain in what critics call an "effective amnesty".

More than 100 foreign prisoners also remain on the run two years after the Government pledged to deport them, it was disclosed yesterday.

The Home Office was engulfed in scandal two years ago when a backlog of 450,000 case files were found lying around in boxes, some dating from the mid-1990s and beyond.

They included many would-be refugees whose cases had been rejected as bogus but who had not been deported.

Figures released yesterday show that two years later officials have processed only 90,000 of the files, and almost half – 43 per cent – of the applicants have been told they can stay in Britain permanently. Many of the cases are still considered unfounded, but the asylum seekers and their families have been living in Britain for so long that the courts are likely to block any efforts to deport them on human rights grounds.

All those allowed to stay will be able to claim benefits and seek citizenship, regardless of the merits of their original claims.

The figures also show that only 308 of the 1,013 criminals who were supposed to have been ejected from the country have gone.
[Newspaper link]


Asylum refugees' treatment 'inhuman'
Patrick Sawer
Sunday Telegraph, 29 June 2008

An inquiry will tomorrow brand Britain's asylum system inhumane and urge the Government to improve the treatment of refugees.

The Independent Asylum Commission, whose members include senior clergy, lawyers and academics, will make 46 recommendations to the Home Office, including ways to speed up the handling of claims.

The recommendations, which follow a two-year inquiry, aim to address the failings of the system from the moment claimants are first interviewed.

The report says a "culture of disbelief" persists among officials which is stacking the odds against genuine refugees.

The effect of post-traumatic stress as a result of rape and torture is not considered carefully enough by those interviewing claimants, say the commissioners.
[Newspaper link]


Asylum – benefits and costs
Judge backs free NHS care for 11,000 asylum seekers
Daily Telegraph, 12 April 2008

As many as 11,000 failed asylum seekers could qualify for free NHS treatment after a High Court judge declared that current regulations were "unlawful".

The ruling by Mr Justice Mitting applies to asylum seekers who have had their claims turned down but who have become "ordinarily resident" in Britain because it would be unsafe for them to return to their native country.

It follows a legally aided case brought by a Palestinian asylum seeker who was initially refused free treatment for chronic liver disease. ...

The refusal was in line with NHS charges regulations introduced by the then health minister John Hutton in 2004.

The Department of Health was immediately given permission to appeal.
[Newspaper link]


Asylum – deportation
Number of asylum deportations falls
Daily Telegraph, 27 February 2008

The number of failed asylum seekers being deported has slumped to a six-year low – just as the number arriving in Britain has leapt to its highest level since 2005.

Home Office figures showed that the number of failed asylum seekers removed from Britain dropped by more than a quarter in the past year, down to 13,595.

The news came as the number of asylum seekers arriving in Britain leapt by a fifth last year to the highest level since 2005. This includes a 40 per cent rise in the second half of 2007.
[Newspaper link]


Asylum – border controls
Now wrongdoers have the grass on their heads to fear
Richard Gray
Sunday Telegraph, 3 February 2008

Criminals who claim they were not at the scene of a crime can now be betrayed by their hair.

Forensic scientists have developed a technique that allows them to track a person's movements by analysing samples of head and body hair.

The technology relies on the distinct chemical "fingerprint" of air and water in different countries, and even in different regions of the UK.

Each location has a unique cocktail of atoms known as isotopes in the air and water which get into the body when we eat, drink and breathe.

As hair grows, it incorporates these isotopes, providing a record of where a person has been. ...

The Home Office is believed to be interested in using the technique to weed out illegal immigrants who claim asylum using false documents. By analysing hair and nail clippings, immigration officers could determine when asylum seekers are telling the truth about the countries they claim to come from.
[Newspaper link]



Benefits and costs – health services
Migrants join a GP practice every minute
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 22 December 2009

Migrants are registering with family doctors at a rate of one a minute, leaving GP surgeries "straining at the seams" as they try to cope with the impact of rising immigration, figures show.

More than 600,000 people signed up with a GP practice in England and Wales last year having arrived from overseas – an increase of 50 per cent in seven years. ...

Of those, 69,000 were Britons back from a spell overseas and it is a rise of half on the 400,000 new migrant registrations in 2000-01.

The report, by Migrationwatch, also showed the number of GPs in England and Wales rose by 18 per cent over the period from 30,609 in 2001 to 36,041 last year.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – crime
£292m bill to keep foreign prisoners behind bars
Daily Telegraph, 7 December 2009

Foreign prisoners cost £292 million to keep under lock and key.

Jails in England and Wales hold 7,500 immigrants from 160 different nations, almost a tenth of the prison population.

Ministry of Justice figures show foreigners have been jailed for almost 900 sex offences and 1,500 violent attacks including murders.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – class
Middle classes benefit from immigration, says John Denham
Richard Ford
The Times, 2 December 2009

Middle-class people fail to understand the impact of immigration on poorer workers because they are "insulated" from competition for jobs, housing and public services, the Communities Secretary said last night.

John Denham said that those at the top of society benefited most from migration, enabling them to find plumbers and cleaners to work in their homes. He said that for others, immigration fuelled fears about job prospects and their chances of finding decent housing. He said that these fears were heightened in areas of the country that were already facing difficulties arising from economic decline, deprivation and unemployment.

In a speech to Policy Network, a left-of-centre think-tank, Mr Denham said that while the affluent felt "culturally enriched" by the benefits of migration, working-class people found it harder to accept the advantages.

"Those of us who feel culturally enriched by the benefits of migration and who are insulated from the competition for jobs, housing and public services that is potentially posed by migrants, often find these views [the perception that migrants jump the queue] difficult to appreciate," Mr Denham said. His comments follow the publication last week of official figures showing continuing high levels of immigration into Britain. "The affluent often are able to see opportunities within change and uncertainty; whereas those who are less insulated from potential drawbacks may see the same change as a risk or a threat".

Mr Denham said that class still mattered in Britain and this was particularly clear when people looked at who benefited from immigration. "Crudely expressed, the higher you are in the pecking order, the more likely you may be to benefit from immigration," he said. People who worked in a high-tech, highly skilled multinational organisation were likely to work with the most talented migrants. He added: "If immigration makes it easier for you to find a plumber or cheaper for you to hire a cleaner then you clearly and directly benefit. But for many others you may see them as a direct threat to your own interests."

Mr Denham said that in some communities migration intensified competition for scarce resources, including housing and jobs. This was taking place against a backdrop of wider change including the decline in unskilled jobs and the development of businesses that people lacked the skills to access.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – asylum, citizenship
Council pays refugee family's £83,000 rent
Chris Irvine
Daily Telegraph, 30 November 2009

A family of former asylum seekers living in a £1.8 million home in central London is costing taxpayers more than £83,000 a year.

Nasra Warsame, originally from Somalia, seven of her children and her mother moved into the six-bedroom home last month, while her husband, Bashir Aden, and an eighth child are living in an "overspill" property, also paid for by housing benefits.

The couple claimed asylum in Britain after leaving Somalia in 1991.

They have been granted citizenship and all their children, aged between two and 16, have been born here.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – child benefits, European Union, public opinion
We pay benefits for 37,000 Polish children ... still living in Poland
Rebecca Lefort
Sunday Telegraph, 1 November 2009

British taxpayers are funding child benefit payments for 37,900 children who live in Poland, Treasury figures show.

The money is going to support those who have remained behind in their homeland while one or both of their parents lives and works in this country. The cost is estimated at more than £20 million a year.

The number of claims has risen by 20 per cent in the past year, despite a slowing in the rate of immigration from eastern Europe. ...

The findings come as an ICM poll for The Sunday Telegraph shows today that two thirds of voters believe the number of immigrants in Britain is too high.

Poles make up the majority of the 50,600 children, from more than 30,000 families, living outside Britain who are supported with child benefit payments from British taxpayers. ...

The Treasury has refused to put a figure on the cost of supporting children abroad.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs
Britain fails to make top 10 in 'well-being' survey
Andrew Pierce
Daily Telegraph, 27 October 2009

Britain has failed to make the world's top 10 in an international survey of wealth and happiness because of poor education and over-regulation.

The report by the Legatum Institute, a think tank based in London, ranks Finland in first place, with the United States ninth and Britain lagging behind in 12th. ...

Mediocre scores for education, health, domestic security and levels of personal freedom because of excessive regulation dragged down Britain's overall score, the institute said. ...

High levels of divorce, pressures caused by immigration and a lack of community spirit have also marked down Britain's score in the survey.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – bankruptcy
Tunbridge Wells, the EU debt capital
Harry Wallop
Daily Telegraph, 23 September 2009

Royal Tunbridge Wells is becoming the "debt capital of Europe" as insolvent Germans and Austrians move there to take advantage of Britain's lenient bankruptcy laws, according to accountants. ...

As long as a person has lived in Britain for six months, they can be declared bankrupt in a British court, writing off their debts a year later. This compares to a wait of seven or even nine years in Germany.

Because any EU national is allowed to live in Britain, accountants said they were not surprised that Europeans were taking advantage of legislation that allows them to wipe out debts incurred in Italy, Austria or Germany in a British court. ...

Tunbridge Wells has proved particularly attractive since a specialist company, run by a German, opened in Erith, Kent. ...
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – extremism
Fighting terror, with ping pong
Daily Telegraph, 8 September 2009

Taxpayers' money intended to tackle extremism has been spent on table tennis tables, rap workshops and has even been given to restaurants.

A total of £12 million has been distributed under the Government's Prevent programme but there is insufficient monitoring of how it is being spent, according to the TaxPayers' Alliance.

A breakdown of spending, obtained by the campaign group through Freedom of Information requests, shows that more than £5,000 went to a rap workshop and £25,000 to a theatre project.

Restaurants and food bars were also among the recipients.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – population, education
Immigrants baby boom costs £1bn
Mark Reynolds
Daily Express, 7 September 2009

Taxpayers face a £1 billion bill to provide school places for children born in a looming immigrant baby boom, a shocking new study reveals today.

The vast sum will be needed to create more than 96,000 extra places at primary level – around 67,000 to educate children of parents born outside the UK.

It will also cost the British taxpayer at least £200 million a year to run them, warns a cross-party group of MPs.

The knock-on costs to other public services like housing are predicted to be "even greater".

Last night MPs Nicholas Soames and Frank Field called on ministers to cut immigration now to stop the population surging past the 70 million mark.

In a joint statement, the veteran parliamentarians who chair the Cross Party Group on Balanced Migration, said: "This research illustrates how uncontrolled immigration is directly affecting ordinary families."

The pair – former Tory and Labour ministers respectively – said the Government "have clearly failed to plan for the consequences of the mass immigration they have permitted".

The study found that 703,000 five-year-olds will be entering primary school in 2014, compared with 607,000 now.

Of the 96,000 increase, more than half will be born in families where neither parent was born in the UK. Around a sixth – 13,000 – have one foreign-born parent. Less than a third, 29,000, have both parents born here.

The findings come as it is revealed that tens of thousands of British parents already struggle to get children into their first choice of primary school. ...

Nicholas Soames and Frank Field added: "The research is yet more evidence that the Government must take steps to reduce immigration.

"It must prevent our population from reaching 70 million within the next 25 years, as official forecasts now predict, if public services and the public purse are to be protected.

"Today's research highlights primary school places but the same applies to health, housing and other services."
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – translation, police
Police forces spending £70,000 every day on translation for migrants
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 7 September 2009

Police forces are spending up to £70,000 a day on translation to deal with migrants caught up in crime.

At least £25 million was spent by forces across England and Wales last year to deal with foreign criminals or help victims and witnesses who could not speak English.

The total, enough to put 500 extra officers on the street for a year, has risen by almost three quarters since 2004 and is further evidence of the impact immigration has had on public services. ...

Figures obtained under Freedom of Information by the Tories showed that in 2008-09 £12.6 million was spent on translation by 35 of the 43 forces that responded. However, that did not include the Metropolitan Police, which spent £12.5 million over the same period, according to figures released this summer.

Martin Tiplady, the Met's director of human resources, predicted that the bill could rise to £20 million by 2012. ...

In total at least £25 million was spent on translation – a 70 per cent increase on the £14.6 million spent by police in 2004 – although the true figure was likely to be much higher considering a fifth of forces did not reply.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs
Thousands spent on lavatories for foreign prisoners
Daily Telegraph, 27 August 2009

A prison has admitted spending £17,000 on special lavatories for foreigners and footbaths for Muslims to wash their feet before prayer.

Figures from the Ministry of Justice show that the money was spent on two footbaths, a "squat" lavatory and a shower area at Canterbury Prison in Kent, which holds foreign nationals awaiting deportation.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – health services
Transplant rules are tightened
Daily Telegraph, 31 July 2009

Foreign private patients will be banned from receiving organ transplants from dead NHS donors after fears were raised about immigrants jumping the queue for treatment.

It was found that 50 foreign patients had received organs donated by Britons over two years.

The hospitals were not breaking the law. However, an inquiry concluded there was a risk that the public would believe foreign nationals had been able to jump the queue.

The inquiry ruled that they could establish a right to be treated by the NHS on an equal basis.

The rules would also apply to British private patients.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – housing
Labour backs down on promise to stop migrants jumping house queue
Daily Mail, 31 July 2009

Councils will not, after all, be given new powers to stop migrants 'queue jumping' local people for housing, the government admitted yesterday.

Last month, Gordon Brown suggested that local families who had been on the waiting list for a long time would be given priority over migrants.

But housing minister John Healey said the Government was not planning to change the law to give British people greater priority. Instead, town halls will be simply be issued with new guidance about how they allocate homes.

The Prime Minister's suggestion had prompted uproar from equal rights campaigners who warned that attempts to give councils extra powers would breach human rights laws.

At present, local authorities have a duty to award council housing on the basis of need.

Mr Healey insisted yesterday that, although the guidance would not change this, it would give officials more 'leeway'.

He said councils would be able to consider other factors, such as how long people have been on waiting lists and skill shortages in the area.

There will also be a crackdown on frauds who get homes at the taxpayer's expense and then sub-let them to earn extra cash. ...

LibDem MP Sarah Teather said: 'The real problem is the queue, not the queue-jumping.'
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – crime, asylum
Foreign spongers scandal, by judge
Chris Riches
Daily Express, 29 July 2009

A judge yesterday launched a blistering attack on Britain's "desperate" immigration policy and the Government's failed welfare system.

He slammed policies that allow hundreds of thousands of foreigners to stream into the country to sponge off benefits.

Judge Ian Trigger also savaged the delay in kicking immigrants out of the UK once it had been ruled that they were here illegally.

And he condemned the country's massive welfare system for lavishing billions on immigrants.

The outburst came as the judge sentenced Jamaican Lucien McClearley, 31, for drugs offences at Liverpool Crown Court. McClearley should have been booted out of Britain in 2004. "Your case illustrates all too clearly the completely lax immigration policy that exists and has existed over recent years in this country," said Judge Trigger.

"People like you, and there are literally hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people like you, come to these shores from foreign countries to avail themselves of the generous welfare benefits that exist here. In the past 10 years the national debt of this country has risen to extraordinary heights, largely because central Government has wasted billions and billions of pounds.

"Much of that has been wasted on welfare payments."

This was creating an enormous strain on resources which are already badly stretched, he said. ...

Last night, the judge was roundly applauded for speaking out against the Government and its disastrous immigration system.

Tory immigration spokesman Damian Green declared: "The judge is right."

Sir Andrew Green, founder of think-tank Migrationwatch, commented: "He is expressing a sense of frustration which is very widely felt among the public. And it is courageous of him to do so.

"The long-term failure of this Government's immigration policy has effects in many areas of national life. That is why we need a better controlled system, and a Border Police to make our borders more secure."

Sir Andrew added: "I have lost count of the number of magistrates who have told me privately of their concerns about the number of immigrants coming before them and the difficulties in finding an appropriate penalty, if convicted, when they have no money and our jails are full." ...

Judge Trigger made his scathing comments yesterday after his court heard how McClearley, of Liverpool, had entered the UK in 2001 on a visitor's visa. He was arrested in 2002 after overstaying but appealed for asylum and was released while this was pending, allowing him to "disappear from the radar of the authorities."

His application was finally rejected on March 2004, but he was not arrested until last February in Liverpool when police noticed his hired Vauxhall Vectra stunk of cannabis. They discovered bags of cannabis and a further search of his house revealed more than £7,200 worth of cannabis, a gram of cocaine and a fake passport.

Judge Trigger added: "The fact that it took nearly two years to process your claim shows how desperate the situation in this country has become."
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – asylum
Failed asylum seekers living in Britain receive 'resettlement grants' worth thousands
Daily Mail, 28 July 2009

Failed asylum seekers living in Britain can already benefit from generous 'resettlement' grants worth thousands of pounds each.

The value of the support packages - described as 'bribes' by critics - can be as much as £4,000.

The deal includes money for housing, childcare, school fees for any children and even help setting up a business.

Ministers insist it provides good value as the total cost of forcibly removing a bogus refugee can be as much as £11,000.

But the programme has cost the taxpayer well in excess of £30 million. In part, this is down to the nature of the businesses opened by its beneficiaries.

A 35-year-old Iranian was given money to open an ostrich farm, an Albanian was given cash to open a vineyard while a Zimbabwean was paid hundreds of pounds to open a beauty salon.

The hope is that setting up migrants with fledgling businesses will give the failed migrants a chance to settle and prosper when they return to their homelands, rather than leaving them rootless and ready to return to Britain.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – housing
One in ten state-subsidised homes goes to an immigrant family
Steve Doughty
Daily Mail, 7 July 2009

Nearly 400,000 homes have gone to tenants who were born abroad, the Government's equality watchdog has said.

One in ten state-subsidised homes is occupied by an immigrant family, according to the first estimate of the impact of immigration on social housing.

More than half of the immigrants who live in council or housing association houses and flats are in London, the report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission found.

It added that four out of ten people born abroad who live in the capital are living in subsidised housing - a figure that suggests a million people in immigrant families have found homes in social housing in London.

The report blamed Home Office decisions to house asylum seekers in empty social housing around the country for 'fuelling misconceptions that asylum seekers are queue jumping and being allocated social housing ahead of white British applicants.'

It acknowledged that there is tension over who gets social housing in London and other cities including Birmingham.

But despite evidence of increasing anger over the allocation of housing in poorer and traditionally Labour-voting areas, the report insisted that there is no prejudice against the existing population in the decisions over who gets increasingly scarce homes.

It said the tension that has led to a growing vote for the far right British National Party in some parts of the country should be dealt with by fostering more positive attitudes to immigration and enforcing equality laws.

The conclusions will undermine Gordon Brown's latest plans to allow local authorities to give longstanding local residents priority in the queue for homes.

The report was drawn up for the Equality Commission by the Labour think tank Institute for Public Policy Research, which has a long record of support for large-scale immigration.

The Commission's chief, Trevor Phillips, is said to be likely to be forced out of his job this autumn.

Two years ago former minister Margaret Hodge, MP for Barking in East London, began a Labour row when she complained that migrant families were being given priority for homes over those with a 'legitimate sense of entitlement'.

Shortly afterwards Whitehall published the first estimate of numbers of foreigners in social housing, which suggested that one in 12 people in subsidised homes are foreign citizens.

However the figures published by the Equality Commission yesterday are based on the large-scale Labour Force Survey run by the Government's Office for National Statistics.

They count people born abroad, the measure accepted by statisticians as a better estimate of real numbers of immigrants.

The one in ten national estimate for social homes occupied by immigrants obscures much higher proportions of migrants in council and housing association property in some areas. ...

Some migrant groups, the report said, were highly dependent on social housing because their families had higher numbers of children and were more likely to be without work.

They included families from Afghanistan, Somalia and Bangladesh. ...

Only 11 per cent of migrants over the last five years live in social housing, the report said.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – illegal immigrants
Migrant amnesty 'worth £3 billion'
Daily Telegraph, 16 June 2009

An amnesty for illegal immigrants would boost the British economy by £3 billion a year and raise tax revenues by £842 million a report for Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, has concluded.

The study estimates there are 618,000 illegal immigrants in Britain of which 442,000 are based in London.

But the report also accepts there would be annual costs of up to £1 billion a year from the extra demands on public services and benefits.

Mr Johnson ordered the study, carried out by the London School of Economics, last year after backing calls for an amnesty.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – multiculturalism, translation
Town halls' unread translations
Ben Leach
Sunday Telegraph, 14 June 2009

It is a well-intentioned initiative which is meant to offer immigrants a helping hand.

Town halls and Whitehall spend millions of pounds a year on translation for the benefit of people who cannot speak English. Yet now an investigation has found that many of the expensively-produced foreign-language leaflets have never been read.

Documents which have failed to attract a single reader include a pamphlet for gipsies translated into Polish, and a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender directory which was translated into French. No one read the Haringey Women's Directory when it was translated into Albanian, Bengali, Kurdish, Somali or Urdu. ...

Freedom of Information requests were made to all councils, hospital trusts, police forces and government departments in the UK. Some 80 per cent responded and admitted spending £50.2 million on translations and interpreting in 2008-09, an increase of nine per cent on the figure of £46 million in 2006-07.

Yet the growth in spending on translation comes despite a call in 2007 by Hazel Blears, then the communities secretary, for councils to think twice before translating documents. She argued that the integration of established immigrant communities was better achieved by encouraging them to learn English, rather than providing paperwork in their native tongues.

Of the 218 local authorities that provided figures, 126 said they had increased spending on translation in the past two years.

Only a handful of councils were able to say how many times translated documents had been read online. Haringey admitted that of 77 translated documents it published online, 26 were never viewed. Most were only viewed once or twice. ...

The public bodies which spent the most on translations last year were the Metropolitan Police (£10.6 million) and the Department for Work and Pensions (£4 million).
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs
Immigrants send home £4bn a year
Daily Telegraph, 1 June 2009

Immigrants working in Britain send the equivalent of £11 million a day back home, research by a think tank shows.

A total of £4 billion a year now flows out of the country after figures almost doubled in a decade, according to Migrationwatch. The figure is likely to be an underestimate because it does not include money sent from Britain by unofficial channels. In contrast, just £2.3 billion a year flows into the country from British expats. Sir Andrew Green, of the think tank, said the pattern meant claims that migrants are of economic benefit to the UK were "illusory".
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – multiculturalism
Taxpayer foots bill for non-English speakers to apply for UK passport
Daily Telegraph, 1 June 2009

The passport office spent £260,000 of taxpayers' money last year providing interpreters to help non-English speaking immigrants gain a British passport.

The Identity and Passport Service's growing translation bill makes a mockery of the Government's pledge that migrants who wish to settle in Britain must be able to demonstrate a command of the language.

Applicants for a passport will have already passed a citizenship test and should be able to answer basic questions in English. But translators still are needed for those attending the new face-to-face interviews, which are designed to question applicants and stop identity fraud or bogus claims.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs
Each illegal immigrant to cost us £1 million
Alison Little
Daily Express, 4 May 2009

An amnesty allowing illegal immigrants to stay in the UK would cost a staggering £1 million for each newcomer.

For the first time, the "huge, unnecessary burden" of letting up to 950,000 foreign nationals remain is revealed today by campaign group Migrationwatch.

They say the move would be a "shocking waste of public money" when the nation is in the depths of recession.

The pressure group also say a similar cost, based on people having children and earning low wages, could apply to many people who have already been granted asylum.

And they warn that such an amnesty would only tempt more illegal immigrants into Britain – as has happened in Italy and Spain where migrants have been allowed to stay.

A coalition of churches, unions and others are holding church services and a mass rally today in support of an "earned amnesty" for an estimated 450,000 long-term illegal immigrants if they meet certain conditions.

The Institute for Public Policy Research, Labour's favourite think-tank, claimed the move could bring in more than £1 billion of tax a year.

And Conservative London Mayor Boris Johnson has argued for an amnesty for long-term illegal immigrants of good character who can support themselves so that they contribute to tax revenues. A study for Mr Johnson by the London School of Economics has estimated that there were between 524,000 and 947,000 "irregular residents" and their children in Britain at the end of 2007, with a "central estimate" of 725,000.

But Migrationwatch today publishes what it says is the first estimate of the "lifetime cost" to taxpayers of letting people stay in the UK.

It is based on a 25-year-old, married with two children, who earned the minimum wage and lived in private rented housing, retired at 65 and lived until 80.

Setting the tax and National Insurance paid against their demands on the public purse, including housing and council tax benefit and pension credit, brings their lifetime cost to taxpayers to some £900,000, with a bill of £1.1 million in London.

Migrationwatch chairman Sir Andrew Green said last night: "The numbers are truly enormous, adding an unacceptable, and entirely unnecessary, burden to the nation's balance sheet at a time when Boris Johnson himself is writing about 'the horrific state of the nation's finances'."

Sir Andrew acknowledged that some immigrants would earn over the minimum wage and thus take lower welfare payments, but some may have more than two children and so get higher benefit.

"Or they may be unemployed. Immigrants are, on average, more likely to be economically inactive than the UK as a whole," he added.

The report says the cost of granting settlement to an asylum seeker who did not achieve higher earnings, although many would do so, would be similar.

The campaign group says this makes Home Office failure to appear at up to a third of asylum appeals "reprehensible". Sir Andrew added: "It is also a shocking waste of public money at a time when we can least afford it."

In Italy an amnesty in 1988 let 119,000 foreigners settle, but when the exercise was repeated in 2002 the figure soared to 700,000. In Spain the figure rose from 44,000 in 1985 to 700,000 in 2005.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – USA
Schwarzenegger: Immigrants not cause of budget woe
Michael R. Blood
Associated Press, 15 April 2009

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Wednesday that health care and other services for illegal immigrants cost California taxpayers as much as $6 billion a year, but that's not the reason for the state's financial mess. ...

At an appearance at the Los Angeles Times, the Republican governor estimated that education and other services for illegal immigrants could carry a $4 billion to $6 billion price tag each year.

But to place blame there for the ongoing budget mess – or any other single factor – "would be the wrong thing," he said.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs
Arrival tax of £50 for all non-EU migrants
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 19 March 2009

A new "tax" for all non-European Union migrants arriving to work or study in Britain will be announced today by Hazel Blears, the Communities Secretary.

The fee, thought to be about £50 per arrival, is to cover the extra burden on public services, and is expected to raise £35 million a year.

The "migrant tax" will be levied on the hundreds of thousands of migrants who apply for work or study visas each year, from Australian bar staff to Rhodes scholars and Premier League footballers.

The funds are earmarked for councils struggling to cope with the impact of mass immigration on services such as GPs' surgeries and schools.

But critics have said that the money generated will be a "drop in the ocean", based on figures that show taxpayers provide £500 million a year for immigration-related costs.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the pressure group MigrationWatch UK, said: "A rough estimate shows that, for every £1 the Government spends on schemes specifically to help migrants, its new tax will only raise about 7p.

"And that spending does not allow for the fact that one new home will have to be built every six minutes for new immigrants, nor the additional costs to the NHS and education services, nor the countless other costs to local services that large-scale immigration brings."
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – politics
Non-EU immigrants to pay £50 tax
Rosa Prince
Daily Telegraph, 16 March 2009

Foreign workers and students from outside the European Union will have to pay £50 when they arrive in Britain to help ease their impact on public services.

The new "migrant tax", to be announced this week, will be levied on the thousands of immigrants from non-EU states applying for work or study visas, from Australian bar staff to Rhodes scholars and Premiership footballers.

It is expected to raise £70 million over the next few years, with the funds earmarked for councils struggling to cope with the impact of mass immigration on services such as doctors' surgeries and schools. Ministers hope that acknowledging the strain caused by immigration in some areas will stop voters being tempted by the British National Party at the European elections in May.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – education
EU students fail to repay study loans
Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 27 February 2009

Almost three quarters of EU students graduating from British universities fail to pay back their loans, leaving taxpayers with a multi-million-pound bill.

Figures showed that 1,580 of the 2,240 students from outside Britain who should have started repaying had failed to do so.

The Conservatives said the system used to track them down was "shockingly ineffective". The Student Loans Company relies on students to give correct information about their earnings and make their own arrangements to pay.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – healthcare
700 organs given to foreigners despite long waiting list
Patrick Sawer
Sunday Telegraph, 25 January 2009

The organs of nearly 700 British donors have been given to foreign patients in a controversial practice going back more than 10 years.

It has led to patients from as far afield as China flying in for operations at NHS hospitals.

The procedures have taken place despite a severe shortage of organs for transplant in Britain. Nearly 8,000 people are currently on NHS waiting lists for a transplant.

Patient groups and politicians condemned the practice of making organs available to foreigners while so many British patients remained on waiting lists. ...

The figures, obtained ... through a parliamentary question, show that about 70 British organs were transplanted into foreign nationals every year between 1998 and 2008. At the same time, only 140 foreign organs were brought into Britain to be transplanted into British patients.

Among the foreigners given British organs in the past two years were 40 from Greece and Cyprus, as well as a number from Libya, the United Arab Emirates, China and Israel.

Most of the operations took place at Leeds Teaching Hospital, King's College Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital, both in London.

The Healthcare Commission investigated the matter last year after being alerted to the number of operations being carried out at King's College Hospital but found that no rules were being broken.

However, the British Transplantation Society criticised the practice.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs
Outrage over organs 'sold to foreigners'
Sarah-Kate Templeton
The Sunday Times, 4 January 2009

The organs of 50 British National Health Service donors have been given to foreign patients who have paid about £75,000 each for private transplant operations in the past two years, freedom of information documents show.

The liver transplants took place at NHS hospitals, despite severe shortages that mean many British patients die while waiting for an organ that could save their lives.

The documents disclose that 40 patients from Greece and Cyprus received liver transplants in the UK paid for by their governments. Donated livers were also given to people from non-European Union countries including Libya, the United Arab Emirates, China and Israel.

The surgeons who carry out the transplants receive a share of the operation fee – believed to be about £20,000 – as all the work is done privately in NHS hospitals.

It comes as a record 8,000 Britons are on NHS lists waiting for transplant organs. About 260 British patients are waiting for a liver.

Last week leading transplant surgeons and patient groups called for an end to the practice. Professor Peter Friend, president of the British Transplantation Society, said it was unethical to give organs to people from abroad while British patients were dying.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – health service
Costly NHS interpreters
Dr Charles Gauci
Daily Telegraph, 29 December 2008
[Letter to the Editor]

As a consultant in the NHS, my staff and I are faced, virtually on a daily basis, with patients who cannot speak English and for whom an interpreter has to be hired, at considerable expense to the NHS.

Interpreters are provided for every conceivable language (except, apparently, for my own native tongue, Maltese).

No other country in the world provides such a service. Surely, if someone has been living here for five years and cannot speak English, they should be expected to pay for an interpreter themselves?
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs
Cost in translation
Daily Telegraph, 19 December 2008

The cost of providing translators for benefits claimants has risen by more than 40 per cent in four years, the Conservatives have disclosed. In 2004, the bill for translation at the Department for Work and Pensions stood at £2.5 million. By this year, it had risen to nearly £4 million.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – health services
Thousands of Polish women come to Britain for abortions
Daily Telegraph, 16 December 2008

Ten thousand Polish women had abortions in Britain last year, it was reported. The procedures, illegal in Poland, were thought to have cost the NHS between £5 million and £10 million.

People coming to Britain as temporary workers are given a National Insurance number and can then register with a doctor and have NHS treatment. Britain is thought to be popular because abortions can be carried out up to 24 weeks into a pregnancy.

The figures were disclosed by the Polish Federation for Women and Family Planning.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs
Polish pay-outs
Sunday Telegraph, 14 December 2008

British taxpayers are paying £35 million a year in child benefit to support 42,759 children living in Eastern Europe, the majority in Poland, Government figures show.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs
Benefits of migrant labour 'overstated'
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 15 November 2008

The benefits of mass immigration have been "wildly overstated" and there should be a cap on the numbers coming into the country, a group of peers has said.

The warning was given during a debate over a scathing report on the Government's open door policy by the Lords economic affairs committee. The committee, which includes two former chancellors – Lord Lawson and Lord Lamont – and several former cabinet ministers, said that the Government must set an "explicit target range" for immigration and make rules to keep within that limit.

Lord Wakeham, who chaired the committee, rejected as "fundamentally flawed" the claim that immigration is necessary to prevent labour shortages.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – housing
Moving up. Family on benefits lives in £800,000 home at taxpayers' expense
Stephen Adams
Daily Telegraph, 11 November 2008

A mother of five children who lives on benefits is being housed in a home worth up to £800,000 at taxpayers' expense.

Nigerian-born Omowunmi Odia moved into the mock-Tudor executive home in Edgware, north London, after she was forced out of her previous property by court order. The property reportedly costs £25,000 a year to rent.

Mrs Odia said that Barnet council had tried to house her in Enfield but she had stuck out for the home in Edgware, because it was closer to her children's school.

Mrs Odia said that she and her children much preferred their new home, which has two sitting rooms and a double garage, as their old two-bedroom flat was too small.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – unemployment benefits
Returning Poles claim British dole
Daily Telegraph, 5 November 2008

Returning Polish workers are continuing to claim hundreds of pounds in benefits from British taxpayers.

Job centre staff in Poland say increasing numbers of peopleare coming back to their home country after losing work in Britain and Ireland.

They are advising them that rather than signing on for Polish benefit, which pays just £120 a month, they should use a European Union loophole to continue claiming Jobseeker's Allowance from Britain at a rate of about £260 a month for up to three months.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – police, NHS
Translators for foreign criminals cost £22m
Andrew Porter
Daily Telegraph, 30 October 2008

Police forces are having to spend more than £22 million a year on hiring interpreters for foreign criminals, new figures show.

The overall cost has risen by two thirds in the past five years, but for some individual forces the amount paid to translators has increased by 400 per cent. ...

In total the costs have risen from £13,580,599 in 2004 to £22,178,040 this year – a rise of 63 per cent. ...

Of the 51 forces in Britain, 43 responded to the Freedom of Information request ...

Meanwhile, it emerged that the NHS is spending millions on interpreters for patients who cannot speak English.

At least 200 trusts spent £25 million on interpreters last year, figures released under Freedom of Information laws show. If this is representative of the 557 trusts in England and Wales, the total translation bill would be well in excess of £50 million.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs
Staff sacked over £170,000 benefits
Daily Telegraph, 10 October 2008

Three council officials have been sacked after an Afghan woman was given £170,000 a year in benefits to live in a £1.2 million home.

Ealing council in west London was paying Toorpakai Saiedi, a mother of seven, a monthly housing allowance of £12,458, nearly five times the rent for a similar property nearby. She also received £400 a week in benefits.

The sacked housing officers claim they have been made scapegoats by the council.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs
The £1.2m council house tenants
Urmee Khan
Daily Telegraph, 9 October 2008
[See also "Staff sacked over £170,000 benefits" (10 October)]

A mother is receiving £170,000 a year in benefits so that she and her family can live in a seven-bedroom house worth £1.2 million.

Toorpakai Saindi, who has four sons and three daughters aged eight to 22, has been granted an estimated £400 a week in benefits. Her landlord is paid £12,458 a month because there is no other property suitable for her family.

Mr Saindi, who came to Britain from Afghanistan seven years ago, approached Ealing council in west London in July after being made homeless. The authority has a legal obligation to find her a seven-bedroom house. ...

The council says the benefit and rent payouts are set by central government. ...

The Local Housing Allowance (LHA), introduced in England on April 7, enables landlords to find out the maximum rent available for a property before a price is agreed.

Foxtons, the estate agents, said similar houses are let for about £6,000 a month.

The landlord, Ajit Panesar, who is acting within his rights, fixed a value for his Acton property so that the Rent Service – an executive agency of the Department for Work and Pensions – could advise the council what it should pay. It came up with £12,458 a month.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs
Overseas lorry eight times more likely to be in a crash
David Millward
Daily Telegraph, 22 September 2008

Foreign lorry drivers are eight times more likely to be involved in a serious or fatal accident than their British counterparts, figures show. ...

With foreign lorries accounting for one per cent of the total in the country, the proportion of accidents in which they are involved is far greater.

Campaigners say foreign lorries are not maintained to the same safety levels as British ones.

More than one in five trucks operated by overseas hauliers have been found to be unroadworthy.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – housing
Government funded website telling immigrants how to get free housing
Martin Beckford
Daily Telegraph, 9 September 2008

The Housing Rights site offers advice to new arrivals in Britain on what welfare assistance they qualify for and how to claim it.

It also tells them how to take legal action if they think they have been denied a home on the grounds of their race. ...

It is part of a three-year project called Opening Doors run by the Chartered Institute of Housing and the Housing Associations' Charitable Trust, which has been given £120,000 by the Department for Communities and Local Government to help migrants settle in Britain. ...

Mark Wallace, campaign director for the TaxPayers' Alliance pressure group, said: "This sends out a deplorable message to migrants about Britain as a whole, and also about what we would hope they would contribute to the country.

"We should be welcoming people with assistance on how to get a job swiftly and join the hard-working majority of people, not on the quickest and easiest way to tap into benefits."

He added: "I'm not aware of a special website for people who have paid taxes here their whole lives."
[Site link]


Benefits and costs
Immigration is 'big boost for economy'
Daily Telegraph, 26 August 2008

The economic benefits of immigration have been underestimated by the Government, according to an influential think-tank.

Immigrant workers fill gaps and do jobs British workers do not want, says a report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). But it found that employers and local economies were not reaping the full benefits because many migrants were staying for short periods instead of settling in Britain.

The IPPR said local economies benefited because might have different skills that could lead to the establishment of new types of businesses and they tended to be more entrepreneurial.

Immigrants could also expand the market for local businesses by establishing links to their countries of origin.

IPPR analysis of statistics showed that more than a million immigrants came to Britain from the eight countries that joined the EU in May 2004 but about half of those had now returned home. The report recommends that local councils and the Government ensure they are doing enough to attract and retain immigrants.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – multiculturalism, housing, education
Britons who feel they are losing out to immigrants
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 21 July 2008

Immigrants raise fears of limited prospects among the British

Many Britons fear their prospects are being limited because of the pressure put on housing and schools by immigrants arriving in the UK, a new report warns.

The claims come as it emerged that £1 billion is being spent on putting up foreigners in council houses – despite two million people waiting for a home.

The report, titled Immigration and Social Cohesion in the UK, uncovered a stark divide in how parts of the UK adapt to new migrants.

While many people value their children growing up with cultural diversity, some feel their opportunities are reduced because of immigration.

There was particular concern around the competition for social housing, soaring house prices and school places.

Report author Mary Hickman, a Professor at London Metropolitan University, said: "We found that although many British people value the UK for being multi-ethnic and multicultural, poverty and lack of opportunities undermine social cohesion especially in certain parts of our towns and cities.

"A key factor influencing whether new migrants are accepted is the dominant story in each locality about who belongs there."

The report also suggested that Gordon Brown should spend focus on tackling poverty rather than a "fixed notion" of Britishness to improve social cohesion.

Since taking over as Prime Minister last July, Mr Brown has consistently emphasised the importance of Britishness to bind the nation together.

However the Joseph Rowntree Foundation suggested that his time might be better spent dealing with "deprivation and how people connect".

The competition for a limited supply of council housing has been one of the areas of key concern in the debate about immigration.

Since Labour came to power in 1997 the number of people on the waiting list for a council house has soared by 650,000 to 1.67 million households.

Figures obtained by the Conservative MP James Clappison show that nearly £1 billion is being spent on putting up foreigners in council houses –despite nearly two million households waiting for a new home.

Parliamentary answers show that 7,000 council houses were rented to foreigners from both inside and outside the European Union in 2006/7.

Given that it costs £134,000 to provide a council house, this means that £938 million – including £430 million of grants – is spent on providing social housing for foreigners.

Mr Clappison, a member of the Commons home affairs select committee, said: "This is one more example of the pressure placed upon housing and services by the present very high level of immigration permitted by the Government.

"The Government is completely failing to take into account the consequences of its policies".
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – multiculturalism, housing
Immigration: 'Britishness' will not help integration, say researchers
Sara Gaines
The Guardian, 21 July 2008

Tackling deprivation and boosting social interaction would do more to reduce hostility to immigrants than trying to create a sense of Britishness, a report said today.

Concerns over limited housing and school places in some parts of the UK are undermining attempts to ensure new migrants are well received, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

It found a stark divide between places well equipped to adapt to new migrants and those that are not.

In areas people perceived as homogeneous and settled, there were more fears about the effects of immigration. Tensions were far lower in areas where there was a long history of immigration.

"There is no simple relationship between high levels of diversity and poor cohesion," researchers concluded.

"What many people welcome is the opportunity to meet people in their area at social occasions, or at cultural events and festivals, and to exercise the choice of, selectively, getting to know people better."

The research, Immigration and Social Cohesion in the UK, found many people welcomed cultural diversity, but tensions arose where people felt their prospects were reduced because of immigration.

"Although many British people value the UK for being multi-ethnic and multicultural, poverty and lack of opportunities undermine social cohesion especially in certain parts of our towns and cities," said the lead researcher, professor Mary Hickman.

Residents across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland were interviewed for the study between 2005 and 2007.

It found diverse feelings on Britishness, with minority ethnic long-term residents and new arrivals the most positive about Britain.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – unpaid fines
Foreign drivers speed off without paying £10m fines
Ben Leach
Sunday Telegraph, 29 June 2008

Foreign drivers get away with not paying 180,000 speeding and parking fines every year because British authorities cannot trace them.

The Sunday Telegraph used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain speeding ticket figures from 15 police forces. They showed that foreign drivers in those areas fail to pay 27,000 speeding fines annually – pointing to a nationwide total of about 80,000 unpaid speeding fines a year.

The motorists can escape justice over the fines, which total more than £10 million, because police, councils and speed camera authorities are not able to obtain their details. Statistics released by 36 local authorities also show that foreign drivers got away without paying 54,000 parking fines a year, pointing to a nationwide total of 105,000 unpaid fines. ...

There are 140,000 foreign-registered vehicles on Britain's roads at any one time and three million enter the country each year.

The largest group are Polish-registered vehicles, which account for 36 per cent of those in Britain, followed by French vehicles at 10 per cent and German vehicles at 9 per cent.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – births, health services
Shortage of nurses and cots a threat to babies, claim MPs
Rebecca Smith
Daily Telegraph, 17 June 2008

The lives of newborn babies are being put at risk by understaffed and overstretched neo-natal units, a report by a group of MPs has disclosed. ...

Infant mortality figures are nearly three times as high in the Midlands as in parts of the South. The Department of Health admits that the target to close the gap by 10 per cent by 2010 is unlikely to be met, the report from the Public Accounts Committee says. A third of units are overcrowded and on average each unit has three vacancies for qualified nurses.

Edward Leigh, MP, chairman of the public accounts committee, said: "Constraints in capacity mean that the Department of Health is still struggling to meet the demand for neo-natal services which has risen year on year. ..." ...

The PAC report says obesity among mothers, older women having babies, deprivation, increasing use of fertility treatment and rising numbers of babies born to ethnic minority mothers is putting pressure on services.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs
£33m child benefit paid to foreign children who live abroad
Glen Owen
Daily Mail, 1 June 2008

British child benefit paid to foreign children living abroad has rocketed by an astonishing 72 per cent in just nine months, to £33million a year.

Most of the money is going on 36,000 children still in Poland whose parents are cashing in on European rules that let them claim benefits in the UK after working and paying taxes here for a year.

Ministers were plunged into a new immigration row last night by the figures, only shortly after proposed tax rises for low-income British families sparked intense controversy.

The huge bill for British taxpayers began with the EU's enlargement in 2004, leading to 800,000 workers from the new member countries moving to the UK.

But it has escalated dramatically as word has spread among Polish communities in Britain, coupled with Polish-language newspapers publishing guides on how to claim the benefit.

The new figures, released to Conservative Treasury spokesman Philip Hammond, reveal that in the nine months to March this year the number of workers from EU accession states claiming child benefit rose from 14,000 to 24,000.

For Poland, the rise in six months was 43 per cent.

Even larger amounts are paid out to East European workers in child tax credits, but the Government has refused to put a figure on that liability.

The UK benefit is so attractive because it is £977 a year for the first child and £652 for young siblings – as opposed to £160 for each child in Poland.

But the reciprocal agreement under European law means Britons working in that country get only the £160 from the Warsaw government.

Mr Hammond said: "At a time when child poverty is rising, child-benefit money is being siphoned off to children who don't even live here.

"The Government has no way of checking if these claims are genuine. ..." ...

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of pressure group MigrationWatch, said: "It is ridiculous that we pay child benefit at British rates to be claimed in countries where the cost of living is one quarter of ours.

"Having failed to foresee this, the Government should now renegotiate the requirement so that this benefit is tied to the cost of living."
[Site link]


Benefits and costs
James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 21 May 2008

More than 100,000 of the eastern Europeans who have come to Britain in recent years are claiming benefits, official figures showed yesterday.

Some 102,029 are receiving child benefit and an estimated 58,000 are receiving tax credits, Home Office data disclosed.

The figures also showed that the number of eastern Europeans who have applied to work in Britain since their countries joined the EU in 2004 has reached 845,000.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – business
UK 'reaping benefit' of immigration
The Press Association, 7 May 2008

Eastern European immigrants to the UK have a higher employment rate than British citizens, a report reveals.

An average 84% of workers from eight countries that joined the EU in 2004 have jobs - 9% higher than the UK-born average, according to Business for New Europe (BNE).

Its report suggests the impact of the EU's biggest-ever expansion four years ago has benefited the UK and Eastern Europe equally.

Since 2004 just over one million migrant workers have come to Britain from Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovenia, Slovakia and Estonia.

But nearly half have already emigrated again, leaving an estimated 665,000 people from the eight nations currently living in the UK.

The BNE report contains articles from 22 business leaders in companies including ArcelorMittal, Tesco, Sainsbury, BT Group and Microsoft.

They collectively hail EU expansion as a good thing. Roland Rudd, BNE chairman, said: "This expansion has transformed the accession countries, galvanised the European Union and also presented fresh opportunities for existing member states.

"Britain, and businesses here, are reaping the benefits of an enlarged EU which has created a single market of 500 million consumers."

The report said very few of the Eastern European migrants claimed state benefits - only 2.4% of those registering for NI numbers since 2004 did so to claim benefits.

And, on average, immigrant workers put in 46 hours a week - four hours longer each week than UK-born workers.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – healthcare
Health tourist checks 'not done'
Phil Kemp
BBC, 3 May 2008

About a third of hospitals in England and Wales are ignoring government advice to charge foreign visitors for NHS treatment. ...

But a third of overseas visitor managers polled by their association admitted patients were not routinely asked about their entitlement. ...

Tunde, not his real name, lives in Lagos in Nigeria and has been suffering with heart trouble for the past three years.

But, instead of paying for treatment at home, he travels to the UK for free care on the NHS.

"I have an NHS card. I registered it through the GP. I book an appointment with a GP and I am referred to the hospital," he said.

Tunde has been making the trip as a health tourist twice a year for the last three years and says that he will continue doing it until he is better. ...

For most non-EU nationals, treatment on the NHS which is not urgently necessary is chargeable.

The government was so concerned about reports of foreign nationals receiving free treatment when they should be paying that it introduced tough new guidelines in 2004, designed to ensure that all hospitals checked the status of patients being admitted.

But, four years on, the Donal MacIntyre programme on Radio 5 Live has learned the rules are widely ignored.

Some overseas visitor managers in hospitals told the BBC that they found the guidelines confusing and described how some staff are uncomfortable checking patients' immigration status.

One told the programme: "Staff are anxious of possible abuse not only by overseas visitors but also from people who feel it is unjust to be asked."

A confidential report for the Department of Health released under the Freedom of Information Act last year estimated that £30m was lost in un-recovered debts from foreign visitors in 2004. ...

The Department of Health is currently reviewing access to primary and secondary care for all foreign nationals and several hospitals are running pilot schemes where patients who are not eligible for free treatment have to pay at their bedside.

Andy Finlay is the income generation manager at West Middlesex University Hospital, which is one of the hospitals involved in the scheme.

He explained that one particularly blatant example of a health tourist prompted their involvement.

"He said 'you have to treat me until I'm well and I'm not paying and there's nothing you can do about it'.

"He came with a pre-existing heart condition and he knew it's free at the point of delivery in the UK. He abused us - he was a 100% bona fide health tourist."

Since introducing their new policy, 20% of all patients admitted to A&E self-discharge before they are asked to pay for treatment, whereas before no patients left of their own accord.

The hospital says they now recover 75% of debt from foreign visitors paying all fees, a much higher proportion that most other hospitals.

Andy Finlay is hoping that the Department of Health will extend his idea across all hospitals.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – healthcare
Health tourists must pay, says hospital
Daily Telegraph, 1 May 2008

A hospital is refusing to provide anything other than basic treatment for "health tourists" unless they pay first.

West Middlesex University Hospital, which is near Heathrow airport, has started taking action – such as discharging heart attack patients after as little as 48 hours and taking credit card details – and hopes to save up to £500,000 a year. Patients were discharged only after being signed off by three consultants.

Visitors from non-EU countries are not eligible for free treatment and are estimated to cost the NHS more than £50 million a year.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs
Migrant benefits
Daily Telegraph, 24 April 2008

The British economy has been boosted by high levels of immigration over the past 10 years, a report has claimed.

The Work Foundation think-tank said inflation and interest rates have been kept lower as a result of mass migration. It also suggested that skills and labour shortages had been avoided and the economy had been kept on a "stable growth path".
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs
The Media's Delusional take on Multiculturalism [1]
Tim Murray
Canada Free Press, 11 April 2008

According to the Edmonton Journal's editorial of April 4/08, "Prosperity in Diversity", Canadians are just loving the transformation of their cities.


You know the old song. There is a labour shortage. Repeat that undocumented myth often enough and it becomes conventional wisdom and no inventory is taken of our national needs. So instead of training our own people we must reach out to the far corners of the world to solve it. The people we reach out to, naturally, must be people of colour, who will enrich us both culturally and economically because, you guessed it, they will solve the labour shortage that is alleged to exist. Much of it is the famous "they do work our own people won't do" kind. That is, our own people won't do it unless they are paid decent wages for it.

Now, according to the Edmonton Journal, anyone who doesn't want their city bulging with people of colour is a bigot who belongs in the past. The rest of us are "celebrating" the new Canada. Celebrating higher density living, traffic jams, more pollution, more sprawl, loss of farmland, loss of wetlands, and species loss. About 70% of species at risk exist at the boundaries of the very cities that the Edmonton Journal is excited to report are bursting with ethnic minority growth. Canadians are exchanging treasured biological diversity for this vaunted "cultural diversity".

One conspicuous feature of cultural diversity is ethnic gang warfare which, to borrow a phrase from the Edmonton Journal, has made "the cities of this country vastly more interesting." Multiculturalism has not only enriched our palates with its fine range of ethnic restaurants, it has enriched our crime scene, forcing our phlegmatic and unimaginative home- grown thugs to either shape up or find a new line of work. I know I was enriched, until I fled, along with tens of thousands of other WASPS to the hinterlands in search of respite from the lawlessness that diversity had wrought. But now diversity is following us. Last summer Asian gangs were reported to be hounding the formerly sleepy retirement city of Kelowna, B.C.

The Edmonton Journal speaks of "changing realities and changing attitudes." Interesting. A poll conducted by CTV and the Globe and Mail between August 3-7 of 2005 found that 69% of Canadians opposed multiculturalism and favoured assimilation, and 55% thought immigration levels were too high. They were not asked if they wanted the country's ethnic composition changed, but of course, they were the ordinary people of Canada and journalists and parliamentarians know better anyway. A democrat would turn the question around: Name a federal government that had a mandate to change the ethnic profile of the nation? I think it is clear the Edmonton Journal does not have its finger on the pulse of public opinion anymore than the social engineers at the CBC. There has been no sea change in attitudes toward "diversity" since August 2005.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs
The Media's Delusional take on Multiculturalism [2]
Tim Murray
Canada Free Press, 11 April 2008

Why is there such subterranean discontent with multiculturalism in Canada, and elsewhere? Of course there is resentment with the concept of our own government requiring us to accommodate to the customs and sensibilities of newcomers rather than the reverse. But the perception of there being rampant, disproportionate ethnic crime is a common denominator of much antagonism to the multicultural nature of immigrant populations in Europe, Australia and North America. In the United States 27% of all inmates of federal prisons are illegal aliens and their violent crime statistics are appalling. In the United Kingdom 60% of London's muggings are committed by blacks and 31% of all street robberies are committed by West Indians. Ethnic crimes don't happen in Canada because the federal government won't collect ethnic crime statistics. ... ...

There is something about diversity which is less tangible but more corrosive to society than violence. That is its apparent role as an agency of fragmentation and the loss of a sense of civic duty. Dr. Ernest Healy's study, in concert with others by Harvard's Robert Putnam, Irenaus-Eibesfeldt and Pierre van den Berghe would contest the notion of "unity in diversity". A senior research fellow at the Centre for Population and Urban Research at Monash University, Healy challenges the idea that ethnic diversity leads to a stronger, more cohesive society. In fact, it can hasten a withdrawal from collective life as manifested in Australia by lower rates of volunteerism by even second-generation immigrant residents. "When you create societies from mixed backgrounds it may lead to withdrawal from the civic sphere," Dr. Healy said, "a feeling of less connectedness." As one commentator remarked, "Few cultures actually put the nation ahead of their own families. The Civic Culture of Northern Europe and North/East Asia is the exception, not the rule. If the people of the Civic Culture are replaced by people without those values, the Civic Culture ceases to exist." ...

And what of the economic benefits of multicultural immigration? How much prosperity is there in "diversity"? The problem with boastful pro-immigration claims is that they never take account of the enormous costs that migrants incur in social services, costs borne by resident taxpayers. In early April 2008, for example the British Peers economics affairs committee made a mockery of long-standing government claims that foreign workers added 6 billion pounds each year to the wealth of the nation. On the contrary, they concluded that the benefits of immigration to the resident population were close to zero in the long run. And the Lords report never even touched the horrendous environmental impacts of Tony Blair's demographic onslaught upon water, food production, greenspace, farmland, GHG emissions, pollution and quiet. Britons might ask, what price diversity?

In America the price is $152 billion lost each year to American workers in job displacement and wages to immigration, according to Harvard's Dr. George Borjas. Each immigrant legal or illegal costs American taxpayers $9,000 annually, according to the Manhattan Institute while each unskilled immigrant and his family costs the treasury $22,000 annually according to a 2007 study done by the Heritage Foundation. The Grubel study done for the Fraser Institute reached similar conclusions for Canada. $18 billion more was paid out in services to unskilled presumably third world immigrants than was recovered in taxes from them - annually. So I hope you enjoyed your goat curry, you paid through the nose for it.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – housing, education, health care
Mass immigration raises house prices, say peers
Robert Winnett
Daily Telegraph, 1 April 2008

The unprecedented influx of immigrants will make houses unaffordable for millions of British people, an authoritative parliamentary report concludes today.

Immigration is already having a dramatic impact on house prices but, according to the House of Lords economic affairs committee, the cost of the average property will rise to more than 10 times the average wage as a result of the influx. ...

Research from the financial firm Goldman Sachs calculates that a one per cent increase in the number of households increases house prices by eight per cent in the short term. The increase falls to six per cent as more houses are built. ...

The committee recommended: "Immigration is one of many factors contributing to more demand for housing and higher house prices. Housing matters alone should not dictate immigration policy but they should be an important consideration when assessing the economic impacts of immigration on the resident population in the UK."

800,000 pupils who are not English

There are almost 800,000 children in schools who do not speak English as a first language, a rise of 24 per cent in four years, says the report.

Schools are paying for translators and specialist teaching materials, the committee was told. The rapid turnover of pupils is regarded as disruptive, with some schools having to set up specialist centres to deal with the new arrivals. There is also anecdotal evidence that the NHS is under increased pressure, although the Government has no information on the trend. One health official described the situation in social care as a "data desert".
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – transport
Foreign lorries 'pose higher risk'
Daily Telegraph, 31 March 2008

Foreign lorry drivers are breaking British safety laws and risking lives, with accident figures rocketing in the past five years, a television programme warns.

Killer Lorries: Tonight – to be shown on ITV1 this evening – says that foreign trucks are three times more likely to be involved in accidents. In 2006 44 people were killed and 1,322 injured in collisions with foreign heavy goods vehicles.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs
Migration has brought 'zero' economic benefit
Philip Johnston and Robert Winnett
Daily Telegraph, 29 March 2008

Ten years of record immigration to Britain has produced virtually no economic benefits for the country, a parliamentary inquiry has found.

A House of Lords committee, which is due to report next Tuesday, will call into question Government claims that foreign workers add £6 billion each year to the wealth of the nation.

It is expected to say this must be balanced against the increase in population and their use of local services such as health and education, resulting in little benefit per head of the population.

"Our overall conclusion is that the economic benefits of net immigration to the resident population are small and close to zero in the long run," the report will say.

Thy findings of the Lords economics committee threaten to demolish the key argument made by ministers to justify the highest levels of immigration in the country's history.

The inquiry by the committee, which includes two former chancellors and several former Cabinet ministers, is the first to try to balance the costs and benefits of large-scale immigration.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – employment
Skilled migrants 'will give £77bn boost to UK'
Peter Taylor
Daily Telegraph, 25 March 2008

The number of skilled migrant workers in the UK will climb 14pc within four years to top 800,000, new research has indicated.

A report by recruitment consultants Harvey Nash said skilled migrants will account for 2.8pc of the British workforce by 2012, up from 2.5pc now, with the value of their output climbing more than a third to almost £50bn.

Harvey Nash chief executive Albert Ellis said that, in addition, the group supported 650,000 more jobs through spending on goods and services.

The total contribution of skilled migrants to the UK economy will hit £77bn annually within four years, the report said, with IT, telecommunications and transport sectors benefiting most. The majority come from the European Union, with London the principal destination.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs
£28m in child benefit is paid to families living in Poland
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 8 March 2008

British taxpayers are paying £28 million in child benefit for youngsters living in eastern Europe, it was disclosed last night.

The figures, given in a Commons written answer, show that by the end of last year about 34,000 children of migrant workers were getting British state handouts, even though they do not live here.

The vast majority live in Poland and have parents who have come to Britain since their country was allowed to join the European Union in April 2004.

More than half a million Poles have since registered for jobs in the UK together with another 300,000 people from seven other eastern European nations.

This does not include the self-employed – who have probably pushed the numbers of those who have come seeking work above the one million mark.

Once EU nationals have been working and paying tax in Britain for 12 months, they are entitled to the same level of state support as any British citizen.

This includes benefit for their children, even if they are in another EU country.

They can claim benefit worth £941 per year for a first child or £629 per year for younger siblings.

In Poland, the benefits system pays a maximum of around £160 per year in child benefit.

Philip Hammond, the Conservative treasury spokesman, said: "There are 3.8 million British children living in poverty. Yet we are sending £28 million of taxpayers' money abroad every year because our benefits system is such a shambles."

He added: "When will Gordon Brown get a grip on this situation?

"We know that billions of pounds are being lost to benefit fraud every year in Britain, so how on earth is the Government going to check these payments to children who aren't even here?"

Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, recently announced a Whitehall review to see if the EU rules could be tightened up or reformed.

However, Whitehall officials believe it would require a new deal among the 27 European Union countries to close the loophole.

HM Revenue and Customs says claimants have to provide evidence to support claims for children abroad, such as a birth certificate.

It is thought that even larger sums are being paid out to Eastern European workers in child tax credits – financial support that is provided through the tax system for those with children or on lower incomes.

This could push the total payouts to more than £50 million but ministers say these figures are "not available". ...

Polish newspapers regularly run features explaining exactly how to claim benefits in the UK.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – employment, politics
An immigration policy bought and paid for? [part 1]
Tim Murray, director of Immigration Watch Canada
(We) Can Do Better [website], 24 February 2008
[Note: all dollar figures given are in US dollars]

The numbers are unequivocal. For a decade polls have consistently recorded a wide discrepancy between the attitude of ordinary Americans toward immigration and the attitude of those who govern them. And the gap has been growing. In 2002 a poll conducted by the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations found that 60% of the public thought current immigration levels to be a "critical threat to the vital interests of the United States," as compared to only 14% of the country's leadership. This 46% gap compared to a 37% gap revealed by a 1998 poll. 70% felt that reducing illegal immigration should be a "very important" foreign policy goal compared to only 22% of the political elite.

Polling done by TM, inc. in October 2006 confirmed these results. While the U.S. Senate passed a bill (S2611) supporting a large increase in legal immigration, 68% of voters thought the number of immigrants, legal or illegal, was too high, 34 times the number who said it was too "low". 71% said that low paying jobs could easily be filled if employers paid American workers decent wages rather than import low-skill labour. And 62% agreed with a statement that Canadian viewers of CBC immigration sob stories have frequently observed, "The media coverage of illegal immigrants is mostly devoted to human interest stories like how illegals risk their lives (to get here), rather than the costs they create and the Americans, particularly low-wage American workers, who may be harmed by their being here."

The polling company Inc./Woman Trend in October of 2006 found 66% in agreement that the population increase caused by the present level of immigration would negatively impact the environment. A Zogbylcis poll of April 2006 revealed that 67% of Americans wanted less immigration to promote the assimilation of those who were already here. A poll conducted a month earlier by the same company found that 60% wanted their congressional representative to support more restrictive immigration policies. ...

The question that these poll results beg is why? Why the cleavage between leaders and led? The anti-immigration sentiment of America's middle and working class is easily accounted for. According to Centre for Immigration Studies data, in the decade preceding 2003, immigration increased the supply of people without a high school education by 21% and the supply of other workers by 4%. Rudimentary economic theory suggests that the more poorly skilled workers there are, the less money they'll make – a fact confirmed by the National Research Council in their findings that about half the drop in real wages for high school drop-outs from 1980 to 1994 was due to immigration. A report by the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Centre found that Americans and established immigrants suffer an 11% wage drop when they work alongside new Hispanic immigrants. Harvard Professor Dr. George Borgias has accumulated similar data and has made the shocking assertion that American workers lose an incredible $152 billion per year in wages from immigration.

Immigration provides a ready-made source of cheap labour, ... it weakens the bargaining power of American-born workers and reduces the clout of their unions, if they still have them. ... Writer Rich Lowry made the best assessment: "No wonder corporate America loves our open borders: they serve as a kind of rolling reverse minimum wage law." And no wonder the late African-American liberal Congressman Barbara Jordan called for cutting back immigration in the 1990s. She was defending her constituency of low-income black workers, the first casualty of the corporate welfare program of high- level immigration, marketed by the left as "multicultural enrichment". Cultural diversity is the fig leaf of naked corporate exploitation.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – employment, politics
An immigration policy bought and paid for? [part 2]
Tim Murray
(We) Can Do Better [website], 24 February 2008

So blue-collar attitudes to immigration are easily explained, ordinary people are simply following their class interests. And class interests can explain the open borders position taken up by America's opinion leaders and decision makers too. They are much more affluent and educated than the people they lead and attempt to influence, and feel no threat from the illegal immigrants they hire as nannies and gardeners or tip at fine restaurants. One thing is central to the understanding of the immigration divide in the United States, and that is to divest oneself of the almost universal and persistent belief that somehow the Democrats are white knights who represent the working class, the poor and the environment, while the Republicans are the incarnation of power, privilege and plutocracy. To assist you in this task you should be apprised of the following.

A TM Inc poll of 2006 disclosed that those most apt to be satisfied with the current level of immigration which is killing American working class living standards were 25-34 year old liberal college graduates and professionals who identified with the Democratic Party. The same poll found though that it was 35-44 year old conservative Republicans who favoured large-scale round-ups of illegal immigrants. That profiles the supporters of the pro and anti-immigration positions, but the current party leadership positions could best be ascertained by the fact that as of the end of January 2008, all Republican contenders rejected the legalization of "undocumented" immigrants now in the U. S., while the Democrats continue to support it.

The true alignment of the Democratic Party with corporate interests can be vividly illustrated by a look at campaign financing. McCain, Clinton and Obama are, to put it bluntly, Wall Street candidates. The big banks, the financial firms, corporate law firms and private equity firms pay the pipers. But, according the Centre for Responsive Politics (CRP) (, the Democrats are the clear favourite. Hillary Clinton took in $106.1 million and Barack Obama $102.1 million for all of 2007. McCain received substantially less at $41,102,178. Hillary Clinton received $1.3 million from private equity firms, while Obama received $1 million. McCain finished a distant fourth at $395,000. Wall Street promotes the candidates who serve its interests and the Democrats have delivered for them since their November 2006 victory.

Democratic leaders buried a proposal to tax the massive incomes of hedge fund operators at normal tax rates, allowing billionaires to claim most of their income as capital gains taxed at a far lower rate. Clinton and Obama have also refused action on the subprime meltdown that would have threatened big financial interests. Corporate law firms gave Clinton over $11 million and Obama over $9 million. McCain only got just over two and a half million dollars, the most for Republican candidates. As of February 22, 2008, bagmen have raised over $138 million for Obama, over $134 million for Clinton, and over $53 million for McCain.

Most interesting is the disposition of "Silicon" money. Between 1998 and 2006 almost $83 million in political contributions in the form of individuals donations, PAC contributions, and soft money were made by 40 technology companies. Amounting on average to just $295,708 per company per year of lobbying, it was money well spent. The concession Bill Gates wanted, the H-1B Visa program that allows cheap technology workers into the country, reaped profits a hundred times that investment. But Microsoft wanted to be more certain the fix was in. Over that that seven year period they gave $5,7888,286, with half of Congress on its payroll it would seem. AT+T donated $3,504,773, Apple $3,620,823, and Vericon $4,237,884. ...


Benefits and costs – employment, politics
An immigration policy bought and paid for? [part 3]
Tim Murray
(We) Can Do Better [website], 24 February 2008

The most revealing fact to be gleaned from presidential campaign donation statistics is one found when donation records are subjected to sector analysis. If one studies 12 business or professional sectors of American society from Agribusiness to Construction to Health to Labour etc., there is one sector that is clearly salient – the "financial-real estate" sector. It has contributed over $73 million to various campaigns, $25 million more than any other sector.

Real estate interests (including mortgage brokers, homebuilders and property developers) gave $4.8 million to Clinton, $2.7 million to Obama and $1.9 million to McCain. The conventional interpretation of their motive is that they want access to the winner when an expected crackdown over predatory lending and a troubled housing finance system reaches the top of the legislative agenda. But there is an alternative, or at least supplementary explanation. One that has been advanced by Australian population sociologist Sheila Newman. The land tenure system that characterizes Anglo-American societies encourages speculation, and much money is to be made simply by population growth. Newman has written extensively to demonstrate that real estate developers are key players in lobbying for mass immigration. US campaign donation records seem to vindicate her hypothesis, as does the fact that a nation like France is close to achieving population stability because the real estate development industry cannot exist as an agent for growth, given that land cannot consistently be reduced to a speculative commodity largely because of the way tenure is arranged.

What then became of the candidates who challenged the corporate open borders agenda? Their campaigns died from lack of funds. Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado is a case in point. Wall Street likes pro-immigration candidates for obvious reasons and so they will reward those who sing their tune. Tancredo insisted on singing an objectionable note, like a three year moratorium on immigration. So he paid the price and collected just $6 million dollars or less than 6% of what Clinton received by year's end and was forced to end his campaign. Clinton at that time was Wall Street's anointed one, someone who, in the words of Numbers USA, "consistently pressed for U. S. population growth, immigration and foreign labour importation." But of course such an agenda of unabashed greed needs always to be camouflaged with a politician's candy floss, the spin is what they are purchased for. So Clinton obliged her corporate donors by saying that "we should always be open to legal immigration-it reforms, it makes us better." Well, it certainly makes a few of us richer Hillary, doesn't it, like your donors and supporters, the most well-heeled of either party!

An examination of Clinton's voting record should confirm that big business is getting what it paid for. Clinton was co-sponsor of Bill S-2109 to help employees import cheap high tech workers while the big law firms who give to her campaign are counseling them how to use the legal system to avoid hiring qualified U.S. workers. Her support of Senate bill 2109 helped expedite the processing of the infamous H-1B visas that depress wages and displace workers. She supported an amnesty of illegal agricultural workers (S bill 1340) and another one of a similar nature (S. bill 2137) that would have brought an amnesty to another 860,000 workers not counting family. Clinton's support of Kennedy's bill S 2381 would have meant amnesty to almost all illegal aliens. Her numerous attempts to sponsor "shamnesty" bills is reflective of a comment she made to a man who said that his wife was an illegal immigrant. "No woman is illegal", Clinton replied.


Benefits and costs – employment, politics
An immigration policy bought and paid for? [part 4]
Tim Murray
(We) Can Do Better [website], 24 February 2008

If Hillary's record is atrocious, it is doubtful if Obama's is any better. His positions seem almost indistinguishable from Clinton's, the difference being more one of emphasis than policy. He supports employer verification of employee identity to deter the hiring of illegals, she doesn't. She favours lower legal immigration intakes, he doesn't. Obama's main focus is the human rights and economic needs – of those knocking at America's door wanting to come in and those already in, legally or illegally. On the Senate floor he stated on May 23, 2007 that "Where we can re-unite families, we should. Where we can bring in more foreign-born workers with skills our economy needs, we should." This was an ominous declaration. Since the law was changed in 1965 to create the so-called family re-unification system, "chain migration" – where an immigrant sponsors several others who in turn sponsors several more – has caused the numbers under this category to spiral out of control. In 36 years the number of immediate relatives admitted was over 13 times higher than it was when the law was first enacted to almost one-half million per year.

An Obama policy statement maintains support for "improvements in our visa programs, including the H-1B programs, to attract some of the world's most talented people to America." But H-1B visa holders are not paid as much as Americans, and even Microsoft admits that salaries have not kept pace with inflation. That would do much to explain a so-called labour shortage in the field. As for Obama's goal of attracting the best and the brightest, the vast majority of H-1B holders make in the $60,000 range (Intel's median salary is $65,000), but top talents in the industry capture more than $100,000. And ironically the great majority of awards for innovation have fallen to Americans, indicating that the industry is not shackled by a domestic cognitive deficit that needs relief by a massive injection of foreign Einsteins. The quest for the best and brightest of overseas talent is a smokescreen for the tech corporations' prime motive, the hunt not for the brightest minds but those that come at the cheapest price. And the H-1B program doesn't even require employers to give hiring priority to qualified American citizens, and they have an arsenal of legal measures to reject those who apply. If one is given to wonder why a U.S. Congress would expand the H-1B program in 2000 when their employers, the American taxpayers, most of whom are workers, were not its obvious beneficiaries, Utah Senator Bob Bennett's comment would be informational: "There were, in fact, a whole lot (of Congressmen) against it, but because they are tapping the high-tech community for campaign contributions, they don't want to admit that in public."

John McCain, the only Republican contender left standing, were it not for his title as waterboy for Iraq, could run for the Democrats. He got the ball rolling in 1986 when he signed the 1986 amnesty for illegals and thereby gave the green light for aspiring border-crossers who knew that American law could be violated with impunity and trespass retroactively forgiven. He ran his nomination race on a full-throttle amnesty platform until he found religion earlier this year and back-pedaled. He has voted for S-1639 to double legal immigration, to continue chain migration and the ridiculous annual jackpot lottery of 50,000 applicants from third world nations called "Diversity Immigration". McCain's problem is that he is a dark horse and Wall Street, while hedging its bets, likes to back winners. So his take of their money is but one-third of Obama's and Clinton's.



Benefits and costs – employment, politics
An immigration policy bought and paid for? [part 5]
Tim Murray, director of Immigration Watch Canada
(We) Can Do Better [website], 24 February 2008

The most disappointing feature of the American immigration dialogue is its one-dimensional nature. Two critical elements are virtually absent from the arguments presented by both open and closed borders advocates. One is that both sides talk about what attracts Mexican labour to America, and therefore the measures for turning them away. But no one talks about the conditions in Mexico that drove people to take desperate risks to get to the United States and who is responsible for those conditions. When is America going to look in the mirror and admit that the larcenous NAFTA agreement and rapacious rampage of multinational corporations undercut a viable Mexican economy and the basis for a decent life for so many Mexicans? When are American politicians and opinion-makers going to acknowledge that much of American prosperity is built on the backs of those people and others like them in the hemisphere and the world? All the measures proposed by the anti-immigrationist forces are necessary, but by no means sufficient to defend the borders. America cannot play King Canute and hold back a tide of billions. It must reduce the tide by ensuring that the billions do not want to leave home. Scrap the trade agreements, the IMF, SAPs (Structural Adjustment Policies) and offer restitution to rebuild economies that have been pillaged.

Aside from NAFTA, there is another crucial phrase missing from US immigration discussions. Carrying capacity. Each year the United States adds the equivalent of another Chicago. During the Bush administration it has grown by 21 million people. Immigrants, their children and grandchildren will account for 82% of all population growth in the years leading up to 2050, when the country will reach a staggering 438 million if this growth rate is not slowed. Some worry about assimilation, since the share of non-Hispanic whites will fall from 67 to 47%. Obviously the labour market is the focus of most, who would share Samuel Gompers's conviction that "immigration is fundamentally a labour issue." But full employment and economic prosperity in a culturally or linguistically cohesive America would be a pyrrhic accomplishment if such a nation were to rest on a collapsing ecosystem. Can America sustain half its current population when critical resource shortages appear or biodiversity services are compromised ? The works of analysts like David Pimental, Dale Pfeiffer and Richard Heinberg do not inform any Congressional debate about how many people the country should admit. Clearly a Population Plan is overdue.

The American people have spoken on immigration but the political elite will not listen because they are paid by their corporate benefactors not to listen. It is sad to see the world's greatest democratic experiment come to such grief. The Founding Fathers devised a system that they embedded in a constitution with mechanisms to counter-act the natural instinct of the political class to usurp power and exercise it as a permanent elite dominating pauperized subjects on the old European model. They counted on a "vigilant and manly spirit" that animates the American people to breath life and vigour into the constitution. But alas, the Founding Fathers couldn't possibly foresee the power and the scale of Wall Street money.

In America today, anything's for sale, even democracy. I hear a Senator earmarked for the White House can be had, for, oh around 134-138 million. Sound right?
[Site link]


Benefits and costs
Benefit cuts for migrants under citizenship plan
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 21 February 2008

Britain could link citizenship to benefits for the first time as part of a plan to cut the millions of pounds paid to immigrants from eastern Europe.

Immigrants would not receive a passport until they had lived in the country for several years under the new plan, and during this "probationary period" they would not be allowed to claim the full range of welfare handouts such as child benefit and income support.

Polish families are currently claiming more than £20 million a year for thousands of children who remain in their homeland.

They get a better deal in Britain than in their own country, where payments are means tested. Under European regulations, migrant workers living in Britain are entitled to full family benefits – even if their dependants stay behind.

Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, announced a Whitehall review only to see if these rules could be tightened up. However, it would require a new deal among the 27 European Union countries.

The review forms part of a wider range of reforms to immigration rules and citizenship rights. A Green Paper published by the Home Office yesterday said that new arrivals from outside the EU would be required to pay more for their visas to meet some of the costs to public services.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs
Money transfer charter helps your cash arrive safely
Liz King
Daily Telegraph, 16 February 2008

A staggering £2.3bn is transferred from the UK each year as people increasingly send money abroad to relatives and friends, but the biggest worry is getting it there safely.

Much of this money goes to developing countries – more than 50 around the world – with £300m going to India and £200m to Pakistan, with Nigeria, Jamaica and Ghana next on the list. ...

A new Remittance Customer Charter has been introduced to help those sending money abroad, ...

The charter, created by the Department for International Development (DFID) through the UK Remittance Task Force, will ensure that firms that sign up will give clear, transparent information in a standard format to the consumer.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs
Pakistanis ignoring dangers of cousins marrying, says MP
Sarah Womack
Daily Telegraph, 12 February 2008

British Pakistanis are "in denial" about the increased risk of birth defects among the children of married cousins, a Labour MP claimed yesterday.

Ann Cryer said that many marriages of Muslims in Bradford were between cousins and could have "tragic" impacts. She called for community leaders to encourage debate which, she believed, would move more families away from marriages between cousins.

Mrs Cryer raised the issue two years ago after research showed that British Pakistanis were 13 times more likely to have children with disorders than the general population. ...

Steve Jones, professor of genetics at University College London, agreed that there was a higher risk of defects but drinking or smoking in pregnancy was "as bad if not worse". ...

Prof Jones said: "Let's bear in mind that families like the Rothschilds married their cousins frequently."

Cousin marriages were quite common in Spain and in Muslim communities worldwide, he said.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – marriage
Minister warns over in-breeding in Asians
James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 11 February 2008

Arranged marriages between British Asians raise the risk of in-breeding and birth defects, a Government minister has said.

Phil Woolas, a junior environment minister, came under fire from Muslim groups already concerned about the public reaction to the Archbishop of Canterbury's remarks about sharia law.

Mr Woolas, the Labour MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, said that marriages between first cousins are a factor in birth defects and inherited conditions. ...

The Muslim Public Affairs Committee, a campaign group, suggested the minister was demonising British Muslims. ...

Arranged marriages are common among several British Asian groups, but intermarriage of relatives is a particular characteristic of people of Pakistani origin.

It is estimated that more than 55 per cent of British Pakistanis are married to first cousins, resulting in an increasing rate of genetic defects and high rates of infant mortality. Figures show that British Pakistani children account for as many as one third of birth defects despite making up only three per cent of all UK births.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – hospitals
£350m maternity bill for foreign mothers
Daily Telegraph, 30 January 2008

Britain pays £350 million a year to provide maternity services to mothers born outside the country, according to a BBC analysis.

