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.


More than 100 failed asylum seekers have gone missing in six months after being ordered to leave the country
Daily Mail, 18 November 2010

At least 100 failed asylum seekers have gone missing after being ordered to leave the UK since May, figures showed today.

A total of 176 unsuccessful asylum applicants absconded after authorities served them with removal notices, and a maximum of 75 have been tracked down since.

But the figure of 101 unaccounted for may be higher because of the way records are kept.

Tory MP David Nuttall, who uncovered the figures, said there could be 'hundreds' of failed asylum seekers in the country and that it was 'pointless' to tell people to leave if they could not be forced to do so.

The UK Border Agency said it makes 'strenuous efforts' to stop failed asylum seekers from absconding and that measures are in place to try and track them down.

In a written parliamentary reply to Mr Nuttall (Bury North), immigration minister Damian Green said 176 failed asylum seekers absconded between May 1 and October 31 this year after being served with removal notices.

Home Office figures showed 32 had subsequently been detained, 19 removed or embarked, and 24 had subsequently lodged a new application for asylum. But officials said the same individuals could be counted in more than one of the categories.

In the same period for 2009, 265 absconded with 94 subsequently detained, 43 removed or embarked, and 66 new applications lodged - leaving at least 62 unaccounted for.

'This is evidence that there are hundreds of failed asylum seekers somewhere in the country and we know not where,' Mr Nuttall said. ... ...

Around 25,000 asylum applications are received each year. In 2009, 72 per cent of applications - 17,545 cases - were refused.
[Site link]


Asylum – appeal, cost
Asylum seekers must pay to appeal
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 22 October 2010

Failed asylum seekers and immigrants who have been refused an entry visa will for the first time have to pay to appeal under plans that will raise tens of millions of pounds a year.

The move is also designed to cut unwarranted appeals. However, those on legal aid will be exempt from the charges, as will those fighting deportation, a revocation of leave to remain, or the removal of citizenship ... ...

... There were about 197,000 appeals in 2009-10. ...

Sir Andrew Green, the chairman of Migrationwatch, said the reform was "long overdue". "It is high time that we discourage appeals without merit that are simply designed to keep going around and around the system," he added.

Nine per cent of immigration appeals were subject to legal aid last year and as such would be exempt from any fees.
[Newspaper link]


Asylum – permanent permission to stay
Lunacy of the asylum scandal
Martyn Brown
Daily Express, 11 October 2010

Up to 2,000 failed asylum seekers are being allowed to stay in the UK every week thanks to a "back-door amnesty".

Alarming figures revealed last night that the policy has so far allowed more than 135,000 to legally take up residence.

The Home Office is giving them permanent permission to stay in a desperate attempt to clear a backlog of asylum cases. But the number could almost double to 240,000 if an estimated 100,000 dependants are included.

The Home Secretary Theresa May is said to have been shocked when she discovered the scale of the shambles inherited from Alan Johnson, her Labour predecessor.

But she is unable to stop the influx as the Government may face a wave of legal actions from any asylum seekers who are now refused residency.

Granting permanent residence is the first step towards full citizenship and entitles immigrants to full benefits. The decision is racking up massive future liabilities for taxpayers as each new permanent resident and their family can pick up between £500,000 and £1 million in lifetime benefits.

John Reid, then the Home Secretary, promised to clear up a backlog of 450,000 asylum cases when the problem emerged in 2006.

The Tories have discovered that rushing through hundreds of thousands of cases against a tight deadline meant proper checks on applicants' stories were not always made. Old cases were subject to simple paper reviews.

Only those applicants who were considered exceptional were sent questionnaires requiring additional information.

Guidelines for officials state that they should "expedite" cases if, for example, the UK Border Agency had been at fault for delays. Claimants are also rushed through if they threaten suicide.

A UK Border Agency spokesman said last night: "All 'legacy' cases are considered on their individual merits and we are confident that we will conclude the backlog by summer 2011."
[Site link]


Asylum – housing
Birmingham refuses more asylum seekers
Andy Bloxham
Daily Telegraph, 9 October 2010

Birmingham is to stop accepting asylum seekers because councillors want to give homes to local people instead.

Birmingham city council will not renew its five-year contract with the UK Border Agency, meaning not a single immigrant will be granted asylum there by the public sector after June next year.

John Lines, the councillor in charge of housing, said the decision was made because of the rising numbers of homeless people in the city, and was "not to save money, not political and not racist".

He said: "Hundreds of Brummies, hundreds of my people are in B&Bs instead of council-provided homes. Why should that be? My people have got to come first. The asylum seekers arrive here, they have a blooming family and they keep having children – it's a burden on the system.

"If people say I'm racist, then I'd say we've got Brummies of all colours here. But if you say I'm putting Birmingham people first, then, yes, I am."

The city is not the first to pull out of such a contract – Southampton ended its deal in 2004 – but it is rare. Under the contract, the Border Agency rents homes from the council, which then pays the asylum seekers the benefits to which they are entitled.

However, Mr Lines claimed Birmingham had taken in about 1,000 asylum seekers this year, mostly from Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and north Africa, while the agency had paid for only 200 homes.
[Newspaper link]


Asylum – Australia
Only 75 asylum seekers rejected since 2008
Simon Benson / The Daily Telegraph [Australia], 16 September 2010

The Federal Government has been forced to reveal that of the 6310 asylum seekers that arrived in Australia in the past two years only 75 have been rejected and returned to their country of origin.

With mainland detention centres now reaching bursting point, the Department of Immigration has effectively admitted it is struggling to deal with what the Opposition claimed was a growing humanitarian problem on Australian soil.

Yesterday, there were 4527 asylum seekers still packed into overcrowded centres across the country, 1000 beyond existing capacity.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen confirmed existing detention camps were under pressure but claimed the overcrowding was in part because of the increased number of rejections for asylum and the difficulty of repatriating people. ...

The new figures - released to parliament as answers to questions to a Senate hearing first raised by the Coalition in May - reveal that of the 6310 arrivals since October 2008, 2050 had been granted protection visas and only 75 had been removed from Australia. ...

Mr Bowen, who has been in the job only two days said on Tuesday: "I do acknowledge that there are real and significant pressures on our detention centres.

"They arise because of not only more elevated arrivals, but also an increased rejection rate." He said it was more time consuming to repatriate rejected persons while acceptances were much quicker.
[Site link]


Asylum: 'cover-up' over growing backlog of cases
Macer Hall
Daily Express, 8 September 2010

Immigration officials were last night accused of covering up a massive backlog of asylum claims that could take years to clear.

Fresh evidence of the asylum chaos left behind by the Labour Government has come to light with confidential figures revealing that the UK Border Agency is failing frequently to hit official targets for processing claims.

And thousands of failed asylum seekers are staying in Britain for months or even years rather than being sent to their country of origin.

A series of Freedom of Information requests made in an investigation by Channel Five News found that just 40 per cent of asylum cases are dealt with within six months compared with a Home Office target of 75 per cent.

And just three per cent of asylum applicants who arrived last year were removed from the UK within six months of arrival, statistics revealed.

The figures contrasted with official claims that 60 per cent of asylum claims are concluded within six months, and that overall half of asylum seekers are sent home. But officials rejected the cover-up allegations, insisting the new figures were based on "regional snapshots" of the system rather than the national picture.

Angry critics last night accused the Border Agency of "manipulating" statistics to hide the chaos. Tory MP David Davies said: "I'm appalled at the manipulation that has been going on at the Home Office.

"These figures suggest that month in, month out, only a tiny percentage of asylum seekers who shouldn't be here, are removed, except for the month they like to release where they got rid of significantly more." ...

Former PM Gordon Brown claimed to have got a grip on the explosion in asylum applications and insisted that a massive backlog of more than 200,000 was being cleared up. But new statistics suggest the backlog is piling up.

Data shows regional Border Agency offices are consistently missing targets. Official claims that 60 per cent of cases were concluded within six months seemed to be based solely on June. One Home Office source said: "Where we miss our aspirational targets, we're prepared to hold our hands up – but there has been no cover-up."

Many asylum seekers stayed for months and even years, despite having applications rejected, because of problems with travel documents or issues about what country they should go to.

UK Border Agency chief executive Lin Homer last night said: "The UK Border Agency is a world leader in focusing not just on taking decisions but concluding cases as well.

"The Asylum Improvement Project is seeking ways to fast track decisions, remove more people and reduce the asylum budget. Our asylum system needs to be faster and cheaper while improving the quality of decisions and ensuring we can remove those who do not need our protection."
[Site link]


Asylum – numbers
Agency 'Manipulating' Asylum Figures
Sky News, 8 September 2010

The Border Agency is struggling to cope with its asylum caseload and is only removing around 3% of new applicants entering Britain.

Figures obtained by Sky News reveal the agency is failing to meet government targets to complete cases in time and is creating a new backlog which could take years to clear.

Details of the problem surfaced in February after a whistleblower from the Border Agency suggested there was a cover-up regarding the figures.

The agency suggested 60% of new cases were being concluded every six months and that overall, around half of asylum seekers were being removed.

To conclude a case, the applicant must either be granted refugee status, or denied asylum. They are then supposed to be removed from the UK.

Yet a document leaked to a local newspaper revealed that in Wales, only 4% of new cases were being removed.

Using Freedom of Information law, Sky News obtained identical figures for the rest of the country to build a national snapshot of the asylum system.

We discovered that last year just 40% of cases were concluded within six months, far short of the target of 75%.

The conclusion rate of 60% released by the agency was for June, which just happens to have been a good month.

We also discovered that just 3% of asylum applicants who arrived last year were being removed within six months.

One reason is that Border Agency staff are still clearing a backlog of 200,000 old cases.
[Site link]


Asylum – politics
[Gordon Brown tried to blackmail me, says Blair]
Robert Winnett and Henry Samuel
Daily Telegraph, 1 September 2010
[Report about Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister, and his new book "A Journey"]

On the subject of regrets, he says that he and Jack Straw, the then home secretary, were not prepared for the explosion in asylum claims within three years of Labour gaining power. He describes the system as being "broken, incompetent".

He also expresses regret over not having done more to tackle the emerging underclass.
[Newspaper link]


Asylum – overpayment, mismanagement
Border agency costs us all £70m
Ted Jeory
Sunday Express, 1 August 2010

Bungling border officials are preparing to write off almost £70 million in bad debts, overpayments and compensation to asylum seekers.

A shocking catalogue of costly mistakes at the Home Office's UK Border Agency meant £26 million had to be written off in the last financial year.

And the agency paid out £13 million of benefits in error to would-be refugees since April 2008.

Astonishingly, a further £41 million has had to be set aside in special accounts to cover more bungles, including bad debts, overpayments and compensation claims, this year.

The agency's accounts reveal £12 million was overpaid last year to just six hostel owners for providing asylum seekers' accommodation.

Embarrassingly for the agency's Home Office bosses, £4.3 million ended up incorrectly in the pockets of the agency's own staff.

Failure to update salary changes and annual leave entitlements on payroll systems meant the agency overpaid more than 2,500 employees by an average of about £1,700 each.

Meanwhile three refugees who were unlawfully detained while border officials investigated their claims ended up being paid more than £330,000 each last year in compensation.

And settlements worth £2.1 million were reached with 40 under-18s who were wrongly detained as adults – an average of £52,000 each.

Yet in spite of the mistakes, 29 senior officials were paid £295,000 in bonuses in 2009. Bernard Jenkin, chairman of the Commons Public Administration Committee said: "The public administration of the civil service has become increasingly dysfunctional.

"The whole basis of civil administration in the UK has to be a huge agenda for the new government."

The losses are detailed in the Border Agency's annual report, published last week. Most embarrassing of the errors is the £13.1 million in benefits overpaid to asylum seekers in the past two years.

Officials found that payments still being made to claimants when support should have ended totalled £9.6 million during 2008/09 and £3.5 million during 2009/10.

About £1.9 million went to asylum seekers whose applications had already failed.
[Site link]


Asylum – employment
Up to 45,000 failed asylum seekers given right to work in Britain by Supreme Court
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 29 July 2010

Tens of thousands of failed asylum seekers were granted the right to work in the UK yesterday in a landmark court ruling.

It affects around 45,000 whose applications have already been rejected at least once, but who have not been deported.

Home Office officials argued that an EU directive - which gives asylum seekers the right to work after 12 months - should not apply to them because it would encourage applicants to abuse the system by making repeated claims.

But the Supreme Court ruled that failed asylum seekers whose cases have not been dealt with after 12 months must be given access to jobs.

Many of those affected are part of Labour's backlog of 450,000 asylum claims - which are still being processed.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the MigrationWatch think tank, said: 'There has been a succession of court decisions which take no account of the real world in which our Home Office has to operate.

'It is no service to genuine refugees to make the asylum system progressively more open to abuse. Yet again EU directives have unintended and unwelcome consequences for Britain.'

Reacting to the judgment, Tory ministers said they were considering restricting the asylum seekers to industries in which there was already a proven shortage of workers.

Immigration minister Damian Green said: 'This judgement will only have a short-term effect. The long delays in the asylum system will be resolved by the summer of next year when all the older asylum cases are concluded.'
[Site link]


Asylum – costs
Asylum target to be scrapped
Daily Telegraph, 29 July 2010

An asylum target to deal with most cases within six months is to be scrapped, it can be disclosed.

The move will form part of a review of the asylum system to be announced by Damian Green, the Immigration Minister, today.

A target to deal with three quarters of asylum claims within six months is already being missed but Mr Green will say the decision is designed to speed up cases rather than lead to further delays.

He will propose to cut the £500 million annual bill to support asylum applicants as part of the eight-month project to assess how the system can work more effectively.
[Newspaper link]


Gay refugees have right to cocktails and Kylie, says judge
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 8 July 2010

Homosexual asylum seekers should be free to come to Britain to enjoy "Kylie concerts and exotic cocktails", the Supreme Court ruled yesterday. ...

Lord Rodger made his comments as he and four other Supreme Court justices unanimously ruled against a Home Office policy of rejecting asylum claims from homosexuals on the basis that they could avoid ill-treatment in their homeland by being discreet. The policy breached their "fundamental rights".

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, accepted the ruling and announced the immediate end of the policy.

The Supreme Court indicated that Britain could expect to see "more and more" foreign homosexual men and women seeking protection here because of the "huge gulf" in attitudes between societies. The decision raised concerns that some asylum seekers may falsely claim to be homosexual in the hope of being granted shelter. ...

Donna Covey, chief executive of the Refugee Council, said: "It is hugely encouraging that the Supreme Court has today ruled in favour of gay asylum seekers."

But Sir Andrew Green, the chairman of Migrationwatch, said: "This could lead to a potentially massive expansion of asylum claims as it could apply to literally millions of people around the world."
[Newspaper link]


Asylum – refugees
Living in Limbo: The Asylum Problem
Krista Mahr and Tanjung Pinang
Time, 5 July 2010

According to the U.N., there were over 15 million recognized refugees around the world at the beginning of 2009, and another 826,000 asylum seekers. More than half of the world's refugees are in Asia and another 22% are in Africa; both regions where many governments are ill-equipped, legally and economically, to handle the volumes of people requesting protection in their borders. The 59-year-old Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was designed to help Europeans dispersed during World War II return home in an orderly fashion. Now it's charged with aiding the millions who sweep the earth as they flee bloodshed, repression or poverty. ...

The world's humanitarian resolve, so evident after 1945, is weakening as governments throw up higher walls to both keep out economic migrants and ramp up security. In some countries with high influxes of refugees and those seeking asylum – such as Italy, Indonesia and Malaysia – nearly 90% of the population favors more stringent restrictions on immigration, according to a 2007 Pew Research Center poll. ... Indeed, the very definition of refugee is no longer adequate for the vast ranks of those who are fleeing wretched or violent states but are driven, rather, by a desire to better themselves economically. ...

Once they're away from their home country, refugees can expect to wait. For most, finding a new home in a third country is a distant dream. No state is obligated to offer permanent homes to refugees in transit countries; in 2008, the UNHCR helped 88,000 people resettle out of the 10.5 million recognized refugees that it works with (and that doesn't count the many more whose applications for that legal status are pending). ... ...

Today, 147 countries have agreed to international standards for processing people who claim asylum at their borders, but Indonesia is not among them. It does not have laws distinguishing asylum seekers from illegal immigrants. In fact, while most of Europe, Africa and Latin America has signed the 1951 treaty, only a handful of Asian nations recognize global refugee rights, even though millions under the UNHCR's mandate are in the region. ... ...

... With more agreements like the one between Italy and Libya likely to be struck, asylum claims to Europe are dropping – down to 287,000 in 2009 from 445,000 a decade earlier. Since Italy started taking a tougher stance last year, the number of Eritreans taking an alternate route to Europe via Turkey to Greece, where asylum infrastructure is less developed, has doubled. "When you close the door, someone tends to open a window. If you close the window, someone will dig a tunnel," says Guterres of the UNHCR. "Smugglers are well informed."
[Site link]


Britain top spot in Europe for refugees
Tom Lawrence
Daily Star, 21 June 2010

More asylum seekers flooded into the UK than any other country in Europe last year.

Britain took in 12,510 refugees in 2009, which was an annual rise of 22%.

More than a third came from Zimbabwe, despite the Government offering £6,000 to help them return home. Refugees from Afghanistan made up the second largest group.

The latest figures released by the EU underline how the UK has become one of the most popular destinations for refugees.

It now grants protection status to more people a year than either Germany or France.

Britain came top of the asylum table followed by the Germans, who let in 12,055 refugees.

France came third, allowing 10,415 asylum seekers over its borders and Sweden was fourth with 9,085. ...

A total of 26.9% of the 44,890 asylum applications were accepted by the Home Office, about average for the EU.

However, 30% of the denied applications were approved on appeal, 11% higher than the EU average.
[Site link]


More than 40,000 still waiting for asylum ruling
Daily Telegraph, 15 April 2010

An asylum backlog of more than 40,000 cases has built up, with some four years old, Home Office figures show.

The delays have developed while officials focused on clearing a larger, historic backlog discovered in 2006.

Since then, 95,990 asylum applications have been made, of which 40,640 have not been concluded.
[Newspaper link]


Asylum – backlog
[Backlog of asylum claims]
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 7 April 2010

The Home Office will not clear a backlog of 450,000 historic asylum claims by next summer as promised, MPs warn today. The home affairs select committee said concerns by the new chief inspector of the border agency that work was not on track "confirmed our fears that the historic case-load of asylum applications will not be cleared by the deadline".
[Newspaper link]


Asylum – border security
We punish those we should protect
The Observer, 14 March 2010
[Leading article]

In September 2004, Tony Blair set out a new public sector performance target. By the end of the following year the number of failed asylum seekers being deported each month would exceed the number of new applicants.

This benchmark has come to be known as the asylum "tipping point", the implication being that too many migrants were taking sanctuary in Britain under false pretences and most should be swiftly dispatched to their countries of origin.

The target was missed, but only just, and not for want of trying. ... Some of the brutal consequences are now coming to light. An official report last week accused the UK Border Agency of failing to investigate claims of abuse in privately run detention centres for failed asylum seekers. ... ...

A picture is emerging of a system in crisis, not because it is failing to deliver its objectives but because its zeal in pursuit of those objectives is making it inhumane.

But seen from the government's perspective, asylum policy is a success story. In the last three months of 2009, there were 4,765 new claims, a 30% reduction in the number of applications compared with the previous year and the lowest level since 1992. The fact that fewer people seek refuge in Britain proves, according to Phil Woolas, immigration minister, that "our border has never been stronger".

That might be true, but the boast contains a nasty subtext. The implication is that asylum applications are just another kind of immigration, one of the various channels that foreigners use to acquire the privilege of living in Britain; a breach in the fortress wall to be defended.

By extension, the 200,000 asylum seekers whose cases have yet to be ruled upon are viewed by many officials, and much of the public, as "illegals" in all but name. The task is to expose their lies and throw them overboard.

Around 70% of asylum applications fail. Even if the adjudication process is right every time that still means there are tens of thousands of genuine refugees in Britain in a state of desperate uncertainty. They are forbidden from working and cannot claim benefits while their cases are being processed, a measure designed to prove to the wider public that refugees do not take resources meant for the indigenous population. This too reveals the official assumption that most asylum seekers are really economic migrants.

The distinction is vital. It is Britain's duty under the 1951 UN refugee convention to protect people fleeing persecution. Since that treaty was signed, the world has changed enormously. ...

It is easier to condemn a broken system than to design a perfect one. There were grounds for the widespread suspicion a few years ago that asylum status was being fraudulently targeted as a shortcut to British residency. That public fear had to be addressed. But it was never proven that Britain was, as the Conservatives liked to allege, a "soft touch". Labour simply swallowed that charge and launched a crackdown. ...

It should be a source of national pride that Britain is thought a desirable destination by refugees, who have throughout history enriched the countries that welcome them. Instead, people who turn to us for help are vilified and punished for asking. It must also be possible to distinguish humanely between real and false claims to refugee status. The investment required is not financial, but political. It requires a leader who will look at the current system and say plainly what is there: cruelty, injustice and shame throughout.
[Site link]


Asylum – costs, legal aid
£610 free legal aid for each asylum seeker
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 5 January 2010

Taxpayers are paying for hundreds of pounds in free legal advice for every asylum seeker in Britain, figures show.

Asylum seekers receive an average of £610 of legal advice once they have applied to stay. If the case is taken to a tribunal, the cost of the legal advice rises by an average of £1,670 for every application, according to a parliamentary answer.

In 2008-09, nearly 47,000 asylum cases were heard, meaning the cost of the initial advice alone stood at an estimated £28 million a year.

Separate figures also showed there were currently 4,857 appeals outstanding. ...

The Ministry of Justice said legal aid was not automatically available and each application was considered on the basis of an individual's means.
[Newspaper link]



Benefits and costs – unpaid fines
Foreign motorists cost millions in unpaid fines
Daily Telegraph, 31 December 2010

Councils wrote off thousands of parking tickets worth millions of pounds in the past two years because they could not trace the drivers of foreign-registered vehicles to whom they were issued. ...

Among the highest value of tickets written off were areas including London, Portsmouth, Newcastle and Edinburgh. Westminster city council said 45,437 tickets worth £3.08 million were written off when drivers could not be traced between July 2007 and October this year.

Lee Rowley, the cabinet member for parking, said: "British taxpayers can no longer foot the bill for foreign motorists who seem to think the rules of this country do not apply to them.

"We would like to see a more rigorous system to hold these drivers to account and send a clear message that this will not be tolerated."
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – environment
Green tax to rocket in migrant boom
Martyn Brown
Daily Express, 29 December 2010

The boom in immigration to the UK means Britons will face a multi-million pound green tax bill to pay for the environmental impact of millions more people, a report reveals today.

A study by the MigrationWatch think-tank shows that net migration will push Britain's population over 70 million – by adding another seven million people by 2033.

It says that such a dramatic increase will see the UK's greenhouse gas emissions soar by 515 million tons.

But a raft of eco-levies being thrashed out by the Government, could see taxpayers having to foot the bill.

Experts have already warned the figure could rise by a crippling £548 per household by 2025.

The Government is committed under the Climate Change Act to reduce UK emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. To achieve this challenging target, annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2033 will have to fall by almost 240 million tons compared with their current level.

But the report – Migration, The Environmental consequences for the UK – points out that the population increase over this period will add 33 million tons of carbon every year to greenhouse gases making that harder and more expensive to achieve.

Sir Andrew Green, MigrationWatch chairman, said: "Climate change on its own is an immensely serious issue but the huge projected rise in population over this period – more than two thirds due to immigration – will also have a host of other implications for the quality of life which we, and more particularly, our children and grandchildren will enjoy – or endure – in the coming decades."

"For example if all the projected increase in population which will result from the continuation of present levels of immigration was to be accommodated in urban areas, we would have to build 60 towns the size of Slough, or 20 cities the size of Leicester, or else urbanise areas equivalent in area to Surrey or Warwickshire."

England is already one of the most densely populated countries in Europe, the report adds.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – translation
Immigration: translation costs soar by 40%
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 16 December 2010

Tougher language tests for new immigrants have again been called for after Government spending on translators rocketed by 40 per cent in two years – despite a drive to cut costs.

In 2007, Labour laid out £100 million on translation services across Whitehall and the justice system before pledging to slash the bill. Last year, however, translating information for non-English speakers rose to an astonishing £140 million.

Critics branded the costs a waste of money and demanded that immigrants moving to Britain be given stricter language tests. ... ...

The criminal justice system, including police, courts and prisons, last year spent £34 million on translators.

NHS Direct translates its documents into 200 languages including Esperanto, which is spoken by just 2,000 people in the UK.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs
Harriet Harman praises 'hero' immigrants who send welfare handouts home
Simon Walters
Mail on Sunday, 12 December 2010

Harriet Harman has praised 'heroic' immigrants who claim welfare payments in Britain and use the cash to support families living abroad.

She said the Government should make it easier for them to send the money home and called for tax refunds to encourage more immigrants to follow suit, in particular those who paid for their children to be educated in the Third World.

The Labour Deputy Leader, who is also the party's spokesman on International Development, derided 'those who say we should look after our own first' in the recession and vowed to fight any attempt to cut the £9.4 billion overseas aid budget.

Last night the Government challenged her 'bizarre' conduct.

Her comments were made at a meeting at Southwark town hall in her South London constituency, called to find ways to increase the flow of money from Britain to other nations in 'remittances' – money sent by families who have settled here to those left behind.

The meeting was attended by many local voters with Nigerian, Ugandan and other foreign backgrounds, as well as representatives of aid charities.

An eyewitness said: 'Harriet led a discussion on how to back up what she called the "hidden heroes of development through developing new policies on remittances".'

Ms Harman said she had conducted a survey of constituents, mainly West Africans, attending her surgeries who were regularly sending money back home to sustain children and other relatives.

'She said she had been amazed by how many were doing this,' said a source. 'Some were themselves in receipt of State benefits here and were still sending what they could abroad.'

Ms Harman said she intended to launch a new international survey to learn how other countries handled remittances to poorer nations to enable Britain to 'make the procedure easier, even possibly with some sort of tax relief for those who send payments to educate relatives abroad'.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – disease
30-year high in TB 'is caused by immigration'
Daily Express, 8 December 2010

Immigration is responsible for a 30-year high in the number of cases of tuberculosis in the UK, the Government said yesterday.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said that under his reforms, local councils would play a major role in dealing with the problem, which is concentrated in the country's major cities.

There were 8,286 cases of TB in England last year, up 4.3 per cent on 2008, he told the Commons.

Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and London were particularly affected by the contagious lung disease, spread by sneezing and coughing. The disease often takes months or even years to show symptoms but left untreated can be fatal.

"The rise has occurred mainly in people infected in countries where TB is common who go on to develop active TB later in life," he said.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – ethicity, government benefits
Work, benefits and ethnicity
Mark Easton
BBC, 12 November 2010

As the government looks to squeeze the welfare bill, some interesting data published this week looks at the relationship between ethnicity and welfare.

While those of Indian origin, for instance, get 8% of their income from the state in the form of benefits, state pension and tax credits, those describing their ethnicity as Pakistani or Bangladeshi receive 29% of their income in various forms of state aid.

White citizens receive 15% of their income from social security, tax credits and the state pension. People of Chinese ethnicity get 10%. Those of mixed ethnicity get 13%, while those from black ethnic groups receive between 17% and 18%.

The variation partly reflects the fact that immigrant populations tend to be younger than the white population and are therefore less likely to receive a state pension or disability benefits.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – education
Decade-long immigration boom means Britain needs 550,000 extra school places by 2016
James Slack
Daily Mail, 14 October 2010

Britain will need 550,000 more school places by 2016 to educate the children of immigrants, a study claimed last night.

And over the next decade this will rise to one million extra places – at a total cost of about £100 billion.

The Migrationwatch report blames the aftermath of Labour's 'open door' immigration policy.

Last year, providing schooling to the children of people born overseas cost £4.5 billion – the equivalent of almost £13 million every day – according to the pressure group.

Its analysis is based on figures from the Office for National Statistics, and includes children who have arrived in the UK from overseas, and those born in Britain to migrant parents. ...

Migrationwatch said that between 1998 and 2009 – the years in which critics say Labour's open door immigration policy operated – the number of school places required by the children of immigrants was almost 630,000.

By analysing ONS population projections, Migrationwatch also concluded that over the next ten years one million more school places will be needed because of immigration.

This is primarily due to children being born to immigrants.

Between now and 2016, 550,000 more places will be required. Based on the cost of providing each school place, the total cost will be £40 billion.

Educating children of immigrants in state schools would cost around £195 billion over a 25-year period, the report adds.

Migrationwatch said the quadrupling in net migration – the difference between the number of people arriving in the UK, and those leaving – was responsible. ...

Sir Andrew Green, Migrationwatch chairman, said: 'Almost every family in England is being affected by the growing crisis over school places but no one will talk about its causes.

'These are some of the consequences of one of the most reckless and unpopular policies of any government in generations and they are now coming home to roost.'
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – child benefit
Row over child benefit for East Europeans
Patrick Sawer and Rebecca Lefort
Daily Telegraph website, 10 October 2010

Tens of thousands of children living in Eastern Europe will continue to receive child benefit despite the payment being stripped from middle-class families in this country.

The Coalition government's decision to axe child benefit payments to over 1.2 million higher-rate tax earners has sparked a political backlash from professional families who stand to lose thousands of pounds a year.

Their anger will be compounded by new figures, which show that the benefit is being used to support nearly 29,000 children living in Poland, along with thousands of children elsewhere in Eastern Europe.

Under EU rules, child benefit is paid to parents who work and pay tax in the UK and whose children have stayed in their home countries.

The vast majority are likely to be lower-rate tax payers and will therefore carry on receiving the benefit once it is taken away from higher-rate earners in 2013 under Government plans announced last week.

Emma Boon, campaign manager of the Tax Payers Alliance said: "It is completely unfair that our taxpayers are expected to fund child benefits for children that do not live in this country."

Figures released to Parliament last month show that child benefit is being paid to the UK-based parents of 28,760 children living in Poland.

The cost is estimated at £23.8 million. On top of that 2,051 children in Slovakia benefit from the payments, along with 1,012 in Lithuania, 295 in the Czech Republic and 113 in Bulgaria.

Payments are also made to parents of children living in western European countries such as France, Spain and Germany, though in much smaller numbers.

British people who live and work are similarly able to claim local child benefit even if their children live in Britain.

In total there are 41,296 children living in the EU's members states whose parents receive child benefit in Britain, with 32,820 of these living in Eastern Europe.

As the British handouts are much higher than those in eastern European country, where the cost of living is lower, the benefits are attractive to migrants.

In some cases the overseas claimants receive the full UK rate of benefit – £20 a week for the first child and £13.20 for others.

In other cases, they receive benefit from their homeland's government plus a "top-up" payment from the UK government to raise the total to UK levels.


While in opposition the Tories attacked the system. In October last year the then Conservative Treasury spokesman Phil Hammond said: "With Britain facing a debt crisis and the Government's child poverty strategy in tatters, it beggars belief that Gordon Brown is continuing to send millions of pounds of taxpayers' money to children who don't even live in this country."

However the party says it currently has no plans to tackle the issue of children who live abroad being in receipt of the benefit.

A Tory source said: "We're not proposing to tackle this issue at the moment."

Defenders of the system point out that East European migrants are contributing to the UK economy by paying taxes here and are therefore entitled to child benefit.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – European Union
An open door to benefit tourists: EU warns Britain it can't stop thousands more migrants claiming welfare handouts
James Chapman
Daily Mail, 28 September 2010

Benefits tourists are set to get the green light to come to Britain and immediately claim handouts totalling £2.5 billion a year.

According to documents leaked to the Mail, ministers have been warned that restrictions on claims by immigrants are against the law and must be scrapped.

The European Commission's ruling threatens to open the door to tens of thousands who are currently deterred from coming to Britain.

At the moment, a 'habitual residency test' is used to establish whether migrants from the EU are eligible for benefits.

To qualify for jobseeker's allowance, employment support allowance, pension credit and income support, they must demonstrate that they either have worked or have a good opportunity to get a job.

But after receiving a complaint that the rules infringed the human rights of EU citizens, the Commission began to examine them.

In a letter seen by the Mail, it warns that the restrictions are 'not compatible' with EU law. ...

The letter, written to the individual who made the complaint and copied to the British government, is dated last December, but Whitehall sources claim ministers in the outgoing Labour government failed to argue against the proposals. Britain had toughened up its rules in 2004 when the EU was expanding its borders. The restrictions assess the eligibility of those from the EU and from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

But the Commission has begun legal proceedings against Britain to get restrictions on welfare claims by incomers scrapped.

If successful, the Government would be required to remove its deterrents to benefit tourism, including the right-to-reside test and an additional qualification for those claiming jobseeker's allowance, that they must have worked for 12 months or more.

Officials warn the bill could be between £1.3 billion and £2.5 billion a year – hampering plans to rein in welfare spending.

However, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is understood to be determined to fight the move through the courts if necessary.

The Whitehall source warned: 'This has the potential to open the doors of the benefits system to anyone coming here from the entire European economic area, who may have no intention of working or even looking for work but simply wants to claim benefits.

'We already have enough of a problem managing people who want to come here. But this would open up a whole new wave of benefit tourism.'

Last year, 46,957 non-UK nationals took the habitual residence test. Of those, 24,604 passed and 22,353 failed. For the test, they are interviewed and asked about why they have come to the UK, how long they intend to stay and their employment arrangements.

'Fundamentally this is designed to ensure people aren't coming to the UK to be benefit tourists,' added the source.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – cost
£5bn spent on migrants in Britain
Ian Kirby
News of the World, 19 September 2010

Migrants are costing Britain a staggering £5 BILLION a year, the News of the World can reveal.

And the government is handing over more than £200 million a year to charities and local councils to care for refugees and illegal immigrants.

That's an astonishing tenfold increase since 1997.

Our investigation uncovers the sheer scale of government spending, ahead of an urgent review by new Immigration Minister Damian Green.

New data from the Treasury shows migrants now take £4.5 billion a year out of the UK economy and send it home.

We have also obtained new internal government figures showing the Home Office spent £604 million supporting migrant services over the past three years.

More than half of that, a hefty £386 million, went on caring for children who have travelled to Britain then claimed asylum. Millions more vanished overseas. Last year £709,427 was sent to "Ethiopian border control". And £5.2 million was given to EU Integration Fund projects designed to help EU migrants settle here.

The massive cost of encouraging failed asylum seekers to go home is also exposed. In the past three years, the Home Office has spent £54.5 million on the "Assisted Voluntary Return" programme which pays illegal immigrants to go home and buy a house or train for a job. Immigration chief Mr Green is understood to be planning radical cuts to the Home Office budget, slashing charity payouts.

Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke, who uncovered the figures, said: "It is shocking that hundreds of millions are spent helping people get into the UK.

"It would be better spent supporting the border guardians who keep our country safe."
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – gipsies
One gipsy caravan set up per day under Labour
Rebecca Lefort and David Harrison
Sunday Telegraph, 22 August 2010

The number of travellers living in caravans rose sharply during labour's 13 years in power, government figures have shown. ...

At the start of 1997, there were 12,796 travellers' caravans at sites across England, both official and illegal. By the start of this year the number had risen to 18,355, an increase of more than one caravan per day over the 13 years.

According to gipsy rights campaigners, causes of the increase include a high birth rate among travelling families and a trend for members of the community who had been living in houses to revert to their travelling roots. ...

Matthew Knight, a senior partner at Kent-based Knights Solicitors, who has more than 25 years' experience dealing with legal cases involving gipsy and traveller disputes, said: "I think the gipsy and traveller activity is really a form of property speculation.

"If you buy a plot of land outside a village or town, where no one else would get planning permission, you pay a lot less for it. Then if you compromise the planning status you have a chance to get what ultimately becomes planning permission on the land, thereby multiplying its value ten times or more."
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – housing
Migrants given one in 15 new council houses
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 10 August 2010

The number of council houses given to immigrants has increased by 10 per cent in only a year to nearly 10,000.

Official figures show nearly one in every 15 newly-available homes let by a council or housing association went to a foreign national.

The revelations highlight the pressure immigration has put on housing and public services.

They have also prompted calls for a review of the rules on how social housing is allocated amid fears long-standing UK residents could be losing out.

Tory MP James Clappison, who uncovered the statistics, said: 'This is one more aspect of the pressures created by immigration, at a time when people are waiting many years on a waiting list for tenancy.

'The system surely must be ripe for review. I think it will strike a lot of people as strange when UK citizens are waiting up to ten years for a home.

According to research by the House of Commons Library, foreign nationals were given the keys to 9,979 social houses in 2008/9. That is up 905 from the 2007/8 figure of 9,074.

A total of 147,739 new social lettings were made in 2008/9. That means nearly 7 per cent of homes went to migrants.

Nearly three quarters of the increase was attributed to houses let to immigrants from EU countries. The total is made up of houses and flats let by councils and housing associations. Rents in such properties are subsidised by taxpayers.

It is estimated the cost of providing social housing averages £133,941 a home. The Government contributes £62,000 with the rest coming from developers or social landlords.

Taxpayer-subsidised housing is in short supply nationwide with nearly two million people on the waiting list.

EU immigrants who are working can apply for social housing immediately. Other foreign nationals are legally entitled to social housing after spending more than four years in the UK or successfully claiming asylum.

Once immigrants are on the list, they are considered at the same time as long-standing residents on the basis of who has the greatest 'need'.

Labour pledged to introduce new powers to allow local families to be given preference, but then backed down from changing the law amid fears that it could breach human rights laws.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – translation, benefits, unemployment
£6M bill to translate migrants' benefits
Kirsty Buchanan
Sunday Express, 8 August 2010

The £115,000 a week spent on translators to help immigrants claim benefits in Britain is facing intense scrutiny.

The Government wants to cut the cost of interpreters which last year soared to more than £6 million, a 50 per cent rise.

In the last six years, 169,000 immigrants claimed unemployment benefit within six months of getting a National Insurance number.

The benefits alone cost taxpayers £1.4 million a week but added to that is the translation bill. Most of it came from providing face-to-face and telephone translation services for people whose grasp of English was not good enough to understand the benefits system.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said: "It's been quite clear to us that costs ran out of control under the last Government. We aim to bring the costs down as far as we possibly can. We've been very clear that people coming to live and work in the UK need to be able to speak English."

In 2004, Labour Employment Minister Jim Murphy pledged that costs would be curbed but the annual bill has more than doubled from £2.63 million then.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – employment
Romania: thanks for the benefits
Daily Mail, 6 August 2010

Romanian president Traian Basescu has publicly thanked the tens of thousands of his countrymen who claim benefits in Britain instead of their own country.

In an extraordinary TV broadcast, the leader paid tribute to the two million Romanians who live and work abroad instead of claiming benefits at home.

'Imagine if the two million Romanians working in Britain, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, came to ask for unemployment benefits in Romania,' he said.

'So to these people we have to thank them for what they are doing for Romania.'

And Mr Basescu blamed the boom in emigrant Romanian workers on lazy Westerners.

'In those countries, the social protection is at a level that makes it more comfortable to be unemployed.'
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – housing
Nearly 100,000 new homes must be built every year for immigrants
Daily Mail, 29 July 2010

Nearly 100,000 new homes must be built every year just to provide housing for immigrants, ministers disclosed yesterday.

Four out of every ten new houses or flats built to cope with the rising population will go to a migrant, they said.

Over a 25-year period, immigrants will require 2.5 million extra homes unless the Government meets its pledges to bring about a major reduction in numbers arriving to live in Britain.

Communities Department spokesman Andrew Stunell said estimates of housing demand and the expected level of housing required by immigrants were prepared in March 2009, but only now revealed.

He said in a Commons written answer: 'It is estimated that net international migration could account, on average, for 40 per cent of the net growth of households in England over the projection period from 2006 to 2031.'

The housing projections from the Communities Department say that at current birthrates and expected rates of immigration, 252,000 new homes a year will be needed each year until 2031.

Of these, 36,000 will be needed because there will be more people living alone and fewer couples and families, and 116,000 because of rising birthrates.

The remaining 100,000 will be needed to house migrants, based on 2006 population figures.

At present the Office for National Statistics estimates that net immigration will run at 180,000 a year for the foreseeable future.


Benefits and costs – anti-social behaviour, social ties
Britain, the walk on by capital of Europe
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 13 July 2010

Britain has become a "walk-on-by" society because of immigration and more women going to work, a report warns today.

People are less willing to intervene to prevent anti-social behaviour than anywhere else in Europe, according to a former Downing Street strategist.

Ben Rogers, the author, said changes to the character of the population, such as the impact of large inflows of migrants and more households where both the men and women worked, had led to a "loosening of social ties" and contributed to the apathy. ...

The report, for the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, says Britain has a more serious anti-social behaviour problem than any of its main European neighbours.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – crime, housing, congestion, cohesion
Migrants' impact on crime to be checked
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 1 July 2010

The impact that migrants have on crime, housing and even traffic congestion will be considered when ministers set an annual cap on immigration, it emerged yesterday.

Pressure on public services and cohesion will also be factored in to the final limit.

The Government has promised to impose a cap and the Migration Advisory Committee will consult on where the limit is set. The body confirmed yesterday that it would not just consider the economic impact of migrants but also social pressures. The committee will spend the next three months attempting to quantify such factors before presenting a report to ministers in September.

The committee also warned that limits on foreign workers, which can only be imposed on those from outside the EU, would only help to reduce net migration "up to a point".
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – health services
Relying on foreign locums puts patients in danger, doctor says
Daily Telegraph, 30 June 2010

Patients are put at risk because of the NHS's "scandalous" reliance on foreign locums who often exaggerate their qualifications to get work, a senior doctor has warned.

Prof Chris Isles, of Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, said inexperienced overseas doctors were paid "eye-watering" sums of up to £70 an hour for stand-in shifts. Writing in the British Medical Journal, ...

"We pay lip service to patient safety by allowing this scandalous state of affairs to continue," he wrote.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – welfare state
Welfare states can't have open borders
Mark Landsbaum
The Orange County Register, 4 June 2010
[Updated on 7 June, 2010]

Someone's got to say it. What's missing amid the impassioned fervor surrounding illegal immigration is common sense. ...

Ideally, employers should be free to hire whomever they choose. Employees should be free to seek work anywhere. National borders impede this mutually beneficial arrangement by regulating immigration, consequently distorting job markets by perverting supply and demand. Even so, that's not the central problem of illegal immigration.

Rather, the problem is rooted in well-intentioned institutional evils. As Milton Friedman said: "You cannot simultaneously have free immigration and a welfare state."

It follows that you can't build a fence high enough, or deport enough illegal immigrants, or punish businesses enough to completely discourage people from seeking to substantially better their lives, especially if what they stand to gain is free to them, and particularly if they don't have much to begin with.

If jobs were the only issue, the market would largely self-correct whatever problems are posed by illegal immigration. But it's not just jobs. Most of the world lives in conditions that make "poverty" in the contemporary United States look extravagant.

About 43 percent of America's "poor" own their homes, which, on average, is a three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath with garage, says the Census Bureau. About 80 percent of U.S. poor have air conditioning. It was only 1970 when merely 36 percent of the entire population enjoyed air conditioning. In the 1940s, my parents slept on the porch to cope with Illinois' stifling summer nights. ...

About three-fourths of poor Americans own a car, and almost a third have two. A whopping 97 percent of U.S. poor households have color TV, and more than half own two or more. Three-fourths have a VCR or DVD player, and 62 percent get cable or satellite TV. That's poor in America today. ...

Then there's the fact that no one is turned away from health care in America for lack of ability to pay. Hungry? Food stamps. Can't pay the rent? Subsidized housing and free shelters.

Before you send hate mail, understand that this is not to say there isn't poverty, suffering, hunger and need in America. It's to say that, relatively speaking, the U.S. looks like paradise to substantially poorer people around the world. ...

Add up everything the U.S. provides at no cost to recipients – health, education, welfare, food stamps, subsidized housing, etc. We're fortunate to be insulated by two oceans, or else many, many more desperate poor would flood across our borders to take advantage.

And none of that even takes into consideration the lure of jobs, vastly more plentiful and better paying here than in impoverished nations.

The point is not whether we should turn these people away. The point is they have every reason to want to come. And you would, too.

As long as we provide such stuff for free, people who don't have it will come to get it. The more vital the free stuff, the greater the attraction. The more generous we are in doling it out, the more entitled they will feel. ...

... Whether immigration would increase a little or a lot, the fact remains we can't afford open borders while we operate a welfare state. Neither can we afford to dangle free benefits before a desperate world that regards being poor in America as having arrived in paradise.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs
Think tank: Immigration beats aid in reducing world poverty
Danny Sriskandarajah and Laura Chappell
The Sunday Times, 23 May 2010
[Danny Sriskandarajah and Laura Chappell work with the Institute for Public Policy Research]

A new report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) shows that migration may be a far better way of helping the world's poor than aid. The report, based on 10,000 household surveys in seven countries, suggests that migrants working overseas deliver tangible benefits in ways that aid and foreign investment just can't.

Globally, migrants sent home about £220 billion to developing countries last year; four times the total volume of aid. Without these "remittances", some Third World countries would struggle to survive. In Tajikistan, remittances account for more than two-fifths of the total economy; in Senegal, remittances are 12 times foreign investment inflows. The African continent receives $36 per capita in aid but $44 in remittances. Moreover, remittances have emerged as one of the most resilient sources of income for poorer countries during the downturn.

This money – which usually goes straight to families with no strings attached – can be critical in boosting the quality of life of poorer households worldwide. ...

When migrants return – and significant proportions do, even to the poorest countries – they usually bring with them new resources, skills and networks. This can be critical in promoting entrepreneurship and trade in local economies. The migration experience can also change attitudes for the better. ...

Of course, migration can mean "brain drain": countries such as Fiji and Jamaica are estimated to have lost about three-quarters of their highly skilled professionals. But the picture's not all bad: the money, skills and ideas that migrants send home, or bring back with them, often outweigh the negative impacts. And the knowledge that a good education and skills can open up the chance to migrate provides a powerful incentive to young people to work hard at school and university. Some, but not all, will end up leaving, so the pool of skilled people in a country may grow.

These findings have important implications for the new government's strategy on international development. Migration should become an integral part of the development agenda because migration can do things that aid cannot. Aid has some well known weaknesses – it can get tied up in bureaucracies and its effectiveness can be blunted by corruption. In contrast, remittances go directly to households and are spent by families, not officials. Both migration and aid have a place in development strategies, but a change in approach – more support for migration and less focus on aid – is overdue.

Of course the second part of this suggestion may be easier for electorates in Europe and America to stomach than the first. But be realistic. The demand for migrant labour in rich countries is set to rise as our populations age. It seems likely, too, that two-tier labour markets that have become almost addicted to cheap immigrant labour – some 90% of all London's cleaners come from abroad – will become only more entrenched. Simply put, economies like ours need migrants to keep them growing.

This does not mean that we should open the floodgates. Rather, we need practical policies to facilitate and manage mobility. Increasing legal migration programmes may be the best way to meet labour shortages in some sectors, deliver real economic benefits to developing countries and ensure that migrants are not pushed into the hands of traffickers.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – health services
Immigrants help drive sharp rise in A&E patients
Rebecca Smith
Daily Telegraph, 15 May 2010

A record number of people are attending A&E departments, with immigrants and confusion over out of hours GPs driving the increase.

Centres in England dealt with 20.5 million patients in the past year – the equivalent of 40 per cent of the population making a visit. ...

A combination of the confusion over GPs' hours and increases in immigrants who tended to visit A&E routinely and not register with family doctors, was thought to be the cause. Shorter waiting times in A&E, with 98 per cent seen within four hours, also meant people were more likely to attend.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs
Equalities boss 'victimised Sikh'
Daily Telegraph, 3 May 2010

An equalities boss is being taken to an employment tribunal amid claims he victimised a Sikh employee.

Dr Mashuq Ally, 59, is paid more than £100,000 to eradicate prejudice at Birmingham city council as its assistant director for equalities and human resources. He is accused of race, ethnic, age and disability discrimination by a former worker, Rajpal Virdee.

Mr Virdee, 50, a practising Sikh, claims he was victimised and sidelined in his job as the council's equalities manager for social services, partly because of his religion.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – London, business opinion
London firms say immigrants are 'good for business', 16 March 2010

A 'significant' majority of business in London think that the capital would not be as competitive without the contribution of migrants, according to a new report.

The survey of 182 firms, published today by the London Chamber of Commerce in partnership with polling firm ComRes, quizzed companies on a wide range of immigration issues, two years on from the introduction of the UK's points-based system.

Migrants are viewed in a positive light by London employers across a number of indicators with 68 per cent saying they often work harder than their UK counterparts.

Similarly, 72 per cent of companies say that migrants are prepared to do the jobs that British citizens won't.

Employers not only view migrants positively in a general sense, but value their contribution to their own firms as well, with 57 per cent of companies saying that immigrants are important to their own company.

However, most businesses (56 per cent) think that migrant workers are not as well qualified as UK employees.

On the controversial subject of the pressure migrants place on public services, the majority of London businesses (56 per cent) think the economic benefits they bring to the capital outweigh the potential cost of providing such services.

When asked if an amnesty for illegal immigrants resident in London would be beneficial for businesses, just 38 per cent said yes.

Opinion was more evenly divided though on Boris Johnson's policy of an amnesty for illegal immigrants living in London for four years or more with 43 per cent saying they agreed with the policy and 52 per cent saying they opposed it.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – health services
Tourists must take out health insurance
Kate Devlin and Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 27 February 2010

Every tourist visiting Britain could be forced to prove they have health insurance under proposals designed to curb the misuse of the NHS.

Ministers said they were determined to prevent so-called health tourists from entering the country.

Mike O'Brien, the Health Minister, said: "Whilst the NHS has a duty to any person whose life or long-term health is at immediate risk, we cannot afford to be an international health service, providing free treatment for all."

... The health service writes off around £5 million owed by foreign nationals every year. Most outstanding bills are, on average, more than £1,000. ...

Under the proposals, proof of health insurance will be compulsory for all visitors who have to pass through immigration control.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – European Union
Somali mother of four has no right to live here... but we have to give her a council house
Arthur Martin and Steve Doughty
Daily Mail, 24 February 2010

Standing proudly with her arm draped over her 36in television, this is the Somali woman who must be given a council house even though she has no right to live in Britain.

Nimco Hassan Ibrahim - who lives with her four children on benefit handouts - was granted the right to the home by EU judges yesterday because she was once married to a Danish citizen who briefly worked in this country. ...

And although she lives in a temporary accommodation in Harrow, Middlesex - funded by the local council - she has managed to install a high-speed internet connection.

Speaking to the Daily Mail last night, Mrs Ibrahim said: 'I deserve to be given a proper house. This one is too small for all of us. ...' ...

Mrs Ibrahim does not work and spends her day looking after her children Abdirahman, 12, Abdifatah, 10, Deka, eight, and Mustapha, four. She refused to reveal how she could afford her electrical goods and furniture.

The landmark EU judgment opens the door for hundreds of thousands of unemployed foreigners to claim both state benefits and council or housing association homes. ...

The judges at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg said Mrs Ibrahim must be given a home because 'a parent caring for the child of a migrant worker who is in education in the host member state has a right of residence in that state'.

'That right is not conditional on the parent having sufficient resources not to become a burden on the social assistance system.'

Mrs Ibrahim fled war-torn Somalia to Ethiopia with her family when she was 15. She married Mohamed Yusuf in Ethiopia before the pair moved to Denmark where he holds citizenship.

The pair came to Britain seven years ago. After eight months working as a bus driver, Mr Yusuf began living on benefits. When they were stopped in March 2004, he left the country.

Mr Yusuf's departure ended Mrs Ibrahim's right to stay in the UK and her right to receive benefits, but six years later, she lives on £1,000 a month through child tax credits, child benefits and child disability allowance.

Her accommodation is paid for and she also uses the NHS, even though she is not entitled to free medical care and has no insurance cover.

Her three-year legal battle was funded by the charity Shelter.

The UK Border Agency said it was 'disappointed', while Harrow council - which lost the case and has to give a home to Mrs Ibrahim - said European judges were determining British immigration policy.

Housing chief Barry Macleod-Cullinane said: 'We are very concerned-with this outcome, as it appears to establish a major new legal precedent over benefit claims.

'It could well prove to be a floodgates judgment in that people who have not yet contributed to this country or who do not have the means to sustain themselves can now seek immediate help from state welfare services.

'This judgment would seem to make the EU policy of free movement impossible unless one greets new migrants at Heathrow with sizeable welfare handouts.'
[Site link]


Benefits and costs
£2m payout for illegal migrants
Daily Telegraph, 12 February 2010

Illegal immigrants who should have been removed from the country are receiving compensation for wrongful detention, it has emerged.

The Home Office paid out at least £2 million over the last three years in cases where it was proved that migrants, foreign prisoners or asylum seekers were wrongly held.

The figure, relating to 121 individuals, was based on data from several law firms. The true cost could be higher.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs
Time to 'lance boil' of resentment over 'unfairness' of immigration, says Labour's Margaret Hodge
James Chapman
Daily Mail, 4 February 2010

Migrants would be forced to 'earn' the right to benefits and council housing over several years under explosive plans outlined today by a senior Labour minister.

Margaret Hodge warns British values of openness and tolerance are under threat because of an increasing sense of 'unfairness' over immigration.

The Culture Minister is calling for a new points system - based on length of residence or national insurance contributions - to determine that only migrants who have made a fair contribution to society get the same rights as local families.

Mrs Hodge, who is facing a General Election challenge from BNP leader Nick Griffin, told the Daily Mail it was time to 'lance the boil' of growing discontent over the wave of economic migrants entering Britain.

Labour strategists fear there are signs that the far-Right BNP will mount a 'serious challenge' in her Barking, East London seat.

One recent poll found that 65 per cent of voters believe foreign arrivals get favourable treatment over housing and benefits.

It also showed a third of voters support a core policy of the far-Right BNP, proposing that people from ethnic minorities should lose all state benefits, including NHS treatment, to pay for a 'resettlement policy' for those wishing to leave the country.

Migrants currently have the right to claim in-work benefits, such as tax credits, if they have a job. Those who have come from the EU must spend a year working in Britain, but can then claim the same level of state support as any citizen.

They are treated the same as UK citizens in respect of claims for income support, jobseeker's allowance, housing benefit and council tax benefit. ...

Mrs Hodge was attacked as 'offensive' by senior Labour colleagues after calling for a shake-up of housing rules two and half years ago.

But last year, the Government announced it was adopting the policy proposal she made to give councils new powers to give local people priority on waiting lists.

Now the minister is risking angering colleagues again by going further, with an admission that the Government has failed to address voters' concerns over immigration.

Her proposal to strip benefits from immigrants who have not been contributing to society for a fixed period will infuriate Left-wing Labour MPs, who argue people cannot be left destitute.

But Mrs Hodge insisted: 'At the moment, people don't feel the system is fair and we can't ignore that. If we are serious about reconnecting with people, then we have to listen to what they are saying.

'We have to lance this boil. This isn't just a message to my own party, it's a message to all mainstream parties. ...

'This isn't about race, it's about having a transparent system which people understand and which is fair.'
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – translators, interpreters
£20m translation cost is revealed
Daily Telegraph, 2 February 2010

Ministers had to issue an embarrassing correction over how much the Government spends on translators in the courts, after giving inaccurate figures to MPs on four separate occasions.

The Ministry of Justice admitted it has spent more than £20 million on interpreters and translators in the past two years, increasing concerns over the impact immigration is having on the public purse.

The figure included £11.8 million spent in 2007-08, which was higher than MPs had previously been told. The figures refer to services for victims of crime and other court users but not suspects.
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – translation
Translation charges cost councils £20m
Nick Collins
Daily Telegraph, 16 January 2010

Councils spent nearly £20 million of taxpayers' money last year translating documents, figures suggest.

Translations were carried out in more than 75 languages, including Kpelle, a Liberian dialect, and Pahari, which is spoken in northern India and Nepal. The biggest spender was City of Edinburgh council, which last year paid £110,000 for translations into languages including Mongolian. ...

The figures came to light after 84 per cent of councils responded to a Freedom of Information request by Lingo24, a translation agency. ...

The Local Government Association said translation spending fell from £25 million in 2006. A spokesman said: "Translation has its place to ensure people can access vital services, find jobs and get their children into school."
[Newspaper link]


Benefits and costs – visitors' visas applications
Anger at migrant visa costs
Macer Hall
Daily Express, 2 January 2010

Taxpayers are footing a £50 million-a-year bill to fund appeals by relatives of immigrants barred from Britain.

More than 1,000 are lodged every week, it was revealed last night. The caseload has soared eightfold since the Government scrapped fees for family visitor visas in 2002.

Critics last night warned that the explosion in the number of appeals was more evidence that Labour has lost control of Britain's borders. The visa shambles was uncovered in a report from the population think tank Migrationwatch.

Chairman Sir Andrew Green said: "In the current recession it is no longer acceptable that taxpayers should pay the appeal costs for foreign nationals wishing to visit Britain. The definition of a family visitor is so wide that it could include as many as 120 relatives of a middle-aged person. The definition should be narrowed and charges which the Government abolished in 2002 should be re-introduced."

More than 400,000 applications for immigrants' relatives to visit Britain for up to six months are made every year. The number of appeals has risen from 7,997 in 2002 to 64,669 in 2007-08.

Family visitor visas are available for relatives including parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces and cousins of immigrants already living here who want to come to the UK.

Applicants are expected to prove that they will stay for no longer than six months and are not coming to Britain to work.

But critics fear the system is full of loopholes and is being exploited as yet another way for illegal immigrants to sneak into the country.

Sir Andrew said: "Obviously, family members should be able to visit relatives in Britain but such visits need to be properly regulated. There is a clear risk that, once here, some of these visitors will stay on illegally knowing that the chance of them being removed is remote."

In 2008, a total of 414,000 applications for family visitor visas were made, of which 312,000 were approved.

Around 197,000 of those applications came from India, Pakistan and Nigeria. Of those, 134,000 were approved. Yet despite the huge number of approvals, failed applicants are allowed to challenge the refusals without charge.

Previously, they had to pay £150 for an appeal or £500 if they wished to attend an appeal hearing in person. In January 2001, the Government reduced the fees to £50 and £125, then scrapped them altogether in May 2002. As a result, the number of appeals has soared.

The Migrationwatch report said: "Fees should be re-instated. There is no reason why the British taxpayer should pay the appeal costs of foreign visitors." It also criticised the wide definition of family member. "The definition should be substantially tightened, at least until exit controls are in place.

"In particular, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, and first cousins should no longer be included. This would reduce the number of eligible relatives by up to 68," the report said.

"This definition of family visitor is so widely drawn that somebody from a third world country where the number of children per family is often four or five, could sponsor somewhere between 80 and 120 people under this scheme.

"Furthermore, the provision for unmarried couples is particularly hard to verify and is therefore open to abuse."

It also called for sponsors of applicants to be asked to provide a cash bond guaranteeing that their relatives leave the country.
[Site link]



Bias – BBC
Our coverage on immigration and Europe was weak, admits BBC Director General
Paul Revoir
Daily Mail, 17 December 2010

BBC coverage of issues such as immigration and Europe had been weak in the past, admitted the corporation's Director General Mark Thompson.

He confessed the BBC had been nervous about tackling issues regarded as sensitive.

But he claimed the broadcaster had corrected that position and forced reluctant politicians to address the matter of immigration during this year's General Election.

He admitted it should not be the corporation's role to start 'censoring the public debate' and said the BBC would give space for 'extreme and radical perspectives'.

His admission comes only a few months after he accepted the corporation had been guilty of a 'massive' Left-wing bias.

His latest comments – made during a speech at the Institute for Government on Thursday night – follow a 2007 BBC Trust report which suggested news coverage had sidestepped immigration and Europe. ...

The BBC Trust's independent report in 2007 into impartiality found the corporation had self-censored subjects it found unpalatable.
[Site link]


Bias – politics
Are there any taxpayer-funded bodies NOT funding Left-wing think-tank the IPPR?
Ed West
Daily Telegraph website, 7 December 2010

You can't keep a good man down: Lord Mandelson is to chair an inquiry into the "future of globalisation" for the Left-wing think-tank the Institute for Public Policy Research.

The IPPR is a hugely influential body which, whether you like it or not, indirectly affects all our lives. ... However its strongest legacy has been in providing the intellectual and economic justification for mass immigration. It does this by downplaying the social costs of mass immigration, focusing on the benefits of highly-skilled migration, while maintaining the convenient fiction that the mass immigration disaster is a fantasy created by the "Right-wing press" to stir up readers.

It does this by nit-picking at newspaper headlines in a way that might just about satisfy a British libel judge, but which leaves just enough tiny, tiny holes in a story to leave the ideological committed satisfied. For example, earlier this year the think-tank criticised reports in the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Daily Express which suggested, correctly, that most jobs were going to foreigners, by pointing out that 1.5m of the 3.8m non-British born workers mentioned in the report were actually UK nationals i.e. they had acquired British citizenship. Which makes absolutely no difference to the fact that they were immigrants in the first place. Utterly pedantic, but it allows the deluded to go away satisfied that the whole thing was made up by the evil Right-wing press.

Groups such as the IPPR provide the intellectual justification for the mass immigration experiment, as well as other progressive policies. And the really, really funny thing is that you are paying for it, as the IPPR's website states with its list of "organisations that have supported us in 2008/2009". Here they are:

... ... ...

It's almost like a who's who of government departments, quangos, regional bodies and state-funded charities.

And here's a list of taxpayer-funded organisations and government agencies that fund MigrationWatch, the only non-partisan group campaigning against mass immigration:

..... [an eery, haunted silence, followed by the distant sound of a stone hitting bottom of the well]
[Site link]


Bias – multiculturalism, free speech, hate crime
Christians 'target for hate crime prosecutions'
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 19 July 2010

White Christians are being unfairly targeted for committing hate crimes compared with minority groups, a report claims today.

The study, from the Civitas think tank, argues that hate crime legislation is restricting freedom of speech and has effectively introduced a new blasphemy law into Britain by the back door.

A foreword attached to A New Inquisition: religious persecution in Britain today suggests that prosecutors and police are unfairly singling out alleged crimes by white Christians.