While the birth rate among British-born women has dropped, the number of immigrants giving birth has risen by three quarters.

The sudden rise has put such pressure on maternity services that many cannot cope and are having to turn women away. Immigrant women are more likely to suffer complications, requiring emergency caesarean sections and often are not known to health services until they are in labour.

When Tony Blair came to power in 1997, the NHS spent around a billion pounds a year on maternity services, with one baby in eight delivered to a foreign-born mother. Ten years on, spending has risen to £1.6 billion with almost one baby in four delivered to a mother born overseas, according to an analysis by the BBC's Ten o'Clock News.

While the number of babies born to British mothers has fallen by 44,000 a year since the mid-1990s, the figure for babies born to foreign mothers has risen by 64,000. The overall birth rate is at its highest level for 26 years.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs
Poles claim £20m benefits in UK for children back home
Daily Telegraph, 29 January 2008

Polish families are claiming more than £20 million a year in benefits for thousands of children living outside Britain, it emerged yesterday.

Under European regulations, migrant workers living in Britain are entitled to full family benefits, even if their children remain behind in their home country.

Following the influx of workers from eastern Europe in the wake of the expansion of the EU nearly four years ago, more than 16,000 Poles alone have submitted child benefit claims. They cover 26,000 children living in Poland, at a cost to the taxpayer of £21.4 million a year. The figures were disclosed by Jane Kennedy, the financial secretary to the Treasury, in answer to a written question ...

She refused to say how much of another benefit, child tax credit, was being claimed by Polish workers for families living overseas, ...

In Poland, parents are not universally entitled to child benefit, and any payments are means-tested.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs
Cost of migrants
Cllr David Ashton, Deputy leader, Harrow Council
Daily Telegraph, 25 January 2008
[Letter to the Editor]

As evidence presented to the Treasury select committee this week shows, the Government is indeed detached from reality when it comes to the costs of immigration and a changing diversity.

My own local authority is a clear illustration of the point. We are the fifth most ethnically diverse borough in England and Wales, and currently incur substantial extra costs looking after that diverse population, plus the growing number of migrants who come to the area.

Migrant skills are always welcome, and we consider diversity to be a strength. But we need to underline that there is a cash cost for the local authorities which are on the front line of caring for those populations. Until the government grant settlement recognises these seismic changes, we will all strain to cope.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs
Call for tougher action on foreign car drivers
Daily Telegraph, 9 January 2008

A police officer yesterday called for tough action on foreign drivers who break the law in Britain after a 25-year-old was killed by a Polish woman driving the wrong way around a roundabout.

Superintendent Mick Doyle, the head of roads policing for Thames Valley Police, said the number of migrants coming in to the country but not forced by law to take a British driving test had caused a huge problem on the roads.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs
The price of cutting migration
Daily Telegraph, 9 January 2008

Cutting immigration levels could put 9p on income tax, a think tank told peers yesterday. The Institute of Public Policy Research also questioned whether newcomers were taking hundreds of thousands of jobs from British-born workers.

The institute claimed that if the Government adopted a zero net migration policy then working-age people would have to pay more tax to support far more dependants in decades to come.
[Newspaper link]



Bias – BBC, housing
Migrant housing figures
Emeritus Professor Mervyn Stone
Daily Telegraph, 25 July 2009
[Letter to the Editor]

Here is how the BBC covered its embarrassment at having trumpeted the recent Equalities and Human Rights Commission report denying bias in social housing allocation.

Thursday's radio programme, The Report, was trailed on News at One with the heady information that the BBC had found some people in Birmingham with a perception (not a belief, be it noted) that there is bias in favour of migrants – and, balancing that news, that Civitas had cast doubt on the EHRC claim.

The programme dealt, largely anecdotally, with those perceptions and only briefly with the deceptively smallest of the statistical percentages out of which the EHRC had constructed its claim.

Among other irrelevancies, Civitas was given a Right-of-centre sticker, but the Government's favoured think tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research, was left untarnished.

MigrationWatch's Sir Andrew Green was allowed to make some prerecorded observations that could have been interpreted as value judgments. Given that Green usually argues from numbers, I for one would like to know what was left behind in the editing room.
[Newspaper link]


Bias – religion
Church leaders believe anti-Christian bias rife
Jonathan Wynne-Jones
Sunday Telegraph, 15 February 2009

Almost two thirds of the Church of England General Synod believe Christians are the victims of discrimination in the workplace.

A survey of members of the Church's parliament found that 63 per cent of them felt that Christians faced discrimination at work. ...

While 59 per cent agreed that they had seen a decline in religious liberty over the past decade, 38 per cent of members disagreed. ...

Church leaders have made impassioned pleas to Christians to stand up for their beliefs.

... However, Synod members were divided on whether Christianity should be exempt from equality legislation.

While there are limited exemptions for religious employers under equality regulations, a significant number of respondents said that the Church should not be given the opportunity to opt out. ...

The Sunday Telegraph survey was of 80 of the Synod's 484 members, including bishops, clergy and laity.
[Newspaper link]


Bias – religion
Losing our religion
Olga Craig and Patrick Sawer
Sunday Telegraph, 15 February 2009

And nowhere, according to councillor Alan Craig, of the Christian People's Alliance, is that wake-up call more vital than in the classrooms. "There is clearly growing discrimination against Christianity in our schools," he says. Teachers are being prevented from implementing policies that may be opposed by some Muslim parents by the fear of an Islamic backlash, believes Craig. ...

In England and Wales, the law states that children at state schools "shall, on each school day, take part in an act of collective worship" which should be "wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character". In the light of the many instances of Nativity plays being banned and Christ's birth being celebrated at "Wintermass" rather than Christmas, Craig points out that it is difficult to remember that the Christian element of religious education is statutory. ...

Government proposals aimed at giving increased legal rights to Muslims have left many wondering if the result will be a further clampdown on Christianity. The measures will force councils, schools, hospitals and other public bodies to treat members of all faiths equally. The result, says Simon Calvert, of the Christian Institute, could be a fresh onslaught of politically correct rulings. "We are worried that this will further squeeze out Christians," he says. "Christian groups already find it difficult to get funding from local councils." He fears that town hall bureaucrats could "over interpret and gold-plate" measures. "It will simply mean more of the politically correct rulings, such as banning Christmas celebrations and crucifixes from the work place."
[Newspaper link]


Bias – free speech
Whatever happened to free speech?
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 13 February 2009

The refusal to admit the oddball Dutch MP Geert Wilders to Britain yesterday marks a further retreat from this country's traditions of free speech. ... ...

Yet what possible threat to public security is posed by a Dutch MP showing a film, in private, to a smattering of peers on a Thursday afternoon in February? Of itself, the film does not call for violence against Muslims; indeed, it suggests that Islam is a cause of violence, a view with which you are entitled to agree or feel strongly about, but not to prohibit.

The reason for the ban appears to have been the possibility of protests by some Muslim organisations against Wilders's visit. In other words, his freedom to express a view and the liberty of peers to hear it in an institution supposedly devoted to free speech, were set aside in the face of intimidation – the opposite of what happened in the Rushdie case, even if that author was forced into hiding.

What is particularly insidious is the application of double standards. One of those most opposed to Wilders's visit is the Muslim peer Lord Ahmed, though he denies allegations that he warned parliamentary authorities that 10,000 demonstrators would take to the streets. Yet two years ago, Lord Ahmed invited Mahmoud Abu Rideh, a Palestinian previously detained on suspicion of fundraising for groups linked to al-Qaeda, to Westminster to meet him. When he was criticised for doing so, he said it was his parliamentary duty to hear Rideh's complaints. He does not appear to see any contradiction with the position he now adopts against his fellow peers. ...

... Free speech is about understanding that some people hold a different view from you, whether you like it or not. When we start to alert the "authorities" to thought crimes we really are one step away from the dystopian world that Orwell invented as a warning, not a prophecy.

The Government that has treated our liberties in such a cavalier way is having none of this, of course. David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, said the film made by Wilders was "full of hate" and therefore fell foul of British laws, though he admitted that he had not seen it and therefore could not judge. But, in any case, is he right? Is it against the law?

People have always been free under the criminal law to speak their minds, provided they did not, in doing so, incite others to commit violence or infringe public order. ... However, it is necessary to demonstrate that the words complained of are likely to stir up hatred and public disorder, not merely to complain that they are unpleasant or objectionable to some. Imams have been allowed to continue preaching in mosques when it could be argued that they have overstepped this mark, as when they have called for the death of homosexuals or Jews.

Wilders is no advertisement for free speech. After all, he wants the Koran to be banned. But that is not the point. It is what this affair says about us, not him, that matters. Is Britain now adopting a position where people who support suicide bombers and jihad are able to make known their opinions without legal challenge, whereas those who oppose them cannot?

The very people who in 1989 were demanding the murder of Salman Rushdie for writing a book are today leading the charge against a Dutch MP for making a film. The fundamental difference is that 20 years ago, the government supported free speech; today, it has cravenly surrendered. It is simply not good enough to say that Wilders should not be heard because he might provoke a backlash from those who do not like him or his views. That is not upholding the law. That is appeasement.
[Newspaper link]


Bias – BBC, racism
Golly: now we know what's truly offensive
Charles Moore
Daily Telegraph, 5 February 2009

Commenting on the BBC's decision to sack Carol Thatcher from The One Show because she described a tennis player as looking like a "golliwog", a spokesman for the corporation said: "The BBC considers any language of a racist nature wholly unacceptable." ...

If Carol used the supposedly shocking word "golliwog", you can be quite sure that she used it without malice – indeed, with good will. The worst that you could possibly say about her was that her choice of words was thoughtless.

But, before you say that, you come to the second question. Since when has the BBC decided that what is said off screen, in the studio, is a matter of career life or death? I have spent more hours than I care to remember sitting in BBC studios, and the remarks I have heard in them, often delivered by household names, have frequently strayed – I am putting this politely – from the standards supposedly demanded by the BBC on air. I have heard racism (usually against Americans), sexism (usually against Carol's mother), blasphemy, obscenity, rage, bias. If I had decided to profess myself "shocked" (as Adrian Chiles, the presenter of The One Show, did), and if I had then sneaked to the authorities, would the speaker have been thrown out of his job? Should he have been?

A BBC executive might argue – though I would disagree – that the word "golliwog" is so offensive that it should never be broadcast. As an experienced broadcaster herself, Carol Thatcher might be expected to be aware of that sensitivity and be careful about it. But she was not broadcasting. She committed no offence, professional or moral – not even, since the person she described was not in the room, an offence of manners. ...

A third question arises for the corporation. We have it from its spokesman's own lips that any racist language is "wholly unacceptable". How does that square with its fervent commitment, constantly repeated in the affair of Jonathan Ross, to "cutting edge" comedy? ...

You and I might think that the joys of "edgy" comedy are overrated, but if we are to have it, wouldn't it be edgier to have words like "golliwog" scattered about as well? Why not antagonise Disgusted of Brixton, as well as Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells? ...

So this affair enables us to understand better what the BBC is really up to when it pays Jonathan Ross so much money to swear and talk on screen about bodily functions and sex with octogenarians for hours on end. It is not engaged in a brave, if misguided, attempt to challenge the conventional opinions of viewers in general in order to shake them out of their complacency and strike a blow for artistic innovation. If that were the case, it would also insult homosexuals, the prophet Mohammed, President Obama, racial minorities, and anyone else who qualifies for the strangely assorted club of those who earn special deference from our modern elites.

No, what the BBC is doing is the cultural target-bombing of people who are very numerous, but whose attitudes do not accord with those of its senior executives – old people, white people, Christian people, monarchist people, people who value politeness, conservative people, provincial people, suburban people, rural people – many people, I suspect, who are reading this article.
[Site link]


Bias – BBC, multiculturalism, diversity
How to save the BBC from itself (and get its hand out of our pockets)
Jeff Randall
Daily Telegraph, 4 July 2008
[Jeff Randall was the BBC's business editor, 2001-05]

In 2003, I was fighting an internal battle to bring more balance to the BBC's coverage of immigration. I felt that some of its reporters had been programmed to promote the benefits of cultural diversity as an incontrovertible fact.

Fed up with what he perceived to be my subversion, one of the BBC's most senior figures sent me an email: "The BBC internally is not neutral about multiculturalism. It believes in it and promotes diversity. Let's face up to that."

I was amazed that he felt unembarrassed to put this in a formal memo. It revealed an arrogant mindset at odds with millions of his customers. Impartiality was fine, but only if it confirmed the prejudices of the BBC's editorial elite, the self-appointed custodians of liberal values.
[Newspaper link]


Bias – BBC
BBC is fuelling attacks on Poles, says MP
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 5 June 2008

The BBC was accused yesterday of fuelling racist attacks on Polish immigrants.

The Conservative MP Danny Kawczynski said that the BBC's coverage of immigration issues tended to concentrate on Poles even though most immigrants to Britain came from outside Europe.

The result, he said, was a rising number of assaults on Poles living here.

Mr Kawczynski highlighted his concerns in the Commons when he introduced a Bill calling for a bank holiday to mark the positive contribution that Poles have made to the United Kingdom since 1940.

"The liberal elite of the BBC constantly refer to immigration from Poland because they are using the Polish community as a cat's paw to try to tackle the thorny issue of mass unchecked immigration into our country," he said.

Mr Kawczynski, who represents Shrewsbury and Atcham, also said discrimination would not be allowed if targeted at other ethnic groups. ...

Romania is planning a campaign to encourage some of its estimated 50,000 citizens living in Britain to return home and help meet a chronic labour shortage.
[Newspaper link]


Bias – border security
Taxpayers fund TV series on migrants
Lucy Cockcroft
Daily Telegraph, 21 May 2008

The Home Office is spending £400,000 of taxpayers' money to fund a television documentary that will aim to convince the public that it is beating the problem of illegal immigration.

The eight-part series, which follows immigration officers on their duties, marks the biggest investment the department has made to promote its work enforcing border controls.

It is part of a drive by Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, to show she is tough on illegal immigration.

The series, which will be shown on Sky One, will acknowledge the co-operation the Government has given to the production company, Steadfast Television.

However, there will be no mention that it has been partly financed by the Home Office, raising questions about how impartial it will be.
[Newspaper link]



Border controls – education
Foreign students 'treble under Labour'
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 24 December 2009

The number of foreigners entering Britain every year under a controversial student visa scheme has trebled since Labour came to power a decade ago, research by the Conservatives has found.

Figures uncovered by the Tories showed that the Government issued 236,470 student visas in 2008-9, a threefold increase on the number issued in 1998.

The Government's chief immigration adviser recently said that tens of thousands of foreign students were being allowed to stay in Britain and find jobs after graduating from colleges that are not "proper" universities. Students from outside the EU need a visa to study in the UK and can then apply to stay for a further two years to look for work. If they find a skilled job, they can remain for three more years and may eventually be eligible for permanent settlement.

A parliamentary answer showed that while 1,925 organisations had been approved by the UK Border Agency to sponsor migrant students, there were only 165 universities and higher education colleges in the UK.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – people smuggling
Migrant smugglers escaping punishment
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 16 December 2009

Hundreds of lorry drivers caught smuggling illegal immigrants into Britain are escaping punishment because of backlogs in the immigration system, a report has said.

Thousands of pounds in fines are outstanding and hundreds of vehicles that should have been seized have not, some dating back seven years.

John Vine, the chief inspector of the UK Border Agency, said the civil penalties system had been poorly managed for years and was not serving as a deterrent to people trafficking.

Haulage companies can be fined up to £4,000 per illegal immigrant if their lorries are stopped trying to enter the UK with migrants on board. If they fail to pay up, officials can impound the vehicle.

But, in his first annual report, Mr Vine said £1.5 million in fines remained unpaid and officials were taking "little if any action" to seize lorries.

The report criticised senior managers for "ineffective oversight" and said there was "little effective leadership".

It added: "There was no effective debt recovery strategy in place to chase unpaid debt."

Junior staff were praised for working hard to "overcome" problems.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – politics
MPs criticise £300,000 bonus pot for immigration officials
Daily Telegraph, 8 December 2009

Senior immigration officials have shared a bonus pot of almost £300,000, despite the organisation still not being "fit for purpose", a group of MPs said yesterday.

The Commons home affairs committee repeated warnings that as many as 300,000 people could be wrongly granted visas to enter Britain each year because of errors in dealing with applications.

The decision to hand 29 civil servants an average of £10,000 each in financial rewards last year was attacked as "astonishing" after yet more blunders surrounding the UK Border Agency. ...

Keith Vaz, the committee chairman, said: "No one can forget the previous home secretary describing the agency to my predecessor as 'not fit for purpose'.

"The agency has had a lot to contend with, but it is apparent that UKBA has a long way to go before it is operating as it should."
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
French to open another Sangatte as Calais prepares new centre for illegal migrants
Peter Allen and James Slack
Daily Mail, 8 December 2009

A welcome centre for British-bound illegal migrants is to open in Calais before the end of this year, it emerged last night.

Closely-guarded plans have been approved by French administrative judges for a structure to be built close to the town's ferry port.

It is already being dubbed Sangatte II after the former Red Cross centre which attracted thousands of illegal foreigners before it demolished in 2002.

Tory immigration spokesman Damian Green said: 'This is another gesture of contempt from France to Britain. The only result of this will be to encourage more potential illegal immigrants to try to break our laws.

'The most humane reaction would be for the French authorities to deal with the asylum applications themselves.'

News of the latest building comes just seven months after France's immigration minister Eric Besson said he would make the town 'watertight' to those trying to get to Britain.

But officials say the situation has deteriorated to such an extent that both the French government and Calais council feel they have no option to build the centre on waste ground next to an industrial estate. ...

Officials defended the plan as a humanitarian response.

One said: 'There are more than 1,000 migrants sleeping rough in the town, and with temperatures dropping their living conditions are getting worse.'

He said September's destruction of The Jungle, an illegal shanty town full of mainly Afghan young men, had not had the desired effect.

'It did not persuade them to leave, so we have to offer them a basic level of support,' the official added.

Calais mayor Natacha Bouchart, a member of President Nicolas Sarkozy's ruling UMP Party, said the council had been forced to accept the new building as part of a compromise deal with refugee charity Secours Catholique (Catholic Help). ...

Since the closure of The Jungle further migrant camps have sprung up in nearby Steenvoorde, Bailleul and St Omer, with all providing beds, food, clothing shops, medical care and advice on how to claim asylum.
[Site link]


Border controls – education
How migrant crackdown opened the floodgates
David Barrett
Sunday Telegraph, 6 December 2009

It was meant to end the days when a place at British college was seen as a ticket to bypass immigration controls. But the Government's points-based system for supplying student visas may be making the problem worse ...

An investigation ... has uncovered a chaotic system which is allowing thousands of foreign nationals to slip into the country under the pretence that they want to study.

Under the new rules, which came into effect in March, students must gain 40 "points" to come to Britain: 30 for holding a course offer and 10 for proving that they can pay the fees and support themselves.

But there is growing evidence that the system is open to exploitation by those seeking to work in the black economy, to take advantage of our benefits system and even to plot a terrorist atrocity.

One senior source said: "At the moment there is massive abuse. The points-based system is utter nonsense and an utter farce. Without a shadow of a doubt you are talking about thousands of visas being issued to people who are not legitimate students and simply want to come to Britain to work."

Undercover reporters posing as would-be students in three countries uncovered a series of scams used by young foreigners, many of whom have no intention of either studying or ever going home. ...

According to senior sources, the points-based system has created loopholes which have led to a dramatic rise in the number of applications for student visas and cases of fraud. This, in turn, has led to a giant backlog of applications at the Home Office. ...

Our investigation exposed widespread abuse by agencies advising customers how to get around Britain's new requirements in India, China and the Philippines.

One agency, in Fazilka, Punjab, told our reporter: "We guarantee an applicant a student visa within a month." ...

Agencies in China advised applicants to register with a bona fide language school or university, and then switch to a bogus college once on British soil, to make it easier to extend their visa.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – visas, education, employment
Migrants exploiting loophole that allows them stay in Britain with a joke degree
James Slack
Daily Mail, 4 December 2009

Tens of thousands of immigrants are gaining the right to work in the UK by obtaining degrees from 600 colleges which are not 'proper' universities.

Professor David Metcalf, chairman of the Migration Advisory Committee, said he was 'stunned' to discover how many colleges were accredited to hand out bachelor degrees.

Some of the colleges offer qualifications in circus skills, acupuncture and ancient medicine.

Obtaining a degree from one of the 'lower-tier colleges' allows a non-EU student a two-year working visa for the UK.

But as they are designated as 'highly skilled migrants' they can stay here even if they do not have a job.

Professor Metcalf, the Government's most senior immigration adviser, said it was possible some of those unable to get skilled jobs were taking lower-paid jobs away from Britons.

A total of 42,000 students were granted two-year visas in the past year under what is called the Post-Study Work Route (PSWR).

Foreign students at 154 major universities are automatically granted visas after completing degree courses.

But a report by Professor Metcalf's committee showed a further 599 other bodies - mostly colleges - can hand out degrees, and the visas that come with them.

He said: 'They are basically further education colleges which get their degrees validated by one of the universities.

'What we think is, without being overly elitist, that we should have a good look at these institutions to see if it is legitimate for all the students studying there on all the courses to get post-study work visas.'

The committee suggested foreign students could be forced to find a job within months of graduating before earning a two-year visa. ...

A Government survey of students in work after being granted the PSWR visas showed barely half worked in professional jobs. ...

Shadow immigration minister Damian Green said: 'This is a late recognition of the chaos surrounding student visas which have become one of the most significant loopholes in our immigration system.' ...

The colleges highlighted by Professor Metcalf are legitimate educational establishments.

Immigration minister Phil Woolas said: 'The Migration Advisory Committee has delivered a robust and thorough report and the Government will consider it carefully.'
[Site link]


Border controls
French border police discover 12 lorries packed with British-bound migrants
Ian Sparks
Daily Mail, 26 November 2009

In September, the French bulldozed a squatter camp in Calais called the Jungle. Of the 278 migrants arrested, early all were released on humanitarian grounds.

Of the estimated 1,000 migrants in Calais, up to 50 a week are thought to be crossing the Channel illegally, with more arriving to replace them every day.

More are also arriving on a daily basis in other ports on the northern French coast that have ferry links to Britain, including Dunkirk, Ouistreham and Cherbourg.
[Site link]


Border controls – employment, health services
NHS Trust hired illegal immigrant
Channel 4 News, 19 November 2009

Channel 4 News can reveal that an NHS trust has hired dozens and possibly hundreds of illegal immigrants through one of its biggest private cleaning contractors. ...

The UK Border Agency has uncovered hundreds of fake documents submitted to Kingston Hospital, including security passes, national insurance numbers and passports.
[Site link]


Border controls – repatriation
40,000 missing illegal immigrants
Daily Telegraph, 21 October 2009

Ministers have lost track of around 40,000 migrants who have no right to be in Britain.

The Home Office admitted yesterday that the illegal immigrants should have left the country more than six years ago but could still be here.

The disclosure, details of which emerged in a letter to the home affairs select committee from the chief executive of the UK Border Agency, is the latest scandal to hit Britain's immigration system.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – France
France pulls out of deal to return migrants
Daily Telegraph, 7 October 2009

France yesterday pulled out of a plan to deport hundreds of illegal migrants to Afghanistan in order to prevent them from travelling to Britain.

Plans for the first joint Anglo-French flight taking migrants back to Afghanistan collapsed after Paris withdrew its co-operation at the last minute in the face of protests from refugee groups. A charter flight leaving Britain last night carrying a group of deported Afghans was due to stop in Lille en route to Kabul. On arrival in Lille, Afghans detained by France would have joined the flight. ...

France's withdrawal followed protests by refugee groups. Frank Supplisson, France's deputy immigration minister, issued a short statement saying there would be "no return flight".

Paris agreed to the principle of joint return flights during talks at Evian in February between Phil Woolas, a Home Office minister, and Eric Besson, his French counterpart.

The change of heart by the French raised doubts about future joint arrangements, particularly after a similar Anglo-French scheme was scrapped last November. At the time, opponents argued that, under United Nations conventions, it was illegal to deport a person to a war-torn country such as Afghanistan.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – costs, France
Calais migrants flown home to Kabul with £1,900 payoff
Peter Allen
Daily Telegraph, 6 October 2009

Hundreds of Afghan migrants will be flown home from Calais today with £1,900, paid for by British and French taxpayers.

As well as a guaranteed place on the plane worth around £500, many of those on board will receive the payment and a guarantee of training back in their homeland.

However, there will be nothing to prevent any of them travelling all the way back to the French town the moment they get to Kabul. It is intended to be the first of many flights which will cost millions of pounds, split between France and Britain.

The aim is the reduce the number of migrants who are massing in Calais before trying to get to Britain, where they will claim asylum or disappear into the "black economy". ...

The first plane will take off from London in the early hours, before stopping to pick up some 250 migrants in Paris. It will then fly on to Kabul.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
France tells Britain: let in all migrants
Nick Fagge
Daily Express, 30 September 2009

France last night admitted it was fighting a losing battle against illegal migrants – and demanded Britain should open its doors to them.

A week after being forced from their shanty town, the asylum seekers were back, still seeking a passage to the UK.

Last night Calais mayor Natacha Bouchard said the Channel port would remain an immigrant dumping ground until Britain opened its borders and stopped asking France to do its dirty work.

She insisted that the British should sign up to the Schengen Agreement, a European Union accord that allows free movement of all people between European member states without the need for passports or visas.

"Calais has become a no-go area, and that's because we have become hostages of the British Government," said Ms Bouchard.

"Britain is unable to control its borders, so we're doing the job for them because they're not part of the agreement. There are still some 20 squatter camps in Calais alone.

"Britain has no right to put pressure on us. Every politician should keep repeating this.

"The more they say it, the more they'll be throwing light on the problem which has been imposed on us."

The French government is fast running out of patience with the crisis and claims it is powerless to stop the thousands of migrants who make their way to Calais seeking a new life in Britain.

It complains that until Britain agrees to open its borders, there is no reason for migrants to abandon their nightly cat-and-mouse games with police as they try to board lorries and trains bound for Dover.

Calais MP Jack Lang said: "The migrants make it to Britain whatever the obstacles. Police operations will do nothing to stop them." ...

Conservative MP Philip Davies added: "We have lost control of our borders and Britain is seen as a soft touch. These people know that once they are here they will never have to leave.

"If we had a robust policy to deal with illegal immigrants they would not be trying to get into the UK in the first place." ...

But while police keep trying to find new camps, they find keeping migrants out of Calais – Britain's main transport link to Europe – a never-ending battle.

Over two-thirds of the migrants arrested in The Jungle raid have been released and are back in Calais preparing to cross the Channel.

Hundreds escaped when French immigration minister Eric Besson announced plans for the raid on prime time television.

Abbot Jean-Pierre Boutoille of the refugee charity C'Sur said: "There are hundreds still living rough in Calais and I hear that a group escaped from a detention centre is already marching back.

"The operation to destroy the Jungle camp was a ridiculous media exercise and will achieve nothing."
[Site link]


Border controls – employment
New 'face of Tesco' is an illegal immigrant
Justin Penrose
Sunday Mirror, 27 September 2009

The new face of Tesco, chosen to star in a glossy advertising blitz, has been arrested for being an illegal immigrant.

Mother-of-three Fatou Cham, a 32-year-old checkout operator, won an in-house Tesco contest to be the face of its new autumn clothing range.

But she now faces deportation after a tip-off to immigration officials – and has been hurriedly dropped from the ad campaign. ...

Fatou came to the UK from Gambia, West Africa, in 1998 aged 21 to study banking, economics and finance at London Metropolitan University.

Two years later, her mother and eldest child were granted a visa to join her here. The family, including two further children born in this country, settled in East Ham, East London, and Fatou began working for Tesco in nearby Beckton in 2002 to fund her studies.

Her student visa had run out a year earlier. She applied to stay on, but did not have the necessary paperwork and has been here illegally since. ...

"The last few days have been really stressful," she said. "I came here for a better life and never set out to deceive anyone. I just want to stay here with my family and be happy. ...

In January Fatou applied for indefinite leave to remain, but the Home Office refused. She has appealed to the High Court. ...

When Fatou joined Tesco in 2002, all that was required for overseas citizens to work in the UK was a valid national insurance number.

The law changed in 2004 requiring people from abroad to have a valid work visa.

A spokesman for Tesco said: "As soon as we were made aware of this issue, we cooperated fully with the investigation. We're satisfied we followed the correct procedures."
[Site link]


Border controls – crime
Official flouted immigration law
Daily Telegraph, 26 September 2009

A Home Office case worker let 49 migrants into Britain who should not have been here because she "just wanted them to earn some money", a court heard yesterday.

Only a handful of the immigrants have been traced and it is unlikely the rest will be found, Croydon Crown Court heard. Aliya Ali, a senior member of staff in the Croydon office, was jailed for five years after pleading guilty to 12 charges of misconduct as a public officer.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – European Union
Steve Haynes
Daily Telegraph, 25 September 2009
[Letter to the Editor]

Whatever pressure a new EU human rights supremo may put Britain under ("Europe to push for more asylum seekers in Britain", report, September 14), our membership of the EU ensures that we will be subjected to continuing massive immigration for the foreseeable future.

Two examples illustrate this. The Spanish government recently gave amnesty to half a million asylum-seekers and illegal immigrants, knowing full well that when they become EU citizens, they could settle anywhere within the Union. As most are West Africans, many already have affinities with Britain. Presently living with little more than the Spanish authorities' lip service to human rights, the final destination of most of these amnestees is obvious.

Poland should have a famine of plumbers and hotel workers: she doesn't. Polish tradesmen have been replaced quite legitimately by a local pre-EU arrangement whereby Ukrainians can freely work in Poland if the jobs are there.

If the newcomer has lived in Poland for four years, he or she can apply for Polish (therefore EU) citizenship.

Having made the first, most difficult break with their families, and suffered low wages and discrimination in Polish cities, where will the final choice of residence be for most of these new EU citizens?

Only by withdrawing from the EU and reclaiming sovereign responsibility for our borders will the coming catastrophe to our quality and way of life be avoided.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – asylum
New migrants camp appears, a day after the Jungle is cleared
Caroline Gammell
Daily Telegraph, 24 September 2009

A new "Jungle" has sprung up in Calais just 24 hours after police closed the original makeshift camp for illegal immigrants less than a mile away.


More than 30 men gathered there yesterday to receive food from a local charity after being released from detention by the French authorities. Many said they would remain there until they could find a way into Britain.

At least five other small camps have also sprung up in the area near the port.

Nearly 300 people, mostly young Afghan men, were rounded up on Tuesday while the so-called Jungle, a ghetto of tarpaulin and wooden houses built up over the past five years, was destroyed.

They were taken to a detention centre in Lille and offered the option to claim asylum in France or return to their home countries.

The vast majority refused both options, being determined to reach Britain.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – asylum
Keep out, Britain is full up
Mark Reynolds
Daily Express, 23 September 2009

French authorities yesterday finally destroyed the Calais shanty town, known as The Jungle, used by migrants as a launch-pad to Britain. ...

Critics of yesterday's operation said that while it was essential the five-year-old camp was knocked down, there seemed no proper plan in place to deal with the 1,000 or so Afghans or Iraqis left homeless.

While some reports said the French would use British taxpayers' cash to offer the migrants financial incentives to go home, most experts believe they will simply disperse to smaller makeshift camps around the Calais docks and continue their attempt to enter Britain illegally. ...

Conservative MP Philip Davies was among those insisting that France should take proper responsibility for the immigrants on its shores rather than pass on the burden to "full-up'' Britain – but he feared it would not.

He said: "Asylum-seekers are supposed to be dealt with in the first place they come to. If France was fulfilling its international duties they would be dealing with these people.

"It is totally irresponsible to be trying to pass them on to us. Obviously both the French government and the asylum-seekers know how soft we are and that once people are here, however bogus their claims, they will never be kicked out again.

"But we've done more than our fair share. We can't cope with the people we have. There is still a massive backlog of cases, people who have been here years. We need to put the 'full' sign up. France is a big enough country. They've got lots of room." ...

Sir Andrew Green, of MigrationWatch, said: "Simply closing the camp won't work. We tried that with Sangatte. I think we have to get to the heart of this problem. We entirely support asylum for genuine cases but it seems Britain is now seen as a soft touch. That's certainly what the French believe. Why else should people be queueing up in Calais when France is a safe country?" ...

Yesterday's raid on The Jungle began at dawn when 500 police officers in dozens of vans and accompanied by bulldozers began circling the wooded waste ground a few hundred yards from the ferry port. In total 278 were arrested and 132 of these claimed they were under 16. All were male. Many more had disappeared overnight, moving to other parts of Calais where they will continue to plan their journeys to Britain in the back of lorries or trains.

The Refugee Council demanded that Britain accept some of the migrants, particularly children, with family connections in the UK.

But immigration minister Phil Woolas said: "These people have no rights to claim asylum in the UK. Indeed, we would question whether they were genuine asylum-seekers.

"If they were fleeing persecution, they have the right to claim asylum in the first country of entry." ...

Dan Hodges, Communication Director of Refugee Action, said: "You can sweep away the camp but you can't sweep away the issue.

"Unless the French face up to their responsibilities and bring these people within their migration system it is only a matter of time before the camp and the problems return".
[Site link]


Border controls – asylum
Britain refuses migrants from Calais 'jungle' camp
Daily Telegraph, 19 September 2009

Britain yesterday rejected a call to accept migrants from the so-called "jungle" camp in Calais when it shuts next week.

French police are expected to move within days to close the camp, where as many as 2,000 people are living, many of them Afghans.

Antonio Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, suggested that Britain should take in those with relatives already living in the country.

However, a spokesman for the UK Border Agency said genuine asylum seekers should make their claim in the country where they enter Europe. He said: "People seeking asylum should do so in the first safe country they come to, those who are not in need of protection will be expected to return home. ..."
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
France to shut illegal migrant 'jungle' in Calais
Henry Samuel
Daily Telegraph, 18 September 2009

The French government pledged yesterday to shut the so-called "jungle" camp used by migrants in Calais as part of a renewed effort to stop them illegally crossing the Channel to England.

Eric Besson, the immigration minister, said a "very strong" rise in crime in the northern French port had led him to order officials to clear the area by the end of next week. He said the message to migrants and people traffickers was: "You can no longer cross from England to Calais." ...

Up to 2,000 migrants, many from south Asia, live in makeshift shelters around Calais. Aid groups said the order would "simply shift the problem a few kilometres".
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – asylum
France's 'jungle' refugee camp may close, but Britain's asylum problem will continue
Ed West
Daily Telegraph blog, 17 September 2009

I have a feeling we're going to hear a lot more about Eric Besson, France's new immigration minister, ... he has now ordered the closure of "the Jungle", the refugee camp near Calais that sprung up after Sangatte was shut down in 2002.

Still, forgive me for not being entirely optimistic when Mr Besson promises that cross-channel asylum shopping will end any time soon. They said the same thing in 2002 when Sangatte was closed, but the desperate migrants just moved down the road, and as long as the United Kingdom offers illegal immigrants the chance to scrape a living off the books while receiving (pretty minimal) state support, with a good chance of remaining here even if they lose their asylum case, they will keep on coming.

None of which is either the fault of the migrants themselves or of France. ... As Besson himself says: "The paradoxical situation for France is that we are trying to bar entry into the UK, which doesn't want these migrants, and we are lumbered with handling their departure."

And they will still be lumbered with them, so long as Britain makes no efforts to change its laws and to deport people who have no right to be here, and while idiotic churchmen and others campaign for an amnesty – the one action guaranteed to create more squalid camps, more gang-related trafficking, and more suffocated or drowned Chinese labourers.
[Site link]


Border controls – terrorism
Only one in 2,000 visa requests checked
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 10 September 2009

Fewer than one in every 2,000 visa applicants from Pakistan is being interviewed by British immigration officials.

The lack of checks on those wanting to come to the UK from the "high risk" country renewed fears that terrorists or illegal immigrants could slip through the net. ...

It also emerged yesterday that the early release of nearly 150 convicted terrorists had prompted fears that they could plan new attacks and that police and probation services would not be able to cope. ...

Between Oct 27 and May 31 there were 66,415 applications in Pakistan to come to the UK but officials interviewed just 29. ...

MI5, the police and probation services will be swamped in coming months as dozens of Islamic terrorists are released after serving just half their sentences.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – crime
British people smuggling arrests increase
Peter Allen
Daily Telegraph, 4 August 2009

People smugglers arrested in Calais are increasingly likely to be British, new figures have shown.

The French immigration ministry said that dozens of Britons had been arrested on suspicion of people trafficking in Calais in the past six months.

It said that 42 of the 235 suspected people smugglers arrested in Calais in the period were British, along with 32 from France and 20 from Germany.

However there were only 50 convictions, mainly because of the failure of witnesses to testify against them.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – France, English Channel
Alarm at 76% rise in stowaway migrants seized from lorries
Mark Blacklock and Peter Allen
Daily Express, 31 July 2009

The number of illegal migrants arrested in the back of lorries heading to Britain from Calais has increased by 76 per cent this year.

French police found a colossal 13,715 stowaways in HGVs or vans in the past six months, compared with 7,760 in the same period last year.

Astonishingly, the vast majority were released without charge – allowing them to resume their bids to reach the UK to claim asylum or disappear into the black economy. ...

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch UK, said the figures must mean that illegal immigrants are continuing to get through "or they would try somewhere else".

He added: "The root of the problem is that Britain is regarded as a soft touch. We must clamp down on illegal workers if we are to deter yet more thousands of would-be immigrants queuing up in Calais."

A French Frontier Police spokesman described the problem as "a never-ending cycle" because when people were simply deported to the country they came from – usually Belgium – they rapidly returned to France.

In all, 18,922 illegal migrants were arrested in the Calais region between January and June – the vast majority in the back of lorries.

But many others were found vaulting barbed wire fences or were picked up as suspected people smugglers.

The total figure compares with just 11,340 arrests made during the same period last year, an increase of 66 per cent. Yet despite the rise just 5,865 – 31 per cent – were actually put under formal investigation.

Without money or official papers they were almost impossible to prosecute, and were released without charge.

Many continued to travel to Britain undetected, thanks to the increasingly sophisticated tactics being used by people-smuggling gangs, according to France's immigration ministry.
[Site link]


Border controls
Tighter border controls agreed to thwart illegal immigrants
Rosa Prince
Daily Telegraph, 7 July 2009

Border controls will be tightened in an attempt to prevent immigrants who have been gathering at French ports smuggling themselves into Britain.

At an Anglo-French summit in Evian, Gordon Brown announced a £15 million fund for new technology to search vehicles heading for Britain. ...

In return for the Prime Minister's pledge, Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, announced that France would step up the removal of illegal immigrants to their home countries. ...

Mr Phil Woolas, the Immigration Minister, said: "We have one of the strongest borders in the world, and today's agreement has made it even more secure. ...

"Last year we stopped 28,000 individual attempts to cross the Channel and searched one million lorries – these changes will further strengthen the ring of steel that protects Britain."
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Fears over migrants as UN returns to Calais
Peter Allen
Daily Telegraph, 2 July 2009

Concerns about an influx of migrants to Britain has grown after the United Nations began giving advice to asylum seekers gathering in northern France.

The UN has established a full-time presence in Calais for the first time in seven years, to offer "information and support".

Its High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said the 2,000 migrants sleeping rough in the area should be allowed to make an "informed decision" about their options.

More are expected to arrive as facilities improve and the summer weather makes living conditions easier.

"Most are motivated by economic or family reasons, but a few have fled violence or persecution and their wellbeing is of direct concern," said a UNHCR spokesman. "Many have no idea about the situation back home, or about what they can expect in the UK."
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
New British £750 million electronic border control plan 'breaks EU law'
Richard Ford
Times Online, 30 June 2009

Britain's multi-million pound electronic borders project breaches European data protection laws and the free movement of EU citizens, MPs were warned today.

The £750 million scheme will also lead to longer queues for passengers travelling by rail and ferry to the continent.

Under e-borders, airline, ferry and rail operators must collect eight pieces of travel information including a passenger's full name, date of birth, nationality, passport number, passport-issuing country and passport expiry date. The information will be collected electronically from everyone entering and leaving the UK.

The results will then be passed to the UK and checked against security watchlists giving immigration officials early alerts.

But today Eurostar told the Commons Home Affairs select committee that under French law it was unlawful for anyone other than law enforcement agencies to collect the information. As a result it would not able to collect the details required for passengers travelling into the UK.

Marc Noaro, customer services director of Eurostar, said: "It is not lawful for somebody who is not a law enforcement officer in France and Belgium to demand that information at check in."

He said that his firm remained extremely concerned that the proposed system will be operationally, legally and commercially difficult for Eurostar to implement.

Mr Noaro also said that if Eurostar collected the travel information, French law forbade it being sent to another EU state.

The committee was also told of other concerns that e-border programme breaks EU law.

Tim Reardon of the Chamber of Shipping, which represents ferry operators, said if someone refused to provide the information and then was stopped from travelling, it could breach EU law allowing the free movement of people.

He criticised the UK Border Agency for failing to respond to letters demanding clarification of EU law which were sent eight months ago.

Mr Reardon also warned that having to take the eight pieces of information on everyone boarding a ferry would lead to congestion and delays at ports. He said the scheme had been designed for the aviation industry with little thought given to ferries and rail travel. ...

Mr Reardon added: "No practicable method of capturing ferry passengers' passport data has yet been identified - and in the absence of a defined process, no work has been done to develop a system to support it.

"Progress is effectively now suspended pending resolution of the legal questions which will determine what is or is not permitted."

The Port of Dover warned of even bigger problems with coaches and lorries. "A queue of 100 passengers at an airport is not a big problem and individuals can step forward easily - a queue of 100 passengers at a ferry port (if they are in trucks) is a mile long and takes some moving," the Port said.
[Site link]


Border controls
Police arrest 17 anarchists threatening to lead swarms of illegal migrants through Channel tunnel to Britain
Peter Allen
Daily Mail, 25 June 2009

French riot police have arrested 17 anarchists after they threatened to lead swarms of illegal migrants through the Channel Tunnel to Britain.

Weapons including machetes, metal poles and a spiked club were found hidden by the activists during raids in Calais late on Wednesday.

All those arrested had been massing in a protest camp aimed at helping the migrants to 'tear down the borders' to England.

More than 800 elite CRS riot-control officers are in the town, with another 1,200 on standby in the immediate vicinity.

A tense atmosphere has gripped the port all week, with a spotter helicopter circling overhead, roads blocked, and mobile police patrols circulating constantly. ...

'Many hundreds are massing in the town, ready for a widescale demonstration against immigration control on Saturday. All vulnerable targets are being guarded. We can take no chances.'

All the protestors are from a group calling itself 'No Borders', which has pledged to 'tear down the borders' stopping migrants getting across the Channel.

As their tents and marquees were pitched on an official site to the east of Calais, some of the 2,000 odd migrants sleeping rough in the Calais area began to join them.
[Site link]


Border controls
'Relaxed' officials let smuggled migrants go, says judge
Daily Telegraph, 11 June 2009

A judge overseeing one of the biggest people smuggling cases has criticised "relaxed" immigration officials, after scores of Chinese immigrants were freed.

Police and border guards caught almost 100 illegal immigrants after intercepting 27 smuggling trips during their surveillance operation.

However, the UK Border Agency let them all go, telling them to report to the immigration centre at Lunar House in Croydon, south London.

Only a "handful" ever showed up, Southwark Crown Court was told.

Judge Christopher Hardy praised the detectives who smashed the "extensive and sophisticated" gang behind the smuggling. "The attitude of the police contrasts with the very relaxed attitude evidence by the UK immigration authorities." he added.

Five Turkish men were jailed yesterday for their role in the smuggling. ...

... The network had links to Chinese gangs and members in France and Belgium. It made millions of pounds, largely sent to China and Turkey.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – education
Bogus colleges 'going unchecked for six months'
Matthew Moore
Daily Telegraph, 3 June 2009

A loophole in immigration rules means that fake colleges can still open for six months without having their credentials checked, MPs were told yesterday.

Phil Woolas, the Immigration Minister, admitted that he had no idea how many foreigners were living in Britain illegally after enrolling on spurious courses at the colleges.

The home affairs committee was told that tens of thousands of overseas "students" had entered the country through about 2,000 fake colleges in recent decades.

Tony Millns, the chief executive of English UK, which represents English language colleges, said the abuse of the immigration system amounted to a "national scandal". ...

A spokesman for the UK Border Agency, which is currently vetting colleges, said it was "simply not true" that colleges could be on the list for six months without being checked. "All colleges receive thorough checks before they are issued a licence to sponsor foreign students," he said.

The agency claimed that the number of institutions bringing in foreign students had already fallen from 4,000 to about 1,600. ...

Nick Lewis, the principal of Castle College in Nottingham and a member of the Association of Colleges, told the committee that the Government was warned about the problem of fake colleges 10 years ago, and failed to act.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – crime
Gang Jailed For UK's Biggest Visa Scam
Mark White
Sky News, 3 June 2009

Three illegal immigrants have been jailed for a combined total of 19 years for their part in Britain's single biggest visa scam.

More than 90,000 counterfeit documents were produced at a property in west London, allowing hundreds of people to cheat UK border controls.

Jatinder Sharma and Rakhi Shahi, who masterminded the fraud in counterfeit documents, were jailed for seven and eight years respectively.

Mr Sharma's wife Neelam, convicted of handling some of the proceeds of the scam, was given a four-year sentence at Isleworth Crown Court in west London.

All three have been automatically recommended for deportation at the end of their sentences.

The court had heard how the Indian nationals took advantage of a "shambolic" system of immigration checks.

Prosecutor Francis Sheridan said evidence gathered for the case presented a "damning indictment" of failures by the Home Office to spot the fraudsters, who submitted hundreds of bogus visa applications.

Sharma, 44, was only caught after he offered to get an undercover reporter a post graduate diploma in business administration and other fraudulent documents for about £4,000.

The scam mainly targeted the government's Highly Skilled Migrant Programme - a points based system which gives preference to those in desired professions, like doctors and dentists.

The international Graduate Scheme and other leave to remain applications were also exploited.

Mr Sheridan said: "The Home Office system was designed to operate with trust.

"The evidence shows it was naive in its conception and a shambles in reality, but it did not justify someone taking full advantage to cheat the system time and time again..."

Metropolitan Police officers and officials from the UK Border Agency swooped on the fraudsters' company Univisas, based in Southall, west London, in February 2008.

They discovered a mountain of documents, including false university certificates, academic records, bank statements and pay slips.

Investigators also uncovered records of more than 900 people who had been given documentation by Univisas.

Of a sample 117 analysed in detail, 113 were found to contain fraudulent information.

Those behind the scam were so confident, they offered a money back guarantee to clients who they charged fees from hundreds to thousands of pounds.

The gang lived together in Clarence Street, Southall, and hid behind a complex web of false identities and documentation. ...

Although the fraudsters behind this visa scam have now been brought to justice, officials admit many other organised criminal gangs are still out there, trying to find new ways of flouting Britain's Border Controls.
[Site link]


Border controls – racism, education
Academics boycott visa 'snooping'
BBC, 29 May 2009

University academics say they will boycott new visa rules for overseas students that would make them into "immigration snoopers".

Delegates at the University and College Union's annual conference said they did not want to become a branch of the UK Border Agency.

Under the new rules universities are expected to monitor whether overseas students really attend their courses.

The Home Office said such things were part of their normal duty of care.

Institutions must also report concerns that a student could be involved in terrorism.

In a debate at the conference, in Bournemouth, delegates argued that the rules would place a strain on the relationship between staff and students from outside the European Union.

General secretary Sally Hunt said: "UCU members are educators not border guards."

She said later: "Politically, UCU is absolutely opposed to this legislation and we know that many members have strong and principled moral objections as members of society and as professional educators. ...

One of the resolutions tabled for discussion said the new system "makes educators into immigration snoopers which could damage UK education irreparably".

It deplored "this pandering to anti-immigration racism" and committed the union to "non-compliance with all such policing and surveillance duties".

But a Home Office spokesman said: "Educational institutions have a duty of care to all their students and checking that they are attending and making progress in their studies is part of that responsibility.

"The records we expect education providers to keep are those which most will keep for their own purposes anyway."
[Site link]


Border controls – terrorism, education
Four terror suspects won university places through bogus Manchester college
Andrew Norfolk
The Times, 21 May 2009

Four terrorism suspects were given places at English universities after leaving the bogus Manchester College of Professional Studies.

John Moores University, Liverpool, and Liverpool Hope University confirmed yesterday that each had accepted two of the detainees and that all four students submitted diplomas from the fake college as part of their application. Both universities insisted that they had disregarded the Manchester certificates, accepting the men instead on the basis of their university degrees from Pakistan. ...

The Home Office says that in Pakistan, which it classifies as "high risk", additional checks are made on applicants to seek independent verification of prospective students' qualifications. As a result, the refusal rate for student visa applications from Pakistan has risen from 53 per cent in 2006 to 69 per cent last year. Despite this, the number of Pakistani citizens in the UK on student visas has soared.

A critical flaw in the new regulations, however, means that there is still no limit on how many international students a sponsor college is allowed to enrol. It may have become more difficult to beat the system, but it is not impossible.
[Site link]


Border controls – terrorism, education
Sham colleges open doors to Pakistani terror suspects
Andrew Norfolk
The Times, 21 May 2009

Thousands of young Pakistanis exploited a hole in Britain's immigration defences to enrol as students at a network of sham colleges, The Times can reveal.

The gateway, opened by fraudsters who have earned millions from the scam, has allowed in hundreds of men from a region of Pakistan that is the militant heartland of al-Qaeda and the Pakistani Taleban.

Eight of the terror suspects arrested last month in Manchester and Liverpool were on the books of one college. It had three small classrooms and three teachers for the 1,797 students on its books. Another college claimed to have 150 students but secretly enrolled 1,178 and offered places to a further 1,575 overseas applicants, 906 of them in Pakistan. ...

The Times has uncovered close ties between 11 colleges in London, Manchester and Bradford, all formed in the past five years and controlled by three young Pakistani businessmen.

Each of the three men entered the country on a student visa. One has fled to Pakistan after earning an estimated £6 million from the scam. Fayaz Ali Khan and another man are in the UK.

All but two of the ten students arrested last month over an alleged al-Qaeda bomb plot were enrolled over an 11-month period at Manchester College of Professional Studies. Two Liverpool universities admitted last night that they had given places to four of them, ...

The massive fraud has fuelled a surge in student arrivals from Pakistan, which the Prime Minister has identified as the birthplace of two thirds of terrorist plots in the UK. Between 2002 and 2007, the number of Pakistani nationals with permission to enter or remain in the UK as students jumped from 7,975 to 26,935.
[Site link]


Border controls
Former pub became the centre of a web of bogus colleges
Andrew Norfolk
The Times, 21 May 2009

Among the fast-food shops, Haj travel agents, halal butchers, curry houses and money-exchange outlets is a former pub, reborn in 2006 as Manchester College of Professional Studies.

Here, two young men from a town in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) in Pakistan – in Britain on student visas – started a scam that would earn them a small fortune.

The Times has evidence that in 15 months from October 2006 they enrolled 1,143 foreign students, most Pakistanis, and sold bogus college qualifications to enable another 654 to extend their stay in the UK. ...

Most students, however, had no intention of entering a classroom. They were in the UK to earn as much as possible for as long as possible. ...

... For the vast majority of students, the documents were a charade. The college was a front that provided cover for students to do whatever they wanted in Britain.

Most came from Pakistan, but hundreds were also admitted from Nigeria and other countries in Africa, South Asia and the Far East. ...

Manchester College of Professional Studies was also affiliated with Blackpool University, again based in Dublin, established "under the order of the King of Belgium" and licensed by the Accreditation Council of Higher Education (ACHE).

All of which might sound impressive until one learns that ACHE is based in Wallis and Futuna, an island group in the South Pacific.

Finally, the college also posed as a study centre for the University of Newcastle, which is really the online University of New Castle, incorporated "in the sate (sic) of Delaware" and, like Blackpool University, accredited by a group of South Pacific islands.

Mr Fayaz and his friends could run their scams for so long because the UK's system for controlling and monitoring international students was – until last month – lamentable. He was able to open a college and gain a place on the Government's register of educational providers by completing an online application. No one checked his background, no one came – at the outset – to inspect his premises and no one sought to discover whether the teachers he said he was employing had the qualifications claimed.

Advance notice was given of the periodic Home Office visits made after the college opened, so there was always time to make sure associates and employees were sitting studiously in a classroom when an inspector arrived. Astonishingly, there was not even a system for limiting or monitoring how many students a college enrolled. ...

One bad apple would have been one too many, but The Times has uncovered a tangled web linking 11 international colleges formed during the past five years, in Manchester, Bradford, London and Essex.

A few barely existed beyond their registered office address, others had impressive internet sites and some even gave lessons to a minority of the students they enrolled. ...
[Site link]


Border controls – European Union
Exclusive: EU'S £14bn vain bid to halt migrants
Ted Jeory
Sunday Express, 17 May 2009

Vast amounts of taxpayers' money has been squandered on a "disastrous" scheme to stem the flow of illegal migrants into Europe.

More than £14 billion – of which Britain's share is an estimated £1.4 billion – has gone on a French-inspired project called the Barcelona Process.

But much of the cash has ended up in the pockets of north African officials who fail to prevent mass migration.

Yet despite the enormous sums involved, the European Union has not once published a detailed breakdown of spending on the venture and produced just one high-level audit of the project's total spending in 14 years.

Incredibly, EU leaders are set to sanction another £550 million on a similar project in eastern Europe.

The Barcelona Process is an alliance between the 27-member EU and 16 countries from the southern Mediterranean and Middle East.

Its main aim has been to combat illegal immigration from north Africa to southern EU members such as Spain, Italy and Portugal.

But more than 100,000 migrants a year are still estimated to enter Europe illegally via the Mediterranean, a fifth of the total.

Leading Eurosceptic Tory MP Bill Cash said: "The process has been disastrous. It does us no good to raise the volume of expenditure in the vain belief it will curtail illegal immigration. It doesn't work like that. The money just disappears into rivers of slush funds and hopeless corruption."

Labour MP Michael Connarty, who chairs the European Scrutiny Committee, said: "If we create a stable buffer between north Africa and Europe it will be money well spent, but we've made no progress."

An EU spokeswoman claimed the Barcelona Process fostered "cohesion and co-operation".
[Site link]


Border controls – crime, education
Fewer colleges for foreign students
Daily Telegraph, 13 May 2009

The number of colleges accepting foreign students has been cut by more than 13,000 after the introduction of new rules earlier this year.

Each college applying for a licence was visited by an official from the UK Border Agency as part of a drive to root out fake institutions. There were fears that many colleges were fronts for illegal immigration.

The list of colleges sponsoring student visas has fallen from 15,000 to 1,500.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – crime
Foreign lorries responsible for 90% of smuggled migrants
David Pilditch
Daily Express, 25 April 2009

Nine out of 10 lorry drivers who smuggle illegal immigrants into Britain are from overseas, shocking figures revealed yesterday.

Even Labour's official statistics show the Government has failed to collect more than £1million in fines owed by hauliers registered abroad who have been caught red-handed.

Yesterday critics said the damning figures expose the full scale of Britain's shambolic immigration policies and lax border security. It comes after the UK Border Agency revealed 1,571 foreign truckers were issued fines last year after illegal immigrants were found hiding in the back of their vehicles.

This compares with only 195 British lorries found to have stowaways. In theory drivers and owners face fines of £2,000 for each illegal migrant. But the figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, show just £2million has been collected from foreign firms, a shortfall of at least £1million. British hauliers have been fined around £300,000.

Last night, British operators complained the system was being abused by unscrupulous foreign drivers who can earn up to £1,500 from each person they smuggle across the Channel.

Trucker Mervyn Osgood, 54, from Maidstone in Kent, said: "It's an absolute farce. We always see the foreign drivers talking to the migrants in Calais." Immigrants gather to scramble on to vehicles at the ferry port in a notorious area known as Diesel Alley.

Mr Osgood said foreign truckers simply ignored the fines, sometimes not even telling their bosses they had been caught.

"To them it's worth the risk. They get £1,500 from each illegal, so if they get four on, they pocket around £6,000. Then they just unload their cargoes and head back to their countries."

The Shadow Immigration Minister Damian Green insisted the Government was to blame. He said: "Clearly many foreign truckers are abusing our immigration laws and they should be punished effectively. "However, the problem often is that they may be convicted of offences relating to illegal migration but are continuing to operate in the same vehicles."

Last night the agency admitted: "These figures don't reflect the actual figure because there is often more than one clandestine found per vehicle." He said 28,000 migrants were caught trying to sneak into Britain on board lorries crossing the Channel last year.

The records show foreign truckers were fined a further £811,507 for working in Britain without the necessary haulage permits. Lorry drivers can unwittingly bring in illegal immigrants who jump inside their vehicles without them realising what is happening.

But other operators accept cash from people-smuggling gangs led by east Europeans, Afghans and Iraqis.
[Site link]


Border controls
France 'ready to dump migrants in Britain'
Peter Allen and Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 24 April 2009

France wants Britain to sign a deal allowing thousands of migrants to flood into the UK.

Calais mayor Natacha Bouchart's controversial plan to scrap passport controls was announced as migrants in the port staged an angry demo yesterday, waving placards written in flawless English.

The banners expose how Britain's open-door asylum system and benefits culture are a magnet for Afghans, Kurds and Eritreans.

Exasperated by the sight of migrants sleeping rough as they try to board England-bound trains and lorries illegally, Mrs Bouchart outlined her scheme to rid Calais of the blight to French Immigration Minister Eric Besson.

"It's necessary to speed up negotiations with the British because at the moment we're ready to charter a boat to dump them over there," she said.

She said all Britain had to do was sign up to the Schengen Agreement, which allows anybody to travel between EU states without passports or visas.

Mr Besson challenged Britain to share responsibility for France's problem by asking why migrants from places such as Iran, Somalia and Sudan travel across the world to reach the UK.

"Britain should step up its controls and take on more of this burden," he said. "Britain should also question why migrants and the traffickers in migrants believe that the British illegal job market is a golden opportunity." ...

Mrs Bouchart said if Britain signed up to Schengen, then the migrants could make their way direct to the UK to claim asylum, rather than using France as a platform to get there illegally. ...

Responding to the plan to make Calais a passport-free zone, Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said: "UK policy is to not sign up to the Schengen Agreement. Weakening our controls will only play into the hands of the traffickers.
[Site link]


Border controls – welfare state
Calais mayor blames Britain for immigration problems
Peter Allen
Daily Telegraph, 21 April 2009

The mayor of Calais, Natacha Bouchart, has blamed Britain's asylum and benefits system for "imposing" thousands of illegal migrants on her town.

In an angry attack in which she also called for millions in compensation, Natacha Bouchart said the UK was entirely to blame for the hordes of foreigners who use the French port as a staging point to get across the Channel. ...

Mrs Bouchart pointed out that the Calais Chamber of Trade was having to spend £12 million each year securing the port area – money she suggested the French government should pay back.

But it was Britain's immigration system which was predominantly to blame for thousands of Africans, eastern Europeans and people from central Asia trying to clamber aboard lorries and trains in Calais to get to the UK every day.

"Requesting asylum is easier with them (the British) than in France," said Mrs Bouchart.

"The asylum seeker is given accommodation and receives £31 to £40 a week according to their case, when the annual salary of the average Eritrean is around $200 (£136).

"That seems enormous and it's attractive, even if in some places it's nothing."

Calling for a "change in attitude", Mrs Bouchart said the current build up of UK-bound foreigners was untenable. ...

French immigration minister Eric Besson is due to outline new policies for dealing with the worsening situation in Calais.

Some 2,000 UK-bound migrants are currently sleeping rough in the area, with around 800 in the town itself.
[Site link]


Border controls
'Risky' students who want a visa will be interviewed by phone
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 21 April 2009

Fresh questions were raised yesterday over Britain's security after the Home Secretary admitted some visa applications were decided over the phone.

Pakistani students wanting to study in Britain who are deemed a risk may only be interviewed over the phone, and from outside the country, it emerged.

And the Home Office revealed that final decisions on any visa applications from Pakistan were now being dealt with by officials in the United Arab Emirates.

The disclosure raises fresh security fears around the student visa system after it emerged all but one of the 12 suspects being held over an alleged plot to bomb shopping centres in Manchester came to Britain from Pakistan using student visas. ...

It later emerged Abu Dhabi is being used as a "hub" for UK immigration officials to take final decisions, although fingerprints and documents of applicants are being checked in Pakistan first.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
£8m for border agency ads
Matthew Moore
Daily Telegraph, 16 April 2009

Britain's border agency is spending nearly £8 million a year on advertising and public relations, it was disclosed yesterday.

The Home Office body has allocated large sums to its promotional budget despite concern about its failings to stem illegal immigration.

While other government departments and private sector companies are cutting jobs in the recession, the agency is advertising a range of roles in a new communications campaign team, paying up to £56,000 a year.

The figures were released in a parliamentary answer to the Tories by Phil Woolas, the Immigration Minister.

New research indicates that at least 250,000 migrant workers are employed in the country unregistered.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – education
Bogus foreign students free to flout new laws
Richard Ford and Andrew Norfolk
The Times, 15 April 2009

Thousands of bogus students remain free to enter Britain despite new laws aimed at tightening controls on immigration. The Times has learnt that hundreds of colleges recently approved by the Home Office to accept non-EU students have not been inspected by its officers.

Weaknesses in the student visa system have emerged following the arrest of 12 terror suspects last week. Ten of the men entered this country from Pakistan on student visas.

It has also emerged that the vast majority of non-EU students will not be interviewed by the Home Office but admitted on the basis of written applications and evidence of sponsorship, educational qualifications and bank statements. ...

John Tincey, the chairman of the Immigration Service Union, said that the failure to include interviews could be exploited by terrorists.

Under the system, universities, colleges and schools must register with the Home Office to accept students from outside the EU. They must agree to alert the Home Office if a student fails to register, stops attending classes or if a course is shortened and keep copies of the students' passports as well as up-to-date contact addresses.

The new regime came in two weeks ago and is intended to end a scam in which thousands of foreigners enrolled at bogus colleges to work here. So far, 2,100 establishments have been registered and 400 rejected. There are 14,000 establishments on an earlier database that need to register.

Today The Times highlights the abuses under the old regime, described by the Immigration Minister as the Achilles' heel of the system.

At one college in Manchester that claims to have more than 100 students – most of them from North West Frontier Province in Pakistan – only two turned up for classes yesterday.

An international college in London with links to Pakistani businessmen was raided by the police and the UK Border Agency in December. It was alleged that individuals attached to the college earned £5 million processing up to 2,500 fraudulent visa applications.
[Site link]


Border controls – crime, education
£100 fakes helping terrorists into UK
Nick Meo and Emal Khan
Sunday Telegraph, 12 April 2009

Forged degree certificates, fake income tax returns and bogus payslips were on sale in Pakistan yesterday – all valuable tools for terrorists to obtain student visas for Britain.

An investigation ... has found that documents could be obtained for less than £100 by anyone seeking to support their application to study in Britain.

As concerns grew about the screening processes that allowed 11 of the 12 bomb suspects to enter Britain, self-styled "immigration consultants" in Pakistan were hard at work trying to beat the system. ...

Many British universities have representative offices in Pakistan's main cities through which they recruit students. ... ...

... Such documents are widely available under the counter from immigration consultants all over Pakistan.

The paperwork is designed to convince British immigration officials that applicants want to learn and can pay for their courses, even though some are virtually illiterate and only want jobs.

Britain has a reputation for being easy to enter. ... Nearly 4,000 immigration consultants are thought to be operating in Pakistan's capital Islamabad and its twin city Rawalpindi. ...

Many of the forgeries are crude and unlikely to fool immigration officers, but others are sophisticated. The size of the industry shows how much effort is put in to thwart the system at every stage.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – education
One in four colleges for foreigners 'bogus'
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 1 April 2009

Bogus colleges that help illegal immigrants slip into Britain are the "Achilles' heel" in the system, a Home Office minister admitted yesterday.

Phil Woolas, the Immigration Minister, said fake colleges and language schools were the "biggest loophole" in the system because figures indicated that almost one in four was potentially bogus. New visa rules that came into force yesterday meant overseas students needed to be accepted by genuine institutions before they could enter Britain.

Colleges and universities who wanted to take foreign students had to register with the Home Office. Of the 5,000 thought to take foreign students, only 2,100 had so far applied to have their credentials checked. Of those, 460 were rejected. ...

It was estimated that up to 2,000 "bogus" colleges could be forced to close.

Frank Field, the co-chairman of the Commons cross-party group on balanced migration, said the number of colleges rejected was "worrying" but "not a totally astonishing revelation".

"While ministers are right to tighten the immigration system, this uncovers the shambles that they have allowed to develop – a huge number of dodgy colleges, some of which are simply designed to get around immigration controls," he said.

Nicholas Soames, his co-chairman, added: "Given that there are nearly a quarter of a million non-EU students in British higher education institutions, the question this poses is: 'How many are here under false pretences?' Ministers need to answer that question in Parliament."
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Calais detention centre is approved
Melissa Kite
Sunday Telegraph, 22 March 2009

A new detention centre to help stop illegal immigrants entering Britain has been approved in Calais and is about to be built, according to government documents.

There was confusion this week when France's immigration minister claimed he had no knowledge of the centre, but a letter from the UK Border Agency to the Director of Migration in Paris seen by this newspaper reveals that British and French officials had held discussions and agreed "joint action".

... Britain will provide half the €500,000 (£470,000) needed for the project.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Daily Telegraph, 19 March 2009

Phil Woolas, the Immigration Minister, faced ridicule yesterday after his French counterpart dismissed plans for an immigrant detention centre in Calais, just a day after Mr Woolas announced it.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Taxpayer to fund Calais migrants centre
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 18 March 2009

A detention centre is being planned for Calais to hold hundreds of illegal immigrants trying to sneak across the Channel – and British taxpayers will help pay for it.

Phil Woolas, the Immigration Minister, said the proposed centre is at the heart of joint Anglo-French plans to tackle the problem of illegal immigrants flocking to the French port.

Charter flights that would return detainees to their home countries are also planned – in particular to Afghanistan and Iraq where the majority of unlawful immigrants come from.

News of the proposals came as hundreds of immigrants bound for Britain were in a gang fight in central Calais. Dozens were injured as violence broke out between rival groups, many armed with knives or makeshift weapons.

The Government is pushing for the detention centre, and is even willing to help pay for it, but is awaiting formal agreement from France. ... ...

Whitehall sources said that the Government would help pay for the centre because it felt a sense of responsibility over the fact that many of the immigrants are in Calais after failing to enter Britain.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Unpaid parking fine? Don't attempt to leave the country
David Millward
Daily Telegraph, 16 March 2009

A million motorists with unpaid parking fines could be stopped from leaving the country under powers used to secure British borders.

Ministers are examining whether to use an "e-borders" system to track the travel plans of everyone leaving the country to recoup almost £1 billion in outstanding fines and court orders imposed for criminal and driving offences.

An "Explanatory Memorandum" to the Immigration and Asylum Act prepared by the Home Office says e-borders could help recoup millions of pounds of unpaid fines.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Trips abroad to be logged
David Millward
Daily Telegraph, 14 March 2009

The travel plans and personal details of every holidaymaker, business traveller and day-tripper who leaves Britain are to be tracked by the Government, ...

Anyone departing by land, sea or air will have the trip recorded and stored on a database for a decade. ...

The owners of light aircraft will also be brought under the system, known as e-borders, which will eventually track 250 million journeys annually. ...

Travellers will have to supply information such as passport and credit card details, home and email addresses and exact itineraries.

The changes are being brought in as the Government tries to tighten border controls and increase protection against international terrorism. ...

The checks are being brought in piecemeal by the UK Border Agency. By the end of the year, 60 per cent of journeys out of Britain will be affected, and 95 per cent by the end of 2010.

Yachtsmen, trawlermen and private pilots will have until 2014 to comply. ...

Currently passports are not routinely checked when people leave the country. Exit controls for those staying within the European Union were scrapped by the last Conservative government.

The rest were scrapped by Jack Straw as Home Secretary after Labour won in 1997.

However, passport inspections at ports have gradually been reintroduced as the Government looks to prevent anyone on its watch-list fleeing the country. ...

A UK Border Agency spokesman insisted: "The e-Borders scheme has already screened over 82 million passengers travelling to Britain, leading to more than 2,900 arrests, for crimes including murder, drug dealing and sex offences."
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – asylum
French to build 'mini Sangattes' in Calais
Peter Allen
Daily Telegraph, 13 March 2009

A string of "mini Sangatte" welcome centres for illegal migrants bound for Britain are to be built near Calais.

Eric Besson, the French immigration minister, confirmed that the "light buildings" would provide services such as food, showers and information about how to claim asylum once migrants arrived in Britain. ...

Mr Besson said the centres would help to deal with the growing numbers. ...

Up to 2,000 people sleep rough in the area as they try to board trains and lorries to Dover, often paying up to £1,000 to human traffickers.

An interviewer from VSD, the French magazine, asked the minister: "So, you're constructing mini Sangattes?"

Mr Besson replied: "But they won't be permanent sleeping centres for illegal migrants."

Sangatte, the overcrowded refugee camp, was closed in 2003 after riots.

The move marked a change in policy by the minister who previously promised to make the port "watertight" to illegal migrants.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Calais border guards too soft, says asylum seeker
Daily Telegraph, 13 February 2009

A group of Iraqi migrants have claimed they evaded security in Calais and entered the UK by saying one word – "family" – to border guards.

Faradh Maruj, 28, who has claimed asylum and is living in Birmingham, had paid people smugglers £560 in cash to get him across the Channel with his wife and their two young sons.

They got into the cab of a Dutch lorry which was stopped by customs officials in Calais. Mr Maruj said: "I said 'family' and the customs official shut the door."
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Stowaway migrant numbers double
David Barrett
Sunday Telegraph, 8 February 2009

The number of illegal immigrants found hiding in lorries after entering Britain has more than doubled in two years.

More than 3,300 immigrants were picked up in eight months last year, compared with 1,400 in a 12-month period in 2006-7. ...

Chris Huhne, the Lib Dem home affairs spokesman, who uncovered the figures, said: "For years our border controls have been shambolic and the increase in lorry stowaways is another example of the problem. We need a national border force with police powers to ensure that only legal migrants enter Britain."

Any illegal immigrant who makes it on to British soil can claim asylum but those detected before they arrive in the country, for example at French ports, can be refused entry. ...

The rise is believed to coincide with the privatisation of lorry searches at French ports.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
New country, New Year birthday
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 30 January 2009

Thousands of asylum seekers, illegal immigrants and other foreigners arriving in Britain every year are being given New Year's Day as their date of birth because officials don't know when they were born.

More than 24,000 people had Jan 1 entered as their birthday on immigration databases in 2008. Sources said attempts to guess ages meant some adults were being classed as children and would not be deported immediately if they were in the country unlawfully.

One police officer said: "We arrest some asylum seekers with full beard and they are obviously not 16, but it says so on their papers and so they are convicted as minors."
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Immigration: Britain 'is to blame'
Nick Fagge
Daily Express, 28 January 2009

Britain was last night accused of failing to stop the tide of illegal immigrants arriving from France.

New hard-line French immigration minister Eric Besson condemned our lax security at the Channel Tunnel and ferry ports which encouraged thousands to try to enter Britain illegally every year.

Speaking during a crisis visit yesterday to Calais, where some 2,000 British-bound refugees are massed, he said the failure of ministers in this country had created the impression that the UK was somewhere that illegal immigrants could disappear with little prospect of being deported.

Mr Besson said: "Our English partners must apply themselves more actively in the reinforcement of checks and in security in Calais."

He also pledged he would never allow another Sangatte-style refugee camp as he visited some of the makeshift shelters scattered along the French coast.

He said: "I'll be meeting my British counterpart over the coming days to discuss this subject precisely. Our English partners want to see controls strictly enforced. Me too.

"I'm therefore going to propose to my British colleague to put in place a common strategy to reinforce the checks and make passage through the Tunnel or by the port the most watertight possible to illegal immigration."

His comments follow those of a senior French politician, Etienne Pinte, who earlier this month said the UK was solely to blame for the build-up of thousands of migrants in northern France.

He condemned Britain's "inhumane and illegal" immigration policies which he said had caused "utter misery".

Mr Pinte said: "Britain is seen as an Eldorado by migrants across the world. It's up to Great Britain to find a dignified and humane solution to a problem which solely concerns it."

Yesterday Mr Besson said he was determined to achieve a lasting solution to the "refugee problem", which had not been solved with the closure of the notorious Red Cross centre at nearby Sangatte in 2002. ...

Former Home Office Minister Ann Widdecombe said: "Until the message gets out that if you come to Britain with a false claim you will be dealt with quickly and deported, there is a tremendous incentive for people to come to Britain.

"We do not have identity cards and we have a flourishing black economy in which people can disappear. Only until we change all of that will the message finally get out." ...

Last night a UK Border Agency spokesman said: "We will continue to work with France – one of our closest partners – in fighting illegal migration. Our shared determination has already created one of the toughest border crossings in the world at Calais.

"In the last five years we have stopped over 88,500 attempts from people trying to enter the UK illegally. Around 61,000 of those were at Calais alone. ..."
[Site link]


Border controls – visas
Visas being approved 'because a refusal means more work'
Daily Telegraph, 12 January 2009

Immigration officers face "perverse incentives" to grant visas to foreigners, an influential group of MPs says today. Staff must provide far less evidence as to why they have approved an application to come to Britain than they do if they choose to reject one.

This has led to a warning that inappropriate applicants are being approved. It comes less than two months after a watchdog reported that about 300,000 foreigners who should not be granted visas were allowed in to Britain every year.

A report by the Commons home affairs select committee today says that while the reasons for a visa refusal are regularly reviewed, those for an approval are not.

MPs questioned whether this led to a "tendency to be tempted to approve more applications than one should on the basis that the work is never going to be checked". ...

Nearly two million visas are approved in Britain each year.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Increased immigration fears as French charity sets up camp for illegal migrants heading to UK
Daily Mail, 1 December 2008

A French charity has enraged UK officials by setting up a camp to help illegal migrants bound for the UK.

The centre is in the northern French town of Steenvoorde, which is on the main motorway heading to the ports of Calais and Dunkirk. It has marquees with beds, toilets and kitchens.

It was set up by Terre d'Errance Steenvoorde, a new charity and is designed for the thousands of migrants who regularly make their way to Channel ports in the hope of reaching the UK by ferry or train.

But UK officials believe the centre will become a magnate for thousands of unwanted foreigners.

And they fear it could cause similar problems to Sangatte, the former Red Cross centre near Calais, which housed thousands of migrants on their way to Britain. Sangatte was bulldozed as part of an Anglo-French deal in 2002. The new camp was put up on Sunday and the charity intends to apply to the local council to have it made legal by the end of the week.

It is likely to receive the backing of local mayor Jean-Pierre Bataille who said the village was 'an important logistical platform' on the long road from blighted third world countries to the UK.

Charities said that increasingly tough measures being used to rid Calais of illegal migrants had caused a humanitarian disaster, with hundreds forced to sleep rough.

'Nobody else wants to help these people, so we will,' said a spokesman for Terre d'Errance Steenvoorde.

'Hundreds use the village as a staging point on their journey to England, and we want to give them accommodation and food,' the spokesman added.

Among the camp's first residents are a group of Africans, including two men and four women, who claim to be from the war-torn country of Eritrea.

All are dreaming of a new life in the UK, where they hope to be able to find permanent accommodation and jobs.

'We will stay in Steenvorde for a short while before resuming our journey to England where we want to settle,' said one.

Police said Steenvoorde had been popular with travelling migrants since around 2000 because it was on a main HGV route from the continent to Britain.

There is a vast lorry car park next to the motorway, where many board lorries making there way to channel ports, mainly Calais and Dunkirk.
[Site link]


Border controls – national security
Web and migration threaten UK, says Reid
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 17 November 2008

Mass migration and the internet are increasing threats to Britain's national security, according to John Reid, the former home secretary.

Crises that threatened the nation happened far more than people thought, he added, and were no longer "one-off events".

The MP for Airdrie and Shotts, who will leave the House of Commons at the next general election, is establishing a research group called the Institute of Security and Resilience Studies to assess the long-term threats against Britain and other countries.

Mr Reid said international migration had increased the range of threats against Britain since the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s.

"The chief characteristic of the world we have to face is mobility," he said.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – France, Britain
Police target migrants heading for Britain
Peter Allen
Daily Telegraph, 24 October 2008

Hundreds of riot police have started an operation to clear illegal camps in Calais used by migrants making for Britain.

In unprecedented scenes, officers began a "clean-up" operation targeting the estimated 1,000 people who were sleeping rough in the port. Each night, many of them try to smuggle themselves on to lorries heading to Britain.

The police operation was prompted by an expulsion order issued by the civil court in response to an increase in violence and anti-social behaviour among the migrants. ...

... Local police describe drug abuse and theft as "rampant" in the camps. ...

But Gerard Gavory, the sub-prefect of Calais, who was in charge of the expulsion, said: "The objective was not to arrest these people.

"Each was able to pick up their belongings and leave on their own accord if they wanted to. But later, we reminded them that there are other solutions to getting shelter." He admitted that while 80 migrants had been taken to a reception centre, most were allowed to return to the streets of Calais.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Sham marriages ban is a breach of human rights
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 31 July 2008

Illegal immigrants could be able to use sham marriages to stay in Britain after a judge decided that Government rules banning the practice were a breach of human rights.

The ban was brought in by David Blunkett in 2004, during his time as home secretary, amid concerns that thousands of people a year were arranging bogus marriages to give them the right to stay in Britain.

The regulations required people not legally settled in Britain to seek special permission to marry. However, they were ruled illegal by the High Court in 2006 and the Appeal Court last year.

Yesterday, the Law Lords agreed, saying they were an "arbitrary and unjust interference" with human rights. ...

Lord Bingham added that the right to respect for family life under the European Convention gave a measure of protection to some people having limited or no leave to enter or stay in Britain but who married in the country. However, he conceded that this gave "rise to an acute and difficult administrative problem" of people who got married "to strengthen their claims for leave to enter or remain".

Home Office figures show that the number of suspected sham marriages has fallen from 3,500 in 2004 to 400 last year. ... ...

The Home Office changed the rules in 2006. Instead of a blanket ban on foreigners who tried to get married three months before they were due to go home, officials must consider the merits of each case.

• Foreign students who miss more than 10 lectures in a row will be reported to the Government under new plans to crack down on illegal immigration. However, they will be able to avoid the new requirements if they opt to enter Britain as a "student visitor", rather than under a student visa.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – employment, public opinion
Foreign students to be allowed to stay an extra year
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 30 July 2008

Foreign students will be able to work in Britain for an extra year before being sent home, ministers will say today.

They will also unveil measures to stop bogus colleges, which are used as fronts to allow illegal immigrants to enter the country.

Students are by far the biggest category for long-term visitors to Britain, with 1.6 million visas handed out in the past five years.

In 2006, 309,000 foreign students arrived here, up nine per cent in a year, and more than double the number of foreigners who were granted work permits.

Under the present rules, foreign students can work for 12 months after graduating.

Liam Byrne, the Immigration Minister, is expected to say today that this will be increased to two years from 2009 to give foreign students more time to work here legally before going home. ...

Earlier this year it emerged that immigration officers had been ordered to stop deporting foreign students who overstay their visas.

A leaked memo suggested they are not regarded as a high enough priority.

Hundreds of thousands of students, including many who never intended to study in Britain, could be staying illegally. They are effectively being granted an amnesty. ...

Separately, a survey of voting priorities found that immigration is the biggest factor influencing how people will vote in the next election.

Thirty per cent ranked immigration as the most important election issue, beating crime, health, the environment and education in a survey of 13,000 people by TNS, a market research company.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Blank passports worth £2.5m are snatched in van hijack
Graham Tibbetts
Daily Telegraph, 30 July 2008

Thousands of passports worth £2.5 million were stolen from an unlocked van when it was hijacked as the driver stopped at a newsagent's shop.

The Foreign Office admitted it was a "serious breach of security" and said an investigation had begun into the robbery.

Around 3,000 blank passports and visa stickers – known as vignettes – were stolen on their way from Manchester to RAF Northolt in London from where they were to be sent to British embassies. ... ...

Det Chief Insp Bill McGreavy, of Greater Manchester Police, said the passports would have been worth £2.5 million on the black market. ...

Tom Craig, a former Scotland Yard fraud officer, told the BBC's Today programme that there were "desperate people all over the world" willing to pay for British passports.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Teenage bride ban to curb forced marriages
Rosa Prince and Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 23 July 2008

Teenage brides will be barred from moving to Britain under plans to be announced today to clamp down on forced marriages.

The age at which young people already based in Britain can sponsor a visa for an overseas spouse is also being raised from 18 to 21.

Liam Byrne, the Home Office minister, will outline the measures, which are designed to stop young women being pressurised by families into marrying older relatives from overseas so they can obtain citizenship.

He also wants to stop the practice of teenage girls being sent to Britain, largely from Asia, to be wed to relative strangers.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Immigrants at Ostend rise 400pc
Bruno Waterfield
Daily Telegraph, 22 July 2008

The number of illegal immigrants attempting to enter Britain from the Belgian port of Ostend has increased fourfold in the past year. ...

Dirk Calemyn, the head of the Belgian police's maritime unit, blamed the Schengen open-borders system being operated by some European Union members for a "bigger influx" of illegal immigrants. "A hard stance against refugees in neighbouring countries has been softened," he said. ...

The Belgian police have raided a number of Ostend parks and woods in recent days and arrested "a number of refugees" who were disturbing local residents.

"The raids have possibly caused a peak in the statistics," said Mr Calemyn.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – employment
Creeping insecurity...
Sunday Telegraph, 20 July 2008
[From the "Portcullis" column]

More embarrassment for Jacqui Smith in the case of the 8,000-plus illegal workers who were wrongly given jobs as security guards. One, you will recall, even ended up protecting Gordon Brown's car.

The Home Secretary blamed the Security Industry Authority for not carrying out basic employment checks. But parliamentary written answers now show that 4,911 of the workers supplied bona fide national insurance numbers.

Since July 2006 everyone given an NI number is meant to have undergone a right-to-work test.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – crime, criminals
Foreign criminals free to enter UK
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 17 July 2008

Thousands of foreign criminals could be entering Britain undetected because of a failure to implement checks recommended by the inquiry into the Soham murders.

A report by Sir Ian Magee, a former senior Whitehall civil servant, disclosed that 9 of the 31 recommendations made after the inquiry into the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman were still not in place. They included one for "improvements to checks on overseas workers".

Sir Ian said a failure to bring this in meant that the Government had no idea how many criminals from other countries could be on the streets.

He said: "I'm not going to say that there are many people at large. I just don't know." ...

Sir Ian's report disclosed that the police make just 20 requests to Interpol each day for details about non-EU criminals, compared with more than 20,000 a day by the French. ...

An 11,000-strong list of terrorist suspects, held by Interpol, was hardly used, while the UK Border Agency did not have a link to Interpol's lost and stolen documents database. France makes more than seven million checks a year.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – EU, Europe, asylum
Analysis: Sarkozy's list of demands
Alasdair Palmer
Sunday Telegraph, 6 July 2008

Tomorrow, Mr Sarkozy will propose a new EU "pact" on immigration. Its aim is the "harmonisation of asylum regimes" and the strengthening of EU border controls – while also increasing the number of immigrants permitted to work in the EU because of their useful skills. His aim is a common European asylum system.

He also wants to outlaw national amnesties for illegal immigrants. France was angered when more than two million illegal immigrants were allowed to stay in Spain and Italy under a series of amnesties between 2003 and 2007.

Britain says it will never give up its right to determine who can stay within its borders. But it will back measures to curb the flow of illegal immigrants into the EU (...) – for the simple reason that many of them find their way to Britain.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Tories plan border force of 30,000
Daily Telegraph, 2 July 2008

The Conservatives would create a border police force 10 times bigger than one under discussion by Labour ministers, David Cameron said.

Mr Cameron has given his support to a report by Lord Stevens of Kirkwelpington, who as Sir John Stevens was the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, calling for a new force with sweeping police-style powers to tackle terrorism, organised crime, immigration and smuggling.

The suggested Border Protection Service would have 30,000 officers and civilians – dwarfing government plans for a 3,000-strong border force.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Tories to unveil plan for border police force
James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 30 June 2008

A border police force would be established to patrol all airports, major seaports and the coastline under Tory plans to be announced this week. ...

The Tories say they want a harder approach to illegal immigration, which has surged in the past decade and has stretched police forces tackling gun crime, drug and people trafficking across Britain.

The Tories will make their announcement in the wake of a report from HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, which raised fears about the protection of British ports. The HMIC study warns that dozens of small ports and airports have been stripped of Customs officers.

Targets imposed by central government have forced Customs managers to focus resources on a few large airports and ports, the HMIC found. It also raised concerns that all the Customs' inshore cutters are on loan to other government agencies, and said that even forces in landlocked countries such as Switzerland have larger fleets than Britain.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Foreign relative bond plan ditched
Daily Telegraph, 26 June 2008

Ministers have scrapped plans to force people to pay a cash bond for foreign relatives who visit Britain.

Liam Byrne, the immigration minister, floated the idea of a "financial security" last December. Yesterday, the Home Office unveiled plans for "sponsored family visitor visas", whereby Britons who sponsor a relative could be sent to jail for up to 14 years, or fined £5,000, if the relative stays in the country too long.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – police
New police force to protect UK borders
Daily Telegraph, 24 June 2008

A new 3,000-strong police force dedicated to securing Britain's borders was unveiled yesterday by the Home Secretary.

Jacqui Smith said that senior officers had proposed a single force, run by its own chief constable, which will include uniformed officers on patrol and Special Branch to fight terrorism.

The move signals a harder approach to illegal immigration, which has surged in the past decade and has stretched police forces tackling gun crime, drug and people-trafficking across Britain. The force will protect Britain's 71 international and major regional airports, 10,500 miles of coastline and 27 major ports.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – employment
Migrant plan unveiled as seven escape
Richard Edwards
Daily Telegraph, 20 June 2008

Jacqui Smith unveiled measures to tackle illegal immigration yesterday as seven people broke out of a detention centre.

The Home Secretary launched the strategy by joining police carrying out dawn raids in London. ...

Among the measures, Miss Smith announced that the UK Border Agency would "name and shame" employers who hire illegal immigrants. However, within hours, news had emerged of a security breach at the Campsfield detention centre in Oxfordshire. Three people were still on the run last night.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – employment
Migrant workers 'find it easy to get British work permit despite controls'
Angela Monaghan
Daily Telegraph, 28 May 2008

Migrant workers find Britain is still one of the easiest countries in which to obtain a work permit, despite the introduction of a new system designed to tighten UK border controls, new research has found.

Britain came 16th out of 20 global economies ranked in descending order, with one being the strictest, in a survey by Sarah Buttle Associates (SBA), the business immigration experts. ...

A new points-based system (PBS) was introduced in February and will be rolled out on a phased basis through the rest of this year and 2009. SBA expects the UK to move up the rankings as the system becomes more established. ...

Almost 70 companies employing more than a total of two million people took part in the survey.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Immigration van 'fleet' just one vehicle
Rosa Prince
Daily Telegraph, 27 May 2008

Government claims that illegal immigrants would be rounded up in a fleet of vans have been dismissed as "spin" after it emerged that just one "mobile detection unit" is currently in operation.

In January, Liam Byrne, the Immigration Minister, announced the radical measure to fight mass illegal immigration, claiming that a "fleet" of mobile detection vans would detain illegal immigrants on the spot when attempts to smuggle them into the country were foiled. The suspects would then be transferred to detention centres.

However, six months on, Damian Green, the shadow immigration minister, has learned that just one unit is currently in operation, in Poole in Dorset. ...

In March, Mr Byrne said that the enforcement budget for detaining bogus arrivals would be doubled, repeating the promise to send out a "fleet" of mobile detection vans.

[Newspaper link]


Border controls – numbers
Immigration count 'is not fit for purpose'
James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 23 May 2008

Hundreds of thousands of short-term immigrants are not included in official statistics because the system for counting population changes is "not fit for purpose," a parliamentary inquiry has found.

The counting system is so unreliable that it is not even possible to know the true population of Britain, MPs will report today.

The Treasury Sub-Committee warns that the failure to correctly count the number of foreigners coming into Britain is undermining Government policies and putting unfair pressure on many local authorities and taxpayers.

After taking evidence from officials, council leaders and academics, the MPs identified a fundamental weakness with the International Passenger Survey, the main tool used by the Office of national Statistics (ONS) to measure immigration and emigration.

The survey, which is based on around 4,000 interviews each year, was designed to monitor tourism and business travel, but it has come to play a central role in immigration policy.

"It is clear from the evidence we have received that the survey is not fit for this new purpose," the MPs say.

The ONS is overhauling its collection methods to track the movements of short-term migrants. But the MPs found that there are still major shortcomings, suggesting that hundreds of thousands of people are being omitted.

The ONS estimated that there were only 43,000 short-term migrants in England and Wales in the year to June 2005, with just 16,000 of these in Greater London. But the MPs point out that other measures of the workforce suggest a much higher number: there were 235,640 new national insurance number registrations in Greater London alone during 2005/06.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
New rules would have barred 20,000 migrants
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 7 May 2008

Tougher rules on immigration that would have prevented an estimated 20,000 unskilled workers entering Britain last year were unveiled by the Home Office yesterday.

The new restrictions form part of the Government's points-based immigration system which is being introduced this year to ensure that only those with skills the country needs are allowed in. They will apply to "skilled" workers from this autumn and follow new rules already announced to apply to "highly skilled" migrants. Those for students will follow later. ...

Home Office analysis suggested that 12 per cent of non-European migrants who arrived last year under the existing work permit scheme would have been refused – about 8,000 individuals.

Another 12,000 would have been kept out under tougher rules applied to groups such as sportsmen and sportswomen, performers and charity workers wanting to come to the UK on a temporary basis.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – police
One in four forces sets free illegal migrants
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 23 April 2008

One in four police forces is routinely releasing illegal immigrants and telling them to make their own way to the nearest immigration office, figures show. ...

Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that 10 out of 43 forces in England and Wales do not detain suspects if the Immigration Service is unavailable. Instead, they release them with directions to the nearest immigration office.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Bulgaria is 'back door' into Britain for east Europeans
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 22 April 2008

More than 1,000 Moldovans, Ukrainians and Russians are applying every month for Bulgarian nationality – prompting claims that many are then heading straight to Britain.

The news comes after figures showed that the numbers of Bulgarians and Romanians visiting Britain rose by 77 per cent in 12 months.

They are allowed to visit as many times as they want after their countries joined the European Union in January last year.

The number who can work here is strictly limited by quotas but the big rise in visitors fuelled suspicions that many were choosing to stay in Britain and work in the black economy.

Boyko Rashkov, Bulgaria's deputy justice minister, said more than 250 applications for Bulgarian citizenship were being processed by the Ministry of Justice in Sofia each week. ...

Many of the applicants, who declare that they are of Bulgarian origin, are from Moldova, Ukraine, Macedonia and Russia. There are also a large number of people from Asian countries applying for Bulgarian citizenship. ...

Mr Rashkov said he needed more staff to cope with a backlog of applications, which has jumped to 61,000.

"Our staff just cannot deal with all the work", he said. ...

Sir Andrew Green, the chairman of MigrationWatch UK, said: "It is quite clear that these people seeking Bulgarian citizenship are doing so in order to obtain access to the European labour market.

"In many cases that market will be Britain since the controls imposed by the Government on Bulgarians and Romanians leak like a sieve."

Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that 200,000 people from Bulgaria and Romania visited Britain in the year to the end of July 2007, compared with 113,000 visitors in the previous 12 months.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – employment
Points system for immigration 'will cause chaos'
David Litterick
Daily Telegraph, 7 April 2008

The Government's new immigration system will result in chaos and leave business facing extra costs, leading lawyers have claimed.

The Australian-inspired "points system" is intended to make it easier for businesses to hire skilled and qualified workers, but Sarah Linton, a partner at Bryan Cave and head of the firm's employment practice in London, believes the proposals are ill thought out.

"Far from introducing new controls, much of the responsibility for managing the system will be passed to employers, to be known as sponsors, who face onerous compliance and reporting obligations," she said. ...

The CBI has broadly supported the new points-based migration system, but has attacked the level of the charges which deputy director-general, John Cridland said could leave smaller business facing an increase of 580pc.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Border force can't arrest drug runners in ports
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 1 April 2008

Officers from the new border force will not be able to arrest people caught in possession of drugs or a gun, it emerged last night.

Analysis of the legislation governing the force's powers shows that an officer can only detain a suspect for three hours and must then "arrange for a constable to attend as soon as is reasonably practicable". ...

Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, will unveil the 25,000-strong force on Thursday as part of the new UK Border Agency, signalling a hardening approach to illegal immigration.

The agency was set up to protect Britain's 71 international and major regional airports, 10,500 miles of coastline and 27 major sea ports.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – employment
Home Office in illegal immigrants cover-up
David Leppard
Sunday Times, 30 March 2008
[The headline in the newspaper is "Home Office in migrants cover-up"]

Hundreds of illegal immigrants – including a suspected murderer and other criminals – are working in care homes in Britain, a leaked Home Office report has disclosed.

In some homes more than half the employees have entered the country illegally and are now being entrusted with caring for old and vulnerable people. The immigration intelligence report found that one illegal worker was a murder suspect from the Philippines and others had been involved in the "abuse and mistreatment" of elderly people.

The report, which was produced more than two years ago, warned that the problems were "widespread" and "significant". But officials say its findings have been ignored.

"Very few of these cases are acted on," one official said. "Ministers have turned a blind eye in the obscene interests of costs. These cases are not seen as a priority and most of them simply go to the bottom of the pile." ...

The 22-page intelligence report examined 110 investigations into the employment of suspected illegal immigrants in care homes in the south and southwest of England.

The situation was so bad, the report notes, that "there is potential for embarrassment if the immigration service is not seen to be actively addressing this issue". Many of the illegal workers were using false names and forged identity documents to bypass police criminal records checks. The suspected Filipino murderer had used fraudulent references to get a job at a care home in Plymouth.

The report discloses that Home Office ministers had failed to tackle the problem because most of the illegal care home workers were from countries such as Zimbabwe, Nigeria and South Africa, which were not on the priority list identifying those who should be targeted.

This restriction "does not allow the immigration service to take any form of action", it says. Offenders are rarely brought to court because of a lack of resources. "There is no deterrent factor for those involved in these activities," the report states. ...

The report, which has been leaked by Whitehall officials exasperated that little has been done about the problem, reveals:

– that 58 of 113 employees of a firm running two homes in Hampshire and Wiltshire were suspected illegal offenders;

– that 36 of 58 people at a Southampton care agency were working illegally, mostly using fake identity papers;

– and that 22 of 55 foreign nationals who applied for employment through a Salisbury agency were immigration offenders

The document says the proliferation of untrained and unqualified illegal migrants, many with unknown backgrounds, poses a direct risk to some of the estimated 480,000 elderly and vulnerable people in the 21,000 care homes in England and Wales.
[Site link]


Border controls – marriage visas
Thousands 'are given marriage visas without proper checks'
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 26 March 2008

Thousands of foreign spouses are being granted marriage visas to Britain without their stories being checked out properly, it emerged yesterday.

MPs were astonished to discover that interviews are not routinely conducted with British fiancés, fiancées, wives or husbands to ensure that the marriage is legitimate and not forced.

Meg Munn, the Home Office minister, said the volume of applications made interviews impractical.

Each year, more than 40,000 marriage visas are granted and there is concern that many are intended to get around immigration rules.

Last year, 17,000 marriage visas were issued for spouses from the Indian sub-continent.

The Commons home affairs select committee is investigating the extent to which British girls are being forced into marriage. Although applicants for visas face rigorous checks, including interviews, the same is not true for the British sponsor.

Documents, such as passports and birth certificates, are checked to verify their identities, but they are not seen by officials. Mark Sedwill, the head of UK visas, told the committee that there would only be an interview if there was a suspicion that the marriage was forced. ...

Bob Russell, the Liberal Democrat MP for Colchester, accused the Government of complacency.

He said interviews could help detect whether a marriage was forced or genuine and should at least be carried out on applicants from the Indian sub-continent.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Migrants given rail tickets and told to travel to Croydon
Sophie Borland
Daily Telegraph, 11 March 2008

Nine illegal immigrants disappeared after they were given free train tickets by police and told to make their own way to a detention centre more than 60 miles away. ...

Cambridgeshire police say they were acting under instruction from officials at the Border and Immigration Agency, a Home Office department.

But officials at the agency denied such guidance was issued and insisted they had asked for the nine to be held in custody so that they could be interviewed.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Poor fences at Calais 'let 1,500 a year into Britain'
Stephen Adams
Daily Telegraph, 5 March 2008

Up to 1,500 illegal immigrants a year are entering Britain because of poor fencing at Calais, a Lords committee has found.

High-tech scanners are being bypassed by "determined" immigrants, the committee found. The immigrants are climbing over fences to sneak aboard lorries after the vehicles have been checked. ...

The peers made their discovery during a visit to Calais and other ports to investigate the state of Britain's borders. ...

The report said the poor fencing was the "one weak point in an otherwise excellent system". ...

A spokesman for the Border and Immigration Agency defended its record and said it was not "complacent": "Our borders are some of the toughest in the world. Last year we searched over one million lorries and prevented a record 18,000 attempts by illegal immigrants to cross the channel."
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Border force 'to close at weekends'
Daily Telegraph, 3 March 2008

Fears were raised last night that the Government could be opening the door to terrorists and illegal immigrants after it emerged that border officials may not be able to arrest foreign criminals at weekends.

The new Border and Immigration Agency has been told to keep a skeleton staff on duty at the weekend and on bank holidays, under plans which come into force on April 1.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Britain has lost control of borders, says judge
Daily Telegraph, 23 February 2008

A judge yesterday bemoaned Britain's loss of border controls "for the first time since 1066" and the deportation centres set up to cope with the result.

He said he could not help but have "sympathy" for detainees held in the "limbo of boredom and uncertainty" offered by such places.

Judge Christopher Elwen's comments came after he cleared four foreign nationals of orchestrating a multi-million-pound "rampage" in a detention centre. ...

Passing sentence, the judge said: "In the last few years this country, perhaps for the first time since 1066, lost control of its borders and one of the unfortunate consequences of this has been the existence of detention centres such as Harmondsworth.

"One cannot but have sympathy for the hundreds of detainees who have been held in such places in a limbo of boredom and uncertainty while the administrative procedures grind on." However, he said everyone in this country "enjoys the protection of the law and in return must obey it".
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
MP to oppose plan to abolish Commonwealth visa privilege
Daily Telegraph, 22 February 2008

Britain is proposing to sever its historic ties to tens of thousands of Commonwealth nationals who have an automatic right through descent to live and work here.

This week's Home Office Green Paper charting new pathways to citizenship suggests the ancestry visa might be abolished.

The visa enables people aged 17 or over whose grandparents were born in the UK to come for four years and eventually apply to stay. Those entering under the ancestry route have free access to the labour market. ...

In a letter to The Daily Telegraph today, Austin Mitchell, the MP for Great Grimsby, says the plan shows a "contempt for the historic associations between Britain, New Zealand and Australia".
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – security
Government accused of cover-up after illegal immigrant caught in Commons
Melissa Kite
Sunday Telegraph, 10 February 2008

An illegal immigrant was able to work at the House of Commons using a fake identity pass in a serious breach of security.

The Government stands accused of a cover-up after leaked documents, ..., showed that Liam Byrne, the immigration minister, was informed immediately of the case of the Brazilian woman, a cleaner, when she was arrested at Parliament 10 days ago. Yet the Home Office confirmed the security breach – one of the most serious to affect Westminster – only after being contacted by this newspaper last night.

A letter marked "restricted" and "urgent" was sent to Mr Byrne and Lin Homer, who heads the Border and Immigration Agency, on January 31, warning them that a woman who had absconded from Heathrow airport three years earlier had been arrested at Westminster that day.

Elaine Chaves Aparecida was detained by police after a random check on her security pass showed that it belonged to someone else. She had been working there, since December 3 last year as the employee of a cleaning company, Emprise Services.

Under questioning, Miss Chaves, 31, admitted that she had run away from immigration officials at Heathrow Terminal 4 in December 2004 before she could be refused entry.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Laura Clout and Richard Edwards
Daily Telegraph, 9 February 2008

Last week, Tony Smith, the regional director of the Border and Immigration Agency, said 13,000 illegal immigrants were caught every year concealed in lorries at major ports, particularly from Calais.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – deportation
Compulsory ID cards for migrants
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 31 January 2008

Compulsory identity cards will be introduced for all non-European Union migrants this year, Liam Byrne, the immigration minister, said yesterday. ...

Mr Byrne said he had set a target of introducing the cards for foreign immigrants by the beginning of November.

Speaking to council chiefs in London, Mr Byrne said that newcomers would be held to account if they broke the rules "whether that is overstaying their visa or breaking the law".

He added: "That means automatic deportation for those who commit a serious offence.

"This year we will deport more foreign prisoners than last year – and I am afraid we will build more detention centres to increase the numbers we remove."
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
French block X-ray search for stowaways
Daily Telegraph, 24 January 2008

France will not let British border guards in Calais use X-rays to search for illegal immigrants in lorries unless they get written permission from the stowaways.

French border police have outlawed the use of the scanners, claiming that they could violate European health and safety laws.

British immigration officials have been told that if they want to use the machines they must clear it with those they are trying to find – an almost impossible solution.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Treaty 'will shift power to Europe'
Toby Helm and Bruno Waterfield
Daily Telegraph, 21 January 2008

The EU Reform Treaty backed by Gordon Brown paves the way for "a massive and fundamental" shift of power to Europe, a senior Labour MP charged by Parliament with assessing its impact will tell the Commons today.

The comments from Michael Connarty, the pro-European chairman of the all-party European Scrutiny Committee, will mark an explosive start to five weeks of Parliamentary debate on the Treaty – and stoke the growing clamour for a referendum. ...

Mr Connarty backs the new treaty because he wants a stronger Europe but said he had decided to speak out because the British and other governments had not told the people of Europe the truth.

On criminal law, immigration and border controls, the treaty had set up mechanisms for national vetoes to be steadily eroded and authority transferred from British ministers and UK courts to Europe.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Rich migrants avoid the English test
Rosa Prince
Daily Telegraph, 18 January 2008

Wealthy foreign businessmen will be exempt from new requirements to learn English before moving to Britain if they can prove they have at least £1 million in the bank.

The proposal is part of the Government's new points-based scheme for gaining residency, designed to encourage greater integration into British culture by immigrants.

However, the very rich, such as Russian oil billionaires, will not need to pass strict language tests under a quota system, as long as they can prove they have £1 million in a "regulated financial institution and disposable in the UK".

The new system for highly skilled workers, which comes into force in less than three months, also requires millionaire businessmen and women to invest £750,000 within three months of their entry into Britain.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Fingerprint plan for migrants
Daily Telegraph, 14 January 2008

Migrants entering Britain on visas will have their fingerprints taken, the Government will announce today.

The checks will be used to screen out criminals or those likely to outstay their visas and will apply to three quarters of the world's population. Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, is to unveil the scheme today as part of plans to reduce illegal immigration and identity fraud.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – Europe
Asylum seekers sweep across EU after border control ends
Michael Leidig
Sunday Telegraph, 6 January 2008

Thousands of asylum seekers are on the move across Europe as a result of the relaxation of internal border controls.

A new system intended to make it easier for European Union citizens to move between member countries has led to a dramatic rise in illegal immigrants.

At the Traiskirchen refugee camp in Austria, numbers have more than doubled, from 300 to 770, since the rules were changed just before Christmas. ...

Almost 2,000 soldiers still patrol Austria's borders, but they are powerless to check the passports of new arrivals. ...

German police, who opposed the opening of the borders, have also reported a sharp increase in the number of illegal migrants entering the country.
[Newspaper link]



600 passports given out each day
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 27 November 2009

Migrants are being handed a British passport every two minutes after a sharp jump in approvals for citizenship, Home Office figures show.

A total of 54,430 people were granted citizenship between July and September this year – the equivalent of around 600 people every day and a 69 per cent increase on the same period last year.

The rise has been blamed on a rush of applications ahead of new rules to "earn" citizenship through a probationary period.
[Newspaper link]


Migrants' tips on gaining benefit
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 4 August 2009

Immigrants are to be given tips on how to access benefits and other public services under Home Office proposals, while learning how to claim will help them learn British citizenship.

Mentors will be provided to coach those wanting to settle permanently in Britain while local authorities will be expected to lay on "orientation days" to provide advice on services, such as benefit payments, under plans unveiled yesterday.

They form part of a move to introduce a points-based system for those wanting British citizenship ... ...

Until now, obtaining British nationality has been virtually automatic after five years in the country, but the Home Office this year introduced an additional "probationary" period before citizenship will be granted. This starts after the original five years, and can last up to five years depending on what social contributions a migrant makes to the country.

Now the Government wants to introduce a system where migrants must accrue points before being allowed to enter the probationary period. It is aimed at controlling the number of people being granted citizenship, which is on course to hit a record of almost 220,000 this year.
[Newspaper link]


Citizenship – passport, marriage
Plan for immigrants to 'earn' passports
Richard Edwards
Daily Telegraph, 3 August 2009

Immigrants could be denied British citizenship if they join in unpatriotic activities such as demonstrating against British troops, it will be announced today.

Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, is unveiling plans for a points-based system that will consider applicants' behaviour before granting them British nationality.

Immigrants will be expected to "earn" a British passport by accumulating points for voluntary work, speaking English, paying taxes or having useful skills. Marks could be deducted from applicants who have a history of anti-social behaviour, which could include protesting against British troops, or even failing to integrate. ...

The move to a points-based system is a shift from the current near-automatic right to citizenship for anyone who has lived in Britain for five years without a criminal record. New rules will also increase from five to 10 years the period for which foreigners will have to work in Britain before becoming eligible. ...

The Home Secretary also plans to ban wives brought here from receiving child benefit and a wide range of other state aid unless they learn English, support British values and do voluntary work in the community. Under existing laws, they are automatically given indefinite leave to remain after two years. That process would be scrapped.

The changes could affect as many as 80,000 immigrants who are allowed to settle permanently each year after marrying a British citizen. ...

Damian Green, the Tory immigration spokesman, said the proposal was "pure spin". ...

Mr Green also said the most effective way to tackle the abuse of marriage rules was to enforce rules before the immigrants arrived. ...

"The Government should have long ago addressed the fact that its test and regulations are far too lenient. This is far too little, far too late."
[Newspaper link]


Crackdown on 80,000 immigrant wives with free pass to Britain
Simon Walters
Mail on Sunday, 2 August 2009

A highly controversial crackdown on immigrants accused of abusing welfare handouts is to be unveiled by Home Secretary Alan Johnson this week.

He plans to ban wives brought here, mainly from India and Pakistan, from receiving child benefit and a wide range of other state aid unless they learn English, support British values and do voluntary work in the community.

The move could affect up to 80,000 immigrants who are allowed to settle permanently in Britain each year after marrying a UK citizen.

Many come from remote villages in the subcontinent, have little formal education and cannot speak a word of English. Under existing laws, they are automatically given indefinite leave to remain after just two years.

Crucially, that qualifies them to receive state benefits, even if they never become British citizens with UK passports or learn English.

However, Mr Johnson wants to scrap indefinite leave to remain. He intends to force immigrants who use marriage to get into the UK to take a citizenship test. They will not be allowed to take it for at least five years and if they fail, they will be banned from receiving benefits.

Ministers are braced for allegations of racism from some ethnic-minority leaders but they argue that the reforms are vital to curb racial tensions and benefit scrounging.

A well-placed Government source said: 'Some British men with Indian or Pakistani backgrounds marry young women from the Indian subcontinent who are close to illiterate and unable to speak English.

'Once they are here, they have children and can get the same benefits as someone who has lived here for a generation.

'Some never learn a word of English and remain separate from the rest of the community. In effect, they choose to remain foreigners.

'Why should they or their husbands worry? They are getting state benefits, and in some cases that is the only reason they come here, or are brought here. We have to put a stop to it.

'We hope that once we make it clear that getting into Britain does not mean they can milk the benefits system without lifting a finger, it will deter such people from coming.

'We want people who are committed to being British and playing a full part in our society. ...' ...

The Government has already insisted that all immigrants must show they have some knowledge of English before they are allowed into Britain but the new proposals go a lot further.

There are an estimated one million people living in the UK on indefinite leave to remain. Most come from India, Pakistan, Nigeria and the U.S. ...

The planned shake-up is designed to show that after years of soaring immigration, Labour has finally got to grips with the issue.

Downing Street advisers have been shocked by continuing anger over immigration.

One of Gordon Brown's senior aides said: 'Month after month, focus groups show that people think we have done far too little to get on top of immigration. We have to do more or it will cost us dearly in the General Election.'
[Site link]


Citizenship – alienation
British youths most alienated in Europe
Daily Telegraph, 24 January 2009

British youths feel more alienated than those in any other European country, a survey has found. Interviews with more than 40,000 Europeans found that British 16- to 24-year-olds had the lowest levels of trust and belonging. Overall, Britain came 13th out of 22 countries in the New Economics Foundation's survey. Denmark topped the happiness league.
[Newspaper link]


Citizenship – immigration
Passports for '275,000 migrants every year'
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 15 January 2009

Up to 275,000 passports could be handed out to foreigners every year under new rules on "earning" citizenship to be published today.

Migrants looking to settle in Britain will be expected to apply for citizenship rather than staying "in limbo" on some form of leave to remain. Tens of thousands will be "fast tracked" to settlement each year if they carry out voluntary or community work, under the Borders, Immigration and Citizenship Bill.

"Earned citizenship" will even allow some foreign criminals to be given a British passport and full access to benefits within a decade of arriving.

Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, has signalled that she wants every migrant looking to settle to apply for citizenship.

Currently, officials say, only 60 per cent of people given the right to remain permanently apply for citizenship.

More than 164,000 people were granted citizenship in 2007. Had all applied, that could have meant 275,000 new citizens.

At present, anyone who has been in Britain for five years can apply to settle permanently but, under the new rules, they will then enter a probationary period.

Those carrying out voluntary work such as fund-raising or running children's sports clubs could earn citizenship just a year later.

Others may have to wait three years, but even criminals will get a passport after five, providing their offence was no liable to jail or deportation. The Bill will also include a levy on visa fees, intended to contribute towards schools, hospitals and other services migrants will use. First announced last year, it is expected to come into force from April, and to be up to £20.
[Newspaper link]


Citizenship – nationality, naturalisation
Daily Telegraph, 4 December 2008

Immigrants will have to "earn their right to stay" in Britain under planned new laws. Applications for citizenship will be set back if the applicant commits crimes or fails to learn English, as part of what ministers say will be a "firm but fair" immigration system. A Borders, Immigration and Citizenship Bill will alter rules on granting British nationality. The centrepiece will be measures to establish a formal "path to citizenship".

Progress will be slowed if migrants don't make an effort to integrate or if they commit even minor crimes, the Home Office said. The rules could also fast-track applications for some would-be citizens.

At the moment, there is a standard five-year qualifying period for naturalization.
[Newspaper link]



Crime – costs
Britain's £3m for criminals in Jamaica
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 31 December 2009

The British taxpayer is contributing millions to projects to improve life for criminals in Jamaica, including cricket lessons.

The Government has spent almost £3 million supporting schemes to stop Jamaican prisoners reoffending. The money includes £53,000 for a cricket course run by Courtney Walsh, the former West Indies fast bowler. Officials say the money helps ensure that criminals deported from Britain have less incentive to reoffend or return.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – prison overcrowding
Thousands of violent criminals walk free
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 28 December 2009

More than 6,000 dangerous criminals who pose a "high or very high" risk to the public have walked free from court with community service orders or a suspended sentence in the past three years, figures show.

Probation officers said the punishments were being used to deal with an increasing number of offenders found guilty of violent crimes, and that public safety was being compromised as a result.

The Conservatives said the figures were evidence that judges and magistrates were not jailing dangerous criminals because of the prison overcrowding crisis, which had led institutions to bursting point since the early part of the decade.

Figures from the Ministry of Justice showed that just under 4,000 offenders who received a community sentence between 2006 and 2009 were classed as being at a high or very high risk of causing "serious harm" to the community, as were 2,400 who were given suspended sentences.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – hate
Ministers 'fishing for more hate crime charges'
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 24 December 2009

The Government has been accused of pursuing a campaign that could encourage members of the public to report their neighbours for committing hate crimes.

Ministers have drawn up plans to encourage people to lodge complaints about hate crimes in their communities, police have set up special units to investigate allegations and the Crown Prosecution Service has established "scrutiny panels" to look through previous cases. ...

The new moves were unveiled quietly in the autumn, when Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, said he was worried that "hate crime is under-reported".

The think tank Civitas has highlighted its concerns about the initiative.

The director, David Green, said: "The police are being encouraged to investigate ordinary disputes and redefine them as crimes. Unlikely cases are being dragged before the court."
[Newspaper link]


Crime – deportation
Taxpayers give foreign killers and rapists £500 to go home
Daily Telegraph, 23 December 2009

Foreign murderers, rapists and other criminals are being given £500 "cash cards" as part of a bribe to persuade them to go home.

More than 2,000 foreign prisoners have been given the money in the past two years in an attempt to clear crowded jails.

Some are given the money after being freed from their jail terms up to nine months early.

The taxpayer has paid out more than £1 million to the criminals. ...

The cash cards are part of the Facilitated Returns Scheme, which started in October 2006 and encourages overseas offenders to return to their home country once they have passed the point at which they would be released if they were British.

It is aimed at preventing expensive legal battles against deportation. Inmates can be given resettlement packages worth up to £5,000.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – Scotland
Call to keep crime out of public contracts
Lucy Adams
The Herald (Scotland), 5 December 2009

The head of Scotland's leading crime-fighting agency has called for public procurement to be tightened to stop gangsters using it for "pay-as-you-go criminality".

Gordon Meldrum, director general of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA), has organised a number of meetings with senior procurement staff from across the public sector to discuss whether the law needs to be changed to prevent criminals from muscling in on contracts funded by the taxpayer.

Staff at the SCDEA and officials in the Scottish Government are now looking at the best way to ensure procurement policies are improved to ensure no public money goes to organised crime, which is already worth £9.2 billion in Scotland.

Mr Meldrum says serious organised crime groups use semi-legitimate businesses as fronts to launder money and top up the money they make from human trafficking, drugs and counterfeit goods.

"It is pay-as-you-go criminality," he said. "They use this profit from public sector contracts to fund the next round of drugs or other things they consider "commodities" such as human trafficking. ...

Public sector spending on goods and services across Scotland, in areas such as health and education services, amounts to around £8bn per year. ...

Mr Meldrum added: "As yet we don't know whether this will require a change in primary legislation. This is a complex issue which we can not solve in the next twelve months. But we need to identify tangible ways to tighten up the procurement process. ..." ...

The move follows radical new measures by forces to crack down on organised crime, including disclosing information to public bodies if they are considering giving contracts to firms linked to serious organised crime.

The Strathclyde Police strategy on the problem warns there may be a violent backlash as a result of their concentrating on such groups, but that this "growing concern" has to be tackled.
[Site link]


Crime – employment
Eighty illegal migrants have been arrested for working at the London Olympic site
Martin Bentham
Evening Standard (London), 4 December 2009

Eighty illegal migrants have been arrested after a crackdown on unlawful working at the London Olympic site.

Half were caught after using fake passports or other false documents to obtain a job. The others were detained for overstaying their visas or working despite being barred from doing so under immigration or asylum rules.

Some of the people held included asylum seekers, who are banned from employment, as well as migrants who had arrived as tourists.

Many of the offenders have already been removed from Britain. The rest are either in custody, awaiting prosecution or facing deportation.

The arrests by the UK Border Agency over the past seven months will fuel the controversy about employment at the Stratford site. They come in the wake of Gordon Brown's pledge to provide "British jobs for British workers".

Protesters have accused 2012 bosses of using cheap agency workers, often from overseas, in breach of labour agreements. There have been further complaints about the small number of locals gaining work on the £9.3 billion project.

The arrests will also raise questions about the number of illegal workers elsewhere in Britain and whether similarly robust monitoring is carried out by other employers. The UK Border Agency and the Olympic Delivery Authority said the detections were a tribute to the rigorous checks conducted on workers at the 2012 site. ...

The largest number were from India, whose nationals accounted for 32 of the total. There were 12 Nigerians, seven Ukrainians, four Brazilians, four Kosovans, three Moldovans, and two each from Sierra Leone, Albania and Zimbabwe. The remainder were described as "others".

Officials found workers using the genuine passports of others which were either stolen or borrowed. Some were caught with fake UK visas or had substituted pages in their passports. Illegal workers had also switched the photograph in another person's passport.

Announcing the enforcement action, Tony Smith, the UK Border Agency's Olympics director, said: "The UK Border Agency has officers based permanently at the Olympic site to check the identity of people seeking work and to help ensure the Games are delivered on time, with a workforce legally entitled to be there.["] A spokesman for the ODA added: "These figures demonstrate our efforts to ensure people working on site are legally entitled to do so."

... When added to statistics for enforcement action in previous years, which show around 130 arrests, today's figures take the total of illegal migrants detected at the site to more than 200.
[Site link]


Crime – blacks, police, murder, USA
Domestic Terrorist? Cop killer celebrated as "Muslim Martyr"
James Simpson
DC Independent Examiner, 2 December 2009

Maurice Clemmons, the alleged shooter in the Sunday murder of four Lakewood, Washington police officers, was killed early this morning by a Seattle police officer.

The blogsite Fire Andrea Mitchell reported that a radical black Muslim group called the National Black Foot Soldiers held a protest today outside the Parkland, Washington coffee shop where the murders occurred. The protesters allegedly gathered to celebrate Clemmons as a "Crowned BOW (Black on White) Martyr," calling his attack a "preemptive strike on terrorists..." ...

What these groups say is that any killing of whites, including in this case Clemmons' cold-blooded murder of officers Renninger, Owens, Griswald, and Richards, is "a legitimate protest". Black Male Felon celebrates the killings as "Brother Maurice Clemmons' daring stand against white police terrorism." The theme of National Black Foot Soldiers is captured in the slogan: "When whites pay reparations there will be no more black on white crime."

The vitriolic hatred on these sites is enough to turn a person's stomach. The bit of writing contained on these sites is essentially a collage of run-on sentences spewing foul language interspersed liberally with admonitions to kill whitey. They blatantly advocate murder and defend other recent cases of seemingly senseless black on white killings, like the four Oakland police officers killed by Lovelle Mixon, and many, many others.

Many who voted for Barack Obama believed his election would finally put an end to this kind of racist hatred. Indeed, he promised to work toward that end. If anything however, his election seems to have emboldened it. Jeremiah Wright should have been a warning.

It is pointless to argue with the kind of lunatic delusion that motivates these people. They are beyond reaching. It recalls the video of "Professor" Kamau Kambon advocating the extermination of white people.
[Site link]


Crime – border security, European Union
French film about illegal immigrant trying to enter Britain wins top EU award
Ian Sparks
Daily Mail, 26 November 2009

A French film about an illegal migrant who tries to swim across the Channel from Calais to Britain has won a top EU award for its celebration of 'integration' in Europe.

The controversial movie called Welcome dramatises a 'likeable' migrant's illegal attempt to reach our shores.

When released earlier this year the film was criticised by many who said it glamourised the illegal efforts of migrants to get into Britain.

But MEPs in Brussels this week awarded it the EU's prestigious Lux Film Award.

The annual prize is given by the European Parliament for the film which best illustrates 'the European integration process, topical European issues or cultural diversity in the Union'.

The film centres on a Kurdish refugee who has failed to sneak aboard lorries and ferries to the UK - so decides to swim the 18 miles to the Kent coast instead. ...

The film's director Philippe Lioret also whipped up a storm of controversy this year for likening the situation of Calais migrants to that of Jews under the Nazi occupation during World War Two.

As well as the award - shaped like a Tower of Babel - Mr Lioret was handed a cheque for £80,000, part of which he must use to have the film subtitled or dubbed into all 23 languages of the European Union.

A Calais police spokesman said after the film hit French cinemas in March: 'I think we would be disappointed if it made breaching frontier controls look like some kind of noble quest.'

Council chiefs in Calais also said they hoped the film would not present sneaking into Britain as a 'worthwhile task'.

A spokesman said: 'The idea of making a refugee very likeable, then to have the audience rooting for him to successfully swim to Britain goes against everything border patrols in France and the UK are trying to achieve.

'Anyone with a genuine case for asylum should have it heard through the correct channels, and not try to side-step customs and security.'

Mr Lioret said his film was aimed at criticising a French law that makes it a crime to help illegal immigrants.

He said: 'To see that a decent guy can all of a sudden be charged and imprisoned for helping a migrant is crazy. It feels like it's 1943 and we've hidden a Jew in the basement.' ...

The EU's website for the Lux film award says it is aimed at 'showing the process of building Europe in a different light'.

It adds: 'As the European Union works on a new treaty, the artistic and narrative quality of the winning film will give the audience a glimpse of a submerged dimension of the European venture the individual, perhaps the intimate, dimension.'

After receiving his award, director Mr Lioret said it showed that MEPs backed his film's controversial view of illegal immigration.
[Site link]


Crime – cost, deportation
Foreign prisoners offered bribes to go
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 23 November 2009

The taxpayer is having to pay millions of pounds a year to "bribe" foreign murderers, rapists and other prisoners to go home.

One in four of the foreign criminals deported last year only went home after being offered a voluntary return package worth up to £5,000 – representing a 60 per cent increase in such agreements in one year. ...

... Some foreign prisoners can already have up to nine months slashed from their sentence if they are willing to go home.

The Facilitated Returns Scheme started in October 2006 and encourages overseas offenders to return to their home country once they have passed the point in their sentence when they would be released if they were British.

It is aimed at preventing lengthy and expensive legal battles against deportation and can result in inmates being given resettlement packages worth up to £5,000, including up to £500 in cash.

In 2008, about 1,350 foreign criminals took advantage of the programme, with an average value per package of £2,500. That means the taxpayer faced a bill of £3.4 million last year.

Those who received such a deal represent a quarter of the 5,400 foreign criminals that the Home Office boasted it had removed from Britain during the year. In 2007, 850 criminals, or 60 per cent fewer, took up the offer. ...

Under a separate early removal scheme, foreign prisoners can be freed up to 270 days in advance of their release date so long as they are willing to return home.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – human trafficking, USA
Forced labour and rape, the new face of slavery in America
Paul Harris
The Observer, 22 November 2009

Human trafficking has become a major issue in the Midwest heartland of America, causing some campaigners to dub it a modern form of slavery.

Figures from the State Department reveal that 17,500 people are trafficked into the US every year against their will or under false pretences, mainly to be used for sex or forced labour. Experts believe that, when cases of internal trafficking are added, the total number of victims could be up to five times larger. And increasing numbers of trafficked individuals are being transported thousands of miles from America's coasts and into heartland states such as Ohio and Michigan.

"It is not only a crime. It is an abomination," said Professor Mark Ensalaco, a political scientist at the University of Dayton, Ohio, who organised a recent conference on the issue. ... ...

Trafficking represents a new challenge to law enforcement, especially in regions which have traditionally not thought of it as a major problem. That is especially true where it happens within an immigrant community. Languages are a problem as well as cultural issues and a natural fear that many immigrants – some of them possibly illegal – have of contacting the police.

Kelly believes that is the case in Springfield, a town that is almost the Midwestern archetype. It was once featured in a story in Newsweek magazine entitled "The American Dream". But its 65,000 citizens also face all the problems of a modern America in the grip of a deep recession: an immigration crisis and profoundly changing demographics. The town now hosts several prominent minority communities who make up more than a fifth of its population, including Russians, Chinese, Latinos and Somalis. "There are a lot of people who distrust law enforcement. We need to break down those barriers. Our officers need training, especially in languages," said Kelly. "If you can't speak to people, you can't reach them."
[Site link]


Crime – border security
This man married his OWN daughter so she would be allowed to stay in Britain - and the Home Office knows about it
Sam Greenhill and Dennis Rice
Daily Mail, 18 November 2009

A Nigerian Home Office worker 'married' his own daughter to get her a British visa, the Daily Mail can reveal.

The extraordinary scam was apparently executed by Jelili Adesanya while ministers turned a blind eye.

Mr Adesanya, 54, has lived here for more than 30 years and holds a British passport, but wanted his daughter, her husband and their four sons to join him from Nigeria.

He faked a wedding ceremony complete with a photograph of the happy 'couple' which helped fool immigration officials that his daughter, Karimotu Adenike, was really his wife.

Miss Adenike, who is in her mid-30s, was duly granted permission to live in the UK.

The pair are waiting for her to be granted a permanent right to remain before they undergo a quiet divorce and attempt to bring the rest of her family here.

It is expected she would try to remarry her real husband to get them all visas.

But despite being tipped off two years ago, the Home Office seems to have done nothing to stop the scam by one of their own workers.

Until recently, Mr Adesanya was employed as an occupational health nurse for the Home Office, working with immigration officials at Gatwick airport.

A whistleblower sent letters to the High Commission in Lagos and the UK Border Agency including specific details such as names, addresses, passport numbers and even a copy of the wedding photograph.

When there was no response, he sent emails to then Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and ministers Vernon Coaker and Phil Woolas on February 1 this year. He heard nothing. ...

David Burrowes, the Conservative MP for Enfield Southgate and Shadow Justice Minister, was also tipped off by the whistleblower and wrote to the Home Office.

This time there was a reply, but it said that although the matter was 'under investigation', no further information would be provided because it could 'breach of our obligations under the Data Protection Act'.
[Site link]


Crime – child-trafficking
Revealed: hidden misery of children trafficked to Britain
Robert Verkaik
The Independent, 3 November 2009

Hundreds of children trafficked to Britain each year are being failed by social workers, teachers and doctors, it is claimed today in a report which uncovers the hidden misery of the international trade in young labour.

The findings suggest that when trafficked children try to escape from imprisonment in Britain, their cries for help are ignored or negligently handled by UK agencies. The report, by the Children's Society charity, found that those who managed to escape their captors were often returned to domestic imprisonment, where they were forced to work as prostitutes in brothels or as slaves in British homes. ... ...

The United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC) is aware of 325 children from 52 countries who may have been trafficked in 2008. But the Children's Society, which looked closely at 46 cases in the UK, said these figures did not account for young people who feel they have no choice but to keep their ordeals a secret. ...

Even when a child is identified as being at risk of exploitation and taken into care, they still face kidnapping by traffickers. In May this year, it was discovered that 77 children had gone missing from a single children's home near Heathrow since March 2006. It is estimated that 1.2 million children worldwide are trafficked each year, in a trade worth £16bn annually. ...

The study's disturbing findings will add to growing pressure on the Government to introduce a law making domestic servitude and forced labour an offence in the UK for the first time. Last week, ministers backed down and dropped opposition to a new anti-slavery offence punishable by 14 years' imprisonment. Some of the children living on the streets of the world's poorest cities are picked up by criminal gangs before being sold on to traffickers who take them to countries including Britain. Others are sold to traffickers by their parents. The most common countries of origin are China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, India, Afghanistan and Nigeria.
[Site link]


Crime – deportation
16 killers among offenders on the run
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 31 October 2009

Murderers and rapists are among 750 criminals on the run who should be in prison, the Ministry of Justice has admitted.

More than a quarter of the offenders are foreign criminals, dozens of whom should have been deported.

They are all people who should have been recalled to prison but are still missing. ...

Some 212 of them, or 28 per cent, are foreign criminals, of whom 63 were told that they faced deportation but were freed anyway.

Offenders will be recalled to prison for either committing new offences or breaking the conditions of their licence.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – politics
Migration warning 'unpublished'
Daily Telegraph, 28 October 2009

Warnings of links between mass immigration and crime were removed from a Home Office report amid fears they would be used by critics, it has been disclosed.

The passages did not appear in the final study, Migration, A Social and Economic Analysis, published in 2001, because Downing Street was "nervous" that extremists would seize on them.

A Cabinet Office spokesman denied any political pressure was brought to bear on the report.
[Newspaper link]


Britain 'has 1.6 million full-time criminals'
Daily Telegraph, 24 October 2009

Britain has 1.6 million active criminals, new figures show.

Unpublished Home Office research discloses that the number of hardened offenders has risen by 410,000 in the past eight years.

The study also identifies 350,000 high-rate persistent criminals, who commit around 260 crimes a year on average. This represents a 150,000-strong increase since 2001. It is estimated that these most prolific offenders cause £300,000 damage to people's property on average annually.

However, the report, carried out by the Policy Exchange think tank, also indicates that very few of these offenders are in jail. The prison population at the end of June 2009 was 83,450. ...

Commenting on the report, Max Chambers, a research fellow in the Policy Exchange's Crime and Justice Unit, said: "These figures are a terrible indictment of the failure to crack down on the crime that blights so many of our communities. ...

According to these figures only one in every 20 criminals is in prison. ..."
[Newspaper link]


Crime – armed police
Officers to carry machineguns in 'no-go' estates
Matthew Moore
Daily Telegraph, 23 October 2009

Police officers armed with sub-machineguns are to patrol Britain's streets for the first time.

A hand-picked team from CO19, the Metropolitan Police's elite firearms unit, will walk the beat in gun crime hotspots in London where armed gangs have turned estates into "no-go zones".

The officers will carry Heckler & Koch MP5 sub-machine guns, capable of firing 800 rounds a minute, and Glock semi-automatic pistols. ...

The team of 18 constables, led by an inspector and two sergeants, will begin their patrols of Brixton, Haringey and Tottenham on Nov 9. ...

Gun-related crime is rising in London, with 1,736 incidents reported between April and September this year, up 17 per cent on 2008.

The problem of violence between drugs gangs was highlighted earlier this month by a spate of shootings in north London linked to two Turkish gangs.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – racism
Asian Vigilantes
Barnie Choudhury
BBC, 23 October 2009

An investigation for Today has found disturbing evidence that Asian youths in parts of Oldham are trying to create no go areas for white people.

Last year the police investigated record levels of racist attacks in Oldham. Of the 572 cases, 60% turned out to be white victims.

Pakistanis make up the majority on the Glodwick estate just west of the town centre. Some youths speak the language of racial hatred. It's not clear whether this is bravado but their message is blunt... white people keep out.

Many openly admit to carrying out what they see as revenge attacks on white people as part of a tit-for-tat campaign.

One told us: "There are signs all around saying whites enter at your risk. It's a matter of revenge. It's about giving as good as you can take."

Another had a six-inch scar running across his head. He said he had been attacked by a white gang.

"I got slashed by some whites so that I'm totally racist. I don't like whites. It's like this now, we go to a white area and we get done over. It's like them coming here they get done's for your own good."

This hardening in attitude is repeated across the town and has passed down to children as young as 10. Unlike their parents they will not tolerate being victims of racism.

Local white people are scared and many want to leave the estates but cannot.

"I was just walking with my dog around 10 at night and a group of Asian youths in their car, music blaring, threatening me like saying they'd kick me head in calling me white bastard, white scum. You're frightened," one person told me.

Many Asian youths say they take the law into their own hands because they have no confidence in the police.

The perception is that the police do not take racist attacks on Asian people as seriously as assaults on white residents. ...

A special multi-agency task force has been set up in Oldham to tackle the growing number of racist attacks.
[Site link]


Crime – deportation
Dangerous foreign criminals our Government wants to deport but can't... because of their human rights
David Barrett
Sunday Telegraph, 11 October 2009

Dangerous foreign criminals are being allowed to stay in Britain after their release from prison despite attempts by the Home Office to deport them.

An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has uncovered scores of cases in which offenders from overseas, including killers and sex attackers, have been able to remain in the country.

The findings demonstrate how criminals are using the Human Rights Act to avoid being sent back to their homelands – despite a pledge by Gordon Brown to remove any foreigner who breaks the law.

In cases thought to have cost the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of pounds, judges have overturned attempts by the Home Office to deport at least 50 foreign criminals in the past 12 months after lawyers argued that doing so would breach their human rights. ...

The total is likely to represent only the tip of the iceberg because they were all heard at the second tier of appeal. Many more criminals may have won the right to remain here at the lower level. Official figures are not available, according to the Home Office and the courts.

In most of the cases, lawyers argued that deporting the criminals would breach their right to a family life under the Human Rights Act, because they have children or other relatives in this country. In other cases, courts found that they would be in danger if deported. ...

Simon Reed, the vice-chairman of the Police Federation, said: "What do these individuals have to do to be deported?

"Most fair-minded people will be dismayed that the tribunals make such decisions. They should consider the human rights of the general population and not of a few criminals. ..." ...

The issue of foreign criminals came to prominence at Westminster in 2005 when Charles Clarke was sacked as home secretary after it emerged that more than 1,000 overseas offenders had been released from prison without being considered for deportation.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – costs, violence
Violent crime costs each household £1,000 a year
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 18 September 2009

Violent crime is costing every household more than £1,000 a year as the Conservatives warn the true level of offences is now more than two million.

Killings, assaults and other attacks have increased sharply since 1998 and are estimated to be twice the level of official statistics.

It means the total cost to the country, in everything from insurance and loss of earnings to policing and court cases, hit £25.6 billion last year, according to a study by the Tories. ...

Police recorded 903,993 violent offences against the person in 2008-09, up from 502,778 in 1998-99.

However, only around 42 per cent of violent crime is reported, meaning the true figure is expected to be more than 2.2 million, the report finds.

Using the Home Office's own calculations, it is estimated that a violent crime cost around £11,848 last year.

This is made up of anticipation costs, such as spending on security and insurance; the consequences, such as health care, victim support and loss of earnings; and the costs of responding to the crime, such as policing and the criminal justice system.

It means the cost of violent crime in England and Wales last year was £25.6 billion - or £1,121 for each of the 22.8 million households.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – vetting
Vetting will not guard young from foreign offenders
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 16 September 2009

Foreign criminals, including sex offenders and murderers, can slip through the Government's new vetting system to work with children and the vulnerable, ...

Background checks by the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) will not pick up offences committed abroad because of poor information sharing between countries.

The loophole remains, despite a government promise three years ago to close it. ...

Since its promise in 2006, the Government has made just one "initial agreement" to share information on foreign criminals, with Australia. It is in "ongoing discussions" with France and Ireland.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – charities, TV, Islam
OFCOM launch investigation into Muslim TV
Ted Jeory
Sunday Express, 13 September 2009

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has launched a major investigation into British Muslim TV stations that have been helping to raise vast sums of money for overseas mosques and madrassas.

Some of the TV channels under the spotlight are linked to a convicted fraudster. ...

Much of the money is being raised by organisations in Pakistan and Bangladesh that have often just registered as UK charities.

As such, they have little traceable financial history and security sources are concerned how donations could be spent once transferred abroad.

Earlier this year, the head of the Stockport-based Green Crescent charity was arrested in Bangladesh after an arms cache was discovered at an Islamic school his organisation allegedly funded.

The latest appeals are being broadcast in Bengali and Urdu from TV studios in east London.

The charities urge Muslim viewers, many of them poor, to seek salvation by donating during Ramadan.

Channels have been announcing that they are raking in more than £100,000 a night.

Ofcom has been monitoring the broadcasts and is now investigating whether its rules have been broken.

Under its code, broadcasters can only run appeals if they do not charge for airtime.

However, a Sunday Express investigation has discovered that charities are being asked to pay up to £15,000 for an all night slot with viewers unaware that donations are being used to cover those costs.

The channels under Ofcom's glare are all available on the Sky satellite platform and broadcast to the large Muslim Bangladeshi diaspora throughout Europe.

They include Channel S, ATN Bangla, Bangla TV and Iqra TV.

There is no suggestion that any channel or charities broadcasting appeals are involved with terrorist activity.

According to Ofcom, licences for all channels are held by Channel S Global Ltd, a company founded by, and still run from, the east London offices of Mohammed Ferdhaus, a 36-year-old businessman sentenced in August last year to 18 months in jail for an insurance fraud.

He served four months and launched an appeal against his conviction in July.

He said he has severed all links with Channel S, yet latest files at Companies House show him as the company secretary and sole shareholder.

During a Sunday Express investigation, TV bosses boasted to an undercover reporter that they could help charities raise hundreds of thousands of pounds every night during Ramadan, which started at the end of last month and is due to end next week.

A manager at ATN Bangla said that it had raised £181,000 in just one night for the Bangladeshi Islami University in Dhaka, an institution that registered as a UK charity just last year and which has no financial history in Britain.

Feroz Khan, the boss of Bangla TV, which is based in Hackney, east London, told our reporter, who was posing as a charity trustee, that fundraising slots for this year's Ramadan were sold out long ago.

A slot for next year could cost £12,000, he said.
[Site link]


Crime – violence
One person every minute attacked by stranger
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 9 September 2009

Someone is attacked by a stranger every minute in England and Wales – but only one in five offences is solved, according to figures showing a rise in violent crime.

More than 850,000 people were victims of violence by an unknown assailant last year – a rise of 11 per cent in 12 months. Less than half of the crimes are thought to be reported to the police and, of those that are, less than half result in an offender being brought to justice. ...

Analysis of the Home Office's British Crime Survey (BCS) ... found that 852,000 violent offences were committed by unknown assailants in 2008-09.

This equates to almost 100 an hour or more than one a minute.

The BCS, which surveyed more than 40,000 people, also concluded that only 43 per cent of the offences are reported to the police.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – police
Police failing on violent crime
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 1 September 2009

The rate at which police solve violent crimes is lower than ever before after detection levels dropped for the third year in a row.

The clear-up rate dropped to its lowest on record last year at just 47 per cent, according to official figures. ...

Detections are now just two-thirds of what they were when Labour came to power in 1997. ... ...

It is now at its lowest since records began in 1975, when the clear-up rate was 81 per cent, and is well below the 78 per cent rate in 1997.

The figure means that under 425,000 of the 903,000 offences of violence against the person – a category that does not include sex offences or robbery – recorded by police last year went solved.
[Newspaper link]


200 youths attack police
Daily Telegraph, 31 August 2009

Riot police broke up a mob of 200 youths after they threw fireworks at officers.

Police with helmets and shields were sent to Bury Park, Luton, after Asian youths attacked police.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – murder and manslaughter
One out of every five killers is an immigrant
Matthew Hickley and Jason Bennetto
Daily Mail, 31 August 2009

Up to a fifth of killers in England and Wales are foreign, police figures suggest. Out of 371 individuals accused or convicted of murder or manslaughter last year, 79 were from abroad - more than 21 per cent.

Foreign immigrants make up only around a tenth of the UK population, meaning they are statistically twice as likely as native Britons to be charged with or found guilty of an illegal killing.

In London, almost 40 per cent of those in such cases in the past year were from overseas, or of unknown origin.

Opposition critics said the findings reflected the Government's failure to deport foreign criminals, and the ease with which offenders from abroad can slip through border controls.

The most common nationality for foreigners involved in murder and manslaughter cases was Polish, followed by Nepalese, Lithuanian, Somalian and Sri Lankan.

Around half the police forces across England and Wales provided data under the Freedom of Information Act, revealing strong regional differences.

The highest figures were in London where in the year to April 2009, 93 of the 233 people accused or convicted of murder and manslaughter were either non-British or from unknown backgrounds. ...

But some forces - including Cheshire, Humberside, Hampshire, and Merseyside - recorded no cases with foreign killers. The figures may be an underestimate as 11 out 30 forces which responded claimed they did not record nationalities of either killers or murder victims, and others had gaps in the information.

As foreign suspects are typically harder to identify and trace, meaning that crimes are less likely to be solved, the real proportion could be significantly higher.

The figures showed foreigners were also more likely to be victims of murder or manslaughter, accounting for 20 per cent of all those killed in England and Wales in 2007-8, and 13 per cent last year. ...

Earlier this year Detective Chief Inspector Murray Duffin, of the Scotland Yard Extradition and Intelligence Unit, warned: 'Britain is becoming a magnet for increasing numbers of criminals from the former Eastern bloc countries which are now members of the EU.'
[Site link]


Crime – jails
Overcrowding hits two thirds of jails
Daily Telegraph, 25 August 2009

Two-thirds of jails in England and Wales are overcrowded, with some holding hundreds more inmates than they should, figures published yesterday indicate.

A total of 88 out of 140 jails were over their Certified Normal Accommodation level – defined as providing "decent" standards, the Prison Reform Trust said.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – child-trafficking
Gangs import children for benefit fraud
The Sunday Times, 23 August 2009

Foreign criminals are trafficking children as young as three months old into Britain and using them to defraud the benefits system of millions of pounds, a Sunday Times investigation has found.

Children are taken from their families, brought to Britain and used for fraudulent benefit claims involving forged immigration documents and employment records.

In many cases the children are trafficked with the complicity of their parents. They are trained in street crime and placed with unrelated adults to enable fake benefit claims to be paid into accounts controlled by the trafficker.

In a police operation earlier this month in northeast London, four suspected child victims of trafficking from Romania were placed in foster care.

Officers found evidence of suspected benefit crime in excess of £100,000, including one backdated payment to a family for £24,000. In another case using trafficked children, one gang is believed to have forged documents for at least 500 claims worth £4.5m.

It is the first detailed evidence of systematic child trafficking being used to defraud the British benefits system. The money is believed to have paid for the foreign criminals' mansions and luxury cars in their home towns.

Tandarei, a small town in eastern Romania, is one of the bases of the suspected traffickers. About 100 imposing new homes conservatively valued at £20m have been built over the past five years. British police believe they have been partly funded by benefit fraud. ...

Unemployed Romanians arriving in the UK are not typically entitled to benefits, but the gangs forge documents providing false work histories and obtain National Insurance numbers. The children are used to claim additional housing benefit, tax credits and child benefit. They can also be presented to council officials or benefit investigators conducting checks.

The claims supplement revenue from other criminal activities such as cashpoint fraud, pickpocketing and shoplifting.
[Site link]


Crime – child-trafficking
Smuggled babies sold to benefit cheats
Daily Telegraph, 14 August 2009

Gangsters are smuggling children as young as three months old into Britain and selling them to benefit cheats, police have said.

Thousands of other youngsters are forced into prostitution or set to work as petty criminals with Britain one of the top destinations of the 21st century slave trade.

Det Insp Gordon Valentine, of the Metropolitan Police's anti-child trafficking unit, said at least three children a week were identified as victims of the trade in Britain.

"These children are often sold into domestic servitude, used to sell DVDs and for street crime and begging, and increasingly also for benefit fraud," he said. ...

An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked every year across the world.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – fear, racism, USA
Black crimes are foundation of whites' fears
Paul Marx, professor emeritus of English at the University of New Haven
New Haven Register, 11 August 2009

Black intellectuals just don't get it. They refuse to understand why there is widespread racial profiling and why they and people they know often are its victims. Black intellectuals simply refuse to acknowledge that there is a very obvious connection between themselves and the lawless black underclass.

In a recent essay in The New York Times, Brent Staples, a member of the newspaper's editorial board, wrote, "The experience of being mistaken for a criminal is almost a rite of passage for African-American men. Security guards shadow us in stores. Troopers pull us over for the crime of 'driving while black.' Nighttime pedestrians cower by us on the streets."

In expressing his disgust that the Harvard professor-Cambridge cop confrontation has not been seen generally as a flagrant instance of racial profiling, Times columnist Bob Herbert urges black people "to rant and to rave, to demonstrate and to lobby, to march and confront and to sue and generally do whatever is necessary to stop a continuing and deeply racist criminal justice outrage."

The Harvard professor – Henry Louis Gates Jr. – and Staples and Herbert think the unfair treatment of blacks by the police is 100 percent the fault of white people. In the view of Staples, white people need to exorcise their "poisonous misconceptions."

But, for racial profiling to go away, blacks, especially black intellectuals, need to remove their blinders. They need to see what whites see. They need to see and acknowledge the criminal lifestyle that is pervasive in the black underclass.

Young black men of the ghettoes take pride in carrying guns and have little respect for law. When they go outside their communities, the guns and attitudes are not left behind. In much of their music, they are out front, bragging about their lawlessness.

White people's awareness of that criminal lifestyle creates fear, and that fear, unfortunately, becomes wariness of even law-abiding blacks.

Black crime is the most potent determiner today of white attitudes toward blacks. While the great majority of American blacks are not involved in criminal activity, the criminal lifestyle of young black men makes most whites fearful and suspicious. That is a great injustice, because among middle-class blacks, there is relatively little crime. ...

Staples has written about his walks near the University of Chicago. It upset him that when white women walking alone noticed him, they would try to avoid him, speeding up or crossing the street. He was befuddled about why a completely innocent black man should be avoided. Why couldn't the women understand that he was Brent Staples, not some thug? ...

The American media have bent over backward to avoid identifying criminal perpetrators and suspects by race. But by names, addresses, education and criminal records, people easily jump to conclusions, and they usually are correct. They then generalize.

It may not be logical to do this, but for most people, generalizing comes as easily as eating. This is not fair to law-abiding blacks, but most white people would rather have an unfair thought than risk being hurt.
[Site link]


Crime – education
Bogus students 'still in Britain'
Daily Telegraph, 7 August 2009

Thousands of students who entered Britain through suspected bogus colleges could still be in the country, the Government has admitted.

Up to 4,000 students were enrolled in schools, colleges and universities which were refused an official licence this year to sponsor international migrants under a new Home Office regime.

The Commons home affairs select committee said it was concerned about the whereabouts of those who had already entered the country on fraudulent student visas, adding that the number involved "could be in the tens of thousands".
[Newspaper link]


Crime – terrorism
Driving test fraud funding terrorism
Melissa Kite
Sunday Telegraph, 2 August 2009

The Government has launched an extensive undercover operation to crack down on driving test fraud after it emerged that some of the profits from the scam are being used to fund terrorism. ...

The licences obtained by deception allow unskilled drivers onto the roads, and create false identities that unlock the door to thousands of pounds of benefits. ...

A spokesman for the Fraud & Integrity unit at the Driving Standards Agency confirmed: "It is very far-reaching criminality. We have found links to terrorist activity." ...

However, the scam, which involves an applicant using easily forged ID to book a test, then paying a lookalike up to £1,500 to pass for them, can also raise vast sums, which in some cases have been used to fund terrorist activities.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – Asians, dog-fighting
Inside the world of dog-fighting
Amardeep Bassey
BBC, 30 July 2009

What police found in Alum Rock a mainly Pakistani inner-city suburb, was an unexpected and disturbing crime scene. ...

Twenty-six men were eventually convicted two years ago for taking part in the largest illegal dog-fight uncovered in the UK.

The RSPCA had long regarded dog-fighting as the preserve of white working class men attending fights in the countryside.

What the fight in Alum Rock revealed was the first glimpse of organised dog fighting in the Asian community taking place in urban surroundings and tens of thousands of pounds gambled on the result.

Since then subsequent raids have revealed that dog-fighting has become a problem in some sections of the Asian community.

Ian Briggs, chief inspector of the RSPCA's Special Operations Unit said dog-fighting is up 400% in the past three years in the UK.

"Out of all the work we do 98% is Asian".

Mr Briggs said the organisation believes there is a dog fight nearly every week nationally from a small fight in the park to the bigger organised events such as that uncovered at Alum Rock.

"Information about one fight we uncover leads to another but certainly we are scratching the surface." ...

Young men openly parade their illegal pit bull terriers saying how police cannot tell the difference - while the police with stretched resources can only play a limited role in tackling the problem. ...

Dog fighting is part of life in rural Punjab and Kashmir and there are fears that its acceptability could be increasing among a new generation of young Asians in the UK aware of fathers, uncles and cousins attending dog fights in Pakistan. ...

The RSPCA says it is keen on tackling this problem in the British Pakistani community but is finding it hard to penetrate the gangs. ...

Find out more from The Report on BBC Radio 4, Thursday 30 July at 2000 BST.
[Site link]


Crime – USA
Marijuana gangs take over California's parks
Tom Leonard
Daily Telegraph, 30 July 2009

Mexican drug traffickers are growing millions of marijuana plants in California's vast national parks, exploiting cut-backs in the state's police forces.

The authorities have already seized more than a million cannabis plants this year – valued at up to $4 billion (£2.4 billion) – and the growing season is not even half over. Officials concede that for every plant they find, dozens go undetected. ...

There have been several gun battles already this year, in one case involving local people who fired on marijuana growers fleeing police through back gardens.

"The whole state is overrun, it's an epidemic," said Michelle Gregory, a special agent with the California Bureau of narcotic Enforcement. "Everywhere we go, it seems we find more plants growing. ..." ...

Officials complain that the drug gangs are causing environmental damage, cutting down trees, damming creeks and spraying pesticides.
[Newspaper link]


Illegal immigrant guarded the Queen
Daily Telegraph, 25 July 2009

A soldier who guards the Queen at Buckingham Palace has been arrested after he was found to be an illegal immigrant. The soldier, named only as Guardsman Kapinga, is believed to have used fake documents to join the Army. His scam was uncovered after a car crash when police found he had numerous aliases.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – France
France 'covered up' Bastille Day riots
Henry Samuel
Daily Telegraph, 22 July 2009

The French government has been accused of covering up the extent of violence during last week's Bastille Day festivities.

The interior ministry said that about 500 cars were burned by gangs of youths around the country on the night of July 13. However, it has refused to issue figures for July 14, saying only that it was "relatively calm".

Journalists who tried to find out more were told by police that strict instructions had been issued from the ministry in Paris "not to communicate on the incidents of July 14".

In the past, the number of cars burned on Bastille Day itself has tended to equal or exceed those destroyed the night before. ...

The interior ministry has been caught before trying to downplay the extent of car-burning. On Jan 1, 2008, it said 372 cars had been destroyed around the country, when in fact the number was nearly 900.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – fraud, education
Thousands flooded into Britain using fake colleges
Duncan Gardham
Daily Telegraph, 21 July 2009

Tens of thousands of illegal immigrants might have entered Britain on visas obtained through bogus colleges and the Government is doing nothing to track them down, claims a report by MPs.

The home affairs select committee said there could be up to 2,200 colleges that were not legitimate but were accredited by the Government under a system operating until March this year.

The 2,200 represents the difference between those on the previous Register of Education Providers and those on the new, more stringent, Register of Sponsors.

But the committee said it was concerned over the whereabouts of those who have already entered the country on fraudulent student visas. It said numbers "could be in the tens of thousands".

"Firm enforcement action must be taken against any individual whose student visa has expired to ensure that they leave the country, as well as against those who have set up bogus colleges to perpetrate visa fraud," it said.

"We have received no evidence that the Home Office has made adequate preparations to deal with this issue." The report added: "We are extremely disappointed that the Government has ignored repeated warnings from the education sector about the problem of bogus colleges."

Keith Vaz, the chairman of the committee, said the government must stop the use of the word "college" by "any premises above a fish and chip shop" that wants to claim it is a reputable educational establishment.

"The Government has been aware of their existence for 10 years and done nothing to stop them. This is totally unacceptable and, frankly, quite unbelievable."
[Newspaper link]


30,000 criminals in gangs cost the economy up to £40bn a year
Daily Telegraph, 14 July 2009

At least 30,000 criminals, including teenagers, are in organised gangs, a government report has disclosed.

Officials have produced the first map of England and Wales showing gangsters' activities, including drugs, guns, fraud and people smuggling networks.

It is estimated that around 4,000 gangs are costing the economy up to £40 billion a year. The joint Home Office and Cabinet Office report found that people traffickers think Britain is a soft touch.
[Newspaper link]


Robberies by young people rise by 75pc
Tom Whitehead, Heidi Blake and Jeni Oppenheimer
Daily Telegraph, 11 July 2009

A teenage crime wave is sweeping Britain with the number of young muggers increasing by more than three quarters in the past decade. ...

Knife crime, and fraud and forgery offences are also rising, the Home Office annual crime statistics will show.

A total of 4,115 10 to 17 year-olds were convicted of robbery in 2007, the most recent data available. This was a 76 per cent rise on the 2,342 found guilty in 1997, when Labour took power.

Those convicted of sex offences also increased, by 16 per cent, from 469 in 1997 to a total of 543 a decade later.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – deportation
British taxpayers foot bill for jail to house deported Nigerians
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 9 July 2009

Taxpayers will have to pay for a prison in Nigeria because human rights are stopping its criminals being sent home from Britain.

The Government is offering to pay because current custody conditions in the west African nation are so poor it gives criminals here scope to oppose their removal on human rights grounds.

The plan forms part of negotiations to set up a prison transfer agreement and would mean around 400 Nigerian criminals could be sent home to finish their sentences. ...

Lin Homer, the Chief Executive of the UK Border Agency, told MPs the deal was also needed because Nigeria's prisons are full. She said the move would save taxpayers' money.

It costs an average of around £27,000 a year to house a prisoner in Britain.

A spokesman for the Government later said around £1 million would be spent on "sprucing up" current facilities in Nigeria rather than building a new prison.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – deportation
Foreigners make up a fifth of criminals at large from jail
Daily Telegraph, 8 July 2009

A fifth of the criminals at large from prison are foreign, including one rapist, ...

A third of these disappeared after being told they were to be deported, the Home Office said. The figures were released after ministers admitted that almost 1,000 prisoners, who should have been recalled, are missing, some for up to 25 years. Of those, 192 were foreign, including a rapist, two sex offenders and two attackers.

Some 64 of them had been told they were to be deported but were released anyway. ...

The Home Office said it released only 15 of them. The courts approved the rest.
[Newspaper link]


Prisoner on the run? We couldn't possibly tell you
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 4 July 2009

Prisoners on the run should not be identified because it would breach their rights to privacy, said the Ministry of Justice.

Civil servants refused to name inmates who had fled from prison even though individual police forces would often identify them if they posed a risk to the public. They said releasing names would breach obligations under the Data Protection Act.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – statistics
Public 'right on crime figures'
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 3 July 2009

The public is "entitled" to doubt official crime statistics, Alan Johnson, the new Home Secretary, said yesterday.

In his first speech in the role, he accepted that people's perception of crime and anti-social behaviour was "very different" to national figures. ...