It says: "Some police forces and the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] seem to be interpreting statutes in favour of ethnic and religious minorities and in a spirit hostile to members of the majority population, defined as 'white' or 'Christian'."
[Newspaper link]


Bias – BBC
Now it's the BBC that blunder over immigration statistics
Migrationwatch UK, 1 May 2010

On the 10 o'clock TV news on 30 April, the BBC "Reality Check" claimed that, in 2008, there was a net outflow of non EU workers of 8,000 so the real pressure on British jobs was from a net inflow of 46,000 EU workers which none of the parties had any plans to control. To do so Britain would have to leave the EU – a policy advocated only by UKIP and the BNP.

The real situation is that about 100,000 non EU workers arrived in that year (including an estimate for dependants). The available statistics do not reliably indicate how many left. The proportion of those arriving was almost double the BBC's figure. ...

Commenting, Sir Andrew Green, Chairman Migrationwatch UK, said:

"The BBC of all people should get their facts right on a subject as sensitive as immigration, especially when they describe their report as a "reality check". It would have helped if they had paid more attention to immigration policy in the past."
[Site link]



Border controls – passenger profiling, Germany
Justice Minister rejects passenger profiling
The Local Europe, 29 December 2010

Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger has roundly slapped down a call by Germany's airports for passengers to be profiled for security checks, warning such discrimination would contravene EU and German laws.

"Systematic differentiation according to homeland and origin carries the risk of stigmatisation," Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, of the liberal Free Democratic Party, told daily Süddeutsche Zeitung on Wednesday.

Christoph Blume, the head of Düsseldorf Airport and the incoming head of the ADV airport association, told Tuesday's edition of daily Rheinische Post that passengers should be divided into risk categories, meaning they would be subject varying degrees of scrutiny by airport security.

"That way, the security system could become more effective to everyone's benefit," said Blume, who will take the helm of the ADV next month.

He said profiling passengers according to characteristics such as race, religion and country of origin would allow German airports to avert a further tightening of security.

But his call has met fierce resistance. Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said such a move would "quickly breach discrimination bans that apply in the European Union and in Germany."

The call for profiling amounted to "massive data gathering" whose cost was out of proportion to its benefit, the minister added.

Federal data protection commissioner, Peter Schaar, also dismissed the idea.

"Classification into different risk groups always has a discriminating and degrading effect on the people in question," he said.
[Site link]


Border controls – passenger profiling, Germany
Airports demand racial profiling to fight terror
The Local Europe, 28 December 2010

The incoming head of Germany's main airport lobby group is demanding the nation's transit authorities use racial profiling to weed out terrorists at security checks.

Christoph Blume, the head of Düsseldorf Airport, told daily Rheinische Post on Tuesday that air passengers should be divided into different risk categories, meaning they would be subject varying degrees of scrutiny by airport security.

"That way, the security system could become more effective to everyone's benefit," said Blume, who will take the helm of the ADV airport association next month.

He said profiling passengers according to characteristics such as race, religion and country of origin would allow German airports to avert a further tightening of security.

While highly controversial because of its discriminatory nature, racial profiling has also found growing support in some quarters. However, critics fear it would stigmatize entire groups of passengers simply on their looks, faith or from where their trip originated.

"Such suggestions sound too much like the wish to save some time," said Bernhard Witthaut, the head of the GdP police union, in Berlin on Tuesday. "But it's better to spend half an hour in line than end up dead."

But Blume said airports would soon no longer be able to cope with the threat of terrorism.

"Each new incident leads to extra checks and security measures. This creates a security escalation that will eventually hit its technical and operational limits," Blume told the paper.
[Site link]


Border controls – marriage
Forced marriage rules in danger
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 22 December 2010

Rules designed to help prevent forced marriages may have to be ripped up after the Government lost a second court battle over immigration policy in five days.

Appeal court judges said yesterday that a ban on migrants being given marriage visas if they are under 21 was "arbitrary and disruptive", and could not lawfully be applied as they allowed challenges by two couples.

They indicated that it was now up to Theresa May, the Home Secretary, to decide whether to change the rule or drop it altogether. ...

Rules introduced in 2008 require any non-European wanting to enter the UK on a marriage visa to be 21 or over. It was aimed at concerns that young girls were being subjected to forced marriages. ...

About 5,000 people aged under 21 were granted a marriage visa to enter the UK in 2007. Since then, some 523 people have been refused as they were too young.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Immigration: EU eases visa rules for Albanians and Bosnians
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 16 December 2010

Fears of a new wave of back-door immigration into the UK were raised yesterday after visa requirements for Albanians and Bosnians were dropped by the EU.

From yesterday, citizens from the two countries are now free to make visits of up to three months to countries of mainland Europe.

Experts fear the move will allow migrants and criminal gangs to take advantage of weak border controls in eastern European to slip into the UK illegally.

UKIP immigration spokesman, Gerard Batten, said: "This will only lead to another wave of immigration by the back door and once again prove we do not control our borders."

Alp Mehmet, spokesman for MigrationWatch campaign group, said: "Once people establish themselves in mainland Europe it is easier for them to come to this country. It is an important reminder that we have to maintain control over our borders and do not give that up."

The decision to end visa requirements for the two Eastern European countries was made at a meeting of Europe's interior ministers in November.

Holders of biometric passports in the former Yugoslavian republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Albania, can now legally make visits of up to three months to the borderless "Schengen Area" of Europe, which includes most EU countries apart from the UK and Ireland.
[Site link]


Border controls – education
Foreign students get six extra months to stay in Britain
Daily Telegraph, 14 December 2010

Tens of thousands of foreign students will be allowed to study in Britain for almost a year, despite the visa system being tightened.

Migrants who want to study English at private language schools can now attend courses for up to 11 months, after the Government virtually doubled the period for which they are allowed to stay in the country.

The move will add to concerns that migrants will be able to exploit an easy route in to the country and then disappear or work in the "black economy".

Currently, anyone arriving as a student visitor can stay for no more than six months. Damian Green, the immigration minister, has extended this to 11 months for those on English language courses after pleas from the sector that six months was not long enough.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – education
Thousands of short-term foreign students escape migrant curbs
Daily Telegraph, 8 December 2010

Tens of thousands of foreign students will still be allowed to come to Britain to attend private language schools and other short courses every year, despite new restrictions on the visa system.

Migrants wanting to come for less than six months will not face any restrictions on the courses they take although longer-term students will be barred from studying anything below a degree. Sir Andrew Green, the chairman of Migrationwatch, warned migrants would still be able to exploit an easy route into the country.

However, students will no longer be able to bring family members with them unless they are studying for more than a year and the dependants will not be able to work in Britain.

The restrictions will result in up to 100,000 fewer students from outside the European Union coming to Britain every year.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – France
French mayor launches SOS after migrant influx
Pierre Savary and Nicholas Vinocur
Yahoo! News, 17 November 2010

The mayor of a town in northern France called for help from the government on Wednesday to deal with an influx of hundreds of migrants despite a campaign to break up makeshift transit camps near the English Channel.

The unusual appeal follows the dismantling of a camp near the port of Dunkerque in September as President Nicolas Sarkozy renews his commitment to crack down on illegal immigration and unlawful gatherings of migrants.

Nearly three months later the population of a makeshift migrant camp in Teteghem – a town of 7,000 about 5 km south of the Dunkerque port – has increased from 30 to some 200 migrants, many of whom were Iraqis, Afghans or Vietnamese.

"The number of undocumented migrants has increased a lot in the past few weeks," Franck Dhersin, the mayor of Teteghem and a member of the ruling UMP party, told Reuters. "Today, we are no longer able to manage ... I am calling for help."

He said the influx had overwhelmed the town's resources, creating hygiene and security problems as police were unable to protect large numbers of vulnerable migrants. ...

Many of the newcomers to Teteghem are former inhabitants of the "Jungle" who returned hoping to hitch a ride to Britain, said Francoise Lavoisier, a spokeswoman for advocacy group Salam, which hands out aid to migrants in northern France.

"They have been streaming for the past two or three months," she said. "They are trying to go to Britain because they think it's an Eldorado, a place where they will be able to find work, school for their children, a house."
[Site link]


Border controls
5,000 Border Agency jobs to go
Daily Express, 10 November 2010

The UK Border Agency is axing 5,000 more jobs, it announced yesterday – minutes after admitting it was struggling to deport illegal immigrants.

Chief executive Lin Homer made the embarrassing confession while being grilled by MPs on the powerful Home Affairs committee.

Ms Homer revealed that more than 30,000 extra asylum seekers have been granted permission to stay in the UK since February and that there had been a further four per cent rise between July and September.

Moments later Ms Homer told the MPs she was axing the 5,000 jobs over the next four years. The job cuts come on top of 1,700 job losses made so far this year and account for more than 20 percent of the agency's 24,000-strong workforce.

Gerard Batten, Ukip MEP said: "They can't be serious if they admit they are struggling to deport illegal immigrants in one breath and announce 5,000 job cuts with the next.

"They shouldn't be cutting jobs, it's a false economy. All the money they think will be saved in wages will only be spent through public services used by extra migrants."
[Site link]


Border controls – European Union
New wave of illegal immigrants is feared
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 9 November 2010

Fears of a new wave of back-door immigration to the UK grew yesterday as the EU dropped visa requirements for Albanians and Bosnians coming to Europe.

From next month, they can visit for up to three months without applying for permission beforehand.

But experts fear it will allow migrants and criminal gangs to slip into the UK illegally across the weak borders of Europe's "Schengen" countries, where borders are weak. This includes most EU countries apart from UK and Ireland.
[Site link]


Border controls – sham marriages
Investigation reveals thousands of bogus church weddings may have taken place
Jonathan Wynne-Jones and David Barrett
Sunday Telegraph, 31 October 2010

Thousands of bogus weddings may have taken place in Anglican ceremonies throughout the country, an investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has uncovered.

One vicar said he had been instructed by the Church to conduct marriages even after he warned officials that he believed they were bogus.

A senior Government source accused Church officials of failing to take sufficient steps to stop bogus marriages, which can grant foreigners the right to stay in Britain and claim benefits.

The investigation found that the issuing of marriage licences, required for foreigners to marry in church, has almost trebled in five years. Church figures show that the number of common licences issued rose from 1,650 in 2004 to 4,632 last year.

The leap followed the introduction of rules in 2005 which required non-EU nationals to obtain a certificate of approval from the Home Office before they could marry in a civil ceremony at a register office. The Church of England was exempted from the clampdown.

Furthermore, Anglican clergy are not legally required to report suspicious marriages, even though register offices have been compelled to do so for more than a decade.

The figures appear to indicate that the Government has underestimated the scale of the scam, and last night prompted calls for the Church to "wake up" to the problem.

A senior Government source said: "There is concern at high levels that some parts of the Church of England are not taking this as seriously as they should. The attitude seems to vary from diocese to diocese, and we clearly need more work in some dioceses."

Bishops have now admitted that a "loophole" has left the Church vulnerable to criminals arranging marriages of convenience.

Official Home Office estimates for the number of sham marriages that take place each year show a decline from 3,578 in 2004 to 561 in 2009.

However, Father Tim Codling, rector at Tilbury, Essex, claims that he was repeatedly ignored when he tried to warn Church authorities that he suspected the majority of weddings in his church to be fake.

He alleges that he was told he would face disciplinary action if he refused to conduct the ceremonies.

"I got the feeling that they thought I was being awkward and difficult," says Fr Codling.

"I was given the impression they were thoroughly disinterested in what I was saying.

"It is a violation of our sacred space. But what hurts more is the way we have been let down by the Church."
[Site link]


Border controls
Britain faces future under threat
Duncan Gardham and James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 19 October 2010

New and unpredictable security threats from extremists and advancing technologies mean Britain is facing an "age of uncertainty", the National Security Council warned yesterday.

In its National Security Strategy, the council said Britain faced a "different and more complex range of threats from myriad sources". ...

The ever-increasing flow of people and goods across Britain's borders posed a potential threat to Britain, the security strategy said.

Among the Tier 3 threats, the strategy included "a significant increase in the levels of terrorists, organised criminals, illegal immigrants and illicit goods trying to cross the UK border".

The document said there were 400,000 foreign students in our universities, 47,000 of them Chinese.

It also pointed out that London was a "second home for the decision makers of many countries".
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – European Union
Border control pretence now gone
UK Independence Party, 8 October 2010

The passing of the Fajon report shows that the UK does not control its own borders or immigration policy - all pretence is now gone, says UKIP's Gerard Batten.

Responding to the passing in the European Parliament of the Fajon Report, which gives EU entry visas to people from Bosnia and Herzegovina, UKIP's Civil Liberties spokesman said: "The passing of this report shows that the UK does not control its own borders or immigration policy - all pretence is now gone.

"It is now third party states like Bosnia and Herzegovina which decide who can and cannot come to the UK on an EU Visa."

This proposal would extend the list of countries whose nationals do not require Visas for entry into the EU to Bosnia & Herzegovina and Albania.

It would therefore act as yet another step in the collapse of control of national borders since once they are in the EU and acquire rights of residence/work they will inevitably be able to enter any member state.

"Given that Bosnian President Izetbegovic gave a general amnesty to Al Qaeda terrorists in the 1990s, this report also increases the danger of Islamic terrorists gaining easy access to Britain. This is a very bad deal for British citizens," Mr Batten warned.

The report states that "the European Union is a strong supporter of the abolishment of the visa regime for all the countries of the Western Balkans. [...] Every effort should now be made to deliver visa-free travel for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania as soon as possible."
[Site link]


Border controls – European Union
Bulgaria opens EU doors to allow 500,000 more immigrants to live in Britain
James Slack
Daily Mail, 24 September 2010

Bulgaria has announced plans to hand passports to more than 500,000 non-EU citizens – giving them long-term rights to live and work in the UK.

Nationality minister Bozhidar Dimitrov says the new citizens – currently in the Ukraine and Moldova – would be free to come and live in Bulgaria.

However, EU border rules mean they could eventually also set up home in other EU countries, including Britain.

In the past year alone Bulgaria has issued nearly 80,000 new passports to people who can claim Bulgarian descent, dating back to their grandparents, living in other countries.

Currently, Britain has controls on the number of citizens from Bulgaria and Romania, who both joined the EU in 2007, who can work here each year.

No more than 25,000 low-skilled workers are permitted to take jobs in agriculture and food processing.

These controls – imposed after ministers so badly misjudged the number of Eastern Europeans who would arrive from Poland, and the seven other ex-Communist countries which joined the EU in 2004 – last until 2011.

Under EU rules, they can be extended for another two years – a decision ministers are almost certain to approve.

But after 2013, Bulgarians will be allowed the same rights of free movement as any other EU national. That means the 500,000 migrants about to be granted passports will be free to work and travel in Britain. Similar passports schemes have been launched by Hungary and Romania. ...

Hungary recently announced that, from next year, it will begin handing out passports to minority groups who have historic or ethnic ties to the East European country but live elsewhere.

The Hungarians will have immediate access to the UK, since there are no controls on countries which joined the EU in 2004.
[Site link]


Border controls – education, crime
Exposed: college where 'migrants get an English pass in 15 minutes'
Daily Express, 13 August 2010

A college that appears to have no qualified teachers is under investigation after allegedly selling English language certificates to Asian immigrants, it was reported last night.

Students at the Oxford College of Management and Sciences appeared to have little or no knowledge of what, where and when they had studied to get their certificates, it was claimed.

One student said he was told he had gained a pass less than 15 minutes into his first lesson.

Another allegedly paid a £50 deposit and was asked to speak in English "about my life". After 15 minutes, he says he was told the college would be in touch and he would just need to pay £200 to collect his certificate.

The revelations come after fears last year rose that hundreds of students from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were studying at poorly-regulated private colleges which had found ways to exploit weaknesses in Britain's immigration controls.

It is alleged that the Oxford College, which has sites in Burnley, Bradford, Blackburn, Bolton, Rochdale and Oldham, is rigging its English for Speakers of Other Languages course to help immigrants to cheat their way to getting UK citizenship.

A pass means those who meet other requirements can apply for a passport or indefinite leave to remain.

Lin Homer, UK Border Agency chief executive, said the: "We have referred details of this college to Ofqual [the exams regulator] to investigate urgently."

Rizwan Ahmed Kiyani, who allegedly runs Oxford College, has denied all allegations of fraud or criminal behaviour.
[Site link]


Border controls – education
300,000 a year let in on student visas
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 2 August 2010

The number of foreigners who came to Britain on student visas rose by a third to more than 300,000 last year, prompting renewed warnings last night of a loophole in immigration law.

Official figures showed that the number of students entering Britain from non-EU countries increased by more than 75,000 in 12 months, despite unprecedented demand for college and university places. The influx was exacerbated by a further 31,000 dependants accompanying foreign students, the figures disclosed. ...

Last night, the Government said that the student visa system had been open to "significant abuse". Damian Green, the immigration minister, said there would be a thorough review of the rules. ...

The increase was thought to have been the largest single rise on record.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – asylum, deportation
17,000 immigrants told to leave UK won right to stay on appeal after Home Office failed to attend hearings
Katherine Faulkner
Daily Mail, 2 August 2010

Thousands of rejected immigrants are being allowed to stay in the UK because the Home Office is not bothering to defend the decision in the appeal courts.

Immigrants whose applications to stay in the UK have been rejected are routinely winning appeals against the decisions - simply because no Home Office official has turned up at court to defend the rejection.

The number of immigrants winning leave to remain in Britain at a hearing when no official was present jumped by almost 50 per cent last year.

More than 17,000 won appeals in such cases - a figure which stood at less than 1,500 just five years ago.

In some instances the Home Office has later decided to counter-appeal the decision - a procedure that comes at a significant cost to the taxpayer.

Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, told the Times: 'This is a shocking state of affairs.

'It represents a waste of money.

'I think in some cases they cannot be bothered to turn up because they look at the papers and know they are not going to win.

'In other cases it is sheer inefficiency. There seems to be an attitude that they do not even care what the result is going to be.'

In the absence of home office officials, migrants have won appeals against refused asylum applications, deportation orders and refusals of entry to the UK. Last year 17,473 migrants won their appeals at hearings at which the Home Office was not represented by an official.

A further 23,997 won appeals when the Home Office was represented, a parliamentary written answer revealed.

A migrant is far more likely to win an appeal if there is no official present to defend decisions.

But the UK Border agency is struggling to cope with a massive rise in the number of appeals to Asylum and Immigration Tribunals over the past five years and cannot spare the staff to attend all contentious hearings.
[Site link]


Border controls – visas
Slip-ups in checks on visas for Pakistanis
Daily Telegraph, 27 July 2010

Visa controls on applicants from Pakistan who want to settle in Britain have failed to protect the UK's border, a watchdog said yesterday.

More than one in 10 applications that were approved should not have been, a test sample study showed.

The UK Border Agency's independent chief inspector, John Vine, said the investigation into the handling of Pakistan settlement applications found "serious organisational failings" in the UK visa section and "a lack of rigorous scrutiny being applied to those who wished to settle in the UK".

The agency "failed to fully meet both key strategic objectives of protecting the UK border and making fast and fair decisions", he said. ...

Pakistan is the third largest source of applications to enter the UK.

In 2009 there were 10,700 visa applications. Successful applicants can stay and work for two years, with the option to apply to stay permanently at the end of that.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – education
Student visas surge under 'shambolic' points system
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 25 July 2010

Holes in Labour's disastrous points-based immigration system led to huge increases in the numbers of student visas handed out, startling figures revealed last night.

The system was heralded as a crackdown on the number of migrants allowed into the UK, but the number of visas issued to some countries increased more than six-fold.

Less than a year after it was brought in, ministers were forced to suspend applications from several countries, including Bangladesh and Nepal, because they were being used by economic migrants posing as students.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the MigrationWatch UK think-tank, said the revelations showed the points based system was 'a shambles'.

The scale of the problems affecting the points system was never revealed in full before the General Election.

However, figures released by the UK Border Agency under the Freedom of Information Act showed that the number of visas issued in Bangladesh increased by 745 per cent - rising from 448 in January 2009 to 3,339 in January of the following year.

There was also evidence loopholes were being deliberately exploited - as applications shot up from 919 to 4,829 over the same period.

Over ten months the total number of visas handed out to Bangladeshis rose six-fold from 3,380 to 21,226.

Officials at the UK Border Agency admitted they found evidence the system was being abused by economic migrants posing as students and just ten months after it was introduced in April 2009, all applications for student visas were suspended in North India, Bangladesh and Nepal. ...

India and Nepal saw applications more than double from 9,791 for the month of August 2008 to 24,035 in August 2009.

The number of visas actually approved nearly doubled from 6,580 to more than 12,000.

Across all countries sending students to the UK, student visa numbers went up from 208,800 to 273,445 in a year - a rise of 31 per cent. ...

Immigration Minister Damian Green said: 'I am looking at this issue closely with a view to introducing new measures later this year to ensure that every student who comes to the UK is genuine.'
[Site link]


Border controls
Border control in chaos after contractor sacked
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 23 July 2010

Border controls designed to monitor every passenger coming in and out of the country were in disarray last night after the Home Office was forced to sack its contractor.

Delays in the £750 million contract with Raytheon Systems Ltd mean up to 100 million passenger movements each year are still not registered by the e-Borders programme. ...

It is also a blow to the fight against illegal immigration, crime and terrorism, as the system is key to checking the movement of individuals and whether migrants left the country when they were supposed to. ...

The system was due to count 95 per cent of the estimated 200 million annual passenger movements into and out of the country by the end of this year. But the delays mean it is only covering half those movements.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – costs, crime
Britain pays Calais migrants £3,500 to go home - before they even get here
Tom Harper
Mail on Sunday, 18 July 2010

British taxpayers have paid out more than £1 million to persuade hundreds of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants to return home – before they even enter the UK.

Foreigners attempting to cross the English Channel at the French port of Calais are offered free flights and awarded up to £3,500 to help start businesses back home.

The Home Office-backed Global Calais Project has persuaded 468 'irregular migrants' to return to their countries of origin at a cost of £1.2 million to the UK Exchequer.

Among those to take up the offer were 50 Afghans, 20 Sudanese, eight Libyans and five Indians – none of whom had a legal right to travel to or live in Britain.

Last year, 281 illegal immigrants took advantage of the generous offer, a rate of more than five a week. The bizarre incentive is equivalent to 14 years' wages for a worker in Afghanistan.

The Home Office claims the payout scheme, which began in 2007, helps avoid long, costly legal battles once the migrants arrive in the UK.

The payments emerged in a Freedom of Information request to the Home Office by The Mail on Sunday. The department spent a year battling the release of the figures and agreed only after an intervention by the information watchdog.

The Home Office also admitted paying out almost £80 million in resettlement grants to 21,506 people who had already reached the UK. The sum is equivalent to the annual salaries of 800 family doctors or 3,200 teachers. ...

Taxpayer-funded repatriation schemes began under Labour in 1999 but were widened dramatically in 2005 when Ministers raised the maximum payout from £1,000 to £4,000 in an attempt to combat the soaring number of illegal immigrants.

All the schemes are operated by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), an independent body that organises migrant removals for governments around the globe. ...

They offer to transfer them to Paris, pay for flights home and promise retraining or business grants of up to £3,500 if the migrants agree to halt their journey into the UK. The grants are distributed from IOM offices in the migrants' countries of origin once they return home.

Charlie Elphicke, Conservative MP for Dover, said: 'There is a real risk that people will hear of this and it will create a bizarre incentive for people to try to smuggle themselves into Britain. The solution could be worse than the disease.'

Back in Britain, the IOM administers other Home Office-backed schemes from its plush head offices in Westminster, Central London.

The Voluntary Assisted Return and Reintegration Programme (VARRP) pays failed asylum seekers who are already in the country up to £4,000 to drop their appeals and return home voluntarily.

Almost 17,000 failed asylum seekers from 122 countries have taken advantage of VARRP so far, including 1,597 Albanians, 289 Indians and 39 Poles.

In total, the Home Office admitted paying the IOM a total of £79.2 million over the past five years.
[Site link]


Border controls – crime
The ban that means immigration officials cannot chase runaways
Rebecca Lefort and David Barrett
Sunday Telegraph, 18 July 2010

A "ludicrous" rule that prevents immigration officers from chasing illegal immigrants who run away is to be reviewed.

Senior officials at the UK Border Agency (UKBA), which is charged with removing the estimated 500,000 illegal immigrants in Britain, are re-examining the operating guidance issued to its officers.

A rulebook that governs how raids are carried out also instructs officers not to "patronise" suspects, to give them "body space", to maintain eye contact, and to adopt a "relaxed" and "non-aggressive stance".

The ban on pursuits was introduced to counter fears that a chase could lead to either an immigration officer or a suspect being hurt. ... ...

The UKBA removed 63,000 people from Britain in 2009-10.

It can also be disclosed that criminal gangs are exploiting the Home Office's "points-based" visa system, introduced under Labour in November 2008, to bring new gang members into Britain through bogus businesses.

The system puts responsibility on employers to "sponsor" migrant workers, but organised crime networks have set up fake companies to obtain work permits for foreign gangsters, according to a warning from the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca). ...

The agency said that abuse of the work permit and student visa systems, along with bogus marriages, were now "common methods of abuse".
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – education
Judge opens door to 'bogus' students: Visa crackdown overturned by High Court
Steve Doughty
Daily Mail, 10 July 2010

Rules meant to stop immigrants falsely coming to Britain with student visas were overturned by a judge yesterday.

The High Court decision will mean a flood of migrants entering the country in the guise of language students, politicians and migration analysts warned.

Former Labour Home Secretary Alan Johnson laid down regulations earlier this year blocking students from coming into the country to start language courses unless they already spoke English to a good standard.

But Mr Justice Foskett said that the rules had been wrongly established through changes to existing guidelines.

There should have been a legally binding change to the rules approved by Parliament, he found.

The decision was a victory for language schools headed by the English UK group, which represents 440 schools and colleges based on the south coast, London, Oxford and Cambridge. ...

Last year 273,445 students were given visas to come to Britain for courses, nearly 50,000 more than in 2008.

Critics say that many cheat the system to get into the country and stay permanently.

Apart from abuses by migrants who have no intention of attending the courses for which their visas are granted, the student system is also thought to have been exploited by women looking to bring husbands into the country.

In March Mr Johnson made it more difficult to get a visa under Labour's 'points based' system by raising the level of English required for those looking to come on English language courses to 'intermediate' from 'elementary'.

Home Secretary Theresa May will now have to choose whether to remake the Labour rules – this time ensuring they have been correctly approved by MPs – or to postpone changes until wider reforms of the immigration system are pushed through. ...

But shadow immigration minister Phil Woolas, who was Immigration Minister when the rules were brought in, said: 'If the Government is serious about tackling illegal immigration it will mount an immediate and robust appeal against this decision.

'This follows on from the decision of the new Home Secretary to drop the English language requirement for spouses and families of asylum seekers. For all its bluster, the Conservative-led government already appears to be losing its grip on immigration policy.'

Sir Andrew Green of the Migrationwatch think-tank said: 'Student visas are a huge gap in our immigration system. The previous government's points-based system, still in effect, has led to a flood of applications from India, Bangladesh and Nepal, often from people with completely inadequate English for the course they clam to be joining.'

'It is now absolutely essential that this massive loophole be closed by whatever formalities are necessary,' he added.
[Site link]


Border controls
Illegal migrants sneak in through minor ports
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 7 July 2010

Illegal immigrants are slipping in at ports unmanned by immigration officers, the border agency watchdog said yesterday.

There are only enough officers at Holyhead in Wales to cover one in four shifts, ...

Other minor ports in Wales and the South West are not manned at all, a report by John Vine, the chief inspector of the UK Border Agency found.

The lack of security raises the prospect that terrorists could be exploiting the gaps to get into Britain. One anti-immigration campaigner said the agency had "left the side door to Britain wide open".

An inspection of border agency operations in Wales and the South West found some of the 17 airports and seaports in the region had limited or no immigration officers.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch UK, said: "This is astonishing. Yet again the public have been systematically misled about the effect of our border controls."
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – European Union
5,900 Afghan children get into EU
Daily Express, 14 June 2010

The UN has revealed that more than 5,900 Afghan children were smuggled into Europe last year.

Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said in a report that more and more children are escaping from Afghanistan due to worsening living conditions in their homeland.

The agency said children are being pushed by their parents to leave with smugglers in order to earn money in Europe before sending it back to their families in Afghanistan.

The report said: "Afghan parents, families and communities have allowed and encouraged the departure of their children on hazardous journeys."

The agency also found that almost half of under-age asylum claims in Europe last year were made by Afghan youths.
[Site link]


Border controls – politics
Facing up to immigration
David Blunkett, MP (Lab)
Daily Telegraph, 9 June 2010
[Letter to the Editor]

... I'm so disappointed that Philip Johnston's obsession with "freeing" us all from an identity register was again paraded in yesterday's Daily Telegraph. He failed to appreciate the contradictions of the arguments he put. We need biometrics and a clean database precisely to determine who is in the country, who is entitled to work legally, who is leaving the country (you can't have embarkation exit requirements without it), and for a clampdown on massive identity fraud, which costs us dear in so many ways.

I am very proud of the measures that I was able to push through Parliament as home secretary in the teeth of a combination of the libertarian Right and the blinkered Left. I am only saddened that in those battles I was not joined by those so keen to rewrite history in relation to getting a grip on unwarranted and unauthorised entry into our country, illegal (and thus clandestine) working, and asylum claims – now back to 1992 levels.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – climate change
Plea for a bigger navy to keep out climate immigration
John Ingham
Daily Express, 31 May 2010

Britain needs a bigger Navy to stave off mass immigration caused by climate change, green guru James Lovelock claimed yesterday.

Starvation could follow if Britain's shores are not protected, he said.

Dr Lovelock, 90, said that as the world population rises, climate change would trigger mass immigration north.

And Britain would be seen as a "liferaft" on to which the dispossessed would scramble.

The moderating effect of the surrounding seas may help us escape the worst effects of climate change, he said.

Dr Lovelock, who in the 1960s invented the Gaia theory that the Earth is a self-regulating entity, said mass migration was already under way.

At the Hay Festival of Literature in Herefordshire he said: "Do you know that Italy now has a larger navy than we do and it is to keep immigrants from Africa out?

"We are a bit of a liferaft but there is only a limited number of people that this island can support." Dr Lovelock, a patron of the Optimum Population Trust which campaigns for a gradual global population decrease, said that with 60 million people Britain may already be at its optimum size.

"So what are we going to do?" he said. "The people who are going to come here are going to starve and so are we – a larger Navy may be the answer."

The Royal Navy is facing cuts in the Strategic Defence Review. One senior officer told the Daily Express that meeting its current commitments was already an "awesome challenge".
[Site link]


Border controls
Axing immigration staff 'could see Dover overrun'
James Slack
MailOnline, 30 April 2010

Fears were raised last night that the key port of Dover could be overrun by illegal immigrants after it emerged Labour is to axe a whole tier of senior border staff.

All 24 staff with the title immigration officer - responsible for deciding whether migrants should be let into the country - will lose their jobs.

They have been credited with 40 per cent of all the removals of illegal immigrants from Kent last year.

But the UK Border Agency plans to use cheaper junior staff who will not have the same powers to challenge those suspected of being illegal immigrants or potential visa over-stayers.

In another blow, proposals are also being made to shut down the 60-bed Dover detention centre. The facility is used to detain offenders before deportation and to hold immigrants awaiting interview.

Sue Kendal, branch secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, said: 'Dover is losing its entire immigration officer team and we are in danger of reverting to the bad old days of mass influxes.

'We risk leaving the door open for a free-for-all, including people who want to harm the UK. The Government talks tough but in reality it is cutting front-line officers.'

Two chief immigration officers will also be axed, leaving just five, and assistant officers will decrease from 23 to 21. Further cuts in nearby Folkestone take the job losses to 30, according to unions.
[Site link]


Border controls – illegal, amnesty
Lessons learnt in Spain and Italy
Robert Winnett
Daily Telegraph, 26 April 2010

Several other countries have introduced amnesties to try to curtail problems associated with illegal immigration.

However, amnesties have led to the number of illegal immigrants increasing. ...

For example, Spain has had four amnesties. The first, in 1985-86, led to 44,000 immigrants coming forward. This grew to 135,000 in 1991 and 314,000 in 2001. The last amnesty, in 2005, saw 700,000 illegal immigrants granted the right to live in the country.

Spain has the highest immigration rate of any major European country and recently introduced payments for migrants returning home.

Italy has had a series of amnesties. One, in 1987-88, uncovered 119,000 illegal immigrants. Another, in 1990, led to 235,000 illegal immigrants coming forward, while a 1998 amnesty uncovered a further 308,000.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – education
Foreign student visas up 40,000
Robert Mendick
Sunday Telegraph, 18 April 2010

More than 40,000 extra foreign students were allowed into Britain from just seven countries last year, casting new doubt on the effectiveness of the Government's "tough" new visa system.

Official Home Office figures show 100,000 student visas were granted in the academic year to September 2009 – an increase of almost 40,000 on the previous 12 months.

Critics say the 63 per cent jump – equivalent to filling two universities the size of Oxford – exposes the ease with which students have been able to manipulate the points-based visa system introduced by the Government last year.

The students come from seven countries: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Malaysia and Nigeria. ...

The new figures, revealed in a parliamentary answer, show that 99,932 students successfully applied for visas up until September 2009 – with huge rises in the six months after the points system was introduced in March. ...

Sir Andrew Green, the former diplomat who runs the immigration think tank MigrationWatch UK, said: "This blows out of the water government claims about their points-based system being 'tough'."
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
And another thing
Nigel Farndale
Sunday Telegraph, 11 April 2010

I have two pet pigs which I was given by a friend last summer, one who lives a mere five country miles away. The paperwork from Defra has been unbelievable – long forms that have to be filled out in triplicate, passports, holding numbers and so on. You then have to contact the local council, the vet, and some other agency in Reading whose name escapes me. And even after all this, I have had three visits from Defra officials, double-checking the information on my forms.

The problem was that the friend dropped the pigs off in a trailer one day without first filling in a transportation form. I dare say this is petty stuff compared to the bureaucratic hoops my farming cousins have to go through. ...

Anyway, it strikes me that it must be easier to move about the country as an illegal immigrant these days than it is as a pet pig.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Immigration staff claim borders are too open
Daily Telegraph, 10 April 2010

One in four immigration staff believes they are doing a good job in controlling Britain's borders, an internal survey has found.

Most staff say the UK Border Agency is not improving while only half think they have the tools and information to do their job.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – Cambodia, South Korea, marriage
Cambodia suspends marriages to South Koreans
Asia One, 19 March 2010

Cambodia has suspended marriages between South Koreans and its citizens to curb human trafficking, the foreign ministry said Friday.

'We sent a note to the South Korean embassy on March 5 informing them about the temporary suspension in marriage applications between Cambodians and South Koreans,' ministry spokesman Koy Kuong told AFP. ...

South Korean news agency Yonhap reported Friday that the number of Cambodian women marrying Korean men had more than doubled, from 551 in 2008 to 1,372 last year.

In March 2008 Cambodia imposed a ban on foreign marriages to prevent human trafficking, amid concerns over an explosion in the number of brokered unions involving South Korean men and poor Cambodian women.

The ban followed an International Organisation for Migration report that said many Cambodian brides suffered abuse after moving to South Korea in marriages hastily arranged by brokers who made large profits.

The restriction was lifted about eight months later after new laws were introduced to prevent women becoming mail-order brides.
[Site link]


Border controls – crime
£7,000 price of being smuggled over Channel
Peter Allen
Daily Telegraph, 4 March 2010

Hundreds of illegal migrants were regularly smuggled to Britain from France as part of a discounted "bulk service" provided by the "Baghdad ring" of people smugglers, a Paris court heard yesterday.

The £7,000-a-head operation saw 1,000 foreigners transported to Channel ports such as Calais and Cherbourg, where they were encouraged to jump aboard lorries heading for England and other parts of northern Europe between early 2007 and mid-2008.

Once in Britain, migrants, primarily Iraqis, but also Iranians, Afghanis, Pakistanis and Chinese, would claim asylum, or else disappear into jobs in the black economy. ...

Details of the ease with which the smugglers, mainly Pakistanis and Afghan nationals, regularly evaded British customs and security checks emerged as the 28 suspected smugglers went on trial in the Criminal Correctional Court in Paris.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – education
Tenth of student visas via suspect colleges
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 27 February 2010

More than one in 10 foreign students is arriving in Britain through bogus or suspect colleges, figures have shown.

Up to 30,000 students are registered with colleges that the Home Office has either banned or is investigating on suspicion they are a front for illegal immigration, raising fresh concerns over security.

That figure is equivalent to at least a tenth of the 236,470 student visas granted in 2008-09. The data have led to concerns that the student visa system is being exploited by criminals, illegal migrants and potential terrorists.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – visas, education, employment
Immigration officer takes minister to task
Daily Telegraph, 11 February 2010

An immigration officer rounded on Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, yesterday over lax new entry controls that leave staff powerless to reject suspect students.

Lisa Lea grilled the Cabinet minister, who is ultimately her boss, in front of an audience and the head of the UK Border Agency. She claimed the new student visa is a "waste of time".

Ms Lea, who works at Heathrow airport, complained that officials had been stripped of their powers to interview and reject immigrants who they think are coming here to work.

This was because entirely paper-based applications had led to a huge increase in arrivals in recent months. ...

Mr Johnson defended the new rules, adding: "If interviewing all potential students was so successful, why have we got so many student overstayers who come here legally without the intention of studying? It wasn't a foolproof system."
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
Immigration service is failing, says watchdog
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 9 February 2010

The UK Border Agency cannot perform even "basic" functions and is a "very long way" from effectively removing failed asylum seekers, a watchdog warns today.

It has let a backlog of 110,000 applications for leave to remain and for residence in Britain build up, a report by Ann Abraham, the Parliamentary Ombudsman, found.

Ms Abraham said the agency risked losing public faith. Her report, Fast and Fair? was drawn up after she became concerned over the number and nature of complaints against the agency. ...

The agency is already handling up to 450,000 historic asylum cases, but dealing with those and foreign national prisoners who should have been deported, which became a priority, has caused delays in other areas, the report said. Making up the 110,000 backlog are 33,000 applications for leave to remain and 77,000 for residence under European laws, such as relatives of citizens of the European Economic Area. ...

It also emerged that illegal immigrants who stay undetected in Britain for 14 years can apply for indefinite leave to stay under a 40-year-old rule.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls
New foreign student visa curbs
Patrick Hennessy
Sunday Telegraph, 7 February 2010

The number of foreign students given visas is to be slashed in an attempt to curb widespread abuse of the system. ...

Ministers believe the new rules – to be introduced before the general election – will slash the numbers coming to Britain by tens of thousands.

In 2008, 233,000 student visas were granted, with another 140,000 people granted entry as "student visitors".
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – marriage, visas
Marriage scam drives Indian demand for UK visas
Dean Nelson
Daily Telegraph, 2 February 2010

A surge in advertisements for sham marriages is behind the huge increase in Indian student visa applications to Britain, officials and immigration experts said yesterday.

They were speaking after Britain was forced to suspend temporarily applications from India, Bangladesh and Nepal. It followed a rise in requests for visas from 1,800 to 13,500 from the same period last year.

The suspension is an embarrassment since it comes a year after Britain introduced a new points-based system for assessing applicants.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – visas, education, employment
Immigration controls being undermined by judges
David Barrett
Sunday Telegraph, 31 January 2010

Judges are undermining Britain's immigration controls by allowing students who have fragrantly breached the rules to remain in the country, ...

Home Office efforts to prevent foreign students from extending their visas have been overturned by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal even when the immigrants have broken the rules by setting up businesses or working for more hours than they are permitted. ...

Phil Woolas, the Immigration Minister, said he was disappointed by the tribunal's rulings. ...

In a new case, a 29-year-old Ghanaian student at the University of Sunderland was caught working as a security guard for more than the permitted 20 hours a week, and the Home Office refused his application to stay in Britain. He appealed to the tribunal, and it ruled in September that deporting him would breach his human rights. ...

Sir Andrew Green, the chairman of MigrationWatch UK, a pressure group, said: "With 250,000 students admitted every year from outside the European Union, we simply cannot afford to have conditions which have been voluntarily accepted by the students undermined in this extraordinary way."
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – France
'Sangatte II' opens by Calais ferry port ... and it's on street called England Square
Peter Allen
Daily Mail, 29 January 2010

A vast new welcome centre for Britain-bound illegal migrants has opened in Calais.

Local charities were today accepting the first new residents of the 2,000 sq ft hangar close to the French 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 was razed to the ground in 2002.

And the fact that the new hangar is on Place d'Angleterre, or England Square, has not been lost on the charity workers.

'It's very appropriate,' said one. 'England is where almost everyone who stays here will want to end up. We'll be able to look after hundreds at a time.'

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

But since then the humanitarian situation has deteriorated to such an extent that both the government and Calais council fear urgent action is needed.

While they have not yet given official approval to the new centre, the charities who are renting it believe they will turn a blind eye.

'We don't envisage any legal problems,' said a spokesman for the SOS refugee and homeless charity.

'This is a humanitarian gesture – we're putting the shelter at the disposal of the migrants.

'There are showers, bathrooms and toilets. It will be heated and there will be blankets and beds.'

Rodolphe Nettier, president of SOS, said : 'We have initially rented the hangar for a few months, but hope to keep it open for much longer. The first migrants are due today.'

Mr Nettier said the building was very secure – something which will make it difficult for the police to raid and arrest the migrants.

There will be no restrictions on who can use the welcome centre, said Mr Nettier. ...

Since the closure of the Jungle in Calais, further migrant camps have also 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.

But the Calais centre will cause particular outrage, as Mr Besson has insisted time and time again that there would no official welcome centre in the town.
[Site link]


Border controls – education
4,000 'bogus' foreign students are still in country
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 13 January 2010

Thousands of students who entered Britain through bogus colleges could still be in the country, the Government has admitted.

More than 4,000 migrants were enrolled in schools, colleges and universities that were refused an official licence to sponsor foreign students last year, or have since had their licences stripped, figures obtained by the Tories have disclosed.

Students who were in the country before the rule change in March have been permitted to stay for the remainder of their leave, even though the Home Office suspected the colleges they attended were bogus. ...

In a written answer to a parliamentary question, the Government said there were 3,940 international students enrolled at those establishments. ...

Another answer showed that 280 students were enrolled at colleges that have had their licence revoked since March.

Figures in December showed that bogus colleges were being discovered at a rate of almost two a month.
[Newspaper link]


Border controls – education
Bogus students playing 'weak' UK visa system
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 11 January 2010

A large number of bogus students are slipping into Britain because the new points-based immigration regime is "significantly weaker" than its predecessor, a leaked Home Office memo has warned.

An immigration intelligence unit said the student visa system was allowing numerous illegal immigrants to arrive and officers at ports of entry were powerless to stop them, ... Bogus students who were refused or would have been rejected under the old regime were being waved through even though border control staff were convinced that they were not genuine.

Almost 1.5 million student visas have been issued in the past eight years, including 236,470 in 2008-09, but the memo to the Home Office from the Heathrow Intelligence Unit claimed that it was education institutions that were effectively deciding who was allowed to enter. ...

The memo warned that unless the officers could prove that documents were false they could not refuse entry and described the new system as a "tick box" process that "removed the ability of the entry clearance officer to assess credibility of either the college or the applicant".

It said the concerns were "not unique" to Heathrow.
[Newspaper link]



Arrogant judiciary is undermining British society
Leo McKinstry
Daily Express, 20 December 2010

Britain is no longer a properly functioning democracy. The governance of our country is increasingly in the hands of a judicial elite that is beholden to Brussels and its own Left-wing bias.

Puffed up with power, these courtroom zealots appear to have nothing but contempt for justice, the national interest or the will of the British people.

And in the Human Rights Act they have the perfect instrument for pushing through their own agenda.

One recent legal case graphically symbolises the destructive influence of our politically correct judges. Ignoring common decency, a court decided last week that the British Government cannot deport a failed Iraqi Kurdish asylum seeker, Aso Mohammed Ibrahim, who killed a 12-year-old girl, Amy Houston, in a brutal hit-and-run accident in 2003.

Despite his appalling crime two judges at an Immigration Tribunal claimed that any attempt to throw Ibrahim out of this country would be a breach of his human rights because he has fathered two children in Britain since the incident. According to the perverted morality of European law, therefore, his right to family life has to be protected.

This ruling is an affront. It is an outrage that the rights of a foreign killer should be given more priority than those of a loving British family who have been denied any form of justice over their child's death.

Ibrahim was already serving a nine-month ban for driving without a licence or insurance when he ran down Amy and did not even stop.

Yet Ibrahim spent just four months in jail for her death, a shockingly lenient sentence that again exposes the cowardice of our legal system. Since his release he has committed drug possession, burglary, theft and harassment. What makes this low-life's case even more sickening is that he has absolutely no right to reside in Britain.

He arrived here from Iraq in the back of a lorry in 2001 and immediately applied for asylum. His claim was rejected but, with characteristic feebleness, the immigration authorities failed to kick him out.

When action was finally taken to deport him he and his lawyers began to bleat about his so-called human rights. But by his vile behaviour, Ibrahim had forfeited any such rights. He showed savage disdain towards the family life of the Houstons. ...

It is estimated 350 foreign criminals escape deportation every year because of the Human Rights Act.
[Site link]


Citizenship – France, criminals
France approves plan to strip foreign-born criminals of French nationality
Daily Telegraph, 12 October 2010

Lawmakers in France have approved a bill to strip foreign-born criminals of their French nationality and expel EU citizens for certain crimes, part of President Nicolas Sarkozy's law and order crackdown.

Members of the lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, passed the measure after a first reading by 294 votes to 239 in a vote overshadowed by mass strikes and demonstrations against Mr Sarkozy's pensions reforms.

The law would strip French nationality from foreigners who had acquired citizenship and who were convicted of violent crimes against police and other officials. This punishment currently applies only to terrorism charges.

It would also allow police to deport foreign nationals, including those from other European Union countries, for repeated acts of theft, aggressive begging or for illegally occupying land. ...

The bill must be examined by a parliamentary commission before it can be voted into law.
[Site link]


Citizenship – numbers
Britain doles out most passports in EU with a QUARTER of all applications by foreign nationals
James Slack
Daily Mail, 10 September 2010

Britain is handing out passports to more foreign nationals than any other EU country.

In one year, the number of citizenship applications rubber-stamped by the last government was almost a quarter of those issued across all 27 EU member states.

From 2002 to 2008, the latest period for which full figures are available, the total number of approvals by Home Office officials was 1,008,500.

Eurostat, the EU's statistics authority, said this figure outstripped even Germany and France, which have larger populations.

Once granted citizenship, people have full access to housing, benefits and the jobs market. ...

In addition to issuing the highest cumulative number of passports, Britain topped the league table in three individual years. In 2007, the 164,500 passport approvals was the equivalent on 23 per cent of the EU total. Over the entire seven-year period, they accounted for 20 per cent of those given out.

Labour repeatedly promised to make the citizenship rules tougher, but by the time it left government, the numbers were rising sharply.

The Eurostat report stops at 2008. But, in the following year, Home Office figures show the government granted 203,790 passports.

Britain has the third largest number of foreign citizens living here - behind only Germany and Spain. The total of 4,020,800 consists of 1,614,800 people from inside the EU who - because of free movement directives - do not require a visa to live in the UK.

During the election campaign, Labour claimed there were equal numbers of workers entering and leaving the UK.

In reality, Eurostat says there were just 287,600 UK nationals filling jobs elsewhere in the European Union by autumn 2008. Yet there were 1,020,000 citizens from other Euro countries taking posts in the economy here.
[Site link]


Migrants who want citizenship will be given trial period
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 6 September 2010

Plans to make migrants "earn" citizenship could be dropped, the Immigration Minister signalled yesterday. ...

But the programme, drawn up by the last labour government, has come under criticism because it would not stop petty criminals earn citizenship and activities such as standing on picket lines or political canvassing would count towards it. ...

The "earned citizenship" scheme is now under review and could be dropped altogether.
[Newspaper link]


A foreigner gets British passport every three minutes
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 28 May 2010

A British passport is being handed to a foreigner every three minutes, with figures at a record high.

A total of 203,790 people were granted citizenship last year, a 58 per cent jump on the previous 12 months.

It was the highest level since records began in 1962 and was partly due to a rush in applications before tough new rules on earning a passport come into effect next year. The Home Office figures mean that more than 1.5 million foreign migrants became Britons under Labour, increasing concerns over the effect of the last government's open door policy on immigration. ...

Overall, the number of immigrants arriving in the UK and looking to stay for more than a year fell by nine per cent last year but still stood at 503,000 – the equivalent of more than 1,300 a day – while emigration levels also fell to 361,000.

It meant net migration – the difference between those arriving and leaving – stood at 142,000, which was an 11 per cent drop on the previous year but is still well above the "tens of thousands" target figure of the new Government.

The flow of migrants from Eastern Europe also went into reverse for the first time after 45,000 arrived last year – a drop of five per cent – but 57,000 left.
[Newspaper link]


Citizenship – USA
Paul opposes citizenship for babies of illegals
Roger Alford, 28 May 2010

U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul is stirring it up again, this time by saying he opposes citizenship for children born in the U.S. to parents who are illegal immigrants.

Paul, who a week ago won the GOP primary, told a Russian TV station in a clip circulating on political Web sites Friday that he wants to block citizenship to those children.

"We're the only country I know that allows people to come in illegally, have a baby, and then that baby becomes a citizen," Paul told RT, an English-language station, shortly after his win over GOP establishment candidate Trey Grayson. "And I think that should stop also."

Legislation dubbed the Birthright Citizenship Act was introduced in the House last year seeking to prevent citizenship to babies born to illegal immigrants even though the 14th Amendment to the Constitution guarantees citizenship to everyone born in the U.S. More than 90 lawmakers signed on as co-sponsors.

Paul told the TV station that partisan politics may be at play in not stopping illegal immigration.

"I'm not opposed to letting people come in and work and labor in our country," Paul said. "But I think what we should do is we shouldn't provide an easy route to citizenship. A lot of this is about demographics. If you look at new immigrants from Mexico, they register three to one Democrat, so the Democratic Party is for easy citizenship and allowing them to vote. I think we need to address that."

Immigration advocates criticized Paul's stand on Friday as immoral.

"That's a very extremist position," said Manuel Perez-Rocha, a spokesman for the liberal Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies. "It comes at a very bad moment in history because it tends to polarize debate on immigration when it's most needed that both parties come to their senses so they can have serious discussion on the subject. It's immoral. It lacks compassion."

Campaign chairman David Adams said Friday that Paul stands behind his statements.

"Illegal immigration is a real problem in this country," Adams said, "and if we can't talk about this, what can we talk about?"

Rusty Childress, founder of the anti-illegal immigration group United for a Sovereign America, praised Paul for voicing his opinion on the issue.

"He's a brave individual to stand up for what he believes in," he said. "Illegal immigration is a topic like abortion or religion – it's controversial, and it's really taboo. For a candidate to come out and be so strongly not ignoring the issue is admirable."
[Site link]


UK sees shift in migration trend
BBC, 27 May 2010

More European migrants, from countries including Poland and the Czech Republic, are leaving the UK than arriving, Home Office figures show.

It marks a reversal in movement for the first time since large-scale immigration in Europe began.

In all, there were 45,000 arrivals of A8 nationals in 2009, compared with 57,000 departures.

A8, or accession eight, refers to the central and eastern European countries that acceded to the EU in 2004.

They include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia.

Overall, the UK's net migration figure - the number of immigrants minus numbers emigrating - for the 12 months ending in September 2009 was 142,000, down from 160,000 for the same period the previous year.

The data comes from the International Passenger Survey of long-term international migration, considered a broad guide to migration movements.

However, it does not take into account adjustments for asylum seekers, people who stay longer or less than intended, and migration to and from Northern Ireland.

The figures also show the number of people granted British citizenship last year is at its highest level since 2005.

In 2009, 203,790 people were given citizenship, up 59% from 129,375 the previous year.

There was also a 40% increase in the numbers given grants of settlement in the UK and a 45% rise in those allowed to settle for employment reasons.

Other figures from the Home Office showed that nearly a third of foreigners wanting to make Britain their home had failed to pass their citizenship test.

The 45-minute test on British society, history and culture is a crucial step on the road to being allowed to settle permanently or full citizenship.

The new government has committed itself to introducing a cap on non-EU immigration, although the level has yet to be set.

Immigration minister Damian Green said the figures illustrated the scale of the immigration challenge facing the new government.

"I believe that immigration has been far too high in recent years which is why we will reduce net migration back down to the levels of the 1990s - to tens of thousands rather than hundreds of thousands," he said.

New measures including a limit on work permits, actions on marriage and an effective system of regulating students who come to the UK would be introduced, he added.
[Site link]


Net migration set to fall below 100,000
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 27 May 2010

Net migration to Britain is set to drop below 100,000 a year, putting the government on course to reach its stated aim of reducing the level to "tens of thousands, rather than hundreds of thousands".

New official immigration figures show that more eastern European migrants are leaving Britain than arriving, with a difference of 12,000 in the year to September 2009.

The annual citizenship figures for 2009 also published today show more than 203,000 people were granted a British passport last year – an increase of 58% over the previous year but mainly because staff were diverted to other tasks in 2008.

The latest asylum figures show that the number of new claims for refugee status lodged during 2009 was 6% lower than the previous year at 24,250.

They show that 230 children were detained in immigration centres during the first the months of this year. The government has pledged to end child detention in immigration centres.

The overall statistics show a continued decline in net migration to the UK – the number of people coming to work and study minus the number of people leaving to live abroad – to 142,000 in the year to September 2009. This compares with a net migration figure of 160,000 in the previous year to September 2009.

"Declining net migration by British citizens disguises an even more dramatic fall in net migration by non-British citizens, which was just 185,000 in the year to September 2009, down almost 27% on the year to 2008 and compared to peaks of well over 300,000 in 2004/05," said Tim Finch, head of migration at the Institute of Public Policy Research.
[Site link]


Citizenship – numbers, politics
It will take a long time for the new boys to unravel this mess
Jeff Randall
Daily Telegraph, 14 May 2010

... Gordon Brown's administration ... It had, after all, created for itself a client class of supplicant voters. As part of a grand plan for permanent office, more than one million immigrants were handed British passports (80 per cent of first-generation arrivals vote Labour) and 900,000 workers added to the public-sector payroll.
[Newspaper link]


Citizenship – public opinion
Opponents seize on amnesty policy
James Kirkup and Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 3 May 2010

The Liberal Democrats' pledge to offer some illegal immigrants an amnesty is emerging as Nick Clegg's main weakness, a poll suggested. ...

The Lib Dems propose that illegal immigrants who have been in Britain for 10 years be allowed to "earn" British citizenship. Opponents say that would encourage more illegal immigration and hand citizenship to more than 600,000 people.

A YouGov poll yesterday showed that Mr Clegg remained personally popular, with 79 per cent of respondents saying he was doing a good job. But the same poll indicated that 60 per cent of voters opposed his policy of "earned citizenship".

Another poll, commissioned by MigrationwatchUK, a pressure group, suggested that 57 per cent of Lib Dem supporters were opposed to the amnesty plan.
[Newspaper link]


Citizenship – crime
Squatters' rights let thousands of illegal migrants stay in UK
David Barrett
Sunday Telegraph, 21 February 2010

Thousands of illegal migrants have been granted "squatters' rights" to remain in Britain permanently after proving that they have lived here for 14 years, ...

A little-known rule, introduced by Labour in 2003, allows illegal immigrants to claim "indefinite leave to remain" if they have lived in Britain's black economy for long enough or are failed asylum seekers who avoid deportation. After 14 years they can apply to the Home Office, which decides whether an illegal immigrant can stay.

If successful, the immigrant has full access to the welfare state and is eligible to apply for a British passport.

Since the rules changed in April 2003, 7,245 immigrants who were in Britain illegally have won the right to live here permanently – more than 1,000 a year on average. It is likely that many paid no income tax during their 14-year residence.

The Home Office estimated in 2005 that the illegal immigrant population in Britain was between 310,000 and 570,000 but other groups, including Migrationwatch UK, which campaigns against mass immigration, put the figure far higher.

Migrationwatch believes it could be as high as one million. "It is wrong in principle that people who have been undercutting British workers for many years and often paying no tax should be granted full access to our welfare state," said Sir Andrew Green, its chairman. "This is a reward for crime, provided you get away with it for long enough." ...

One immigration law adviser, who declined to be named, was surprised that this rule was still in force. "It is an anomaly when compared with the rest of Government policy, which purports to be getting tougher with immigrants who have irregular status," he said.

The rules allowing illegal immigrants to claim residence after 14 years were formalised by the Home Office in 2003 but previously existed as a loose concession.
[Newspaper link]



Crime – asylum, human rights
Hit-and-run Iraqi can stay in UK
The Independent, 16 December 2010

A failed asylum-seeker who left a 12-year-old girl dying under the wheels of his car while banned from driving will be allowed to remain in the UK, judges ruled today.

Aso Mohammed Ibrahim, 33, an Iraqi Kurd, was already banned from driving when he ran off, leaving Amy Houston trapped under his Rover car. ...

The Upper Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber sitting in Manchester also heard Ibrahim, given leave to remain in the UK, had a string of criminal convictions.

Ibrahim's lawyers argued that his human rights would be impinged if he was sent back to Iraq.

And today two senior immigration judges rejected a final appeal by the UK Border Agency to have him deported.

Ibrahim will now be allowed to live in the UK permanently. ...

Ibrahim's lawyers claimed human rights laws permitted him to remain in the country, as his right to life and to family life trumped attempts to return him to his native Iraq. ...

Although he now has two children, there was little evidence to suggest he was living at the same address so could not claim a right to family life, it was argued.

The judges were also told of Ibrahim's convictions, including a further incident of driving while disqualified in 2006, harassment and possession of drugs.

But Senior Immigration Judges Lane and Taylor, in a reserved judgment made public today, rejected the Border Agency appeal.

They said the original decision should stand but added that the outcome might well have been different if the process to remove Ibrahim had begun before he had children. ...

After serving his sentence, Ibrahim, who came to the UK in 2001, met a British woman, mother of his children Harry, four, and Zara, three.

At the time, Ibrahim's applications for asylum and citizenship had been rejected and although he was technically awaiting deportation, he was not returned to Iraq because the lack of security in the country would have breached his right to life.

Last year he won leave to remain in the UK after arguing that, because he now had two children since being freed from prison, he had a right to a family life under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act.
[Site link]


Crime – race, discrimination, USA
NYC Taxi Drivers Urged to Use Racial Profiling in Passenger Pickups
Susan Jones, 7 December 2010

The federal government refuses to profile airline passengers, but New York City taxi drivers are being urged to profile potential passengers before giving them rides.

Following an attack on a New York taxi driver, the head of the city's taxi-drivers' union is urging cabbies to "profile your passengers; it's very important."

Fernando Mateo, president of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers, gave that advice at a press conference Saturday outside the hospital where the cabbie is in serious condition, the New York Post reported.

"I don't care about racial profiling. You know, sometimes it is good we are racially profiled, because the God's honest truth is that 99 percent of the people that are robbing, stealing, killing these drivers are blacks and Hispanics," said Mateo, who is Hispanic and has a black father. "So if you see suspicious activity, you know what? Don't pick that person up."

Mateo's comments, of course, drew immediate condemnation.
[Site link]


Crime – theft
Angler arrested for shooting at carp
Daily Telegraph, 3 December 2010

Immigrant anglers were responsible for a serious security alert after they fired a shotgun into a river to catch fish. ...

The issue of immigrants, mainly Eastern Europeans, poaching freshwater fish to eat is considered to one of the biggest threats to Britain's inland fisheries.

Authorities have put up "no poaching" signs in different languages on some waterways and have microchipped some species in an attempt to deter thieves. Poaching is very costly to fishery owners as a good sized carp can cost thousands of pounds to replace.

Police questioned the group on the banks of the River Drove at March, Cambs, and arrested a 33-year-old man, believed to have come from Kazakhstan, for discharging a firearm within 50ft of a public highway.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – USA, illegal immigrants
FNC Highlights UVA Study That Shows Enforcing Immigration Laws Decreases Violent Crime
Brad Wilmouth
NewsBusters, 22 November 2010

On Thursday's Fox and Friends, FNC hosts Gretchen Carlson and Steve Doocy gave attention to a University of Virginia study which found that, since Prince William County in Virginia became more strict in dealing with illegal immigrants in 2007, the jurisdiction has enjoyed a substantial drop in crime - including a 32 percent drop in violent crime - while neighboring Fairfax County has seen crime levels remain steady.

Introducing an interview with Prince William County board of supervisors chairman Corey Stewart, co-host Doocy began: "Back in 2007, Prince William County in Virginia became the first large jurisdiction in the country to adopt a strict immigration enforcement policy. That move was widely criticized."

Co-host Carlson added: "But a new study by the University of Virginia shows crime has dropped since the policy went into effect. ... After a three-year study, here's some of the stuff that's happening: 41 percent drop in the hit-and-run accidents; 46.7 percent decrease in aggravated assaults."

After noting that the University of Virginia and other "neutral organizations" were behind the study, guest Stewart informed viewers that violent crime had dropped substantially in his county compared to neighboring Fairfax County.
[Site link]


Crime – gun crime, murder
Trident squad born in response to 'executions' on street
Justin Davenport
Evening Standard (London), 22 November 2010

Operation Trident was launched 12 years ago in response to some of the most terrifying and brutal murders seen on London's streets. ...

In the days before Trident, officers investigating so-called black-on-black gun crime faced huge difficulties, with some communities suspicious of them and potential witnesses too terrified to give evidence against the gunmen living among them.

Trident co-opted members of the black community to advise police on how to approach witnesses and communities.

However, the crime issues facing the squad are radically different today. Ten years ago most firearms murders in London were committed by so-called Yardies, Jamaican nationals who were often gang members aged about 28 to 35. Trident's role then was to investigate all firearms murders in London where both victim and killer were black. The motive usually involved drugs.

Today, the majority of killings Trident looks at are committed by British nationals, mostly in their teens or early twenties. Many are related to gang issues, or to trivial matters of respect, as well as drugs.