"People are entitled to doubt the statistics," Mr Johnson said yesterday. "They are entitled to say 'my perception is very different to those statistics'."

... He also said Labour had been "complacent" and dragged its feet over tackling anti-social behaviour, admitting that the worst anti-social offenders were waiting as long as two years to be served with Asbos.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – police, community spirit
Community spirit 'is dying slowly'
Louise Gray
Daily Telegraph, 24 June 2009

Community spirit is dying, with about a third of people saying neighbours do not respect each other, according to the first government survey of what people think of the areas in which they live.

The Place Survey is a new attempt to measure people's perception of their neighbourhood amid concerns that Britain is a "broken society".

It also found that two-thirds of the population thought that parents in their area did not take responsibility for the behaviour of their children.


The Government insisted that the vast majority of people were happy with where they lived.

The poll of 500,000 people was commissioned by the Department of Communities and Local Government.

It found 31 per cent felt their neighbours did not treat one another with respect. The situation was worse in London, where 38 per cent felt there was a problem with "disrespect". A quarter of people in the South West felt it was a problem.

Drinking and drug taking were also widespread, with 29 per cent of people complaining of drunk or rowdy behaviour in their area and 31 per cent highlighting drug dealing as a problem. Just a quarter of people thought that the police were tackling anti-social behaviour in their area or taking into account public views on community safety concerns.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – France, sex crimes
Sex Crimes On the Rise
Galliawatch, 22 June 2009

A recent article in Le Figaro reveals that sexual violence is on the rise in France. Rapes constitute three-quarters of the crimes committed by young persons under the age of 18. In No. 40 of his weekly journal, available through subscription, Yves Daoudal analyzes the problem from a different perspective than that of the Le Figaro:

The evidence is frightening. Today rapes represent three-quarters of the crimes committed by those under 18. And more than half of those under 13 who get into trouble with the law are indicted for acts of a sexual nature (yes: under the age of 13). One thousand adolescents are implicated every year in matters relating to sexual assaults or rapes: the figures have increased 50% in ten years.

We're told that for the first time this year, the Chancery has become aware of the full measure of this phenomenon. And that the Youth Protection Service is seeking answers.

He then quotes from the Figaro article the explanations of the so-called experts, who attempt to explain the behavior of these young persons through the usual psycho-babble. But who never get close to the crux of the problem. ...

It is noteworthy that the ministry of justice, Le Figaro and its "specialists", all follow assiduously a politically correct line, and consequently do not allow themselves to see what this is really about. Since no diagnosis can be made, no remedy can be found. An observer from Mars might be led to think that these articles and the "experts" from the ministry have no idea what is happening in our society, particularly in the "neighborhoods." Moreover, we are told from the start that "this reality spares no milieu". As if the gang rapes were not a specialty of the ethnic neighborhoods and marked by racism: for this is really about humiliating a "white woman". But as everyone knows racism is a one-way street. So mum's the word.

The media accounts of crimes, and prison statistics as well, leave no doubt as to the ethnic origin of a great many criminals, especially sex offenders. But you can't say it, because the dogma states that immigration is France's good fortune. But the fact remains that the reality is there, in front of you. In the big city prisons, the majority of inmates are Muslim.
[Site link]


Crime – gang rape, race, multiculturalism
Gang rape: Is it a race issue?
Sorious Samura
The Independent, 21 June 2009
[The author presented 'Dispatches: Rape in the City' on Channel 4 television on 22.6.09]

In 1999 I witnessed a gang rape in Sierra Leone. I was forced to watch a group of rebel soldiers taking it in turns to rape a young girl in front of an audience of jeering men. It was the height of the civil conflict and rape had become a devastating weapon of war. When I moved to Britain I believed I had escaped such horrific sexual violence. As my Dispatches investigation tomorrow night shows, I was mistaken. Gang rape is happening here – and what I have found most disturbing as an African is that a disproportionate number of these attacks are being carried out by black or mixed-race young men.

Towards the end of last year, police and child welfare experts working on Channel 4's Street Weapons Commission told us of their concerns about gang rape. ... ...

How prevalent is this crime and why it is happening in Britain? Despite the seriousness of the crime, I was amazed to discover that no national statistics exist: gang rape is simply not recorded as a separate crime category. So over a period of several months we set about collating our own.

We approached the Crown Prosecution Service, the Association of Chief Police Officers, all 50 police forces, crown courts, barristers and rape referral centres to try to establish the numbers.

One of the few police forces to have begun recording the figures of reported gang rape is the Metropolitan Police. In 2008 alone, they received reports of 85 gang rapes. Using the Met's definition of gang rape – those involving three or more perpetrators – we began to look at the number of convictions. We tracked down 29 cases, from January 2006 to March 2009, in which a total of 92 young people were convicted of involvement in gang rape.

One fact stood out. Of those convicted, 66 were black or mixed race, 13 were white and the remainder were from other countries including Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

Clearly this is not a crime exclusive to black communities, but I found it impossible to ignore the fact that such a high proportion were committed by black and mixed-race young men. As a black man as well as a journalist, I wanted to understand what lay behind such attacks. So I spoke to victims, groups of black and mixed-race teenagers, youth and social workers and community leaders.

The groups of young men I met in London expressed some profoundly disturbing attitudes towards girls and sex. ... ...

I found there was concern among black communities about this violence. The Rev Joyce Daley, from the Black Parents Forum in Hackney, told me that gang rape is not a rare or one-off phenomenon. It is happening on a regular basis. She said: "It could actually explode on our very streets." Steve Griffith, a youth worker in King's Cross, said: "I see too much abuse of young women on the streets."

Gang rape, while constituting only a tiny percentage of all rapes in the UK, is a horrible reality in this country.
[Site link]


Crime – South Africa
Quarter of men in South Africa admit rape, survey finds
David Smith
The Guardian, 17 June 2009

One in four men in South Africa have admitted to rape and many confess to attacking more than one victim, according to a study that exposes the country's endemic culture of sexual violence.

Three out of four rapists first attacked while still in their teens, the study found. One in 20 men said they had raped a woman or girl in the last year.

South Africa is notorious for having one of the highest levels of rape in the world. Only a fraction are reported, and only a fraction of those lead to a conviction.

The study into rape and HIV, by the country's Medical Research Council (MRC), asked men to tap their answers into a Palm Pilot device to guarantee anonymity. The method appears to have produced some unusually frank responses.

Professor Rachel Jewkes of the MRC, who carried out the research, said: "We have a very, very high prevalence of rape in South Africa. I think it is down to ideas about masculinity based on gender hierarchy and the sexual entitlement of men. It's rooted in an African ideal of manhood."

Jewkes and her colleagues interviewed a representative sample of 1,738 men in South Africa's Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces.

Of those surveyed, 28% said they had raped a woman or girl, and 3% said they had raped a man or boy. Almost half who said they had carried out a rape admitted they had done so more than once, with 73% saying they had carried out their first assault before the age of 20.

The study, which had British funding, also found that men who are physically violent towards women are twice as likely to be HIV-positive.

... ...

A report published by the trade union Solidarity earlier this month said that one child is raped in South Africa every three minutes, with 88% of rapes going unreported. It found that levels of child abuse in South Africa are increasing rapidly.
[Site link]


Crime – policing
Stop-and-search cuts knife crime
Daily Telegraph, 19 May 2009

Serious knife crime and teenage killings in London dropped significantly after police almost doubled the number of stop and search operations.

The Metropolitan Police said that violence with knives was down by a third and the number of teenage murders had almost halved compared with last year.

Officers have searched 24,000 young people every month and arrested 10,266 people, 90 per cent of whom were charged.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – racism, USA
Face facts on frisks
Heather Mac Donald
New York Post, 19 May 2009

The New York Civil Liberties Union last week lodged another "racial-profiling" complaint about the NYPD, pointing to statistics for the first three months of 2009: 52 percent of all people stopped for questioning by the police were black, whereas 9 percent were white.

It would be illuminating if the NYCLU suggested what the proper percentage of stops should be for the various racial and ethnic groups. Doing so might force it to acknowledge the following facts about crime in New York: Blacks commit about 68 percent of all violent crime in the city, according to police records, though they are just 24 percent of the city's population.

That crime number comes from victims and witnesses when they report attacks to the police. According to data from victims and witnesses, blacks commit about 82 percent of all shootings and 72 percent of all robberies. Whites commit about 5 percent of all violent crimes, though they make up 35 percent of the city's population, and commit 1 percent of shootings and about 4 percent of robberies.

Now, given these crime rates, whom exactly does the NYCLU think the NYPD should be stopping? Police enforcement activity can reflect criminal behavior or population ratios – not both.

If stop-and-frisks mirrored the city's racial, rather than crime, demographics, as the NYCLU seems to think they should, the police would be ignoring where crime is actually occurring and who its victims and perpetrators are. Recall that victims and witnesses report in 1 percent of all shootings in the city that the perpetrator was white. ...

The same proportion of stops of blacks and whites – 12 percent – results in a summons or an arrest, suggesting that the police use the same behavioral factors in deciding whom to stop. ...

Just because a stop doesn't yield evidence of a crime, however, doesn't mean that it was unjustified. A high percentage of stops are made because the suspect appeared to be casing a victim or property or acting as a lookout. The officer's surmise may well have been correct, and the stop effective in breaking up criminal activity, without the stop producing grounds for arrest. Even if the subject is innocent, his actions and their context could have properly raised the officer's suspicions. ...

Here's a suggestion for the NYCLU: If you want to lower the rate of police activity in black neighborhoods, put some effort into lowering the crime rate. Attacking the police for fighting crime is a dangerous distraction.
[Site link]


Crime – education
Foreign students 'use fake results'
Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 12 May 2009

Foreign students are being admitted to British universities with bogus qualifications, the higher education watchdog has been told.

Lecturers said they uncovered evidence of students getting places on the basis of "forged or false" certificates.

Some claimed their suspicions were only aroused when undergraduates and postgraduates from overseas struggled to cope with course demands.

When challenged by university officials, many students implicated "agents" peddling bogus qualifications in their home countries.

The disclosure is made in a report by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, which vets standards at British universities.
[Newspaper link]


Crime is costing us £3,000 a year each
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 12 May 2009

Crime costs every household £3,000 a year, with worse to come during the recession, a study has found.

A decade of unprecedented spending on law enforcement has failed to stop Britain having one of the highest crime rates in Europe, according to Policy Exchange, a centre-Right think tank.

It is estimated that, since 2005, an additional 100,000 children a year have been punished for new crimes, with robberies, drug offences and criminal damage among youngsters all rising sharply. ...

The report, Less Crime, Lower Cost, estimates that crime costs Britain more than £78 billion a year, ... ...

In the past decade, the number of children appearing in court for robbery alone has increased by 76 per cent.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – policing
Officers stripped of stop and search terror powers over fears of angering Muslims
Daily Mail, 8 May 2009

Scotland Yard is scaling down its use of controversial powers which allow officers to stop and search people without reasonable grounds for suspicion.

Stung by criticism that the practice has alienated ethnic minorities, the Metropolitan Police is changing its policy on when Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 can be employed.

In future its use will be restricted to policing 'iconic' or strategically important sites, such as Buckingham Palace and Parliament, and to specific operations.

In other cases officers will be told to use Section 43 of the Act, which requires them to have reasonable suspicion that the person they are stopping is a terrorist.

The Met increased its use of the Section 44 powers following the car bomb attacks on a nightclub in Haymarket, Central London, and Glasgow Airport in June 2007.

Since October of that year the force has carried out 154,293 stop and searches.

But Government figures released last week showed that black and Asian people were targeted disproportionately.

Assistant Commissioner John Yates, who took over as the force's anti-terror chief last month, highlighted the concerns in a recent report to the Met Police Authority.

He wrote: 'The power is seen as controversial and has the potential to have a negative impact, particularly on minority communities.'
[Site link]


Crime – police
Blacks bear brunt of rise in stop and search
Richard Ford and Sean O'Neill
The Times, 1 May 2009

Black people are almost eight times as likely as whites to be stopped and searched a decade after the Stephen Lawrence inquiry branded the police "institutionally racist".

Use of ordinary stop and search tactics in England and Wales rose sharply to more than one million in 2007-08, the highest figure since 1998.

The rise has had a disproportionate impact on ethnic minorities. When Stephen Lawrence was murdered in 1993 black people were six times as likely to be stopped and searched as whites. By 2006/7, that had risen to seven times.

Figures published by the Ministry of Justice yesterday for stops and searches in 2007/08 under Section 44 counter-terror laws were even starker. The number of people stopped and searched tripled in a year to 117,000 but fewer than 1 per cent were arrested for alleged terrorism-related offences.

There was a 322 per cent rise in black people stopped and searched, 277 per cent in Asians and 185 per cent in white people under anti-terror laws.

Civil liberty campaigners and politicians accused police of heavy-handedness and said that vastly increased use of their powers threatened to alienate large sections of the community.

Cindy Butts, who is leading the Metropolitan Police Authority's race and faith inquiry, said that she was concerned about the "huge disproportionality" revealed by the figures. ...

The official figures on race and the criminal justice system revealed increases in police stops and searches in relation to both ordinary and terrorist crimes. Black people were nearly eight times as likely to be stopped and searched per head of population as whites. Asians were twice as likely to be searched.

Nearly 90 per cent of the searches under counter-terror powers were carried out in London by the Metropolitan Police. Vernon Coaker, the Police Minister, said that the increase in anti-terror stops and searches was in part linked to the failed bombings in Haymarket. London, in 2007.
[Site link]


Crime – border security, abuse of visas
Former Apprentice star Saira Khan: 'Why I shopped my cousin to MI5'
Saira Khan
Daily Mail, 25 April 2009

A joyous reunion after two years, which was how long it had been since my husband Steve Hyde and I had seen my cousin Kamran Mumumtaz on a visit to his village in the Pakistan region of Azad Kashmir.

Kamran's arrival for a six-month holiday in Britain ... ...

It has not only caused a huge family rift, but has also opened my eyes to some of the darker practices among some people in my community.

I am referring, in particular, to the widespread belief that it is entirely acceptable to use travel and study visas to circumvent normal immigration rules.

Fifteen days after he had landed, Kamran packed his bags ... and disappeared. ...

Like many before him – it is impossible to say how many because no official records are kept of those who abscond – he has been absorbed and is being protected by a community that is as colossal as it is impenetrable.

The Government has estimated that there are up to 570,000 illegal immigrants in Britain, but with so many visas being applied for with malicious intent, that figure could run to millions. Not that there is any attempt by the Government to chase it down.

Although there are no official figures for the number of overstayers from Pakistan, or from anywhere else for that matter, there is enough anecdotal evidence to show that it is a growing problem. In 2007, at Portsmouth University alone, 379 students from Pakistan were unaccounted for when their visas expired. ...

Immigration Minister Phil Woolas has admitted that the student visa system is 'the major loophole in Britain's border controls', but I think the entire visa system is one big loophole.

And that is largely because I've discovered, to my disgust, that there is no system in place to monitor those who fail to go home when their visas expire.

In any case, those who do get caught simply apply for asylum. And the bureaucratic process to deport them is then so drawn out, they invariably end up staying.

I grew up in Nottingham in a very tight-knit Asian community and regard myself as a moderate Muslim.

Although I have since integrated into British society, I've maintained my contact with this community through family and friends. I am appalled to learn the extent to which they think it's OK to bend or break immigration laws. ...

Our initial application in March last year was declined because the authorities, rightly as it turned out, suspected that Kamran would not go back. ...

His uncle from Hounslow, who is a taxi driver, came to visit one night. By then I had learned that the uncle had gained his visa to get into this country by marrying a British girl of Pakistani origin. That's another route many Pakistanis use to get here. ...

I am writing this article because I have no confidence that the authorities will do anything. ...

Most Pakistanis talk about blood and clan loyalty. They have no respect for British laws – unless it suits them. ...

The systematic breaking of our immigration laws is a dirty little secret for many of Britain's minority communities.
[Site link]


Crime – USA
America's Most Dangerous Cities
Zack O'Malley Greenburg
Forbes, 24 April 2009

In March 2008, Kwame Kilpatrick was charged with eight felonies, including perjury and obstruction of justice. In August, he violated his bail agreement and was thrown in jail. His actions were deplorable for anybody, but Kilpatrick was no Average Joe – he was the mayor of Detroit.

Unfortunately for the Motor City, Kilpatrick, 38, is just one ripple in the area's sea of crime. Detroit is the worst offender on our list of America's most dangerous cities, thanks to a staggering rate of 1,220 violent crimes committed per 100,000 people. ...

To determine our list, we used violent crime statistics from the FBI's latest uniform crime report, issued in 2008. The violent crime category is composed of four offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault. We evaluated U.S. metropolitan statistical areas – geographic entities defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget for use by federal agencies in collecting, tabulating and publishing federal statistics – with more than 500,000 residents.

Though nationwide crime was down 3.5% year over year in the first six months of 2008, the cities atop our list illustrate a disturbing trend: All 10 of the most dangerous cities were among those identified by the Department of Justice as transit points for Mexican drug cartels.
[Site link]


Crime – multiculturalism, USA
Why has child molestation committed by illegal aliens become an epidemic?
Dave Gibson, 21 April 2009

Contrary to what President Bush often claimed, family values do stop at the Rio Grande for many illegal aliens. In addition to suppressing wages, bankrupting our hospitals, and over-crowding our jails and public schools, illegal aliens are preying upon our children. ...

In fact, a study conducted by the Violent Crimes Institute reports that between 1999 and 2006, there were nearly 1,000,000 sex crimes committed in the United States by illegal aliens.

Using U.S. Department of Justice, Immigration, as well as state and local law enforcement data, Deborah Schurman-Kauflin of the Violent Crimes Institute determined that there are no less than 240,000 illegal alien sex offenders currently inside the U.S. ...

So why does the crime of child molestation seem to be so prevalent among illegal aliens from Mexico? – The answer may lie within the age-old Mexican culture of "machismo," as well as within the actual laws of that country.

The crime of rape or child molestation is incredibly under-reported in Mexico, because there is so much shame placed upon the victim as well as the difficulty in proving the case. A 2002 Pulitzer Prize winning Washington Post article, reporter Mary Jordan detailed the case of a 16 year old Mexican girl who had reported being raped by three policemen in 1997. When Yessica Yadira Diaz Cazares and her mother went to the police station to report the rape, she was laughed at by the officers and actually jailed overnight. ...

After Yessica's death, the national human rights commission pursued the case, resulting in the conviction of two of the accused officers.

The crime of kidnapping a woman for the purpose of rape and marriage against their will, or "rapto" as it is known in Mexico is actually a minor crime and rarely ever prosecuted. A Mexican legislator actually called the practice "romantic." Of course, this crime if committed in the United States would elicit felony charges and a penalty of 20 years to life in prison.

While rape is a serious crime in the United States, many Mexican nationals cannot understand why they are prosecuted on this side of the border. Often, a small payment of $10 to $20 to the victim's family will settle the matter back in Mexico.

The most troubling and telling reason behind the growing epidemic of child molestation at the hands of Mexican illegal aliens, is the fact the age of sexual consent throughout the majority of Mexico is 12 years of age!

The only other nation in the world which boasts such a disregard for childhood innocence is Zimbabwe, where the age of consent is also 12. ...

In order to bring charges of rape in most Mexican states, the law requires that the girl prove that she is a virgin, and that the charge of statutory rape be dropped if the rapist wishes to marry his victim.

Of course, when discussing the issue of illegal immigration, this dirty little secret is never talked about by our politicians, nor is the impact that such an attitude towards the abuse of children could have on this nation by offering amnesty to millions of Mexican nationals.
[Site link]


Crime – Norway
Immigrants behind most cases of aggravated sexual assault
Rolleiv Solholm
The Norway Post, 17 April 2009

The Oslo Police have over the past three years investigated 41 cases of aggravated sexual assault, which resulted in rape. All of them were carried out by non-western immigrants to Norway.

The police now urge that more efforts be put into preventive measures among men with immigrant background.

The police have investigated all reported cases of aggravated sexual assault over the past three years, and have gained a clear impression of the offenders:

Most of the rapists have a Kurdish or African background, NRK reports. The cases of aggravated sexual assaults all have one thing in common, namely the use of gross violence.
[Site link]


Crime – Norway
30,000 asylum seekers arrive without passports
Rolleiv Solholm
The Norway Post, 17 April 2009

33,000 asylum seekers have arrived in Norway without a passport or ID documents since 2005, and most of them are still in Norway, according to Aftenposten. The Aliens Office (UDI) will now refuse them work permit.

According to the police, there are several reasons why a large number of asylum seekers dispose of their ID documents.

One is that many fear that it may be revealed that they have earlier applied for asylum in other countries.

Earlier this year, the Department of Labour instructed the UDI to refuse work permit to asylum seekers without ID documents.
[Site link]


Crime – USA, illegal immigrants
Mexicans total 32% of immigrants
Jennifer Harper
Washington Times, 17 April 2009

A record 12.7 million Mexican immigrants lived in the U.S. in 2008, a 17-fold increase since 1970, according to a study released Thursday by the Pew Hispanic Center.

"About 11 percent of everyone born in Mexico is currently living in the U.S.," the study said.

Mexicans now account for 32 percent of all immigrants living in this country - which continues to be a haven for the world's tired, huddled masses.

"No other country in the world has as many total immigrants from all countries as the United States has immigrants from Mexico alone. Other than the United States, the country that hosts the largest number of immigrants is Russia, with 12 million foreign born," the study said.

The majority of Mexican citizens in the U.S. - 55 percent - are here illegally. And Mexicans comprise a majority (59 percent) of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants now within our borders. ...

And while they can be found in all 50 states, California, Texas, New York and Florida are still the top destinations. Less likely spots such as New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Idaho and Missouri now hold from 25,000 to 45,000 illegal immigrants each.
[Site link]


Crime – USA
Illegal immigrants cashing in on federal tax credits, study shows.
Kevin Mooney
Washington Examiner, 16 April 2009

Large numbers of illegal immigrants file tax returns using phony Social Security numbers to cash in on the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, thanks to lax government management, according to the author of a new study.

"Technically, only people authorized to work in the U.S. are eligible for the credit, you need a valid Social security number," said Ed Rubenstein, a financial analyst and economist, speaking at a news conference Tuesday at the National Press Club.

"But identity theft, stolen Social Security numbers, and other scams effectively nullify the restriction. As a result, illegal aliens actually receive the EITC at even greater rates than legal immigrants," Rubenstein said.

The IRS makes little or no effort to verify the authenticity of Social Security numbers, or existence of dependant children, Rubenstein said.

This makes it possible for illegal immigrants to claim children still living in Mexico as dependents and for parents living illegally in the U.S. to file separate returns claiming the same children as dependents under the EITC, Rubenstein said.

The EITC was created to boost work incentives for poor families with children. Childless households received a maximum $438 payment in 2008, while the maximum available to families with two or more children was $4,824.

"From a distance, the EITC looks like a winner," he said. "The devil is in the details. For starters, the program is dominated by fraud."

Illegal immigrant households are more than three times as likely to receive EITC than native-born American households,

Rubenstein said. Higher fertility rates evident among the immigrant population accounts for this disparity, he said.

"Even a tiny increase in the fertility rates, if maintained over the decades, will have enormous consequences," Rubenstein said. "The role of EITC in the nation's demographic destiny cannot be denied."

Rubenstein also cited figures from the General Accounting Office (GAO) showing that as many as a third of all EITC claims are "improperly paid."
[Site link]


Crime – illegal immigrants
Boris Johnson's backing boosts illegal immigrant amnesty campaign
Hélène Mulholland
The Guardian, 15 April 2009

A London rally demanding an amnesty for illegal immigrants living in the UK will be staged during May bank holiday after receiving backing from Boris Johnson.

Strangers into Citizens, a three-year national campaign by an umbrella group of civic bodies, has seized on the Tory London mayor's support for an "earned amnesty" for illegal immigrants who have been living in the city for several years.

A spokeswoman for the campaign said Johnson was not expected to attend the event, which will take place in Trafalgar Square, but added that his support for the cause had helped raise its public profile.

The broad-based campaign is being staged by the country's largest alliance of civic institutions, the Citizen Organising Foundation, which includes London Citizens and Birmingham Citizens.

The spokeswoman said the decision to stage a rally had been triggered by concern that the recent rows over "British jobs for British workers" and the recession had left migrants particularly vulnerable.

"People who are already vulnerable to exploitation might more vulnerable," she added.

Johnson first voiced his support for the idea of an earned amnesty during the mayoral election last April, despite opposition from both the Labour government and the Conservative party.

The mayor commissioned a study, conducted by the London School of Economics earlier this year.

Its interim findings suggested that the number of "irregular residents" and their children in Britain at the end of 2007 was in the range of 525,000 to 950,000, with a central estimate of 725,000.

This compared with a Home Office estimate, based on the 2001 census, of between 310,000 and 570,000, with a central estimate of 430,000.

The study said there were a further 175,000 "quasi-legal" migrants whose right to remain depended on the future determination of their migration status.

The LSE research found that between 57% and 75% of irregular residents in Britain live in London.

Johnson has argued that an earned amnesty in the capital would allow people currently in the city illegally to integrate and contribute more fully to society.

The Strangers into Citizens campaign wants immigrants across the UK who have been in the country for four or more years to be admitted to a two-year pathway to full legal rights – "leave to remain" – during which they would work legally and demonstrate their contribution to UK economy and society.

After that two-year period, subject to knowledge of English and employer and community references, they would be granted permanent leave to remain.
[Site link]


Crime – USA, illegal immigrants
A Portrait of Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States
Jeffrey S. Passel and D'Vera Cohn
Pew Hispanic Center, 14 April 2009

Unauthorized immigrants living in the United States are more geographically dispersed than in the past and are more likely than either U.S. born residents or legal immigrants to live in a household with a spouse and children. In addition, a growing share of the children of unauthorized immigrant parents – 73% – were born in this country and are U.S. citizens.

These are among the key findings of a new analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, ... A 2008 report by the Center estimated that 11.9 million unauthorized immigrants lived in the United States; it concluded that the undocumented immigrant population grew rapidly from 1990 to 2006 but has since stabilized. In this new analysis, the Center estimates that the rapid growth of unauthorized immigrant workers also has halted; it finds that there were 8.3 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. labor force in March 2008.

Based on March 2008 data collected by the Census Bureau, the Center estimates that unauthorized immigrants are 4% of the nation's population and account for 5.4% of its workforce. Their children, both those who are unauthorized immigrants themselves and those who are U.S. citizens, make up 6.8% of the students enrolled in the nation's elementary and secondary schools.

About three-quarters (76%) of the nation's unauthorized immigrants are Hispanic. The majority of undocumented immigrants (59%) are from Mexico. Significant regional sources of unauthorized immigrants include Asia (11%), Central America (11%), South America (7%), the Caribbean (4%) and the Middle East (less than 2%).
[Site link]


Crime – multiculturalism
Asian men in burkhas rob jewellers
Gerry Braiden
The Herald, 6 April 2009

Two Asian men wearing traditional female Muslim dress and carrying handbags have robbed a jewellery shop in a possible copycat of an international spate of thefts. The pair wore black Muslim dress, including headwear which completely covered their faces, as well as sunglasses, when they carried out the attack.

The raid on the ATAA Jewellers in Glasgow's Great Western Road resembles thefts in Edinburgh, Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt and London, where a robber has dressed as a wealthy Muslim woman to take jewellery worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. ...

The two suspects are described as Asian, around 5ft 10in to 6ft in height. They were both wearing sunglasses and carrying handbags.
[Site link]


One-in-six rapes carried out by foreign attackers
Nick Fagge
Daily Express, 6 April 2009

Foreigners carried out one in six rapes in Britain last year, police figures have revealed.

And migrant workers, illegal immigrants and even tourists were responsible for up to a third of all sex attacks in some areas.

In Greater London, the worst area affected, foreigners were charged in connection with one in three rapes, statistics obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show. Other areas with large immigration populations – Cambridgeshire, Merseyside, Hertfordshire, Avon and Somerset – also recorded high numbers of non-UK citizens charged with sex attacks. ...

But police say it is increasingly difficult to bring foreign rapists to justice due to the large number of migrant workers and illegal immigrants now living in Britain.

One senior police officer said: "You always have the risk of flight but with an illegal immigrant it is even more difficult because there is no record of them having come into the country in the first place."
[Site link]


Crime – stabbing
Knife attacks on children rise by 72pc in a decade
Alastair Jamieson
Daily Telegraph, 23 March 2009

The number of children taken to hospital with stab wounds has risen almost three quarters in the past decade, according to government figures.

Opposition parties said the statistics demonstrated the "scale of Britain's knife crime culture". They come amid growing concern about violent attacks involving children.

Last year 22 teenagers were killed in knife attacks in London alone.

Government statistics show that a total of 49,837 people, including 4,510 children, were admitted to hospital for stab wounds between 1996-97 and 2006-07, the last year for which figures are available.

The Liberal Democrats, who obtained the statistics, said the annual number of children treated for stab wounds increased 72 per cent over the period, while the number treated for gunshot wounds fell 30 per cent.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – prisons
Prisons must be set free from this cycle of failure
Iain Duncan Smith
Sunday Telegraph, 22 March 2009

Two-thirds of all prisoners are re-convicted within two years and half are re-convicted within a staggering 12 months. This comes at enormous extra cost to the police and the courts – and of course to us, the victims of repeat offending. In financial terms, it amounts to at least £11 billion a year.

These figures remain very high despite all the promises. The Government set up the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) with the primary task of reducing the reoffending rate. This organisation has cost the taxpayer some £18 billion since 2004, yet despite that massive investment, it has made no impact.

In 1997, when Labour attacked the Conservatives for locking too many people up in prison, the prison population stood at over 60,000. Their pledge – accompanied by the slogan "tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime" – was that a Labour government would not only tackle crime but reduce the prison population as well. Yet after 12 years and endless criminal justice bills, the prison population now stands at some 83,000: our prisons are bursting at the seams. No wonder spending on prisons has risen by a quarter, with the cost of maintaining a prisoner now around £40,000 per year. ...

Over three quarters of prisoners interviewed admit to taking drugs in prison, yet because hardly any are tested, the official figure for drug taking is a risible 9 per cent.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – Netherlands
[Netherlands] Two out of Three Serious Teenage Criminals are Immigrants
NIS News Bulletin, 18 March 2009

Two out of three serious teenage criminals are children of parents born outside the Netherlands. In most cases, no prison sentence is imposed, it emerges from a study sent to parliament by Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin.

In the research, 447 case files of youngsters aged from 12 to 17 were studied. All the files involved cases in which the perpetrator was convicted of a crime for which the maximum jail sentence is 8 years or more. These were murder, manslaughter, robbery with violence, extortion, arson, public acts of violence and sexual crimes.

Only just over one-third (37 percent) of the convicted youngsters are white Dutch. Two-thirds are of immigrant origin, meaning that they themselves or their mothers were born abroad.

"The most prevalent group of youthful immigrants (among the perpetrators) are young Moroccans (14 percent)," according to the report. For another 14 percent, the parents' country of birth could not be determined. A further 8 percent of the young criminals came from Turkey, 7 percent from Surinam and another 7 percent from the Netherlands Antilles, 9 percent from the category 'other non-Westerners' and 4 percent, 'other Westerners.'

The report also reveals that most offenders did not have to go to jail. Although detention was imposed in 69 percent of the cases - whether or not in combination with community service - the sentences were largely suspended.

Some 25 percent of offenders only received suspended detention. Another one-third received a combination of suspended and real detention and just 11 percent, only an unconditional prison sentence.
[Site link]


Crime – drugs
Cannabis cultivation is growing
Daily Telegraph, 11 March 2009

The number of cannabis factories raided by police has risen sharply in the past five years, it has emerged.

Twenty-nine forces said they had uncovered more of the drug being grown, including Gwent, which detected no factories in 2004 but 151 last year.

The largest force in the UK, the Metropolitan Police, reported an increase from 206 to 654, while West Midlands saw a rise from 174 to 672.
[Newspaper link]


Crime by foreigners has doubled in five years
David Barrett
Sunday Telegraph, 8 March 2009

Crime committed by foreign nationals has doubled in five years, police figures show.

Records disclosed by 10 forces reveal a 120 per cent rise in the number of non-Britons arrested, charged or convicted of offences between 2003 and 2008.

And figures from 20 forces, covering more than half the population of England and Wales, show that foreigners committed or were accused of more than 70,000 offences last year – pointing to a nationwide total of more than 100,000 offences if all 43 forces had provided figures. ...

The increase in crime committed by foreigners comes despite an overall fall in the number of offences recorded during the five-year period.

However, the rise has coincided with a sharp increase in the number of migrants to Britain since eight former Eastern Bloc countries, including Poland, became part of the European Union in 2004. ... ...

Among the forces which did not provide data, 12, including Greater Manchester, Thames Valley and Essex, claimed not to record criminals' nationality, while 11 failed to respond. Among the 15 forces which gave a breakdown by type of offence, there were 120 murders last year for which a foreign national was the prime suspect, and 426 rapes or attempted rapes.
[Newspaper link]


Trail of crime by 65 killers who were freed early
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 5 March 2009

Scores of killers released on licences from life sentences have gone on to commit serious crimes, including murder, over the past decade, the Government has admitted.

According to Ministry of Justice figures 65 prisoners who were released on licence from a life sentence have committed a further offence since 1997.

The offences included two murders, a suspected murder, one attempted murder and three rapes. ... ...

Typically 30,000 prisoners are on release at any one time, with 1,300 of those in the most serious risk category.

Harry Fletcher, the general secretary of the National Association of Parole Officers, said there were insufficient resources to monitor them all.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – racism
Schoolyard 'race attack' almost killed my son
Olga Craig
Sunday Telegraph, 22 February 2009

When Henry Webster, a 15-year-old rugby player, was beaten at school by a gang of Asian teenagers, he was so badly injured that it was said to be a "miracle" he survived.

The attack was witnessed by 100 pupils and filmed on a mobile phone.

But it has taken two years, much of it spent lobbying and letter writing, for his mother Liz to force education authorities to take action.

Mrs Webster, 44, has now met Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary, who recommended an inquiry into the attack. ...

... "It has been an excruciating wait. The school might say otherwise but the fact is that the attack on my son was a racial one," Mrs Webster said.

"The school knew there were tensions – there have been numerous similar attacks before but nothing was ever done. Everything was swept under the carpet.

"Neither Henry nor I are racist. But I feel my son was badly failed by a school that believes racism is only something that is carried out by white pupils."

It took a sustained campaign before the review was instigated by Mr Balls.

After a meeting with Mrs Webster, he wrote to her saying it was "unacceptable that there has not been any full investigation of such a serious incident which left your son with permanent injuries." ...

... The case has highlighted the extent of racist incidents in schools and in particular, it is claimed, the reluctance by some to treat attacks as racist when they are carried out by minority cultures.
[Newspaper link]


Killers from abroad who find refuge in Britain
David Barrett
Sunday Telegraph, 1 February 2009

Eighty foreign murder suspects are found in Britain each year after evading justice in their homelands, according to Scotland Yard figures.

They are among 1,000 foreign nationals a year targeted by a specialist Metropolitan Police squad after their governments apply to have them extradited for offences overseas. The unit handles extradition for all of England and Wales.

The figures will raise concerns about the strength of Britain's border controls. Some of the wanted individuals are convicted criminals sentenced to terms in foreign jails, while others are crime suspects who fled to Britain before they could be brought to trial.
[Newspaper link]


Violent offenders 'escaping jail under Labour'
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 31 January 2009

More than half of all violent or repeat offenders are escaping a prison term, according to a report yesterday that severely criticised government claims to be tough on crime.

The Institute for the Study of Civil Society (Civitas) said it was likely that any future rise in crime would not be due to the recession but "the Government's failure to imprison serious, violent and persistent offenders."

The think tank found that 60 per cent of offenders convicted on more than 15 previous occasions are not sent to prison after being found guilty of a serious, indictable offence in a Crown Court.

The report also found that more than 70 per cent of criminals convicted of "violence against the person" in 2007 were not jailed.

Using official government figures, Civitas showed that the number of robbers sent to prison has fallen from 72 per cent in 2002 to 54 per cent in 2007. ...

The report also found a big fall in the number of serious criminals who were jailed, down from 85,151 in 2002 to 74,037 in 2007.

This means that just 24 per cent of all serious offenders were jailed.

If the same sentencing standards in 2002 had been applied five years later, an additional 10,000 criminals would have been in prison rather than "free to endanger members of the public", the report said.

In 2002, 143,000 cautions were issued. In 2007 the figure was 205,000. ... ...

But a Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "Since 1997, crime has fallen by more than a third and those who commit crime now have a greater chance of being convicted. ..."
[Newspaper link]


Poland's petty criminals create £3m headache for British courts
Daily Telegraph, 31 January 2009

Trivial extradition requests from Poland for offenders including a man who snatched a 20p sleeping pill and another who stole a Christmas tree are clogging the court system and costing up to £3 million a year.

The number of extradition cases being dealt with in British courts has reached record levels, and have doubled in the past two years. Of the 1,067 requests made last year from abroad to track down foreign fugitives, almost half came from Poland, where the legal system requires a trial for every criminal allegation.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – USA
FBI: Burgeoning gangs behind up to 80% of U.S. crime
Kevin Johnson
USA Today, 30 January 2009

Criminal gangs in the USA have swelled to an estimated 1 million members responsible for up to 80% of crimes in communities across the nation, according to a gang threat assessment compiled by federal officials.

The major findings in a report by the Justice Department's National Gang Intelligence Center, which has not been publicly released, conclude gangs are the "primary retail-level distributors of most illicit drugs" and several are "capable" of competing with major U.S.-based Mexican drug-trafficking organizations.

"A rising number of U.S.-based gangs are seemingly intent on developing working relationships" with U.S. and foreign drug-trafficking organizations and other criminal groups to "gain direct access to foreign sources of illicit drugs," the report concludes.

The gang population estimate is up 200,000 since 2005.

Bruce Ferrell, chairman of the Midwest Gang Investigators Association, whose group monitors gang activity in 10 states, says the number of gang members may be even higher than the report's estimate.

"We've seen an expansion for the last 10 years," says Ferrell, who has reviewed the report. "Each year, the numbers are moving forward."

The report says about 900,000 gang members live "within local communities across the country," and about 147,000 are in U.S. prisons or jails. ...

Assistant FBI Director Kenneth Kaiser, the bureau's criminal division chief, says gangs have largely followed the migration paths of immigrant laborers. ...

One group that continues to spread despite law enforcement efforts is the violent Salvadoran gang known as MS-13.

Michael Sullivan, the departing director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, says the gang's dependence on shocking violence to advance extortion, prostitution and other criminal enterprises has frustrated attempts to infiltrate and disrupt the insular group's activities.

"MS-13's foothold in the U.S. is expanding," Sullivan says.

Kaiser says the street gang is in 42 states, up from 33 in 2005. "Enforcement efforts have been effective to a certain extent, but they (gang members) keep moving," he says.

MS-13 is the abbreviation for the gang also known as Mara Salvatrucha. The group gained national prominence in the 1980s in Los Angeles, where members were linked to incidents involving unusual brutality.

Since then, it has formed cells or "cliques" across the U.S., says Aaron Escorza, chief of the FBI's MS-13 National Gang Task Force. ...

Davidson County, Tenn., Sheriff Daron Hall, whose jurisdiction includes Nashville, says MS-13 started growing there about five years ago, corresponding with an influx of immigrant labor.

Last April, county officials began checking the immigration status of all arrestees. "We know we have removed about 100 gang members, including MS-13," to U.S. authorities for deportation, Hall says. ...

Escorza says a "revolving door" on the border has kept the gang's numbers steady – about 10,000 in the U.S. – even as many illegal immigrant members are deported.
[Site link]


Crime – discrimination, USA
City accused of bias against blacks, Hispanics in ex-con jobs ban
Thomas Zambito
New York Daily News, 27 January 2009

A city ban on hiring ex-cons for hospital jobs is unfair to blacks and Hispanics, a city woman claimed in a complaint to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Shanae Leath, who was convicted for her role in a mugging nine years ago, lost her shot at a clerical job at Bellevue Hospital when her record came to light. Leath, 28, said the city Health and Hospitals Corp. ban discriminates. ...

Leath's attorney Justin Swartz says the Health and Hospitals Corp.'s "blanket ban" on hiring applicants with criminal convictions disproportionately affects Hispanics and African-Americans.
[Site link]


Crime – police
Four in 10 serious criminals given just a caution
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 22 January 2009

Four in 10 serious offenders are being let off with a caution, ...

In some police force areas more than half of offenders who could expect to face a crown court are instead given a "slap on the wrist".

The number of cautions being given to violent criminals has risen by 82 per cent in five years. Cautions given to burglars have increased by a quarter over the same period while cautions for robbers and sex offenders have gone up by almost half. ...

Even when crimes are dealt with, many offenders are escaping with soft punishments. Cautions are supposed to be handed out for lesser offences but have increasingly been given for more serious crimes. They can only be used if the offender admits guilt, but he then avoids the shame of a court appearance and the likelihood of a harsher sentence.

It is left to the discretion of the police as to whether the action is recorded on the Police National Computer. This approach means that some offenders who have been cautioned do not receive a criminal record. ...

In 2007, the most recent figures available, 40 per cent of criminals guilty of the most serious offences were given a caution – 205,100, compared with 313,300 who were dealt with in the courts. It was the second year running that the proportion had reached that level.

The figures relate to those guilty of either an indictable offence – a crime that would normally be dealt with in a crown court – or a so-called either-way offence, which can be dealt with by magistrates or crown courts. ...

The number of cautions for violence against the person went up by 82 per cent between 2003 and 2007, from 28,760 to 52,335. Some 56 per cent of violent offenders now escape a court appearance in this way.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – asylum
Asylum seeker who killed ex-marine escapes deportation
Daily Telegraph, 19 January 2009

A failed asylum seeker who killed a former Royal Marine in a hit-and-run crash has escaped deportation because of a loophole which means his crime is not considered "serious enough" by the Home Office.

Jean Mukadi, who has had asylum applications rejected three times and failed a driving test seven times, was jailed for four months after fatally injuring Simon Lawrence while driving without a licence or insurance. But he was not sent back to his native Democratic Republic of Congo because foreign offenders can only be deported if they have been jailed for at least 12 months or if they have been convicted of serious gun or drug crimes.

It means that Mukadi, 33, can remain in Britain while he fights a lengthy appeal against the decision to deny him asylum.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – racism, USA
Blacks and Latinos make up about 80% stopped and questioned by NYPD, study finds
Christina Boyle and Tina Moore
New York Daily News, 16 January 2009

The NYPD is on pace to stop and question a record half a million citizens this year - about 80% of them black or Latino, a new report says.

The Center for Constitutional Rights, citing NYPD data obtained in a suit, said the vast majority of those stopped and questioned in 2005 through June 2008 weren't charged with any crime.

In 2007, for instance, the last complete year of data, cops arrested only 5.8% of the 472,096 people they stopped (27,632).

"The New York City Police Department continues to prey on African-American and Latino communities in New York City," Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, said.

The center obtained half of the 2008 data but projected that 543,982 people will be stopped in the entire year if the NYPD maintained its pace.

Cops made fewer than 400,000 stops in 2005. ...

Commissioner Paul Browne, the NYPD's chief spokesman, said the number of minorities who were singled out under the policy is consistent with overall descriptions by race provided by victims and surviving witnesses of crime.

He pointed to a RAND Corp. study that found no racial profiling in its examination, "and warned against the kind of simplistic comparisons made by the center."
[Site link]


Foreign drivers evade justice
Daily Telegraph, 6 January 2009

Thousands of foreign-registered drivers escape punishment for driving offences because police cannot trace them.

In London alone, more than 24 foreign-registered vehicles are caught speeding on camera every day. Police show that speed cameras were activated by foreign-registered vehicles 8,880 times in 2007-8.

However, the force admitted the "majority" of drivers escape legal action because officers are almost powerless to identify them. Senior officers could only find four examples of foreign drivers who have been prosecuted for serious driving offences.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – USA
The Times's Crime Confusions Persist: Error and distortion at the paper, Heaven help us, of record
Heather Mac Donald
City Journal, 5 January 2009

The New York Times has been furiously penning policy briefs to the Obama administration. A recent editorial on black crime compresses within a few hundred words decades of failed thinking on public safety. ...

A new study of homicide among young black males prompted this latest editorial. James Alan Fox and Marc Swatt of Northeastern University found that the number of homicides committed by black males under the age of 18 rose 43 percent between 2002 and 2007, while the number of gun homicides by this same group rose 47 percent. Homicides by white youth during that period decreased slightly. But more significant were the different homicide rates that the report calculated, which no news story dared to divulge. Whereas the report's graph for white homicides over the last 30 years plots the rate in increments of 10, the black rate is demarcated at intervals of 100. The highest homicide rate for whites over the last three decades was 32 homicides committed per 100,000 males between the ages of 18 and 24 (reached in 1991), whereas the highest homicide rate for blacks was approximately 320 homicides per 100,000 males between the ages of 18 and 24 (reached in 1993).

Even this apparent ten-to-one disparity between black and white homicide rates doesn't tell the full story. Fox and Swatt include Hispanic homicides in the white rate, though they do not disclose that they are doing so (both the inclusion and the silence about it follow FBI practice). Hispanic crime rates are between three and four times that of whites – meaning that if one excluded the Hispanic homicides from the white rate, the black-white differential would be even larger than ten to one.

The Times responds to the report with the key strategies of liberal apologetics. Strategy Number One: strip moral agency from favored victim groups. Bad things happen to favored victim groups because of forces outside their control; good things also happen to favored victim groups because of outside forces – above all, wise government programs. Any expectation that members of a favored victim group can take responsibility for their lives must be expunged. Strategy Number Two: Never let the following controversial and dangerous word enter a discussion of the underclass – "marriage."

The editorial initially conceals the Northeastern study's findings. The report, it writes, suggests that "violent crime among young people may be rising"; then, as if in a stray afterthought, the editorial adds that the "study also shows that the murder rate for black teenagers has climbed noticeably since 2000 while the rate for young whites has scarcely changed on the whole and, in some places, has actually declined." That finding – the rising juvenile black homicide rate – is the study's actual import, of course. But the Times would rather contradict itself than lead with the politically incorrect truth.

Such evasions are trivial, however, compared with the misleading information that the Times pumps out about the causes of, and effective responses to, crime. ...

[Site link]


Crime – multiculturalism, USA
Khat – is it more coffee or cocaine?
Cynthia Dizikes
Los Angeles Times, 3 January 2009

For centuries the "flower of paradise" has been used legally in East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula as a stimulant and social tonic.

But in the United States khat is illegal, and an increased demand for the plant in cities such as Washington and San Diego is leading to stepped up law enforcement efforts and escalating clashes between narcotics officers and immigrants who defend their use of khat as a time-honored tradition.

In the last few years, San Diego, which has a large Somali population, has seen an almost eight-fold increase in khat seizures. Nationally, the amount of khat seized annually at the country's ports of entry has grown from 14 metric tons to 55 in about the last decade.

Most recently, California joined 27 other states and the federal government in banning the most potent substance in khat, and the District of Columbia is proposing to do the same.

"It is a very touchy subject. Some people see it like a drug; some people see it like coffee," said Abdulaziz Kamus, president of the African Resource Center in Washington, D.C. "You have to understand our background and understand the significance of it in our community."

Increased immigration from countries such as Ethiopia, Yemen and Somalia has fueled the demand in this country and led to a cultural conflict. ...

In the Horn of Africa and parts of the Middle East, khat is a regular part of life, often consumed at social gatherings or in the morning before work and by students studying for exams. Users chew the plant like tobacco or brew it as a tea. It produces feelings of euphoria and alertness that can verge on mania and hyperactivity depending on the variety and freshness of the plant.

But some experts are not convinced that its health and social effects are so benign. A World Health Organization report found that consumption can lead to increased blood pressure, insomnia, anorexia, constipation and general malaise. The report also said that khat can be addictive and lead to psychological and social problems.

"It is not coffee. It is definitely not like coffee," said Garrison Courtney, spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration. "It is the same drug used by young kids who go out and shoot people in Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan. It is something that gives you a heightened sense of invincibility, and when you look at those effects, you could take out the word 'khat' and put in 'heroin' or 'cocaine'." ...

The United Kingdom determined last year that evidence does not warrant restriction of khat. In the United States, the substance has been illegal under federal law since 1993.

But the world supply of khat is exploding. Countries such as Ethiopia and Kenya now rely on it as a major cash crop to bolster their economies. Khat is Ethiopia's second largest export behind coffee.
[Site link]


Crime – employment
Foreign sex offenders could work in schools
Martin Beckford
Daily Telegraph, 2 January 2009

Sex offenders could be cleared to work in English schools under a "major loophole" in child protection measures.

Crimes committed by immigrants in their home countries, or by Britons abroad, will go unnoticed by the Independent Safeguarding Authority because the Criminal Records Bureau, which checks applicants for a criminal background, cannot access records from most foreign governments.

This could mean that convicted paedophiles or even murderers are cleared to work in schools, hospitals or care homes. ...

Critics say ministers must address the problem before the scheme begins in October, because 12.5 per cent of the UK workforce comes from abroad.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – USA
Fugitives make off with Medicare millions
Jay Weaver
Miami Herald, 1 January 2009

Alcides Garcia, former president of a Hialeah medical equipment company, escaped to Cuba in September just before he was to face trial in a $10.7 million Medicare fraud case, according to the FBI.

Jorge Ramirez, the one-time owner of a Miami clinic that treated blood disorders, was arrested in December and charged with defrauding $42.2 million from Medicare. Ramirez and two codefendants – Eugenio and Maricel Hernandez, accused of $73 million in Medicare fraud – had been indicted a year ago. The FBI said they all fled to Cuba.

Garcia, Ramirez and the Hernandezes are among dozens of Cuban immigrants who continue to evade prosecution by fleeing to their native country. Prosecutors say they bilked the taxpayer-funded health insurance program out of millions through complex Medicare fraud schemes that have been operating with lax oversight in South Florida for over the past a decade.
[Site link]


Crime – France
More than a thousand cars torched on New Year's Eve / Reuters, 1 January 2009

Update: The French press reported that the Interior Ministry released a final "verified" count of 1,147 vehicles burned in France over New Year's Eve. The number is up 30.64% from last year's total, 878.

At least 445 cars were torched over the night of New Year's Eve in France, a 20 percent rise on last year, but there were relatively few clashes with police, the Interior Ministry and police said on Thursday.

Car burnings are regular occurrences in France but the registering the New Year's Eve total has become something of a tradition since they achieved symbolic status in the violent rioting that shook many of the country's poor suburbs in 2005.
[Site link]


Crime – stabbings
Fatal stabbings hit record level as five victims die every week
Tom Whitehead and James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 29 December 2008

Fatal stabbings have risen to their highest level for at least three decades, with five people a week now dying from stab wounds.

Figures due to be published in the new year show that deaths from stab wounds reached 277 last year after increasing by more than a third under Labour.

That is the highest annual death toll since at least 1977 – the earliest year for which figures are available – when it stood at 135. ...

Data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act shows some 277 fatal stabbings in England and Wales for 2007-08.

It is the equivalent of five children or adults dying after being attacked with a knife or sharp object every week.

The total is also up 38 per cent on the 201 fatalities from sharp objects in 1998-99. ...

A separate study of hospital admissions across Britain by The Daily Telegraph has shown a growing trend in serious injuries from stabbings. ...

The data shows that roughly 7,420 people were admitted after being stabbed during 2006-07.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – USA
Study: Murders among black youths on rise / Associated Press, 29 December 2008

The number of young black men and teenagers who either killed or were killed in shootings has risen at an alarming rate since 2000, a new study shows.

The study, to be released Monday by criminologists at Northeastern University in Boston, comes as FBI data is showing that murders have leveled off nationwide.

Not so for black teens, the youngest of whom saw dramatic increases in shooting deaths, the Northeastern report concluded.

Last year, for example, 426 black males between the ages of 14 and 17 were killed in gun crimes, the study shows. That marked a 40 percent increase from 2000.

Similarly, an estimated 964 in the same age group committed fatal shootings in 2007 – a 38 percent increase from seven years earlier. ...

The FBI reported 10,067 arrests in murder and non-negligent manslaughter cases in 2007. Half of the people arrested – 5,078 – were black. Almost 10 percent of black people arrested for murder were under age 18, the FBI data show.

The number of young white men who committed gun-related homicides also rose over the same period, the Northeastern study showed, but not as dramatically. In 2007, an estimated 384 white males age 14 to 17 shot someone to death, up from 368 in 2000.
[Site link]


Crime – USA
Illegal baby boom hits Big Easy
Chelsea Schilling
World Net Daily, 29 December 2008

After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, illegal aliens flocked to New Orleans from other U.S. cities to find work – but three years after the storm, the most violent city in America is festering with crime while schools are overcrowded and immigrant births are ballooning.

The New Orleans Economic Development office estimates the city's Hispanic population has more than tripled since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. It has risen from 15,000, or 3.3 percent of pre-Katrina residents, to 50,000, or 15 percent of today's population.

Tulane University and the University of California, Berkeley, released a 2006 study revealing that almost half of the city's construction labor force was Hispanic. At least 54 percent were found to be illegal aliens, and 90 percent had lived elsewhere in the U.S. before migrating to New Orleans.

As WND reported earlier, News reports indicate a flood of illegal aliens is moving South from states such as Arizona and Oklahoma – where immigration crackdowns have made life more difficult for them, and the slow housing market has made jobs scarce. In New Orleans, families are multiplying faster than hospitals and schools can accommodate them.

The Associated Press interviewed Kevin Work, a doctor who opened new prenatal offices and hired bilingual employees so he could make a living delivering New Orleans' Hispanic babies.

He performs "thirty to forty deliveries a month," he said.

Work told the AP he has helped illegal alien mothers give birth to at least 1,000 babies since the storm hit in August 2005. He said he provides payment plans to help the families afford the births, or they are covered by government programs such as Medicaid.

In 2004, Emergency Medicaid cost taxpayers $1.7 million in Metro New Orleans, according to the report. Now the government program covers five times as many people, and the cost is more than 4.5 times what it used to be – at $7.8 million. ...

Meanwhile, the city's streets have reportedly become some of the most dangerous places in the nation. A study conducted by Congressional Quarterly recently labeled New Orleans the most violent city in the U.S. Likewise, Foreign Policy listed it as third among its top five "murder capitals" of the world – behind only Caracas, Venezuela and Cape Town, South Africa.
[Site link]


Crime – USA
Child Maid Trafficking Spreads From Africa to U.S.
Rukmini Callimachi
ABC News / Associated Press, 28 December 2008

The trafficking of children for domestic labor in the U.S. is an extension of an illegal but common practice in Africa. Families in remote villages send their daughters to work in cities for extra money and the opportunity to escape a dead-end life. Some girls work for free on the understanding that they will at least be better fed in the home of their employer.

The custom has led to the spread of trafficking, as well-to-do Africans accustomed to employing children immigrate to the U.S. Around one-third of the estimated 10,000 forced laborers in the United States are servants trapped behind the curtains of suburban homes, according to a study by the National Human Rights Center at the University of California at Berkeley and Free the Slaves, a nonprofit group. No one can say how many are children, especially since their work can so easily be masked as chores.

Once behind the walls of gated communities ... these children never go to school. Unbeknownst to their neighbors, they live as modern-day slaves, ... ...

Tens of thousands of children in Africa, some as young as 3, are recruited every year to work as domestic servants. They are on call 24 hours a day and are often beaten if they make a mistake. Children are in demand because they earn less than adults and are less likely to complain. In just one city – Casablanca – a 2001 survey by the Moroccan government found more than 15,000 girls under 15 working as maids.

The U.S. State Department found that over the past year, children have been trafficked to work as servants in at least 33 of Africa's 53 countries. Children from at least 10 African countries were sent as maids to the U.S. and Europe. But the problem is so well hidden that authorities – including the U.N., Interpol and the State Department –have no idea how many child maids now work in the West. ...

In Germantown, Md., a Nigerian couple used their daughter's passport to bring in a 14-year-old Nigerian girl as their maid. She worked for them for five years before escaping in 2001. In Germany, France, the Netherlands and England, African immigrants have been arrested for forcing children from their home countries to work as their servants.
[Site link]


Half of violent crimes being punished with only a caution
Daily Telegraph, 27 December 2008

Half of all violent criminals are let off with a caution, new figures indicate.

Police issued warnings to 53,000 offenders last year who had committed violence against the person.

The figure was almost as many as the 61,000 that were prosecuted.

The statistics were released by Alan Campbell, the justice minister, in a written parliamentary answer to his Conservative counterpart, Edward Garnier, the shadow justice minister. ...

Home Office figures show that violent offences have nearly doubled from 502,000 in 1998 to 961,000 last year.

Earlier this week it emerged that almost four out of 10 crimes – including offences such as sexual attacks, violent robberies, harassment, burglary and drug incidents – are not being investigated because police officers believe that they cannot be solved.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – prison overcrowding
Inmates freed early get cash
Rosa Prince
Daily Telegraph, 26 December 2008

Thousands of foreign prisoners have been released from jail before the end of their sentence and given cash to compensate for the loss of food and board.

Figures released by the Conservatives show that 2,196 foreign offenders have been invited to take part in the early release scheme, called End of Custody Licence, since its introduction 15 months ago to address prison overcrowding.

As well as walking free after having served less than half of their sentence, each released prisoner is entitled to about £7 a day to compensate for missing out on the state-provided food and lodging they would have received in jail.

Offenders released on End of Custody Licence receive an initial payment of £46, followed by the subsistence allowance of £47.12 a week, up to a cap of £168.24.

The disclosure, in a written parliamentary answer from the Ministry of Justice, follows pledges by Gordon Brown that foreign nationals who offended in Britain "will be deported" and "will pay the price".
[Newspaper link]


Crime – education
Police called to 40 acts of violence in schools every day
Graeme Paton and Jon Swaine
Daily Telegraph, 23 December 2008

Police are being called out to deal with 40 violent incidents in schools every day, research has found, adding to fears over a breakdown in classroom discipline.

Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that officers responded to more than 7,300 calls from schools during the last academic year.

The Metropolitan police attended on 2,698 occasions while officers in the Thames Valley were alerted 697 times. The total for England could have been more than 10,000 because a third of police forces failed to supply data.

The figures, obtained by the Conservatives, come amid growing concern about bad behaviour among pupils.

The gang culture witnessed on many inner-city streets is said to be spilling over into schools, with more pupils bringing knives into lessons. ...

The Tories obtained data from 25 of England's 39 police forces during the 2007/8 school year of 190 days.

Separate figures from the Association of Teachers and Lecturers showed a rise in exclusions for violence. Last year, more than 1,000 children aged five and under were suspended for attacking a classmate. The total number of suspensions for assault rose by 2,720 to 65,390.

A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said it did "not recognise" the Tory figures. "The overwhelming majority of schools are safe and behaviour is very good," she added.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – politics
Brown is accused of spin over knife crime
Andrew Porter
Daily Telegraph, 13 December 2008

The Prime Minister was embroiled in a row about spin last night after the head of the statistics authority criticised ministers for releasing "selective" knife crime figures against their advice.

Both No 10 and the Home Office were severely criticised by Sir Michael Scholar, the head of the UK Statistics Authority, for pressurising officials compiling the figures. In a damning letter, Sir Michael said Thursday's release of the data on stabbings was "premature, irregular and selective".

He told Jeremy Heywood, the Permanent Secretary at No 10, that the figures on hospital admissions for stabbings had not been properly checked. ...

It is a major embarrassment for Mr Brown, who announced when he became Prime Minister that he would ensure more honesty after years of accusations that Labour used data to spin results in areas such as health and crime.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – knife crime
Knife crime falls in areas targeted by police
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 12 December 2008

Knife crime has fallen across 10 hotspots targeted by police, Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, claimed.

Figures from the areas involved showed that the number of youngsters admitted to hospital with stab wounds fell by more than a quarter between July and September compared with last year. The number of serious injuries and deaths of youngsters in the same period fell by nearly a fifth.

Ten areas were in the Tackling Knives Action Programme which involved greater use of stop and search. Fewer youngsters were caught with knives, down from one in 30 to one in 65. Police carried out 105,000 searches between June and October and seized 2,200 weapons.

But the Home Office refused to give a force-by-force breakdown of the success or to say what proportion of those found with weapons received a prison sentence.

Meanwhile, four of the ten forces reported increases in knife offences in some form.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – European Union
Foreign offenders slip police net
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 5 December 2008

Thousands of foreign offenders could be in Britain without police knowledge because half of the countries in the EU are unable to provide criminal records. ...

The disclosure came almost two years after it emerged that more than 27,000 foreign convictions had not been entered on the police national computer. This meant that convictions abroad did not show up on police or employment vetting checks.

It could be another three years before effective systems are in place to share criminal data between all EU nations.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – USA, racism
The truth about 'hate crimes' and the racial justice racket
Ron Smith
Baltimore Sun, 3 December 2008

The Southern Poverty Law Center is a thriving business. The Alabama-based "nonprofit" firm has become a font of riches for founder Morris Dees and his associates. Its last tax return (2005) showed it took in nearly $111 million in donations the previous four years alone and reported assets of $189.4 million at the end of 2005.

Its business is fundraising, and its success at raking in the cash is based on its ability to sell gullible people on the idea that present-day America is awash in white racism and anti-Semitism, which it will fight tooth-and-nail as the public interest law firm it purports to be. That might lead a skeptic to wonder why it spends little on litigation and why Mr. Dees pockets a lot of money sent in by panicked donors who buy into the smear campaigns against organizations or prominent individuals who question racial preference programs.

To me and to other observant conservatives, the Southern Poverty Law Center is a clever scam, relentlessly cultivating for profit the fear that this nation is filled with Klansmen and rife with people eager to perpetrate genocide. If you're curious about this organization and its legitimacy, spend some time on the Internet and assess it for yourself, ... ...

"Hate crimes," as trumpeted by the likes of the Southern Poverty Law Center, are a questionable legal construct used almost exclusively against whites.

Hateful or not, interracial violent crime is overwhelmingly black on white or black on Asian. The Department of Justice's figures show that between 2001 and 2003, blacks were 39 times more likely to commit violent crimes against whites than the reverse. Of the nearly 770,000 violent interracial crimes committed every year involving blacks and whites, blacks commit 85 percent and whites commit 15 percent.

You won't hear about that from the Southern Poverty Law Center or see it on the evening newscasts, because the truth is one thing and the liberal agenda is another.
[Site link]


Crime – prison overcrowding
Early prison releases hit record levels
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 29 November 2008

More than 42,000 prisoners have been let out of jail early to ease overcrowding as releases hit record levels.

Some 2,775 inmates were released up to 18 days early last month - the highest total since the controversial End of Custody Licence scheme began in June last year.

It takes the total number of inmates let out without completing their full jail terms to 42,181. ...

Among those who have been let out under the scheme are more than 8,000 violent criminals, almost 4,000 burglars and more than 1,000 robbers.
[Newspaper link]


Only one in seven offences leads to criminal charges
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 28 November 2008

Only one in seven crimes results in a criminal being charged and more than half of offenders are never taken to court, figures show.

The number of criminals being sent to prison is at its lowest level since Labour came to power, while the number receiving a caution has risen by more than a quarter.

On-the-spot fines have also increased, even though only half are paid without further court action, while offenders being sent to custody fell by one per cent last year.

It also emerged that only one in five burglars who fell into the "three strikes and out" category was being handed the recommended three-year minimum term.

A total of 4.95 million crimes were recorded by the police last year but only 673,227 suspects were charged or summonsed to court. Those cases accounted for 49 per cent of the 1.37 million offences that were solved during the year.

The rest were dealt with by other out-of-court measures, including cautions (26 per cent) and fines (10 per cent), meaning more than half of offenders did not go to court for their crimes.

Some 95,206 people were jailed last year, the lowest figure since 1997 and a sign of the impact of the pressure courts have been under to send fewer people to prison because of the overcrowding crisis.

In contrast, 363,000 offenders were given a caution, a four per cent rise on 2006 and 28 per cent up on the 282,100 handed out in 2007.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – asylum
Lawyers are 'concocting stories for asylum seekers'
David Barrett
Sunday Telegraph, 23 November 2008

Law firms are submitting concocted asylum claims, coaching clients in false stories and even offering to alter fingerprints to help them avoid detection, it has been discovered.

The "asylum industry", which was criticised last week by Phil Woolas, the immigration minister, costs the taxpayer an estimated £105 million a year. However, it is plagued by unscrupulous legal advisers.

A firm in the heart of London's Bangladeshi community suggested that its clients could buy a range of illegal services.

"The firm offered a whole file with a new name and a concocted story that would be signed and sent to the Home Office," said a spokesman for the UK Border Agency (UKBA).

"They even offered an introduction to a man who could, it was claimed, alter their fingerprints." This could stop applicants who have had their claims refused being identified. Staff also overheard one barrister telling a client to "go home and learn his story". ...

The Legal Services Commission (LSC) confirmed there are 263 firms authorised to receive Legal Aid for asylum and immigration work, with spending running at about £76 million a year.

A further £23 million a year goes to two not-for-profit organisations, which provide free legal advice.

The Asylum and Immigration Tribunal has a budget of £112 million a year, although asylum cases make up less than six per cent of its caseload, at a cost of around £7 million.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – deportation
400 foreign criminals freed in error can stay in Britain
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 21 November 2008

Up to 400 criminals involved in the scandal over wrongly-released foreign prisoners, including some of the worst offenders, have been told they can stay in Britain, the Home Office disclosed yesterday.

Less than a third of the 1,013 convicts, who were released without first being considered for deportation, have been sent home, two and a half years after the scandal broke and subsequently cost Charles Clarke his job as home secretary.

Many more could end up staying in Britain because 90 are still missing, 31 are in prison again and 160 are still going through the legal process.

The figures emerged as Phil Woolas, the Immigration Minister, admitted that too many migrant workers have been let into the country under previous government policies.

He also made another attack on asylum lawyers as he disclosed the case of a Nigerian who had his claim rejected four times and was removed, only to be brought back because his solicitor lodged a judicial review.

Moves to ban individuals taking out multiple judicial reviews will be contained in the forthcoming Queen's Speech, he said.
[Newspaper link]


Million violent crimes a year, but fewer than half are solved
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 18 November 2008

Fewer than half of almost one million violent crimes committed each year are solved by police, it became clear yesterday.

The detection rate for offences of violence stood at 49 per cent last year, according to official figures issued in a parliamentary answer.

When labour came to power, almost three quarters of violent crimes were solved.

The figures, which mean that every year hundreds of thousands of victims do not see justice done, caused a fresh dispute last night over policing priorities.

Rank-and-file police leaders and opposition politicians said too much time was taken with red tape or chasing lesser crimes to attain government targets. ...

Such offences range from murder and death by dangerous driving to wounding and assaults. The category does not include sex attacks or robbery.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – deportation
Foreign rapists get chance of early release
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 17 November 2008

Hundreds of foreign rapists, paedophiles and other sex offenders will have up to nine months cut from their sentences to ease overcrowding in prisons.

Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, has changed the rules that exempt sex offenders from taking advantage of a controversial early release scheme in cases where foreign criminals agree to be deported. Victim groups described the move as an insult.

The early removal scheme (ERS) allows serving foreign prisoners to be released up to 270 days in advance of their normal halfway point release if they agree to be deported immediately.

They must serve a minimum of a quarter of any sentence but someone given a three-month term would be out in three weeks. Certain categories of offender have always been exempt from the ERS, including sex offenders, but in an order to prison governors Mr Straw has changed the rules. ...

Only those handed indeterminate or life sentences will continue to be excluded from the ERS. ...

With foreigners accounting for one in seven of the prison population, the aim is the free-up much needed space.

On Friday, the prison population stood at 83,236 – 951 places from capacity.
[Newspaper link]


Red tape stops police visiting crime victims
Nick Allen
Daily Telegraph, 17 November 2008

But Simon Reed, the vice-chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said police officers were being "engulfed" by red tape and targets and could not visit everyone. ...

Mr Reed's comments came as the Home Office's top civil servant admitted that the Government had failed to reduce serious violent crime owing to a focus on targets.

In a leaked briefing paper to ministers, the department's permanent secretary, Sir David Normington, said there were now more offences such as murders, serious assaults and rapes than a decade ago.

"Recorded crime statistics do indicate that, despite recent falls, the levels of the most serious violence are higher than they were 10 years ago," he said.
[Newspaper link]


Gang used spy gear to cheat citizenship test
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 15 November 2008

A criminal gang used elaborate James Bond-style spy gear to help immigrants cheat on citizenship tests.

Two men have been jailed after using high-tech hidden cameras, transmitters and surveillance gadgets to tell candidates the right answers.

The Life in the UK test is the last step towards earning citizenship and those who pass it are then entitled to apply for a British passport.

Applicants are asked multiple choice questions about daily life and traditions in this country.

Participants, who did not understand English, went in to a test centre in Wimbledon library, south-west London, armed with a hidden shirt buttonhole camera, microphone and earpiece.

Two fraudsters sat outside in a BMW packed with hi-tech equipment and a laptop and directed them to tick the right answers via the secret link.

... it emerged they were helping Chinese nationals undertake the multiple choice tests in the nearby building.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – employment
Security guards flee authorities after checks
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 15 November 2008

Another 1,350 illegal workers may have vanished in Britain after being initially cleared to work as security guards.

The migrants were in the country legitimately when they were licensed by the much-criticised Security Industry Authority (SIA) but have since failed to respond to requests to show they are still here legitimately.

Their disappearance emerged during a process where the SIA writes to licensed foreign security workers to alert them that their visas are about to run out and that they will have their licences revoked if they cannot show they still have permission to work here.

As a result, 1,350 failed to respond.

Thousands of three-year licences have been issued to applicants, even though their right to work was due to expire within months. ...

Last week, the authority's chief executive, Mike Wilson, was forced to quit after confirming that his own staff had not been properly vetted.
[Newspaper link]


Naming crime bosses 'breaches human rights'
Richard Edwards
Daily Telegraph, 12 November 2008

Britain's most prolific criminal masterminds cannot be named publicly by police because it could infringe their human rights.

The leaders of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) have been "deeply frustrated" after lawyers advised them not to name 39 convicted criminals because it would breach the convicts' right to a family and private life and could amount to an "unfair" punishment. The advice related to some of the country's most serious criminal gang leaders, who have had financial reporting orders imposed on them by the courts.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – punishment, prison overcrowding
Community service? 100,000 may never finish it, say MPs
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 4 November 2008

More than 100,000 offenders may not complete community sentences every year, MPs warn today.

"Basic information" about the effectiveness of the orders is simply not being collected, they have found.

Their report is a damning indictment of a key plank in the Government's attempts to ease jail overcrowding.

Sentences served in the community were introduced in 2003 to offer judges an alternative to custody. An estimated 120,000 offenders were given punishments such as cleaning up chewing gum and working in parks and gardens in 2006 to 2007.

However, the Commons public accounts committee found that there was "little information available nationally on the effectiveness of community orders". ...

Edward Leigh, chairman of the public accounts committee, spoke of a "chronic lack of information".

He said: "It does nothing for confidence in community orders, among both sentencers and the public, if no one knows how many have been completed by offenders." ...

A Ministry of Justice spokesman insisted there was "good information" about the completion of sentences.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – deportation
Illegal immigrant who killed brilliant Oxford graduate after roaring through red light can't be deported... because of his human rights
Dan Newling
Daily Mail, 4 November 2008

An illegal immigrant who killed a brilliant young writer by driving into her at 60mph cannot be deported because it would breach his human rights.

Ahsan Sabri, 28, was unlicensed and not properly insured when he roared through a red light and ploughed into Oxford University graduate Sophie Warne. ...

But the High Court overturned an immigration tribunal decision that Sabri - who had overstayed his visa - should be sent home to Pakistan.

The judge ruled that deporting him would breach his right to 'respect for family life' as he had married a British woman in 2003 and had a daughter, born last May, with her.

Lord Justice Sir Martin Moore-Bick said that if he left Britain, Sabri's wife, Laura Gleeson, 25, a graphic designer, from Essex, and their baby would probably follow and that would 'interfere with their private and family life'.

He accepted Sabri's claim that his wife may have trouble finding a job in Pakistan and could suffer 'broadly based threats and difficulties' as a result of being a Christian.

This section of human rights law also prevents Britain from deporting Learco Chindamo, the Italian-born killer of London headmaster Philip Lawrence.

Chindamo has lived in Britain since he was five and claims to have his strongest family ties here, but Sabri moved here when he was 18.

As such, the High Court's decision threatens to set a precedent in which anyone facing deportation simply needs to marry a British person to stay. ...

In July 2005, he was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving and jailed for three years.

Last year, an Immigration Tribunal ruled that he should be deported but Sabri, funded by legal aid, appealed. ...

The Home Office is understood to be deciding whether to continue the fight to deport Sabri, who lives in Grays, Essex, or to admit defeat.
[Site link]


Murder a week toll of convicts on probation
James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 31 October 2008

Criminals supposedly under the supervision of the Probation Service are committing a murder and a rape every week, official figures have shown.

In the two years to April, offenders serving community sentences and suspended sentences were convicted of 121 murders.

In total, there were 1,004 serious crimes committed by offenders being supervised by the Probation Service, including 22 attempted murders, 103 rapes, 44 acts of manslaughter and 682 other serious violent or sexual offences.

Another 374 alleged offences have yet to come to trial.

Figures from the Ministry of Justice also showed a rise in the number of offenders being spared jail in favour of community-based sentences.

Some 162,650 offenders began supervised community sentences in 2007, a 5 per cent rise from 2006.

The number of offenders being supervised by the Probation Service was 242,720 at Dec 31, 2007, up 3 per cent on the previous year.

The disclosure will raise further questions about ministers' drive to keep offenders out of jail because of overcrowding. ...

The Ministry of Justice insisted that the vast majority of offenders on probation had originally committed only minor offences, giving no clue that they would later commit serious crimes when on probation.
[Newspaper link]


Criminal gangs taking migrants' passports for benefits fraud
Daily Telegraph, 27 October 2008

Eastern European gangs operating on an "industrial scale" are fraudulently claiming tens of thousands of pounds in benefits by stealing immigrants' passports and by forging birth certificates, an undercover investigation has found.

Criminals are trafficking homeless people to Britain then taking their passports so they can be used to receive state handouts. Others are printing bogus birth certificates so they can claim valuable benefits for non-existent children.

More 4 News reporters discovered gangsters boasting of raking in £6,000 and uncovered scams operating in Chatham, Peterborough, Bradford, Sheffield and Cardiff.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – USA, racism, political correctness
Racial Profiling: The Myth that Never Dies
Jack Dunphy
National Review Online, 27 October 2008

More than seven years ago, Heather Mac Donald wrote "The Myth of Racial Profiling" for the Manhattan Institute's quarterly, City Journal. "The anti-profiling crusade," Mac Donald wrote, "thrives on an ignorance of policing and a willful blindness to the demographics of crime." This ignorance persists, and last week saw the arrival of yet another shining example of it. But, unlike the bleating from such charlatans as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, this latest bit of ignorance comes cloaked in the legitimizing finery of Ivy League science.

Last Monday, the ACLU of Southern California released a report titled "A Study of Racially Disparate Outcomes in the Los Angeles Police Department," by Ian Ayres, a professor at Yale Law School, and Jonathan Borowsky, formerly a research assistant at Yale Law School and currently a student at Harvard Law School. The study examined data collected during pedestrian and vehicle stops made by LAPD officers from July 2003 to June 2004. "We find prima facie evidence," write Ayres and Borowsky, "that African Americans and Hispanics are over-stopped, over-frisked, over-searched, and over-arrested." ...

Damning stuff, says the ACLU, which commissioned the study. ...

First of all, to claim that a study commissioned by an interest group, especially one as driven by ideology as the ACLU, is so irrefutably grounded in fact as to end debate on the matter is the very height of arrogance. Furthermore, the Ayres report has been neither peer-reviewed nor published in any scientific journal. That the report's conclusions reflect the beliefs of the organization that paid for it should come as a surprise to no one. Indeed, the ACLU may have selected Mr. Ayres on the basis of his keen ability to detect racial bias nearly everywhere he looks. ... ...

Though LAPD Chief William Bratton was critical of the Ayres report, he has as yet failed to disclose the information Klinger found lacking, information that is readily available and would surely refute the report's bottom line, to wit, that blacks in Los Angeles, and to a lesser extent Hispanics, commit crimes at a far greater rate than do whites, and are therefore subjected to a greater level of attention from police officers on patrol. If one accepts the murder rate as a benchmark for measuring violent crime, the racial disparities are indeed striking. In 2007, the LAPD investigated 394 murders. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of Los Angeles is 9.6 percent black, yet of those 394 murder victims, 134, or 34 percent, were black. And of the 354 identified murder suspects, 129 (36 percent) were black. The number of Hispanic murder victims and suspects roughly mirror the overall Hispanic population in Los Angeles. Hispanics make up 49 percent of the city's population, and last year 54 percent of its murder victims and 55 percent of its murder suspects were also Hispanic. (Whites are about 29 percent of L.A.'s population, but in 2007 they made up just 8 percent of its murder victims and 7 percent of its known murder suspects. The nationwide murder figures reflect a similar racial disparity, as revealed here.)

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was once president of the L.A. chapter of the ACLU, and the rest of the city government is composed almost entirely of like-minded liberals. They are far too committed to politically correct ideals to disclose the cold and persistent facts that LAPD cops, indeed cops all over the country, know all too well: that the murder statistics cited above are also reflected in every other category of violent crime. Far from being over, the debate over racial profiling will continue for as long as these racial disparities in crime rates do.
[Site link]


Violent crime up by a fifth after blunder
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 24 October 2008

Violent crime was disclosed to have risen by a fifth yesterday after it was discovered that police forces have been failing to keep proper figures for more than a decade. ...

Figures for the three months from April to the end of June show that incidents of serious assault, murder, attempted murder and manslaughter were up 22 per cent, from 4,500 to 5,500.

Ministers said the rise was caused by police forces failing to accurately record some crimes involving grievous bodily harm.

Home Office officials questioned 17 forces to try to understand the extent of the problem. ...

The Association of Chief Police Officers said the issue probably extended to all 43 forces in England and Wales.
[Newspaper link]


Teenage knife crime has doubled under Labour, says report
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 23 October 2008

The number of teenagers convicted of carrying a knife has doubled since Labour came to power, a report from an influential group of MPs discloses today.

The group found that knife crime was of "great concern to the public" but partnerships between police and local authorities to tackle the problem were not effective.

Edward Leigh, the chairman of the Commons public accounts committee which compiled the report, said the number of 15 to 17-year-olds convicted of carrying a knife in public had doubled between 1998-99 and 2005-06. ...

A report from the committee, Reducing the Risk of Violent Crime, questioned the effectiveness of partnerships between police, local authorities, fire brigade staff and hospital representatives.
[Newspaper link]


Belgium arrests gang smuggling migrants to Britain
Bruno Waterfield
Daily Telegraph, 20 October 2008

Belgian police have broken up a people-smuggling gang that was preparing to traffic more than 200 illegal immigrants to Britain, a state prosecutor said yesterday. Officials said that the gang, which charged Indians more than £15,000 to get into Britain, was believed to have smuggled thousands of illegal immigrants since 2007.

Police raided 19 suspected safe houses in Brussels and surrounding suburbs during dawn raids on Saturday and discovered more than 200 immigrants. Fifteen people were arrested.

... A Sikh temple in Vilvoorde, near Brussels, sheltered 50 migrants.
[Newspaper link]


Gun crime running at 60pc above the official figures
David Barrett
Sunday Telegraph, 19 October 2008

The true level of gun crime is far higher than the Government admits in official statistics, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

Figures to be published by the Home Office this week will massively understate the scale of the problem.

Data provided to this newspaper by nearly every police force in England and Wales, under freedom of information laws, show that the number of firearms incidents dealt with by officers annually is 60 per cent higher than figures stated by the Home Office.

Last year 5,600 firearms offences were excluded from the official figures. It means that, whereas the Home Office said there were 9,800 offences in 2007/8, the real total was around 15,400. The latest figures, due on Thursday, will again exclude a significant number of incidents.

The explanation for the gulf is that government figures only include cases where guns are fired, used to "pistol whip" victims, or brandished as a threat. Thousands of offences, including gun-smuggling and illegal possession of a firearm – which normally carries a minimum five-year jail sentence – are omitted from the Home Office's headline count, raising questions about the reliability of Government crime data.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – fraud
Registrars' death lists 'will fight ID fraud'
Daily Telegraph, 6 October 2008

Records of deaths are to be released for the first time in a bid to stop fraudsters stealing the identity of the deceased.

The General Register Office for England & Wales and its Scottish and Northern Irish counterparts will send encrypted files containing details of everyone who had died in the UK each week to vetted organisations, including credit-checking agencies.

The move is intended to prevent criminals using the identities of the dead to open bank accounts, commit benefit fraud or aid illegal immigration. ...

Around 12,000 records a week will be made available. Figures suggest that the cost of the crime to Britain is in the region of £1.7 billion every year.

Meg Hillier, the Home Office minister with responsibility for identity fraud, said: "...

"Identity fraud continues to be a serious problem which we know helps enable other criminal activity such as benefit fraud, illegal immigration, illegal working, drug trafficking and terrorism."
[Newspaper link]


Crime – France
Mounted police to patrol violent French schools
Peter Allen
Daily Telegraph, 6 October 2008

President Nicolas Sarkozy is to send mounted riot police to patrol France's most troubled schools, officials said yesterday.

The mounted police, who are usually only deployed at public demonstrations and major sporting events, will begin their patrols at schools in the capital's toughest suburb as gang violence among pupils increases. ...

Gang warfare has been on the rise in the areas around Le Blanc-Mesnil, especially the French capital's 19th arrondissement, which the newspaper Le Monde recently described as "The Paris Bronx", after the New York district once famed for its lawlessness and deprivation. Battles between youngsters, many of whom are of north African origin, take place over almost anything, but especially drug deals and territorial disputes. ...

Earlier this year, Mr Sarkozy's government unveiled an £800 million plan aimed at tackling social problems in run-down estates like Le Blanc-Mesnil, investing in job creation schemes, education and transport.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – multiculturalism
Girls as young as nine taken from school to marry overseas
David Barrett
Sunday Telegraph, 28 September 2008

British children as young as nine are being forced into marriage by their families, ...

Official figures show that nearly 60 children aged 15 or under have been rescued by the Government's Forced Marriage Unit in the past four years.

The cases are thought to be just a fraction of the true number. ...

A charity that runs a national helpline on forced marriage and "honour" crimes, Karma Nirvana, disclosed that in one incident a nine-year-old girl from a Pakistani family in the east Midlands was taken into council care after her parents told her she was to be wed. ...

A report this year by the Commons' all-party home affairs committee said 2,089 pupils were unaccounted for in 14 local council areas of England and Wales. A proportion of those are believed to have been taken from education and forced into marriage overseas.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – illegal immigrants
Give amnesty to illegal migrants, says senior Conservative
Amol Rajan
The Independent, 26 September 2008

Illegal immigrants who have been living in the UK for seven years should be offered an amnesty which allows them to register as residents, pay taxes and earn citizenship, according to one of the Conservative Party's senior strategists.

Anthony Browne, who will take up his role as policy director with the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, next month, says the only humane and practical way to deal with Britain's illegally settled community is to offer immunity from deportation.

His intervention, which will be followed by a Policy Exchange think-tank pamphlet later this year, will reignite a Westminster debate and could stoke policy tensions between Mr Johnson and the Tory leader, David Cameron.
[Site link]


People 'entitled to be scared on our streets'
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 23 September 2008

Jacqui Smith has admitted that people are "entitled" to feel unsafe on the streets because of knife crime. ...

Earlier this year Miss Smith, who is in charge of the country's police, said she did not feel safe out alone at night.

She made her candid comments yesterday to a local newspaper after unveiling plans at the Labour Party conference in Manchester for a multi-million-pound campaign targeting gang culture.
[Newspaper link]


PM: crime will rise as economy slows down
James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 22 September 2008

Violent crime and robbery will become more common as the economy slows down, Gordon Brown has said. ...

With economists predicting a full-blown recession, experts including Home Office analysts say that falling household incomes are likely to be accompanied by a rise in thefts and violence.

Writing in a Sunday newspaper, Mr Brown accepted that crime is likely to increase in the months ahead.
[Newspaper link]


Revealed: True knife crime total is much higher than ministers let on
Ben Leach
Sunday Telegraph, 21 September 2008

The true scale of knife crime is much worse than government statistics show, an investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has found.

Police figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show forces in England and Wales are on course to record 38,000 serious knife crimes this year, more than 100 a day.

The figure is at least two-thirds higher than last year's total of 22,151 offences, announced by the Home Office in July when it unveiled its first annual count of knife crimes. The rise has come about because ministers have changed the counting rules, after complaints that key categories of crime were excluded last year. ...

The reason for the increase is that knife offences categorised as actual bodily harm, rape, sexual assault or threats to kill, which were all excluded from last year's knife crime count, are included this year. Cases of wounding, grievous bodily harm and knifepoint robbery, which made up the bulk of last year's figures, will continue to be included this year. Mere illegal possession of a knife is not counted in the totals; if it were, the figures would be far higher.
[Newspaper link]


Council loses half of traffic wardens after immigration status checks
Chris Irvine
Daily Telegraph, 20 September 2008

Half of a council's traffic wardens have either quit their jobs or been sacked after management began carrying out immigration checks.

The 48 members of staff, who patrolled the streets of Lambeth, in south London, either resigned or have been fired after they were asked to bring in their passports.

All were part of a team of parking attendants, who had been working for the firm Apcoa. Many had been issuing tickets for several years.

New contractor NCP Services took over parking in Lambeth on Aug 1 and decided to run checks on the immigration status of its staff.

Many of the wardens simply failed to show up to work, but several brought in passports that turned out to be forgeries.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – population pressure
More prisoners to go free early to ease overcrowding
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 19 September 2008

Tens of thousands of prisoners must be released early or sent to bail hostels to ease crowded jails over the next seven years, Ministry of Justice figures show.

Prison population forecasts show a substantial fall in the number of offenders who are expected to be locked up between now and 2015.

The ministry figures show that the prison population in England and Wales could be as high as 95,800 by 2015 – a 15 per cent increase on today's population of about 84,000.

However, the estimates are a significant revision downwards on the forecasts issued this time last year, which were suggesting that the prison population could hit 101,900 in 2014 – 7,700 more than the revised estimate.

In total the new forecasts mean that 31,000 fewer prisoners will be jailed between now and 2014.

The document, Prison Population Projections 2008-2015, reveals that part of the reason for this fall in prisoner numbers was an assumption that a scheme to release prisoners 18 days early would continue "indefinitely".

Ministers had always insisted that the scheme would be imposed on a temporary basis last year.

Other prison places will be freed up by housing more offenders or prisoners in residential areas at bail hostels run by a private firm called Clearsprings. The paper indicates that the scheme will also "continue indefinitely". ...

Each prisoner who is let out of jail before the end of his sentence receives an allowance of £82. The decision to continue the scheme indefinitely will cost the taxpayer tens of millions of pounds.
[Newspaper link]


50,000 prisoners freed early receive £4m under scheme
Daily Telegraph, 18 September 2008

Nearly 50,000 prisoners will have been released early by the beginning of next year to ease jail overcrowding, Jack Straw has admitted.

The Justice Secretary also disclosed that one in 10 of the 1,000-plus offenders who had been called back to jail for breaching the terms of their release was still at large.

The "end of custody licence" scheme – which allows criminals serving less than four years to be released up to 18 days early – was introduced as what Mr Straw called a temporary measure last June in an attempt to ease jail overcrowding.

Inmates are given £82 subsistence payments if they are freed under the scheme, which means that the 49,000 prisoners will have received £4 million of taxpayers' money.
[Newspaper link]


Violence worse than crime figures show
Tom Peterkin
Daily Telegraph, 12 September 2008

Violent offences including gun crime and knife crime are far more common than official figures currently suggest, a leaked police memo discloses.

The memo, written by a senior officer, says there has been significant under reporting of serious crime and warns of "serious concerns" that confidence in the police and Government will be knocked when the true levels are revealed.

It was drawn up in response to a briefing paper given to the Metropolitan Police Authority outlining Home Office changes to the definition of crimes.

Under the changes, police have been told to classify all offences as gun or knife crime when there is a threat with a weapon. Previously, this did not happen if the weapons were hidden.

Similarly, more assaults are to be classified as grievous bodily harm rather than the less serious actual bodily harm when a victim is injured.

In the memo, Det Chief Supt Peter Barron said: "The potential increase could be a rise in recorded GBH of 58 per cent, a rise in gun crime of 20 per cent and a rise in knife crime of 15 per cent."
[Newspaper link]


Inmate refusing to leave prison
Richard Edwards
Daily Telegraph, 6 September 2008

An inmate is refusing to leave jail despite his sentence having ended two years ago.

The male foreign national has exploited a loophole by refusing to divulge his real name and home country.

He was due to be deported at the end of a six-year sentence for wounding with intent and aggravated burglary but has remained at HMP Peterborough as the paperwork cannot be processed.

Prison leaders fear the man could potentially remain there indefinitely – costing the taxpayer an estimated £30,000 a year.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – prisons, number of criminals
Half of all criminals reoffend within year
Richard Edwards
Daily Telegraph, 5 September 2008

Nearly half of all criminals released from jail reoffended within a year of being let out, figures have disclosed.

The number of crimes committed by serial offenders who have just left prison or begun a community punishment has risen to more than half a million a year, according to data from the Ministry of Justice.

Almost four out of 10 adults and juveniles are convicted of another crime within 12 months. ...

The figures showed that the longer offenders spent in custody, the less likely they were to re-offend.

By contrast, the number of severe new offences by those receiving community sentences rose by 21 per cent. The crimes included an estimated 92,384 cases of violence; 3,392 serious assaults; 8,404 robberies; 46,300 burglaries and 137,320 thefts.

Nick Herbert, the shadow justice secretary, said: "The Government is forcing courts to issue more community sentences because it has failed to build adequate prison capacity. However, community sentences are not robust and they are not stopping prolific criminals going on to commit serious offences."

Yesterday one of Britain's most senior police officers said that confidence in the criminal justice system had been undermined by a prison crisis. Mike Fuller, the chief constable of Kent police, said criminals were avoiding jail or being freed early due to a shortage of prison places, which he claimed ministers should have foreseen five years ago.

The Ministry of Justice figures tracked the 51,157 adults and 48,938 juveniles who were released from jail or began community punishments in the first three months of 2006. ...

With many criminals being caught several times, there were 146 offences for every 100 adults in the group, and 123 crimes per 100 juveniles.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – marriage
Bishops warn of sham weddings to win passports
Jonathan Wynne-Jones
Sunday Telegraph, 24 August 2008

Illegal immigrants are exploiting a legal loophole to gain British citizenship by getting married in the Church of England.

Bishops have warned their vicars to be on the look out for migrants who are applying to marry in church to get an "immigration advantage".

The bishops issued their warning after noticing a large increase in the number of non-EU foreign nationals getting married in church, with some dioceses reporting a 400 per cent rise.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – violence
Armed attacks on children 96 times a day
Ben Leach
Sunday Telegraph, 24 August 2008

More than 35,000 children were attacked or threatened with a weapon last year, according to figures from the police.

Shotguns, handguns, knives, knuckledusters, nunchucks, axes, meat hooks and even bombs were used to attack or intimidate 96 children every day in England and Wales. ...

The data were obtained from 20 of the 43 forces in England and Wales, covering more than half of the population. The figures for those areas show that last year 18,403 children were attacked or threatened with a weapon, suggesting that across England and Wales as a whole there were more than 35,000 such incidents – one every 15 minutes.

The count includes murder, assault, theft and robbery, where a weapon was intimated or involved. ... ...

Angela Lawrence, of Mothers Against Violence, said: "Any attack on a child has a devastating impact. Violence begets violence – it's a vicious circle. It's vital that we support anyone who becomes a victim at such a young age."
[Newspaper link]


Muggings by children double
Melissa Kite
Sunday Telegraph, 10 August 2008

The number of muggings committed by children has doubled, it was disclosed last night.

One in eight violent crimes – more than a quarter of a million – was committed by school-age offenders in the year to April, figures show.

Muggings by under-16s, including robberies and snatch thefts, doubled in one year from 27,000 to 55,000.

Children also committed more than 70,000 offences of stranger violence, a 17 per cent rise, the British Crime Survey found.

In the survey – the Government's preferred measure of crime – victims are asked whether their attacker appeared "of school age or under". ...

Although the crime figures for 2007-8 published last month showed an overall fall in crime, including violent crime, closer analysis has shown the jump in youth violence.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – police, bureaucracy
Police wasting time filing
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 7 August 2008

Police are wasting more than a third of their days doing paperwork instead of fighting crime, the Government has admitted.

Some spend nearly four hours in every eight-hour shift filling in forms rather than on the beat.

Home Office figures show that police spent less than tow thirds of their time on the front line last year. ...

The statistics cover all 43 forces in England and Wales and ... The figures cover the three years to the end of March last year – before a report from Sir Ronnie Flanagan, the chief inspector of constabulary, was published into police bureaucracy in February.

He recommended stripping back red tape to release up to seven million hours of police time every year – the equivalent of 3,500 officers.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – border security
Criminals 'allowed to run free'
Daily Telegraph, 1 August 2008

Criminals on the run are being allowed to remain free because of an obsession with police paperwork and a "lack of joined-up working" within the criminal justice system, a report declared yesterday.

It found that a "paperwork obsession" among police, probation officers and court officials, lets criminals avoid justice. Those who flee abroad go undetected as there is no system for checking when suspects enter or leave the country, said Eddie Bloomfield, the chief inspector of court administration.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – education
Police in the playground to tackle knife crime
Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 30 July 2008

More police officers will be placed in schools under government plans to tackle teenage knife crime.

Forces will be encouraged to station officers permanently inside school buildings to frisk pupils for weapons, to patrol corridors and to impose order in the playground.

Some 450 schools – normally tough, inner-city secondaries – already have their own police officer. ...

Addressing a conference for education professionals in Daventry, Northants, yesterday, Lord Adonis unveiled plans to expand the so-called Safer Schools Partnerships programme – the scheme linking teachers with police.
[Newspaper link]


Over half of young knife suspects are black, Scotland Yard figures reveal
Stephen Wright
Mail on Sunday, 20 July 2008

Black youths are suspected of more than half of knife crime among children in the capital, according to confidential Scotland Yard figures.

A highly-sensitive report reveals that 124 of the 225 under-18s legally 'proceeded against' for knife offences in the past three months are from the black community.

Yet in the overwhelming majority of reported cases of knife crime involving young people, the victims are white.

In cases where ethnicity was logged by police, 222 of the 345 under-18s attacked or threatened with a blade since April 1 were white. Sixty-one were black.

The ethnicity of a further 292 victims aged under 18 was not stated.

One possible explanation is that in many cases, the victims are black gang members who did not wish to co-operate with police, meaning the figures do not necessarily give a complete picture.

The figures are the first comprehensive breakdown of knife crime and race in London, which has been hit by a spate of fatal stabbings involving teenagers.

They will reopen the debate on whether more robust stop and search tactics are needed to end the culture of knife carrying by youngsters.


According to official figures, approximately one in eight of the London population is black. ...

In the 18-29 age bracket, 312 people were accused of knife offences from April 1. Of these 125 were white and 115 black.

Three hundred of the victims in this category were white, 153 black and 118 Asian.

For reasons which were unclear, the ethnicity of 407 was not stated.

Of the 741 people of all ages accused of knife crime between April 1 and June 30, 299 were white, 296 black, 40 mixed race, 70 Asian, 27 Chinese or other minority group and nine not stated.

This month Scotland Yard Deputy Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson suggested knife crime has overtaken terrorism as the top priority for London police.

Sir Paul made the remarks as he announced a specialist knife-crime unit to tackle teenagers carrying blades in the capital.

It will use a 75-strong team of specialist officers to target gang members and their associates. ...

Detective Inspector George Rhoden, president of the National Organisation of Black Law Enforcement Executives, said: 'In the black community we are all aware that there is major concern with gun and knife crime.

'Clearly we are not the only part of the community affected by absent fatherhood, but parental responsibility should be of major concern.'

Around 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.
[Site link]


356 victims of knife crime every day
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 18 July 2008

One person is the victim of a knife crime every four minutes, Home Office figures released yesterday showed.

Almost 130,000 violent offences involved a knife last year, equivalent to 356 a day, the British Crime Survey found.

The figures, which showed that such offences accounted for 6 per cent of the estimated 2.16 million violent crimes last year, are further evidence of the scale of the knife problem sweeping the country. ...

The police's recorded crime figures, released alongside the British Crime Survey, showed that, overall, crimes committed in England and Wales were down by 10 per cent, although there were increases in shootings and murders. The police statistics showed that there were 22,151 knife offences in the 12 months to March 31.

This included 231 attempted murders, 11,528 personal robberies, 2,359 business robberies and more than 8,000 woundings.

The figure is lower than the British Crime Survey's figures because less than half of offences are reported to police.

One third of knife crimes, which included attempted murder, grievous bodily harm, wounding and mugging at knifepoint, were in London, which had 7,409 offences.

The West Midlands had 2,303 incidents and Greater Manchester had 2,294. Many rural forces also recorded hundreds of knife crimes. ... ...

Overall there were one million fewer crimes, while the risk of being a victim of crime had fallen from 24 to 22 per cent, the lowest level recorded since the British Crime Survey began in 1981.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – wounding
Doctors urged to report all stab wounds
Laura Clout
Daily Telegraph, 18 July 2008

Doctors in emergency departments should pass details about stab victims to police to help tackle knife crime, said a senior researcher.

Prof Jonathan Shepherd, director of the Violence Research Group at Cardiff University, said anonymous data should be collected by all accident and emergency wards about where and when violence occurs and the types of weapons used. ...

Writing in the British Medical Journal, he went on: "Many violent incidents that result in medical treatment are not reported to the police because patients are afraid of reprisals, they are unable to identify assailants, or they are unwilling to have their own conduct scrutinised." ...

Since 2000, violence in England and Wales has become considerably less frequent, but injuries may have become more serious, Prof Shepherd said.

He points to hospital statistics showing that the number of people admitted to hospital with knife wounds has risen by 25 per cent in the last seven years.

However, there was a parallel increase in the rate of admissions after violence of all types.
[Newspaper link]


Revealed: 60 knife attacks each day
Ben Leach
Sunday Telegraph, 13 July 2008

More than 20,000 serious knife crimes were committed last year, The Sunday Telegraph can disclose. The figures, compiled by police forces for the first time, reveal the full extent of Britain's knife crime epidemic.

They show that almost 60 people are stabbed or mugged at knife-point every day. ...

The Sunday Telegraph has obtained data from 33 of the 43 forces in England and Wales, covering more than four-fifths of the population. The figures show that 20,803 serious knife crimes were recorded in the year to March, or 56 per day.

Allowing for forces that did not provide figures, the nationwide total is expected to be about 25,000. If Scotland and Northern Ireland attacks were included, it would be even higher.

The count includes only murders, stabbings where blood is spilt, and knife-point muggings. If less-serious crimes such as threats or illegal possession were included, the figures would be much higher.
[Newspaper link]


Doctors told to report knife wounds
Andrew Porter and Nicole Martin
Daily Telegraph, 7 July 2008

Hospital staff will be compelled to inform police when patients are treated for stab wounds in the same way that they have to report gunshot wounds.

Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, said this would help to establish the true scale of knife crime in Britain amid concern that many offences go unreported. ...

Miss Smith was responding to a report by Channel 4's Street Weapons Commission, headed by Cherie Blair, that said the public must have access to comprehensive data on gun and knife crime, including the jail sentences handed down.
[Newspaper link]


Stab-proof vests
Daily Telegraph, 7 July 2008

Hospital trusts and local authorities are said to be ordering stab-proof vests in their tens of thousands to protect front-line staff, including hospital porters and traffic wardens.

The Body Armour Company, which is based in Oxfordshire, said it had received about 10,000 orders for protective vests.

Peter Warren, a company spokesman, said: "More and more councils are becoming aware of the need for armour and protecting their staff. Headmasters are also aware that their teachers are at risk and that knife crime is getting worse."
[Newspaper link]


14,000 knife victims a year
Jonathan Owen
The Independent on Sunday, 6 July 2008

Knife violence in Britain is far worse than official statistics suggest, with almost 14,000 people taken to hospital for injuries caused by knives and other sharp weapons last year.

According to the latest Department of Health statistics, an average of 38 victims of knife wounds are admitted to accident and emergency departments across the country every day.

An analysis of hospital admissions data for England and Wales by the IoS revealed that assaults and injuries from knives and sharp implements, together with sword and dagger injuries, resulted in 12,340 people being admitted last year – 446 of whom were no older than 14. This is an increase of 19 per cent on the 10,372 admissions five years ago. The latest figures from Northern Ireland and Scotland bring the total number of victims in Britain to 13,795 each year. ...

The latest statistics from hospitals in England alone highlight an 88 per cent jump in the number of children suffering stab wounds – from 95 in 2002-03 to 179 in 2006-07. And among 16- to 18-year-olds, there has been a 75 per cent rise from 429 to 752.

New figures provided to the IoS under the Freedom of Information Act highlight how the number of people being prosecuted by magistrates for possessing knives has rocketed up from the 4,489 in 1997, the year Labour came to power. By 2006, that figure had jumped to 7,699.

Most were not jailed, with just 14 per cent ending up in prison for little more than three months on average. Suspended sentences leapt from nine in 1997 to 552 in 2006.

The revelations undermine claims by the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, last week that knife crime "is not more serious than it has been previously".

Government assurances are based on results from the British Crime Survey, which has recorded "knife-enabled crime" as remaining stable at between 5-8 per cent of all violent crimes in the past decade.

But a report by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies at King's College appears to confirm the IoS findings, noting that knife crime "suffers from a lack of research on the nature, extent, cause, motivation, frequency and possible growth of knife carrying".

London remains the centre of what is increasingly viewed as a nationwide epidemic. Fatal stabbings of teenagers in London total 14 since the start of the year. In total, 18 have been murdered, compared with 27 for the whole of last year.
[Site link]


Knife crime eclipses terrorism
Richard Edwards
Daily Telegraph, 5 July 2008

Fighting the knife crime epidemic has overtaken terrorism as the top priority for police in London, a senior officer said yesterday, as details emerged of the 18th teenager murdered in the capital this year. ...

Scotland Yard launched Operation Blunt, a high-profile crackdown on knife crime, in May. Yesterday it announced that it was setting up a dedicated anti-knife taskforce of 75 officers.

However, police sources admit they still do not know what is causing the increase in teen-on-teen murders.
[Newspaper link]


Crime is costing every one of us £275 a year, says report
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 4 July 2008

Crime cost the public almost £15 billion last year, an average of £275 for every person, says a report published today.

There were wide regional variations across police forces, with residents of Nottinghamshire suffering from the highest cost of crime, at £390 each. It was followed by London, at £388 per person, while crime on Humberside cost £380 per person. ...

The first "Cost of Crime" report from the TaxPayers' Alliance uses data gathered from police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland using the Freedom of Information Act. Scotland is not included as it has a separate legal system.

Crimes were cross-referenced with the cost of each offence, according to the Home Office, to produce a picture of the impact of recorded crime around the country.
[Newspaper link]


Call for rethink on knife thugs who will be let off with a fine
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 2 July 2008

New sentencing rules that will allow offenders caught with knives to escape with a fine have been condemned by a Home Office minister.

Tony McNulty said yesterday that the Sentencing Guidelines Council should rethink its controversial advice as concern grows over a series of fatal stabbings of teenagers.

Cherie Blair admitted yesterday that she fears for her children when they go out on their own. She also told MPs that knife crime among teenagers was more common than official figures suggested.
[Newspaper link]


British girls as young as 14 are being trafficked for sex within the UK
Daily Mail, 2 July 2008

British girls as young as 12 are being forced into prostitution by migrants in a new crime of 'internal' people trafficking. ...

They are raped and often drugged, according to police.

Officers have identified 'syndicates of Iraqi men throughout the UK' behind the exploitation.

A Government report said 'internal trafficking' was an 'emerging issue' and it should no longer be assumed young victims of sex exploitation were smuggled from abroad.

A UK Human Trafficking Centre intelligence report says girls as young as 12 are taken from town to town and controlled with threats and assault.

In one operation, 32 victims were identified in the Sheffield area alone. All were aged 12 to 15 and had been raped. ...

Figures released at the end of a six-month crackdown on people traffickers showed 167 victims were rescued across Britain and Ireland and 528 suspected traffickers were arrested. ...

Home Office minister Vernon Coaker said it was difficult to establish the scale of the problem with internal trafficking.

'It is something that increasingly people are raising and we are trying to get a better understanding of what exactly is taking place,' he said.

'It is difficult for us to determine what the size of that problem is but it's something we are aware of and we have concerns about.' ...

Gloucestershire Chief Constable Dr Tim Brain, who coordinated the major trafficking crackdown known as Operation Pentameter Two, said it had revealed a large number of brothels in apparently ordinary suburban locations.

Out of more than 800 premises visited by this campaign, nearly 600 were residential and 157 were massage parlours, saunas and nail bars, which are the more traditional 'front' for brothels. ...

Latest estimates by police are that there may be as many 18,000 trafficked victims that are forced to work as prostitutes, Dr Brain went on.

The projections varied considerably and could be between 6,000 and 18,000, he added.
[Site link]


Crime – USA
Our troubled country: immigration's racial violence spreading across America [part 1]
Frosty Wooldridge
News with Views [website], 19 June 2008

In an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, June 12, 2008, "In L.A., race kills," Sheriff Lee Baca wrote a disturbing piece concerning black on brown racially motivated killings.

* More than half of all new U S Federal Crimes Are Committed by Illegal Aliens, Syracuse University TRAC Says

* 17% of Population Commits 57% of Serious Crimes; Rate nearly Four Times Higher than for U S Citizens

Baca said, "Conversations about race are fraught with emotion, confusion and controversy. But that doesn't mean we should avoid or sidestep the issue.

"As a Latino raised in East Los Angeles, and as the elected sheriff of Los Angeles County for the last decade, I have seen many sides of the race issue. I have lived it, in fact.

"So let me be very clear about one thing: We have a serious interracial violence problem in this county involving blacks and Latinos.

"Some people deny it. They say that race is not a factor in L.A.'s gang crisis; the problem, they say, is not one of blacks versus Latinos and Latinos versus blacks but merely one of gang members killing other gang members.

"But they're wrong. The truth is that, in many cases, race is at the heart of the problem. Latino gang members shoot blacks because of their skin color. Likewise, black gang members shoot Latinos because they are brown.

"In February 2006, our jail system erupted into a full-scale riot involving about 2,000 black and Latino inmates at the North County Correctional Facility at Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic. One black inmate died and numerous others were injured. Through extensive interviews with participants, our investigation revealed that race was the motivating factor.

"Furthermore, we have evidence linking inmates who are known as "shot callers" directly to street shootings based entirely on race. These shot callers at Pitchess and elsewhere are affiliated with gangs, to be sure, and in many cases they may give the order to kill a particular person or a member of a particular gang. But if that person or gang cannot be found, the shot caller will often order the gunman to find someone – anyone – who is black or brown and shoot them instead. Only the color of the victim's skin matters.

"I would even take this a step further and suggest that some of L.A.'s so-called gangs are really no more than loose-knit bands of blacks or Latinos roaming the streets looking for people of the other color to shoot. "Race-based violence has even found its way into our school system, although no deaths have been reported. Some say it's always been there, but it certainly is rearing its ugly head now more than ever. Most recently, fighting broke out in May between more than 600 black and brown students at Locke High School in South L.A."

In 1908, President Teddy Roosevelt said, "The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, or presenting all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities."
[Site link]


Crime – USA
Our troubled country: immigration's racial violence spreading across America [part 2]
Frosty Wooldridge
News with Views [website], 19 June 2008

"The racial divide is being driven by the ongoing population growth and demographic changes that have buffeted L.A. for decades," Baca said. "The perception that one group has more opportunities and advantages than another can lead to resentment, competition and, ultimately, spontaneous eruptions of violence.

"The problem of interracial violence is not intractable; we've made progress in other settings. ..."

While Baca struggles with minuscule success, America's streets become more dangerous along with highways where drunken illegal aliens drive cars without responsibility.

While America imports 182,000 legal immigrants and illegal aliens every 30 days, a festering inability to get along with one another turns violent in communities across the land. Out of that 82,000 illegals monthly, a full 10 percent or 8,200 of them arrive as hardened criminals ready to ply their trade in our communities. Phoenix, Arizona suffers 57,000 cars stolen annually. Over 15,000 MS-13 gang members operate in 33 states. Millions of illegals drive without licenses or insurance as shown in Greeley, Colorado where they suffered 272 hit and runs last year.

Today, brown on black killing doesn't account for brown on white killing of police officers like Dallas' Brian Jackson, Phoenix's Erfle shot in the face, Don Young in Denver shot in the back of the head and the list grows by the month.

Academics that dreamed up "multiculturalism" for the benefit of our nation failed their anthropology exams. The more 'diverse' we become, the more angry and violent our responses. The more packed-in we become, the more our primordial actions manifest. The more our population explodes, the more we must share with less. Obviously, Los Angeles proves our racial 'bow' of the Titanic.

As Sheriff Baca stated, "race kills" and Americans of all colors become victims. It accelerates at 182,000 added immigrants every month.
[Site link]


Crime – deportation
Thousands of Chinese criminals cannot be deported
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 10 June 2008

Tens of thousands of illegal Chinese immigrants cannot be deported for crimes committed here because China is refusing to take them back, prosecutors said yesterday.

The loophole has emerged following the case of a Chinese illegal immigrant who cannot be sent home despite acting as a salesman for one of Britain's biggest counterfeit DVD operations.

Hong Guo, 20, was caught in a "warehouse" in London containing 40,000 DVDs. She is a failed asylum seeker who arrived here two years ago and has no right to work or claim benefits in Britain.

Although Hong's deportation was ordered yesterday, prosecutors said it was unlikely she would return home because China will probably refuse to take her back. Jason Bartfeld told the Old Bailey: "The problem is with China and Vietnam. They are not accepting their nationals back." ...

Officials from the Federation Against Copyright Theft (Fact) said that she would probably return to work with Chinese criminal gangs within days.

Eddy Leviten, a spokesman for Fact, said there were tens of thousands of Chinese people working illegally in Britain – and very few were ever sent back to China. Because they are illegal immigrants, most have destroyed their identity papers. China, therefore, disputes their identity and nationality and refuses to accept that they are Chinese.

Mr Leviten said: "It is very, very frustrating both from an investigation point of view and from a police perspective." ...

A spokesman for the UK Border and Immigration Agency denied that there were problems deporting criminals.

She said: "We can and do return people to China and Vietnam.

"Biometric visas have been rolled out to more than 100 countries, including China and Vietnam, tying people to one identity, whilst foreign nationals will soon be required to carry ID cards."
[Newspaper link]


1,400 foreign convicts freed early
Robert Winnett
Daily Telegraph, 5 June 2008

Almost 1,400 foreign convicts have been granted early release over the past year, it has emerged, undermining claims by Gordon Brown that offenders from overseas could be expected to be treated harshly.

The prisoners, thought to include burglars, drug dealers and fraudsters, were freed under emergency measures brought in because jails are full. Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, admitted that between June 29, 2007 and March 31 this year, 767 EU nationals and 617 non-EU nationals were granted early release.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – America
MS-13 Primer: 'The Most Dangerous Gang' In North America
City News [Canada], 5 June 2008

They are called by one source "the most dangerous gang in America." And it's one U.S. import Toronto definitely wants to stop at the border. They're known officially as "Mara Salvatrucha 13," but most people refer to them by a much simpler name: MS-13. ...

But no matter what you call them, law enforcement officials - including the FBI - pronounce them a real danger to any community where they set up shop. ...

MS-13 is believed to have originated in El Salvador, as a response to a brutal civil war. But some immigrants to the U.S. brought the gang mentality with them, where it spread like a disease. They are known to be extremely violent and seem to go out of their way to commit the kinds of atrocities that will get them noticed by police and the press. ...

The FBI estimates some 10,000 members have established themselves in at least 33 states down south, including New York, southern California and most especially the bureau's own backyard, Washington D.C.

They're the largest street gang in El Salvador, and have tentacles in Honduras and Guatemala, where law enforcement officials indicate their numbers may be as high as 40,000. Gangs are also plaguing parts of Mexico and Jamaica. ...

Like all gangs, guns and knives are part of their repertoire. But unlike the other groups, the machete has become a particularly nasty symbol of their intentions and they've used them frequently to commit a host of atrocities. ...

The FBI claims the group is involved in all kinds of illegal activities that bring in big bucks, mostly involving drug distribution, money laundering and illegal weapons. But because of their penchant for violence, the gang is also said to regularly be behind a host of murders, rapes, robberies, carjackings, home invasions and prostitution. ...

In their most famous moment of infamy in 2002, MS-13 members - angry about new laws designed to stop their activities - shanghaied a bus in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, went on board armed with AK-47s and M-16s, and ruthlessly slaughtered 28 completely innocent people -including 7 young children.
[Site link]


Crime – Norway
City tackles juvenile crime
Knut Nygaard
Aftenposten [Norway], 4 June 2008

Juvenile crime is hitting new heights in Oslo, and both the police and city officials are seriously worried. ...

Around 50 youth account for some 20 percent of all juvenile crime in Oslo, and 66 percent of the 50 aren't ethnic Norwegians, even though many have Norwegian citizenship.
[Site link]


Mass immigration to blame for knife culture, chief constable warns
James Slack
Daily Mail, 4 June 2008

A chief constable gave a stark public warning yesterday of 'immense' pressure placed on resources by the unprecedented influx of immigrants.

Julie Spence, who heads Cambridgeshire Police, took the highly unusual step of singling out Poles, Lithuanians and Iraqi Kurds who are carrying knives on the streets.

The comments of such a senior officer in an Parliamentary evidence session will spark widespread alarm at a time when the UK is struggling to control knife crime. ...

The chief constable - who first sparked a nationwide debate on migrant crime last year - also said there were problems related to violent debt recovery among Eastern Europeans. ...

Mrs Spence also described as 'very worrying' growing labour and sexual exploitation within former Communist communities whose nations have joined the EU since 2004. In the same evidence session, Local Government Association chairman Sir Simon Milton reported a series of 'spikes' in crime as a result of mass immigration.

He told the Home Affairs Select Committee there had been an issue with largely Romanian pick-pocketing gangs in the Westminster area.

'Nationally there has been no crime wave but there are instances where there have been spikes in certain types of criminal activity. Much of it is low-level - driving offences, and so on.'

Mrs Spence has given previous warnings of the link between migrants and certain types of crime. Last September she highlighted a surge in drinkdriving, for example, by migrants with 'different' cultures and standards. ...

... She also claimed that the Government had greatly underestimated the soaring numbers of Eastern Europeans entering the UK.

Mrs Spence said as many as 1.4 million had arrived since the borders were opened to them four years ago - half a million more than the official figure.
[Site link]


Crime – benefits and costs
Care home workers go unchecked, police warn
Richard Ford
The Times, 2 June 2008

Tens of thousands of migrants are working with vulnerable elderly people in care homes without undergoing full criminal record checks, The Times has learnt.

Senior police officers have alerted Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, to the scale of the problem in a report detailing the impact on the UK of migration from Eastern Europe.

The introduction of a watchdog next year to vet care workers will not address the problem, they add.

It is estimated that about 400,000 elderly people are being looked after in care homes. This figure is expected to reach 750,000 by 2031 as more and more people live longer. Many of the homes would be unable to operate without employing foreign workers, as British workers are unwilling to take the jobs.

Ms Smith has been told that tens of thousands of migrants are being employed in care homes and other areas of social care without being fully checked because the authorities cannot access foreign criminal records.

An estimated 240,000 foreign-born people were employed in the care-related sector in 2006. They include more than 105,000 care assistants and home carers. A further 23,000 people were working as childminders and 23,000 as nursing auxiliaries.

More than 20,000 workers from Poland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have registered as care workers since their countries joined the EU in May 2004.

Since 2005 the EU has been trying to set up a system for the exchange of criminal records, but progress has been slow and the Criminal Records Bureau in Britain is planning only pilot projects with four countries.

The directive does not address the issue of checks on migrants from countries outside the EU.

Senior police officers have warned the Government that even after a register designed to prevent unsuitable people from working with the vulnerable comes into force full checks on migrants will still not take place. ...

Peter Cullimore, chairman of the nurses' and carers' sector of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, said: "For many of the countries, and certainly the East European states, I cannot see any chance of setting up arrangements with them so we could get checks done.

"We have no way of finding out whether they have criminal records before they came to this country."

Migrants from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia make up another substantial proportion of workers in the care sector, according to Mr Cullimore.
[Site link]


Surgeon: one in three of trauma patients has been knifed
Justin Davenport and Anna Davis
Evening Standard (London), 2 June 2008

Knife violence in London is now running as high as gun warfare in some US cities, it is claimed today.

One of Britain's leading trauma surgeons has told how one in three of his trauma patients is now a stabbing victim.

Karim Brohi, a consultant surgeon at the Royal London Hospital, said the proportion of injuries from knives and guns was now on a level with - if not greater than - cities such as Los Angeles or Chicago.

He described how, on occasions, the wards in his hospital resembled "a war zone" with some patients being treated for their second or third knife wound. ...

Mr Brohi spoke out as an Evening Standard survey showed how casualty wards across the capital were bearing the brunt of the rise in knife crime and treating hundreds of victims each year.

A snapshot survey of wards reveals at least 424 knife victims have been treated in hospital for stab wounds so far this year, 227 of which were serious cases. The true number of victims is even higher because each hospital records cases of stabbings in different ways. ...

Mr Brohi, one of the country's experts in dealing with knife and gunshot injuries, said the number of people being treated for knife injuries was rising almost "month on month".

His letter to the Standard was written along with two leading members of London's medical profession, the Royal London's surgical registrar Thomas Konig and Dr Anne Weaver, the lead clinician for the capital's air ambulance service.

The medics say: "We have already seen 100 major stabbings at The Royal London Hospital alone this year. This figure does not include minor cuts and lacerations that are not life threatening and are seen on a daily basis. In 2007 we saw 71 patients in the same period and 185 patients in the whole year. ..." ...

At the Royal London last year about 23 per cent of its trauma workload involved penetrating wounds - stab or gunshot wounds - but last month this figure had risen to 30 per cent.
[Site link]


Crime – prisoners
Don't catch any more thieves - the prisons are FULL, say guards
James Slack
Mail Online, 28 May 2008

Prison guards warned yesterday that wanted criminals are not being rounded up because there is no room in jail - on the day the number of prisoners topped 83,000 for the first time.

Guards said the situation is so bad that police are delaying the execution of warrants for the arrest and imprisonment of bail-jumping burglars, thieves and other criminals.

The latest crisis follows a surge in prisoner numbers of more than 250 over the bank holiday weekend, which was marred by violent attacks. ...

The dramatic increase in inmate numbers over the weekend - taking the total to around 83,070 - leaves the Government once again reliant on police cells.

Including police cells, the total maximum prison capacity is 83,423. Even with the 400 spaces available under Operation Safeguard - which costs the taxpayer around £400 per prisoner each night - there are still only a few hundred places left.

In a desperate bid to buy more time, Ministers have activated a plan to cut nine months from the sentence of foreign criminals, including burglars and muggers.

The foreign nationals will be sent home 270 days before their sentences reach the halfway point.

Once they arrive back in their homeland, they will be free. The only sacrifice the villains will be expected to make is to promise not to return to the UK until the 270 days are up.

Ministers hope it will reduce the number of foreign criminals clogging Britain's jails, which currently stands at around 11,000.

But critics say it will deny justice to British victims of their crimes. In some cases, it could lead to inmates guilty of serious crimes serving only a few weeks behind bars. ...

The MoJ added: 'We have made it clear that foreign national prisoners should face deportation when they meet the relevant criteria, and that deportation should happen as early as possible in their sentence.

'The early removal scheme in respect of foreign national prisoners has been successfully in operation since 2004 and over 3,000 prisoners have been removed to their country of origin under the scheme.'
[Site link]


Crime – Islam
Muslim gang coup fear at top security jail
Duncan Gardham
Daily Telegraph, 26 May 2008

Muslim gangs are threatening to take control of one of Britain's top security prisons where inmates include al-Qa'eda terrorists, a report reveals.

Staff at Whitemoor jail, Cambs, believe a "serious incident is imminent" as several wings become dominated by Muslim prisoners.

There is an ongoing theme of fear and instability among employees, says the Prison Service's Directorate of High Security report. ...

The situation has become so bad that white prisoners are warned about the Muslim gangs by staff of arrival. ...

"Staff appear reluctant to challenge inappropriate behaviour, in particular among black and ethnic minority prisoners, for fear of doing the wrong thing," the report adds.

"This is leading to a general feeling of a lack of control and shifting the power dynamic towards prisoners."

Just under a third of the 500 prisoners are Whitemoor are Muslim.

Although they include the shoebomber Saajid Badat, the majority of them have been jailed for offences unrelated to terrorism.
[Newspaper link]


Where zero tolerance is cutting crime
Andrew Pierce
Daily Telegraph, 24 May 2008

In London there have been 39 teenage murders since January last year and 69 people under the age of 25 have been killed in the same period. In Merseyside, where Mr Hogan-Howe has been chief constable since September 2004, the total is not in double figures.

Mr Hogan-Howe is the scourge of the liberal judges, the health and safety brigade, and an advocate of zero tolerance. He is scornful of the idea of merely cautioning people caught in possession of knives and guns. In Merseyside charges are brought irrespective of whether the knife has been used or not. ...

Never frightened to speak out, he believes the police should say publicly that the majority of knife and gun crime has been committed by young black men and then find out why.
[Newspaper link]


Thief paid £3,000 to leave UK was back a day later
Andy Bloxham
Daily Telegraph, 23 May 2008

A prolific thief who was paid £3,000 by the Government to leave Britain returned the next day to continue stealing, a court heard yesterday.

Hakim Benmakhlouf, 26, who is Algerian, preyed on tourists and guests at five-star hotels and restaurants, stealing cash, passports and designer handbags. ...

Benmakhlouf, a father of two who had 12 different aliases and used three different dates of birth, used distraction tactics to aid his stealing.

In one bag theft at the Madame Tussauds waxworks in London, he sprayed his victim with tomato sauce to create confusion. According to police, Benmakhlouf lived an extravagant lifestyle, enjoying a home in St John's Wood, in north-west London.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – numbers
Britain on brink of ethnic violence, says police chief
Richard Edwards
Daily Telegraph, 22 May 2008

The worsening credit crisis could lead to ethnic violence on Britain's streets as jobs become more scarce, one of the country's most senior police officers warned yesterday.

Julie Spence, chief constable of Cambridgeshire, said her officers were already struggling to cope with the consequences of migration and warned that if the economic downturn continued, it would heighten tensions in communities with large numbers of migrant workers. ...

The police chief claimed that "poor" Government figures on migrant numbers could not be trusted.

Ministers had underestimated the number of Eastern Europeans in the UK by up to two thirds, she said, adding that her own research suggested there were as many as 1.4 million living in Britain.

According to official statistics published this week, 845,000 Eastern European migrants have applied for the Worker Registration Scheme.

Mrs Spence [said ...] that reports that some migrants were returning home were wrong. She gave a series of examples of new problems faced by her officers as a result of the growing migrant population.

They included violence breaking out between people from Iraq and Pakistan following confrontations over young women. ... ...

Mrs Spence said in Peterborough alone, 93 cultures were now represented and 100 languages spoken.

She added: "There are foreign nationals in our cells every day of the week."
[Newspaper link]


Crime – employment
Ministers knew of airport farce for five years
Andrew Porter
Daily Telegraph, 9 May 2008

Ministers have known for five years that checks on foreigners working in airports did not cover overseas criminal records.

A loophole in the vetting procedure means that while pilots and British workers undergo rigorous checks, foreign applicants for "airside" jobs can have a criminal past overseas that is not picked up.

Last night questions were being asked about why ministers have not acted to try to close the loopholes which have led to concerns that terrorists could get access to flights. ...

There are also fears that other foreign workers in other industries are working without proper checks on whether they have criminal records.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – employment
Airport staff avoid crime checks
BBC, 8 May 2008

Foreign workers employed airside at UK airports do not have to undergo full mandatory criminal records checks, the BBC's Newsnight has discovered.

Since 2003, all staff have been checked against UK criminal records, but offences abroad are not covered.

The government said workers were also subject to physical security measures on a daily basis and background checks stretching back five years.

A review of security due to report in the summer would consider new measures.

After the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, governments across the world pledged to make airports more secure.

In the UK, the government introduced mandatory criminal records checks for all staff working airside.

But Newsnight has discovered a serious loophole in the legislation.

The list of offences covered by a Criminal Records Check is comprehensive. Anyone who has an unspent conviction for anything from theft or criminal damage to murder or terrorism would be refused a pass airside - known as the restricted zone.

But that is not true if those crimes were carried out abroad as the Criminal Records Check only covers offences which take place in the UK.

Aviation analyst Chris Yates says that leaves passengers very exposed.

"We really need to ask the question, is it now necessary to restrict employment at our airports to those people for whom we can carry out the full panoply of checks?"

Around 200,000 people work airside at airports across the country. BAA would not confirm how many are foreign - though it is estimated to be in the thousands.

The sensitivity of airside security was highlighted just last year. John Parkinson, the head of aviation security at the Department of Transport, told a conference that terrorists "would have the components available airside with the help of people who work there." ...

The Department for Transport said the government would consider introducing checks on foreign criminal records as part of the transport review.

But any action to close the loophole would wait for the outcome of the inquiry.
[Site link]


Crime – employment
Illegal workers prosecutions rise
Andrew Bomford
BBC, 5 May 2008

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of employers being prosecuted for hiring illegal immigrants, the BBC has learned.

In the two months since the end of February, when there was a change in the law, 137 businesses were caught employing illegal immigrants.

This is 10 times the number caught in 2007, and more than double the number prosecuted in the previous decade.

Employers face fines of up to £10,000 for each illegal immigrant they employ.

In the last two months fines of about £500,000 have been handed out. Persistent offenders also face a jail sentence. ...

The UK BA now provides a phone number which employers can use to check the status of potential employees.


Since February there has been a 40% increase in the numbers of UK BA enforcement operations. ...

The government is facing a major problem in dealing with the illegal immigrants rounded up in enforcement operations. ...

It can take months to locate the necessary paperwork for deportations and some cannot be deported at all if they come from countries where it is unsafe to return them.

According to the National Audit Office, it costs £11,000 per person to deport them.

With an estimated total of more than 500,000 illegal immigrants in Britain, the government is facing a bill of more than £5bn to deport them all - if they can catch them.

Last year 63,140 people were removed from the country.

The Conservatives said the government was "painfully slow" in dealing with the issue.

Shadow immigration minister Damian Green said: "Ten times a minuscule number is still a small number."

The Liberal Democrats welcomed the government's new crackdown on employers, but said it was long overdue.
[Site link]


Crime – multiculturalism
Thug culture celebrates the worst possible examples
Cynthia Tucker
Yahoo! News, 3 May 2008

American popular culture has always had a tendency to romanticize hoodlums, whether Al Capone, Bonnie and Clyde or Tony Soprano. But the hip-hop world's celebration of savage violence, educational failure and misogyny by gangsta rap has been one of the worst influences on American youth, especially black youth, in decades. If you want to ruin a nation, a society or an ethnic group, persuade its members that the highest form of achievement lies in criminality.

Even before the 1980s, when gangsta rap oozed out of downtrodden black neighborhoods, too many black men were marginalized – unlettered, unemployed, imprisoned. They were already the victims of a fratricidal cycle of violence, predator and prey. They were already disproportionately fathers in absentia, completely divorced from the lives of their children, providing neither material support nor moral guidance.

Indeed, the baggy britches that are now de rigueur in hip-hop circles grew out of jail rituals. When men are arrested, their belts are confiscated, so their trousers tend to droop. It's from that unfortunate facet of ghetto life that the ubiquitous sagging pants were launched.

Proponents of hard-core hip-hop claim that it is an artistic genre that merely reflects those unfortunate realities of underclass black life; they tout it as a pure form of folk art (in its original meaning, arising from the folk, or common people). Countless books and dissertations have disseminated that view.

But folk art has never been so popular – or lucrative. The worst of gangsta rap has not merely reflected behavior but has also inspired it, much of it lawless and destructive. Its lyrics are paeans to murder and mayhem. It celebrates an outlaw culture that disrespects women, mocks middle-class values and preaches against any cooperation with police in catching criminals.

... You gain respect in thug culture – and millions of dollars in record and ring-tone sales – only if you're a bona fide thug. ...

... If it is better to be an outlaw than to be a teacher or a chemist or accountant, then young black men will continue to go to prison in record numbers. If it is more acceptable to be violent and reckless than to be a responsible father and husband, then marriage will continue to decline in black communities.

While racism remains a potent force in American life, it doesn't hold the malignant power of gangsta culture.
[Site link]


Crime – Islam
In France, Prisons Filled With Muslims
Molly Moore
Washington Post, 29 April 2008

... the Lille-Sequedin Detention Center in far northern France. ...

This prison is majority Muslim – as is virtually every house of incarceration in France. About 60 to 70 percent of all inmates in the country's prison system are Muslim, according to Muslim leaders, sociologists and researchers, though Muslims make up only about 12 percent of the country's population.

On a continent where immigrants and the children of immigrants are disproportionately represented in almost every prison system, the French figures are the most marked, according to researchers, criminologists and Muslim leaders. ...

In Britain, 11 percent of prisoners are Muslim in contrast to about 3 percent of all inhabitants, according to the Justice Ministry. Research by the Open Society Institute, an advocacy organization, shows that in the Netherlands 20 percent of adult prisoners and 26 percent of all juvenile offenders are Muslim; the country is about 5.5 percent Muslim. In Belgium, Muslims from Morocco and Turkey make up at least 16 percent of the prison population, compared with 2 percent of the general populace, the research found.

Sociologists and Muslim leaders say the French prison system reflects the deep social and ethnic divides roiling France and its European neighbors as immigrants and a new generation of their children alter the demographic and cultural landscape of the continent.

French prison officials blame the high numbers on the poverty of people who have moved here from North African and other Islamic countries in recent decades. ...

But Muslim leaders, sociologists and human rights activists argue that more than in most other European countries, government social policies in France have served to isolate Muslims in impoverished suburbs that have high unemployment, inferior schools and substandard housing. This has helped create a generation of French-born children with little hope of social advancement and even less respect for French authority.

"The question of discrimination and justice is one of the key political questions of our society, and still, it is not given much importance," said Sebastian Roche, who has studied judicial discrimination as research director for the French National Center for Scientific Research. "We can't blame a state if its companies discriminate; however, we can blame the state if its justice system and its police discriminate."

As a matter of policy, the French government does not collect data on race, religion or ethnicity on its citizens in any capacity, making it difficult to obtain precise figures on the makeup of prison populations. But demographers, sociologists and Muslim leaders have compiled generally accepted estimates showing Muslim inmate populations nationwide averaging between 60 and 70 percent.
[Site link]


Crime – USA
High Incarceration Rate Of Blacks Is Function Of Crime, Not Racism
Heather Mac Donald
Investor's Business Daily, 28 April 2008

The race industry and its elite enablers take it as self-evident that high black incarceration rates result from discrimination.

At a presidential primary debate this Martin Luther King Day, for instance, Sen. Barack Obama charged that blacks and whites "are arrested at very different rates, are convicted at very different rates, (and) receive very different sentences . . . for the same crime."

Not to be outdone, Sen. Hillary Clinton promptly denounced the "disgrace of a criminal-justice system that incarcerates so many more African-Americans proportionately than whites."

If a listener didn't know anything about crime, such charges of disparate treatment might seem plausible.

After all, in 2006, blacks were 37.5% of all state and federal prisoners, though they're under 13% of the national population. About one in 33 black men was in prison in 2006, compared with one in 205 white men and one in 79 Hispanic men. Eleven percent of all black males between the ages of 20 and 34 are in prison or jail. ...

The black incarceration rate is overwhelmingly a function of black crime. Insisting otherwise only worsens black alienation and further defers a real solution to the black crime problem.

Racial activists usually remain silent about that problem. But in 2005, the black homicide rate was more than seven times higher than that of whites and Hispanics combined, according to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics.

From 1976 to 2005, blacks committed more than 52% of all murders in America. In 2006, the black arrest rate for most crimes was two to nearly three times blacks' representation in the population. Blacks constituted 39.3% of all violent-crime arrests, including 56.3% of all robbery and 34.5% of all aggravated-assault arrests, and 29.4% of all property-crime arrests.

The advocates acknowledge such crime data only indirectly: by charging bias on the part of the system's decision makers. As Obama suggested in the Martin Luther King debate, police, prosecutors and judges treat blacks and whites differently "for the same crime."

But in fact, cops don't over-arrest blacks and ignore white criminals. The race of criminals reported by crime victims matches arrest data. No one has ever come up with a plausible argument as to why crime victims would be biased in their reports.

Racial activists also allege that prosecutors overcharge and judges oversentence blacks. Backing up this bias claim has been the holy grail of criminology for decades – and the prize remains as elusive as ever.

In 1997, criminologists Robert Sampson and Janet Lauritsen concluded that "large racial differences in criminal offending," not racism, explained why more blacks were in prison proportionately than whites and for longer terms.

A 1994 Justice Department survey of felony cases from the country's 75 largest urban areas discovered that blacks actually had a lower chance of prosecution after a felony than whites did and that they were less likely to be found guilty at trial. After conviction, blacks were more likely to receive prison sentences, however – an outcome that reflected the gravity of their offenses as well as their criminal records.

Mac Donald is a Manhattan Institute senior fellow and a contributing editor to its magazine, City Journal. This piece is adapted from the spring 2008 issue.
[Site link]


Crime – Asians, dog-fighting
Birmingham is a hotspot for cruel pitbull fighting
Jeanette Oldham
Sunday Mercury, 28 April 2008

Ruthless Asian gangs are behind rocketing new cases of dog fighting - with pitbulls being used as weapons instead of guns or knives.

The vile bloodsport was outlawed 172 years ago but a new radio investigation has revealed it is enjoying a sickening revival across the country - with Birmingham among the worst hotspots.

The report, Mad Dogs and Asian Men, is aired on BBC Asian Network tomorrow night and looks at how the sinister phenomenon has taken hold in the Asian community. ...

Chief Inspector Ian Briggs, of the RSPCA's special operations unit, said: "Over the last three or four years we've noticed a marked increase in the number of young Asian men, particularly young Asian Pakistani men, obtaining these dogs with the sole emphasis on training them to fight.

"Over the past three years of all the dog fighting cases I have dealt with, about 98 per cent have been of Asian males, particularly of Pakistani origin."

The programme features shocking interviews with Asian gang members and highlights a disturbing trend - dogs being used as protection or as weapons. ...

National Health Service figures show 3,800 people were treated in hospital for dog bites in 2007 - up 43 per cent on the previous four years.

Asian youths are not exclusively to blame. But the radio probe found there had been a significant increase in their involvement. ...

Mad Dogs and Asian Men is broadcast on the Asian Network tomorrow at 6.30pm.
[Site link]


Violent crime is worse than ever, say Pcs on the front line
Melissa Kite
Sunday Telegraph, 27 April 2008

Gun, knife and gang crime is the worst it has ever been, according to a survey of 1,200 front-line police officers. ...

The research, by Mads Qvortrup, professor of advanced social sciences at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, found that 80 per cent of borough police officers agreed or strongly agreed that knife crime was worse in their community than five years ago. Only eight per cent disagreed.

Some 70 per cent judged that gun crime had worsened and nearly three quarters said they had seen a rise in gang crime. ...

Prof Qvortrup, who conducted the research by emailing police constables in mainly urban areas such as London, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and Leeds, said he had been surprised by the findings.

He said: "These were not top brass or desk officers, but police on the beat and it is their views ministers ought to be most interested in when formulating policy. They showed a level of cynicism about crime that we haven't seen before. It is also remarkable because it flies in the face of other research from the Home Office and the British Crime Survey, which says gun crime is falling. ..."
[Newspaper link]


Cost of tackling migrant crime hits police
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 18 April 2008

Jacqui Smith has promised more money for a "migrant crime" fund to help police forces meet the extra costs of dealing with criminals from eastern Europe.

Her announcement came at a meeting with senior police officers who had complained that dealing with crime caused by the influx of immigrants was placing a serious burden on their forces.
[Newspaper link]


Immigrants bring more crime
Tom Whitehead
Daily Express, 17 April 2008

Immigration from Eastern Europe has led to a huge surge in crime, police chiefs will tell the Home Secretary today.

The hundreds of thousands of migrants who have flocked to Britain in recent years have had a significant impact on communities and have placed fresh demands on policing, a review has found.

Pressure on police resources has soared while a lack of criminal intelligence from Poland and its neighbours has left the UK vulnerable to criminal gangs.

The damning report will be presented to Jacqui Smith in a key meeting, at which many chief constables will demand extra funds to cope with the effects of Labour's open-door policy.

It comes a day after leaked extracts from the study were used to create a positive image with claims that migration has not caused crime waves. But the full report, seen by the Daily Express, paints a far gloomier picture, warning of tensions in some regions, new forms of criminality and more dramatic changes to come.

In an alarming message, the report warns: "EU migration has brought with it a huge surge in the exploitation of migrants and organised crime."

It concludes: "The nature of the society we police is changing due to the level of migration we are experiencing and will probably change more dramatically in the future."

The study, compiled by two chief constables for the Association of Chief Police Officers, says up to one million migrants from Eastern Europe have arrived since the EU expanded in 2004, affecting crime patterns.

Offences include extortion, human trafficking and the sex trade, violence and drink-related crimes. ...

Earlier leaks of selected extracts from today's report gave the impression migration has not had a big impact on policing and insisted it has not fuelled a "crime wave".

The report's co-author, Cheshire Chief Constable Peter Fahy, insisted yesterday that migration has not disproportionately affected crime.

But he admitted: "Migration has had a significant impact on UK communities, but while this has led to new demands on the police service, the evidence does not support theories of a large-scale crime wave generated through migration.

"Cultural differences such as attitudes to offences like drink-driving may exist, but can be exaggerated."

Alan Gordon of the Police Federation said the suggestion there was not a problem was "very surprising" and did not reflect police experience.
[Site link]


Migrant crime wave a myth - police study
Vikram Dodd
The Guardian, 16 April 2008

A wide-ranging police study has concluded that the surge in immigrants from eastern Europe to Britain has not fuelled a rise in crime, the Guardian has learned.

The findings will be presented to the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, tomorrow when she meets chief constables to discuss the issue. Several of them had complained that they needed more money to deal with increases in migrant populations in their areas. However, the study prepared for the Association of Chief Police Officers challenges claims that up to 1 million people from EU accession countries have caused a rise in criminality.

The report finds that, despite newspaper headlines linking new migrants to crime, offending rates among mainly Polish, Romanian and Bulgarian communities are in line with the rate of offending in the general population. ...

The report by Grahame Maxwell, chief constable of North Yorkshire, and Peter Fahy, who leads the Cheshire force, says that "resentment and misunderstanding" about why new migrants are coming to Britain has stoked tensions. It calls for businesses benefiting from the new workers to do a better job of explaining the economic benefit of migrant workers.

The report says: "While overall this country has accommodated this huge influx with little rise in community tension, in some areas sheer numbers, resentment and misunderstanding, have created problems." It adds that the immigration from eastern Europe has been different to previous arrivals, because it happened much more quickly. The report says that new migrants may be more likely to commit certain types of offences. Polish people are linked to drink-driving, and problems have arisen in central London with some Romanian children being used by adults to commit petty robberies.

There are also problems with people trafficking and exploitation, but while these may be more likely in some migrant communities, other types of offences are less likely to occur.

The report calls for new agreements with east European countries to share intelligence and information on less serious crimes, such as domestic violence and serial theft.

It also calls for immigration authorities, schools and the health service to share information with police about new nationalities in their areas.

The report is primarily based on intelligence gathered by detectives about crime patterns in different areas of England and Wales. Police recording codes only contains the category "white Europeans" covering people originating from France to the Urals. The report says more analysis is needed.
[Site link]


Crime – homicide
One murder in five is committed by a foreigner
Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 13 April 2008

One murder in five in England and Wales is committed by a foreigner, police figures released to The Sunday Telegraph show.

Out of 461 people convicted of or charged with homicide in the 12 months up to April last year, 96 were foreign citizens – from 28 different countries. ...

Most cases were murder, a few manslaughter. Responses were received from 36 forces, of which 25 supplied figures. The picture remains incomplete because some murders are still unsolved, and because some forces excluded cases awaiting trial. Nevertheless, the figures cover more than half of the 755 homicides in England and Wales in 2006/7.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – racism
Muslim leader urges action on Asian gangs
Daily Telegraph, 26 March 2008

A Muslim leader has accused the police of being "over cautious" when investigating Asian gangs suspected of prostituting young white girls for fear of causing race riots.

Mohammed Shafiq, the director of the Ramadhan Foundation, a Muslim youth organisation, said: "I think the police are over cautious on dealing with this issue openly because they fear being branded racist and I think that is wrong."

In BBC's Panorama programme, to be screened tomorrow, he adds: "These are criminals, they should be treated as criminals."
[Newspaper link]


Crime – deportation
Violent criminal cannot be deported
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 19 March 2008

A foreign criminal who attacked and robbed a pensioner cannot be deported because he is not considered dangerous enough, the Court of Appeal ruled yesterday.

The decision has rendered the Government virtually powerless to remove even the most vicious offenders if they come from within the European Union.

Ministers wanted to remove the 38-year-old Italian, who lives in Newport, Gwent, at the end of a nine-year jail term imposed for violent robbery.

But the Court of Appeal said there were no "imperative grounds of public security" to justify throwing him out. ...

Under a directive, an EU national living in another member country for 10 years of more cannot be deported except under exceptional circumstances.

The criminal, whose identity was protected by the court, moved to Britain as a teenager and has five convictions. In October 2001 he was jailed for nine years for attacking and robbing a pensioner. A judge called the offence a "brutal, cowardly attack".

Last year, the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal ruled that the robber should be deported on grounds of "imperative" public policy, public security or public health.

It said he was a "very dangerous man" who posed a "very high risk indeed" to the public. He was also "unwilling to accept any real responsibility for the injuries to his victim".

However, the appeal judge Lady Justice Arden concluded that the tribunal had made an "error of law" and had not distinguished between "serious" and "imperative" threats to public security.

The case will now be sent back to the tribunal, which will have to judge whether the offender posed an "imperative" threat – something lawyers say applies only to terrorists.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – Denmark
"Young Immigrants Largest Threat to Society"
Filip van Laenen
The Brussels Journal, 15 March 2008

The children of immigrants are the largest threat to Danish society, says Torsten Hesselbjerg, head of the Danish police, in an interview with the morning newspaper Jyllands-Posten. They are responsible for the heaviest forms of crime, drugs dealing, but for them, honor, prestige and power are parts of the game too. ...

These young migrants commit all sorts of heavy crime, but focus particularly on drugs. However, for these people, concepts like honor, prestige and power are part of the game too. Right now, Danish police tracks fourteen criminal organizations with a total of 141 members at "level 1", a term the Danish police uses for the most influential and active criminals in the underworld of organized crime. According to a police report, these criminals have access to weapons and explosives, and are prepared to use both of them in their struggle to keep control over the drugs market and to maintain their own version of honor. ...

Torsten Hesselbjerg points out that the Copenhagen district of Nørrebro and the area West of the Danish capital (known as Københavns Vestegn) were hit particularly hard at the end of 2007 and in the beginning of 2008 by shootings and unrest amongst migrants, but no persons at "level 1" were involved in these incidents. Both Nørrebro and Københavns Vestegn are housing large groups of migrants. ...

Finally, Torsten Hesselbjerg thinks that the largest challenge for the Danish police next week will be to prevent young migrants from setting fire to the streets in Denmark again during the Easter school holidays, just like they did during the last school holiday in February.
[Site link]


EU expansion 'has spread terrorism'
Daily Telegraph, 5 March 2008

Terrorists and organised crime gangs have exploited the expansion of the EU and left police trailing, Britain's most senior police officer said yesterday.

Sir Ian Blair, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said most of the organised crime and a "great deal" of terrorism in Britain emanated from Europe.

However, he said British police chiefs had failed to "wake up" to the problem quickly enough and forces were still playing catch up across Europe.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – prisoners, deportation
£3,000 deal for foreign prisoners
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 5 March 2008

Foreign prisoners are being offered a £3,000 "bribe" to go home in an increasingly desperate attempt to reduce overcrowding in jails.

The sum is almost four times the £800 originally set aside and the improved package was introduced quietly a few weeks ago without formal announcement.

Under the scheme, foreign prisoners must consent to serve sentences in their home countries. In exchange, they receive help with education, training, housing and resettlement.

British prisoners receive a £46 discharge grant but not the re-integration package. There are more than 11,000 foreign prisoners in jails in England and Wales and last Friday the system housed 82,000 prisoners – above its operational capacity. The incentives package is available to about 8,000 foreign nationals but only about 600 have taken up the offer.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – employment
Bosses hiring illegal immigrants face jail
Daily Telegraph, 29 February 2008

Employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants will face up to two years in prison under new rules which come into force today.

The first stage of the Government's points-based system also comes on track, covering highly skilled workers who want to take jobs in Britain along with others already employed here who wish to extend their visas.

Ministers hailed the tough new approach as the biggest shake-up of the immigration rules for a generation, but business leaders said it should not be down to small firms to do the work of immigration officers.
[Newspaper link]


Violent crime costs the economy more than £13 billion a year
Rosa Prince
Daily Telegraph, 21 February 2008
[Other reports indicate that immigration is a significant factor in crime levels]

Violent crime costs the British economy more than £13 billion a year, according to a report released today.

The annual cost to the NHS of treating victims of crime has reached £1.7 billion, while prosecuting perpetrators costs taxpayers £2.5 billion.

The economic and social cost associated with the "trauma and physical injury" suffered by victims is £7 billion a year and employers lose £2.1 billion through time taken off work, say the estimates.

The report from the National Audit Office (NAO), which uses statistics produced by the Home Office, shows that while the Government is having some success in tackling crime generally, the rate for offences involving serious violence is falling less slowly.

Violent crimes fell from 20,400 to 19,200 last year – a drop of 5.9 per cent. Overall crime levels were down 8.5 per cent. ...

Some 85 per cent of violent offenders are male and aged between 16 and 29.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – Denmark, Islam
Danish youths riot
Daily Telegraph, 18 February 2008

Youths from immigrant backgrounds set fire to cars, buses and schools in Denmark on Saturday, in the seventh night of rioting in Copenhagen and other cities. The reprinting of a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed fuelled anger.
[Newspaper link]


Police struggle to cope with 800% rise in crimes committed by Romanians in UK
Daily Mail, 14 February 2008

Senior police officers today said they are struggling to cope with a whopping 800 per cent rise in crimes committed by Romanians in this country.

Top officers spoke to respected force magazine Police Review to express their fears after an unprecedented rise in offences by the east Europeans.

They say the "dramatic increase" is putting a strain on forces across the country since migrant gangs began to flood into the UK following EU accession in January last year.

Statistics revealed a staggering 339 crimes a month are now being carried out every month in London since the influx - compared to just 30 in 2006.

Supt Bernie Gravett said pickpocketing children - who are controlled by Fagin-style masters - are causing the biggest drain since they started to move out of the capital to target backwater communities.

The senior officer - who heads a 12-strong Met unit dedicated to the problem in Westminster - said: "It's not just London - it's affecting every force in the UK.

"This is a new type of crime that we are encountering.

"It is the criminal exploitation of children who come from very poor backgrounds in a foreign country.

"They cannot run away or turn to anyone when they are being abused and exploited."

He said cops were shocked when a survey of 126 Romanian children in London revealed that their convictions were spread across 32 police force areas around the UK.

According to Met officers the villains, who rake in around £100,000 from each child each year, are using children as young as six to unleash this crime wave which can net them up to £200 million annually.

Gangs buy the children from impoverished parents in Romania for as little as 200 Euros before they are trafficked to the UK.

One senior officer who asked not to be named said that forces are struggling to cope.

He said: "Because the children are so young it is very difficult to prosecute unless you get to the adults.

"But they are told to say nothing and just ask for their mums and dads who then deny all knowledge."
[Site link]


A migrant arrested every 4 minutes in UK
Tom Whitehead
Daily Express, 11 February 2008

The full extent of the damage unlimited immigration is causing to the fabric of society is revealed by a Daily Express investigation today.

Figures show that a foreigner is being arrested every four minutes on the streets of Britain.

Hundreds of migrants and other visitors are held every day as a devastating result of the Government's open door policy. ...

Alan Gordon, vice-chairman of the Police Federation, said: "Immigration on the scale we have experienced is putting an intolerable strain on all public sectors, not only policing. We have got to recognise the need for additional resources where there are large congregations of migrant workers."

This demonstrates the impact that Labour's chaotic immigration policy is having on police resources.

The Daily Express investigation presents the most detailed picture yet of the impact immigration is having on crime levels and police resources.

It shows that violence is one of the most common offences committed by migrants, along with theft, fraud, immigration violations and drugs. The revelation comes just a week after three police chiefs warned that the influx of migrant workers has contributed to a crime explosion.

The problem has become so acute that the Home Secretary has called a summit meeting with all 43 chief constables to address the issue.

But rank-and-file police last night blamed the Government for failing to see the problem coming, while opposition MPs stepped up calls for an annual limit on migrants. ...

Figures from 26 police forces received under the Freedom of Information Act showed that a total of 79,308 foreign nationals were arrested in 2006 – the latest year for which figures are available. They represented seven per cent of the total number of arrests.

If the level of arrests was reflected across the remaining forces which failed to supply information, it would mean more than 131,100 foreigners arrested in one year. That is the equivalent of up to 360 a day, or one every four minutes. ...

At least 2,000 Roma children are thought to be involved – many too young to be prosecuted even if they are caught. ...

The Daily Express research also provided an alarming picture of the prevalence of violence among foreigners in Britain.

A dozen forces provided a detailed breakdown of why suspects had been arrested. Some form of violence, from affray to assaults to murder, appeared in the top five of every one.

Theft, fraud, immigration and drugs were also all prevalent, while sex crimes appeared in the top five offences among three forces.
[Site link]


Crime – Hungary
Roma 'gipsy' crime on the increase
Mathaba, 11 February 2008

Roma or Romani is the name for the ethnic group (also known as gipsy) that represent 10% of the population of Hungary. They populate 8-10% of Eastern-Europe.

There are no official statistics of Roma crime in Hungary, but it is clear for the people there that they represent the vast majority of crimes and that the crime rate is much higher among the Roma population than among the Hungarian. ...

Recent, cruel and shocking crimes committed by Romas have brought Hungary to the edge of a civil war - some political analysts have warned.

The newly created Hungarian Guard (Magyar Garda) received invitations from all over the country to restore order and "defend the Hungarian population from the Romas". People have lost their hope and trust in the police due to the current political situation, when Hungarians demonstrating against the Socialist-led government are beaten, imprisoned and tortured, while Roma criminals freely terrorise the majority of the population.

Although the Magyar Garda has no power and constitutional rights to step up against the Roma criminals, their mere presence seems to be a deterrent. In November 2007 the Magyar Garda marched through the streets of a small village, Tatarszentgyorgy in Hungary, where the Roma minority had kept the entire village in fear.

The media and the newspapers picked up on the story and finally there is open talk now that Roma crime exists and it needs an urgent solution, that the problem has to be addressed.

Murder in Rome, Italy, last year, committed by Romanian (Roma) criminals caused a huge uproar. Similar crimes and incidents occur every day in Hungary. In 2006, a teacher was brutally lynched and murdered in front of his two daughters by a group of Romas.

There are dozens of other similar cases of murder, rape and beatings committed by Roma mobs. In Recent weeks, the crimes committed by underage Roma youngsters have been on the increase, according to reports from Hungary. Last month a 12 year old Romanian (Roma) boy stabbed a Hungarian teenager in Blaha Lujza Square in central Budapest. Due to his age he couldn't be persecuted and was released immediately. The public uproar made officials and government bodies later act to at least have the young criminal deported to Romania.

Jobbik, the Movement for a Better Hungary in its campaign has now demand prompt and swift action against Roma criminals, as well as free and open talks about Roma crime.

Unofficial police statistics show that out of 17 underage attempted murders, 15 were committed by Roma youngsters.

Jobbik wondered if a civil war had to occur before the government would took notice of the unofficial police statistics, not published for reasons of political correctness and that the Roma crime experienced by literally every Hungarian citizen is valid.
[Site link]


Home Secretary calls police to summit on migrant crime
James Kirkup and Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 7 February 2008

Police chiefs have been called to an urgent Government summit to discuss fears that mass immigration is undermining policing.

Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, has convened the meeting after chief constables warned her that they do not have the manpower to cope with suddenly enlarged local populations. ...

The minister has also asked the Government's Migration Impact Forum to investigate the impact of migration on policing, it was reported.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – USA
Non-Citizens Sidestep Voter Laws
James H. Walsh, 6 February 2008

The 2008 presidential election may well turn on the voting of illegal aliens, who along with other non-citizens, are ineligible even to register to vote but in some cases still find a way.

During the past decade, the National Commission on Federal Election Reform found that "non-citizens do vote, albeit illegally." The Commission also found that 261 counties reported more registered voters than they have residents – to the tune of tens of thousands of phantom voters. Recent election studies conclude that the methodology for determining the percentage of voters who are U.S. citizens is a challenge. Unqualified people, among them illegal aliens, are diluting the value of the citizen vote. Non-citizen voters, once an oxymoron, are sadly now the status quo. ...

Immigration advocates are pushing to have illegal aliens vote in the upcoming elections. States (such as California, Maine, Massachusetts, Texas, and Vermont) and cities (such as Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.) circumvent U.S. election law by permitting non-citizens to vote in local and state elections and therefore in federal elections. ...

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), which neither reformed nor controlled, continued the chipping away of U.S. citizenship. IRCA introduced amnesty for illegal aliens and triggered the current tidal wave of border crashers, many of whom are voting illegally in U.S. elections. ...