The victims and gunmen are usually black or mixed-race, with a blurring of the groups involved in gun crime and the drugs trade. This has led to some senior Scotland Yard officers arguing for a single murder squad for all homicides.

Trident's role has now evolved to cover all London shootings, black or white.
[Site link]


Crime – violence, New York City, USA
The color of murder and gun violence in New York
Jonathan Capehart
Washington Post, 10 November 2010

If New York City were a murder and shooting gallery, almost all of the targets would be African American and Latino.

Check out these statistics from the "Crime and Enforcement Activity in New York City" report for the first six months of 2010.

Murder and Non-Negligent Manslaughter victims are most frequently Black (67.0%) or Hispanic (28.1%). White victims account for (3.2%) of all Murder and Non-Negligent Manslaughter victims while Asian/Pacific Islanders account for (1.8%) of all Murder and Non-Negligent Manslaughter victims.

The Murder and Non-Negligent Manslaughter arrest population is similarly distributed. Black arrestees (53.8%) and Hispanic arrestees (36.4%) account for the majority of Murder and Non-Negligent Manslaughter arrestees while White arrestees (7.1%) and Asian/Pacific Islander (2.2%) arrestees account for the remaining portions of the Murder and Non-Negligent Manslaughter arrest population.

Shooting victims are most frequently Black (73.8%) or Hispanic (22.1 %). White victims account for an additional (2.6%) of all Shooting victims while Asian/Pacific Islanders victims account for (1.2%) of all Shooting Victims.

The Shooting arrest population is similarly distributed. Black arrestees (70.9%) and Hispanic arrestees (25.8%) account for the majority of Shooting arrest population. White arrestees (2.5%) and Asian/Pacific Islander (0.9%) account for the remaining portion of the Shooting arrest population.

In short, 95.1 percent of all murder victims and 95.9 percent of all shooting victims in New York City are black or Hispanic. And 90.2 percent of those arrested for murder and 96.7 percent of those arrested for shooting someone are black and Hispanic. ...

People have railed against black-on-black crime for decades. And yet it persists. Yes, there are a host of factors that push someone to a life of crime, but not all of them have to do with the limitations or failures of society. Some folks are just plain evil, and no amount of social intervention will stop them from preying on people, especially people who look like them.
[Site link]


Crime – Roma, theft, benefit fraud
Police smash Romanian 'child trafficking ring'
Jerome Taylor
The Independent, 12 October 2010

British police have broken open a complex trafficking network run from Romania which uses children to rake in hundreds of thousands of pounds through street crime and benefit fraud.

In a series of dawn raids on properties in Ilford, east London, officers found 103 children crammed into just 16 addresses. ... ...

According to the Metropolitan Police many Roma children are trafficked to the UK and forced to beg and steal on the streets by their handlers who send the bulk of the money back to a town in Romania where traffickers have built themselves palatial houses on the proceeds. The children are also used to bolster fraudulent benefit claims to bring in extra tax credits and child support.

The raids were conducted with help from the Romanian authorities who have been tracking smuggling networks operating out Tanderai, a town 80 miles to the east of Bucharest which has a large Roma population.

Despite the continued harsh economic difficulties faced in Romania, a large number of luxurious houses have sprung up in recent years, many of which have brand new cars with British number plates on their driveways.
[Site link]


Crime – black prisoners, racism
More black people jailed in England and Wales proportionally than in US
Randeep Ramesh
The Guardian, 11 October 2010

The proportion of black people in prison in England and Wales is higher than in the United States, a landmark report released today by the Equality and Human Rights Commission reveals.

The commission's first triennial report into the subject, How Fair is Britain, shows that the proportion of people of African-Caribbean and African descent incarcerated here is almost seven times greater to their share of the population. In the United States, the proportion of black prisoners to population is about four times greater.

The report, which aims to set out how to measure "fairness" in Britain, says that ethnic minorities are "substantially over-represented in the custodial system". It suggests many of those jailed have "mental health issues, learning disabilities, have been in care or experienced abuse".

Experts and politicians said over-representation of black men was a result of decades of racial prejudice in the criminal justice system and an overly punitive approach to penal affairs.

"People will be and should be shocked by this data," said Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust. "We have a tendency to say we are better than the US, but we have not got prison right."

Lyon said that although there had been "numerous efforts to address racism in the prison system ... we have yet to get a better relationship between justice authorities and black communities. Instead we have ended up with mistrust breeding mistrust."

Evidence of this damaged relationship can be found in the commission's report. On the streets, black people were subjected to what the report describes as an "excess" of 145,000 stop and searches in 2008. It notes that black people constitute less than 3% of the population, yet made up 15% of people stopped by police.

The commission found that five times more black people than white people per head of population in England and Wales are imprisoned. The ethnic minority prison population has doubled in a decade – from 11,332 in 1998 to 22,421 in 2008. Over a similar period, the overall number of prisoners rose by less than two thirds. ...

A quarter of the people in prison are from an ethnic minority. Muslims now make up 12% of the prison population in England and Wales. ...

The problems may start at school. The commission points out that black children are three times as likely to be permanently excluded from education.
[Site link]


Crime – border security
The new route of human smuggling misery
Nick Meo
Sunday Telegraph, 10 October 2010

A series of trials in Belgium have revealed a new people smuggling route used to send thousands of illegal immigrants to Britain. ...

The immigrants were a human commodity; each had been charged €20,000 (£17,350) to make the long journey via Moscow and Italy. From Brussels they were taken to giant lorry parks on the outskirts, where they would be hidden in vehicles for the clandestine journey through the Channel Tunnel. ...

"This was an organisation that without doubt smuggled thousands of people. They were extremely violent," prosecutor Tim de Wolf told The Sunday Telegraph.

Belgian officials believe a series of trials now concluding in Brussels has shed light on a ruthless criminal underworld which had developed a new route for sending huge numbers of illegal immigrants from India to Britain.


The man who led the Brussels gang, Jagdish Kumar, 23, masterminded the business for at least three years. He was jailed for 10 years, one of the longest sentences ever handed out for people smuggling by a Belgian court.

Details emerged at the trials of Kumar, and 21 other Indians convicted alongside him, of a sophisticated, well-organised, and extremely vicious organisation. ...

When detectives launched raids to arrest the gang they were astonished to find a total of 164 illegal immigrants in safe houses across Brussels, all waiting to be smuggled. A further 50 were in a building used as a Sikh temple in the suburb of Vilvoorde.

Kumar admitted to being involved in smuggling 150 individuals, but detectives believe the true number was much higher.

"We estimated that 150 Indians per night were being sneaked into lorries by this gang and others to go to England," said Chief Inspector Patrick Van Bossuyt, the detective who was in charge of the investigation. "Some would have been found and arrested, but most probably got across. And the smuggling is still going on today."

Indians who wanted to work illegally in Britain contacted travel agents working for Kumar's gang in the Punjab, who arranged for them to fly to Moscow with forged visas. From there they came to Belgium by land, crossing borders illegally on a tortuous route through Ukraine, Hungary, Slovenia, and down to Italy, where some laboured in market gardens for a time, paying off part of their "fare".

"Britain remains a destination of choice, and India has many takers," Judge David Moeremans told the Brussels court when he sentenced the gang. ...

But the more than 200 illegal immigrants who were seized in the dawn police raids were not put off for long. After being briefly detained they were released with a written order to leave Belgium within five days, but Chf Insp Van Bossuyt doubted they would return home. "They don't have passports, so the Indian government won't take them. I should think they are all in England now."

Extraordinarily, Kumar is also now a free man too. A few months after his conviction, his lawyers persuaded the court to release him on appeal, and he returned to India.
[Site link]


Crime – fake marriage, Republic of Ireland
Ireland's sham marriage scam
Jamie Smyth
Irish Times, 9 October 2010

Hundreds of women come to Ireland each year to marry non-Europeans – with the sole aim of securing visas for their new husbands. They are entering not only a fake marriage but also, often, an underworld of crime and abuse.


The scam exploits an EU directive on free movement that provides residency rights for non-EU citizens who marry EU nationals (although marriage to an Irish citizen would not provide these residency rights.) Since the directive became law, in 2006, the number of people applying for residency rights based on marriage to an EU citizen in Ireland has increased steadily, reaching 2,129 in 2009, up from 1,207 in 2006. ... ...

Department of Justice figures show 266 spousal applications were made by Pakistanis up until the end of August, by far the largest number submitted by any nationality. More than a third of these applications – 115 – are based on marriages to Latvian women. Indians, Bangladeshis and Nigerians have also made a large number of applications for residency in the Republic based on marriages mainly to eastern European women.

The phenomenon is now so widespread that one of the country's most senior marriage registrars warned in August that up to 15 per cent of civil ceremonies in Ireland could be bogus. Dennis Prior, superintendent registrar for the Health Service Executive eastern registration area, described witnessing marriage ceremonies where the bride and groom needed interpreters because they couldn't understand one another. ...

Arturs Vaisla, head of the Latvian police's human-trafficking unit, says they began to receive information about Irish marriage scams in 2006, and contacted the Garda about the emergence of criminal networks involving people of Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi origin in Ireland. Two groups in particular found recruiters in Latvia and began to search widely for brides, he says.

Vaisla's unit is investigating several cases of alleged human trafficking, typically when women were tricked into coming to Ireland with the promise of a job and then sexually abused by groups who tried to force them into marriage. ...

Most of the Pakistanis, Indians and Bangladeshis organising the scams come to Ireland as students on temporary visas that restrict their working hours and travel opportunities within the EU. Many of the Africans who have taken part in sham marriages are asylum seekers, some of whom have already had their claim for asylum rejected by the State.

EU treaty rights are the "gold card of immigration" rights, says Chief Supt John O'Driscoll of the Garda National Immigration Bureau, who is co-ordinating Operation Charity, which targets the growing scam. ... ...

A "marriage of convenience" for money or to circumvent Irish immigration law is not illegal in Ireland. Neither is it possible to prevent someone getting married because they are illegally resident in the State, which makes efforts to block the scam difficult. ...

There is a great deal of frustration at the perceived lack of response from the Irish authorities. ...

"In spite of all the efforts of the Latvian and other EU-state embassies in Dublin, the feedback from the Irish competent authorities is minimal," says Biseniece.
[Site link]


Crime – USA, illegal immigrants
U.S. Spending At Least $18.6 Million Per Day to Incarcerate Illegal Aliens; More Than 195,000 Illegal Aliens Deported in Fiscal 2010 Had Committed Crimes Here
Edwin Mora, 8 October 2010

U.S. taxpayers are spending at least $18.6 million per day to house an estimated 300,000 to 450,000 illegal immigrants who are incarcerated and eligible for deportation from the United States, according to data from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The cost per day for these prisoners is based on Justice Department incarceration cost estimates from 2001 and on the lower-end figure of 300,000 incarcerated deportable aliens, which means the actual expense today could be substantially higher than $18.6 million per day.

The prisoners involved here are foreign national who have come into the United States, committed a crime, been captured, and imprisoned. ...

Kara McCarthy, a spokeswoman at the DOJ, told that the latest data available show that "average annual operating costs per state inmate for Fiscal Year 2001 was $22,650; in the Federal Bureau of Prisons it was $22,632."

These annual operation costs exclude "capital expenditures, juvenile corrections, probation, parole, and most central office functions of corrections spending," McCarthy told ...

When asked why incarcerated aliens who are eligible for removal have not been deported, a DHS spokesperson said, "It is because they are still serving their criminal sentence. ICE does not receive criminal aliens from state criminal justice systems until after they have completed their sentences." (ICE is the acronym for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.)
[Site link]


Crime – electoral fraud
Baroness Warsi alleges Labour benefited from vote fraud
BBC, 30 September 2010

The Conservatives failed to win an overall majority at the general election because of electoral fraud, the party chairman has said.

Baroness Warsi told the New Statesman the alleged fraud was "predominantly within the Asian community" and benefited Labour.

Labour called the allegations "unsubstantiated" and urged Lady Warsi to produce evidence.

The Electoral Commission said police would need to investigate any claims.

The Conservative Party chairman told the New Statesman: "At least three seats where we lost, where we didn't gain the seat, based on electoral fraud. Now, could we have planned for that in the campaign? Absolutely not."

She would not say where it had happened: "I think it would be wrong to start identifying them.

"It is predominantly within the Asian community. I have to look back and say we didn't do well in those communities, but was there something over and above that we could have done? Well, actually not, if there is going to be voter fraud."

Lady Warsi said she had written to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who is overseeing the coalition government's electoral reforms.

A Conservative spokesman confirmed the party did have some concerns about a number of seats which it was looking into. ...

The city of Birmingham was once described by High Court judge Richard Mawrey QC as "worse than a banana republic" because of the scale of postal ballot fraud when it came to city council elections.

Before this election, Birmingham City Council and the police said new security measures would make postal voting in the general election "safe and easy". ...

John Hemming, the Liberal Democrat MP for the Birmingham Yardley constituency, said more needed to be done to safeguard against voter fraud.

"In my own constituency I've had ghost voters who don't actually live where they claim to live.

"But the underlying problem with the system is that once somebody has turned up to the polling station and pretended to be somebody else to vote, it's all gone."

He said it was difficult to get evidence that fraud was taking place.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said police received 41 complaints about the election but was taking no further action in relation to those.
[Site link]


Romanian gipsy gang 'snatched 200 children from homes to use them as beggars'
Andy Bloxham
Daily Telegraph, 27 September 2010

A gang of Romanian gipsy child-snatchers stole almost 200 poor children from their families and brought them to Britain to pick pockets, a court heard.

The gang has been described as a modern-day version of Fagin's urchins in the Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist.

However, the 181 children were beaten and abused, with some even deliberately disfigured to increase their earning potential, as disabled beggars were thought to generate more income.

Those who did not beg were forced to pick pockets, wash car windscreens or shoplift. The children then had to give every penny of their earnings to the men in control.

Prosecutors said many of the children – taken from some of the most deprived parts of Romania – were even schooled in crime before being trafficked into the UK to work.

Twenty-six men went on trial at Harghita Criminal Court accused of trafficking offences.

The defendants – from Tandarei in Ialomita county, southern Romania – are also charged with money laundering, firearms offences and membership of local mafia clans.

The gang came to the attention of the authorities in Romania after grand homes began to appear among the gipsy community at Tandarei which were being built for people who had no apparent income.

More than 300 officers raided addresses across Slough in Berkshire and in Romania.

Dozens of firearms including AK-47 assault rifles and grenade launchers were seized in raids on more than 30 properties and hundreds of thousands of pounds of cash, jewellery, cars and property were confiscated along with bogus child travel documents.

The youngsters, who ranged from a baby a few months old to a 17-year-old, were taken into care by Slough borough council.
[Site link]


Crime – cost, deportation
Clarke: deport foreign criminals
Holly Watt
Daily Telegraph, 20 September 2010

Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary, has criticised Theresa May, the Home Secretary, over the failure to deport foreign criminals.

Mr Clarke has written to Mrs May to complain that prisons have become overcrowded because foreign criminals are not being deported. More than 600 foreign nationals are being held despite having completed their sentences, costing the justice department more than £20 million a year.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – gangs, theft
Judge issues astonishing warning over Eastern European crime gangs coming to Britain
Claire Ellicott
Daily Mail, 18 September 2010

A judge has launched an astonishing attack on criminal Eastern European gangs who come to Britain to target elderly and vulnerable people.

District judge Bruce Morgan said he was 'deeply concerned' about the impact of criminals who arrive in the country to steal from innocent people.

His comments came as he sentenced teenager Ceca Dadic, who is believed to be a Roma gypsy from Bosnia, to six months for her 'despicable' role in trying to steal a 78-year-old woman's purse.

The 19-year-old mother-of-two admitted attempted theft as she appeared at Worcester Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.

She distracted her elderly victim by asking her advice on a cream cake while her underage accomplice tried to unzip the woman's purse.

Mr Morgan said Dadic was part of a criminal gang and added that he had dealt with six similar cases in the previous five days. ...

He said: 'There is no doubt in my mind that you are part of a criminal gang who come to this country from Eastern Europe for the purpose of committing crime.

'I'm deeply concerned about the number of young people like you who I deal with who come from Eastern Europe, find addresses in Birmingham and then go to the neighbouring counties to commit crime.'

The court heard that Dadic had been convicted four times in the past year of theft or attempted theft.
[Site link]


Crime – Canada, trafficking
Human trafficking rampant in Canada, RCMP reports
Colin Freeze
The Globe and Mail, 13 September 2010

Thousands of women are being coerced into joining a thriving Canadian sex trade that almost never results in any criminal charges, the Mounties say.

While there is ample anecdotal evidence that human trafficking is a rampant problem in this country, "the extent of human trafficking and the number of victims in Canada is still virtually unknown," according to a new RCMP assessment. ...

Many women are shipped in and out of Canada by transnational prostitution rings, according to the police report. Despite new laws, there are only a couple of dozen active prosecutions, and even fewer human-trafficking convictions on the books.

This trade is said to be as lucrative as it is exploitive. ... ...

Victims rarely have any compelling reason to come forward. Citing an Interpol statistic, the RCMP report found that "less than one half of one per cent of victims ever agree to co-operate with police and enter a courtroom to testify against their traffickers." ...

There is ample evidence that smugglers ship people to Canada to fuel the sex trade. There can be other motivations, but they are often harder to discern.
[Site link]


Crime – murder
The crimewave that shames the world
Robert Fisk
The Independent, 7 September 2010

It is a tragedy, a horror, a crime against humanity. The details of the murders – of the women beheaded, burned to death, stoned to death, stabbed, electrocuted, strangled and buried alive for the "honour" of their families – are as barbaric as they are shameful. Many women's groups in the Middle East and South-west Asia suspect the victims are at least four times the United Nations' latest world figure of around 5,000 deaths a year. Most of the victims are young, many are teenagers, slaughtered under a vile tradition that goes back hundreds of years but which now spans half the globe.

A 10-month investigation by The Independent in Jordan, Pakistan, Egypt, Gaza and the West Bank has unearthed terrifying details of murder most foul. Men are also killed for "honour" and, despite its identification by journalists as a largely Muslim practice, Christian and Hindu communities have stooped to the same crimes. Indeed, the "honour" (or ird) of families, communities and tribes transcends religion and human mercy. But voluntary women's groups, human rights organisations, Amnesty International and news archives suggest that the slaughter of the innocent for "dishonouring" their families is increasing by the year.

Iraqi Kurds, Palestinians in Jordan, Pakistan and Turkey appear to be the worst offenders but media freedoms in these countries may over-compensate for the secrecy which surrounds "honour" killings in Egypt – which untruthfully claims there are none – and other Middle East nations in the Gulf and the Levant. But honour crimes long ago spread to Britain, Belgium, Russia and Canada and many other nations. ... ...

Over 10 years ago, Pakistan's Human Rights Commission was recording "honour" killings at the rate of a thousand a year. But if Pakistan seems to have the worst track record of "honour" crimes – and we must remember that many countries falsely claim to have none – Turkey might run a close second. ... Many took place in Kurdish areas of the country ... ...

In Chechnya, Russia's chosen President, Ramzan Kadyrov, has been positively encouraging men to kill for "honour". ... ...

And, of course, we should perhaps end this catalogue of crime in Britain, where only in the past few years have we ourselves woken to the reality of "honour" crimes ...

Scotland Yard long ago admitted it would have to review over a hundred deaths, some going back more than a decade, which now appear to have been "honour" killings.
[Site link]


Crime – France
Russian Mafia dominate French Riviera
Peter Allen
Daily Telegraph, 1 September 2010

Mafia bosses from the former Soviet Union have moved into the French Riviera and are taking it over with "quasi-military" precision.

Their grip on the region is now so tight that detectives expect there to be an eastern connection to almost every crime. ...

"They're into everything, from the Russian prostitute rings in resorts like Cannes and St Tropez to gassing tourists in their villa and stealing everything they've got," said the police officer. ...

Alain Bauer, a French criminologist, said: "This is one of the best structured criminal organisations in Europe, with a quasi-military operation."
[Newspaper link]


Crime – border security
Lincolnshire footballer admits deception case
BBC, 12 August 2010

A Lincolnshire semi-professional footballer has admitted a string of immigration and deception offences.

Romanian Lorand Borbely took the identity of Hungarian Laszlo Lovas when he came to the UK in 2004.

The 29-year-old, of Green Road, Fishtoft, admitted a total of 13 charges at Lincoln Crown Court.

Borbely, who played for Deeping Rangers and Boston Town in the United Counties League under his false name, was remanded into custody.

He is due to be sentenced on 10 September.

Borbely admitted entering the UK by deception on 22 March 2004.

He also admitted three charges of obtaining a mortgage by deception, obtaining employment by deception, removing criminal property from the UK, five charges of fraud, a further charge of deception and perverting the course of justice.
[Site link]


Crime – USA, discrimination
Some job-screening tactics challenged as illegal
Sam Hananel
Yahoo News, 11 August 2010

Companies using criminal records or bad credit reports to screen out job applicants might run afoul of anti-discrimination laws as the government steps up scrutiny of hiring policies that can hurt blacks and Hispanics.

A blanket refusal to hire workers based on criminal records or credit problems can be illegal if it has a disparate impact on racial minorities, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The agency enforces the nation's employment discrimination laws.

"Our sense is that the problem is snowballing because of the technology allowing these checks to be done with a fair amount of ease," said Carol Miaskoff, assistant legal counsel at the EEOC.

With millions of adults having criminal records – anything from underage drinking to homicide – a growing number of job seekers are having a rough time finding work. And more companies are trying to screen out people with bankruptcies, court judgments or other credit problems just as those numbers have swollen during the recession. ...

Justice Department statistics show that 38 percent of the U.S. prison population is black, compared with about 12 percent of the general population. In 2008, African-Americans were about six times more likely to be incarcerated than whites. The incarceration rate for Latinos was 2.3 times higher than whites.

If criminal histories are taken into account, the EEOC says employers must also consider the nature of the job, the seriousness of the offense and how long ago it occurred. For example, it may make sense to disqualify a bank employee with a past conviction for embezzlement, but not necessarily for a DUI.

Most companies tend to be more nuanced when they look at credit reports, weeding out those applicants with bad credit only if they seek senior positions or jobs dealing with money. But if the screening process weeds out more black and Hispanic applicants than whites, an employer needs to show how the credit information is related to the job.
[Site link]


Crime – USA, politics
Immigration backlash baffles
Bob Roper
Columbia Daily Tribune, 8 August 2010

The new breed of illegal immigrant in Arizona is not the man or woman pining for a better life, including work, in the United States. In recent years it has become more of a drug-driven enterprise.

The insatiable demand for drugs in this country, along with lack of border security, has created a new phenomenon: Ruthless drug cartels south of the Arizona border have set up human smuggling operations. Because virtually no border security is in place within 50 to 60 miles of the border, paramilitary drug smugglers and their human cargo operate almost at will. In other words, drug cartels are using illegal immigration tactics to get their product into the United States.

Considering the forgoing, is it any surprise Phoenix has a huge kidnapping problem? Is it any surprise ranch owners within 50 miles of the border are afraid for their lives and don't go out at night?

Ironically, the Arizona law is actually less tough than the federal law, though one would never know that from the partisan statements and mainstream media coverage. Per the Arizona law, racial profiling is strictly prohibited, and police can ask for identification only if there is "reasonable cause" to believe something is amiss. "Reasonable cause" is not required of federal agents under the federal law. Federal law also requires that resident aliens carry proof of their legal status at all times – green cards, for example.

What is really strange is the federal response to the Arizona law. It sued and won the first round, claiming federal pre-emption of the whole immigration area. It is unclear whether the federal statutes have in fact expressly pre-empted the field on this, and in any event it will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Many legal scholars believe Arizona will prevail.

Yet the feds seem to have no problem with the 80 or so "sanctuary cities" that openly flout federal law by refusing to turn over illegal aliens, many of whom have been charged with state and/or city law violations.

And, by the way, express federal pre-emption did occur with respect to "sanctuary cities" in a 1996 statute.

So we are in a state of being that George Orwell would understand well: The Obama administration strongly objects when a state wants to help enforce the law and thereby leaves Arizona defenseless to near-open borders, thanks to the dereliction by the feds. But of course there is no problem with cities that openly flout the law.

There are a lot of sensible actions that could be taken to fix our immigration policies, but I would start with border security. Unfortunately, here we run into the entrenched Washington ruling class, in which Democrats do not want to make changes without amnesty, which will bring them a huge number of new Democratic voters, and Republicans do not want to make a change because their business friends like the availability of cheap labor.

What a sorry state of affairs.
[Site link]


Crime – border security
Silenced...the sham marriage whistleblower: Immigration officer claims he warned bosses but was forced out
Sam Greenhill
Daily Mail, 7 August 2010

Hundreds of illegal immigrants have been allowed to get away with sham marriages because government officials dared not intervene, a whistleblower claims today.

Neville Sprague, who was a chief immigration officer, accuses his former bosses at the UK Border Agency of turning a blind eye to the scandal.

Illegal immigrants use fake marriages to apply for 'spouse' visas to enable them to stay in Britain and enjoy free healthcare, education and benefits.

In a shocking exposé, Mr Sprague claims he fought in vain to clamp down on bogus weddings, but was sacked.

The former policeman alleges he was forced out because he insisted on investigating crimes his department did not want recorded in the statistics.

His damning testimony is set to be heard at an employment tribunal which he is bringing against the agency, claiming unfair dismissal.

Yesterday Mr Sprague told the Daily Mail: 'I amassed evidence of bogus weddings but my managers just did not want to know.

'They were really keen for me not to investigate. They kept saying, "It's not that bad". I said: "Yes it is!".'

Suspected sham marriages have increased by more than 50 per cent since the Law Lords ruled against tough Home Office marriage regulations on 'human rights' grounds. ...

'To do something about it required effort, resources and of course it became another unwelcome statistic,' he claimed.

'So it was easier for them just to say it doesn't exist. They kept insisting it wasn't our "remit" to arrest them, but we do have the power of arrest and we had irrefutable documentary evidence.' ...

But Mr Sprague, 56, of south Croydon, Surrey, who was sacked last year, said hundreds of fake weddings were needlessly allowed to go ahead.

A former Metropolitan Police detective of 25 years, he joined what is now the UK Border Agency in 2001, and was responsible for investigating fraud. ...

He said the scam involved West Africans, predominantly from Ghana, paying more than £10,000 to 'marry' a British citizen.

The Briton – often a prostitute or a drug user – would receive up to £7,000 to take part. All they would have to do is hand over their passport and a photograph.

Forgers would then insert fake stamps in the passport to make it seem as though the Briton had flown to Ghana to get married.

A false wedding certificate from Ghana would also be produced, and the Ghanaian illegal immigrant would then send it all off to the Home Office to apply for a 'spouse' visa to remain in the UK. ...

As a result of investigating a sample number of marriages that took place over six months, Mr Sprague believes as many as 210 out of 300 were bogus.
[Site link]


Crime – racism, illegal immigrants
Thousands of illegal immigrants escape deportation because police fear being called racist
Ryan Kisiel
Daily Mail, 4 August 2010

Thousands of illegal immigrants are escaping deportation as police fear being accused of racism if they question a suspect's nationality, according to a Home Office report.

Failure to carry out the proper checks on migrants while they are in police custody is leading to huge amounts remaining in the country rather than being deported.

Police fear asking questions about their nationality because they will be hung out to dry by politically correct regulations.

The Home Office report recommends that more checks on suspects while in custody and a closer relationship with the UK Border Agency is needed to identify illegal immigrants.

A pilot study found that when enhanced checks were applied, more than three times as illegal immigrants were found. The 14 custody suites in England and Wales showed that the number of those identified rose from 73 to 250 during the three-month trial.

In one city, 20 suspected illegal immigrants were found during the first month, but only six were deported due to a lack of detention space. The rest were all given temporary release with conditions.

The Determining Identity and Nationality in Local Policing report also revealed that 435 foreign nationals were arrested in the same area and period - accounting for 25 per cent of all arrests.

'The research demonstrated that more rigorous practices in custody suites could increase the number of foreign nationals and illegal migrants who are identified as being involved in criminal activity," its authors said.

'In some sites there was a marked reluctance to challenge arrestees who claimed to be British, even though officers suspected that the claims might be false.

'This reluctance was commonly ascribed to the fear that any such challenge could result in an accusation of racism.' ...

Just under one in five of all suspected illegal migrants arrested were questioned over serious offences, compared with just over one in ten of UK citizens arrested, the report found.
[Site link]


Crime – racism, illegal immigrants
Hidden toll of crime by illegal immigrants
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 4 August 2010

The number of crimes committed by illegal immigrants or foreign nationals could be four times higher than thought because police are not properly checking the identity of suspects, according to a Home Office report.

Officers are failing to check the true nationality of suspects and whether they are in the country lawfully, meaning thousands of foreign criminals could also be slipping through the immigration net and staying in Britain.

Many of them are likely to be involved in organised crime or other cross-border offences, according to the research. ...

The Home Office research found a "lack of thoroughness" in checking the immigration status of those of those arrested and a failure to take the appropriate action when they do discover them.

In some cases, officers were even reluctant to challenge someone who claimed to be British when they suspected they were not because of fears of being accused of racism.

Repeat offenders were often overlooked because it was assumed their immigration status had already been checked and police would not bother checking those who were compliant. ...

The report, Determining Identity and Nationality in Local Policing, examined practices in 14 custody suites and, as part of the research, a pilot was carried out in four areas involving enhanced checks on arrested individuals.

As a result, the number of identity checks on individuals increased fivefold and the number found or suspected to be an illegal immigrant increased from 73 to 250.

Even when illegal immigrants were discovered by the police they were not always dealt with appropriately either by them or immigration officers. Details of people found to in the country unlawfully were sometimes not passed on to the UK Border Agency because officers felt nothing would be done about it or they were passed on after the suspect had been released.

In turn, immigration officers were reluctant to attend police stations if the case was likely to be complicated. In other cases, police would put suspected illegal immigrants in a taxi to the nearest immigration office or hand them directions, despite accepting it was unlikely they would show up. The latest research was conducted in 2006-07 but has only now been published.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – marriage, border controls
Sham marriages on 'unprecedented scale'
Tom Pugh
The Independent, 29 July 2010

The scale of the sham marriages was on an unprecedented scale involving "classic exploitation" of foreign nationals desperate to stay in the UK, investigators said.

Cash-strapped Eastern Europeans were promised sums of up to £3,000 to marry Africans to help them gain residency in the UK and a chance of a better life.

Through gaining indefinite leave to stay in the UK, the Africans, mainly from Nigeria, would be able to enjoy Britain's education, healthcare and social benefits systems.

A large proportion of the Africans who went through with the sham marriages had arrived lawfully in the UK, either through the asylum process or by gaining a student visa.

Investigators said it was when they had "reached the end of the line" in their legal applications and appeals to stay in the UK permanently that they went through the sham marriage process.

Files recovered as part of the inquiry showed that, in some cases, Africans were already married and had children in their homeland.

Detective Inspector Andy Cummins, of the UK Border Agency's (UKBA) South East region immigration crime team, said: "In the majority of the cases, the reason that most went through with the marriage process was not for love, it was to assist in their application to residency into the UK." ...

Officers working on Operation Gomozia arrested the Rev Alex Brown on June 30 last year, along with Buchak, an illegal immigrant and gambler who used the alias Kaido Maesalu.

Further investigations identified pastor and solicitor Michael Adelasoye, who had worked as an immigration adviser at several firms of solicitors.
[Site link]


Crime – marriage, border controls
Vicar guilty of 360 sham weddings
Jennifer Cockerell
The Independent, 29 July 2010

A vicar was found guilty today of conducting hundreds of sham marriages to help illegal immigrants gain residency in Britain.

The Rev Alex Brown, 61, conducted 360 fake ceremonies at the church of St Peter and St Paul in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, between July 2005 and July 2009.

Co-defendent Vladymyr Buchak was also convicted at Lewes Crown Court of conspiring to breach immigration laws by paying Eastern Europeans up to £3,000 each to marry Africans, mainly from Nigeria.

They were caught after the UK Border Agency investigated the bogus marriages.

The jury is still deliberating on a third defendant.

During the seven-week trial, jurors heard that Brown presided over a total of 383 marriages during the four-year indictment period, a staggering 30-fold increase on the 13 he had conducted over the previous four years.

They were told that Buchak, 33, a Ukrainian national who had himself been living illegally in the UK since at least 2004, was responsible for "cajoling and persuading" the Eastern Europeans into the marriages of convenience.

He preyed on migrant workers who were living in the area and were desperate to earn money by offering them large cash sums to wed Africans to allow them to obtain the documents to live and work in the UK.

Jurors were shown photocopies of the marriage register at the church which showed that 360 out of the 383 weddings during the period involved Eastern Europeans marrying African nationals, mainly from Nigeria.

It was also apparent that, of the hundreds of people who had got married, they all seemed to live in the surrounding streets of the parish, with 90 couples registered as living in one road alone and 52 in another.

In some instances there were even several brides and grooms claiming to live in the same house and jurors were told that most of those involved in the marriages had given false addresses.
[Site link]


Crime – fraud
Gipsies' rights activist ran £3m benefits fraud
Daily Telegraph, 27 July 2010

A leading campaigner for gipsies' rights yesterday admitted masterminding a £3 million benefits fraud involving nearly 200 Romanians.

Lavinia Olmazu, 30, and Alin Enachi, 29, her boyfriend, ran the scheme through which 172 Romanians claimed £2.9 million.

Olmazu was working as an "inclusivity outreach worker" with Roma gipsies for Haringey and Waltham Forest councils in north London. ...

The court heard that the couple "facilitated the obtaining" of National Insurance numbers under the guise of a charity called Roma Concern. ...

Six other Roma gipsies, all jobless, were also arrested for their role in the fraud. ... They live in council properties in Tottenham, north London, and received jail sentences ranging from four months to two-and-a-half years.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – China
Beijing's migrants locked into gated villages at night
Cara Anna
The Washington Times, 15 July 2010

The government calls it "sealed management": China's capital has started gating and locking some of its lower-income neighborhoods overnight, with police or security checking identification papers around the clock in a throwback to an older style of control.

It's Beijing's latest effort to reduce rising crime, often blamed on the millions of rural Chinese migrating to cities for work. The capital's Communist Party secretary wants the approach promoted citywide.

But some state media and experts say the move not only looks bad, but imposes another layer of control on the already stigmatized, vulnerable migrants.

So far, gates have sealed off 16 villages in the sprawling southern suburbs, where migrants are attracted to cheaper rents and in some villages outnumber permanent residents 10 to 1.

"In some ways, this is like the conflict between Americans and illegal immigrants in the States. The local residents feel threatened by the influx of migrants," e-mailed Huang Youqin, an associate professor of geography at the University at Albany, State University of New York, who has studied gating and political control in China. ... ...

"Sealed management" looks like this: Gates are placed at the street and alley entrances to the villages, which are collections of walled compounds sprinkled with shops and outdoor vendors. The gates are locked between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. except for one main entrance manned by security guards or police, there to check identification papers. Security guards roam the villages by day.
[Site link]


Crime – smuggling of migrants
UNODC report presents data on smuggling of migrants from Latin America and Africa
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 14 July 2010

According to "The Globalization of Crime: A Transnational Organized Crime Threat Assessment", there are an estimated 50 million irregular migrants in the world today.

As a result of global inequalities and restrictive immigration policies, many workers from developing regions are willing to borrow heavily from their communities and risk their lives to access opportunities in more affluent countries. Since they cannot always do so legally, they often look for organized criminal groups to help them. Because such "services" are illegal, those who provide them have tremendous power over their charges, and abuses are commonplace.

The Assessment examines two northward smuggling flows: from Latin America to North America and from Africa to Europe. While there are other major illegal migration flows in the world, including flows of undocumented migrants from East Africa to Yemen and routes through Central Asia to the Russian Federation and beyond, the flows to the United States of America and Europe are probably the most lucrative for smugglers.

The largest number of apprehended migrants anywhere in the world are found along the southern border of the United States. About 3 million Latin Americans are smuggled illegally across that border every year. Since 90 per cent of them are assisted by smugglers, the total income for the smugglers is likely to be around 6.6 billion dollars per year. Some 88 per cent of the 792,000 illegal migrants apprehended in 2008 were Mexican nationals; almost all the rest were other Latin Americans. ...

The dynamics of African migration to Europe are similar to those driving Latin American migration to the United States, except that the push and pull factors are even stronger. Some 55,000 migrants were smuggled from Africa into Europe in 2008, for a sum of about $150 million, by small groups of smugglers positioned along the route. Europe hosts the largest African-born population outside Africa, and remittances account for a significant share of GDP in many African countries. ...

The Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 55/25, entered into force on 28 January 2004. The Protocol aims to prevent and combat the smuggling of migrants and to promote cooperation among States parties while protecting the rights of smuggled migrants and preventing the worst forms of exploitation. It is intended not to stop illegal immigration but rather to prevent organized criminal groups from exploiting the vulnerability of illegal migrants for profit.


Crime – race, statistics, London
Violent inner-city crime, the figures, and a question of race
Andrew Alderson
Sunday Telegraph, 27 June 2010

The reality of violent inner-city crime is indicated today by statistics obtained by The Sunday Telegraph. ...

The statistics, released by the Metropolitan Police, permit an informed debate on a sensitive subject for the first time. ...

The data provide a breakdown of the ethnicity of the 18,091 men and boys who police took action against for a range of violent and sexual offences in London in 2009-10.

They show that among those proceeded against for street crimes, 54 per cent were black; for robbery, 59 per cent; and for gun crimes, 67 per cent. Street crimes include muggings, assault with intent to rob and snatching property.

Just over 12 per cent of London's 7.5 million population is black, including those of mixed black and white parentage, while 69 per cent is white, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The police figures also show that black men are twice as likely to be victims. They made up 29 per cent of the male victims of gun crime and 24 per cent of the male victims of knife crime.

The Met declined to comment on the statistics. ... ...

On sex offences, black men made up 32 per cent of male suspects proceeded against, and white men 49 per cent. The statistics also suggest that black women are responsible for a disproportionate amount of violent crime committed by females. ...

The Sunday Telegraph obtained the figures via a Freedom of Information request after Rod Liddle, the writer, caused controversy last year when he claimed in an online blog published on The Spectator website that "the overwhelming majority of street crime, knife crime, gun crime, robbery and crimes of sexual violence in London is carried out by young men from the African-Caribbean community".

The comments led to claims that Mr Liddle was racist, However, Mr Liddle said: "I cannot think of anything more vile than racism. The issue here is not racism, it is one of multiculturalism."

The statistics suggest that Mr Liddle was largely right on some of his claims – notably those on gun crimes, robberies and street crimes.

The figures suggest, however, that he was probably wrong on his claims about knife crimes and violent sex crimes.

The figures relate to those "proceeded against".

This includes those prosecuted in court, whether convicted or acquitted; those issued with a caution, warning or penalty notice; those the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to charge; and those whose crimes were "taken into consideration" after a further offence.

Unsolved crimes are not included.

The figures do not take into account that any one perpetrator may have committed numerous offences.
[Site link]


Crime – race, statistics, London
Met can only use the evidence it has
Alasdair Palmer
Sunday Telegraph, 27 June 2010

What do we know about race and crime in London?

Nine out of 10 street crimes, knife crimes and gun crimes are committed by men rather than women.

Twelve per cent of the capital's men are black. But 54 per cent of street crimes by men, along with 46 per cent of knife crimes and more than half of gun crimes, are thought by the Metropolitan Police to have been committed by black men.

Or at least, the police "proceed against" black men in those proportions.

Crime statistics have to be approached with caution, because it is easy to leap to unjustified conclusions.

These figures do not show that 54 per cent of London's street crimes are committed by black men. They do not even show that 54 per of those convicted are black men. But they do indicate that in 54 per cent of street crimes where police catch their suspect, that suspect is black.

Some will say that this merely shows the prevalence of racism within the Met. But officers are required to provide evidence before they charge anyone.

The victims of street and violent crimes are usually able to look at their attacker and so are able to point out some distinguishing features of the assailant – such as gender, size and skin colour. That is the starting point of any investigation.

Is it credible that the high proportion of street crime identified as perpetrated by black men is down to the racism of either the police or victims, and that in reality, no black man is involved?

A disproportionate number of victims are black. It is not remotely likely that racism leads these victims to mis-identify their attacker as black – and it is scarcely more plausible to maintain that white victims routinely mis-identify attackers as black when they are white. Even if you take the unsupported position that police racism means that half of the black men "proceeded against" for street crimes are innocent, it would still be the case that twice as many black men are involved in street crime as would be predicted from their portion of the male population of London.

... The principal grounds on which the Met is accused of racism is that black men make up a much higher proportion of the people stopped and searched by police officers than any other ethnic group.

The Equality Commission assumes this shows officers must be covertly racist. But the disproportionate number of black men identified by victims demonstrates that racism need not have anything to do with it: when the victim identifies the assailant as a black male, it is logical for officers to start investigating black suspects. ...

When a disproportionate number of victims identify their attackers as black males, it is hard to see what the Met can do to investigate without being criticised for "disproportionately targeting black men".
[Site link]


Crime – Switzerland
Swiss FEDPOL says organized crime groups increased in Switzerland
Kuwait News Agency, 25 June 2010

The Swiss federal police (Fedpol) situation report 2009 identifies major forms of organized crime and details organized crime groups that are relevant to Switzerland.

The annual report of the Swiss FEDPOL launched on Friday pointed many threats faced the country last year such as drug and human trafficking, money laundering and cyber criminality.

These groups hailed from Italy, CIS countries, Georgia, southeastern Europe, and West Africa.

"In 2009 organized crime groups from countries other than these were active in Switzerland too, or were otherwise involved in underhand dealings linked in some way or another to Switzerland," said the experts.

For instance, there we reorganized criminal groups from the Dominican Republic dealing in cocaine, and Chinese criminal groups that, time and again, were involved in human trafficking, migrant smuggling, and credit card fraud.

Besides these were groups from Lebanon, North Africa, Turkey and Jamaica that were chiefly into drug dealing.

Organized crime groups especially from West Africa, eastern and southeastern Europe, and Georgia engaged predominantly in street crime such as street drug dealing, burglary, and robbery.
[Site link]


Crime – racism, hate, bigotry, violence
Towns and villages 'seeing rise in racial crime'
Chris Greenwood
The Independent, 25 June 2010

Racial violence is moving from the inner cities of Britain to its towns and villages, a report warned today.

Researchers said a map of attacks fuelled by hate and bigotry shows a dramatic change in just one generation.

Once notorious flashpoints, many in London, are now more "at ease" with diversity, the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) said.

But other areas, which have begun to see a changing population more recently, are seeing a rise in racial violence.

The IRR said the changing picture is the result of asylum seekers, migrant workers, overseas students and the movement of settled ethnic minority families.

The report authors analysed 660 attacks with a racial element across Britain last year.

They wrote: "What has emerged is that the map of violence has changed quite dramatically since studies were first done of such violence in the 1970s.

"It is no longer poor deprived areas of London such as Southall, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham, which witnessed many of the racial attacks and racist murders a generation or two ago, that are now so prone to serious attacks.

"Not only are black and ethnic minority communities now more established there but also a whole history of struggle against racism has strengthened these communities."

They added: "But what was significant was that ethnic minorities in a whole host of cities, towns and areas, not traditionally associated with such violence, now appear to be experiencing it.

"These are areas which have traditionally been very white and are not affluent. In some cases core industries have gone and a whole generation of young people are without a future."

The IRR report, Racial violence: the buried issue, criticised mainstream political parties for apparently competing over who can reduce immigration the quickest.

The authors said black, minority ethnic groups, asylum-seekers and migrant communities are bearing the brunt of these tensions.
[Site link]


Crime – human trafficking
Call to combat human trafficking in Northern Ireland
Belfast Telegraph, 24 June 2010

Human trafficking is on the rise in Northern Ireland and must be combated, an Assembly committee says.

A Public Accounts Committee report into organised crime warned of a wide range of illegal activity which it said ruined lives and robbed the public purse of millions of pounds.

Assembly members on the scrutiny committee gathered expert evidence on criminal operations which it concluded were undermining the wider aim of the peace process to create a prosperous and safe society.

The report, entitled Combating Organised Crime, estimated that fuel laundering and cross-border smuggling had cost the public purse £250 million over recent years, while counterfeiting has cost £200 million and extortion £10 million, while in the last year alone social security fraud cost £18 million.

Committee chairman Paul Maskey said: "Organised crime is a form of fraud that goes to the very heart of public finances. It threatens the Executive's overarching aim of achieving a peaceful, fair and prosperous society, with respect for the rule of law and where everyone can enjoy a better quality of life now and in years to come.

"Its impact on individuals, communities, society and the environment is devastating."
[Site link]


Crime – Islam, religious hatred
Lecturer cleared in hate trial after blaming Muslims for the drug trade
Daily Telegraph, 22 June 2010

A politics lecturer who distributed leaflets that blamed Muslims for the heroin trade was cleared yesterday of intending to incite religious hatred.

Anthony Bamber, 54, a BNP activist, told a jury his intention was to create a debate about a "crime against humanity". He sent out up to 30,000 leaflets across the North over a 12-month period.

The leaflet claimed: "Before the Islamic invasion it was impossible to find heroin in our land. Muslims are almost exclusively responsible for its production, transportation and sale.

"It is a crime against humanity because it has caused far more suffering than slavery ever did. It has led to millions of premature deaths."

He said Muslims should be held to account with condemnation heaped upon them so that it would lead to the abolition of the trade. ...

He was cleared by a jury at Preston Crown Court of all seven counts. ...

Sep Supt Neil Hunter, of Lancashire Constabulary, said: "While we are disappointed with today's decision, we accept the decision of the court. ..."
[Newspaper link]


Crime – charities
Villains nabbing lottery millions in charity scams
Russell Myers
The People, 20 June 2010

Millions of pounds in UK lottery cash has been illegally claimed by foreign crooks, The People can reveal.

African and East European gangs have been making a flood of bogus applications for handouts because charity funds are seen as a soft touch.

The gangs attempt to rake in fortunes for their dodgy good causes in the hope that proper checks are not carried out.

The Big Lottery Fund, The Heritage Lottery Fund and the British Council, as well as dozens of other smaller organisations, have all identified bogus claims. At the same time, conmen working alone or in small groups have tried to rip off funding chiefs with their claims to be representing refugees or the sick.

Shameless swindler Kanyogota Sejojo, who came to the UK from Rwanda, scooped more than £18,000 for his Devon African Refugee Community Association in Plymouth and spent the money on himself. His windfall included £10,000 from the Big Lottery Fund and £2,750 from BBC's Children in Need. ...

Bristol-based Beya Kombe, 50, who came to Britain illegally in 2003, made bogus claims to the Big Lottery Fund worth more than £1 million.

He pocketed at least £87,000 which a judge said at his fraud trial in Canterbury, Kent was given to him on trust because he had ticked all the right boxes.

Kombe set up the Families Black African Association, later changing it to the British Francophone Migrant Community Development charity (BFMCD) to make bogus claims. ...

The insider added: Gangs, mainly from Africa and Eastern Europe, are filling in false applications potentially worth hundreds of thousands of pounds a time. A source at the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed the extent of the scandal, saying: Scores of gangs up and down the country are draining funding organisations of cash.

They exploit the way in which charities are organised and how money is distributed. ...

Joseph Ndjomo, 44, of Enfield, Middlesex, Jean Calvin Bilong, 33, also of Enfield, and Francois Xavier Hiondi-Nkam, 37, of north London, claimed cash on behalf of the Cameroonian Youth Associations, Cameroonian Refugee Associations Project and Ndjomo Multimedia Group.

In yet another case, a charity founder ruthlessly stole thousands of pounds donated to help sickle-cell anaemia sufferers.
[Site link]


Crime – Europe, France
Illegal bushmeat 'rife in Europe'
Mark Kinver
BBC, 17 June 2010

About 270 tonnes of illegal bushmeat could be passing through one of Europe's busiest airports each year, the first study of its kind estimates.

A team of researchers says the illicit trade could pose a risk to human or animal health and increase the demand for meat from threatened species.

The figure is based on seizures from searches carried out over 17 days at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris.

The findings appear in the journal Conservation Letters.

A team of researchers from France, Cambodia and the UK said it was the "first systematic study of the scale and nature of this international trade".

"We estimate that about five tonnes of bushmeat per week is smuggled in personal baggage through Paris Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport," they wrote.

During the 17-day study, a total of 134 passengers arriving on 29 flights from 14 African nations were searched.

Nine people were found to be carrying bushmeat, which had a combined mass of 188kg.

In total, 11 species were found - including two types of primates, two kinds of crocodiles and three rodent species - four of which were listed as protected species.
[Site link]


Crime – USA, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico scraps birth records
Martha T. Moore
USA Today, 14 June 2010

In an effort to end what it describes as a brisk black market in Puerto Rican birth certificates, which confer U.S. citizenship, the Puerto Rican government decided in December to invalidate all existing birth certificates. Those born on the island, including about 1.35 million who live on the mainland, must apply for a new birth certificate.

The black market is not fueled by counterfeiting but by multiple official copies of individual certificates. In Puerto Rico, it is customary to hand over an official birth certificate to register for school or sports leagues.

"We have filed away in unsecure locations tens of millions of live valid birth certificates," says Kenneth McClintock, Puerto Rico's secretary of State, who says he used to buy five birth certificates at a time for his children from the Vital Statistics Record Office. Although drastic, he says, the measure to invalidate millions of documents was necessary. "We can take care of the public school records, although it would be difficult. But what about your volleyball coach who died last week and left in her garage a cardboard box with 237 records of her past team members?"

The new law forbids institutions such as schools from keeping official copies of a birth certificate.

In 2008, federal agents confiscated 14,000 stolen birth certificates in an investigation that resulted in five convictions, says Ivan Ortiz, a spokesman for the federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency in Puerto Rico. In a previous case, birth certificates were bought from drug addicts for $25 and then sent to the U.S. mainland to be sold for $5,000 each.
[Site link]


Crime – USA, race, political correctness
Distorting the Truth About Crime and Race
Heather Mac Donald
City Journal, 14 May 2010

The New York Times's front page story this week on the New York Police Department and its allegedly racist stop-and-frisk practices follows a well-worn template: give specific racial breakdowns for every aspect of police behavior, but refer to racial crime rates only in the most attenuated of terms. Disclosing crime rates – the proper benchmark against which police behavior must be measured – would demolish a cornerstone of the Times's worldview: that the New York Police Department, like police departments across America, oppresses the city's black population with unjustified racial tactics.

This week's story, written by Al Baker, began with what the Times thinks is a shocking disparity: "Blacks and Latinos were nine times as likely as whites to be stopped by the police in New York City in 2009, but, once stopped, were no more likely to be arrested." ...

The Times's story includes a graphic breakdown of police stops by race: blacks made up 55 percent of all stops in 2009, though they're only 23 percent of the city's population; ...

But when the Times gets around to mentioning crime rates, more than halfway into the piece, it does so only because the NYPD raises them in its defense, not because the Times deems them independently worthy of note in a story on police stops. And it mentions them only as a form of reported speech, in the most generalized of terms: "Mr. Browne, the department spokesman, . . . said the stops mirrored crime – that while a large percentage of the stops involved blacks, an even larger percentage of violent crimes involved suspects described as black by their victims." This formula, which carefully brackets a non-specific statement about crime rates as what the police department says, as opposed to simply what the facts are, is by now standard Times practice: ...

Only in 2007 did the Times disclose some actual black crime rates in discussing stop-and-frisk activity ... That 2007 slip has never been allowed to reappear, however; the disclosure of crime rates has been purged from all subsequent Times stories on the NYPD's stop activities. The actual numbers convey the shocking magnitude of the city's crime disparities with a vividness that a mere generalized statement about a "larger percentage of crimes than stops" cannot, which is why the numbers are almost always left out. The actual crime rates reveal that blacks are being significantly understopped, compared with their representation in the city's criminal population, another reason for omitting them from the paper's reporting.

Here are the crime data that the Times doesn't want its readers to know: blacks committed 66 percent of all violent crimes in the first half of 2009 (though they were only 55 percent of all stops and only 23 percent of the city's population). Blacks committed 80 percent of all shootings in the first half of 2009. Together, blacks and Hispanics committed 98 percent of all shootings. Blacks committed nearly 70 percent of all robberies. ... The face of violent crime in New York, in other words, like in every other large American city, is almost exclusively black and brown. Any given violent crime is 13 times more likely to be committed by a black than by a white perpetrator ...
[Site link]


Crime – electoral fraud
'Lies, damned lies and the rise of the postal vote'
Andrew Gilligan
Daily Telegraph, 7 May 2010

At the European elections, less than a year ago, the electoral roll of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets contained 148,970 names. By January this year, it had shot up to 160,278. And in the past month alone, a further 5,000 names have mysteriously appeared.

There are only two possibilities. Either Tower Hamlets is growing twice as quickly as the fastest-growing city in China, or it is the target of massive and systematic electoral fraud. We can have a guess at the answer from the fact that some three-bedroom flats appear to have 12 adults on the roll. The real occupants, when approached on the doorstep, have never heard of their 10 new flatmates. ...

The problem is simple. Panicked by falling turnout, Labour allowed postal voting on demand. But a postal vote is a thousand times easier to rig than a vote cast in person. ...

Non-existent electors are only the half of it. By all but abolishing the secrecy of the ballot, postal voting opens the door to threats, pressure and outright vote-buying. If you vote in a polling station, nobody can make you show them your ballot paper. Nobody can know if you've obeyed orders.

Worst of all, though, is that the authorities don't seem to care. Police inquiries seldom get anywhere. After the 2006 scandals, one minister said that allegations of electoral fraud risked "undermining confidence". In the most dishonest press release I have ever seen, the Islamist-influenced Tower Hamlets council claimed that an election tribunal had found "no evidence of electoral fraud in Tower Hamlets". Actually, the judge ruled that there was "clear, prima facie evidence" for it.

Our rulers have tiptoed round this subject because voting fraud is mostly a problem – for now – in Asian areas.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – asylum, illegal migrants
What illegal migrants think about the general election
Dominic Casciani
BBC, 5 May 2010

One of the top issues of the general election campaign has been the argument over how to deal with illegal immigration. So what do these people - who have neither a vote nor a legal place in the UK - think?

Amid the bedlam of north London's Crossroads Women's Centre, there is a huddle of African women who call each other sister.

Out in multicultural London's streets, they are invisible - they just merge into the background of a world city. But they're also invisible because they've been illegally here for years, quietly getting on with their lives out of view. And none of them have any intention of going home. ...

Bira was recently told she was one of more than 70,000 asylum seekers who can now legally stay as part of a backlog clearing programme - although officials insist this has not been an amnesty.

But despite the row over the Liberal Democrat's proposals, there is a long-standing immigration rule which states a migrant who has been in the UK illegally for 14 years can be allowed to stay - something senior judges have already called an amnesty.

"Rule 276B" won't be a term well-known to illegal immigrants - but the 14-year deadline it represents is.

But using it to become legal depends on avoiding a criminal record ...
[Site link]


Crime – people trafficking
People trafficking prosecution failure 'startling'
BBC, 4 May 2010

Scotland's failure to successfully prosecute anyone for people trafficking is "startling", a senior police officer has admitted.

Dep Ch Con Gordon Meldrum said there were at least 10 criminal gangs smuggling people into Scotland.

But no-one has ever been convicted of the offence, despite several successful prosecutions elsewhere in the UK.

Mr Meldrum was giving evidence to Holyrood's equal opportunities committee.

The committee is carrying out an inquiry into migration and trafficking in Scotland.

Mr Meldrum said he did not know why there had never been a successful prosecution for people trafficking in Scotland, and said there was a "startling" difference in the conviction rates between Scotland and England.

He told committee members that the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency had last year, for the first time, attempted to map the scale of serious organised crime in Scotland.

Its study found that in June of last year there were a minimum of 367 serious organised crime groups, with a total of about 4,066 named members, either active in Scotland, or whose activities directly impacted on Scotland.

Of these, at least 10 groups were thought to be actively involved in people smuggling, Mr Meldrum, whose portfolio with the Association of Chief Police Officers includes trafficking, said. ...

The committee was also told that no-one knows for sure the scale of human trafficking into Scotland.

Lorraine Cook, of Cosla's strategic migration partnership, described human trafficking as a "hidden crime" while the trafficking of children was "even more so hidden".

An ongoing pilot project by Glasgow City Council had identified eight cases of children being trafficked into the city - but officials believe these are only the tip of the iceberg, Ms Cook said.
[Site link]


Crime – electoral fraud
'The first punch came, landing on my nose, sending blood down my face'
Jerome Taylor
The Independent, 4 May 2010
['Independent' reporter Jerome Taylor relives his bloody experience on the trail of voting fraud in east London]

When I look back on it now what surprises me is how disarmingly polite my attackers were.

"What are you doing?" asked one of the two, seemingly inquisitive, Asian teenagers who approached me on a quiet cul-de-sac in Bow, east London, shortly after 1pm yesterday.

"There's been a photographer around here, do you know her?" he added.

I didn't, but I explained I was a journalist for The Independent looking to speak to a man at an address in the area, who was standing as a candidate in the local elections, about allegations of postal vote fraud. "Can we see your note pad," the boy asked.

I declined and then the first punch came – landing straight on my nose, sending blood and tears streaming down my face. Then another. Then another.

I tried to protect myself but a fresh crop of attackers – I guess between four and six – joined in. As they knocked me to the ground one of them brought a traffic cone repeatedly down on the back of my head. ...

What brought me to Bow yesterday were allegations of widespread postal voting fraud. Both the local Conservative and Respect parties in Tower Hamlets have been looking through the new electoral rolls for properties that have an alarmingly high number of adults registered to one address. The area has a large Bengali population and this type of fraud is unfortunately all too common. In some instances there have been as many as 20 Bengali names supposedly living in two or three-bedroom flats. When journalists have previously called, all too often there are far fewer living there. In some instances, no Bengalis at all.

In such a heavily populated borough, a few fraudulent postal votes might not sound like it matters but when you look at how slim the majorities are here you know every vote counts. ...

So far Scotland Yard is looking into 28 allegations of bogus voter registration in London, although the Conservative and Respect parties both say they have highlighted many more. Concerns have been amplified by a flood of new voter registrations in the past few weeks in the run-up to the nationwide deadline on 20 April. Election officials in Tower Hamlets have removed 141 suspect ballots from the register but overall 5,166 new names were received before the deadline with little time to check their veracity.

Bengalis do tend to have large families and this is the third most deprived borough in the country. Overcrowding is a serious issue. But other Bengalis I know in the area had told me that it was very unusual to have any more than five adults in one house. The households are large, they said, because they have lots of children – not lots of adults. ...

The paramedics who treated me told me that they rarely went into the area without a police escort. ...
[Site link]


Crime – polygamy, fraud, France
Polygamists 'breeding for cash'
New Zealand Herald, 2 May 2010

The burqa, or face-covering veil, is getting all the attention in the debate over Muslim immigrants in France. But another controversial tradition among some immigrants is less noticed and far more widespread: Polygamy.

The issue resurfaced last week after a woman received a traffic citation in the western city of Nantes for driving with a veil over her face. Officials then accused her husband of having at least three other wives, and said he may be profiting from them financially while the state pays the bill.

Polygamy is one of several issues, like forced marriage or genital mutilation, that France and other European nations face, as immigrants arrive with customs that conflict with the law of the land. But experts say polygamy in France can also be linked to fraud, where husbands hijack a generous social welfare system to line their pockets with state funds from each of their wives.

"They practice polygamy just for that," said Jean-Marie Ballo, founder of an association that helps women escape from polygamous situations, Nouveaux Pas, or New Steps. "I'd go so far as to say that polygamists here (in France) are breeding for cash." ...

It's hard to count how many polygamous families live in France because of the secrecy of the practice. But the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights in a 2006 report made a minimal estimate of 16,000 to 20,000 polygamous families in France, or some 180,000 people, including children. That compares to fewer than 2,000 women who are thought to wear burqa-style garments.

For decades, polygamy was legal in France for immigrants arriving from any of about 50 countries where it is legally recognised. ...

France banned polygamy in 1993. ...

But abuses thrive. Especially vulnerable are women who arrived in France after 1993 - often here illegally and, therefore, with limited means to extricate themselves. ...

Chantal Brunel, a lawmaker from the governing conservative UMP party, called last weekend for a region-by-region examination of the family subsidies program to stop corruption by men profiting from state aid to illegal wives. Brunel, who has written a book about violence against women, said she has polygamous families in her district east of Paris "and since 2004-2005 I have asked that the state stop closing its eyes."

"To have children cannot become like having a salary," she said. ...

Ballo, whose Malian father and grandfather were both polygamous, said he helped "decohabit" 12 households with 26 wives and 145 children in Les Ulis, south of Paris, where his group is based.
[Site link]


Forger let 15,000 stay in Britain illegally
Richard Edwards
Daily Telegraph, 27 April 2010

A forger cost taxpayers millions of pounds by faking visas and passports for up to 15,000 illegal immigrants.

Abdullah Azad, 76, was paid thousands of pounds by immigrants and some of them were given British citizenship because his documents fooled Home Office officials.

Prosecutors said that those with false documents "had access to numerous privileges, state benefits, employment and unfettered continuous residence". Azad, a father-of-two from Manchester, was jailed for five years for the fraud which used bogus Home Office stamps and endorsements, as well as national insurance cards. ... ...

It emerged that Azad was jailed for running a similar fraud in 2002.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – employment
NHS 'employing illegal migrants'
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 15 April 2010

Hundreds of illegal immigrants could be working in Britain's hospitals.

A Home Office audit found almost one in 10 staff used by an NHS contractor at five hospitals had forged documents.

ISS Mediclean employed 1,500 workers at the five hospitals in London and the South East. However, 7.8 per cent, or almost 120, were found to be working illegally after examination by the UK Border Agency. ...

Channel 4 News claimed that if the pattern were reflected across 10,000 blue collar ISS staff employed within the M25 alone, it could mean almost 1,000 immigrants working illegally. ...

The London School of Economics has suggested there could be 400,000 to 600,000 illegal workers in Britain. ...

ISS Mediclean last night rejected the Channel 4 claims and said that it was wrong to extrapolate the findings of an audit of five sites across the company as a whole.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – gangs
LA gangs take over UK streets
Virginia Wheeler and Nadia Brooks
The Sun, 15 April 2010

Britain is becoming a battleground for the notorious Bloods and Crips gangs that once brought fear to Los Angeles.