The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA), also known as the Motor-Voter Act, allowed people to register to vote while applying for a driver's license – a bad idea. This legislation, by making a farce of national election rolls, has left state and local officials unable to account for millions of people who have died or moved or who are non-citizens. NVRA also provided for voter registration by mail. ...

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) opened the floodgates for non-citizen voters. A prospective voter need only produce a valid driver's license or the last four digits of the voter's social security number – verification of which does not establish U.S. citizenship. For those with no ID, the state will issue an identification number, issuance of which does not establish U.S. citizenship. Mail-in registration is easier yet – a person need only provide a copy of a current utility bill, a bank statement, a paycheck, or similar document with the person's name and address. None of which establishes U.S. citizenship.

HAVA applies only to federal elections but through federal funding is now influencing state and local voting as well. The law was in reaction to voter confusion linked to poor ballot design in Florida during the 2000 presidential election.

Rather than address ballot design, however, HAVA changed the voter mail-in registration form, adding the question, "Are you a citizen of the United States of America?" This question was followed by boxes for the applicant to check yes or no.

The author is a former federal prosecutor and former Associate General Counsel of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, U.S. Department of Justice.
[Site link]


Crime – murder, marriage, visas
Asian policemen 'turn blind eye to honour killings'
Stephen Adams
Daily Telegraph, 4 February 2008

The number of "honour killings" could have doubled over the past decade because political correctness is preventing inquiries into the problem, researchers say today.

Authorities afraid of being seen as "Islamophobic or racist" are underestimating the number of Asian women who die after refusing forced marriages, said Salam Hafez, co-author of the report.

Some senior Asian policemen and councillors are turning a blind eye to "honour violence", the report says.

Ethnic segregation is perpetuating the problem among second and third generation Asians. Mr Hafez said: "The number of cases of honour killings and violence could have doubled because the population is growing."

There are no statistics on honour killings and honour-based domestic violence, partly because the "honour" motive is difficult to define.

But Mr Hafez said there was evidence that the number of honour killings was increasing with the rise in foreign husbands and wives being granted visas to enter Britain.

In 1999 the number granted such visas was 18,660 but by 2006 that had leapt to 40,960. Many will have wed through arranged marriages.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – deportation
Daily Telegraph, 2 February 2008

Dozens of Polish criminals are likely to be released in Britain because their government cannot cope with the numbers of offenders being deported. A judge told Westminster magistrates' court, where many of the cases are heard, that the situation was "an unholy mess". Since August 2006 the extradition of about 200 defendants has been ordered.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – border controls
13 arrested over illegal migrants
Daily Telegraph, 1 February 2008

Police claim to have smashed a people-smuggling ring suspected of bringing potentially hundreds of migrants from China to Britain.

Officers arrested 13 people yesterday as they raided 11 addresses across London and one in Kidderminster, Worcs.
[Newspaper link]


Organised crime gangs from abroad targeting Britain
Daily Telegraph, 30 January 2008

Organised crime in Britain is increasingly originating from abroad, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) told MPs yesterday.

It now has agents in at least 40 countries – mostly outside Europe – to provide intelligence on international crime gangs dealing in drugs and trafficking people.

A major area of activity is the Caribbean, where British and US operations have forced cocaine smugglers to seek alternative routes, such as West Africa. SOCA is also active in Pacific Rim countries and the nations of the former Soviet bloc.
[Newspaper link]


Illegal foreign cars 'are safety threat'
Daily Telegraph, 29 January 2008

More than one in 10 foreign vehicles in Britain is on the roads illegally, in a growing road safety problem, the AA said yesterday.

There has also been a 47 per cent rise in the number of crashes involving foreign drivers in the past five years and a 27 per cent rise in the number of eastern European drivers arrested since 2005.

Many foreign motorists are reluctant to pay for expensive modifications to make their cars legal.
[Newspaper link]


Police 'battle to cope' with migrant arrests
Lewis Carter
Daily Telegraph, 28 January 2008

Police forces are at "bursting point", it has been claimed, after figures showed that the number of foreigners being arrested has more than doubled in some areas. ...

Police say arrests of foreigners mean extra translation and bureaucratic costs, as well as delays. Meredydd Hughes, the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, saw the number of foreigners arrested in his area leap from 1,715 in 2003 to 2,611 in 2006. ...

All 52 forces in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were surveyed by Channel 4 News to find out their figures over the past few years, under Freedom of Information rules.

A total of 23 forces had systems capable of producing the figures, with all detailing increases.

Jan Berry, the chairman of the Police Federation in England and Wales, said: "The thin blue line is at bursting point."
[Newspaper link]


Crime – children, slavery
Children for sale: the new slave trade to Britain
David Harrison
Sunday Telegraph, 27 January 2008

Hundreds of young children are being sold and "trafficked" to Britain from Africa to be exploited as modern-day slaves.

The illicit trade in children – sold by their parents, some while still babies, to criminal gangs and people traffickers – has been uncovered by a Sunday Telegraph investigation. ...

One international trafficker, tracked down in Lagos, claimed to be buying up to 500 children a year.

Impoverished African parents are being lured by the traffickers' promises of "a better life" for their children, thousands of miles away in cities including London, Birmingham and Manchester.

But, once brought to Britain, the children are used as a fraudulent means to obtain illicit housing and other welfare benefits, totalling tens of thousands of pounds a year each.

From the age of seven, rather than being sent to school, they are exploited as domestic slaves, forced to work for up to 18 hours a day, cleaning, cooking and looking after younger children, or put to work in restaurants and shops. ...

"These children are being abused under our noses in our own country," said Chris Beddoe, the director of End Child Prostitution and Trafficking, a British-based coalition of international charities. ...

A recent survey by the Government's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre claimed that 330 children, including 14 aged under 12, many of them from Africa, had been trafficked to Britain over the past year.

The police and campaigners believe, however, that this is just the "tip of the iceberg" and that the true figure is likely to be in the thousands. ...

The traffickers use a network of corrupt officials and co-traffickers to obtain passports and visas, often giving the children new names. ...

A growing number of the African slave children arrive in Britain unaccompanied, as asylum-seekers, or with "private foster parents". ...

Godwin Morka, the executive director of Lagos's anti-trafficking unit, Nathip, admitted that child trafficking was "rampant" in many Nigerian states.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – employment
Illegal security workers 'were given NI numbers'
James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 16 January 2008

Thousands of foreign nationals who took jobs illegally as security guards may have been issued with national insurance numbers, it emerged last night.

The disclosure adds to Government embarrassment over the fiasco, which saw illegal immigrants working in sensitive areas, including guarding the Prime Minister's car.

In November, the Home Office admitted that 6,653 foreign nationals without work permits had been licensed to work by the Security Industry Authority (SIA), a government vetting agency. The SIA confirmed last night that when the immigrants applied for clearance, they had to fill in application forms giving a national insurance number.

The numbers are provided by the Department for Work and Pensions, run by Peter Hain, ... The DWP admitted last year that it had "lost" millions of national insurance numbers.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – racism
Is it any wonder people are fleeing London?
Jan Moir
Daily Telegraph, 16 January 2008

In a north London suburb last week, a schoolgirl was beaten, gang-raped and then had drain-cleaning fluid poured on her body apparently to destroy DNA evidence. ...

Police sources say the 16-year-old will never fully recover from the injuries caused by the caustic soda and, at the time of writing, she remains under heavy sedation in a burns unit, fighting for her life. ...

I'm almost embarrassed to say that the attackers have been described as "five black youths", in case you think I'm being racist in highlighting this crime. ...

Elsewhere in London this week, a medical student was stabbed to death in a row over an orange in a Brixton fruit shop. ...

What is going to happen to those of us left to live here if youths across the city continue to feel quite comfortable and confident in running amok? That's before you even factor in the older, more professional criminal gangs from more than 25 countries, who operate prosperous drug trafficking, people smuggling, prostitution, money laundering and fraud rackets on the capital's streets. London is a welcoming city, where home-grown and particularly international criminal networks are flourishing nicely. Somewhere in the city, a great termite nest of law-breaking and corruption grows by the day, nourished by immigrants, some of them illegal, from Algeria, Nigeria, Jamaica and Pakistan, among others.

Is it racist to point that out, too? I don't know any more.
[Newspaper link]


Foreign criminals freed
Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 13 January 2008

Illegal immigrants arrested for crimes in the UK are being released back into society to commit further offences, say police officials.

The Police Federation said criminals suspected of being in the country illegally were not being dealt with properly. The comments come as a BBC investigation, to be broadcast today on Radio Five Live, reveals illegal immigrants arrested for minor offences are offending again. They also claim some are getting involved in more serious crime because of the "light touch" experienced when arrested for lesser offences.
[Newspaper link]



Disease – USA
Sex infections still growing in U.S., says CDC
Maggie Fox
Comcast, 16 November 2009

American squeamishness about talking about sex has helped keep common sexually transmitted infections far too common, especially among vulnerable teens, U.S. researchers reported Monday.

Latest statistics on chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis show the three highly treatable infections continue to spread in the United States. ...

The CDC's latest study on STDs found:

* 1.2 million cases of chlamydia were reported in 2008, up from 1.1 million in 2007.

* Nearly 337,000 cases of gonorrhea were reported. ...

* Blacks, who represent 12 percent of the U.S. population, accounted for about 71 percent of reported gonorrhea cases and almost half of all chlamydia and syphilis cases in 2008.

* Black women 15 to 19 had the highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea. ...

Overall, CDC estimates that 19 million new sexually transmitted infections occur each year, almost half among 15- to 24-year-olds.
[Site link]


Disease – costs, USA
HIV prevalence high among African Americans
News-Medical.Net, 6 October 2009

HIV prevalence among African Americans is ten times greater than the prevalence among whites. This racial disparity in HIV prevalence has persisted in the face of both governmental and private actions, involving many billions of dollars, to combat HIV. In the November 2009 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill examine factors responsible for the stark racial disparities in HIV infection in the U.S. and the now concentrated epidemic among African Americans.
[Site link]


Disease – USA
Developing World's Parasites, Disease Hit U.S.
Stephanie Simon and Betsy McKay
The Wall Street Journal, 22 August 2009

Parasitic infections and other diseases usually associated with the developing world are cropping up with alarming frequency among U.S. poor, especially in states along the U.S.-Mexico border, the rural South and in Appalachia, according to researchers.

Government and private researchers are just beginning to assess the toll of the infections, which are a significant cause of heart disease, seizures and congenital birth defects among black and Hispanic populations.

One obstacle is that the diseases, long thought to be an overseas problem, are only briefly discussed in most U.S. medical school classes and textbooks, so many physicians don't recognize them. ...

"These are diseases that we know are ten-fold more important than swine flu," said Peter Hotez, a microbiologist at George Washington University and leading researcher in this field. "They're on no one's radar." ...

Such parasites as toxocara – shed in animal feces – thrive in the soil and sandpits where poor children often play. There are an estimated 10,000 toxocara infections a year in the U.S. ... ...

Consider cysticercosis, caused by ingestion of tapeworm larvae. Medical journals estimate 3,500 new cases a year in the U.S., mostly among Latin American immigrants. ... ...

In recent years, as the immigrant population has spread, Dr. Sheffield said, cysticercosis has cropped up in states that have never had to deal with it before, including Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and Oregon. ... ...

Most blood banks in the U.S. began screening for Chagas in the past two years, as concern about the disease mounted. Hundreds of cases have been detected, with especially high rates among Hispanics in Florida and California.
[Site link]


Disease – USA
Illegal immigration is exposing Americans to dangerous diseases
Dave Gibson, 3 June 2009

It is often said that the flood of illegal immigrants into this country is reaching 'epidemic proportions.' While that statement is true, it is just as true that the illegal immigrants pouring over the U.S./Mexican border are endangering this country with actual epidemics. Tuberculosis, hepatitis, dengue fever, chagas, and even leprosy are being imported into the U.S. inside the bodies of illegal aliens.

A virtual 'hot-zone' of disease can be found in this nations border states. Illegal immigrants have set up so-called "colonias" just inside the states of New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. The shanty towns are comprised mostly of cardboard shacks and huts made with cast-off building materials. They have no sanitation, and are surrounded by mounds of garbage. The estimated 185,000 illegals share their makeshift towns with armies of rats. Of course, diseases only common to Central and South America run rampant in these places.

One of the imports to this country is chagas disease. It is caused by a parasite known as trypanosome. It is a blood-borne disease and is spread by triatomine insects. The parasite burrows into human tissue (usually in the face), where it then begins to multiply. In addition to being spread by insects, it can also be contracted through blood transfusions.

After cases of chagas were reportedly discovered to have been spread by transfusions in Canada, that nation began testing all blood donations for the disease.

Once thought to be nearly eradicated in this country, TB is now making a strong comeback. In a 2005 interview with Mother Jones Magazine, Dr. Reichman of The New Jersey TB Clinic said: "In the 1990's, cases among foreign born Americans rose from 29 percent to 41.6 percent. Antibiotic resistant strains from Mexico have migrated to Texas. Since three years ago, 16,000 new cases of TB were discovered in the United States. Half were foreign born. Strains of TB once only found in Mexico have migrated to the border states of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California. It will move north as illegal aliens work in restaurants as cooks, dishwashers, and food handlers. We sit on the edge of a potential catastrophe."

In 2001, New York's Tuberculosis Control Program discovered that 81 percent of that city's new cases of TB were attributed to immigrants ...

It costs between $250K to $1million to treat a patient with TB.
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Disease – USA
How disease-carrying foreigners endanger U.S.
Erik Rush
WorldNetDaily, 21 May 2009

In September of 1992, an Associated Press article entitled "On The Trail of Tapeworm" appeared in newspapers across America. It chronicled numerous occurrences of infections of Taenia solium, or the pork tapeworm, amongst members of orthodox Jewish communities in New York City. The syndrome given rise by the infection, called cysticercosis, is marked by brain lesions, seizures and other neurological manifestations, and ultimately death. The disorder is treatable but, unfortunately, extremely difficult to diagnose. The aforementioned brain lesions are caused by the tapeworm larvae themselves, which anchor themselves to blood vessels within the brain.

One of the questions that arose when the Centers for Disease Control finally became involved was this: How would such a parasite, which is contracted through the ingestion of improperly cooked, infected pork, insinuate itself into a population of individuals who are prohibited from eating pork?

Fortunately, when Dr. Peter Schantz, an authority on parasitic diseases at the CDC, got wind of this, he was able to relate his recent experience to the "mystery symptoms" that New York City health care experts had been unable to resolve. Some time earlier, Schantz had been involved in the initial diagnosis of an 18-year-old man in the western United States –also an orthodox Jew – with cysticercosis.

In the case of this young man, as well as all of the subsequent cases with which Schantz and others became familiar, the infections were traced to workers from Mexico and Central America that the orthodox Jewish families had employed. These had apparently become infected in their home countries – where standards of meat inspection and preparation fall below that of the U.S. – and passed the parasite on to the host families after using the toilet and failing to wash their hands.

One would think that after the first occurrence or two, the protocol for admitting these workers into the U.S. – assuming they weren't illegal to start with – would have been modified to include the blood test for the tapeworm antigen (which detects cysticercosis infection). ...

It never happened. One might also think that a media firestorm would have ensued over foreign workers infecting Americans with brain worms via their own feces. That didn't happen either. Between government negligence, a squeamish press and the tendency of these workers toward transience, the infections spread, Dr. Schantz later explained, across the U.S., all the way to the East Coast. ...

In my 2007 book, "Annexing Mexico: Solving the Border Problem Through Annexation and Assimilation," I covered in-depth the emerging dilemma as regards illegal and poorly screened immigrants routinely carrying diseases – some of them life-threatening – into the U.S.

Some of these, such as Dengue fever, are truly horrific. ...

None of this is widely discussed in the establishment press, however, nor is it considered a major issue in predominant political circles. Why? Political correctness. As with the profiling of people from the Middle East as terrorists, our politically correct government and press eschew tying a particular ethnic group to anything unpleasant, even if members of that group happen to have a manifest concern in the unpleasantness at hand.
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Disease – USA
Recession may worsen spread of exotic diseases
Brian Alexander, 10 March 2009

To most Americans, diseases with names like dengue fever, chikungunya, malaria, Chagas and leishmaniasis might sound like something out of a Victorian explorer's tales of hacking through African jungles. Yet ongoing epidemics of these diseases are killing millions of people around the world. Now, disease experts are increasingly concerned these and other infections may become as familiar in the United States as West Nile or Lyme disease.

Few believe Americans face a killer epidemic from tropical diseases. But scientists who specialize in emerging infectious diseases say such illnesses may become more common here as the economic downturn batters an already weakened public health system, creating environmental conditions conducive to infectious diseases spread by insects or other animals. At the same time, such vector-borne diseases are capable of spreading around the world much more rapidly due to massive south-to-north immigration, rapid transportation, and global trade.
[Site link]


Disease – border security
Smith warns of Zimbabwe 'influx'
BBC, 12 December 2008

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has warned the cabinet of a possible mass influx of Zimbabweans to the UK amid the country's cholera outbreak.

She said some people were obtaining fake passports from neighbouring countries where, unlike Zimbabwe, citizens do not need UK entry visas.

But Foreign Office sources have dismissed her words as alarmist, BBC political editor Nick Robinson said.

The Zimbabwe crisis was creating "real tension in Whitehall", he added.

He said: "Some in the Foreign Office regard [talk of a possible influx of refugees] as an attempt to justify tougher border controls to make it even harder for refugees to make it to the UK from Zimbabwe.

"The Home Office wants to see the introduction of visa restrictions for all countries in the region, the Foreign Office does not."

More than 700 people are said to have died in Zimbabwe's cholera outbreak so far, prompting the British Red Cross to launch an emergency aid appeal.

Ms Smith is thought to have told cabinet colleagues that people fleeing Zimbabwe had bought false passports in countries such as South Africa and Botswana. ...

Currently, Zimbabweans arriving in the UK need a visa, while many travelling from the rest of southern Africa do not.

Ms Smith wants that to change that, having been told that a growing number of Zimbabweans are entering the UK using false papers.

Sources estimate there may be 60,000 Zimbabweans in the country illegally.

The Home Office says the UK officially has 12,000 Zimbabwean asylum seekers, 8,000 have been granted refugee status and there are 20,000 legitimate visitors.
[Site link]


Disease – asylum
Asylum seekers 'need NHS access'
Daily Telegraph, 11 November 2008

Failed asylum seekers could spread infectious diseases and pose a "significant" public health risk if their access to the NHS is restricted, doctors will warn today.

Thousands of people who are denied shelter in Britain each year may have illnesses that pose a risk but they would go "undiagnosed and untreated" if restrictions on free health care go too far, according to the British Medical Association. The BMA is appearing before the Commons home affairs committee, which is reviewing plans in the Immigration and Citizenship Bill to simplify the law on access to services.
[Newspaper link]


Asylum seeker has 'deadly super TB'
Daily Telegraph, 27 August 2008

A man is seriously ill in hospital with a strain of virtually untreatable tuberculosis, it emerged yesterday.

The patient, believed to be an asylum seeker in his 30s from Somalia, is the first to be diagnosed in Britain with extreme drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR TB). ...

It remains unclear if the patient's application for asylum, made when he arrived in Britain last year, has been successful but the bill for treatment, which would run into tens of thousands of pounds a year, is being picked up by the NHS in Leeds.

XDR TB poses a worldwide threat amid concerns over increasing resistance of tuberculosis to antibiotics.
[Newspaper link]


Disease – USA
U.S. acts to open borders to foreigners with HIV
Hernán Rozemberg
San Antonio Express-News, 10 August 2008

After more than two decades on the books, a little-known yet strictly enforced federal law barring foreigners with HIV or AIDS from entering the country is on its way out.

Tucked in a bill pledging $48 billion to combat the disease, signed into law by President Bush last week, was language stripping the provision from federal immigration law.

But that change didn't fully lift the entry ban on visitors with HIV or AIDS, which applies whether they're on tourist jaunts or seeking longer stays. The secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services still needs to delete HIV from the agency's list of "communicable diseases of public health significance," which includes tuberculosis, gonorrhea and leprosy. ...

Both immigrant and HIV awareness advocates, however, say the toughest hurdle has been cleared, that the lifting of the immigration provision has been a long time coming – politics finally catching up with medical knowledge.

"Today everyone knows that you can't get AIDS from sitting next to someone on an airplane or sharing a bathroom – American policy should reflect this," said Victoria Neilson, legal director of Immigration Equality, a New York-based advocacy group that has led a years-long campaign against the ban.

In San Antonio, people in the HIV/AIDS community welcomed the new law, but noted that plenty of people here had already circumvented the travel ban, since the area has been a long-standing destination for unauthorized immigrants.

Jan Patterson, an infectious disease specialist in San Antonio, agreed that the ban has no scientific underpinning.

When HIV first surfaced, researchers didn't know how it was transmitted, but it has long been widely known that HIV is not easily contracted and that even people with full-blown AIDS can live for a long time, said Patterson, who has taught for 15 years at the University of Texas Health Science Center. ...

Congressional support for lifting the travel ban was bipartisan and strong, but not unanimous. Leading the opposition was U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith of San Antonio, the top Republican in the House Judiciary Committee. He sent a missive to his colleagues titled "The bill threatens the health and lives of Americans."

The e-mail cited the CBO's April report predicting that revoking the travel ban would allow an estimated 4,300 immigrants with HIV to enter the country in 2013, increasing to 5,600 by 2018. Smith's message left out the report's estimate of the public cost of treating these immigrants and their children between 2010 and 2018: $83 million.

Smith warned the disease has killed more than 500,000 Americans despite improved treatment and that allowing infected foreigners in would increase public risk. ...

The HIV prohibition issue stretches beyond U.S. borders. The 11,000-member International AIDS Society counts 67 countries restricting the entry or stay of HIV patients.
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Disease – USA
Report: Black U.S. AIDS rates rival some African nations
CNN - Cable News Network, 29 July 2008

The AIDS epidemic among African-Americans in some parts of the United States is as severe as in parts of Africa, according to a report out Tuesday.

"Left Behind - Black America: A Neglected Priority in the Global AIDS" is intended to raise awareness and remind the public that the "AIDS epidemic is not over in America, especially not in Black America," says the report, published by the Black AIDS Institute, an HIV/AIDS think tank focused exclusively on African-Americans.

"AIDS in America today is a black disease," says Phill Wilson, founder and CEO of the institute and himself HIV-positive for 20 years. "2006 CDC data tell us that about half of the just over 1 million Americans living with HIV or AIDS are black."

Although black people represent only about one in eight Americans, one in every two people living with HIV in the United States is black, the report notes.
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Disease – political correctness
The unspoken truths about Aids
Elizabeth Pisani
The Sunday Times, 4 May 2008
[Epidemiologist Elizabeth Pisani says political correctness has prevented us finding an effective strategy to fight HIV]

After researching HIV for over a decade, I know that we now have the information, the tools and the money required to eradicate Aids in most of the world. But we're not doing it – and that makes me very angry. ...

I call it the Three Monkeys approach to HIV: we close our eyes to people injecting drugs, to people buying and selling sex, to people getting plastered and getting laid. We close our eyes, in short, to all the things that do the most to spread HIV.

Yet we can't close our eyes to the fact that nearly 60m people have been infected with a preventable, fatal disease. About 25m of those are already in their graves. It's also hard to ignore the fact that two-thirds of people with HIV in the world are Africans. Yet few people ask why.

HIV is largely a sexually transmitted infection, so there must be something different about sex in Africa. Yet you can't say that without appearing to be racist. So campaigners have come up with other reasons that HIV is worse in Africa: poverty, ignorance, men having more power than women. All politically correct, but not epidemiologically correct.

The truth is that a society in which many people have two or three partners on the go at any one time will produce a bigger epidemic than a society where people may have 10 partners in five years, but only one at a time. And it's a fact that in parts of Africa, it's more common for both men and women to have two or three simultaneous relationships than to have serial partners. Do people behave in this way because they are poor and ignorant? Not in Bangladesh, or Bolivia, or dozens of other countries where incomes and literacy are low. Indeed, in Africa, the incidence of HIV infection is highest in the richest households and the richest countries.

In east Africa, HIV spread first among people who had lots of partners – in other words, men and women who traded sex for money or favours. Had condom use in commercial sex been pushed to very high levels at the time – as happened in Thailand – the epidemic would have been contained.

But most African leaders played Three Monkeys. So a miner infected a prostitute, who infected another client, who went home and infected his wife, who infected her regular boyfriend. Suddenly, HIV was everyone's problem. ...

God knows, we needed it. When I started out in this business in the mid1990s, the world was spending just $250m a year on HIV in poor countries. Later, as African infection rates soared, HIV was repositioned as an affliction of the innocent. The cash started to roll in and, last year, the world spent $10 billion on HIV in poor countries.

When the funding pie was small, HIV prevention meant doing helpful things for sex workers, gay men and drug injectors. Now that the pie has grown to 40 times its original size, and HIV has been painted as almost exclusively a matter of poverty, youth and "innocent victims", everyone wants a bite.

The UN agencies were the first to jump on to the growing pile of funding, each finding a way to link the blood-borne virus to its own mandate. Other agencies dealing with children, development, economics, labour and agriculture all suddenly found that HIV was fundamental to their work. But the trail of funding hasn't always taken them in the right direction.
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Drug-resistant TB on rise in Britain-study
Reuters, 2 May 2008

Drug-resistant tuberculosis in Britain is spreading, according to findings published on Friday that show the difficult-to-treat strains are often carried by travellers and immigrants. ...

"The observed increases highlight the need for early detection, rapid testing of susceptibility to drugs, and improved treatment completion," Michelle Kruijshaar, a researcher at Britain's Health Protection Agency, and colleagues wrote in the British Medical Journal.

The rate of tuberculosis incidence fell slightly worldwide for a second straight year in 2006, but there were still 9.2 million new cases and the disease killed 1.7 million people, the World Health Organisation said in March.

The data came out a month after another WHO report showed that TB cases that defy existing drugs were occurring globally at the highest rates ever, with nearly 490,000 cases in 2006. Parts of the former Soviet Union were particularly vulnerable. ...

The British researchers looked at 28,620 confirmed TB cases between 1998 and 2005 and found that the level of multi-drug resistance stemmed more from problems of patient management than transmission within Britain.

They also said there were 8,000 reported tuberculosis cases in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2006, an increase possibly due to a rise of the disease among immigrants from Sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

A Norwegian study earlier this year found that immigrants with TB are not likely to spread the disease in their new countries because they often keep to within their own groups.
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'Afro-Asian migrants causing rise in drug-resistant TB in Britain'
India eNews, 2 May 2008

South Asian and African immigrants are responsible for a rise in drug-resistant tuberculosis in Britain, a study warned Friday.

Researchers from the Health Protection Agency, University of East Anglia and the Mycobacterium Reference Unit, uncovered the rise after studying data from the National Surveillance System, involving 28,620 confirmed cases of tuberculosis. ...

Outside the British capital, the increase in resistance to one drug, isoniazid, was related to increasing numbers of patients born outside Britain and to changes in ethnic group and age, said the report based on figures compiled by the Health Protection Agency.

'The increase in isoniazid resistance is probably related to increasing numbers of patients with drug resistant tuberculosis from sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian subcontinent. The increase in cases from these parts of the world reflects, at least in part, a general change in the UK population resulting from ongoing migration,' it said.
[Site link]


Disease – USA
New TB threat: Global ties bring an ancient disease to Silicon Valley
Mike Swift
The Mercury News, 18 April 2008

From the bodies of Peruvian mummies to 21st-century tech workers, tuberculosis has been mankind's dark partner for centuries - a highly infectious disease that never followed the path to eradication of smallpox and polio. One in three people worldwide are infected, and 1.7 million died last year, mostly in poor countries where people lack the access to detection and treatment available in the United States.

No case of TB is easy. The waxy-sheathed, rod-shaped, slow-growing bacteria, if untreated, colonizes the lungs, creating such dense cavities of disease that pieces must sometimes be excised. TB spreads through the air; untreated, one person infects 10 to 15 people a year, according to the World Health Organization.

But among public health officials, nothing is more worrisome than the relative handful of drug-resistant TB cases. WHO and U.S. experts are warily watching the record level of such cases - found from former Soviet prisons to remote provinces in China - as hints of something even scarier on the horizon. ...

Treating one drug-resistant case can easily cost several hundred thousand dollars or more - the bill often ends up with the county health department if a patient lacks insurance. And in a growing number of extremely resistant cases - including a few in the Bay Area - there are no drugs that can cure the disease, raising the specter of an infectious, incurable, potentially fatal infection. ...

Ninety percent of Santa Clara County's 241 TB cases in 2007 were in students, immigrants, temporary workers, tourists and others born in other countries. At the same time, the number of multi-drug-resistant cases in the county - bacteria resistant to isoniazid and rifampin, the first-line TB antibiotics - jumped from two to seven.

The top five countries of origin for foreign-born people with TB are Mexico, the Philippines, Vietnam, India and China, according to the CDC. Those nationalities are also Santa Clara County's largest five foreign-born populations. At 430,000 people, they are one-quarter of the county's total population.

"Our TB reflects the countries of origin that our patients come from, and it's the Philippines and Vietnam and India where there is a lot of drug resistance," said Dr. Sundari Mase, Santa Clara County's former TB control officer, now with the CDC.

Many are not recent immigrants - two-thirds of Santa Clara County's foreign-born cases have been in the United States for at least five years. In that sense, TB is a public health issue, not an immigration issue, heath officials say.

State health officials estimate there are 2 million foreign-born residents of California infected with latent TB. The great majority will never get sick, but if their immune systems weaken - by way of HIV infection, diabetes, aging or immune-suppressing drugs - their TB could multiply, and they could transmit the disease.
[Site link]



Diversity – politics
Harman's equality law 'will hurt white male jobseekers'
Daily Mail, 3 December 2009

White job applicants could be overlooked because of the colour of their skin under proposed equality laws, the Tories warned yesterday.

They said unclear wording in Harriet Harman's Equality Bill could lead employers to start discriminating in favour of minority candidates - rather than hiring on merit.

Men could also lose out if the legislation goes unchanged, Conservative business spokesman John Penrose told the Commons.

The Bill will make it legal for employers to choose a black or female candidate above a white man, as long as they have the same qualifications.

It is designed to thrust more women and minority applicants into senior posts.

But business leaders say the equality minister's Bill risks introducing positive discrimination - and would mean jobseekers are hired 'because of who they are, rather than what they can do'.

Mr Penrose told the Commons yesterday that the wording of the Bill - 'as qualified as' - should be rephrased to 'equally qualified'.

He argued that the words 'as qualified' would mean that a black or female candidate could be discriminated in favour of.

During report stage debate on the Bill, he said: 'We are worried that it might mean that you might have two candidates who are both adequately qualified - they clear a certain threshold required for that particular role.'

But, he added, the better candidate may not be given the job because the employer 'will be perfectly within their rights' to favour a less well qualified applicant who has passed the threshold and is from an ethnic minority.

'And that seems to us to breach this important distinction between positive action - giving people a hand in preparation - and positive discrimination which is allowing the decision on who is offered the job to be made on any other grounds other than strictly and purely merit,' he said.
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Diversity – multiculturalism, BBC
Radio 4 to get in tune with ethnic listeners
Jonathan Wynne-Jones
Sunday Telegraph, 29 November 2009

Radio 4 is reviewing its programming in an attempt to increase its appeal to ethnic minorities following criticism that it is "too white".

Bosses at the station are preparing to introduce a range of measures to address the lack of black and Asian listeners. ... ...

The corporation has commissioned research to discover the diversity of the station's listeners and has held focus groups with Muslims and Hindus to gain guidance on how the output could be changed to reflect multi-faith Britain.

Mark Damazer, the station's controller, met race equality campaigners last month to discuss moves to make Radio 4's workforce more diverse.

Ashok Viswanathan, a founder of Operation Black Vote and one of those who met Mr Damazer, said: "Radio 4 is still too white and has a tweeness to it, but their response to the criticism has been positive and what we're hearing is encouraging."
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – politics
Parties must list rejected applicants
Rosa Prince
Daily Telegraph, 26 November 2009

Political parties will be forced to declare how many women, disabled people and ethnic minority applicants they reject as potential parliamentary candidates.

The proposal by a committee headed by John Bercow, the Commons Speaker, looking at the lack of diversity in Parliament is likely to be accepted after winning support from all the main parties.
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – multiculturalism, politics
The outrageous truth slips out: Labour cynically plotted to transform the entire make-up of Britain without telling us
Melanie Phillips
Daily Mail, 28 October 2009

So now the cat is well and truly out of the bag. For years, as the number of immigrants to Britain shot up apparently uncontrollably, the question was how exactly this had happened.

Was it through a fit of absent-mindedness or gross incompetence? Or was it not inadvertent at all, but deliberate? ...

There could not have been a more grave abuse of the entire democratic process. Now, however, we learn that this is exactly what did happen. The Labour government has been engaged upon a deliberate and secret policy of national cultural sabotage.

This astonishing revelation surfaced quite casually last weekend in a newspaper article by one Andrew Neather. He turns out to have been a speech writer for Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett. ...

In its 1997 election manifesto, Labour promised 'firm control over immigration' and in 2005 it promised a 'crackdown on abuse'. In 2001, its manifesto merely said that the immigration rules needed to reflect changes to the economy to meet skills shortages.

But all this concealed a monumental shift of policy. ... ...

It was therefore a politically motivated attempt by ministers to transform the fundamental make-up and identity of this country. It was done to destroy the right of the British people to live in a society defined by a common history, religion, law, language and traditions.

It was done to destroy for ever what it means to be culturally British and to put another 'multicultural' identity in its place. And it was done without telling or asking the British people whether they wanted their country and their culture to be transformed in this way. ...

A measure of immigration is indeed good for a country. But this policy was not to enhance British culture and society by broadening the mix. It was to destroy its defining character altogether.

It also conveniently guaranteed an increasingly Labour-voting electorate since, as a recent survey by the Electoral Commission has revealed, some 90 per cent of black people and three-quarters of Asians vote Labour. ...

This more than any other reason is why Nick Griffin has gained so much support. According to a YouGov poll taken after Question Time, no fewer than 22 per cent of British voters would 'seriously consider' voting for the BNP.

That nearly one quarter of British people might vote for a neo-Nazi party with views inimical to democracy, human rights and common decency is truly appalling.

The core reason is that for years they have watched as their country's landscape has been transformed out of all recognition - and that politicians from all mainstream parties have told them first that it isn't happening and second, that they are racist bigots to object even if it is. ...

Condemned out of its own mouth, it is New Labour that is responsible for the rise of the BNP - by an act of unalloyed treachery to the entire nation.
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Diversity – multiculturalism
Straw denies Labour 'plot' over migration
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 27 October 2009

Jack Straw denied yesterday that Labour had a "secret plot" to boost multiculturalism by creating an open door of mass immigration.

The Justice Secretary said it was "just untrue" that the Government had a deliberate policy in the early part of the decade to use immigration for political ends and to attack the Right.

Last week, Andrew Neather, a former adviser to Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett, claimed that the sharp increase in migrants over the past 10 years was partly due to a politically motivated attempt by ministers to radically change the country and "rub the Right's nose in diversity".

He said Labour's relaxation of controls in 2000-01 was a deliberate plan to "open up the UK to mass migration", but ministers were nervous and reluctant to discuss such a move publicly for fear it would alienate its "core working-class vote".

As a result, the public argument for immigration concentrated instead on the economic benefits and need for more migrants. ...

But in an embarrassment for the Home Office, Phil Woolas, the Immigration Minister, appeared to have no idea there was even a row. ...

Damian Green, the shadow immigration minister, called for an inquiry into Mr Neather's claim.
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Diversity – multiculturalism, politics
How I became the story and why the Right is wrong
Andrew Neather
Evening Standard (London), 26 October 2009

But when I find that not only have I become the story, in the row over Labour's immigration policy, but that my views have been twisted out of all recognition, I have to respond.

I wrote here last Friday that, in the wake of the Nick Griffin row, we had to be honest about immigration and the benefits it has brought.

I also wrote of my disappointment that ministers have shied away from this debate, a point I illustrated with an account of the shift in immigration policy almost a decade a go.

As a ministerial speechwriter in a former career, in 2000 I penned a key speech for the then immigration minister Barbara Roche, which mooted changes to make it easier for skilled workers to come to the UK.

That was based on a sensitive report on migration by the Prime Minister's Performance and Innovation Unit.

Multiculturalism was not the primary point of the report or the speech. The main goal was to allow in more migrant workers at a point when - hard as it is to imagine now - the booming economy was running up against skills shortages.

But my sense from several discussions was there was also a subsidiary political purpose to it - boosting diversity and undermining the Right's opposition to multiculturalism.

I was not comfortable with that. But it wasn't the main point at issue.

Somehow this has become distorted by excitable Right-wing newspaper columnists into being a "plot" to make Britain multicultural.

There was no plot. I've worked closely with Ms Roche and Jack Straw and they are both decent, honourable people whom I respect (not something I'd say for many politicians).

What's more, both were robust on immigration when they needed to be: Straw had driven through a tough Immigration and Asylum Act in 1999 and Roche had braved particularly cruel flak from the Left over asylum seekers.

Rather, my sense was that the nervousness came primarily from No 10.

According to my notes of one meeting in mid-July 2000, held at the PIU's offices in Admiralty Arch, there was a debate about whether the report should be published by the PIU or by the Home Office: the PIU didn't think the Prime Minister wanted his "prints" on it.

From Tony Blair, the man who took us to war in Iraq on a lie - and who later fired the faithful Roche on a whim, months before she lost her seat thanks to the war - I don't find that particularly surprising.

Perhaps the lesson of this row is just how hard it still is to have any sensible debate about immigration.

The Right see plots everywhere and will hyperventilate at the drop of a chapati: to judge by some of the rubbish published in the past few days, it's frankly not hard to see why ministers were nervous.

The Left, however, will immediately accuse anyone who raises immigration as an issue as "playing the race card" - as the Government has on several occasions over the past decade.

Both sides need to grow up. A diverse society that welcomes immigrants works.

We've got one right here in London. Why is that so hard to discuss?
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Diversity – multiculturalism
Call for probe into Labour's 'partisan' immigration plan
Joe Murphy
Evening Standard (London), 26 October 2009

Pressure was growing today for an independent inquiry into claims that immigration was encouraged by Labour for political gain.

It followed the charge by a former Government adviser that a policy change to welcome economic migrants was partly designed to wrongfoot Conservative opponents of immigration.

Andrew Neather, a former speechwriter for Tony Blair and Home Office adviser, revealed in last week's Standard that in confidential meetings ministers gave the impression they wanted to encourage multiculturalism for partisan reasons, as well as the stated aim of helping businesses fill vacancies in the booming economy. ...

Critics of Labour's more relaxed immigration policy seized on his comments and called for a proper investigation.

Former Labour minister Frank Field said: "I am speechless at the idea that people thought they could socially engineer a nation on this basis."

Tory immigration spokesman Damian Green said: "If this is true then it would be a disgracefully irresponsible way for a Government to run immigration policy. I would urge the Home Affairs select committee to look at this."

Justice Secretary Jack Straw, who presided over the policy change as Home Secretary, denied Mr Neather's claims.

Mr Straw's spokesman said: "This is complete rubbish and the proof of that is the fact that Jack Straw introduced and was implementing the Immigration and Asylum Act at just this time, which tightened up controls."
[Site link]


Diversity – multiculturalism
Don't listen to the whingers - London needs immigrants [part 1]
Andrew Neather
Evening Standard (London), 23 October 2009

Amid the sound and fury over Nick Griffin, there's a sad but unnoticed fact: it has taken this fiasco to make politicians talk about the impact of immigration.

Yesterday MPs Frank Field and Nicholas Soames called for a 75 per cent cut in immigration and accused the Government of "clamping down" on any debate.

What's missing is not only a sense of the benefits of immigration but also of where it came from.

It didn't just happen: the deliberate policy of ministers from late 2000 until at least February last year, when the Government introduced a points-based system, was to open up the UK to mass migration.

Even now, most graduates with good English and a salary of £40,000 or the local equivalent abroad are more or less guaranteed enough points to settle here.

The results in London, and especially for middle-class Londoners, have been highly positive. It's not simply a question of foreign nannies, cleaners and gardeners - although frankly it's hard to see how the capital could function without them.

Their place certainly wouldn't be taken by unemployed BNP voters from Barking or Burnley - fascist au pair, anyone? Immigrants are everywhere and in all sorts of jobs, many of them skilled.

My family's east European former nannies, for example, are model migrants, going on to be a social worker and an accountant. They have integrated into London society.

But this wave of immigration has enriched us much more than that. A large part of London's attraction is its cosmopolitan nature.

It is so much more international now than, say, 15 years ago, and so much more heterogeneous than most of the provinces, that it's pretty much unimaginable for us to go back either to the past or the sticks.

Field and Soames complain about schools where English is not the first language for many pupils.

But in my children's south London primary school, the international influence is primarily the large numbers of (mostly middle-class) bilingual children, usually with one parent married to a Brit.

My children have half- or wholly Spanish, Italian, Swiss, Austrian, Croatian, Bulgarian, Congolese, Chinese and Turkish classmates.

London's role as a magnet for immigration busted wide open the stale 1990s clichés about multiculturalism: it's a question of genuine diversity now, not just tacking a few Afro-Caribbean and Bengali events on to a white British mainstream. It's one of the reasons Paris now tends to look parochial to us.

So why is it that ministers have been so very bad at communicating this? I wonder because I wrote the landmark speech given by then immigration minister Barbara Roche in September 2000, calling for a loosening of controls. It marked a major shift from the policy of previous governments: from 1971 onwards, only foreigners joining relatives already in the UK had been permitted to settle here.

That speech was based largely on a report by the Performance and Innovation Unit, Tony Blair's Cabinet Office think-tank.

The PIU's reports were legendarily tedious within Whitehall but their big immigration report was surrounded by an unusual air of both anticipation and secrecy.
[Site link]


Diversity – multiculturalism
Don't listen to the whingers - London needs immigrants [part 2]
Andrew Neather
Evening Standard (London), 23 October 2009

Drafts were handed out in summer 2000 only with extreme reluctance: there was a paranoia about it reaching the media.

Eventually published in January 2001, the innocuously labelled "RDS Occasional Paper no. 67", "Migration: an economic and social analysis" focused heavily on the labour market case.

But the earlier drafts I saw also included a driving political purpose: that mass immigration was the way that the Government was going to make the UK truly multicultural.

I remember coming away from some discussions with the clear sense that the policy was intended - even if this wasn't its main purpose - to rub the Right's nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date. That seemed to me to be a manoeuvre too far.

Ministers were very nervous about the whole thing. For despite Roche's keenness to make her big speech and to be upfront, there was a reluctance elsewhere in government to discuss what increased immigration would mean, above all for Labour's core white working-class vote.

This shone through even in the published report: the "social outcomes" it talks about are solely those for immigrants.

And this first-term immigration policy got no mention among the platitudes on the subject in Labour's 1997 manifesto, headed Faster, Firmer, Fairer.

The results were dramatic. In 1995, 55,000 foreigners were granted the right to settle in the UK. By 2005 that had risen to 179,000; last year, with immigration falling thanks to the recession, it was 148,000.

In addition, hundreds of thousands of migrants have come from the new EU member states since 2004, most requiring neither visas nor permission to work or settle. The UK welcomed an estimated net 1.5 million immigrants in the decade to 2008.

Part by accident, part by design, the Government had created its longed-for immigration boom.

But ministers wouldn't talk about it. In part they probably realised the conservatism of their core voters: while ministers might have been passionately in favour of a more diverse society, it wasn't necessarily a debate they wanted to have in working men's clubs in Sheffield or Sunderland.

In part, too, it would have been just too metropolitan an argument to make in such places: London was the real model. Roche was unusual in that she was a London MP, herself of east European Jewish stock.

But Labour ministers elsewhere tend studiously to avoid ever mentioning London. Meanwhile, the capital's capacity to absorb new immigrants depends in large part on its economic vitality and variety. There's not a lot of that in, say, south Yorkshire. And so ministers lost their nerve.

I hope it's not too late now, post-Question Time, for London to make the case for migration.

Of course we're too small a country to afford an open door - but, by the same token, if the immigrants dry up, this city and this country will become a much poorer and less interesting place. Why is it so hard for Gordon Brown to say that?
[Site link]


Diversity – multiculturalism
Labour wanted mass immigration to make UK more multicultural, says former adviser
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 23 October 2009

The huge increases in migrants over the last decade were partly due to a politically motivated attempt by ministers to radically change the country and "rub the Right's nose in diversity", according to Andrew Neather, a former adviser to Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett. ...

Mr Neather was a speech writer who worked in Downing Street for Tony Blair and in the Home Office for Jack Straw and David Blunkett, in the early 2000s. ...

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the Migrationwatch think tank, said: "Now at least the truth is out, and it's dynamite.

"Many have long suspected that mass immigration under Labour was not just a cock up but also a conspiracy. They were right.

"This Government has admitted three million immigrants for cynical political reasons concealed by dodgy economic camouflage."

The chairmen of the cross-party Group for Balanced Migration, MPs Frank Field and Nicholas Soames, said: "We welcome this statement by an ex-adviser, which the whole country knows to be true.

"It is the first beam of truth that has officially been shone on the immigration issue in Britain."
[Site link]


Diversity – racism
Emma to give her boy's university a lecture on race relations
Tim Walker
Daily Telegraph, 22 October 2009

Emma Thompson, who proudly attended the graduation ceremony of her "adopted" son, Tindyebwa Agaba, in July, is to return to the University of Exeter next month to spell out some home truths about its treatment of black students.

The 50-year-old actress, who invited the former child soldier into her family after he told her that he was sleeping rough in London, claims that the West Country university is too white and middle class.

"We are going to be doing a whole load of inclusion and diversity things," she told ... "Exeter is very white and middle class and it needs to be cracked open a bit. I shall be there with my son, Tindy, who is from Rwanda. ..." ...

Agaba, 22, claimed to have suffered racist abuse during his studies. "I find it incredible that I am the only African in the entire politics department," he wrote in an essay for a racism monitoring group. ...

She unofficially adopted him when he was 16, not long after they had met at a party held by the Refugee Council.
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – housing, USA
County north of NYC to market housing to nonwhites
Jim Fitzgerald
Associated Press, 11 August 2009

The suburban county just north of New York City agreed Monday to create hundreds of affordable homes in heavily white communities and encourage nonwhites to move in.

The agreement, reached with the help of the federal department of Housing and Urban Development, settles a $180 million lawsuit brought by the Anti-Discrimination Center of Metro New York against Westchester County.

Both sides said the agreement, which was being filed in federal court, could have far-reaching national consequences.

"The settlement will have a major impact on the way federal housing and community development funds are used throughout the country," the center said.

Susan Tolchin, Westchester's deputy county executive, said, "HUD's new focus is to make suburbia inclusive and diverse and this is going to be what they want all communities that take funds to do."

Westchester admitted no wrongdoing. County Executive Andrew Spano said the county had "for many years considered the impact of race on affordable housing."

But the lawsuit said Westchester failed to build affordable housing and reduce segregation in some of the county's more affluent communities.

A federal judge ruled in February that Westchester failed to analyze, as required, how race could affect access to fair housing when it sought federal housing and development funds. The county said Monday that was a technicality, but the ruling apparently spurred the settlement.

"Westchester can no longer hide from the ugly reality of continuing residential segregation," said Craig Gurian, the anti-discrimination center's executive director.

Westchester said it will build or acquire 750 apartments or houses in its suburban towns and villages in the next seven years. Of that number, 630 are to be built in neighborhoods that are less than 3 percent black and 7 percent Hispanic.

The county has dense urban areas but is best known for such suburban bedroom communities as Scarsdale and Chappaqua, where former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton live. Most of those villages are heavily white. ...

The agreement also calls for Westchester to pay the federal government $21.6 million, which the government will then return to the county to help pay for the housing. An additional $10.9 million will be paid to the anti-discrimination center, its lawyers and the government.
[Site link]


Diversity – Scotland, population
Points bonus for Scots immigrants
BBC, 26 July 2009

Immigrants who choose to live and work in Scotland could earn British citizenship more readily, according to Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy.

Writing in Scotland on Sunday, he says moving to Scotland could see immigrants earn points towards their application.

Points are granted according to things like skills, age and potential salary.

Mr Murphy said he wants to see Scotland become a melting pot - but he stressed new arrivals must be controlled under a tight immigration policy.

There is to be a consultation process on the proposal, but in his article Mr Murphy writes of the demographic challenge facing Scotland, with an ageing population and the need to recruit in sectors such as tourism.

The article says a new "points-based" test for citizenship will credit applicants if they have set up home in parts of the country in need of increased population.

Scotland has been singled out by the Home Office as a place where points could be earned, because its own population is likely to fall over the long term.

Mr Murphy wrote: "Our need for a growing population is ranked along with the need to recruit to shortage occupations."
[Site link]


Diversity – national parks
Country Diary
Ben Fogle
Sunday Telegraph, 26 July 2009

Next week, Community Champion Nurjahan Ali Arobi and I will be launching the Mosaic Programme at the Dales Countryside Museum in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The programme is a collaboration between the national parks' authority, the Campaign for National Parks, and the Youth Hostel Association. Its aim is to recruit influential leaders from ethnic minority groups to become Community Champions, thereby promoting the national parks to their communities. It is estimated that 10 per cent of Britain's population is of ethnic minority, yet makes up just one per cent of visitors to national parks. Mosaic hopes to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to visit the national parks.
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – honours
Honours quotas to boost women and ethnic groups
Richard Eden and Tim Walker
Sunday Telegraph, 12 July 2009

Quotas have been covertly introduced to the honours system by the Government so more women and members of ethnic minorities are decorated by the Queen.

The Cabinet Office, which oversees the honours process, has told Whitehall departments submitting nominations to ensure that their lists include more female and non-white candidates.

The instruction was disclosed in a letter seen by The Sunday Telegraph in which Hayley Harris, the deputy honours secretary at the Department of Communities and Local Government, demanded that more than half of all local government candidates for next year's Queen's Birthday Honours are women.

In her letter, sent to John Ransford, the chief executive of the Local Government Association, Mrs Harris also made clear that there should be more candidates from two specific ethnic groups, "Black African" and "Chinese", which had allegedly been "under represented" in the past. ...

The Cabinet Office confirmed that other government departments had received the same directive. A spokesman said 42 per cent of those named in the Queen's Birthday Honours this year were women and 7.7 per cent were classified as being from ethnic minorities.
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – education, white flight
School lotteries 'will end white flight'
Warwick Mansell and Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 10 July 2009

Lotteries for school places should be introduced to combat "white flight" from inner-city comprehensives, according to a research body.

Local authorities in areas such as Blackburn, Bolton and Oldham should consider using the controversial system to address racial segregation in the classroom, claimed the Institute for Community Cohesion.

A report by the organisation found that white people were deserting some schools after finding their children outnumbered by pupils from ethnic minorities.

In the lotteries, names for places at schools are effectively picked from a hat. The system has been used in Brighton to ensure that the best schools are not monopolised by children from middle-class families.

Nick Johnson, the policy director at the institute, which is part-funded by local authorities and several universities, said: "If you did that [used lotteries] in Blackburn or Bolton or Oldham, it would have a dramatic effect on the schools' composition."

The Institute's researchers gathered evidence from 13 local authority areas and held group discussions with more than 3,000 pupils and parents.

They found "strong evidence of white flight in a number of areas."
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – USA
The cost of a diverse Naval Academy
Bruce Fleming
The Capital, 14 June 2009

The Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead announced in Annapolis recently that "diversity is the number one priority" at the Naval Academy.

The Naval Academy superintendent, Vice Adm. Jeffrey Fowler, echoed him. Everyone understands that "diversity" here means nonwhite skins.

Fowler insisted recently that we needed to have Annapolis graduates who "looked like" the Fleet, where enlisted people are about 42 percent nonwhite, largely African American and Hispanic.

The stunning revelation last week was that the Naval Academy had an incoming class that was "more diverse" than ever before: 35 percent minority.

Sounds good, only this comes with a huge price tag. It's taxpayers who bankroll the military. Yet nobody has asked us if we're willing to pay this price. Instead we're being told there is no price to pay at all. If you believe that, you probably also believe in the Tooth Fairy.

A "diverse" class does not mean the Naval Academy recruits violinists, or older students (they can't be 23 on Induction Day), or gay people (who are thrown out) or foreign students (other than the dozen or so sent by client governments).

It means applicants checked a box on their application that says they are Hispanic, African American, Native American, and now, since my time on the Admissions Board of the Academy, where I've taught for 22 years, Asians. ...

A vote of "qualified" for a white applicant doesn't mean s/he's coming, only that he or she can compete to win the "slate" of up to 10 nominations that (most typically) a Congress(wo)man draws up. That means that nine "qualified" white applicants are rejected. SAT scores below 600 or C grades almost always produce a vote of "not qualified" for white applicants.

Not so for an applicant who self-identifies as one of the minorities who are our "number one priority." For them, another set of rules apply. ... ...

Once at Annapolis, "diverse" midshipmen are over-represented in our pre-college classes, in lower-track courses, in mandatory tutoring programs and less challenging majors. Many struggle to master basic concepts. (I teach some of these courses.) ...

Don't want to believe me? Have a lawyer sit in on a year's worth of Admissions Board deliberations. Or better still, pray that one of the stellar white students rejected to give a seat to a "diverse" candidate sues us. That's the only way taxpayers will ever fully understand the price to them of "putting diversity first."
[Site link]


Diversity – Canada, political correctness
The careful calculus of acceptable diversity
Colby Cosh
National Post, 12 June 2009

The national Post's Wednesday front-page story about the inept Photoshopping of an African-Canadian face on to the cover of the City of Toronto's summer Fun Guide has been criticized for unnecessary frivolity


But, of course, the Fun Guide fiasco is not just interesting as a story of marketing gone wrong. It also provides an invaluable sneak peek at the operating ideology of Toronto's unelected ruling class. For my money, this kind of deep politics is what really belongs in a newspaper, because it affects our lives more pervasively than day-to-day horse race coverage of elections. What does it matter who gets voted in to run the machine? What matters is what kind of machine it is, and what it is for.

What's notable here is that, confronted with a tacit accusation of hypervigilant political correctness, city spokesman Kevin Sack did not issue a denial. He said, in effect, "Hey, what's wrong with wanting to be correct?" We have a policy, he explained, requiring the city to "show diversity" in its marketing materials. He admitted that "diversity" does not have any concrete definition, and he added that the family in the original stock photo "does not look like a nondescript white family, it looks maybe Latino."

Here we have a precious insight into the "diversity" math.

"Nondescript" white people? Not diverse at all. Interestingly exotic Latino family? Perhaps somewhat diverse, but not diverse enough. Latino family with awkwardly leering black face pasted into the picture? We have a winner!

The flaws in this kind of calculation are too obvious to need much elucidation; what we have here is a species of "diversity" that can be shown, in the end, to militate against actual diversity. It's what gives us the depressing homogeneity of college student handbooks and television news anchor teams (stay tuned for Tenured Old White Guy, Cute Asian Woman and Non-Threatening Black Dude with up-to-the-minute sports).

After all, the math works the same way everywhere, which is why the city's great "strategic communications" brains were able to consider using stock photography that would have worked equally well in Vancouver or Chicago or London. The premise of "diversity," carried to its logical conclusion, is that no place should actually be a unique expression of a national spirit or culture; it pushes us, paradoxically, toward a less diverse world.
[Site link]


Diversity – Canada
City digitally adds black guy to Fun Guide cover to make it more 'inclusive'
Allison Hanes
National Post, 10 June 2009

The smiling, ethnically diverse family featured on the cover of Toronto's latest edition of its summer Fun Guide was digitally altered to make the photo more "inclusive," which city officials say is in keeping with a policy to reflect diversity.

A spokesman for the department that publishes the guide listing recreation activities confirmed the publication was doctored to insert the face of a different father.

"He superimposed the African-Canadian person onto the family cluster in the original photo. It was two photographs and one head was superimposed over the original family photo," said John Gosgnach, communications director for the social development division.

"The goal was to depict the diversity of Toronto and its residents."

The cover shot caught the eye of a National Post graphics editor, who ran it through a program called TinEye that detects visual enhancements to standard art.

The program showed the original image was of a laughing family of indeterminate ethnic background.

Both the family in the initial photo and the new father inserted were clip art – stock images that publications sometimes purchase to use as illustrations. None are known to be Toronto residents, Mr. Gosgnach said. ...

The move was in accordance with a policy dated April 11, 2008, signed by former city manager Shirley Hoy directing staff to ensure the true kaleidoscope of Toronto residents is represented in all its communications materials.

"The policy doesn't say PhotoShop, the policy says 'show diversity' and that's of course what we try and do because we want all of our publications to reflect the community that we serve," explained Mr. Sack, who oversees city communications. "That's only fair. People should see themselves reflected in city services because it's everyone who uses them."

There are no criteria for what constitutes diversity, he acknowledged when asked how the policy is implemented in practice and why the family in the initial image didn't seem to fit the bill.

"That's an interesting conversation," Mr. Sack said. "This does not look like a nondescript white family, it looks maybe Latino." ...

"We're in one of the most diverse cities in the world. I hope that doesn't pose a problem for anybody. ..."
[Site link]


Diversity – USA
Poll: Voters Disagree With Sotomayor on Affirmative Action
David A. Patten, 3 June 2009

Voters disagree with Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's controversial ruling in the New Haven firefighters' reverse-discrimination case by more than three-to-one, a new poll shows.

Voters also strongly oppose using affirmative action programs to increase diversity, according to the Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday morning.

"If you look at the data," Quinnipiac Assistant Director Peter Brown tells Newsmax, "what's most interesting is how large their objection is for diversity being a reason for affirmative action. The numbers are staggeringly negative."

In an unusual survey of 3,100 voters – most national polls rely on about 1,200 respondents – voters by 71 to 19 percent think Sotomayor was wrong to permit New Haven to throw out the results of a promotional exam for firefighters, simply because no African-Americans scored well enough to qualify for promotion. ...

The results indicate Sotomayor and President Obama could be seriously out of step with voters on the importance of hiring decisions blind to a person's race or personal background, especially in the midst of a serious economic downturn when workers are competing for jobs.

By a 59 to 27 percent margin, even Democrats thought New Haven was wrong to disregard the results of the exam. ...

Other findings of the survey:

• By 70 to 25 percent, voters oppose giving racial groups an advantage in getting government jobs in order to increase diversity. That is particularly significant, Brown says, because the justification for affirmative action programs has shifted from compensating for past racial discrimination toward promoting socially beneficial diversity.

• Eighty percent say the election of America's first African-American president has not changed their views on racial preferences.

• Voters in every racial and religious demographic, by 74 to 21 percent, oppose using racial preferences to promote diversity in private sector jobs.

• Americans support affirmative action programs for the disabled, by a 55 to 39 percent margin.

• African-American voters support affirmative action, 49 to 45, while Hispanics oppose it by 58 to 38 percent.

• By a 59 to 30 percent margin, African-American voters support affirmative action for Hispanics. But Hispanics are split, by 47 to 48 percent.

"What is significant is that the public clearly opposes the idea that such programs are justified as a way of increasing diversity," Brown says, "which has become the rationale in recent years as opposed to compensating for past discrimination which was the reason when they first began."

The poll has a margin of error of just 1.8 percentage points.
[Site link]


Diversity – Brazil
Catwalk quotas
Daily Telegraph, 23 May 2009

Organisers of a Brazilian fashion week agreed to ensure 10 per cent of models were non-white, after prosecutors investigated claims that too few black and mixed-race models were taking part.

Under the terms of the deal, brands must ensure that one out of every 10 models are of African or indigenous descent.
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – racism, multiculturalism, political correctness
Fear masquerading as tolerance [part 1]
Christopher Caldwell
Prospect, May 2009

The EU was not dreamt up with immigrants in mind, but it wound up setting the rules under which they were welcomed. Postwar Europe was built on an intolerance of intolerance – a mindset that has been praised as anti-racism and anti-fascism, and ridiculed as political correctness. Our interest here is neither to defend it as common sense nor reject it as claptrap. It is to understand, first, what Europe was thinking when it welcomed immigrants in such numbers – something it would not have done at any previous moment in history – and, second, what grounds Europe had for dealing with newcomers in the often naive and overindulgent way it did.

Postwar Europeans behaved as if no one's culture was better than anyone else's. In 1996, the Dutch cabinet held that "the debate over multi-culturality must be conducted starting from the principle that cultures are of equal value." The state would confront matters of immigration and ethnicity with a scrupulous neutrality, aided by a set of "universal values" supposedly common to all cultures. It seemed inappropriate to force – or even to persuade – immigrants to assimilate into the old nationalistic loyalties that Europeans themselves were abandoning. ...

Just because they were migrating to Europe did not mean immigrants accepted, understood, or even noticed the European project to leave behind "the history written in letters of blood." On the contrary, many immigrants, and many children and grandchildren of immigrants, considered it a duty to shout from the rooftops their wish for a Palestinian state or a Kurdish homeland or an Islamist Algeria. They kept alive dreams of cultural, national, and even racial glory that were beyond the reach of Europeans' understanding.

In the name of liberal universalism, many of the laws and customs that had held European societies together were thrown out the window. Tolerance became a higher priority than any of the traditional preoccupations of state and society – order, liberty, fairness, and intelligibility – and came to be pursued at their expense. But in recent years Europe's ideology of neutrality has buckled under the weight of mass immigration and become a source not of strength but of what Alsana, the bitchy Bengali housewife in Zadie Smith's White Teeth, called "hosh-kosh nonsense." ...

The term "political correctness" was borrowed from American debates to describe the contortions of logic that European universalism required. No one has ever been quite satisfied with the expression. Maybe it is an unduly harsh way to describe the white lies and petty misstatements of the sort that used to be called "talking out of one's hat." ... ...

... Yet even when political correctness showed a tendency to authoritarian excess, its self-important perpetrators resembled Gilbert and Sullivan characters more than Stalinist henchmen.

Nevertheless, by the turn of the century, immigration was an area where even mild dissent against the status quo could be met with sharp condemnations. The range of opinions that one could express on immigration and ethnicity had, beyond any doubt, narrowed dramatically. ...
[Site link]


Diversity – racism, multiculturalism, political correctness
Fear masquerading as tolerance [part 2]
Christopher Caldwell
Prospect, May 2009

Over time, the ideology of tolerance changed in two ways. First, it broadened. The classes of people entitled to protection from intolerance grew, and what constituted an offence against tolerance became arbitrary and ad hoc. In the Macpherson inquiry, ordered by the British home office into the grisly, unsolved 1993 murder of the black Londoner Stephen Lawrence, a racist incident was defined as "any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person." This definition became the working norm in many European countries.

Second, the ideology hardened. It developed real powers of enforcement, partly because it was codified into law, and partly because non-governmental groups acted as freelance enforcers. Offences against the ideology of tolerance now brought not just criticism and ostracism but the possibility of lost livelihoods and encounters with public authorities.


The policing of tolerance had no inbuilt limits and no obvious logic. Why was "ethnic pride" a virtue and "nationalism" a sickness? ... ...

So increasingly immigration became a pivot of all European politics, not just immigration politics. That was a big difference between Europe's challenges and similar American ones. In the US, there was a "race problem" and an "immigration problem," and the two did not always have much to do with one another. In Europe, the immigration problem was the race problem. So declaring immigration a success and an "enrichment" became the only acceptable opinion. To hold immigration a failure was to reveal oneself a racist; to express misgivings about immigration was to confess racist inclinations. The philosopher Pierre-André Taguieff coined the term immigrationisme to describe the ideology that immigration is always "both inevitable and good." Real discussions about the increasing "diversity" of European society, and whether it was a good or a bad thing, were all but shut down.

Diversity described both a sociological reality (there were more foreign-looking people around) and an ideology (there ought to be more foreign-looking people around). The ideology was perfectly in tune with the neutrality among cultures espoused by the builders of the European ideal. Diversity, though, could never really be a stable or neutral ideal because Europeans did not know enough about other cultures to make it one. While Europeans could easily dismantle their own prejudices, the prejudices of other ethnic groups were, quite naturally, invisible to them. At the heart of European universalism was European provincialism.

Europeans who considered churches houses of stupidity, sexism, and superstition didn't know enough about mosques or ashrams to form a judgment, and left them unmolested. They abolished the old and much-mocked nationalistic school lessons about the virtues of nos ancêtres les gaulois, but absorbed the new lessons about the virtues of other cultures, and the justice and nobility of exotic political causes, with a childish credulity. Immigrants could indulge certain comforting prejudices and myths that natives would be disciplined, chastised, ostracised, or jailed for indulging. Effectively, diversity meant taking old hierarchies and inverting them.
[Site link]


Diversity – racism, multiculturalism, political correctness
Fear masquerading as tolerance [part 3]
Christopher Caldwell
Prospect, May 2009

The European obsession with third world "causes" was a function of Europe's new, guilt-based moral order. Immigrants and their children were at liberty to express politically their wishes as a people in a way that European natives were not. ... The only national claims that could be made without provoking accusations of nationalism, racism, or xenophobia were those of foreigners.

Where it interacted with immigration, there was an illogic at the heart of diversity. If diversity "enriched" and "strengthened" nations as much as everyone claimed, why would any nation ever want its immigrants to integrate into the broader society? That would be drawing down the nation's valuable fund of diversity. In this regard Ethiopians are for serving Ethiopian food, and helping substantiate the boasts of suburban school administrators that "our students speak 170 languages in the home" – not for taking jobs as marketing managers and dental hygienists. Or was the supply of diversity meant to remain – via immigration – permanently on tap? No European public wanted that. So European leaders defended mass immigration in one breath by saying it would make their countries different (through diversity), and in the next by saying it would leave them the same (through integration).

Diversity won its most heartfelt assent at the level of consumerism – primarily cuisine and fashion. In the 1950s and 1960s, before immigrants had changed European culture in any significant way, Europeans were grateful for the novelties they brought – from hashish to baba ghanoush. But from the early 1960s on, immigration became less about retail curiosities and more about the core structures of society – the welfare system, the prosperity of important industries, the principles of rights that governed transactions between individuals. Bizarrely, as immigration began to change Europe at its economic and cultural core, the political vocabulary remained the same as when immigration had been a fringe phenomenon. People kept talking about restaurants. ...

By now it is almost second nature for westerners to assume that anything familiar, traditional, and western is to be opposed; and anything discomfort-inducing and foreign is to be protected. ...

The German jurist Udo di Fabio warned in 2005 that the language of multiculturalism and diversity "opens the gates to a new middle ages, in which the model is not the human individual but the harmonious ordering of groups." And the way the groups were ordered often left natives feeling like second-class citizens. According to an official British government report published in 2008, "White people are less likely to feel they can influence decisions at the local level than people from minority ethnic groups (37 per cent compared to 45 per cent). White people are also less likely to feel they can influence decisions affecting Britain (19 per cent compared to 31 per cent)." The relative pessimism of white people about exercising their rights is supposed to strike us as puzzling, or surprising, but of course it is not. It reflects a belief that their aspirations are not the real subject of Britain's politics.
[Site link]


Diversity – employment
BBC fears over law on ethnic 'quotas'
Andrew Pierce and Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 29 April 2009

The BBC and Channel 4 fear they will be forced to impose black and ethnic minority actors and presenters on popular programmes such as Doctor Who, Songs of Praise and EastEnders because of the new equalities legislation.

Both state-owned broadcasters have protested to ministers that the law, which was published on Monday, could be hijacked to enforce social engineering on the content of programmes.

While certain public bodies, such as the UK Border Authority, have been excluded from the legislation, the BBC and Channel 4 have not. Both organisations already have targets for the number of women and ethnic minority employees in the workforce.

But they now fear that the rules of the proposed Equalities Bill will impact on the independence of programme-makers. The BBC is already resisting pressure from the Equalities and Human Rights Commission for a review of its output to ensure it is meeting quotas.
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – employment
Firms face gender and race quotas
James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 28 April 2009

Companies could be forced to meet quotas on the number of women or ethnic minority workers they employ to win government contracts, under rules published yesterday.

The laws planned by Harriet Harman, the Equalities Minister, mean that firms tendering for taxpayer-funded work could be judged on the gender and race of their staff. Miss Harman said her new Equalities Bill would mean the annual £175 billion public procurement budget was used to promote "equality".

The draft Bill ... ... will also allow employers to give preference to female or non-white job applicants over equally-qualified white men. Miss Harman insisted that her new measures would help companies. ...

She suggested that government contracts should be awarded on social as well as economic grounds.

"If there are two companies bidding for a contract and one has a much better equality record, then it would be down to the procuring authority to choose that one," she said.

The minister said contracts could be conditional on criteria which included the number of women employed. ...

Existing rules mean tendering firms can be asked about their general policy on diversity issues and any previous cases of discrimination.
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – USA
Disney to feature its first black princess... but critics complain as she falls in love with a WHITE prince
Paul Thompson
Daily Mail, 18 March 2009

Move over Snow White. Make room for Disney's first black princess.

With America's first African-American president in the White House, Disney is counting on an African-American princess to be a big hit in Hollywood.

But even though The Princess and the Frog isn't released until later this year, it is already stirring up controversy.

For while Princess Tiana and many in the cartoon cast are black – the prince is not.

Which has led some critics to complain that Disney has ducked the opportunity for a fairytale ending for a black prince and princess.

While some have hailed Disney's decision as a reflection of melting pot America, others say the company is sending out a mixed message.

Although the black princess's love interest in the new animated musical is called Prince Naveen of Maldonia and is voiced by a Brazilian actor, he looks more white than black in photographs from the film that Disney have released.

Since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, all of Disney's princesses have predominantly been white.

A native Indian princess was featured in Pocahontas and Jasmine in Aladdin had a Middle Eastern appearance. ...

Since announcing their plans for the first black princess in 2006 the production of Hollywood studio's 49th animated film has been dogged by racial controversy.

Originally called The Frog Princess, its heroine was to be a chambermaid called Maddy working for a spoilt white debutante in 1920s New Orleans.

But the storyline sparked a backlash from critics who claimed it reinforced prejudice and demeaned black people.

The princess's original name was perceived by some to be a stereotypical 'slave name' and she was also a maid working for a wealthy white boss, which was criticised as being racially insensitive.

Even the New Orleans setting for the film was questioned as it had overtones of voodoo and slavery.

Disney has insisted its choice of a black princess was part of a policy to give characters as much diversity as possible.
[Site link]


Diversity – affirmative action, USA
Election Day Brought Conservative Victory Against Racial Preference
Sharon Browne and Roger Clegg
Human Events, 9 March 2009

While conservatives were not thrilled with the election of Barack Obama, there was one obvious silver lining. For years, they – and, in fact, the overwhelming majority of all Americans – have opposed racial preferences, a.k.a. "affirmative action." ...

As it turned out, on the same day that Senator Obama was being elected President Obama, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals took a giant step toward providing equal opportunity, and away from guaranteeing equal results, by striking down an affirmative action program that was enacted by Congress and that mandated racial preferences in government contracting. The Justice Department did not seek Supreme Court review in the case, Rothe Development Corp. v. United States Department of Defense, and so the decision stands – a valuable legal precedent in the continuing struggle against racial preferences.

The program struck down in Rothe was mandated by Congress and required the U.S. Department of Defense, the Coast Guard, the Air Force, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to ensure that five percent of all contract dollars be awarded to individuals or businesses designated as "disadvantaged"– and it declared that blacks, Asians, Hispanics, and Native Americans were automatically to be presumed to be disadvantaged.

Of course, if the government gives a preference to some, it will be discriminating against others. Rothe Development Corporation, a San Antonio firm owned by a white woman, was the low bidder on a contract to maintain the computer system at Columbus Air Force base in Mississippi. Instead of awarding Rothe the contract on the basis of her low bid, the government chose a minority (South Korean) contractor – costing the taxpayers over $150,000 more for the same service, by the way. Rothe sued.

After ten years of repeated appeals, on Election Day 2008, the Federal Circuit struck down the program, finding that Congress did not have sufficient evidence to justify such racial preferences.

While the Rothe case challenged a Defense Department program, the court of appeals' decision is much broader. David Barton, Rothe's lawyer, points out that the Justice Department itself has acknowledged that the statistical studies Congress used to justify the military's contracting program are the same ones used by the Small Business Administration for its 8(a) programs and by the U.S. Department of Transportation for its federal highway work. Another contractor could try bringing a challenge to these programs, and they would likely be struck down.

Here's hoping that this happens, and the sooner the better. The case law is very good now, and the more judges that the new administration appoints, the worse the federal judiciary will be.

Meanwhile, Congress and the Obama administration must now ponder what to do in the wake of the Rothe decision. Clearly, the continued use of racial preferences will face a difficult legal terrain. And as a policy and political matter, such discrimination makes no sense either. There is, in 2009, simply no reason for contracting programs to grant preferences based on skin color.

The Obama administration has promised to eliminate any item in the federal budget that "we don't need, or that doesn't work." Well, wasting the taxpayers' money to advance a racial spoils system is, if anything is, a program that we don't need and that doesn't work. One study concluded that racial preferences for highway projects in just one state in just one year were costing its taxpayers up to 6 percent more or about $180 million.
[Site link]


Diversity – religion
Islam 'must be promoted'
Martin Beckford
Daily Telegraph, 3 March 2009

Church schools could be forced to promote Islam and homosexuality under new rules for teachers, a charity has claimed.

The General Teaching Council's code of conduct has been accused of undermining the religious ethos of Christian schools. The Catholic Church said it will discriminate against devout staff.

The draft code includes a requirement to "proactively challenge discrimination", and the Christian Institute has claimed it could be used to insist that teachers promote homosexual rights or religions such as Islam.

A spokesman for the GTC said the code did not prevent teachers from expressing their beliefs "nor does the code oblige them to promote beliefs with which they disagree."
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – advertising, USA
More TV ads project images of racial harmony
Todd Lewan
Associated Press, 1 March 2009

Ever see an inner-city schoolyard filled with white, Asian and black teens shooting hoops? Or middle-aged white and Latino men swigging beer and watching the Super Bowl on their black neighbor's couch? Or Asians and Latinos dancing the night away in a hip-hop club?

All it takes is a television.

Yes, that mesmerizing mass purveyor of aspiration, desire and self-awareness regularly airs commercials these days that show Americans of different races and ethnicities interacting in integrated schools, country clubs, workplaces and homes, bonded by their love of the products they consume. ...

Ads like these are part of a subtle, yet increasingly visible strategy that marketers refer to as "visual diversity" – commercials that enable advertisers to connect with wider audiences while conveying a message that corporate America is not just "in touch," racially speaking, but inclusive.


These "multiculti" ads may be evidence of the vitality of assimilation, America's distinctive, master trend. To advertisers, though, they're simply smart business – a recognition of a new cultural mainstream that prizes diversity, a recognition that we are fast approaching a day when the predominant hue in America will no longer be white.

"Going forward, all advertising is going to be multicultural by definition, because in most states, majority ethnic populations will no longer exist," says Danny Allen, managing director at SENSIS, an ad agency in Los Angeles that specializes in reaching multicultural audiences through digital and online media. ...

And yet, some critics wonder if depicting America as a racial nirvana today may have an unintended downside – that of airbrushing out of the public consciousness the economic and social chasms that still separate whites, blacks and Latinos. ...

Are multiculti ads, then, an accurate barometer of our racial progress, a showcase of our hopes in that direction – or a reminder of how far we still have to go? ...

The black population grew 27 percent from 1990 to 2007, compared to 15 percent for whites and 21 percent overall. And the percentage of multiracial citizens, though just 1.6 percent of America's 302 million people, is swelling at 10 times the rate of white population growth.

If current trends continue, demographers say, nonwhites will be in the majority in America by 2042 – a prospect not lost on advertisers, says Melanie Shreffler, editor of Marketing to the Emerging Majorities, an industry newsletter. ...

About 80 percent of whites live in neighborhoods in which 95 percent of their neighbors are also white, and census data shows 90 percent of the neighborhoods that were predominantly or exclusively black in 1990 remained that way a decade later.

"My students always say to me, 'Isn't it better to have these ads? It's kind of a fake-it-'til-you-make-it kind of thing,'" Gallagher says. "The problem with that, I tell them, is that distortions and false impressions never do anyone any good."
[Site link]


Diversity – police, race
Ten years after Macpherson, police race quotas are axed
James Slack
Daily Mail, 21 February 2009

Police are to scrap controversial race 'diversity' targets that made it harder for white men to win jobs.

The decision could end the positive discrimination which has seen ethnic minority applicants selected where white rivals were at least as well qualified.

The targets were imposed after police were labelled institutionally racist in the 1999 Macpherson Report into the murder of Stephen Lawrence.

Forces were told to recruit ethnic minority officers in direct proportion to the make-up of their local community.

The targets, dictated by Whitehall, left many forces under severe pressure to employ thousands of black and other minority groups as soon as possible.


Now police minister Vernon Coaker has decided central targets can be dropped, even though few areas have met them. Individual forces will be able to decide their own recruitment pattern. ...

Since the blistering Macpherson Report, ten years ago on Tuesday, the number of ethnic minority officers nationwide has doubled.

But it is still only around 4.1 per cent, compared to seven per cent in the population as a whole.
[Site link]


Diversity – housing, sub-prime mortgages, USA
Upside Down Economics
Thomas Sowell
Creators Syndicate, 17 February 2009

From television specials to newspaper editorials, the media are pushing the idea that current economic problems were caused by the market and that only the government can rescue us.