Around a QUARTER of mobs in London now align themselves with the two crime networks.

The massive UK market for cocaine has led to second generation members launching a new "front" here and in Spain.

A recent police census into gangs in the capital found 17 of 70 recognised crews are now Bloods or Crips.

Officers have reported a "more organised aspect" to street gang activities.

A Sun investigation found that hundreds of members are donning the gangs' red or blue colours and bragging of their allegiances on social networking sites.

Insiders said small street crews have been grouping together - copying the LA supergangs' culture and tactics and communicating with overseas counterparts.

Youth worker Twilight Bey, 40, warned yesterday: "Britain's gang problem in 2010 is where LA was in the bad days of the 1980s.

"Youths here have adopted a culture they don't fully understand and the consequences will be a generation of shattered lives."

Ex-LA gangster Twilight - who now works to curb gang violence in West London - said kids as young as SEVEN are carrying knives and swearing allegiance to UK Bloods and Crips.

He said: "For some it's not serious - they see it as games or part of their street culture and identity to adopt practices from LA.

"But the problem starts when they carry knives and get into arguments - then the violence follows and gang membership escalates." ...

Ex-LA Crips member Melvin Johnson, 38, said youth knife crime in the UK has "shocked" criminals in California.

He works to prevent gang crime after serving 11 years for drug offences.

Melvin said: "Britain needs help bad. Over here was terrible but your country is now famous for being Broken Britain." ...

More than 1,000 gangs were known to be operating in Britain last year.

The Crips were founded in 1969 and made huge profits from crack cocaine.

Their name referred to their "crippled" victims.

The Bloods were a splinter group who inflicted horrific violence.

Murdered rap legends Biggie Smalls (The Notorious B.I.G) and Tupac (2Pac) Shakur were allegedly linked with the Crips.
[Site link]


Crime – USA
Researchers find link between Latino employment and black urban violence
Lab Spaces, 12 April 2010

LSU Sociology Professor Edward Shihadeh and Ph.D. candidate Raymond Barranco have published a study titled "Latino Employment and Black Violence: The Unintended Consequence of U.S. Immigration Policy," in the March 2010 issue of Social Forces, the field's preeminent journal.

The study confirms that Latino immigration and dominance of low skill jobs have displaced blacks from low-skill labor markets, which in turn led to more violence in urban black communities. According to their analysis, this is traceable to U.S. immigration policies over the last several decades.

Before the United States/Mexico border was militarized, Latino immigration was a two-way trip; immigrants, mainly from Central America, moved to the United States temporarily to finance a project in their home country. But in response to U.S. public pressure, border security was intensified. Tall fences were built, cameras installed and the border was patrolled relentlessly by well-armed guards. As a result, Latino immigrants in the United States stopped returning home for fear that they could not repeat the trip. This increased the number of Latino workers in the United States competing for jobs in agriculture, manufacturing and construction. Blacks lost that competition in many cities, and where that occurred, murder rates went up.

"This is an unintended but significant result of immigration policies," said Shihadeh, lead author on the project. "This is not a blame game. We do not advocate restricting the flow of Latino migrants in either direction. This is what triggered the flow of events in the first place. There is no reason to deprive this country of the rich contributions made by Latinos. Our study simply describes how immigration policy opened a new chapter in the history of the U.S. labor market and how that harmed black communities."

Sociological theory has linked black urban decline to poverty, the loss of manufacturing jobs and racial segregation. This study introduces another factor in the dense cluster of black disadvantage – immigration policy, which inadvertently flooded low skill markets with Latino labor, displaced blacks and, as a result, raised the rates of black murder.

"Blacks and Latinos both feel singled out and put upon. But few will address these issues because they're politically explosive," said Shihadeh. "The public mood makes this subject a live wire." Nonetheless, both researchers hope their work will fuel important discussions.
[Site link]


Crime – population pressure
Migration ruining our peaceful city, say councillors
Andrew Hough
Daily Telegraph, 10 April 2010

Rising immigration has fuelled crime and left communities unable to provide key services, councillors warned last night.

In a letter to the leaders of the main political parties, councillors in Peterborough, Cambs, said the city could not provide adequate services such as housing, law and order and health for residents.

They said the city was struggling to cope amid the explosion in migrant arrivals.

With more than 16,000 migrants moving to the area since 2004, immigrant communities now make up more than two thirds of population growth, the council's figures showed.

Charles Swift and Keith Sharp, two independent councillors, have written to Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg demanding more help. They have also sent the letter to constituents. They have also sent the letter to constituents.

They said their community had gone from one of "peace and harmony" to a town ravaged by crime resulting from rising immigration.

Local schools were struggling with the extra pupils and the health service was under "unprecedented" pressure.

Police had reported a sharp rise in muggings, robberies and burglaries while the city also had "prostitutes, drug dealers and an increasing number of drivers without road tax or insurance".

Mr Swift, 79, a former train driver and trade unionist who was awarded the OBE for his council services, said last night: "The political leaders must listen to ordinary people. There must be a control on migrant numbers coming in."

Mr Sharp, 55, said: "The truth is the Government has done nothing to help."


It came as a newspaper poll last night claimed that seven out of 10 voters were "very worried" about immigration growth which was a "significant cause of unrest".
[Newspaper link]


Crime – border security
Most dishonest man in Britain: Church leader charged £4,000 a time to smuggle immigrants into country
Colin Fernandez and Ryan Kisiel
Daily Mail, 3 March 2010

To all appearances, the Reverend Anthony Quarco was a respectable pillar of the community.

As well as running a church, he worked as a frontline airport immigration officer and volunteered as a Metropolitan Police special constable.

But yesterday, the father of two was unmasked as 'the most dishonest man in Britain' and jailed for nine years for smuggling hordes of illegal migrants into the country in exchange for nearly £150,000.

Croydon Crown Court heard that former asylum seeker Quarco used the cover of the church to write letters supporting immigration bids, charging £4,000 a time to claim applicants were church fundraisers or choir members.

Meanwhile, he used his job at Luton Airport to issue fake passports, and even smuggled a man into the country under his own name.

Quarco's extraordinary story can be told for the first time after a jury found him guilty yesterday of 14 immigration offences.

These included misconduct in public office, money laundering of £143,955, facilitating the breach of immigration law by a non-EU national and possession of false ID documents with intent. ...

Quarco, then known as Mashudo Brisco Ndou, claimed asylum in Britain in 1995 after arriving from Ethiopia with a Liberian ID card.

By the time he was made a UK citizen in 2005, he had changed his name to Anthony Davis Quarco, and founded 'The Gift of God Zion Training Church' in Brixton. ...

In March 2006 Quarco began work at Luton Airport and by 2008 he was part of the Immigration Service's Criminal Investigation Team.
[Site link]


Crime – USA, drugs
Drug gangs taking over U.S. public lands
MSNBC, 1 March 2010

Not far from Yosemite's waterfalls and in the middle of California's redwood forests, Mexican drug gangs are quietly commandeering U.S. public land to grow millions of marijuana plants and using smuggled immigrants to cultivate them.

Pot has been grown on public lands for decades, but Mexican traffickers have taken it to a whole new level: using armed guards and trip wires to safeguard sprawling plots that in some cases contain tens of thousands of plants offering a potential yield of more than 30 tons of pot a year.

"Just like the Mexicans took over the methamphetamine trade, they've gone to mega, monster gardens," said Brent Wood, a supervisor for the California Department of Justice's Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement. He said Mexican traffickers have "supersized" the marijuana trade. ...

Local, state and federal agents found about a million more pot plants each year between 2004 and 2008, and authorities say an estimated 75 percent to 90 percent of the new marijuana farms can be linked to Mexican gangs. ...

All of the sites are far from the eyes of law enforcement, where growers can take the time needed to grow far more potent marijuana. ... ...

The Sequoia National Forest in central California is covered in a patchwork of pot fields, most of which are hidden along mountain creeks and streams, far from hiking trails. It's the same situation in the nearby Yosemite, Sequoia and Redwood national parks. ...

Many of the plots are encircled with crude explosives and are patrolled by guards armed with AK-47s who survey the perimeter from the ground and from perches high in the trees.

The farms are growing in sophistication and are increasingly cultivated by illegal immigrants, many of whom have been brought to the U.S. from Michoacan. ...

But the growers leave more than litter to worry about. They often use animal poisons that can pollute mountain streams and groundwater meant for legitimate farmers and ranchers.
[Site link]


Hundreds of foreign prisoners on the run
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 30 January 2010

At least 250 released foreign prisoners, including two rapists, who should be back in custody are at large after authorities failed to track them down.

Overseas criminals account for a third of 754 released inmates who are missing when they should have been returned to custody either for committing new crimes or breaching their conditions.

... Of those still at large, 250 were foreign criminals and 66 should have been deported but were released by immigration judges.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – costs, imprisonment
Prisoners from 160 countries in British jails
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 27 January 2010

Britain has become the "United Nations of crime" with criminals from about 160 of the world's 192 recognised countries behind bars here.

The disclosure that 80 per cent of the world's nations are represented in jails across England and Wales will raise fresh concerns over the impact of the Government's immigration policy on communities.

Foreigners now make up one in seven of the prison population, at a large cost to the taxpayer. It costs around £40,000 a year to keep a prisoner in jail. ...

In a written parliamentary answer, the Government disclosed that about 160 of the 192 nations recognised by the Foreign Office and United Nations are represented in prisons in England and Wales. Of those convicted, as opposed to being on remand, 10 countries account for 49 per cent of the foreign offenders, including Jamaica, Vietnam, Poland and China.

About a third are convicted of violence or sex offences and almost a fifth are guilty of drug crimes. Other offences include robbery, burglary and fraud.

Last month, there were 11,546 foreign prisoners in England and Wales, or 14 per cent of the 84,231 behind bars.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – marriage, Republic of Ireland
Gardai halt wedding over fears that union is 'bogus'
Allison Bray
Irish Independent, 26 January 2010

A Pakistani man's plans to walk down the aisle with a Lithuanian teenager this week were cancelled after gardai objected to the marriage.

The Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) intervened to stop Muhammad Shafi's marriage to the 18-year-old woman from going ahead. ...

However, the wedding was cancelled after GNIB Det Chief Supt John O'Driscoll lodged an objection to the marriage on the basis that immigration officials believe it would be a marriage of convenience for residency purposes.

The bureau's intervention was revealed in court yesterday after Mr Shafi was fined €250. He had pleaded guilty at Blanchardstown District Court to possessing both a bogus Italian and Hungarian passport. ...

The court heard that Mr Shafi was one of more than 20 cricket players from Pakistan who arrived here on a seven-day visa for a supposed cricket match in July, 2008, but that the entire "team" disappeared after gaining entry to the State.

The matter of so-called residency marriages was also raised by Justice Minister Dermot Ahern this weekend at an EU summit on immigration in Spain, where he said there was growing evidence of such abuse.

"The love affair between Pakistan and the Baltic states shows no sign of abating," he said. ...

Fine Gael's immigration spokesman Denis Naughton, meanwhile, said the case illustrated the urgent need to crack down on such sham marriages.

"In 2006, 1,207 applications for residency were made in Ireland by non-EU nationals by virtue of being married to an non-Irish EU citizen. In 2009 this figure rose to 2,116. Unusually, even though the number of EU nationals resident in Ireland is reducing, the numbers seeking residency on the basis of marriage to an EU citizen has increased by 175pc."
[Site link]


Crime – prostitution, trafficking, shoplifting, benefit fraud
Prostitution linked to trafficking gangs
HeraldScotland, 22 January 2010

An illegal sex industry is seen as a "market opportunity" for organised gangs trafficking women into Scotland, a police body has said.

The claim was made to MSPs investigating the economic impact of human trafficking and migration.

The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (Acpos) said people-smuggling generates large amounts of money for gangs and opportunistic criminals, particularly in the Strathclyde force area.

It also described the multi-million-pound cost to the economy of benefit fraud linked to migration. ...

Acpos also detailed an operation which found more than 100 Slovakian children were involved in an £8 million two-year fraud.

The submission added: "This is an example of the economic damage of trafficking for benefit fraud.

"Although this operation only identified two incidents of trafficking for exploitation, it is believed that many of the families involved were brought to the UK by criminals under false pretence of jobs and simply sent home when their personal details had been obtained, unaware that their migration had been a 'scam"'.

Organised crime groups from Lithuania were also identified as operating in Scotland, trafficking young men to carry out shoplifting.

Police said "large amounts" of stolen goods were being sent back to the Baltic country - and the people carrying out the crimes were being threatened with serious assault.
[Site link]


Crime – Norway
Criminality as a Career Path
Rita Karlsen
FrontPage, 8 January 2010
[This article first appeared in Norwegian at the website of Human Rights Service,, and was translated into English by Bruce Bawer]

What is Norway up to? ... – and now comes the news that criminal foreigners who serve more than a year in jail will henceforth automatically qualify for welfare. After three years in prison, they will have a right to a government pension and to health coverage. This will be the case even if they have come to Norway illegally. In other words, it pays for foreigners to come to Norway and commit serious crimes – and the more serious the crime, the greater the reward.

The word "shocking" is hardly sufficient. Indeed, some news is so shocking that one hardly believes what one is hearing. This new development falls under the category of things that you just can't imagine a country's leaders ever coming up with. But I am not making this up. You can read all about it on the website of the newspaper Aftenposten: in order to qualify for welfare, foreign criminals will have to commit crimes that are serious enough to put them behind bars for a year or more. But if they are found guilty of even more serious offenses, so that they are sentenced to at least three years, they will also have the right to a basic government pension starting at age 67.

According to Aftenposten, a person who has spent three years in the can will receive a so-called 3/40 basic pension, which amounts to 455 kroner ($80) a month. I assume this means that somebody who has served seven years will get a 7/40 basic pension, and so forth. It is impossible to imagine a policy that would more clearly reward people for breaking the law. And unfortunately, this isn't all. Because if the same criminal foreigners are citizens of countries belonging to the EU or the European Economic Area, such as Lithuania, Poland, or Bulgaria, they will also have a right to Norwegian pensions even if they have moved out of Norway. We can thus expect that in the years to come, the Norwegian welfare system will find itself paying out considerable amounts in health and pension benefits to felons living abroad.

We can also expect that the Norwegian "goodness industry," as I like to call it, will soon be telling us that this new policy is discriminatory: why shouldn't criminals from countries outside the EU or EEA have the same rights as criminals from Europe? For under Norwegian law, citizenship is not predicated on one's land of birth: if a man is a Norwegian citizen, all of his children have the right to Norwegian citizenship as well, regardless of whether they are born in Norway, Lithuania, Pakistan, or Somalia, and regardless of whether their mother is wife #1 or wife #33. As Human Rights Service has noted repeatedly, if this is called equality under the law, there is something wrong with the law.

There is also something wrong with a law that encourages people to pursue lives of crime, and that in fact amounts to a gilt-edged invitation to come to Norway to commit serious crime. According to Aftenposten, we already have quite enough crime of this sort, thank you very much. As of January 2010, 1,001 foreign citizens are in Norwegian prisons. This amounts to 32 percent of all prisoners. Seven out of ten of these foreigners, moreover, are serving terms more than a year long.

[Site link]


Crime – Australia
Indians are warned over visiting Australia after student murders
Bonnie Malkin
Daily Telegraph, 7 January 2010

India issued a travel warning for its citizens in Australia yesterday after two students were murdered in what were thought to be racially motivated attacks. ...

Attacks against Indians have become more frequent as the boom in students from the subcontinent has forced them into less affluent suburbs where they compete for part-time jobs and housing with low-skilled youths from other migrants backgrounds.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – employment, illegal immigrants
Jobs for illegals at Home Office as dozens of NHS and public bodies ignore immigration laws
Tom Harper
Mail on Sunday, 3 January 2010

Illegal immigrants have been working at some of the most sensitive Government offices in the country - including the headquarters of the UK Border Agency - a Mail on Sunday investigation has discovered.

Following our enquiries, the Home Office admitted employing a dozen illegal foreign staff over the past four years - 11 Nigerians and a Ghanaian. ...

The embarrassing disclosures come despite repeated pledges by Labour to crack down on illegal immigration.

Using Freedom of Information legislation, The Mail on Sunday contacted each Government department, council and hospital in Britain for details of employees later discovered to be illegal immigrants since 2006.

Three Government departments, 34 local authorities and 54 NHS trusts admitted hiring a total of 349 unlawful foreign workers. The list featured 37 nationalities, including migrants from Kazakhstan, Zambia and Venezuela. ...

Many councils and health trusts admitted that some fraudulent workers vanished when questioned about their immigration status. ...

However, The Mail on Sunday asked each of the 91 public bodies who admitted employing illegal foreign workers to provide details of any penalties they received.

Not one of them had received a fine, which can be as high as £10,000.

The local authority that employed the highest number of illegal immigrants was Haringey, in North London. It gave jobs to 35 unlawful foreign workers, including two Jamaican carers working with elderly and disabled residents. ...

Three Whitehall departments admitted employing unlawful workers: the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice and the Department for International Development.

The Ministry of Justice gave jobs to three illegal foreign workers, including a Botswanian administrator working in the Access To Justice Department in Central London, which routinely handles sensitive data concerning legal aid funding. ...

The Department for International Development admitted employing 'fewer than five' illegal immigrants in each of the past four years. Despite repeated requests, it refused to provide any more details. ...

In hospitals across Britain, The Mail on Sunday found 176 unlawful foreign workers treating patients and running clinics. ...

One 34-year-old Indian managed to land a job as a dentist after providing health chiefs with forged documents generated by what the trust described as a 'sophisticated national fraud'. However, the trust refused to provide further details.

The same NHS trust also employed a 46-year-old Ghanaian illegal immigrant as a part-time doctor in a Carlisle hospital. The trust refused to comment.

In another striking case, two South American illegal immigrants stole the identities of a British couple living abroad and used them to get clerical jobs in an Accident and Emergency unit in South London. ...

A Home Office spokesman said: 'The 12 illegal workers identified were all sub-contractors. None of them were directly employed by the Home Office. ...

The Home Office said it had fined 2,400 organisations for employing illegal immigrants in the past two years. However, it refused to say whether any were in the public sector.
[Site link]


Crime – France
Hundreds arrested in French violence
CBC News, 1 January 2010

New Year's Eve celebrations turned violent in regions across France as youths burned more than 1,000 cars overnight and police arrested nearly 400 people.

Car burnings have become a regular occurrence in the poor, immigrant-heavy suburbs that ring France's biggest cities, but the incidents of arson are especially prevalent on New Year's Eve.

The Interior Ministry mobilized 45,000 police during the night, 10,000 more than last year.

The ministry said 398 people were taken into police custody – nearly twice the figure of a year ago.
[Site link]



London is 'TB capital of Europe'
Stephen Adams
Daily Telegraph, 17 December 2010

London has become the "tuberculosis capital of Europe" due largely to immigration, according to a paper published today in The Lancet.

Britain is the only Western European country with rising rates of tuberculosis, according to the paper, with more than 9,000 cases now diagnosed annually.

Four in 10 cases were diagnosed within London, with the number of cases rising by nearly 50 per cent since 1999, from 2,309 to 3,450. Doctors suspect these figures underestimate the true extent of the problem by almost a third.

"Victorian" living conditions among migrants are behind the rise, said Prof Alimuddin Zumla, of University College London, a tuberculosis expert.
[Newspaper link]



Diversity – USA, politics, gerrymandering
Against the grain: Democrats' Diversity Problem
Josh Kraushaar
National Journal, 30 November 2010

Democrats have a diversity problem.

There, I said it. Many of you reading might be doing a double-take, thinking I went really "against the grain" with this column. You're thinking: It's clear Democrats are a much more inclusive party - just look at the fact that nearly one-third of House Democrats are non-white, while Republicans have struggled to diversify.

And am I so naïve to forget Democrats nominated and elected President Obama, the first black president?

But look deeper at the composition of Congress and the governorships, and it's apparent the Democrats' strong racial record is somewhat misleading, with its advantage in electing minorities mostly a result of House districts specifically drawn to elect minorities.

Of the 75 black, Hispanic, and Asian-American Democrats in Congress and governorships, only nine represent majority-white constituencies - and that declines to six in 2011. Two of the party's rising black stars who sought statewide office this year were rejected by their party's own base. And when you only look at members of Congress or governors elected by majority-white constituencies (in other words, most of the governorships and Senate seats, and 337 out of 435 House seats), Democrats trail Republicans in minority representation.

In fact, Republicans experienced a diversity boomlet this year. Cognizant of their stuffy national image, party leaders made a concerted effort to recruit a more diverse crop of candidates. That resulted in more than doubling the number of minority elected officials from six to 13 - and a ten-fold increase (from one to 10) in the number of minorities representing majority-white constituencies.

The numbers reflect an inconvenient reality - even with their more diverse caucus, Democrats face the same challenges as Republicans in recruiting, nominating, and electing minority candidates to statewide office and in majority-white suburban and rural districts. The vast majority of black and Hispanic members hail from urban districts that don't require crossover votes to win, or represent seats designed to elect minorities. They are more liberal than the average Democrat, no less the average voter, making it more difficult to run statewide campaigns.

These are far from trivial facts. This means Democrats lack a bench of minority candidates who can run for statewide office, no less national office. Most Democratic minorities make a career in the House, accruing seniority and influence but lacking broad-based political support.

The prime culprit in preventing minorities from having broader appeal is the process of gerrymandering majority-minority seats. It has guaranteed blacks and Hispanics representation, but at the cost of creating seats where candidates would have to appeal to a broader constituency, white and non-white alike. For decades, such districts were judicially mandated; in the South, officials still need clearance from the Justice Department to decrease the proportion of blacks voters in a district.

The logic behind gerrymandering stems from the Civil Rights era, when white voters were highly unlikely to vote for African-American candidates, so districts needed to be drawn so black voters could elect their own to Congress. It was effective - and necessary - to bring diversity to a homogeneous body. But now, the consequence of these contortions comes at great expense to Democrats and civil rights leaders alike.
[Site link]


Diversity – equality, religion
Staff told overtime for Christmas is 'unethical'
Daily Telegraph, 22 November 2010

A chain of care homes is refusing to pay its staff overtime for working at Christmas because it claims the move would discriminate against other religions.

Guinness Care and Support, which runs more than 20 homes in Devon, says it only pays bonuses for bank holidays, which means that staff who work on Christmas Day and Boxing Day will not qualify because they fall over the weekend. ... ...

Ben Bradshaw, Labour MP for Exeter, said: "We are still an overwhelmingly Christian society and Christmas is a religious festival and a public holiday. Other religious festivals are not public holidays and I do not think Guinness is comparing like with like."

Mick Green, of Guinness Care and Support, said: "We have a strong ethical belief in equality and diversity and are unable to recognise one religious festival over others."
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – education
Universities get quota of poor students
Rosa Prince
Daily Telegraph, 3 November 2010

Universities will be forced to admit a quota of poorer students or face being stripped of hundreds of thousands of pounds in funding, under plans to be announced by the Coalition today.

Elite institutions such as Oxford and Cambridge are to be ordered to increase the number of pupils they accept from state schools from about 1,500 a year to almost 1,800.

More students from less wealthy regions and from low-income families will also have to be taken on, along with increased numbers of ethnic minority students.
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – councils, cost
Council 'non-jobs costing taxpayer £41m a year'
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 12 October 2010

Councils spent £41 million on "non-jobs" such as political advisers, climate change officers and diversity officers, a campaign group has found.

A survey by the TaxPayers' Alliance found councils had the equivalent of 543 full-time diversity posts in 2009-10, costing nearly £20 million. Birmingham accounted for just under £2 million of that figure, according to replies to freedom of information requests. ...

There were wide regional differences. ... Manchester did not employ any diversity officers but Liverpool employed seven.
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – medicine, USA
New tactics for diversity: Creating doctors from all racial, ethnic groups
Carolyne Krupa
American Medical News, 4 October 2010

This summer, Asimeng completed a program at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y., designed to encourage black, Hispanic and American Indian high school and college students to pursue a medical career. ...

Montefiore's program is one example of efforts taking place nationwide to increase the diversity of the physician work force by attracting more racial and ethnic minorities to medical schools. ...

At the same time, the Assn. of American Medical Colleges' Holistic Review Project is encouraging schools to re-evaluate admissions policies to ensure that they graduate physicians who can serve an increasingly diverse population.

U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, MD, has challenged health leaders to increase the number of minority physicians, a figure that has remained about the same as it was a century ago. ...

"Having a diverse physician work force is key to making health care reform, as well as eliminating health care disparities, a reality," said Charles P. Mouton, MD, dean and senior vice president for health affairs at Meharry Medical College in Tennessee.

Medical schools have worked to increase diversity in the classroom for decades but with limited success, said Marc Nivet, EdD, the AAMC's chief diversity officer. ...

Nationwide, high school dropout rates are higher among blacks and Hispanics, and fewer minorities go to college, said Lauree Thomas, MD, associate dean for student affairs and admissions at the University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine at Galveston.
[Site link]


Diversity – language, USA
The Evolution of Language in Diversity Management
Raymond Arroyo
DiversityInc Foundation, 28 September 2010

chief diversity officer and senior member of the Human Resources Executive Group at Aetna

Diversity management has come a long way since I joined in the early 1990s. Scores of books have been published on this business strategy. Hundreds of consultants earn their living by specializing in diversity management, and thousands of provocative articles have been published by a range of organizations on this topic. There are also diversity-management courses and certificate programs available at many universities. Some even offer a master's degree. Today, most major corporations have chief diversity officers (CDOs), some of whom report directly to their CEOs. In addition to focusing on racial/ethnic and gender diversity, many CDOs have added other, less-visible diversity dimensions such as sexual orientation/identity and religion, to name only two.

In the past few years, several in the field have also added "inclusion" to their diversity strategies (and titles) as a visible symbol that these strategies aren't just about diversifying the work force: They are about having systems and processes that are fully inclusive, where all stakeholders' contributions are sought, valued and measured. ... ...

Despite significant progress, the language used today to communicate diversity has not evolved with the broader focus. Almost daily, I read or hear references to an individual being "diverse" or someone being a "diversity candidate." If our diversity initiatives include multiple dimensions and are fully inclusive, those descriptions are too narrow.

In addition, many organizations still have "diversity recruiting" departments. But they don't advance diversity to its full potential. Often, recruiting departments focus on recruiting underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. Although this is certainly laudable, important and still requires a disciplined focus, it's not holistic. It is only one of the many dimensions of diversity. ...

If language is to catch up with today's broader focus of diversity, we should use terms that are clear and precise. The term "traditionally underrepresented minority" (TUM) can be used when referring to African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans and Native Americans. ...

To capture the broader and fully inclusive meaning of diversity that does not exist today, you can use a phrase created by marketing consultant Ernie Mills, which is "Person with Intrinsic Cultural Knowledge," or PICK.
[Site link]


Diversity – education, USA
Three years after landmark court decision, Louisville still struggles with school desegregation
Robert Barnes
Washington Post, 20 September 2010

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. made it sound so simple that day in 2007, when he and four other members of the Supreme Court declared that this city's efforts to desegregate its schools violated the Constitution.

"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race," Roberts wrote, "is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."

But life has been anything but simple for school officials here. They have steadfastly - or stubbornly, depending on the point of view - tried to maintain integrated classrooms despite the court's command that officials not consider race when assigning children to schools. ...

The final product, which integrates schools based on socioeconomic factors rather than on race alone, has proven to be more complex and costly than the previous system. ...

It has been a long three years for school officials since the court for the first time took away the simplest and most efficient way to integrate classrooms: making decisions based upon a student's race. It was a landmark moment for a court that has long struggled with race-conscious decisions by government: when they are warranted, and when they have outlived their usefulness. ...

The impact of the decision, which directly involved schools here and in Seattle and set rules for school boards across the nation, already has been noteworthy. Seattle has mostly abandoned efforts to force diverse classrooms; it has returned to a system of neighborhood schools augmented by magnet schools and new educational programs scattered throughout the city. ...

But Louisville, along with a number of other like-minded systems across the country, is betting that using socioeconomic factors, not just race, will help maintain diverse schools and meet the Supreme Court's requirements. ...

But school Superintendent Sheldon Berman, who started his job days after the 2007 Supreme Court decision, said he is convinced that a school system cannot be successful for all children without diverse classrooms. ...

"If we're going to create a vital democracy, and see our schools as the seeds of that democracy, we need schools that maintain diversity," Berman said in a recent interview. ...

Louisville's case was particularly striking. From 1975 to 2000, the system was under a federal court order to desegregate its schools. When the court decided that had been accomplished, school officials voluntarily continued with the race-conscious plans so that the progress made would not be lost. ...

Louisville's new plan splits the county into two geographic districts - one having higher concentrations of minorities, lower incomes and less educational attainment - and requires each school in the district to have a mix of students from both.
[Site link]


Diversity – navy, USA
High seas segregation: The Navy is listing dangerously in politically correct water
The Washington Times, 30 July 2010
[Leading article]

The Navy wants to judge sailors by the color of their skin, not the content of their seamanship.

The latest national security leak is a shocking e-mail from a Navy admiral on "Diversity Accountability." The message, sent to a list of other flag officers, notes that "a change in focus of this year's diversity brief is the desire to identify our key performers (by name) and provide insight on each of them." Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead, who apparently originated this order, "is interested in who are the diverse officers with high potential and what is the plan for their career progression. He may ask what is being done within to ensure they are considered for key follow on billets within the Navy."

The message specifies, "This list must be held very closely but will provide ready reference to ensure we are carefully monitoring and supporting the careers of the best and the brightest the Navy has to offer." That is, the best and the brightest provided a sailor is one of the euphemistically "diverse." If you are a white male, it might be time to set sail and seek opportunities elsewhere.

In practice, the Navy will be creating a list of privileged "diverse" officers who will enjoy special benefits and career mentoring not available to people of the wrong race, as well as a virtual guarantee of fast-track access to the highest reaches of command. Fifty-six years after the Supreme Court struck down the concept of "separate but equal" treatment of races, the U.S. Navy is erecting a wall of segregation between what will amount to two parallel promotion systems: one for the "diverse" and another for the monotone. If this isn't illegal, it should be. ...

In the contemporary naval bureaucracy, this type of politically correct nonsense has run out of control like a loose cannon on deck. The Naval Academy lists racial diversity as the "highest personnel priority," apparently even over the mission of educating future Navy leaders for warfare on the high seas. Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made achieving diversity a "strategic imperative" when he was chief of naval operations. Call us old-fashioned seadogs, but we'd prefer that the Navy's top priority be fighting and winning our nation's wars rather than engaging in social experimentation.
[Site link]


Diversity – discrimination
Foreign office rejects middle-class men
Daily Telegraph, 26 July 2010

Able-bodied middle-class white men are barred from doing work experience at the Foreign Office.

Under schemes introduced by Labour, only women, people from ethnic minorities and the disabled can apply for the £367-a-week positions.

William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, has been challenged to change the rules by Dominic Raab, a Conservative MP. ...

Mr Raab said: "We surely need to scale back the unfair political correctness of the last government."
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – education, USA
How Diversity Punishes Asians, Poor Whites and Lots of Others
Russell K. Nieli
Minding the Campus, 12 July 2010

When college presidents and academic administrators pay their usual obeisance to "diversity" you know they are talking first and foremost about race. More specifically, they are talking about blacks. ...