What was lacking in the housing market, they say, was government regulation of the market's "greed." That makes great moral melodrama, but it turns the facts upside down.

It was precisely government intervention which turned a thriving industry into a basket case. ...

The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 directed federal regulatory agencies to "encourage" banks and other lending institutions "to help meet the credit needs of the local communities in which they are chartered consistent with the safe and sound operation of such institutions."

That sounds pretty innocent and, in fact, it had little effect for more than a decade. However, its premise was that bureaucrats and politicians know where loans should go, better than people who are in the business of making loans.

The real potential of that premise became apparent in the 1990s, when the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) imposed a requirement that mortgage lenders demonstrate with hard data that they were meeting their responsibilities under the Community Reinvestment Act.

What HUD wanted were numbers showing that mortgage loans were being made to low-income and moderate-income people on a scale that HUD expected, even if this required "innovative or flexible" mortgage eligibility standards.

In other words, quotas were imposed – and if some people didn't meet the standards, then the standards need to be changed.

Both HUD and the Department of Justice began bringing lawsuits against mortgage bakers when a higher percentage of minority applicants than white applicants were turned down for mortgage loans.

A substantial majority of both black and white mortgage loan applicants had their loans approved but a statistical difference was enough to get a bank sued.

It should also be noted that the same statistical sources from which data on blacks and whites were obtained usually contained data on Asian Americans as well. But those data on Asian Americans were almost never mentioned.

Whites were turned down for mortgage loans more often than Asian Americans. But saying that would undermine the reasoning on which the whole moral melodrama and political crusades were based.

Lawsuits were only part of the pressures put on lenders by government officials. Banks and other lenders are overseen by regulatory agencies and must go to those agencies for approval of many business decisions that other businesses make without needing anyone else's approval.

Government regulators refused to approve such decisions when a lender was under investigation for not producing satisfactory statistics on loans to low-income people or minorities.

Under growing pressures from both the Clinton administration and later the George W. Bush administration, banks began to lower their lending standards.

Mortgage loans with no down payment, no income verification and other "creative" financial arrangements abounded. ...

With mortgage loans widely available to people with questionable prospects of being able to keep up the payments, it was an open invitation to financial disaster.
[Site link]


Diversity – multiculturalism
This is the sub-prime house that Barack built
Christopher Booker
Sunday Telegraph, 1 February 2009

It is all very well for President Obama to vent his anger on the bankers who continued to claim billions of dollars in bonuses while expecting Washington to bail them out after the sub-prime mortgage crisis brought the banks to their knees. Conveniently overlooked has been the curious part Mr Obama himself played in the sub-prime debacle.

At the heart of it was a 1995 amendment to the Community Reinvestment Act which required banks to lend money to millions of poor, mainly black Americans to buy homes, guaranteed by the two biggest mortgage associations, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. No one campaigned more actively for this change to the law than Mr Obama, as a young but already influential Chicago politician.

This Act, more than anything else, helped to create the US housing bubble, well beyond the point where it was obvious that hundreds of thousands of homeowners would be likely to default. And in 2005 no one more actively opposed moves to halt Fannie Mae's reckless guarantees than Senator Obama, as he was by then. And as the official records show, no senator received more donations from Fannie Mae than he did (although Hillary Clinton ran him close).

Thus no US politician arguably did more to promote the sub-prime disaster than the man now expected to pick up the pieces. Rather like Gordon Brown, really.
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – multiculturalism, France
The Engineer of Diversity
The Brussels Journal, 26 January 2009

Recently Nicolas Sarkozy announced plans to pursue a vigorous policy of diversity and métissage. Concretely, this means giving preference to minorities in job hiring and prosecuting those who do not comply. In other words, affirmative action as a government policy from which none are exempt.

In his message Sarkozy insisted that the French people must change, that there will be dire consequences if they don't, and that not to intermarry racially is bad for the survival of the country. Thus he amalgamated the concepts of preference for minorities in job hiring with that of the need for the French to intermarry racially.

These are two separate things. But in the mind of Sarkozy they go together. Last December he chose a highly successful Algerian-born businessman, known as an impassioned advocate of diversity, Yazid Sabeg, to be his "high commissioner on diversity and equal opportunity", and to implement these government orders.

It is well-known that in France ethnic statistics are forbidden by law, so in order to determine how many minorities are employed in any given enterprise, Sabeg will have to use all his resourcefulness, as this article from Le Figaro points out: ...

The article goes on to explain how a sociologist, Eric Keslassy, attempted to use photographs to determine the number of minorities in public office. He found in the National Assembly only three deputies belonging to minority groups, and in the Senate, four. Again using photos, he found that Paris had the highest rate of minority elected officials (17%), then Strasbourg (13.84%), Montpellier and Lille (11%), Toulouse (10%), Lyons (8%). Marseilles and Nice fared poorly, and Bordeaux had no minority elected official. ...

While they search for the perfect method to use for increasing the number of minorities, the system advocated by the High Council on Integration seems for now to be the most effective. Using family names and given names that were common in France at the end of the 19th century, and names that have recently appeared, a software program can determine persons of North African and sub-Saharan African origin, and persons from Europe, or even from overseas. This program showed that of the 35,000 elected officials in towns of more than 9000 inhabitants, 6.68% were minorities. A low figure but growing since 2001. While France is split from East to West, a reflection of the migratory waves.

The High Council on Integration (HCI) dates back to 1989. It is a government agency, composed of 20 members, dedicated to the study of the integration of minorities.
[Site link]


Diversity – France
French diversity chief warns of upheaval
Associated Press, 21 January 2009

France's equality chief said Wednesday the country was heading "straight into apartheid" and toward a major social explosion unless changes are made rapidly.

Yazid Sabeg issued a wakeup call to the French nation, which has already suffered major rioting from alienated immigrant youth in the country's social housing projects.

He stressed that the current financial crisis will hit those suffering from discrimination and lack of opportunity most severely.

"We are creating a social civil war in this country," said Sabeg. "I believe that today we are digging a ditch that leads straight into apartheid." ...

President Nicolas Sarkozy appointed Sabeg in December to the newly created post of diversity and equality commissioner. He is to oversee a government action plan aimed at putting more ethnic minorities on TV screens, in political parties and in elite schools that lead to jobs in government and industry. Details of the plan are to be presented in March. ...

Sarkozy gave broad outlines of the plan in December.

On the agenda is making elite education more accessible to minorities by forcing schools to reserve 25 percent of their places for students receiving state aid.

Among other measures, political parties will be asked to sign a "diversity charter" that could become a criterion for receiving public funds, and TV stations will be required to spell out diversity goals to the country's audiovisual watchdog. ...

Sabeg, like Sarkozy, also wants researchers to be allowed to gather data on ethnic minorities – currently taboo in France which forbids the categorization of the population via ethnicity.
[Site link]


Diversity – France
Sarkozy acts for ethnic diversity
Christine Ollivier
Yahoo News, 17 December 2008

President Nicolas Sarkozy, impatient with what he said was the slow pace of promoting diversity in France, announced measures Wednesday to put more ethnic minorities on TV screens, in political parties and in elite schools.

A government action plan to be presented by March will spell out the measures in detail. The project is to be overseen by a newly appointed commissioner for diversity and equality, Yazid Sabeg, a son of Algerian immigrants who is known for his efforts to bring equality to the workplace. ...

He wants top schools to reserve 25 percent of their places for students receiving state aid by September – and 30 percent by September 2010. Many students who receive government education funds are ethnic minorities from underprivileged backgrounds.

Increasing diversity was a campaign promise of Sarkozy, elected in May 2007. Long ignored, diversity topped the political agenda after fall 2005 riots in poor French neighborhoods exposed deep anger among people of immigrant origin and revealed the extent of discrimination in France.

The election of Barack Obama as U.S. president sparked renewed soul-searching about why so few ethnic minorities rise to the top in France.

Sarkozy squarely rejected affirmative action for France. But in a significant departure from French practice, he raised the possibility that scientists might begin gathering statistics on ethnicity – long taboo in a country that is officially colorblind.

Researchers are handicapped by the inability to make head counts based on religious or ethnic factors and have pressed for permission to do so. Sarkozy said scientists must be able "to clearly identify lagging and measure progress." ...

Among other measures, political parties will be asked to sign a "diversity charter" that could become a criteria for receiving public funds, Sarkozy said.

Sarkozy also said TV stations will be required to spell out diversity goals to the CSA, France's audiovisual watchdog.
[Site link]


Diversity – employment
Jobs bias to aid women and minorities
Rosa Prince
Daily Telegraph, 4 December 2008

Female or black job candidates will be allowed to be hired ahead of white men without the threat of legal action under an equality law unveiled yesterday.

It would let companies use "positive action" when recruiting to posts in which women or ethnic minorities are under-represented.

Positive action differs from the more controversial positive discrimination because it allows selection on race or gender only if candidates are otherwise of equal merit.

The Government suggested that the new law might be used by men as well, giving the example of primary school heads who wished to hire more male teachers.

At present, disgruntled job candidates can use equal rights laws such as the Race Relations Act to launch industrial tribunal proceedings against employers who use colour or sex as a reason for selecting a candidate. ...

The new Equality Bill, unveiled in the Queen's Speech, sees nine existing discrimination laws replaced by a single Act of Parliament.
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – education
Researcher Turns to Calif. Supreme Court in Pursuit of State Bar Data on Race
Petra Pasternak, 11 August 2008

With his request for access to historical bar exam data from the California State Bar repeatedly rejected, a law professor has turned to the state Supreme Court.

UCLA School of Law professor Richard Sander, along with former State Bar governor Joe Hicks and the California First Amendment Coalition, filed a writ petition Thursday asking the court to direct the State Bar to hand over those records with redactions to protect test takers' privacy.

CFAC Executive Director Peter Scheer said that the wrestling match had become a matter of access to public records and freedom of information. ...

Sander has been trying since 2006 to get the Bar's data to build on a 2004 study he did that suggested affirmative action might be responsible for black students' high bar failure rates nationwide. He postulated that race-based preferences had opened the doors of elite law schools to minority students who were academically unprepared, and that as a result, there were far fewer black lawyers in 2004 than there would have been if more minority students had attended – and thrived – at less elite law schools.

Now Sander and Hicks are involved in a group that wants to test the controversial "mismatch" theory further.

Their petition says that the number of test takers in California, their racial diversity and the quality of the Bar's data collection make this state their best bet, but the State Bar has repeatedly rejected Sander's requests for data that would include the race and academic credentials of each applicant, but not their names. ...

Sander and his allies have previously tried to reassure the Bar that the information would be kept confidential, and to allay any fear that they had an agenda to use the information to undermine affirmative action. ...

On Thursday, CFAC's Scheer raised the question of academic freedom, contending that even Sanders' critics had acknowledged the legitimacy of the research and the importance of the questions it raises. "It's just that some people don't want the research to continue to its conclusion, because it may be a conclusion that is politically incorrect, and that is something that should not even be considered by the State Bar."
[Site link]


Diversity – arts
Why a bit of credit crunch may be no bad thing
Rupert Christiansen
Daily Telegraph, 16 July 2008

Panic about the effects of the financial crunch has hit the arts world, ...

One cause for hope is that the Arts Council of England, under the management of a new chief executive, Alan Davey, seems to have responded to widespread criticism and made itself less beholden to narrow government targets. ...

However, pressure from the top to improve "diversity" will continue. Recently released figures show that the percentage of black and ethnic minorities – "BEMs" in the repellent government-speak – attending arts venues or participating in artistic activities declined between 2001 and 2006, and this worries the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

But thinking on this matter must become more flexible and sophisticated: it's no use taking the Culture Minister Margaret Hodge's crass and patronising view that there should be more dark skins at the Proms; we need to consider more sensitively what sorts of art have meaning for (and relevance to) different races and nationalities.
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – police, crime
Police fury as bosses tell them to 'celebrate' gipsies
Stephen Wright
Daily Mail, 12 July 2008

Their arrival in the capital is said to have led to a huge rise in thieving and prompted the creation of a specialist police squad to tackle their sinister activities.

Yet in a move which has caused disbelief amongst rank and file officers, Scotland Yard has asked staff to 'celebrate' the contribution of Roma gipsies to 'London's culture and diversity.'

In a notice posted on the force's intranet website, Denise Milani, director of the Met's 'Diversity and Citizen Focus Directorate', urges officers to observe the first ever 'Gipsy Roma Traveller History Month.'

Ignoring the huge drain on resources caused by Romanian pickpockets who target commuters and tourists in the West End, Miss Milani - a protege of Metropolitan Police chief Sir Ian Blair - says Roma gipsies are welcome in the capital.

She says: 'We welcome the celebration of the community's history and contributions to London's culture and diversity.

'The Met Police works to make London a safer city for all and we are committed to understanding and working with all communities, including the Gipsy Roma Traveller community.

'The Gipsy Roma Traveller History month celebrates their history, culture and contributions to the rich tapestry of Britain's diversity.'

The mother-of-two's comments were described as 'political correctness off the Richter scale' by one furious detective. He added: 'What planet is this lady living on? We have been run ragged by gangs of Romanian gipsies who are targeting innocent people in the West End.

'How is that enhancing the rich tapestry of cultural life in Britain?'

Following the expansion of the European Union, the number of Romanian criminals known to police in central London rose from 12 in 2006 to 214 last year.

Earlier this year, police staged a dramatic series of dawn raids in Slough, Berkshire, in a campaign to stamp out a Fagin-style crime ring involving Romanian slave children smuggled into Britain. ...

Police have estimated that each active Romanian criminal makes about £100,000 a year - most of which is channelled back to his home country to fund luxury cars and homes.
[Site link]


Diversity – education
Viewbook Diversity vs. Real Diversity
Scott Jaschik
Inside Higher Ed [website], 2 July 2008

In September of 2000, the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the University of Idaho were both embarrassed when they were forced to admit that they had doctored promotional photographs to make their campuses look diverse. In both cases, non-white faces were added to real student photographs of all-white groups.

At the universities involved, officials insisted that they meant well, but just about everyone agreed that Photoshop diversity isn't the real thing. But what if photos, even real photos of real live students, convey a false impression?

A sociologist at Augsburg College, together with an undergraduate, recently studied the viewbooks of hundreds of four-year colleges and universities, selected at random. The research team counted the racially identifiable student photographs and also gathered data on the actual make-up of the student bodies.

The findings: Black students made up an average of 7.9 percent of students at the colleges studied, but 12.4 percent of those in viewbooks. Asian students are also more likely to be found in viewbooks than on campus, making up 3.3 percent of real students on average and 5.1 percent of portrayed students. The researchers acknowledge that appearance does not always tell the story of race and ethnicity, and say that they only counted clearly identifiable photos, and feel less confident about figures for Latino students. But they report relatively few students whose appearance suggested that they might be Latino, which is striking given the growth in the Latino student body. (A total of 371 colleges were studied, and historically black colleges were excluded; the findings were recently presented at the meeting of the Midwest Sociological Society.)

Looked at another way, he found that more than 75 percent of colleges appeared to overrepresent black students in viewbooks.

So why are black students more prevalent in viewbooks than on campus?

"Black equals diversity for many people. If you show African American students, people think that means your institution is diverse," said Timothy D. Pippert, an assistant professor of sociology at Augsburg, who led the study. "They are defining diversity as that face." ...

George Dehne, who runs an eponymous admissions consulting firm, said that it is unfortunate that colleges try to portray themselves as having more black students than they do, but he sees it all the time. "We tell colleges that it's a mistake and they shouldn't do it, but we get overruled," he said. "Sometimes you see the same black kid in every picture," he said.

Colleges are generally convinced that they need to show a lot of black students to recruit a lot of black students, he said.
[Site link]


Diversity – discrimination, education, USA
America's Universities Are Living a Diversity Lie [part 1]
Peter Schmidt, a senior writer at The Chronicle of Higher Education
Wall Street Journal, 28 June 2008

Thirty years ago this past week, Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr. condemned our nation's selective colleges and universities to live a lie. Writing the deciding opinion in the case Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, he prompted these institutions to justify their use of racial preferences in admissions with a rationale most had never considered and still do not believe – a desire to offer a better education to all students.

To this day, few colleges have even tried to establish that their race-conscious admissions policies yield broad educational benefits. The research is so fuzzy and methodologically weak that some strident proponents of affirmative action admit that social science is not on their side.

In reality, colleges profess a deep belief in the educational benefits of their affirmative-action policies mainly to save their necks. They know that, if the truth came out, courts could find them guilty of illegal discrimination against white and Asian Americans.

Selective colleges began lowering the bar for minority applicants back in the late 1960s to promote social justice and help keep the peace. They felt an obligation to help remedy society's racial discrimination, even if they generally weren't willing to acknowledge their own. And with riots devastating the nation's big cities, they saw a need to send black America a clear signal that the establishment it was rebelling against was in fact open to it – and that getting a good college education, not violence, represented the best path to wealth and power.

In the mid 1970s, when colleges talked about the educational benefits of race-conscious admissions, what they had in mind were the benefits reaped by minority students. And tellingly, the University of California had said nothing about the educational benefits of diversity in defending the UC-Davis medical school's strict racial quotas against the lawsuit brought by Allan P. Bakke, a rejected white applicant.

When the U.S. Supreme Court took up that decision on appeal, however, the educational diversity argument was tucked into a few of the many friend-of-the-court briefs submitted in the case.

Justice Powell would come to rely heavily on one of those briefs, in which Columbia, Harvard, Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania joined in arguing, without any empirical evidence, that diversity "makes the university a better learning environment." Like the four other conservatives on the court, Powell rejected the social-justice rationale for such policies, arguing that the government should not be in the business of deciding which segments of American society owed what to whom for past misdeeds. Nevertheless, he did not want the court to be radically changing how colleges did business. Looking for a way out, he ended up saying the four elite colleges had convinced him of the educational benefits of treating some applicants' minority status as a "plus factor."

Most selective colleges interpreted Justice Powell's controlling opinion in the case as a green light to keep doing what they had been as far as racial and ethnic-group admissions preferences were concerned. At the same time, they fretted little about how their campuses were actually becoming less diverse in socioeconomic terms as they jacked up tuitions and increasingly favored applicants from families wealthy enough to fatten endowments and pay their children's full fare. And despite a professed concern with viewpoint diversity, some colleges adopted rigid speech codes aimed at squelching statements that made minority students uncomfortable.
[Site link]


Diversity – discrimination, education, USA
America's Universities Are Living a Diversity Lie [part 2]
Peter Schmidt, a senior writer at The Chronicle of Higher Education
Wall Street Journal, 28 June 2008

Academe got a rude awakening in 1996. Californians passed a ballot measure in that year barring public colleges from considering race and ethnicity in admissions. And a federal appeals court rejected Justice Powell's diversity rationale in a lawsuit, Hopwood v. Texas, involving the University of Texas law school. In his book, "Diversity Challenged," Gary Orfield, a staunch advocate of affirmative action, says people in higher education looked around and suddenly realized "no consensus existed on the benefits of diversity" and "the research had not been done to prove the academic benefits."

Over the next several years, education researchers scrambled to find such proof and repeatedly met with college leaders to discuss their progress. Their work took on a sense of urgency, on the expectation the Supreme Court would soon be revisiting Bakke. Yet again and again, their studies were shown to have gaping holes and deemed too weak to hold up in the courts.

Fortunately for affirmative-action advocates, the Center for Individual Rights, which coordinated the legal assault on race-conscious admissions, made a tactical decision not to seriously challenge such research – out of a belief it could win on legal principle. When the Supreme Court waded back into the controversy, it reaffirmed Justice Powell's diversity rationale in a 2003 decision, Grutter v. Bollinger, involving the University of Michigan law school. The opinions revealed that the majority of justices had been swayed by a barrage of friend-of-the-court briefs spinning and exaggerating what the research said about the alleged educational benefits of diversity.

Proponents of race-conscious admissions policies have yet to produce a study of their educational benefits without some limitation or flaw. Many focus only on benefits to minority students. Others define benefits in nakedly ideological terms, declaring the policies successful if they seem correlated with the adoption of liberal views. A large share relies on survey data that substitute subjective opinions for an objective measurement of learning. The University of Michigan's star witness, Patricia Gurin, a professor of psychology and women's studies, presented studies showing the educational benefits of classes and campus programs that promote interracial understanding. Those may exist at colleges that don't consider an applicant's race.

Affirmative action advocates argue that it is unreasonable to expect more of the research, because no education policy has incontrovertible proof of effectiveness. But affirmative-action preferences are not just any education policy; they require some students to suffer racial discrimination for the sake of a perceived common good. In grounding his definition of that good in the shifting sands of social science, Justice Powell may have left colleges legally vulnerable for decades to come. The courts, after all, are known for diverse opinions.
[Site link]


Diversity – education, USA
The ABA's 'Diversity' Diktat
Gail Heriot
Wall Street Journal, 28 April 2008

If you have ever wondered why colleges and universities seem to march in lockstep on controversial issues like affirmative action, here is one reason: Overly politicized accrediting agencies often demand it.

Given that federal funding hinges on accreditation, schools are not in a position to argue. That is precisely why the U.S. Department of Education, which gives accreditors their authority, must sometimes take corrective action. George Mason University's law school in northern Virginia is an example of why corrective action is needed now.

GMU's problems began in early 2000, when the American Bar Association visited the law school, which has a somewhat conservative reputation, for its routine reaccreditation inspection. The site evaluation team was unhappy that only 6.5% of entering students were minorities.

Outreach was not the problem; even the site evaluation report ... conceded that GMU had a "very active effort to recruit minorities." But the school, the report noted, had been "unwilling to engage in any significant preferential affirmative action admissions program." ...

Over the next few years, the ABA repeatedly refused to renew GMU's action program" ... The school stepped up its already-extensive recruitment efforts, but was forced to back away from its opposition to significant preferential treatment. It was thus able to raise the proportion of minorities in its entering class to 10.98% in 2001 and 16.16% in 2002.

Not good enough. In 2003, the ABA summoned the university's president and law school dean to appear before it personally, threatening to revoke the institution's accreditation.

GMU responded by further lowering minority admissions standards. It also increased spending on outreach, appointed an assistant dean to serve as minority coordinator, and established an outside "Minority Recruitment Council." As a result, 17.3% of its entering students were minority members in 2003 and 19% in 2004.

Not good enough. "Of the 99 minority students in 2003," the ABA complained, "only 23 were African American; of 111 minority students in 2004, the number of African Americans held at 23." It didn't seem to matter that 63 African Americans had been offered admission, ...

GMU's case is not unique. In a study conducted several years ago, 31% of law school respondents admitted to political scientists Susan Welch and John Gruhl that they "felt pressure" "to take race into account in making admissions decisions" from "accreditation agencies." Several schools, like GMU, have been put through the diversity wringer.

The GMU law school was finally notified of its reaccreditation in 2006, after six long and unnecessary years of abuse – just in time for the next round in the seven-year reaccreditation process. Even then, the ABA could not resist an ominous warning that it would pay "particular attention" to GMU's diversity efforts in the upcoming cycle. ...

As the Education Department's designated law school accreditor, the council decides whether a law school's students will be eligible for federal loans. As state accreditor, it decides which schools' graduates may sit for the bar examination. It is thus part of the governing bureaucracy – the kind of institution academic freedom is supposed to protect universities from.

Ms. Heriot is a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and a law professor at the University of San Diego. In the 1990s, she was employed at GMU for one year, but had no involvement with the issues in this commentary.
[Site link]


Diversity – education
Grammars urged to take more pupils from the poor
Julie Henry
Sunday Telegraph, 6 April 2008

Grammar schools could be required to take more children from poor and ethnic minority backgrounds to reflect the social make-up of their communities.

Ministers have told admission bodies they should redraw catchment areas and rewrite admission rules to reduce differences in intakes between schools. Grammars will be investigated by council admission forums to ensure a wide mix of pupils.

Critics said last night that the move was an attack on the 164 selective schools in England. Robert McCartney, the chairman of the Grammar Schools Association, said: "The motivation behind this is not educational, it is social or political change.

"It is saying, 'you ought to be selecting on the basis of ethnicity or social disadvantage rather than academic ability'."
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – discrimination
Equality 'spot checks' proposed by watchdog
Ben Leapman
Daily Telegraph, 10 March 2008

Britain's equality watchdog wants tough new powers to tackle employers who fail to hire or promote staff from "disadvantaged" groups.

Under the plans, inspection teams would carry out "spot checks" to ensure that companies were obeying discrimination laws, while public bodies would award contracts only to firms with a good record of employing minority staff.

Trevor Phillips, the chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), has discussed the proposals with ministers. They could be included in the Single Equality Bill, a wide-ranging piece of legislation which is set to be unveiled in this autumn's Queen's Speech.

The Bill will sweep away 116 pieces of equality legislation which have been developed piecemeal over the past five decades, and replace them with a single duty on employers not to discriminate on the grounds of race, faith, gender, sexuality, age or disability.
[Newspaper link]


Backlash as minister attacks Proms for not being multicultural
Laura Clout
Daily Telegraph, 5 March 2008

The culture minister Margaret Hodge faced a chorus of criticism from across the political spectrum yesterday after attacking the Proms for not being multicultural enough.

The minister said the annual series of concerts at the Royal Albert Hall failed to attract a diverse audience and unite different sections of society.

Many view the flag waving and patriotism of the Last Night of the Proms as one of the greatest expressions of Britishness and a high point of the cultural calendar.

But the minister suggested that it failed to attract all those living in multicultural Britain.

Downing Street was forced into an immediate about-turn and denied that the Government, or Mrs Hodge, had attacked the Proms. ...

Mrs Hodge's comments came in a speech to the Institute of Public Policy Research think tank.
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – racism
BBC 'must hire ethnic minority staff through affirmative action'
Nicole Martin
Daily Telegraph, 13 February 2008

The BBC should take affirmative action to increase the number of people from ethnic minorities in senior roles, a member of its executive board said yesterday.

Samir Shah, a non-executive director, said attempts by the BBC to employ black and Asian staff in top level positions had been "absolutely dire".

He was speaking in response to claims by the comedian Lenny Henry that television was still dominated by white faces. ...

Mr Shah agreed with Mr Henry that executives need to be "bold" to address the shortage of ethnic minorities in senior roles. "The BBC is the most significant player in British broadcasting... and it needs to make a shift because its performance at senior management level is dire, absolutely dire," he said.
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Drop in BBC bosses from ethnic minorities
Nicole Martin
Daily Telegraph, 11 January 2008

The BBC employs fewer senior managers from ethnic minority backgrounds than it did four years ago despite pledges to make it more diverse, figures show.

Greg Dyke, the former director-general, who once attacked the BBC for being "hideously white", set a target in 2004 to ensure that seven per cent of bosses came from ethnic minorities by 2008.

However, by the end of last year, the figure stood at 4.3 per cent, the equivalent of just 40 out of almost 1,000 senior managers.

The target to have 12.5 per cent of the BBC's 16,000-strong workforce from ethnic minority backgrounds has also been missed by almost two percentage points.

The corporation's failure to meet its diversity targets led to senior executives waiving their annual bonuses last year. The BBC said it was committed to increasing the number of senior managers from ethnic minority backgrounds.

It said it would be launching a three-year mentoring programme in the spring for minority groups, which would involve senior managers advising them on their careers.
[Newspaper link]



Egalitarianism – diversity
Equality loses out in this battle of special interests
David Green
Sunday Telegraph, 26 July 2009

This week, the Equality and Human Rights Commission – the super-quango charged with erasing any kind of bias, prejudice or inequality from British life – seemed to be in danger of disintegration. Several high-profile resignations have been largely blamed on the egocentric management style of the EHRC's chairman, Trevor Phillips.

But in truth, Mr Phillips's failings are not the issue. The EHRC is falling apart because many of the people who run it are not concerned about equality at all, but rather with gaining preferential treatment for their own specific set of clients.

... Under the guise of demanding protection against discrimination, each victim group is in reality campaigning for privileges at the expense of everyone else.

When the EHRC began work in 2007, it merged three existing bodies – the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Disability Rights Commission and the Commission for Racial Equality. But the "old guard" found itself crowded out by newcomers. As the EHRC's "Equality Measurement Framework" shows, gender, race and disability were joined by five more grounds for affirmative action: age; religion or belief; sexual orientation; transgender status; and social class.

But some groups resented not only the arrival of interlopers but also being put on an equal footing with them. For example, I have heard campaigners for gender equality object bitterly to their equal ranking with advocates for the elderly. ...

Yet just as America starts to turn away from this approach, we are about to pass the Equality Bill, which actually adds to the powers of the EHRC. Given that the quango has proved itself to be institutionally dysfunctional, it would be more useful to close it before it can wreak even more havoc in our places of work.
[Newspaper link]


Egalitarianism – bias
Wasteful equality
Daily Telegraph, 21 July 2009
[Leading article]

These are not good times for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, a super-quango created from the fusion of three others. Trevor Phillips, the chairman, who previously oversaw the Commission for Racial Equality, has been criticised for a management style that has been blamed for the resignation of several senior managers. Now, the National Audit Office has declined to approve the commission's accounts. ...

This episode has exposed how grotesquely bloated the equalities industry has become. ... In a further embarrassment for the EHRC, its recent claim to have demonstrated that there is "no bias in allocation of social housing to immigrants" has been referred to the UK Statistics Authority by a think tank that alleges that the figures used to back up this assertion were baseless.
[Newspaper link]


Egalitarianism – politics
Harman's law 'will damage Labour'
James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 2 July 2009

Labour was doomed to lose the next election unless it dropped Harriet Harman's equalities agenda and focused on the concerns of middle-class voters, a Cabinet minister said yesterday.

Revealing a deep divide at the top of the Government over strategy, John Denham, the Communities Secretary, said plans that concentrated on narrowing the class divide were outdated and risked alienating Middle England. ...

He declared that Labour must "stop holding up egalitarianism as the ideal".

"We must confront the difficult truth: that this form of egalitarianism, the one that defines fairness solely in terms of society's response to those in greatest need, is badly out of step with popular sentiment," he said. ...

Miss Harman is pushing an Equalities Bill through the Commons ...

Last night a source close to Mr Denham insisted that his speech had been about "Labour's language not its policies" and said he is "100 per cent supportive" of the Bill.
[Newspaper link]


If only Joanna Lumley would fight Labour's idea of equality
Charles Moore
Sunday Telegraph, 3 May 2009

... on Monday, in her capacity as Minister for Women and Equality, Miss Harman introduced the new Equality Bill in the Commons. This Bill is seen by its authors as the culmination of decades of struggle. ...

... the "Equality" theorists identified no fewer than seven "strands" of discrimination – race, age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, and religion or belief.

The Equality Bill does the weaving. Under its "integrating policy", it brings together nine existing pieces of legislation in a single act. The purpose is not to simplify, but to make everything indivisible. Each "equality" relates to every other. If you are in favour of, say, maternity leave, you must also support the legal recognition of trans-sexuals. You want better wheelchair access? Then you must be in favour of gay marriage.

"Equality" is an all-embracing faith, and its doctrines will be enforced. The Bill invents a "single new Equality Duty", binding on all public bodies (there are 43,000 of them, says the Bill). They must have "due regard to equality when buying goods and services". Does that mean, for example, that we shall cease to buy oil from sexist Saudi Arabia?

And in the "Impact Assessments" which the Bill prescribes, "intersectional multiple discrimination" must be rooted out. That is when your nasty prejudice links two or more characteristics of the person discriminated against.

This is the official example given: "A bus driver does not allow a Muslim man on to her bus, claiming he could be a 'terrorist'... a multiple-discrimination claim will allow him to show that the reason for his treatment was the specific combination of being a man and a Muslim, which resulted in him being stereotyped as a potential terrorist".

Think about this bus driver in real life. She (as, inevitably, the official document designates her, though most bus drivers remain male) sees a Muslim man getting on her bus, perhaps young, carrying a rucksack, looking nervous. If she has watched any news programme in the 21st century, she will have noticed that more than 95 per cent of terrorist acts in Britain or Spain or Israel or the United States have been carried out by people with that "specific combination" of being Muslim and male. Many have been suicide bombers and have detonated their bombs on public transport. In Israel, in particular, many lives have been saved by drivers who have spotted something suspicious in time.

So what does the driver do? Does she impede the Muslim man whose demeanour alarms her? Or does she consider that, if she were accused of "intersectional multiple discrimination", she might be out of her job? Is this a real-life dilemma which any government should put a bus driver in? ...

... The weak need help. Fairness, such as equal pay for equal work, is what people want. But I hope I have shown enough of the "Equality" agenda to prove that this is not a matter of fairness. It is a gigantic, bureaucratic organisation of ideological coercion, promoting grievance, imposing cost and attacking businesses, charities, schools. It is the long march of activists who, frustrated that they could no longer nationalise businesses, have made it their task to nationalise people.
[Site link]


Egalitarianism – discrimination, USA
Reverse-discrimination case splits Supreme Court
Warren Richey
Christian Science Monitor, 22 April 2009

The US Supreme Court divided into sharply defined liberal and conservative wings on Wednesday as the high court heard argument in a case involving allegations of reverse discrimination against white firefighters in New Haven, Conn.

As in most highly divisive issues at the high court, the outcome of the case may ultimately depend on the views of Justice Anthony Kennedy. During the 70-minute oral argument Wednesday, Justice Kennedy seemed troubled by the city's decision to throw out all results of a promotion exam only after officials learned that no African-American candidates had scored high enough to be promoted.

"[The city] looked at the results, and it classified the successful and unsuccessful applicants by race," Kennedy told Deputy Solicitor General Edwin Kneedler. "And you want us to say this isn't [using] race [to decide]... I have trouble with this argument."

In the past Kennedy has expressed distrust of the use of race as a criterion for government decisions and benefits, but he has also been reluctant to embrace the more robust positions of his conservative colleagues.

The case is significant because it lies at the intersection of two important provisions of antidiscrimination law and could provide further clarity to employers seeking to avoid potential discrimination lawsuits.

It focuses on a test given in 2003 to firefighters seeking promotion to lieutenant and captain. When the city determined that no African-American candidates qualified for a promotion it threw out the results. White and Hispanic firefighters who did qualify called it illegal discrimination and filed a lawsuit.

The city says it threw out the test in an effort to comply with civil rights laws, not violate them. New Haven officials said they were worried that if they relied on the results of the test and promoted the white firefighters, the city might be vulnerable to a lawsuit by black firefighters claiming that the test caused an illegal "disparate impact" against minority job candidates.

At issue in Ricci v. DeStafano is whether the city acted properly in throwing out the exam results, or whether city officials should have followed its civil-service rules and awarded the promotions to the top test scores without regard to race or ethnicity.

The case revolves around Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which requires that job candidates and employees be treated equally without regard to race or ethnicity.

But it is frequently difficult to prove that an employer is engaged in intentional discrimination. For this reason, Congress has also empowered victims of discrimination to sue in instances when an employment practice results in a disparate impact against members of a protected minority group.

Ricci v. DeStefano involves both sides of Title VII. The white and Hispanic firefighters are suing for what they say is intentional discrimination by the city, while the city justifies its decision to throw out the test results on grounds that it was only seeking to prevent a violation of the disparate impact side of Title VII.

Justice Antonin Scalia said that the two provisions seem to be "at war with one another."

... ...

A decision in the case is expected by late June.
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Egalitarianism – race
Minorities less likely to enter Cambridge
Daily Telegraph, 14 February 2009

Black students are half as likely to get into Cambridge University as white candidates.

Just 14 per cent of the 202 applicants from black and dual heritage backgrounds were admitted in 2008.

The success rate for white applicants in the same period was 31 per cent, the university said.

Equality campaigners and senior academics claimed the statistics enhanced Cambridge's image as an elitist institution for white, middle-class students.

A record 448 minority students who declared their ethnicity gained a place this year. This was up from 428 in 2008. But Geoff Parks, the director of undergraduate admissions, said he was still unhappy about the number of black students.

"There is this issue – and Cambridge I think reflects the national picture – that students from black backgrounds are not as represented as one would like them to be," Dr Parks told a student newspaper.
[Newspaper link]


Egalitarianism – USA, politics
Sarah Palin is not the Republicans' future
David Frum
Daily Telegraph, 6 November 2008

When the final tally is counted, we will likely see that Obama owed his victory to two shifts: a large increase in turnout by ethnic minorities and a big increase in Democratic preference by college-educated whites.

In the wake of its bruising defeat, the Republican Party faces an excruciating and divisive choice between two very different futures. The first is on display at the excited rallies that cheered Sarah Palin. This is a choice to fall back on the core base of the party. This is almost entirely white, almost entirely resident in the middle of the country, moderately affluent, middle-aged and older, more male than female, with some college education but not a degree. Think of Joe the Plumber – and you see the core of the Republican Party.

Republicans have won a string of elections since 1994 thanks to Joe. He has not changed much over the past two decades. But the country has. The Hispanic population of the United States has almost doubled since 1990 and the proportion of white Americans with a college degree has jumped from 22 per cent to almost 28.5 per cent. ...

George W Bush tried appealing to Hispanic voters. But that approach failed, for predictable reasons: Hispanics are poor and vote Democrat for the same reason that poor people of all races vote Democrat. Bush hoped that he could win Hispanics by (1) granting amnesty to illegal immigrants, (2) expanding federal programmes such as Medicare and (3) pressuring banks to relax lending standards to help lower-income workers to buy homes.

But Bush could not get (1) through Congress – and anyway it alienated Joe. He did (2), but Democrats outbid him, as they always will. And (3)... well, we all know how that ended. If Hispanics benefited disproportionately from the housing boom, they are suffering disproportionately from the housing bust.
[Newspaper link]


Egalitarianism – USA, financial crisis
Depression Hurts
Kathryn Bell
Time, 3 November 2008
[Letter referring to an article by (Professor) Niall Ferguson]

Nowhere does Niall Ferguson inform readers that under the Clinton Administration, the Internal Revenue Service began giving out Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers to assist illegal aliens in paying taxes, which also enabled them to take out home loans. Previously, a valid U.S. Social Security number was required to purchase a home, thereby excluding illegal immigrants from qualifying for such loans. Every media feature on the bursting of the housing bubble describes decimated neighborhoods in Florida, Arizona and California – all areas with large populations of illegal aliens – but no one tells us about the government's change in regulations that may have helped bring this situation about.


Egalitarianism – USA, mortgages
Mortgage Prospects Dim for Illegal Immigrants
Miriam Jordan
The Wall Street Journal, 22 October 2008

... thousands of undocumented workers who in recent years have purchased homes using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or ITIN, instead of a Social Security number. The Internal Revenue Service doesn't give Social Security numbers to illegal immigrants; it issues ITINs, which enable them to open bank accounts and report their income to the government for tax purposes.

But Mr. Hernandez quickly learned that things have changed. He says he was told that, "unfortunately, if you don't have a Social Security number, you cannot buy property."

Dubbed ITIN mortgages, the loans that made homeownership a reality for thousands of undocumented workers have withered – although not because they underperformed.

The loan program highlights contradictions in U.S. polices toward illegal immigrants. Even as the Department of Homeland Security sought to deport them, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. goaded banks and credit unions to bring undocumented immigrants into mainstream banking if they could prove they had steady income and were creditworthy. Beginning in 2003, when banks and credit unions first offered mortgages to undocumented immigrants, the small segment blossomed. The mortgages performed better than some others, partly because of stringent lending criteria and because they usually had fixed rates over a period of time. ...

"If you want to buy a house and you're here without papers, now you can forget it," says Jesus Benitez, a real-estate agent who caters to Hispanics in Brooklyn. ...

"If the market closed for plain-vanilla loans, it is now more than closed for loans that fall outside the traditional mortgage pattern," says Leonardo Simpser, chief executive of the Hispanic National Mortgage Association, a private-investment company in San Diego that underwrote several hundred million dollars in ITIN home loans.
[Site link]


Egalitarianism – USA, political correctness
A Tale of Two Gaps: Achievement and Home Ownership, or How Political Correctness is Unraveling America [part 1]
Tom Shuford
EdNews, 21 October 2008
[See the original article for links to videos and other evidence]

A lot of politicians and, now we know, a lot of Wall Street CEOs are "doing the three-monkey thing." It was their hear-no-evil, see-no-evil, and, above all, speak-no-evil attitude towards lowered lending standards – to close the white-minority "home ownership gap" – that caused the immense destruction of wealth of recent months. ...

To close "the home ownership gap," similarly deluded minds decided to target lenders – to increase their "cultural sensitivity" one might say. The subprime lending fiasco and the near-collapse of the financial system are the results.

Fortunately, sparking performances by key figures are on video. These glimpses of the arrogant and the foolish are fine background for digging into the critical details of this PC-produced debacle.

First, here's Andrew Cuomo, President Clinton's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in an April, 1998 press conference, announcing an "affirmative action" settlement with Accubank, a Texas bank. HUD forced Accubank to provide 2.1 billion dollars in risky mortgages to low-income Americans. The latter five minutes of this eight-minute video features Barack Obama explaining his own efforts as community organizer working for ACORN to force banks to make high-risk loans.

Next, watch President George W. Bush in 2002 cheerleading the attack on lending standards: seven-minute video. Excerpt: "...few(er) than half of the Hispanics and half the African Americans own the(ir) home . . . We've got to work to knock down the barriers that have created a home ownership gap. " Signal to bank regulators: ease up. ...

The videos give the gist of what's behind the market meltdown: not free markets, not deregulation. Delusional and/or corrupt social engineering brought disaster.

To make sense of slow-developing social catastrophes, a "time line" or "milestones" approach is helpful. ... Let's retrace the journey: ...

1992 - July - A Federal Reserve Bank of Boston study indicates that "even after controlling for financial, employment, and neighborhood characteristics, black and Hispanic mortgage applicants in the Boston metropolitan area are roughly 60 percent more likely to be turned down than whites." The study suggests racism is behind the higher loan denial rate.

1992 - A Democratic-majority Congress requires "that Fannie and Freddie increase purchases of mortgages for low-income and medium-income borrowers." Fannie agrees to "buy more loans with very low down payments – or with mortgage payments that represent an unusually high percentage of a buyer's income." ...

1996 - A study by the Federal Reserve System and academic specialists finds – like the 1993 Forbes investigation – no evidence "of substantial levels of bias in mortgage lending." Quoting from the abstract of the study:

"Results of the analysis fail to find evidence of better performance on loans granted to minority borrowers. Indeed, black borrowers are found, all else being equal, to exhibit a higher likelihood of mortgage default than other borrowers. These findings argue against allegations of substantial levels of bias in mortgage lending." ...

1997 - Bear Stearns, one of the largest global investment banks, makes the first public securitization of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) loans.

1998 - HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo announces an "affirmative action" settlement with a Texas Bank forcing it to provide 2.1 billion dollars in high risk mortgages to low-income Americans. ...
[Site link]


Egalitarianism – USA, political correctness
A Tale of Two Gaps: Achievement and Home Ownership, or How Political Correctness is Unraveling America [part 2]
Tom Shuford
EdNews, 21 October 2008

1998 - The Clinton administration authorizes Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase subprime mortgages to satisfy their affordable housing obligations. Note these prophetic paragraphs in a 1999 New York Times report on Freddie and Fannie's expanded mission:

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. ...

1999 - Finance professors at the University of Illinois and at Wichita State University report findings on the creditworthiness of minorities consistent with the 1993 Forbes report and the 1996 Federal Reserve study cited earlier:

"[E]verything else being the same, minority applicants are probably less creditworthy, on average, than whites. Therefore, in the absence of fair lending laws, it is likely that minorities would be denied loans more frequently than whites and would pay higher interest rates and fees on approved loans ..." ...

2002 - June - George W. Bush, at the White House Conference on Increasing Minority Ownership: "...few(er) than half of the Hispanics and half the African Americans own the(ir) homes . . . We've got to work to knock down the barriers that have created a home ownership gap." ... ...

2005 - February - Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan: "Enabling these institutions [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] to increase in size, and they will, once the crisis in their judgment [over discoveries of accounting irregularities] passes . . . We are placing the total financial system of the future at a substantial risk."

2005 - Freddie Mac secretly pays GOP consulting firm DCI $2 million to kill GOP regulatory overhaul bill sponsored by Chuck Hagen (R-NE). All Democrats on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee oppose the bill. The measure dies. (Between 1998 and 2008, Freddie would spend $94.9 million and Fannie $79.5 million lobbying Congress.) ...

What to make of these events, studies, people?

Washington's effort to "close the white-minority home ownership gap" is a social engineering project with colossal "cost overruns." The project is akin – in quality of leadership, in denial of reality, in results for intended beneficiaries, in terrible costs imposed on the taxpayers – to our government schooling monopolies' forty-year obsession with closing the white-minority academic achievement gap.

How'd that work, by the way?

"By the time [minority students] reach grade 12, if they do so at all, minority students are about four years behind other young people. Indeed, 17-year-old African American and Latino students have skills in English, mathematics and science similar to those of 13-year-old white students."("Closing the Achievement Gap," National Governors Association Clearinghouse, 2002)

The subprime mortgage fiasco gives us a chance anew to study an American proclivity, the PC-blinded calamity. The financial meltdown has unique particulars from which much can be learned. But it belongs to a special category of failure that ought to be studied as such.
[Site link]


Egalitarianism – political correctness
Let us all rebuild the respectable society – before the state steps in
Charles Moore
Daily Telegraph, 18 October 2008

Let me make the case for respectability. ... It asserts the enormous importance of other people. If you are to live harmoniously in society, you have to consider what other people want. For this you need shared conventions – of speech, manners, work habits, diet, dress, sexual relations, pastimes, and so on.

If you become respectable, the conventions operate in your favour. Your neighbours can see that you work hard, that your children are polite, that you turn up when you say you will, and so they trust and like and help you more. A virtuous circle is created.

Respectability also empowers those who wish to rise in the world. If you start with nothing, you cannot rise in a rigid class system, or in one controlled by the state. But if society values certain human qualities, you can rise by exhibiting them. If you prove yourself diligent, honest, friendly, etc, people tend to give you your chance. "Smart boy wanted", job advertisements in shop windows used to say. The phrase comes from an era when respectability mattered. Now it would be illegal. ...

Thousands of respectable institutions proved, long before the Tories thought of it, the truth of the slogan: "There is such a thing as society, but it's not the same as the state." In the Blair/Brown/Clinton/Bush/Alan Greenspan era, this most basic truth of social fragility was denied. The promise of growth was unqualified. Therefore there was no incentive to be respectable. "Respect" became a word most often on the lips of those who least deserved it. Therefore people are now psychologically, socially, institutionally, politically unprepared for bad times. ...

But if we do not re-grow respectable social institutions and habits, with their necessary balance of carrot and stick, the state will attempt the equivalent, in its uniquely brutal, freedom-crushing way. ...

I end with one specific thought – education. The way in which children are taught and examined has become based on the idea that education is therapy, the nurturing of that fragile post-Romantic ego. They are being brought up to believe in automatic entitlement, just when that illusion is collapsing. In the respectable society we need to rebuild, every school would impart real knowledge. Then we could better understand the state we're in.
[Newspaper link]


Egalitarianism – mortgages, USA
HUD Declines To Discuss Illegal Mortgages
KFYI Newstalk, 9 October 2008
[See also "HUD: Five Million Fraudulent Mortgages Held by Illegals" (7 October 2008)]

Earlier this week, we posted a story that said figures from the Department of Housing and Urban Development showed that home mortgages were held by 5 million illegal immigrants and that this may have contributed, in part, to the housing crisis that has led to the recent failure in the financial markets.

Our source for that story, a retired agent from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, stands by those numbers.

A person from Housing and Urban Development contacted KFYI to tell us the number was inaccurate, that there were only 2.3 million mortgages held by immigrants, so there was no way that 5 million illegals could have mortgages.

When asked what HUD says the correct number is, the person (who identified himself only as 'Brian' and who refused to give his last name), either would not or could not say how many illegal immigrants hold mortgages. He also said there was "no way" HUD would grant an interview on the subject.
[Site link]


Egalitarianism – mortgages, USA
HUD: Five Million Fraudulent Mortgages Held by Illegals
KFYI Newstalk, 7 October 2008
[See also "HUD Declines To Discuss Illegal Mortgages" (9 October 2008)]

Some five million fraudulent home mortgages are in the hands of illegal aliens, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It's not known how many of those have contributed to the subprime housing mortgage meltdown, but it has affected every state, including Arizona.

The problem began years ago when banks were forced to give mortgages without confirming social security numbers or borrower identification. As a result, illegal immigrants were able to obtain home mortgages which they could not afford.

One illegal alien was arrested this year in Tucson after allegedly using a stolen social security number to buy two homes and rack up over $780,000 in bad debt.
[Site link]


Egalitarianism – USA
The Long Road to Slack Lending Standards [part 1]
Steven Malanga
RealClearMarkets [website], 2 October 2008

In the early 1990s I attended a conference designed to teach journalists the tools of an emerging field known as computer-assisted investigative reporting. One of the hottest sessions of the conference explained how journalists could replicate stories that other papers had done locally using computer tools, including one especially popular project to determine if banks in your community were discriminating against minority borrowers in making mortgages. One newspaper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, had already won a Pulitzer Prize for its computer-assisted series on the subject, and others, including the Washington Post and the Detroit Free Press, had also weighed in with their own analysis based on government loan data. Everyone sounded keen to learn if their local banks were guilty, too. Although academic researchers leveled substantial criticisms against these newspaper efforts (namely, that they relied on incomplete data and did not take into account lower savings rates, higher debt levels, and higher loan defaults rates for many minority borrowers), bank lending to minority borrowers still became an enormous issue ... Editorialists called for the government to force banks to end the alleged discrimination, and they castigated federal banking regulators who said they saw no proof of wrongdoing in the data.

Eventually, the political climate changed, and Washington became a believer in the story. Crucial to this change was a Federal Reserve Bank of Boston study which concluded that although lender discrimination was not as severe as suggested by the newspapers, it nevertheless existed. This, then, became the dominant government position, even though subsequent efforts by other researchers to verify the Fed's conclusions showed serious deficiencies in the original work. One economist for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. who looked more deeply into the data, for instance, found that the difference in denial rates on loans for whites and minorities could be accounted for by such factors as higher rates of delinquencies on prior loans for minorities, or the inability of lenders to verify information provided to them by some minority applicants.

Ignoring the import of such data, federal officials went on a campaign to encourage banks to lower their lending standards in order to make more minority loans. One result of this campaign is a remarkable document produced by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in 1998 titled "Closing the Gap: A Guide to Equal Opportunity Lending".

Quoting from a study which declared that "underwriting guidelines may be unintentionally racially biased," the Boston Fed then called for what amounted to undermining many of the lending criteria that banks had used for decades. It told banks they should consider junking the industry's traditional debt-to-income ratio, which lenders used to determine whether an applicant's income was sufficient to cover housing costs plus loan payments. It instructed banks that an applicant's "lack of credit history should not be seen as a negative factor" in obtaining a mortgage, even though a mortgage is the biggest financial obligation most individuals will undertake in life. In cases where applicants had bad credit (as opposed to no credit), the Boston Fed told banks to "consider extenuating circumstances" that might still make the borrower creditworthy. When applicants didn't have enough savings to make a down payment, the Boston Fed urged banks to allow loans from nonprofits or government assistance agencies to count toward a down payment, even though banks had traditionally disallowed such sources because applicants who have little of their own savings invested in a home are more likely to walk away from a loan when they have trouble paying.
[Site link]


Egalitarianism – USA
The Long Road to Slack Lending Standards [part 2]
Steven Malanga
Real Clear Markets [website], 2 October 2008

Of course, the new federal standards couldn't just apply to minorities. If they could pay back loans under these terms, then so could the majority of loan applicants. Quickly, in other words, these became the new standards in the industry. In 1999, the New York Times reported that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were easing credit requirements for mortgages it purchased from lenders, and as the housing market boomed, banks embraced these new standards with a vengeance. Between 2004 and 2007, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac became the biggest purchasers of subprime mortgages from all kinds of applicants, white and minority, and most of these loans were based on the lending standards promoted by the government.

Meanwhile, those who raced to make these mortgages were lionized. Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies even invited Angelo Mozilo, CEO of the lender which made more loans purchased by Fannie and Freddie than anyone else, Countrywide Financial, to give its prestigious 2003 Dunlop Lecture on the subject of "The American Dream of Homeownership: From Cliché to Mission." A brief, innocuous description of the event still exists online ...

Many defenders of the government's efforts to prompt banks to lend more to minorities have claimed that this effort had little to do with the present mortgage mess. Specifically they point out that many institutions that made subprime mortgages during the market bubble weren't even banks subject to the Community Reinvestment Act, the main vehicle that the feds used to cajole banks to loosen their lending.

But this defense misses the point. In order to push banks to lend more to minority borrowers, advocates like the Boston Fed put forward an entire new set of lending standards and explained to the industry just why loans based on these slacker standards were somehow safer than the industry previously thought. These justifications became the basis for a whole new set of values (or lack of values), as no-downpayment loans and loans to people with poor credit history or to those who were already loaded up with debt became more common throughout the entire industry.

What happened in the mortgage industry is an example of how, in trying to eliminate discrimination from our society, we turned logic on its head. Instead of nobly trying to ensure equality of opportunity for everyone, many civil rights advocates tried to use the government to ensure equality of outcomes for everyone in the housing market. And so when faced with the idea that minorities weren't getting approved for enough mortgages because they didn't measure up as often to lending standards, the advocates told us that the standards must be discriminatory and needed to be junked. When lenders did that, we made heroes out of those who led the way, like Angelo Mozilo, before we made villains of them.

Now we all have to pay.
[Site link]


Egalitarianism – education, USA
Educators see civil rights issue in bad schools
Devlin Barrett
Associated Press, 12 June 2008

If Johnny can't read and Sally can't add, it's often because of the color of their skin and their ZIP code, educators and activists said Wednesday.

The heads of the New York City and Washington, D.C., school systems joined with civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton and others to press for a shake-up of public schools from coast to coast to narrow the achievement gap between white students and black and Hispanic students. The group called the gap the nation's most pressing civil rights issue.

By the time they near high school graduation, black and Hispanic teenagers on average have math and reading skills no higher than that of white middle-school students four years younger. ...

"All the numbers, no matter how you look at it, are shocking," said Joel Klein, chancellor of the New York City school system, the nation's largest.

Klein, Sharpton and D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee appeared together to announce the creation of the Education Equality Project, an advocacy group to reform a public education system they say has been paralyzed by special interests like teachers unions as well as political and parental indifference.
[Site link]


Egalitarianism – education
Easy maths exams threaten economy
Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 3 June 2008

Mathematics examinations have become little more than "tick box tests" and pupils are not being taught the skills needed to get good jobs, according to a report published today.

GCSEs are "considerably" easier than tests sat 50 years ago as questions are simplified to make them more relevant to modern teenagers, it said.

Reform, an independent think tank, said the traditional emphasis on algebra, arithmetic and geometry has been dropped in favour of questions focusing on real-life situations. It added that pupils can now gain a good grade with fewer than half the marks needed in 1990.

Reform also claimed that the lack of rigour has led to fewer students studying maths at sixth-form and university – leaving the British economy vulnerable to competition from China and India. ...

It is claimed that City banks are being forced to recruit as many as seven out of every eight employees from overseas because of a shortage of candidates with decent maths skills.

David Laws, the Liberal Democrat spokesman on children, said: "This is a damning critique of maths education in this country. Our education system is too often failing to get the basic right, which risks damaging the national economy. There is a serious concern that political meddling has led to a dumbing down of maths education."
[Newspaper link]


£1 billion 'wasted' as one in five students drops out
Robert Winnett
Daily Telegraph, 20 February 2008

Ministers have wasted almost £1 billion on a failed programme to stop mainly working-class students dropping out of university, a report by MPs discloses today.

More than one-in-five of the 230,000 full-time students entering university each year – an estimated 50,000 – drop out before graduating. About 28,000 leave within 12 months.

Despite investment of more than £800 million to support working-class students, the 22 per cent drop-out rate is no better than in 2002, MPs say.

Ministers were last night accused of effectively forcing universities to take large numbers of unsuitable students to meet Labour's manifesto pledge to ensure 50 per cent of all school leavers participate in higher education by 2010.

Since 2001, the proportion of teenagers going to university increased from less than 40 per cent to 43 per cent. But the Commons public accounts committee report shows that a related drive to cut drop-out rates has failed.

Edward Leigh, the committee chairman, said: "This is despite some £800 million being paid to universities over the same period to help retain students most likely to withdraw from courses early."

Universities recruiting students from poor backgrounds receive more money and the Government pays special retention grants for extra tutoring and pastoral care.

A flaw in the system means universities are not penalised for recruiting students who do not graduate – providing they continue to recruit even more youngsters to replace them.
[Newspaper link]


Egalitarianism – USA
The real scandal: how Feds invited the mortgage mess
Stan Liebowitz, Ashbel Smith professor of Economics in the Business School at the University of Texas at Dallas
New York Post, 5 February 2008

Perhaps the greatest scandal of the mortgage crisis is that it is a direct result of an intentional loosening of underwriting standards - done in the name of ending discrimination, despite warnings that it could lead to wide-scale defaults.

At the crisis' core are loans that were made with virtually nonexistent underwriting standards - no verification of income or assets; little consideration of the applicant's ability to make payments; no down payment.

Most people instinctively understand that such loans are likely to be unsound. But how did the heavily-regulated banking industry end up able to engage in such foolishness?

From the current hand-wringing, you'd think that the banks came up with the idea of looser underwriting standards on their own, with regulators just asleep on the job. In fact, it was the regulators who relaxed these standards - at the behest of community groups and "progressive" political forces.

... In 1989, sympathetic members of Congress got the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act amended to force banks to collect racial data on mortgage applicants; this allowed various studies to be ginned up that seemed to validate the original accusation.

In fact, minority mortgage applications were rejected more frequently than other applications - but the overwhelming reason wasn't racial discrimination, but simply that minorities tend to have weaker finances.

Yet a "landmark" 1992 study from the Boston Fed concluded that mortgage-lending discrimination was systemic.

That study was tremendously flawed - a colleague and I later showed that the data it had used contained thousands of egregious typos, such as loans with negative interest rates. Our study found no evidence of discrimination.

Yet the political agenda triumphed - with the president of the Boston Fed saying no new studies were needed, and the US comptroller of the currency seconding the motion.

No sooner had the ink dried on its discrimination study than the Boston Fed, clearly speaking for the entire Fed, produced a manual for mortgage lenders stating that: "discrimination may be observed when a lender's underwriting policies contain arbitrary or outdated criteria that effectively disqualify many urban or lower-income minority applicants."

Some of these "outdated" criteria included the size of the mortgage payment relative to income, credit history, savings history and income verification. ...

Sound crazy? You bet. Those "outdated" standards existed to limit defaults. But bank regulators required the loosened underwriting standards, with approval by politicians and the chattering class. ...

Banks that got poor reviews were punished; some saw their merger plans frustrated; others faced direct legal challenges by the Justice Department. ...

This damage was quite predictable: "After the warm and fuzzy glow of 'flexible underwriting standards' has worn off, we may discover that they are nothing more than standards that lead to bad loans . . . these policies will have done a disservice to their putative beneficiaries if . . . they are dispossessed from their homes." I wrote that, with Ted Day, in a 1998 academic article.

Sadly, we were spitting into the wind.

These days, everyone claims to favor strong lending standards. What about all those self-righteous newspapers, politicians and regulators who were intent on loosening lending standards?
[Site link]



Emigration – repatriation
One million migrants 'will quit Britain'
James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 6 August 2009

Almost one million migrants will leave Britain because of the slowing economy, a study has predicted.

At least 200,000 foreign nationals will depart every year as job opportunities become more scarce, research published today suggested.

While the number of foreigners leaving will still be smaller than the number arriving, the rise in "re-migration" could slow the growth in the British population.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) said the increasing mobility of migrants meant that the Government should consider offering tax breaks to some of the most highly skilled workers to persuade them to stay.

According to government calculations, foreign migrants were leaving at a rate of around 125,000 a year in the first half of the decade. As travel becomes easier and the economy slows, the institute has calculated that the annual exodus will grow.

Researchers have estimated that departures will run to at least 200,000 a year for the three years from 2008. After that, they are forecast at 150,000 a year for at least five years. That would mean that between 2008 and 2013, more than 900,000 migrants will leave.

However, the overall population is still likely to grow. ...

Poles and other Eastern European workers are among the most mobile migrants. ... ...

The IPPR study estimated that at least 1.4 million Eastern Europeans have come to Britain to work since the European Union expanded in 2004.

However, as the economy slows, the tide is starting to turn and, according to estimates, at least 550,000 have already left. Phil Woolas, the Immigration Minister, said yesterday: "This report further demonstrates that migrants come to the UK for a short period of time, work, contribute to the economy and then return home."

Sir Andrew Green, the chairman of campaign group Migrationwatch UK, said he believed migrants returning home was not the most important issue. "Re-migration is the least of our problems," he said.

"The real problem is the absence of any effective limits on immigration, often from countries where wages are a fraction of those in the UK and to which people are unlikely to return."
[Newspaper link]


Mass exodus from UK
Catherine Deshayes
TheMoveChannel, 15 May 2009

New research has found that a whopping 11 million Brits are thinking of taking a job overseas within the next two years - a significant dent in the population - and a fifth of those would choose a new life down under...

Britain is experiencing the greatest exodus of its own nationals in recent history while immigration is at unprecedented levels, new figures show.

In 2007, 207,000 British citizens - one every three minutes - left the country and currency specialist Foreign Currency Direct has revealed that one in four working Brits are now looking to leave the country for sunnier climes and better job opportunities.

More British live abroad than any other nationality and the levels of emigration are now the same as those seen in the late-1950s when the £10 Poms left for Australia.

An increase in tax levelled at high wage earners coupled with rising UK unemployment is thought to be partly behind the mass exodus. ...

With the number of unemployed in Birmingham higher than in any other major UK city, people living in the Midlands are subsequently the most likely to look for a job overseas - 17 per cent of them ...
[Site link]


Emigration – immigration, white flight
Flight of white Britons from UK leaps to 70,000 per year ... but population still rising as Eastern Europeans come to Britain
Steve Doughty
Daily Mail, 30 September 2008

Thousands of Britons leave our shores every year for a new life abroad, official figures show.

But although 75,000 'white British' men and women are moving away, the population is still rising because of an influx of ethnic minority groups.

According to Government estimates, the established white population of England dropped by nearly 250,000 between 2002 and 2006.

Official figures have previously indicated that about 50,000 Britons head for Australia each year and about 30,000 for New Zealand. Last year, a record 400,000 left the country to live abroad for at least 12 months.

Yesterday's estimates, which show how each ethnic group grew or diminished between 2005 and 2006, provide further evidence of so-called white flight'. The white British population went down by 70,400 over the year through emigration. And the white Irish population fell by 4,600 because of emigration, bringing the total decline in the existing white population to 75,000.

The figures have been calculated for every year back to 2002 - and this was the biggest decline yet.

In the previous year, there had been a drop of just 42,300.

In 2004, there was a fall of 74,100. Even though there were more births than deaths, the white British and Irish population still fell by almost 15,000 in 2006.

Immigration increased the numbers in other groups, notably among those officially categorised as 'other white', including arrivals from Poland and Eastern Europe. This group grew by 70,600 in 2006.

There were also increases in the Indian, Pakistani, African and Chinese ethnic populations.

The estimates were greeted with alarm by the immigration think-tank Migration Watch.

Its chairman Sir Andrew Green said: 'The unavoidable conclusion is that the whole nature of our society will change very rapidly unless the Government moves from spin to serious action, which the vast majority of the public want to see.'
[Site link]


The Poles are going home to do their own building work
Harry de Quetteville
Daily Telegraph, 4 June 2008

Some describe it as a full-scale Exodus. Others say the flight is not fully underway. But one thing is for sure, the UK is no longer the promised land it once was for Polish workers. ...

Coupled with a surging Polish economy, and an exchange rate that will buy little more than four zloty to the pound, the Institute for Public Policy Research reckons that up to half of the one million Eastern European workers who arrived in the UK after 2004 have now left.
[Newspaper link]


Two million Britons emigrate in 10 years
James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 20 May 2008

Two million British citizens have left the UK in a decade, the greatest exodus from this country in almost a century, figures will show today.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) will release figures showing that more than 200,000 Britons emigrated during 2006. That will take the total number who left the country between 1997 and 2006 to 1.97 million.

Another 1.58 million foreign nationals resident in Britain left during the same period.

However, 3.9 million foreigners arrived over the decade, including more than 500,000 in 2006. ...

According to figures compiled by Jay Winter. of Yale University, the last comparable exodus came between 1911 and 1914, when 2.4 million people left Britain. The other significant spike in emigration came in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when thousands of Britons left to start new lives in Australia, Canada and the United States.

The Institute for Public Policy Research, a think-tank, has estimated that there are more than 5.5 million British citizens living abroad.

Jill Rutter, a senior migration researcher at the IPPR, said the recent exodus marked "probably the greatest period of emigration we've ever seen".

She said: "A lot of this is people retiring abroad, which is a relatively new phenomenon and is only possible because we are all better off.

"There is also a much more internationalised labour market and workforce – it is now quite commonplace for people to go abroad to work for a year or more." Immigrants who come to this country, gain citizenship and then leave also add to the total of British emigrants.
[Newspaper link]


Brain drain from UK hits record levels
Robert Winnett
Daily Telegraph, 21 February 2008

Britain is experiencing the worst "brain drain" of any country as highly qualified professionals settle abroad, an authoritative international study showed yesterday.

Record numbers of Britons are leaving – many of them doctors, teachers and engineers – in the biggest exodus for almost 50 years.

There are now 3.247 million British-born people living abroad, of whom more than 1.1 million are highly-skilled university graduates, say the researchers.

More than three quarters of these professionals have settled abroad for more than 10 years, according to the study by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

No other nation is losing so many qualified people, it points out. Britain has now lost more than one in 10 of its most skilled citizens, while overall only Mexico has had more people emigrate. ...

The most popular destinations are English-speaking countries such as Australia, America, Canada and New Zealand and holiday areas including France and Spain.

Almost 60 per cent of those leaving take jobs, although hundreds of thousands of retired people live abroad. ...

Figures from the Office for National Statistics last year, suggested that 207,000 Britons – one every three minutes – left in 2006. The emigration rate is at its highest since just after the Second World War. ...

The study found that foreign-born people make up 8.3 per cent of Britain's population.
[Newspaper link]


Record number escaping UK's immigration, high taxes and crime
Kevin Widdop
News of the World, January 2008

BRITONS are leaving the country in record numbers – thanks to spiralling levels of IMMIGRATION, CRIME and TAX.

Government figures set to be released later this year will show that an astonishing 250,000 people fled Britain in 2007.

That's 684 A DAY – or ONE every TWO MINUTES.

And it's a massive 21 PER CENT increase on the 207,000 who went in 2006 – and up nearly 70 PER CENT from the 149,000 who left in 1997.

Now experts expect this year's total to be even higher as hard-pressed families seek a new life in the sun – with Australia, New Zealand, France and Spain the top destinations.

Meanwhile, huge numbers of foreigners are pouring INTO the UK, with 591,000 settling here in 2006.

And there has been a 90 PER CENT increase in immigration over the past ten years – from 327,000 in 1997 to an estimated 620,000 last year. Emigration expert Paul Arthur believes the numbers leaving will continue to rise.

He said: "We have had record enquiries about emigration over this winter, with people not just wanting to escape the bleak weather, but seeking a whole change of lifestyle.

"Many are unhappy with the levels of crime, high taxes and the general way of life. Overseas there are more career opportunities, particularly in Australia and New Zealand which have huge shortfalls in skilled labour."
[Site link]



Employment – fines
A fine mess: illegal employers fail to pay
Daily Telegraph, 9 November 2009

More than four out of 10 fines imposed on companies for employing illegal workers have not been paid, figures show, raising questions about the Government's commitment to controlling immigration.

Of the 3,164 illegal labour penalties handed out to companies – mainly restaurants and takeaways – by the UK Border Agency over the past 18 months, 1,301 remain uncollected. In total about £6.5 million is thought to have gone unpaid, prompting opposition politicians to claim that Labour's immigration legislation "isn't taken seriously" by rogue employers.

Chris Huhne, of the Liberal Democrats, disclosed the figures, which were contained in the answer to a parliamentary question.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – crime
Home Office admits that employers cannot check on the right to work in Britain
David Moss
Daily Telegraph, 23 September 2009
[Letter to the Editor]

Is it actually possible for employers, including Baroness Scotland, to determine if a recruit can legally work in Britain?

According to the Home Office, no. It says, unambiguously: "Currently, employers do not have a reliable means of establishing whether a job applicant has the right to work here." (First Section-37 Report to Parliament about the Likely Costs of the ID Cards Scheme)

The Identity and Passport Service, an executive agency of the Home Office, was due to provide a service to employers to make good this deficiency by June 2007. It didn't and it still hasn't.

Meanwhile, the UK Border Agency, another executive agency of the Home Office, can fine employers for breaking a law that the Home Office itself says we have no way of upholding.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – crime, politics
Baroness Scotland urged to quit by ministers
Rosa Prince, John Bingham and Jon Swaine
Daily Telegraph, 23 September 2009

Baroness Scotland was under pressure from Cabinet colleagues to resign as Attorney General last night after she was fined £5,000 for employing an illegal immigrant.

The most senior law officer in England and Wales avoided the sack despite becoming the first individual in the country to be sanctioned for breaching immigration rules that she helped frame as a Home Office minister. All other prosecutions have covered companies. ...

The peer attempted to play down the offence by saying it was a contravention of civil rather than criminal laws and that she was only in "technical breach" of the rules.

Legal experts said the term "technical breach" had no validity in law, while both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats called on her to quit, saying she could not be both a "law maker and a law breaker".
[Newspaper link]


Backlash over end of free tuition pledge
James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 21 September 2009
[Liberal Democrat party conference in Bournemouth]

Delegates backed a regional points-based immigration scheme aimed at easing pressure on the South East. Under the scheme applicants for immigration would be given more points if they were willing to move to areas which needed to increase more people to do jobs which were not being filled.

Chris Huhne, the Lib Dem home affairs spokesman, called the points system a "step in the right direction". But he said that it still failed to offer a "hard-headed assessment of the needs of different regions and parts of the economy".
[Newspaper link]


Employment – crime, illegal immigrants
Border Agency launches inquiry into revelation the Attorney General hired an illegal immigrant housekeeper
Dan Newling, Tim Shipman and Christian Gysin
Daily Mail, 17 September 2009

Immigration officials launched an investigation today into revelations that the Attorney General, Baroness Scotland, employed an illegal migrant.

The Government's top law officer sacked her housekeeper, Loloahi Tapui, yesterday after it emerged that the 27-year-old Tongan was in the UK illegally. ...

A spokesman for the UK Border Agency said: 'The UK Border Agency will conduct this investigation as they would any other investigation into allegations of illegal working.' ...

Miss Tapui has been living in Britain illegally for five years after overstaying a student visa. She is still using her National Insurance number from her time as a student. ...

Even unknowingly employing an illegal is still an offence, punishable by a £10,000 fine, under legislation that she helped steer through Parliament as a Home Office minister in 2006.

The revelations are a major embarrassment to Lady Scotland, who attends the Cabinet as the Government's most senior law officer and is responsible for all court litigation. ...

The fact that Britain's top law officer could be so easily hoodwinked highlights the lax controls that critics claim are a feature of Labour's immigration policy.

The revelations are a grave personal embarrassment for Caribbean-born Lady Scotland - the first-ever female Attorney General - and could lead to calls for her to resign.

The case has echoes of former Home Secretary David Blunkett, who quit the cabinet in 2004 after it emerged that he sought to fast-track the visa application of his lover's Filipina nanny.

Two of Bill Clinton's nominees as U.S. Attorney General - both women - had to withdraw in 1993 after it emerged that they employed illegal immigrants as nannies and a home help. ...

Lady Scotland's spokesman said the Attorney General 'saw documents which led her to believe that Ms Tapui was entitled to work in this country' when she hired her - but would not specify what paperwork that was. ...

|Baroness Scotland may have been caught out by her own law

Miss Tapui's employment itself raises security questions since it shows how easy it is for illegal migrants to get close to senior politicians.

She acquired an NI number when she was granted a visa in 2003. But once the visa ran out she, like hundreds of thousands of others, was able to keep working openly.

Her case highlights the poor coordination between government agencies to track down illegal immigrants and deport them.

When she applied for a visa extension, a year after the original one had run out, Miss Tapui was turned down and advised either to appeal or leave.

Officials should have noticed that her visa was out of date and sent her home.

If they could not track her down, they could have found her address and employment details from her tax records.

Ministers refuse to say how many illegal immigrants are in the UK, but estimates go as high as two million.

A study last November by the London School of Economics put the figure at around 700,000, with more than 400,000 in London.

Last year just 67,980 people were removed from Britain. Of those, fewer than one in three was an enforced removal.

At that rate it would take up to 200 years to deport all the illegals.
[Site link]


Labour moves to limit foreigners in British jobs
Andrew Porter
Daily Telegraph, 7 September 2009

Plans to restrict the number of British jobs going to foreign workers will be unveiled today by Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary. ...

Mr Johnson will instruct British companies to advertise all jobs through British jobcentres for one month before being allowed to look overseas.

Previously, firms were required to advertise locally for only two weeks before casting their net wider to countries outside the European Union.

The Home Secretary will also announce that the period for skilled foreign workers to become eligible to work in Britain is being doubled from six months to a year. ...

Mr Johnson accepted the findings of a Migration Advisory Committee study that put forward the new measures.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – doctors
Working as doctors, untested Poles, Czechs, Romanians
Laura Donnelly
Sunday Telegraph, 6 September 2009

The number of doctors who have come to work in Britain from other parts of Europe without safety checks or extra training can be disclosed for the first time today.

Of more than 20,000 EU doctors registered to practise in this country, 4,061 have arrived since checks were removed five years ago.

Figures from the General Medical Register show that among the foreign doctors registered to work in the UK, more than 5,000 are from former Eastern bloc countries. Of those, the greatest exporter was Poland, which trained 1,800 medics now on the British register, followed by Hungary, with more than 1,000.

More than 700 came from the Czech Republic, and almost 800 from Romania.

Under an EU directive passed in 2004, doctors who qualify in any EU state can work in any other member state without tests on language skills or clinical competence. This is despite experts giving warning that there is little consistency in training, treatments and medication used across Europe. ...

Regulators warned that British lives were being put at "unacceptable risk" by the lack of safety checks covering doctors who come here for permanent work, as well as those flying in to work lucrative shifts at evenings and weekends. ...

Under the Brussels rules on freedom of labour the General Medical Council, which regulates doctors, cannot force its counterparts abroad to reveal whether a doctor has been previously struck off, or had restrictions placed on their practice. It relies on voluntary sharing of information, which its officials warn is unreliable. The GMC has pleaded with the Government and European Union to re-examine the rules. ...

The latest figures show that of 232,000 doctors on the UK register, 85,000 were trained abroad, including 21,000 in EU countries.
[Newspaper link]


Migrants take seven in 10 of Labour's new jobs
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 1 July 2009

Seven in 10 of the two million extra jobs created under Labour since 1997 have been accounted for by migrant workers, an international study has found.

Foreigners in Britain have taken a larger share of new jobs than in any other major industrialised nation examined in the report.

Up to a third of skilled migrants are also coming to Britain to take jobs that do not have to be advertised here first, despite Gordon Brown's pledge to give British workers the first crack of the whip.

The annual International Migration Outlook for 17 leading nations, produced by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, found that only Luxembourg had a higher proportion of new jobs going to foreigners.
[Newspaper link]


No job, no hope for a million young 'Neets'
Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 30 June 2009

A million young people will be without a job or college place this summer after falling victim to the recession, according to a report published today.

The number of 16 to 24 year-olds described as "Neets" – not in education, employment or training – is on course to be at its highest level since records began, says the Local Government Association (LGA). Many young people could be "stuck in a rut" for years.

Teenagers and young adults from white backgrounds are about 20 per cent more likely to be out of work or training than those from black and Asian families, says the report, while women are suffering more than men.
[Newspaper link]


Foreign workers take up nearly every new private sector job
Daily Telegraph, 29 June 2009

The increase in immigrant workers has accounted for nearly every new job created by companies in Britain since Labour came to power, according to research for the Commons cross-party group on balanced migration.

Of 1.8 million new jobs created in the private sector, 85 per cent went to non-British workers. The figures also indicated that a third (28 per cent) of new public sector jobs also went to workers from outside Britain.

"These figures tell a simple story: in the private sector it has been British jobs for foreign workers," said a statement from the group. "The private sector should now match the public sector in ensuring local people have the first chance at gaining local jobs."
[Newspaper link]


Employment – housing, overpopulation, politics
Labour is paying a high price for neglecting White Van Man
Mary Riddell
Daily Telegraph, 16 June 2009

With five million people in need of social housing, it is no wonder that voters think immigrants are jumping the queue. They aren't, but try telling that to the father whose children and grandchildren can't move out of their family's cramped flat because they have nowhere to go. In Birmingham, where 35,000 applicants wait without hope, not a single council home has been built for 12 years.

When it comes to jobs, the resentment against "foreigners" is not as baseless as the Government pretends. The charge that British workers are being thrown out of work or having their pay slashed because of cheap foreign labour is often true. ... Even those on Labour's Left are calling for an end to the party's policy of omerta on immigration. Jon Cruddas, the influential backbencher, told me in an interview for the Fabian Society's magazine that there should be an amnesty for unregistered immigrants and a tough points system to limit new arrivals, because London can no longer absorb the equivalent of a new borough every year. Mr Brown now has to face that criticism head-on.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – economy
Immigrants will stay in UK despite jobs gloom, says study
Martin Beckford
Daily Telegraph, 20 March 2009

Immigrants are unlikely to return to their home countries during the recession, putting further pressure on the jobs market, said a report published yesterday.

It claimed that foreign nationals who had put down roots in Britain were here to stay, and would not move back home just because of rising unemployment, which has breached the two million mark for the first time in more than a decade.

Almost 3.7 million foreign nationals moved to Britain between 1997 and 2006, according to the Migration Policy Institute's study, while 1.5 million people born in this country emigrated, leaving a net inflow of 2.2 million.

Migration levels are predicted to remain high despite the economic downturn, making it more difficult for low-skilled Britons to find work and risking clashes with people born overseas. ...

However, Trevor Phillips, the Chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the government watchdog that ordered the study, insisted that immigration was part of the solution to economic problems, not part of the problem.
[Newspaper link]


Mandelson attacks workshy Britons
James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 10 March 2009

Some unemployed Britons were unwilling to work, allowing eastern European migrants to come to the country and take jobs, Lord Mandelson said yesterday.

The Business Secretary told MPs that people from eastern European member countries of the European Union were only able to come to the UK to work because British people did not fill job vacancies.

Rejecting any suggestion that migrant workers were displacing British nationals, Lord Mandelson said that the new arrivals had boosted the UK economy. ...

The minister said: "The nationals coming here from the original eight new accession countries are helping to fill gaps in our labour market our British nationals are either not available to fill or are unwilling to fill." ...

Very few migrants claimed benefits, he said.
[Newspaper link]


Big rise in IT staff from outside EU
Daily Telegraph, 9 March 2009

More than 35,000 IT workers from outside the European Union were granted work permits in Britain last year despite the economic downturn, figures suggest.

The influx has led to thousands of British software engineers and systems analysts being laid off, according to the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).

It said figures obtained under Freedom of Information legislation showed that 35,430 non-EU IT workers were granted work permits.

The figure was down from 38,450 in 2007 but was three times as many as during the boom. In 2000, 12,726 work permits were granted.

APSCo said the Government should force companies to advertise vacancies in Britain before being allowed to transfer staff from overseas offices.
[Newspaper link]


'The new objective should be: British jobs for British jobless'
Frank Field, Labour MP for Birkenhead
Daily Telegraph, 6 March 2009

The Engineering Employers' Federation has prophesied a cull of 140,000 manufacturing jobs this year. At the same time the Government is allowing in more than 150,000 skilled workers from outside the EU on its work permit scheme.

Ministers must today announce that nobody will be allowed in under the work permit scheme unless these skilled jobs have been first advertised at Jobcentre Plus. The Prime Minister's objective must be rephrased from "British jobs for British workers" to "British jobs for the British unemployed".
[Newspaper link]


Employment – racism
Poles here to stay
Wiktor Moszczynski, Federation of Poles in Great Britain
Daily Telegraph, 28 February 2009
[Letter to the Editor]

We agree that far fewer Poles have been arriving in Britain over the past year ... It is also true that many Poles are leaving, particularly those who have lost their jobs.

However, there are still up to half a million Poles likely to stay, especially those who have jobs and families in this country. There were 42 per cent more Polish-speaking children in schools in London in December 2008 than there were in May 2007.

It is important to remember that these Polish residents still have jobs, still pay taxes and still contribute to the economy. They have as much legal and moral right to be here as any British citizen.

Unions should also remember that many of these Poles are union members. If they protest against contracts excluding indigenous workers, they should abandon the racist slogan, "British jobs for British workers", and replace it with "British jobs for British taxpayers".
[Newspaper link]


Employment – European Union, politics
EU expansion halted over fears of unrest
Bruno Waterfield
Daily Telegraph, 25 February 2009

European Union enlargement has been put on hold over fears of a growing backlash against migrant workers.

The Dutch and German governments have effectively put a block on any further eastwards expansion of the EU, fearing that it could stoke up tensions over unemployment during the economic crisis.

Diplomats claim that the Lindsey oil refinery protests over jobs taken by migrant EU workers in Lincolnshire have demonstrated the extent of the popular backlash. ...

... Spain, France and Belgium are also said to share concerns about announcing further EU expansion. ...

Germany holds elections this autumn and the question of jobs being lost to Eastern Europeans is expected to be a major issue. ...

Mass demonstrations in Ireland last weekend and the collapse of the government in Latvia are the latest protests that have set alarm bells ringing across the continent.
[Newspaper link]


Foreign workers take 130 British jobs a day in company transfers
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 23 February 2009

Foreign employees are taking 130 jobs a day in the UK which have not been advertised to British workers, figures show.

The number of foreign workers taking advantage of "intra-company transfers" has increased by almost half in four years.

The system allows international companies to transfer staff to Britain for supposedly limited periods of time. They do not have to advertise the affected post in Britain first, and staff can stay for up to three years, with a possible extension of two years after which they can apply for settlement.

Critics said yesterday that the system meant companies had no incentive to hire and train British workers to fill the roles. ...

Figures released to MPs showed 48,010 applications for intra-company transfers were approved in 2008, up 47 per cent on the 32,770 approved in 2004 and the equivalent of 131 foreign workers arriving every day.
[Newspaper link]


Foreign workers hold one in seven UK jobs
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 18 February 2009

Foreign workers' share of the jobs market has almost doubled under Labour, with 3.8 million now employed in Britain, figures show.

Workers not born in Britain account for one in seven jobs after more than 1.8 million foreigners were added to the labour force over the last decade.

Two thirds of those have come from outside the EU, casting doubt on government claims that a cap on immigration will be ineffective because most of the workers come from within Europe, taking advantage of free movement laws.

It comes as separate research found Britain has taken in up to four times as many workers from Europe as there are Britons working in the EU. ...

Shadow work and pensions minister James Clappison, who revealed the figures, said: "This is yet more evidence that Labour have failed to bring migration from outside the EU under control despite repeated promises to do so. The Home Secretary has completely failed to get a grip of the situation.

"It is no wonder the Government has tried to bully the Office for National Statistics into covering up yet more bad news to conceal the extent of its failure."

Analysis of official statistics shows non-British born workers accounted for 13 per cent of all employment in the last quarter of 2008, with 3.8 million in work here.

That was up from 7.5 per cent – two million workers – in 1997 and is the highest level since records began in the same year. ...

A separate study by the think-tank Migrationwatch found there were 1,172,000 people born in Europe working in Britain in the last three months of last year. At the same time, about 286,000 British-born workers had left the country to take jobs on the continent. ...

The breakdown of British workers employed in Europe showed 65,300 in Germany and 36,100 in France.
[Newspaper link]


35,000 fall in workers from east Europe
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 14 February 2009

The number of migrants from eastern Europe working in Britain has dropped by 35,000 in three months.

The level of migrant labour from the former Eastern Bloc fell by seven per cent in the last quarter of 2008. ...

But the statistics showed only the number in work and could mean a rise in unemployed migrant workers still in Britain. ...

The number of foreign workers from all countries rose by 214,000 in 2008 to 3.8 million.
[Newspaper link]


Volatile mix of jobs and race will give ministers the jitters
David Brown, Richard Ford and Fran Yeoman
The Times, 12 February 2009

A politically explosive mix of unemployment and immigration figures sent a shiver of apprehension through government ministers yesterday.

With both issues right at the top of the electorate's concerns, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) news release on levels of foreign employment was certain to raise alarm.

..., the ONS revealed that the number of British citizens in work had fallen by 234,000 while the number of foreign workers had risen by 175,000 during the year to December. During the same period the number of workers who were born abroad rose by 214,000 while employment of British-born workers fell by 278,000. The ONS subsequently disclosed that of the 3.8 million foreign-born workers, 40 per cent are now British citizens.

It appears easy to interpret the figures as showing that foreign workers are replacing British workers.

The impression of foreigners taking British jobs was strengthened by the breakdown of figures into some national groups. Employment rates for British citizens, and those from most EU countries, America, South Africa and Australia, either fell or showed small increases. In contrast, employment rates for Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis rose by 5 per cent.

However, although the figures appear startling, the total number of foreign-born workers has increased at the same rate as employment, up by 290,000 to 5.4 million. Overall, therefore, the change is zero.

The increase in employment rates in the Pakistani-Bangladeshi communities started from a low base, with only 48 per cent now in jobs compared with almost three quarters of the population as a whole.

Many of the new workers born in the Indian sub-continent will have grown up in Britain and attended school and university here. The figures also mask the increase in employment rates among Asian women.

Although the Government has insisted on attracting primarily skilled workers vital to the economy, the ONS figures show that the biggest increase in foreign-born workers has been in the lowest-skilled occupations.

Foreign-born workers accounted for a fifth of total unskilled jobs, up from a tenth in 2001. Over the same period the proportion of foreign-born workers in full-time employment across the workforce has increased from about 8 per cent to almost 14 per cent.

Although the Government played down the significance of the foreign workers, the latest figures show that during the same period the numbers of work permits granted to people from India, Pakistan and South Africa almost doubled.

Almost 50,000 work permits were issued to people from India compared with 26,000 in 2007, according to figures released to Parliament last month. There was also a big increases for Pakistan – up 3,270 from 1,545 – and South Africa, 4,870 compared with 2,890.

The Home Office said last night that it was unable to explain the increase but changes to work permit regulations could account for some of the rise.
[Site link]


Working Assumptions
The Times, 12 February 2009
[Leading article]

The case for economic nationalism has too many advocates as it is, without the Office for National Statistics joining in.

That unemployment has risen to 1.97 million is bad news in its own right. But, in its press release accompanying the data, the ONS has chosen to highlight explicitly the split between workers born in the UK and those born abroad. In the 12 months to December 2008, the employment of workers born in the UK fell by 278,000. Over the same period, the employment of workers born outside this country rose by 214,000.

This data is usually published along with the migration figures, due on February 24. The stated reason for bringing it forward is the fear that others would calculate the figures anyway from the underlying data. It is hard to credit the political naivety of this. At a time when there is a growing constituency ready to blame foreign workers for the impact of the recession, this is an incendiary and unnecessary thing for a public body to do. Whether senior staff were responding to Gordon Brown's slogan of British jobs for British workers is hard to say, but it is a peculiar emphasis to strike.

This is not a case for the suppression of the information. On the contrary, it is a plea for better information. Before any valid conclusions can be drawn from the labour market data published today, there is a lot more we need to know.

First, according to the ONS's own figures, just under 40 per cent of people of working age in employment in this country were UK nationals even though they were not born in the UK. Does this figure hold for the flow of new jobs? The ONS does not know. The figure is unchanged from a year ago, so a press release that split the data according to citizenship would look very different from the one just published.

Second, how many of the 214,000 new workers not born in the UK have been settled here for a long time but have never taken up British citizenship? How many of the new entrants are Bangladeshi women working for the first time? The bulk of the new arrivals into the workforce over the past year have come from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. How many of these new arrivals have simply joined a family already resident here? Again, the ONS does not know.

So before we leap to the conclusion that jobs are migrating from British people to foreigners, we need to gather the relevant information. In fact, UK nationals make up 92 per cent of the workforce. It is also worth noting that, even using the spurious category the ONS has chosen to highlight, the employment rate among people not born in this country is exactly the same - 69 per cent - as it was a year ago.

But, all that said, some of the recent flow in employment will be as a result of new arrivals to the country. Again, before leaping to the assumption that this is a bad thing, we need to pause to consider what might be happening. ...

We can add these questions to the list of things that the ONS does not know. Until it does, it ought to be a good deal more careful about adding its weight to the specious cause of economic nationalism.
[Site link]


Deal on local workers to end strike
Rosa Prince and Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 5 February 2009

Companies bidding for public sector contracts will have to consider qualified local workers when hiring new staff as part of a deal to resolve the foreign labour dispute.

Ministers are preparing new "employer guidelines" that will advise firms seeking government contracts of their "corporate social responsibility" to use British workers where possible.

Unions suggested that as part of the deal to resolve the series of wildcat strikes that broke out in support of workers at the Lindsey Oil Refinery in Lincolnshire, the guidelines would also extend to firms seeking planning permission. ...

Sources suggested that the Government was preparing to launch the new guidelines, which would "help" in the bitter dispute.

The deal is thought to be based on a code drawn up by the Engineering Construction Industry Association with the title: "Principles to consider when using non-UK contractors and labour on engineering construction sites."
[Newspaper link]


Skilled foreign staff face new curbs
Daily Telegraph, 5 February 2009

The number of skilled foreign workers allowed into Britain may be restricted to ensure jobs are available for university graduates.

Phil Woolas, the Immigration Minister, said he was considering tightening the points system that allows people to come to work, adding: "We want to maintain the highest possible levels of British graduate employment."

The move could be completed by the summer, when 400,000 new graduates will join the jobs market.
[Newspaper link]


Labour MPs push for action over foreign workers
Rosa Prince
Daily Telegraph, 4 February 2009

Ministers are under pressure from Labour backbenchers to intervene in the row over the use of foreign workers which has led to a wave of unofficial strikes. ...

Gordon Brown ... is expected to face calls from Labour MPs to take action on the broader issue of foreign workers when he appears before the Commons today. ...

Sources close to Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, said that the Government would not bring in legislation or rules to protect British jobs.

The source added: "The Government will of course urge companies to show some corporate responsibility and hire local workers where possible, but we cannot ban the use of foreign workers.

"The most likely result is that firms would simply move out of the UK and base themselves elsewhere."
[Newspaper link]


Obscure EU law used to block British workers, claim unions
Robert Winnett and Simon Johnson
Daily Telegraph, 2 February 2009

Ministers have ordered an investigation into allegations that companies are using loopholes in European law to exclude British workers from construction jobs in this country.

Trade unions have claimed that skilled British workers are being barred from applying for jobs with firms using obscure European law, such as legal rulings on the Postal Services Directive, to justify their behaviour. ...

The protesters were initially condemned by Government ministers but senior Labour figures are now expressing fears that the dispute might be more complex than thought, and that the Government might have to intervene. ...

The Daily Telegraph contacted shop stewards across the country, who said anger has been building for years about the unfair treatment of British workers.

They said union leaders had warned the Government in 2004 that foreign companies were undercutting their domestic rivals and winning multi-million-pound contracts by using only low-paid foreign workers.
[Newspaper link]


Europeans are finally waking up to the demise of democracy
Janet Daley
Daily Telegraph, 2 February 2009

The peoples of Europe have finally discovered what they signed up to ... And a significant proportion of them are getting very, very angry.

What the strikers at the Lindsay oil refinery(and their brother supporters in Nottinghamshire and Kent) have discovered is the real meaning of the fine print in those treaties, and the significance of those European court judgments whose interpretation they left to EU obsessives: it is now illegal – illegal – for the government of an EU country to put the needs and concerns of its own population first. It would, for example, be against European law to do what Frank Field has sensibly suggested and reintroduce a system of "work permits" for EU nationals who wished to apply for jobs here. ...

The US had a rule during its great period of immigration in the early years of the last century, that no one could enter the country with a pre-arranged job. This was designed precisely to prevent the unfairness and disruptive effect of the wholesale import of cheap labour. An individual travelling to seek work, prepared to take his chances in fair competition with local workers is one thing: the organised recruitment of people from the poorest regions of the poorest countries in Europe in order to reduce employers' wage costs in the more prosperous ones is something else altogether.
[Newspaper link]


Thousands of refinery workers walk out over jobs for migrants
James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 31 January 2009

Nearly 4,000 workers at more than a dozen oil, gas and chemical plants set off a wave of walkouts and demonstrations yesterday in protest at building contracts for foreign workers.
[Newspaper link]


Strikers protest at foreign workers
Nick Britten
Daily Telegraph, 30 January 2009

Hundreds of factory workers protested outside one of the country's largest oil refineries yesterday against the use of foreign workers.

Humberside Police said around 800 people took part in the demonstration against the use of foreign contractors on a multi-million pound construction project at the Lindsey oil refinery at North Killingholme, Lincs. ...

Some protesters carried placards repeating Gordon Brown's slogan: "British jobs for British workers".
[Newspaper link]


Employment – armed forces
Limit on Army's foreign recruits
Daily Telegraph, 30 January 2009

The number of foreigners allowed to serve in three Army units is to be capped, a minister said last night.

A 13 per cent limit will be imposed on the Royal Logistics Corps, the Royal Army Dental Corps and Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps. The move comes amid concern about the number of foreign recruits who reportedly account for seven per cent of the Army's strength.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – discrimination
Equality commission advises on recession
Richard Tyler
Daily Telegraph, 27 January 2009

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has launched a drive to guide small business owners through the recession. ...

Nicola Brewer, the commission's chief executive, said that a new 30-page guide for small business owners had been produced in direct response to business complaints existing equality laws were "too complex".

"The legislation adds up to 4,000 pages. How can we expect any business to get their heads around that and treat people fairly?" she said. ...

The guide itself states: "Employment law on redundancies is complicated and it would be impossible to give an exhaustive list of everything that you could/should do or avoid doing to prevent an employment tribunal."
[Newspaper link]


Jobless up but more foreign workers enter UK
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 24 January 2009

A record number of work permits were handed out to immigrants last year despite rising unemployment.

More than 151,000 people from outside the EU were given permission to work in Britain: almost four times the figure when Labour took power in 1997. Over the same period, unemployment increased by 290,000. ...

Figures given to MPs showed that 151,635 applications to work were granted between December 2007 and November last year.

That was a 17 per cent increase on the 140,600 handed out during the whole of 2007 and almost a fourfold rise on the 42,800 approved in 1997.

Indians were the largest recipient of permits, at 49,950, followed by 28,835 Americans and 8,090 workers from China. More than one in four permits allowed the recipient to stay for up to five years, although 40 per cent were for less than a year. Only 85 permits were for more than five years.

The applications included non-EU nationals wanting to come to Britain as well as extensions for those already working here.
[Newspaper link]


Tougher job rules to put Britons first
Patrick Hennessy
Sunday Telegraph, 18 January 2009

Rules on employing immigrants are to be tightened in an attempt to force companies to hire unemployed Britons ahead of skilled foreign workers, ...

Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, said that British people who were out of a job should get "first crack of the whip" at tens of thousands of skilled posts that go to foreigners every year.

In particular, companies are to be told that they must advertise vacancies in the Jobcentre Plus network before filling them with skilled migrants.

Government sources estimate that, had tighter rules been in force last year, between 60,000 and 80,000 posts would have been filled by Britons rather than immigrants.

At present, employers often rely on skilled workers from outside the European Union – known as "tier two" immigrants – to fill a range of posts including primary school teachers, some categories of nurses, architects, farm managers, hotel managers, graphic designers, air traffic controllers and construction workers. ...

Employers are already required, under the "resident labour market test", to try to fill vacancies from within Britain before they are permitted to recruit immigrant workers. However, trade unions have complained that the rule is widely ignored because firms find it cheaper or easier to take on staff from overseas.

Ms Smith and James Purnell, the Work and Pensions Secretary, are working "urgently" on proposals to strengthen the rules. An announcement is expected within weeks.
[Newspaper link]


170,000 immigrant workers 'uncounted'
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 3 January 2009

At least 170,000 more migrant workers are taking British jobs each year than official figures show because of undercounting in the employment statistics, ...

The Labour Force Survey (LFS), the main government tool for measuring changes in the workforce, fails to include any foreigners in the country for less than a year. In addition, migrant workers living in communal properties are also excluded, meaning many thousands more could also be missing from official figures. ...

In total, foreign workers make up one in seven of the labour market, despite Gordon Brown's pledge in 2007 to create "British jobs for British workers".

Figures in November showed that migrants accounted for all the growth in employment over the past two years while the number of Britons in work has fallen. ...

The LFS is one of the official employment counts published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and is based on a survey of tens of thousands of households.
[Newspaper link]


We do not lie about migration
Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch UK
The Guardian, 30 December 2008
[See also Philippe Legrain's article of 16 December 2008]

Just before Christmas, Philippe Legrain wrote an article for Comment is free accusing Migrationwatch of "twisting the truth" and even of "xenophobic prejudice". He was referring to our paper on UK-born workers, but he should check his facts before using such strong language.

He certainly approaches immigration from a different angle. In an article last year for Centre Forum, he wrote that our borders should be open and that campaigning for people's right to move freely is a noble cause of our time. How that could be combined with a welfare state was not explained.

As for labour market statistics, they are a notorious minefield. Last autumn, the government had to change its story on this very subject three times in one day. As a result, the Statistics Commission, then the independent watchdog, produced a 17-page paper, which showed that the proportion of new jobs taken by foreigners varied from 53% to 81%, depending on which categories you chose.

Sure enough, Legrain has stepped on a mine. He wrote that our claims are "flatly contradicted by figures from the Office for National Statistics". In his enthusiasm to launch an assault on Migrationwatch, he neglected to check the source of our figures. Perhaps readers have guessed already that our figures were also from the ONS, contained in a Parliamentary answer by the National Statistician.

How can these data be apparently so contradictory? Simple. He was looking at all those employed aged over 16, including pensioners. We were looking at those of working age. The increase in recent years of older British-born workers accounts for the difference.

So which is the valid approach? We chose working age because nearly all economic migrants are of working age, so that must be where to look for any effects that they might have.

If I was writing in the style of Legrain, I would accuse him of "deliberately selecting data that concealed the impact of immigration on British-born people of working age". I cast no such slur. Instead, I invite readers to look at the graph in our paper. It is beyond argument that the employment of UK-born has dropped significantly since 2004, while that of naturalised British, A8 nationals, and other foreign nationals has continued to increase.

We have not been "forced to admit" that the number of jobs in an economy is not fixed. On the contrary, we have been making that very point for at least three years to refute the government's claims, nowadays dropped, that we need immigrants to fill 600,000 vacancies. (In the past six years, there has been net immigration of more than 1 million with no discernible effect on vacancies.)

We do suggest, however, that the coincidence between the massive surge from eastern Europe and the sudden downturn in the employment of British-born people of working age is very striking. It is also true that, despite a long period of economic growth, there has been no progress in raising the employment ratio of the British-born in the past eight years, at a time when there has been a massive increase in reliance on foreign labour.

... Readers can judge from our track record whether or not to believe Migrationwatch. They may also believe that the presence of abuse indicates the absence of valid argument.
[Site link]


More migrant workers allowed into Britain
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 19 December 2008

Thousands more migrant workers can come to Britain after the Government relaxed quotas, despite soaring unemployment.

Tight restrictions on low-skilled workers from Romania and Bulgaria will remain for at least another year, the Home Office announced.

But the limit on those allowed to come was raised by another 5,000. ...

Phil Woolas, the Immigration Minister, confirmed that the restrictions on Romanian and Bulgarian migrants, which limit them mainly to fruit-picking and food-processing jobs, would not be lifted.
[Newspaper link]


Migrants filled most new jobs
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 16 December 2008

Virtually all the growth in new jobs in the past seven years has been accounted for by migrants, a study shows.

There are 1.34 million more people in work now than in 2001 but the number of British-born workers has fallen by 62,000 over the same period.

In contrast, there has been a surge in the number of migrants in employment, including almost 500,000 more Eastern Europeans, the study from the pressure group Migrationwatch UK showed. Critics said the latest figures made a mockery of Gordon Brown's pledge of "British jobs for British workers". ...

The study, which analysed Government figures, showed that between 2001 and 2008, employment in Britain grew by 1.342 million. This was made up of 253,000 more British nationals and 1,087,000 more foreign workers in jobs.

But the British nationals figure includes migrants who hold British citizenship. When they are removed, the number of British-born workers in employment actually fell by 62,000 over the period.
[Newspaper link]


MigrationWatch is twisting the truth
Philippe Legrain
The Guardian, 16 December 2008
[See also (Sir) Andrew Green's article of 30 December 2008]

Are immigrants taking our jobs? It is an explosive issue, especially with Britain sinking into recession and unemployment rising. So opponents of immigration will doubtless seize on a new report by the independent thinktank MigrationWatch UK, which claims that those dastardly foreigners who have the cheek to look after your granny or pick English strawberries are stealing jobs from British people. Yet the claims of Sir Andrew Green's thinktank are flatly contradicted by figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

MigrationWatch claims that nearly all the jobs created in the UK since 2001 have gone to immigrants. But figures from the labour force survey (...), show that employment among British-born people actually rose by 378,000 between the second quarter of 2001 and the second quarter of 2008, the dates arbitrarily chosen by MigrationWatch. If one excludes the recent fall in employment due to the financial crisis and instead compares the last three months of 2000 with the last three months of 2007, the number of UK-born people with jobs has risen by just over half a million (520,000).

MigrationWatch also claims that employment among UK-born people has fallen by 230,000 since the second quarter of 2004, when Britain opened its labour market to the Poles and other eastern Europeans joining the EU. But this too is contradicted by ONS figures. These show that the number of British-born people in jobs actually rose by 43,000 between the second quarter of 2004 and the same period of 2008. Excluding the impact of the financial crisis, employment rose by 175,000 between the second quarter of 2004 and the last three months of 2007.

MigrationWatch says that "there has been no progress at all in getting British-born unemployed workers into work" since 2001, and blames immigrants for this. But ONS figures suggest otherwise. They show that the employment rate among British-born people – the proportion of UK-born people of working age in employment – rose sharply in Labour's first term, from 73.5% in the second quarter of 1997 to 76% in the third quarter of 2000. Since then it has remained roughly steady: it was 75.6% in the second quarter of 2004 when Britain opened up to east European workers and 76% in the last quarter of 2007. In other words, the employment rate stopped improving well before eastern European migrants started arriving in large numbers, and has not worsened since.

The bigger point is this. As even MigrationWatch is forced to concede, there is not a fixed number of jobs in the economy. Immigrants don't just take jobs, they also create them, as they spend their wages and fill roles in complementary lines of work. If Britain threw out its Polish workers there wouldn't suddenly be more jobs for British people – just as throwing women out of work wouldn't provide more jobs for men.

Whichever way you look at it, immigrants are not taking British people's jobs. On the contrary, they are helping to provide vital public services and keep small businesses going. Not for the first time, MigrationWatch's xenophobic prejudice is causing it to twist the truth. Andrew Green should be ashamed of himself.
[Site link]


Migrants do better than Britons in job market
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 24 November 2008

Gordon Brown's pledge of "British jobs for British workers" is not borne out by new statistics that suggest migrant workers have accounted for the increase in employment in the past two years.

Jobs filled by foreigners have increased by almost half a million over the period while the number of British-born employees has slumped by 149,000.


Figures from the Office for National Statistics show the overall level of employment increased by about 320,000 between September 2006 and September this year – up from 29.17 million to 29.49 million.

However, during the two-year period the number of British workers in jobs fell by 149,000 while the number of migrant employees increased by 469,000. Similarly, in the years since labour took power, in 1997 those workers not born in Britain have made up around two thirds of the growth in employment.

Total employment grew by 2.79 million between September 1997 and September 2008 but 62 per cent of that was made up by an increase of 1.7 million migrants in work.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – racism
Black women now outstrip whites on pay
David Leppard and Holly Watt
The Sunday Times, 16 November 2008

The average earnings of black women in Britain are now higher than their white counterparts, according to government statistics.

In a landmark social development that suggests the erosion of a long-standing racial barrier, the figures show "black Caribbean" women earned on average £462 a week – 6% more than white women – in the three months to October this year.

That is a reversal of the previous year's figures, when white women earned more than 7% above their black counterparts. The figures show that black women's earnings overtook those of white women in the first three months of 2008 and the pay gap has increased gradually since then.

The data were gathered for The Sunday Times by the Office for National Statistics. They are based on the labour force survey, the most authoritative and up-to-date study of pay and conditions. ...

Colleen Harris, the first black press officer at Downing Street and founder of Dignity Management Consultancy, which advises on equality, said she was "cynical about the figures". But she added: "Black women do work very hard, and often they are the single earner in a household and have the whole weight of a family on their shoulders."

The Equality and Human Rights Commission said the figures may be explained by the fact that half of all black women live in London, where average pay is higher than elsewhere in the country.

It also said black women tended to take less time off work when having children, meaning they suffered less of a pay penalty when returning to work. Many work in health or social services where pay has been rising.
[Site link]


Foreign workers on their marks for Olympics jobs
Andrew Pierce
Daily Telegraph, 14 November 2008

More than 50,000 migrant workers has registered for jobs in the borough which will host the 2012 Olympics, sparking fears that British workers could be losing out.

Newham has had the biggest surge in new National Insurance numbers of any part of Britain since the games were awarded to London in 2005, ... ...

Last year there were 20,500 new registrations in Newham compared with 13,000 for Birmingham and 11,000 for Manchester. ...

Sir Robin Wales, the mayor of Newham, said that the statistics on foreign workers were deeply depressing.
[Newspaper link]


Exodus of million migrants 'masks true jobless figures'
James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 29 October 2008

Up to a million immigrant workers will abandon Britain as the economy slows and jobs become scarce, the Government's equalities watchdog predicted yesterday.

Trevor Phillips, the chairman of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, said the number of foreign workers losing their jobs and going home meant that Britain was effectively "exporting unemployment".

Without the departure of migrant workers, British unemployment would be closer to three million than two million, he said. He was backed by Tesco, one of the country's biggest employers, which warned that the departure of eastern European workers this year had masked the true scale of the downturn.

More than 800,000 eastern Europeans have come to Britain to work since the European Union expanded in 2004. However, the Home Office has estimated that at least 100,000 Polish workers have left over the past year and the Polish government is forecasting that another 400,000 could follow in the next 12 months.

... British unemployment is currently 1.72 million, but economists are forecasting it will pass two million as soon as Christmas and keep rising.

"If it were not for immigrant workers who are returning home as jobs dry up, we would now be talking of the prospect of three million unemployed," Mr Phillips told a CBI conference.

"Immigration has given us a huge buffer against unemployment – in effect, this year we will export much of our unemployment to the rest of the EU."
[Newspaper link]


IT groups recruit 47,000 immigrants
Sunday Telegraph, 21 September 2008

Six Indian-based IT companies recruited 11,644 immigrants to come to Britain with work permits in 2006, according to Home Office figures.

They have imported 47,000 staff in seven years. Peter Skyte of the union Unite said: "This should not be at the expense of resident workers."
[Newspaper link]


Employment – benefits and costs
Brown's "new jobs" boast is down to immigration
Fraser Nelson
The Spectator, 10 September 2008

Gordon Brown's boast of having created "three million new jobs" has always had to come with the major unspoken caveat that (according to the Statistics Commission) 81% of these "new jobs" in this working-age population are accounted for by immigration. ... In the period Apr-Jun 97 there were 18.1m UK-born people working in the private sector. In Apr-Jun 07, it had actually fallen - to 18.0 million. So strip away immigration and state sector expansion and there are fewer British jobs, not more. ... ...

One final point. As Liam Byrne likes to say, the millennial wave of immigration has indeed been global. But its impact on Britain was not unavoidable. France, for example, saw immigrants as a share of its workforce slip from 11% to 10% between 1997 and 2006 according to figures which Eurostat sent me. The UK figures went from 7% to 11%. Others: Denmark (from 4% to 6%) Finland (2% to 3%) Sweden (6% to 13%)

Where next for immigration? As an enthusiastic supporter of it, I was dismayed to be unable to find any concrete proof that it's good for the rest of the economy. Depending on what you count (kids? proportion of defence spending?) you can argue its impact to Britain is plus £2.5bn or minus £5bn as Prof Bob Rowthorn has shown. Economists and think tanks wage war over this, and my verdict is that there's no clear answer. As Britain is one of the most tolerant countries on earth, all this has been a concern here without being a toxic issue (apart from in Westminster, where they're been terrified of it since Enoch in 1968).

With more people now competing for fewer jobs, the migration debate might yet turn sour. Only a third of immigrants are Europeans, so while the Poles may go off to Dubai or countries which don't have bombed-out currencies, it won't necessarily stop the rest of the flow. ...
[Site link]


Employment – education
Britons left to 'pour concrete' by lack of skills
Daily Telegraph, 12 August 2008

British workers could be left to "pour the concrete" for foreign scientists and engineers unless urgent action is taken to train the young, the director-general of the CBI has warned.

Richard Lambert said pupils were doing better than ever in science tests at 14, but "hardly any" were going on to study triple science at GCSE.

Unless the situation changes, he warned, the skilled jobs for projects such as the 2012 Olympics will go to better trained foreign workers.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – education
Recruits' literacy and numeracy skills declining, employers warn
Daily Telegraph, 11 August 2008

Literacy and numeracy levels among new employees have fallen over the past decade despite an increase in education spending under labour, business leaders claim.

Research by the Institute of Directors (IoD) found that 71 per cent of its members believe new recruits have worse writing skills. Sixty per cent feel numeracy has also declined. The report, due to be published this week, shows that more than half – 52 per cent – believe there has been a drop in the basic ability to communicate. ...

Standards of basic scientific awareness have fallen "dramatically", academics from Durham University say.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – education
Turn blind eye to bad spelling, lecturers told
Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 7 August 2008

Standards of spelling among university students are now so bad that lecturers are being urged to turn a blind eye to mistakes.

Many undergraduates fail to spell basic words such as "their", "speech" or even "Wednesday" in essays, it is claimed. First year students are the worst offenders, despite already spending at least 13 years in education.

Writing today in the Times Higher Education magazine, Dr Ken Smith, a senior lecturer in criminology at Bucks New University, says mistakes are now so common that academics should simply accept them as "variants".

Last year, Dr Bernard Lamb, a reader in genetics at Imperial College London, claimed students from Singapore and Brunei made fewer mistakes than British students, despite English being their second language.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – multiculturalism
Jobless must blame lack of motivation, not foreign workers
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 12 June 2008

Britons are out of work because they lack motivation and "employability", not because of competition with foreign workers, ministers said yesterday.

The arrival of a million Eastern Europeans in the past four years has not damaged wages or led to an increase in unemployment among natives, the Department for Work and Pensions insisted.

But some Britons were on the dole because of "issues around basic employability skills, incentives and motivation", its report said.

The attack on the native workforce came as the Government published a separate study in which they admitted that an influx of foreigners is causing social tensions in areas unprepared for large-scale immigration. ...

A government study of the social impact of migration found that arriving foreigners accounted for nearly half of the population growth in the past five years. Some 860,000 people came from the European Union, Commonwealth and other states.

The report, Managing the Impacts of Migration – A Cross-Government Approach, acknowledged the heightened concern in regions with little experience of large communities of foreigners.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – economy
Cost of tradesmen rises as Poles return home
Harry Wallop
Daily Telegraph, 3 June 2008

The cost of home improvements has risen by about a fifth as eastern European tradesmen who have provided cheap labour return home, a new report shows. ...

The price of building work has risen by 20 per cent over the past two years due to a lack of skilled tradesmen and the rising cost of building materials, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

The number of builders and decorators is declining fast due to an exodus of central and eastern European nationals. There were an estimated one million British-based Poles at one time but half have now left the UK, which has led to competition for labour and so rising costs. ...

Wages in the Polish construction industry have leapt by 25 per cent in the past year, as the country seeks to attract back many of the emigrants who have left for Britain within the last five years.
[Newspaper link]


Citizens who fail to learn English will lose benefits under Tory plan
Rosa Prince
Daily Telegraph, 27 May 2008

Immigrant workers and foreign-born citizens who struggle to speak English will be denied benefits unless they accept language lessons, under plans unveiled by the Conservatives today.

In a hard-hitting speech, Chris Grayling, the shadow work and pensions secretary, plans to set out the party's detailed proposals for tackling unemployment.

He will argue that the employment rate for some ethnic minority groups is below the national average, saying that "serious steps" need to be taken to address the problem. ...

Mr Grayling will also outline his concern that immigrant labour is being used to prop up the economy, ..., at the expense of rising unemployment among deprived local communities.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – doctors
Ministers 'ignored' junior doctor warnings
Kate Devlin
Daily Telegraph, 8 May 2008

Thousands of junior doctors had their careers thrown into chaos last summer because of "inept" decisions at the highest levels, according to a report by MPs today.

Warnings over a new recruitment system and possible job shortages were ignored by the Department of Health, says the Commons health committee. The Government's failure to restrict the access of overseas doctors to training posts in Britain was also "inexcusable", it says.
[Newspaper link]


UK doctors lose out as foreigners get backing over jobs
Rebecca Smith
Daily Telegraph, 1 May 2008

Around 1,000 British medical graduates will not get training jobs this year because of a House of Lords decision that an attempt to give them posts ahead of foreign doctors was illegal.

It means up to £275 million spent on training the doctors could be wasted because they take dead-end jobs.

The Department of Health tried to implement guidance that doctors qualifying from British or EU medical schools should be given priority over doctors from outside Europe.

But the guidance was challenged by the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin and ended up before the law lords. They decided by four to one yesterday that the guidance was illegal.

The doctors had arrived in Britain in the reasonable expectation of being employed and that they would be entitled to training, peers said.

The 10,000 doctors from outside Europe who work in the NHS can compete on the same footing as British and EU graduates for jobs.

There are three applicants for every training post and the guidance was aimed at protecting the taxpayer investment in medical training.

Health department estimates suggest that this will displace between 700 and 1,100 British and EU graduates.
[Newspaper link]


Rules on skilled migrants 'unlawful'
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 9 April 2008

Tougher rules for skilled immigrants who want to remain in Britain were declared unlawful in the High Court yesterday.

The decision is a blow to Government plans to make highly skilled migrants who came here before the imposition of the new rules reapply for residency status.

Tens of thousands of such migrants, many of them doctors and nurses, and their families could have been deported if the Government's plan had succeeded. However, the High Court ruled that the workers were not given enough warning before the rules were changed in November 2006. ...

A Home Office spokesman said the changes were made because of suspicions that the Highly Skilled Migrants Programme (HSMP), introduced in 2002, was "not sufficiently rigorous to select those migrants who were making the greatest economic contribution to the UK". Some already on the programme "were simply not doing highly skilled work", she said. ...

Critics said up to 90 per cent of the 49,000 migrants who arrived to work in Britain under the scheme faced deportation because they would no longer qualify for permanent residency under the new rules.

The Government strongly disputed the allegation and contended that the numbers affected were "very small" – about 1,300 workers.
[Newspaper link]


Revealed: how immigration 'costs Britons jobs'
Ben Leapman
Sunday Telegraph, 6 April 2008

Mass immigration has been accompanied by a fall in the number of Britons with jobs, official figures reveal.

Since 2004, when citizens of eight central and eastern European countries were given the right to work in Britain, the number of UK-born people working here has fallen by 500,000, from 24.4 million to 23.9 million.

Over the period, the number of migrants in work, including people born abroad but now naturalised as British citizens, rose by 1.1 million – to 3.3 million. They now make up one in eight of the workforce.

The figures, from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), provide the strongest evidence yet that Britons have lost their jobs to immigrants, says a leading expert on immigration.

Robert Rowthorn, a Cambridge University professor who uncovered the findings, said: "It seems hard to deny that immigration from the new EU member states has had a negative impact on the employment of UK natives." ...

The ONS figures, released by the Treasury in response to a parliamentary question, show that between 2001 and 2007 the number of UK-born British nationals in employment fell by 495,000. Most of the decline came after 2004. ...

Over the same period, according to the ONS, the number of foreign-born naturalised Britons with jobs rose by 248,000; the number of eastern Europeans with jobs rose by 381,000; and the number of other foreign nationals with jobs rose by 480,000. The net result was a rise in employment of just over 600,000. ...

Meanwhile, the former cabinet minister Clare Short commented that the Government had made a "very big mistake" in allowing large-scale immigration from eastern Europe.
[Newspaper link]


Foreigners given 85pc of new jobs since 1997
James Kirkup and Robert Winnett
Daily Telegraph, 3 March 2008

Almost nine in 10 new jobs created over the past decade have been taken by foreign-born workers despite a sharp increase in the number of skilled British workers, official figures show.

The number of British people in work has slumped to the lowest level since Labour was elected in 1997, undermining claims made by Gordon Brown that employment was at a record high.

Since 1997, some 1.4 million fewer Britons work in manufacturing, yet 113,000 more foreign-born workers are in the sector. Of the 1.7 million more people in employment since 1997, 1.5 million were born outside the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The figures have been uncovered by a former Labour minister who is urging the Government to urgently restrict immigration from eastern Europe to help young Britons gain employment.

Frank Field, the former welfare minister, said that since 1997 the number of skilled Britons in the workplace – those with a National Vocational Qualification at level two as a minimum – had increased by 2.8 million.

However, there had been only a 310,000 net increase in the number of Britons in work in that time – and the number had actually dropped since 2003 after mass immigration from eastern Europe. Mr Field said yesterday: "What the Government needs to do is to face up to the fact that we need to restrict the movement of labour from eastern Europe.

"We had the ability to do that, but now we would need to ask the European Commission for permission. And the Government seems unwilling to do that."

Controversy over the employment of foreign-born workers has increased since Mr Brown pledged to create "British jobs for British workers" last summer. After initially publishing incorrect data last autumn, the Government was forced to admit that 54 per cent of new jobs had gone to foreign workers. However, the latest figures suggest the actual figure could be as high 85 per cent.

The new data shows that the number of British people in work has fallen to the lowest level in a decade, while the number of foreign-born workers employed in the UK has almost doubled.

Figures from the ONS Labour Force Survey for the last quarter of 2007 show there were 27.5 million people in jobs in Britain. This figure includes 3.4 million foreign-born workers, including 2.3 million from outside the EU. The 1.1 million from inside the EU has risen from 544,000 in 1997.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – health services
Hiring Third World doctors 'is a crime'
Daily Telegraph, 22 February 2008

Britain's recruitment of health workers from the world's poorest countries should be treated as an international crime, doctors claim.

An article in The Lancet, published today, says that Ghana alone has lost about £35 million of its training investment in health professionals to Britain.

The article says: "Although the active recruitment of health workers from developing countries may lack the heinous intent of other crimes covered under international law, the resulting dilapidation of health infrastructure contributes to a measurable and foreseeable public health crisis."
[Newspaper link]


Employment – health services
Health workers poaching from sub-Saharan Africa should be deemed a crime
The Canadian Press, 22 February 2008

The poaching of doctors, nurses and pharmacists from sub-Saharan Africa by developed countries ought to be viewed as an international crime, a group of public health researchers from Canada and other countries argue in a leading medical journal.

The researchers, a number of whom are from the B.C. Centre of Excellence for HIV-AIDS, say the practice of richer countries filling their health-care vacancies by recruiting in South Africa and other personnel-poor African countries is a violation of the human rights of the people of affected African nations.

"There are more Malawian physicians in Manchester (England) than there are in Malawi," said lead author Edward Mills, a medical epidemiologist with the B.C. Centre.

"The problem is probably the biggest public health problem in all of Africa."

Dr. Julio Montaner, the director of the centre - and the next president of the International AIDS Society - is the senior author on the commentary. It will be published Saturday in The Lancet.

Countries such as Canada, the United States, Britain and Australia are home to thousands of doctors, nurses and pharmacists from Africa. Some have chosen to immigrate themselves, but many have been lured to their new homes with offers of an enormous increase in pay, moving expenses and help to navigate the visa and citizenship processes.

The number of doctors from sub-Sarahan countries alone who are working in the four countries is staggering - an estimated 13,272. ...

When Canada or another wealthy country recruits in South Africa - as the Shoppers Drug Mart chain was attempting to do with pharmacists last fall - the effect is like tumbling dominos. South Africa in turn fills its vacancies by recruiting from other, less affluent African countries.

The problem in many countries is dire, with doctor to patient ratios that are completely untenable. In Malawi, there is one doctor for every 50,000 people, while in Canada there is one for every 500. ...

He and his colleagues contend that the impact of this poaching of Africa's health-care professionals constitutes an international crime that is contributing to the deterioration of essential health-care services on the continent.

Dr. Amir Attaran, a Canada Research Chair in law, population health and global development policy, sympathizes with the aim of the argument. But he said he does not agree with the position that poaching health professionals is a crime under international law.

"I don't have any difficulty saying that it would be lovely and I would prefer to live in a world where it were criminal," said Attaran, who teaches in the University of Ottawa's Institute of Population Health and the faculty of law.

"But their argument is that already customary international law tells us that this recruitment should stop.... That is an incorrect understanding of what customary international law is."
[Site link]


Over 2m foreigners are now working in Britain
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 11 February 2008

There has been a 75 per cent increase in workers from abroad in the last six years, while the number of British employees has dropped by half a million, new figures show.

The rise has followed an influx of hundreds of thousands of Eastern Europeans into the UK since 2004. At the same time the number of British people claiming incapacity benefit has soared while there has also been an increase in people emigrating.

Official figures from the Labour Force Survey show that the number of foreigners in the UK workforce increased between 2001 and last year by 864,000 – to just over two million people. This is equivalent to one in 14 of a total working population. ...

More than 700,000 workers from Eastern Europe have registered to work in the UK from the eight countries which joined the European Union in 2004.

By contrast, the number of UK-born nationals in the workforce fell, between 2001 and 2007, down by 500,000 from 24.4 million in 2001 to 23.9 million last year. ...

Around 4.8 million people are currently claiming out-of-work benefits. Around 2.6 million are on incapacity benefits – 120,000 more than when Labour came to power in 1997. ...

In the 12 months to July 2006, 385,000 people left the country, thought to be the highest number since the 1960s.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – medicine
Door shuts for non-EU doctors wanting to train in UK
Rebecca Smith
Daily Telegraph, 7 February 2008

All doctors from outside Europe will be banned from coming to the UK for training under new immigration rules.

Only junior doctors who have graduated from British or European medical schools will be allowed to apply for training jobs from next year, ministers said. ...

The new rules will not affect the estimated 10,000 junior doctors from outside Europe who are already working in the NHS and who can apply in open competition with British graduates for training posts this year. ...

The courts ruled last year that guidance from the Department of Health that international candidates could be considered for a training post only if all UK and European applicants had been ruled out first was unlawful.

An appeal against that ruling has gone to the House of Lords and a decision is due in May.

Consultation is beginning now so that if the appeal is successful the guidance can be implemented on June 1 in time for the second round of recruitment this year. ...

The changes will mean overseas doctors are still entitled to work in the NHS in so-called service, or non-training, posts as restrictions will be placed only on applications for jobs that count towards becoming a GP or consultant.

The new immigration rules will be temporary until a permanent solution can be worked out.

Officials have been keen to "turn the flow" of international junior doctors as they often come to the UK for training and leave within four years, meaning the NHS loses out.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – doctors
Foreign doctors face ban on training posts
Patrick Hennessy
Sunday Telegraph, 3 February 2008

Ministers will announce a crackdown on overseas doctors this week in an attempt to prevent thousands of British medics from facing unemployment.

Foreign doctors from outside the European Union, who account for half of all applicants for jobs this year, face a ban on having their specialist medical training funded by taxpayers.

The increased competition from abroad means that three junior doctors will be chasing every post this year.

Ministers are desperate to redress the balance and are preparing a move that Gordon Brown hopes will be seen as backing his declaration of "British jobs for British workers" last autumn. ...

Last year, the Department of Health (DoH) issued guidance that foreign doctors could only be considered for a training post if there was no suitable candidate from Britain or the EU.

However, the guidance was successfully challenged in court by the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, who claimed it was unfairly discriminatory. Ministers are appealing against the court decision, but the appeal is not due to be heard until later this year.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – education
Graduates lacking skills to win jobs
Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 31 January 2008

Almost half of leading companies failed to find suitable graduates to fill vacancies last year despite record numbers of students leaving university, a report shows today.

In a survey of 217 of the biggest companies by the Association of Graduate Recruiters, more than 43 per cent said positions remained unfilled because students lacked basic skills or the necessary expertise.

Engineering firms and Government departments were the worst hit, failing to fill about two thirds of positions.

Many companies said that increasingly they had to recruit from overseas. ...

A quarter of the companies – which included BAE Systems, Barclays Bank, BP, Google, ICI, KPMG, Rolls-Royce and Tesco – said they recruited from overseas last year to find the "very best talent available".

Leading universities complained this month that they have had to give new students crash courses in literacy and numeracy – and even extend degree courses by a year – because many leave school lacking basic skills.
[Newspaper link]


Cheap migrant labour 'to trap Britons in life without job'
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 2 January 2008

A generation of low-skilled British workers risks being trapped in unemployment by record immigration, a study suggests.

The report claims to explode the myth that foreign workers are simply doing work which others do not want or filling newly-created jobs.

It says a combination of generous benefits and immigrant labour willing to work for low wages will create "an underclass of discouraged British workers".

Despite rising unemployment, migrant workers continue to pour into Britain to fill job vacancies. Research by the pressure group Migrationwatch indicates that this is because there is little financial incentive for people with families living on benefits to find employment. More than 1.3 million immigrants have come here to work in the past 10 years even though there are 3.5 million British people on Jobseeker's Allowance or incapacity benefit. ...

The study reinforces the findings of research by Frank Field, the former Labour minister.

He showed that immigrant workers were trapping British-born people in unemployment. The higher the level of immigration in an area, the harder it is for the unemployed to come off Jobseeker's Allowance.
[Newspaper link]


Non-EU workers 'to compete for British white-collar posts'
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 2 January 2008

Thousands of British lawyers and accountants could lose out in the job market to rivals from developing countries under plans to relax rules on how well-paid white-collar jobs in Britain are filled, The Daily Telegraph can disclose. ...

Under the Resident Labour Market Test, companies currently have to advertise all of their jobs within the EU for a set period of weeks before offering them to people from outside the EU.

However, under new plans to be introduced later this year as a result of a shake-up of the Government's immigration policy, the requirement will not apply to well-paid jobs. ...

James Clappison, the Tory MP who uncovered the plans, said: "This plans allows employers to bypass British workers. The question the Government must answer is, how does this help British workers to get British jobs?"
[Newspaper link]



Environment – Australia
Greens say immigration bad for environment
The Australian, 22 September 2009

Australia's population soared by almost half a million people in the year to March - a boom not seen since the 1960s.

A green group says that's no cause for celebration and has called for immigration to be cut to protect the environment.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data released today shows the population increased by just over two per cent - or 439,000 people - in the year to March.

There are now 21.8 million of us.

Most of the recent increase - almost 300,000 people - was due to immigration.

But there's also a mini-baby boom, with 160,000 babies entering the world during the year.

Recent research showed Australia's population would balloon to 35 million - seven million more than previously thought - on the strength of immigration and births over the next 40 years.

The Government said the population boom was great news because it meant the economy would keep growing.

But some green groups say enough is enough.

Australian Conservation Foundation spokesman Charles Berger said the growing population was on a collision course with the environment.

More people - as outlined in the ABS data - meant more greenhouse pollution, poorer river health and struggling infrastructure.

Every extra million people added 25 million tonnes of greenhouse pollution, Mr Berger said.

He called for migration to be cut to "more sustainable levels".

"We cannot continue to add the equivalent of a city larger than Canberra every year to Australia's population and still expect to maintain the health of our environment and our quality of life."

The ABS data showed Western Australia was leading the population proliferation, while Tasmania lagged in last place.

All states and territories recorded an increase.
[Site link]


Environment – USA
The Environmental Argument for Reducing Immigration to the United States
Winthrop Staples III and Philip Cafaro
Center for Immigration Studies, June 2009

This Backgrounder argues that a serious commitment to environmentalism entails ending America's population growth by implementing a more restrictive immigration policy. The need to limit immigration necessarily follows when we combine a clear statement of our main environmental goals – living sustainably and sharing the landscape generously with other species – with uncontroversial accounts of our current demographic trajectory and of the negative environmental effects of U.S. population growth, nationally and globally.

At the current level of 1.5 million immigrants per year, America's population of 306 million is set to increase to over 700 million people by 2100. Recent "reform" proposals would actually increase immigration to over two million annually, which has the potential to nearly triple our population to over 850 million by the end of the century. Conversely, scaling back immigration to 200,000 per year would greatly reduce America's population growth, according to studies by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Given the many issues that environmentalists must deal with and the contentious nature of immigration debates, it is understandable that many of us would prefer to avoid them. But the reality is that across the country, environmentalists are losing the battle to create a sustainable society and protect wild nature. Sprawl development destroys 2.2 million acres of wild lands and agricultural lands each year; over 1300 plant and animal species remain on the endangered species list, with more added each year; water shortages in the west and southeast are being used to justify new river-killing dams and reservoirs; and U.S. carbon emissions continue to rise. Obviously, we haven't figured out how to create a sustainable society with 300 million inhabitants. It's not plausible to think we will be able to do so with two or three times as many people.

Still, there are arguments against reducing U.S. immigration that deserve consideration. In what follows, we analyze the main moral, environmental, and economic arguments for the mass immigration status quo, or for even more expansive immigration policies. In the end, we find them unconvincing. We conclude that Americans must choose between allowing continued high levels of immigration and creating a sustainable society.
[Site link]


Environment – USA, fraud, identity theft
Illegal, but Not Undocumented: Identity Theft, Document Fraud, and Illegal Employment
Ronald W. Mortensen
Center for Immigration Studies, June 2009

This Backgrounder examines illegal immigration-related document fraud and identity theft that is committed primarily for the purpose of employment. It debunks three common misconceptions: illegal aliens are "undocumented;" the transgressions committed by illegal aliens to obtain jobs are minor; and illegal-alien document fraud and identity theft are victimless crimes. It discusses how some community leaders rationalize these crimes, contributing to a deterioration of the respect for laws in our nation, and presents a variety of remedies, including more widespread electronic verification of work status (E-Verify and the Social Security Number Verification Service) and immigrant outreach programs to explain the ramifications and risks of document fraud and identity theft.

The findings include:

• Illegal immigrants are not "undocumented." They have fraudulent documents such as counterfeit Social Security cards, forged drivers licenses, fake "green cards," and phony birth certificates. Experts suggest that approximately 75 percent of working-age illegal aliens use fraudulent Social Security cards to obtain employment.

• Most (98 percent) Social Security number (SSN) thieves use their own names with stolen numbers. The federal E-Verify program, now mandated in only 14 states, can detect this fraud. Universal, mandatory use of E-Verify would curb this and stop virtually 100 percent of child identity theft.

• Illegal immigration and high levels of identity theft go hand-in-hand. States with the most illegal immigration also have high levels of job- related identity theft. ...

• Children are prime targets. In Arizona, it is estimated that over one million children are victims of identity theft. In Utah, 1,626 companies were found to be paying wages to the SSNs of children on public assistance under the age of 13. These individuals suffer very real and very serious consequences in their lives.

• Illegal aliens commit felonies in order to get jobs. Illegal aliens who use fraudulent documents, perjure themselves on I-9 forms, and commit identity theft in order to get jobs are committing serious offenses and are not "law abiding."

• Illegally employed aliens send billions of dollars annually to their home countries, rather than spending it in the United States and helping stimulate the American economy. In October 2008 alone, $2.4 billion was transferred to Mexico.

• Tolerance of corruption erodes the rule of law. Corruption is a serious problem in most illegal aliens' home countries. Allowing it to flourish here paves the way for additional criminal activity and increased corruption throughout society.

• Leaders support perpetrators and ignore victims. Political, civic, religious, business, education, and media leaders blame Americans for "forcing" illegal aliens to commit document fraud and identity theft. No similar concern is expressed for the American men, women, and children whose lives are destroyed in the process.

• The Social Security Administration and Internal Revenue Service facilitate illegal immigrant-driven identity theft. Both turn a blind eye to massive SSN fraud and take no action to stop it. The Social Security Administration assigns SSNs to new-born infants that are being used illegally. The IRS demands that victims pay taxes on wages earned by illegal aliens using their stolen SSNs, while taking no action to stop the identity theft.
[Site link]


Environment – ecology
Immigration to the United States and World-Wide Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Steven Camarota, Leon Kolankiewicz
Center for Immigration Studies, August 2008

The findings of this study indicate that future levels of immigration will have a significant impact on efforts to reduce global CO2 emissions. Immigration to the United States significantly increases world-wide CO2 emissions because it transfers population from lower-polluting parts of the world to the United States, which is a higher-polluting country. On average immigrants increase their emissions four-fold by coming to America. ...

U.S. immigrants produce an estimated 637 million metric tons of CO2 emissions annually – equal to Great Britain and Sweden combined.

The estimated 637 tons of CO2 U.S. immigrants produce annually is 482 million tons more than they would have produced had they remained in their home countries.

If the 482 million ton increase in global CO2 emissions caused by immigration to the United States were a separate country, it would rank 10th in the world in emissions. ...

The above figures do not include the impact of children born to immigrants in the United States. If they were included, the impact would be much higher.

Assuming no change in U.S. immigration policy, 30 million new legal and illegal immigrants are expected to settle in the United States in the next 20 years.

In recent years, increases in U.S. CO2 emissions have been driven entirely by population increases as per capita emissions have stabilized.
[Site link]


Environment – population
Eco-towns 'are veneer to plans for 3m homes'
Tom Peterkin
Daily Telegraph, 14 May 2008

The eco-towns planned by Gordon Brown are a "green veneer" to mask the impact of a programme to build three million new homes, conservationists said yesterday.

Building the 10 communities in the heart of England would be environmentally unfriendly, urbanise the countryside and increase traffic congestion, campaigners said. ...

Paul De Zylva, a co-ordinator for Friends of the Earth, England, said he was concerned that eco-towns would be window-dressing to deflect from plans to build three million new houses by 2020. ...

Kate Gordon, of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: "No amount of green veneer is going to overcome the fundamental problems that they are in the wrong place.

"Most of these developments are going to be completely car-based."
[Newspaper link]


Environment – global warming
Warming to bring flood of migrants, warns EU
Bruno Waterfield
Daily Telegraph, 11 March 2008

Climate change threatens Britain with "environmentally induced migration", according to a report from the European Union.

The EU analysis of the security threats posed by global warming predicts social unrest as an influx of immigration sweeps "destination" Europe, following failing harvests and environmental conflicts in the world's poorest countries.

"There will be millions of 'environmental' migrants by 2020, with climate change as one of the major drivers," states the report. "Such migration may increase conflicts in transit and destination areas."

The report, written by Javier Solana, the EU foreign policy chief, and Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the Commissioner for External Relations, forecasts the rise of vicious new conflicts following the impact of climate change. ...

The EU report also raises the spectre of water wars in the Middle East, where two thirds of the region relies on external supplies.

"Existing tensions over access to water are almost certain to intensify in the region, leading to further political instability with detrimental implications for Europe's energy security and other interests. Water supply in Israel might fall by 60 per cent over this century," the paper says.
[Newspaper link]



Extremism – Islam, education
Islamic terrorists find sanctuary in British campuses
Douglas Murray
Daily Telegraph, 28 December 2009

There are many examples of Muslim students who have followed the same path – for whom British universities have provided an ideal environment to foster their violent opinions.

This is because university authorities refuse to admit they have a problem. In doing so, they have abandoned the duty of care they owe their students and the duty they owe the British taxpayers who pay their wages. ...

In November, hijacked by a radical fringe of students, the LSE union voted to twin with the Hamas-founded Islamic University of Gaza.

Dr Ahmed Abu Halabiyah, the university's rector of Advanced Studies, says: "The Jews are the Jews. They are all liars. They must be butchered and they must be killed." ...

Islamic extremism is an ideology. Yet at every level of British public life this is either denied or pandered to.

That ideology is not inbuilt. That it is taught on our universities, at our expense, reflects a societal madness.
[Newspaper link]


Extremism – education, racism, asylum
The class debate: 'all whites are fascists'
Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 18 November 2009

Pupils are being asked to debate whether "all white people are fascists" as part of classes to combat violent extremism.

The lessons are being held in Lancashire, which has a high proportion of pupils from black and Asian families, before being expanded to other areas. Children are also required to challenge the view that "all Muslims are extremists".

Teachers are encouraged to lead pupils as young as 11 in discussions about racist stereotypes to stop children being groomed by radical groups. ...

Another exercise aims to dispel common "myths and stereotypes" surrounding asylum seekers. This includes views that they are a "drain on the UK economy".
[Newspaper link]


Extremism – Islam, discrimination
Non-believers should have their heads cut off, said army killer
Nick Allen
Daily Telegraph, 9 November 2009

Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the gunman who killed 13 at the Fort Hood military base in Texas, once gave a lecture to other doctors in which he said non-believers should be beheaded and have boiling oil poured down their throats.

He also told colleagues at America's leading military hospital that non-Muslims were infidels condemned to hell who should be set on fire.

The outburst came during an hour-long talk Hasan, an army psychiatrist, gave on the Koran in front of dozens of other doctors at Walter Reed Army Medical Centre in Washington DC, where he worked for six years before arriving at Fort Hood in July. ...

Fellow doctors have recounted how they were repeatedly harangued by Hasan about religion and that he openly claimed to be a "Muslim first and American second". One Army doctor who knew him said a fear of appearing discriminatory against a Muslim soldier had stopped fellow officers from filing formal complaints. ...

One of Hasan's neighbours described how on the day of the massacre, about 9am, he gave her a Koran and told her: "I'm going to do good work for God" before leaving for the base.
[Newspaper link]


Extremism – education
Funds for 'extremist' schools suspended
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 1 November 2009

Schools run by members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an Islamic extremist group, have had their public funding suspended and will be placed under investigation after the payments were exposed by The Sunday Telegraph.
[Newspaper link]


Extremism – Islam, politics
Islamists who want to destroy the state get £100,000 funding
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 25 October 2009

Leading members of a group that wants to bring down the British state and replace it with a dictatorship under Islamic law have secured more than £100,000 of taxpayers' money for a chain of schools.

Accounts filed at the Charity Commission show that the Government paid a total of £113,411 last year to a foundation run by senior members and activists of Hizb ut-Tahrir – a notorious Islamic extremist group that ministers promised to ban.

The public money helped run a nursery school and two Islamic primary schools where children are taught key elements of Hizb's ideology from the age of five. ...

Hizb regards integration as "dangerous" and says that British Muslims should "fight assimilation" into British society. It wants to create a global Islamic superstate, or "caliphate", initially in Muslim-majority countries and then across the rest of the world. ...

Hizb, which operates worldwide, insists it is non-violent and condemned the London bombings. ...

Its anti-Semitism has resulted in the group being banned in Germany and on some British university campuses.

After the bombings in London on July 7, 2005, Tony Blair, who was then prime minister, also promised to ban Hizb, describing it as "fanatical".

A ban has not been introduced but the Tories have pledged to outlaw the group and the Home Office continues to regard it as an "organisation of concern".

The three schools – in Tottenham, north London, and Slough, Berks – are run by the Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation, a registered charity. The foundation's lead trustee is Yusra Hamilton, a leading Hizb activist who is married to Taji Mustafa, the group's chief spokesman in Britain.

At least three of the four trustees are Hizb members or activists, including Farah Ahmed, the head teacher of the Slough school, who has written in a Hizb journal condemning the "corrupt Western concepts of materialism and freedom". ...

The spokesman claimed that Mrs Hamilton resigned two years ago. However, Charity Commission records, accessed yesterday show that she remains the lead trustee.

In January 2009, Mrs Hamilton was described by Ofsted, the schools inspectorate, as the "proprietor" of the Shakhsiyah Foundation's Slough school. The Foundation's annual report of December 2008 shows her as a trustee.

Mrs Hamilton is listed on the electoral roll as residing just around the corner from the Foundation's Tottenham school, with Mr Mustafa under his real name, Urutajirinere Fombo. ...

The Shakhsiyah Foundation spokesman said the government money, from Whitehall's "Free Entitlement" and "Pathfinder" programmes, had been claimed by parents on behalf of the school.

However, a spokesman for Haringey council, which administered the grant, said this was incorrect and that the foundation had applied for the money. ...

A Department for Children, Schools and Families spokesman said: "We give that money to local authorities and they are responsible for ensuring that providers are appropriate."
[Site link]


Extremism – politics, BNP, Islam
Our smug leaders have done nothing to see off the BNP
Charles Moore
Daily Telegraph, 24 October 2009

... we are slipshod in our definition of extremism. The BNP certainly is extreme, because hate is intrinsic to its message. But our Government has active links with people who are more extreme. There are Islamist groups which support Hamas suicide bombings, the killing of homosexuals (Mr Griffin merely finds it "creepy" when they kiss in public) and the killing of British troops in Afghanistan. These groups engage with the state, and even get taxpayers' money. The Government justifies this with the weird theory that it is only the hard men who can hold back the even harder men from violence. So the hard men get the leverage. ...

When establishment figures say that the attitudes of the BNP help prepare the ground for violence, they are right. But they do not apply this logic to their engagement with Islamism – the only form of extremism which nowadays kills large numbers of our fellow citizens. ...

The strongest common characteristic of such BNP supporters is pessimism. They feel they are sinking to the bottom of the pile, and that people from other countries are being privileged over them by the public services. If they complain, they are told they are racist. It is not surprising that they say things like "My country is being taken away from me". They are not completely mistaken.

Nick Griffin made one good point on Thursday night. After he had been mocked for speaking about the "indigenous" people of Britain, he countered that Jack Straw et al would not dare mock Maoris or American Indians for insisting on their indigenous status. Why shouldn't British whites, he asked, do the same?

The answer, of course, should not lie in giving group rights to any race or tribe, but in offering a reasonable degree of hope to all citizens of our country. It shows how much that hope has been extinguished among poorer whites that twerps like Mr Griffin are now in with a chance.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
Now Muslims demand full sharia law
Martyn Brown
Daily Express, 15 October 2009

A Radical Muslim group sparked outrage last night as it launched a massive campaign to impose sharia law on Britain.

The fanatical group Islam4UK has announced plans to hold a potentially incendiary rally in London later this month.

And it is calling for a complete upheaval of the British legal system, its officials and legislation.

Members have urged Muslims from all over Britain to converge on the capital on October 31 for a procession to demand the full implementation of sharia law.

On a website to promote their cause they deride British institutions, showing a mock-up picture of Nelson's Column surmounted by a minaret.

Plans for the demonstration have been delivered to the Metropolitan Police and could see up to 5,000 extremists marching to demand the controversial system.

The procession – dubbed March 4 Shari'ah – will start at the House of Commons, which the group's website describes as the "very place where the lives of millions of people in the UK are changed and it is from here where unjust wars are launched".

The group then intends to march to 10 Downing Street and "call for the removal of the tyrant Gordon Brown from power".

The march will then converge on Trafalgar Square where protesters expect it "will gather even more support from tourists and members of the public, making clear in the heart of London the need for Shari'ah in society".

The group declared: "We hereby request all Muslims in the United Kingdom, in Manchester, Leeds, Cardiff, Glasgow and all other places to join us and collectively declare that as submitters to Almighty Allah, we have had enough of democracy and man-made law and the depravity of the British culture.

"On this day we will call for a complete upheaval of the British ruling system its members and legislature, and demand the full implementation of Shari'ah in Britain."

Last night politicians and fellow Muslims condemned the group's incendiary comments, which come in the wake of recent violent incidents in towns and cities like Manchester, Birmingham and Luton, Beds. ...

Plans for the march are revealed on the website Islam4UK, which is fronted by preacher Anjem Choudary who has also called for all British women to wear burkhas.

Explaining the Nelson's Column mock-up he said that under sharia law the construction and elevation of statues or idols is prohibited and consequently the statue of Nelson "would be removed and demolished without hesitation". At the base of the column the friezes would be replaced with Islamic decoration and giant urns would be filled with gold coins for the poor.

Mr Choudary has said that under sharia law in Britain people who commit adultery would be stoned to death, adding that "anyone who becomes intoxicated by alcohol would be given 40 lashes in public".

He has also mocked the deaths of British soldiers, and branded an Army homecoming parade a "vile parade of brutal murderers".
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
Sharia helps women, says Obama adviser
Andrew Gilligan
Daily Telegraph, 9 October 2009

President Barack Obama's adviser on Muslim affairs has provoked controversy by appearing on a British television show hosted by a member of an extremist group to talk about Islamic law.

Dalia Mogahed, appointed to the President's Council on Faith-Based and Neighbourhood Partnerships, said the Western view of sharia – Islamic law – was "oversimplified" and the majority of women around the world associated it with "gender justice".

The White House adviser made the remarks on a London-based television discussion programme hosted by Ibtihal Bsis, a member of the extremist Hizb ut Tahrir party.

The group believes in the non-violent destruction of Western democracy and the creation of an Islamic state under sharia across the world.

Miss Mogahed appeared alongside Hizb ut Tahrir's national women's officer, Nazreen Nawaz.

During the 45-minute discussion, on the Islam Channel programme Muslimah Dilemma earlier this week, the two members of the group made repeated attacks on secular "man-made law" and the West's "lethal cocktail of liberty and capitalism".
[Newspaper link]


Extremism – Right-wing, racism, Muslims
Terrorism focus to include white racists
James Kirkup and Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 10 August 2009

Britain's central strategy for combating extremism is being revised to focus on white racist groups as well as radical Muslims.

Shahid Malik, the communities minister, yesterday said that a part of the "Prevent" strategy is also being renamed to avoid alienating British Muslims.

Prevent was launched in 2006 as part of the Government's four "Ps" anti-terrorism agenda – Prevent, Pursue, Protect and Prepare.

It aims to combat extremism by promoting "community cohesion" among all sections of society, but is widely seen as focusing on British Muslims.

"We are broadening our approach to involve all communities in developing shared values to strengthen cohesion," said Mr Malik.

"This includes putting a renewed focus on resisting Right-wing, racist extremism." ...

Mr Malik said that aspects of the Government's approach to extremism have alienated some British Muslims. ...

"It is not just about the Muslim, it is actually about everybody in our society having a role to play and we cannot dismiss or underestimate the threat from the far-Right."
[Newspaper link]


Extremism – Islam
The Appeasers
Stephen Pollard, the editor of The Jewish Chronicle
New York Times, 24 July 2009
[Book review: "Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom" by Bruce Bawer]

There is no more important issue facing the West than Islamism, Islamofascism or – to use yet another label – radical Islam. And there is no more necessary precondition to countering that threat than understanding it: where it springs from, how it is expressed and the ways in which it is spreading. ...

For the United States, the danger so far has taken the form of terror, as 9/11 so clearly demonstrated. In Europe, terror is real too, but a more insidious problem has now taken hold: many liberals and others on the European left are making common cause with radical Islam and then brazenly and bizarrely denying both the existence of that alliance and in fact the existence of any Islamist threat whatever.

Bruce Bawer's "Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom" is focused on this phenomenon. ...

But it's when he turns to Europe that Bawer is able to provide example upon example of how the West is becoming its own worst enemy. He cites, for instance, the welcome offered by the former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, to the Muslim cleric Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who supports suicide bombing and the execution of homosexuals. Livingstone proudly hugged Qaradawi in public at City Hall.

That alliance between a man who is presumed to be a proud liberal – Livingstone was a member of the same Labour Party as the prime minister at the time, Tony Blair – and a Muslim cleric who would return the West to barbarism was far from unique. ... ...

"Surrender" is, at times, hard going. In part that is because of the level of detail Bawer offers in support of his argument. But "Surrender" is hard going in another respect as well. Bawer is unquestionably correct, and that fact is quite simply terrifying.
[Site link]


Extremism – crime, terrorism, politics
Take it easy on Muslim extremists, police told
Macer Hall
Daily Express, 11 July 2009

Guidelines will tell forces to press for conviction only in cases of clear-cut criminal acts.

Officers will be advised not to proceed when evidence of lawbreaking is "borderline".

Examples of crimes to which a blind eye may be turned include incitement to religious hatred or viewing extremist material on the internet.

Last night critics warned that the move could mean Islamic radicals being give the freedom to encourage violence.

Some saw the move as a politically correct attempt to appease extremists who hate Britain.

It could even mean officers tolerating many activities of Muslim preachers of hate like the hook-handed cleric Abu Hamza.

Tory MP David Davies said: "This sounds like abject surrender. Everyone should be equal in the eyes of the law.

"It doesn't matter whether someone is suspected of incitement to hatred or shoplifting – they should all face the same risk of prosecution.

"There should be no special favours or treatment for any section of the community."

Officials insist there is no suggestion that people who have clearly committed offences will avoid prosecution.

Instead, they want to avoid alienating Muslims on the fringes of extremism by dragging them to court over petty allegations unlikely to result in conviction.

One fear is that some young Muslims are falling under the influence of extremist preachers while serving prison sentences or on remand awaiting trial.

A senior Whitehall official said the guidance was being drawn up as part of a drive to use persuasion rather than the criminal justice system to fight extremism.

He added: "The aim is to stop people being dragged into extremism.

"We are not talking about letting someone off who has committed a clear offence, but where it is unclear if an offence has been committed.

"For instance, where there has been incitement or someone has been on the internet there can be a grey area where there is some discretion and it would be more sensible to avoid going down the criminal route."

The Government's counter-terrorism board is drawing up the advice, which will be sent to all police forces, including the Metropolitan, later this year. ...

But the new strategy is likely to reduce the likelihood of prosecutions against Islamist extremists protesting against troops.

In Luton earlier this year, protesters displayed placards bearing the words "butchers" and "animals" at a homecoming parade for 2nd Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment. There were no arrests for incitement. ...

The latest move represents a reversal of the policy introduced under Tony Blair in the wake of the terrorist attacks in London in 2005, when as Prime Minister he called for an overhaul of the criminal justice system to root out and prosecute extremists.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam, political correctness
The new threat to freedom of expression
Paula Schriefer
Christian Science Monitor, 30 March 2009

"In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression – everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way – everywhere in the world."

These are the first two freedoms of President Franklin Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms" speech, which has special urgency today. ... These two rights are absolutely fundamental to our humanity. And yet they've been under unceasing assault over the course of history.

These assaults continue today. On Friday, the UN Human Rights Council approved a resolution that calls on states to limit criticism of religions – specifically Islam. This is the tenth time such a resolution has passed at the UN's primary human rights body. Pakistan, on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, began introducing similar resolutions in 1999 arguing that Islam – the only religion specifically cited in the text – must be shielded from unfair associations with terrorism and human rights abuses.

These so-called "defamation of religions" resolutions also have a perfect record at the UN General Assembly, where the latest version passed in December. The resolutions contain some very appealing language, steeped in standard human rights values such as dialogue, harmony, and tolerance – all good things.

But don't be fooled; the resolutions only give clever lip service to these values. In reality they are calling for laws and actions that prohibit dialogue by declaring certain topics off limits for discussion, leading to intolerance of any view that some Muslims may find offensive. For instance, criticizing the practice of polygamy or the greater weight given to the testimony of men over women in sharia law would be forbidden. Such laws that prohibit blasphemy, defamation, or the defiling of Islam already exist in many of the countries that support the defamation of religions resolutions.

Who decides what views defame religion? Governments, of course. And the governments of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) have some of the worst records of respecting freedom of expression and belief in the world. ...

Of course, the very idea that you can defame a religion at all flies in the face of both fundamental rights of expression and belief. A religion, like all ideas and beliefs, must be open to debate, discussion, and even criticism. For this reason, religions themselves do not have rights. Rights belong exclusively to people.

Nonetheless, these resolutions present a win-win scenario for OIC countries. They serve to legitimize the repression of minority voices at home, while scoring points with religious leaders and Islamic fundamentalists by fueling views of an antagonistic and "Islamophobic" Western world. Extremists are thus tacitly encouraged to take action against any who dare to defame their religious sensibilities. ...

Never mind that human rights law was set up to protect the rights of human beings and not beliefs. This is the next battlefield at the UN and it is not one we should be prepared to lose.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
Stop pandering to enemies of our way of life
Ruth Dudley Edwards
Daily Telegraph, 12 March 2009

Fear is the only reason that Muslim groups receive special treatment. Why else would the representatives or around two million people have money and time lavished on them in such an obscenely disproportionate way, while no one much bothers about the peaceable Hindus? And why else would the Government throw £90 million at PVE (Preventing Violent Extremism) – an unaccountable, contradictory, bureaucratically convoluted counter-terrorism initiative that has the authorities snuggle up to homophobic, misogynistic West-haters, just so long as they don't actually use violence?

The whole mess was highlighted this week in the Policy Exchange report Choosing Our Friends Wisely, which catalogues how the Government has empowered reactionaries, marginalised moderates and driven councils and police into bed with enemies of our way of life.
[Newspaper link]


Extremism – Islam
Taxpayers' cash supports radical Islam, says report
Duncan Gardham
Daily Telegraph, 9 March 2009

A generation of Muslims is being radicalised using the government funds that are supposed to be fighting the problem, a report warns.

An obsession with talking to extremists is undermining moderates, according to the report by the Policy Exchange think tank. ...

The Government has ploughed at least £90 million over three years into community groups as part of a project aimed at diverting Muslims from violent extremism.

But the project is not working, according to the report's authors Shiraz Maher, himself a former radical, and Martyn Frampton. "In many places it is actually making the situation worse," they say. "A new generation is being radicalised, sometimes with the very funds that are supposed to be countering radicalisation." ...

The link between violent and non-violent extremism has been "habitually underplayed in official documents," they say. ...

The report says West Midlands Police tolerated an extremist preacher despite his incendiary message against the West, women and homosexuals.

Tower Hamlets Council awarded a grant to the Cordoba Foundation, an Islamist pressure group