As a secondary meaning "diversity" can also encompass Hispanics, who together with blacks are often subsumed by college administrators and admissions officers under the single race category "underrepresented minorities." ...

Asians, unlike blacks and Hispanics, receive no boost in admissions. ... Despite the much lower number of Asians in the general high-school population, high-achieving Asian students – those, for instance, with SAT scores in the high 700s – are much more numerous than comparably high-achieving blacks and Hispanics, often by a factor of ten or more. Thinking as they do in racial balancing and racial quota terms, college admissions officers at the most competitive institutions almost always set the bar for admitting Asians far above that for Hispanics and even farther above that for admitting blacks.

"Diversity" came to be so closely associated with race in the wake of the Supreme Court's Bakke decision in 1978. In his decisive opinion, Justice Lewis Powell rejected arguments for racial preferences based on generalized "societal discrimination," social justice, or the contemporary needs of American society as insufficiently weighty to overrule the color-blind imperative of the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause. That imperative, however, could be overruled, Powell said, by a university's legitimate concern for the educational benefits of a demographically diverse student body.

Virtually all competitive colleges after Bakke continued with their racial preference policies ("affirmative action"), though after Powell's decision they had to cloak their true meaning and purpose behind a misleading or dishonest rhetoric of "diversity." ...

While almost all college administrators and college admissions officers at the most elite institutions think in racial balancing and racial quota-like terms when they assemble their student body, they almost always deny this ... Indeed, there is probably no other area where college administrators are more likely to lie or conceal the truth of what they are doing than in the area of admissions and race.

Most elite universities seem to have little interest in diversifying their student bodies when it comes to the numbers of born-again Christians from the Bible belt, students from Appalachia and other rural and small-town areas, people who have served in the U.S. military, those who have grown up on farms or ranches, Mormons, Pentecostals, Jehovah's Witnesses, lower-middle-class Catholics, working class "white ethnics," social and political conservatives, wheelchair users, married students, married students with children, or older students first starting out in college after raising children or spending several years in the workforce. Students in these categories are often very rare at the more competitive colleges, especially the Ivy League. While these kinds of people would surely add to the diverse viewpoints and life-experiences represented on college campuses, in practice "diversity" on campus is largely a code word for the presence of a substantial proportion of those in the "underrepresented" racial minority groups.
[Site link]


Diversity – finance, loans, USA
Finance Bill's Devilish Details
Investors Business Daily, 22 June 2010
[Leading article]

Subprime Scandal: Much of the 2,000-page draft of the Democrats' finance reform bill could have been written by Acorn, and probably was. It has more to do with "civil rights" than consumer protection.

The devil is in the details of the monstrous new regulatory package, which Democrats hope to pass early next month. They reveal plans to reallocate credit and capital to the Democrats' political base, while empowering race racketeers like Acorn with slush funds and advisory board seats.

The "Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010" is, in fact, a massive redistribution scheme camouflaged as reform. Far from reforming easy-credit practices, the bill encourages more of the same reckless, politically mandated lending that brought down the entire financial system in the name of "affordable housing."

Yes, the bill gives Treasury the power to liquidate banks that pose a threat to financial stability. But it essentially exempts minority-owned banks and those approved by Acorn-style urban organizers.

"The orderly liquidation plan shall take into account actions to avoid or mitigate potential adverse effects on low- income, minority or underserved communities affected by the failure of the covered financial company," it says.

In other words, zombie banks laden with subprime and near-prime loans may be too PC to fail. Democrats call such immunity from reform "impact protections," but Republicans aren't buying it.

Sen. Richard Shelby and other GOP conferees moved to strike the language, arguing that making an exception for minority neighborhoods defeats the whole purpose of reform, which is to protect all consumers against systemic risk.

But Sen. Chris Dodd, who's running the conference committee with his fellow Democrat, Rep. Barney Frank, shot them down by suggesting that they wanted to deny minorities access to credit.

"The same arguments were made against the Community Reinvestment Act," Dodd bellowed.

Unfortunately, they weren't made forcefully enough. Studies show that CRA home loans have much higher failure rates. Such politically mandated lending regardless of creditworthiness is the whole reason we're in this mess.

Another section of the bill requires the proposed Financial Stability Oversight Council (headed by the Treasury secretary) to consider a zombie institution's "importance as a source of credit for low-income, minority or underserved communities" before winding it down. So prudent lending is important in the bank exam – unless it conflicts with Democrats' social goals.

It gets worse. The bill mandates placement of a diversity czar in each federal financial agency – including the Fed and its 12 regional banks.
[Site link]


Diversity – BBC, employment
BBC trainee scheme 'biased against white applicants'
Martin Beckford and Neil Midgley
Daily Telegraph, 3 June 2010

Almost half of the places on a coveted BBC journalism trainee scheme have gone to candidates from ethnic minorities, a Freedom of Information Act request has shown. ...

... In the latest case, figures show that 51 places have been made available under the BBC's Journalism Trainee Scheme since 2007. Of these, 24 have gone to candidates from ethnic minorities – 47 per cent.
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – employment
Wanted: two council trainees. Whites need not apply
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 2 June 2010

A council has banned white people from applying for an £18,000-a-year traineeship because it wants to increase staff diversity.

The two-year scheme at Bristol city council is open only to candidates from black or ethnic minority backgrounds because the "normal recruitment process was not rectifying" under-representation.

The authority said the programme, which takes on two people a year, is legal under race relations legislation because it does not guarantee a job. ...

Officials said the Race Relations Act 1976 allowed authorities to offer training to specific groups of people if they were under-represented.
[Newspaper link]


Military show is sabotaged by 'diversity' rules
Daily Telegraph, 28 May 2010

A military show has been cancelled after organisers said the council withdrew funding because it failed to meet their "diversity criteria".

The eighth annual Liverpool Military Show was due to take place at Walton Hall Park tomorrow and to feature a memorial service to fallen war heroes.

But it had to be scrapped at the last minute when council officials pulled out of providing £8,000 towards costs. Organisers said they were told that the show did not "score highly enough" on Liverpool City Council's "diversity scale" to justify funding from the arts and culture budget. ...

A spokesman for Liverpool City Council said that a "range of issues" had contributed to the decision to cancel the event.
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – sport
£660m bill for sporting gamble that failed
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 27 May 2010

Hundreds of millions of pounds of public money has been spent getting the wrong type of people to take up sport, the government spending watchdog has found.

Sport England, a quango, spent £660 million over three years promoting sport and physical activity. The cash was meant to increase the number of women, black and Asian people and disabled playing sport by 3 per cent between 2005-6 and 2007-8.

However, although the total number of adults taking part in sport increased by 520,000, the proportion did not increase among the target groups, the National Audit Office found.
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – political correctness
A Contract for Equalities
The Conservative Party, May 2010
[From the introduction by Theresa May]

This contract for equalities will be central to what we plan to do in government. ... Just as we are determined to fight poverty, so we are determined to fight prejudice and discrimination wherever it exists. ... Make no mistake: the Conservative Party has changed. We have updated our policies, and our candidates better reflect modern Britain. When David Cameron became leader of the Conservatives more than four years ago, he set out to reverse the under-representation of ethnic minorities in the party. There are, for example, 43 Black and Asian Parliamentary candidates standing for the party this week. And if we win, with even a small majority, we would have at least 15 Conservative MPs from minority ethnic backgrounds – more than any party has today. ...

... Government must show responsibility too. That is why we will arrange internships in every Whitehall department for young people from ethnic minority backgrounds, opening doors and tearing down barriers.
[Site link]


Diversity – politics
We'll change black Britain
David Cameron
The Guardian, 17 March 2010

In Britain today, too many people are denied the chance to escape poverty and build a better life for themselves and their family. Sadly, this is especially true for people in Britain's black community. Black pupils are permanently excluded from school at more than twice the rate of white pupils. Some 9,500 black children leave primary school every year unable to read, write and add up properly. And of the 3,000 students who started at Oxford in 2008, only five are black Caribbean in origin. This inequality extends to the job market too, with recent research showing almost half of young black people are unemployed, well over twice the rate for young white people.

What's going wrong? To a large extent, Labour's failure to address racial inequality echoes their failure to tackle inequality generally. Since 1997, income inequality, education inequality and health inequality have all widened, hitting the black community disproportionately hard.

A new Conservative government must do better. I want to take down the barriers that prevent so many black people realising their potential. In part, we'll do this through our core reform agenda. By tackling the causes of poverty, like poor schooling, family breakdown, addiction and welfare dependency, we can succeed where Labour has failed.

But we won't just rely on across-the-board measures to boost social mobility. We'll introduce concerted action to overcome the racial barriers that exist in Britain today. One of the most obvious is when it comes to starting a business: Conservatives have always believed that enterprise is a powerful catalyst for social mobility. However, too many black people in Britain today are being denied the opportunity to start their own business and get on in life. ...

I've always believed that role models are incredibly important. You only have to look at how children copy their parents to see how big an impact role models can have. That's why I've worked so hard to get more black and ethnic minority Conservative party candidates.
[Site link]


Diversity – USA
Who's still biased?
Drake Bennett
The Boston Globe, 7 March 2010

Who's still biased? Diversity training has swept corporate America. Just one problem: It doesn't seem to work.

If you work at a large company, and especially if you manage other people, chances are you've gone through diversity training. The vast majority of the Fortune 500 and, by some estimates, the majority of American employers offer diversity training programs for their employees. Many make such training mandatory. The amount of money spent on it in the United States runs into the billions. ...

Such programs have always been controversial, with critics arguing that they're unnecessary and needlessly politicize the workplace. But despite the growth and prevalence of diversity training, there have been few attempts to systematically study it.

Now a few social scientists are taking a hard look at these programs, and, so far, what they're finding is that there's little evidence that diversity training works. A paper published last year by the psychologist Elizabeth Levy Paluck of Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School and the Yale University political scientist Donald Green comprehensively surveyed the literature on prejudice reduction measures and found no empirical support for the idea that diversity training programs change attitudes or behavior. Similarly, a 2008 literature review paper by Carol Kulik of the University of South Australia and Loriann Roberson of Columbia University found that, on the question of changing behavior, there were few trustworthy studies - and decidedly mixed results among those. And research by a team of sociologists on more than 800 companies over three decades has found that the best diversity training programs make little difference in who gets hired and promoted, and many programs actually decrease the number of women and minorities in management.

"Even with best practices, you're not going to get much of an effect," says Frank Dobbin, a Harvard University sociology professor on the research team. "It doesn't change what happens at work."

Practitioners and some scholars disagree, arguing that, while there have been some unsubstantiated claims and overhyped "innovations" in diversity training, the field as a whole has begun to figure out what works. ... ...

The roots of diversity training extend back to the work of the psychologist Kurt Lewin at MIT in the 1940s. Trying to train leaders to better manage interpersonal tensions, Lewin developed methods of using small discussion groups to "unfreeze" the attitudes of their members (coining "group dynamics" in the process).

The current popularity of diversity training, however, dates to the 1980s.


Managers, faced with predictions of even greater demographic changes in the workplace in coming decades, turned to diversity courses as a way to respond. ... A whole "diversity management" industry arose to meet - and encourage - the need, and large companies began creating diversity task forces and hiring chief diversity officers.
[Site link]


Diversity – law, racism
Think Tank: The race card upsets the scales of justice. Positive discrimination is saddling us with woefully bad lawyers
Sameena Patel
The Sunday Times, 28 February 2010
[Sameena Patel (not the writer's real name) is a criminal barrister practising in the UK]

Last week a report commissioned by the government concluded that a "lack of diversity" among judges was limiting judicial perspectives and was affecting the experience of people who used the courts. The report came up with more than 50 recommendations on how to tackle the problem, including schemes in which judges would encourage students from ethnic-minority backgrounds to pursue judicial careers.

The legal world should think very carefully about this. It is right that the judiciary should reflect the society it serves, of course, but positive discrimination and politically correct initiatives are already, to my mind, having a detrimental effect on the law. Any more could be disastrous.

I was called to the bar in 2006 and, as a British woman of Indian descent, I can hardly be accused of racism. So I perhaps feel freer to speak than some of my colleagues. But what we all see is the same thing: the race card being played in recruitment to legal firms and to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

The frustration and resentment this generates is aired in private. In the pubs near chambers you often hear tales of friends finding themselves up against lawyers who can barely speak English and are unable to grasp complex points of law.

A judge told me that he and his colleagues were scared to criticise for fear of being told "you have commented on my sub-standard English because I'm not English". So the issue is boxed away in a corner and it is a shame because the whole system is suffering. ...

It is not so much at the bar but at the CPS, though, where there is a real problem. The bar is at least independent but the CPS is much more directly connected with the government and has to be seen to be a fair employer. Some of the CPS propaganda material is hilarious. It has gone so overboard in an attempt to be fair that you have to search hard to try to spot the white person in its illustrations.

In London, at least, the organisation seems to be stuffed with people from ethnic minorities.

It is worrying when you ring someone up about a case, often a serious one, and you have trouble understanding what they are saying. Or you get skeleton arguments or documents drafted that simply make no sense and are written in pidgin English. ...

One of the problems is that CPS lawyers, who appear as higher court advocates, get appointed to cases beyond their capability. ... ...

This is racism in reverse: and the biggest irony is that the people who suffer from racism now – middle-class white men – are ticked off or called racist if they complain.
[Site link]


Diversity – judges
Women, gays and the disabled preferred as new judges
Daily Telegraph, 25 February 2010

Women, ethnic minorities, and homosexual and disabled people who apply to be judges should be given preferential treatment over white male candidates, according to a government review.

The report by the Advisory Panel on Judicial Diversity, which has been accepted by ministers, called for "positive action" where two candidates were seen to have equal abilities. It would result in women or members of a minority being chosen over other candidates at the end of the selection process.

One in five of all judges in courts in England and Wales is a woman and less than 5 per cent are from ethnic minorities.
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – police
Taxpayer gives £1m to black police group
Richard Edwards
Daily Telegraph, 23 February 2010

A black police group linked to the disgraced commander Ali Dizaei has received more than £1 million of taxpayer funds over the past five years.

The Metropolitan Black Police Association (MBPA) has been given grants by Scotland Yard of up to £272,760 a year, which have helped to pay for overseas conference trips.

However it is understood that the funding to the organisation is being drastically cut in 2010-11. ...

Sources said that questions have been raised as to whether the association needed an international travel budget of around £100,000. It is expected to receive a total budget of nearer to £40,000. ...

There are 19 staff associations in the Met. The MBPA has received around five times as much funding as the second biggest, the Sikh Police Association.
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – extremism, Islam
Ft. Hood suspect was Army dilemma: His extreme views possibly overlooked in favor of diversity
Bryan Bender
The Boston Globe, 22 February 2010

Army superiors were warned about the radicalization of Major Nidal Malik Hasan years before he allegedly massacred 13 soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, but did not act in part because they valued the rare diversity of having a Muslim psychiatrist, military investigators wrote in previously undisclosed reports.

An obvious "problem child" spouting extremist views, Hasan made numerous statements that were not protected by the First Amendment and were grounds for discharge by violating his military oath, investigators found.

Examples of Hasan's radical behavior have previously been disclosed in press accounts based on interviews with unnamed Army officials, including his defense of suicide bombings and assertions that Islamic law took priority over his allegiance to the United States.

But the Pentagon's careful documentation of individual episodes dating back to 2005 and the subsequent inaction of his superiors have not been made public before.

The Globe was permitted to review the Army's more complete findings on the condition that it not name supervisory officers who did not act, some of whom are facing possible disciplinary action. ...

The report concludes that because the Army had attracted only one Muslim psychiatrist in addition to Hasan since 2001, "it is possible some were afraid" of losing such diversity "and thus were willing to overlook Hasan's deficiencies as an officer." ...

They also contain the first official acknowledgement that superiors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, where he began his residency in 2003, were repeatedly informed of Hasan's radical statements but did not do anything about it. ...

"Other officer students repeatedly raised concerns about Major Hasan's preoccupation with Islam, including allegations by students that Major Hasan justified suicide bombing and stated Sharia law took precedence over the US Constitution," the report said.
[Site link]


Diversity – politics, deception
Tories' secret plan to kill off party dinosaurs
Daily Mail, 19 February 2010

A confidential blueprint for David Cameron's controversial bid to impose more women, gays and ethnic candidates on reluctant party activists has come to light.

The explosive six-page document proposes the use of subterfuge to end the white, male and middle-class image of the Conservative Party. ...

Action Plan for Candidate Selection in Safe Seats is a fascinating insight into how modernisers have planned a gradual Tory party takeover.

Their efforts finally paid off last month when Mr Cameron imposed shortlists of 'suitable' Parliamentary candidates.

The move has incensed the grassroots - who have always had a say over which candidates appeared on shortlists - and triggered a wave of protests and resignations.

And the language in the document will further exacerbate tensions between the Tory high command and its army of hard working volunteers.

The document suggests using 'stealth' and stresses the importance of keeping 'quiet' over the plans to ensure more women, ethnic and gay candidates. 'Like a conjuror, we'll get more applause if the audience cannot see exactly how the trick is performed,' the document says.

It was written by Tory schools spokesman Michael Gove, an influential member of Mr Cameron's inner circle, and Dean Godson, a director of favoured think-tank Policy Exchange. ...

Mr Cameron is unrepentant and his decision to seize power from local associations, say his friends, is the culmination of the secret plan on how to neuter the party faithful in the country.

These members of the Tory grassroots, cruelly nicknamed dinosaurs, are seen by modernisers as impediments to a progressive party. Mr Gove's and Mr Godson's document was written in February 2002.

But even Shadow Cabinet ministers concede it has been hugely influential and the central platform of Mr Cameron's programme. The paper accepts it was not the fault of local associations that so many white men were being chosen.

'Most of the talented candidates on the list are white and male,' it states. 'The principal reason such people get selected for safe seats is because they tend to be the best on offer.' ...

'The clever approach is to maintain the illusion that a good cross-section of approved candidates is being offered.'

Suggesting a degree of subterfuge, the document goes on: 'There are several reasons why the Party should not publicly proclaim the new methodology.

'The more that the profusion of women, black, Asian or gay candidates appears to be the result of spontaneous open-mindedness on the part of grassroot activists the greater will be the accolades.

'Most Tories loathe political correctness and positive discrimination. If one tries to be 'in your face' about the fact that positive discrimination is taking place activists are much more likely to rebel; a version of 'don't ask, don't tell', is called for.

'Yet another factor that should persuade us to do our good work by stealth is the fact our opponents don't believe we have got a cat in hell's chance of passing their test [for the selection of candidates]. It would be counterproductive to tip them off.'
[Site link]


Diversity – politics
Cameron tells Conservatives to accept diversity
James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 16 February 2010

David Cameron has told Conservative activists opposing his attempts to select more female and ethnic minority candidates that they are "wrong" and must accept change.

The Tory leader has pushed constituency associations to accept candidates from a wider range of backgrounds, leading to the adoption of more black and female candidates than in previous elections.

However, grassroots Tories in several seats have protested against their candidates. ...

At a campaign event meant to reach out to people who have never voted Conservative, Mr Cameron said ...

"Just in case there is anyone out there who still thinks that the work we've done to get more women candidates, more black and minority ethnic candidates, that this is some kind of political correctness that Conservatives should avoid, I would say 'no'.

"You're wrong. It is in the best traditions of our party, the one-nation tradition of Benjamin Disraeli, and it should inspire us again today.

"Unless you can represent everyone in our country you cannot be a one-nation party."

Conservative associations have selected six black candidates in winnable seats for the general election, most recently Sam Gyimah, a former banker, in Surrey East.

Mr Cameron hailed those selections as proof that his party had changed.

He also pointed out that his party was on course to have its first Muslim MP, having selected Sajid Javid, a banker, as its candidate in Bromsgrove.
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – education
£50m of Third World aid is spent in Britain
Robert Mendick
Sunday Telegraph, 14 February 2010

The government department responsible for sending aid to the Third World has admitted spending almost £50 million in five years on projects in Britain.

The British schemes paid for by the Department for International Development (DfID) included the teaching of "global citizenship" to two and three year-olds in Devon; Brazilian dance classes in east London and ... ...

Projects include a £30,000 grant over three years to Devon Development Education, an educational charity based in Exeter which runs a number of "global citizenship" schemes.

The grant pays for a training programme for nursery school staff that enables them to teach preschool children about "diversity and culture". ...

A DfID spokesman ... said of the Devon preschool project: "These allegations are nonsense. This project educates teachers about global poverty. to help them in the important task of teaching young children about the world around them."

Jane Habermehl, an early years coordinator at Devon Development Education, defended the scheme she runs.

She said: "There is not enough done with preschool children.

"We live in a multicultural world and we need to have open, honest attitudes to talk about colour and difference in a positive way."
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – costs
Quangos are a luxury we don't need, and certainly can't afford
Jeff Randall
Daily Telegraph, 29 January 2010

The UK Film Council, a government-backed agency, the role of which is to ensure that "the economic, cultural and educational aspects of film are represented effectively at home and abroad", advertised for a head of diversity.

This, I promise, is not a spoof. The council is looking for an "exceptional individual" to run its diversity department. Yes, department. How many of them are there, for goodness sake? ...

... According to the council's website, the right candidate will "develop an active dialogue with key groups and opinion formers", "allocate funding to diversity activities" and, naturally, "manage the diversity department team". It's true: there's a team.

Now for the knockout question: what do you think the salary is? ... For context, here's a range of jobs currently on offer elsewhere in the public sector. A crime bureau investigator with Essex Police is paid £16k-£22k. A staff nurse at an acute-care hospital in central London gets £28k-£29k. An Army sergeant can expect £32k-£36k.

... But what about the Film Council's head of diversity? ... The answer is £70k, plus benefits.

As a Cabinet minister said to me: "Could this task not have been handled by the Film Council's personnel officer?"
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – Germany
Politicians reject immigrant quota for public service sector
The Local [Germany's news in English], 15 January 2010

Politicians on Friday rejected legally mandated quotas to increase the number of people with immigrant backgrounds in public sector jobs.

The federal government's integration commissioner, Maria Böhmer, on Thursday announced she backed an initiative to make sure civil service employment better reflected the population of Germany – where every fifth resident has an immigration background.

But on Friday politicians from her own conservatives as well as those from the opposition centre-left Social Democrats rejected any sort of affirmative action to boost recruitment.

"A quota is not compatible with our constitutional and legal culture," SPD deputy parliamentary group leader Olaf Scholz told daily Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Scholz said that the goal was admirable, but a target was not suitable for its achievement. Instead personnel management in the public sector should be more active in bringing people from immigrant backgrounds into their fold, he said.

Meanwhile conservative MP Hans-Peter Uhl also said he rejected legal requirements to employ a certain sector of the population.

"It's a legal automatism that leads to abuse," he told the paper, adding that such a measure would only be suitable for cities, because rural areas had a lower proportion of immigrants.

But the head of the TGD Turkish advocacy group Kenan Kolat told daily Berliner Zeitung that he was in favour of the initiative.

"Only a quota can insure that the population structure mirrors itself in public and administrative offices," he said, rejecting the assumption that too few immigrants possess the skills to qualify for such jobs.
[Site link]


Diversity – heritage
'Pointless' push to attract minorities to historic sites
Stephen Adams
Daily Telegraph, 12 January 2010

An initiative to encourage more people from minorities to visit historic sites has been pointless, MPs have said.

English Heritage was set "unrealistic targets" to attract more ethnic minorities, poorer people and those with disabilities, according to a report by the Commons' public accounts committee. ...

The department for Culture, Media and Sport met its aim for the number of people from black and ethnic minority groups visiting historic sites between 2005 and 2008. But it failed to attract enough people from lower socio-economic groups or those with disabilities.
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – politics
Quotas to create more female MPs
Daily Telegraph, 11 January 2010

Political parties may be given legal quotas for the number of women they put forward as parliamentary candidates.

A cross-party review concluded that such a move should be considered if there was not a "significant" increase in the number of woman MPs after the forthcoming general election. It also called for the introduction of candidate lists that excluded white people, although they would not be mandatory.
[Newspaper link]


Diversity – employment, USA
Diversity Efforts Uneven In U.S. Companies
Kevin Whitelaw
NPR, 10 January 2010

The United States is becoming an increasingly diverse nation, but progress in the workplace has been a bit slower.

On one side, there are companies like Xerox, which have gone well beyond making a concerted effort to hire minorities and women. ...

Not only do Xerox employees regularly fill out surveys to measure how satisfied and engaged women and different minority groups are inside the company, but performance reviews for senior managers include a section on how much they are doing to promote diversity.

But for every Xerox, there are many other companies that do little more than pay lip service to the issue of diversity, says Robin Ely, a professor of organizational behavior at Harvard Business School. ...

Still, experts say that most companies, particularly the Fortune 500 firms, are trying to move beyond the legally mandated minimum when it comes to affirmative action and anti-discrimination efforts.

"The vast majority of them have gotten on the diversity train and aren't going to get off it anytime soon," says Eric Peterson, the diversity manager at the Society for Human Resource Management. "They realize it's necessary for their long-term prosperity."

But Peterson adds an important qualification: "They don't all do it well, necessarily,"

Indeed, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported a record number of discrimination charge filings in fiscal 2008 – some 95,402 nationwide, which marked a 15 percent increase over the previous year.

There have been dramatic gains in recent years in hiring practices, but when it comes to promoting minorities in particular, most companies still have a long way to go.

The latest available EEOC statistics show that in 2007, minorities made up 33.4 percent of office and clerical workers – remarkably close to the overall proportion of minorities in the workforce, which is 34.1 percent. But at the executive and senior manager level, minorities represent just 16.6 percent of the total. ...

Part of the problem is that the entire topic of diversity, particularly when it comes to race, remains extremely difficult for many people to discuss openly.

"It's something that's still taboo to talk about," Ely says. "People are afraid to talk about it. They don't want to offend others." ...

Many U.S. companies are too small to support formal diversity programs or devote significant resources to training.

"We're talking about a small slice of American employers when we're talking about these issues," notes Carl Van Horn, at Rutgers' Heldrich Center. "Most companies don't even have an HR [human resources] department, let alone a person in the company who's focused on diversity issues."
[Site link]


Diversity – BBC
La Plante: BBC would take Muslim boy's script over mine
Neil Midgley
Daily Telegraph, 2 January 2010

Lynda La Plante, the creator of Prime Suspect, has criticised the BBC, claiming that its drama commissioning team would rather read a script by a "little Muslim boy" than one she had written. ...

"If my name was Usafi Iqbadal and I was 19, then they'd probably bring me in and talk," she said. ...

The corporation does have a target that 12.5 per cent of its employees should be from ethnic minorities by December 2012. Last January, the figure was 12 per cent.
[Newspaper link]



Egalitarianism – education
Anti-elitist policies 'killing off education'
Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 28 December 2010

Traditional subjects are being sidelined as ministers use schools to "repair social inequalities" rather than educate children, according to a leading teacher.

Successive governments have caused lasting damage by giving priority to access and social inclusion over a decent grounding in the arts, science, languages and humanities, David Perks said.

Mr Perks, an author and physics teacher, said in a report published by the Institute of Ideas that "anti-elitist" reforms had undermined schools' ability to deliver an old-fashioned liberal education.

Mr perks, who was commissioned by the Tories in opposition to review the exams system, insisted the Government's education policies sounded hollow as concerns over "access" and "social inclusion" still predominate.

He added: "Like the spread of death watch beetle, the continual and gradual undermining of schools' ability to deliver subject knowledge has led to the complete disintegration of education."
[Newspaper link]


Egalitarianism – income inequality, USA
The Democrats' conundrum: If you want less income inequality, does that means fewer illegal immigrants?
Mark Hemingway
Washington Examiner, 28 December 2010

Mickey Kaus makes a very interesting observation. It will be interesting to see if the Democratic party even tries to square the circle on this issue or just ignores it:

If you're worried about incomes at the bottom, though, one solution leaps out at you. It's a solution that worked, at least in the late 1990s under Bill Clinton, when wages at the low end of the income ladder rose fairly dramatically. The solution is tight labor markets. Get employers bidding for scarce workers and you'll see incomes rise across the board without the need for government aid programs or tax redistribution. A major enemy of tight labor markets at the bottom is also fairly clear: unchecked immigration by undocumented low-skilled workers. It's hard for a day laborer to command $18 an hour in the market if there are illegals hanging out on the corner willing to work for $7. Even experts who claim illlegal immigration is good for Americans overall admit that it's not good for Americans at the bottom. In other words, it's not good for income equality.

Odd, then that Obama, in his "war on inequality," hasn't made a big effort to prevent illegal immigration – or at least to prevent illegal immigration from returning with renewed force should the economy recover. He hasn't, for example, pushed to make it mandatory for employers to use the "E-Verify" system, or some other system, to check the legality of new hires, preferring to hold that reform hostage (sorry!) in order to try and achieve a larger "comprehensive" bill that included a conditional amnesty for the 11 or so million illegals already here. ...

Income inequality has become a big issue on the left. And as the job market continues to stagnate, I wonder to what extent the blue collar parts of the Democratic base will put pressure on the party to do something about immigration reform.
[Site link]


Egalitarianism – adoption
New equality laws blamed for declining adoption rate
Tim Ross
Daily Telegraph, 5 November 2010

Fewer children are being adopted than at any time since 1998, when Labour gave adoption rights to unmarried and homosexual couples, according to new figures released by the Office for National Statistics.

Christian campaigners have said that the fall in adoptions was mainly due to new equality rules, which have forced religiously-based adoption agencies to close.

More than 4,000 children in Britain are on waiting lists for adoption.
[Newspaper link]


Egalitarianism – inequality
White working class areas being failed
Rosa Prince
Daily Telegraph, 23 January 2010

White working-class communities are among the most disadvantaged in the country, a report into inequality will confirm next week.

The independent report, commissioned by the Government and chaired by Prof John Hills of the London School of Economics, is understood to provide evidence confirming that poor white areas are being failed by the authorities. ...

The Daily Telegraph understands that the report also echoes some of the warning given by John Denham, the Communities Secretary, earlier this month, when he accused state agencies of focusing too closely on ethnic minorities.
[Newspaper link]


Egalitarianism – religion, Christianity
Christians 'forced out of jobs'
Daily Telegraph, 21 January 2010

Christians are being forced out of jobs in the public sector because of a secular agenda against them, according to a senior cleric.

The Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Rev Michael Scott-Joynt, told the House of Lords that councils, police forces and judges were wrongly using rules on equality and diversity to punish Christians.

He claimed that religion was seen as "undesirable" by many employers, who wanted Christians to keep their faith "in a little box" rather than express it in public or at work.

The bishop, the fifth most senior prelate in the Church of England, spoke in support of an amendment to the Equality Bill that would ensure that workers were not penalised for Christian acts such as offering prayers.
[Newspaper link]


Egalitarianism – religion, freedom
Ban on women priests 'to be illegal'
Patrick Hennessy
Sunday Telegraph, 10 January 2010

The Roman Catholic ban on women entering the priesthood will become illegal under Harriet Harman's Equality Bill, a Christian charity suggests.

A report by CARE, backed by a legal opinion from a QC, says that the Bill will make it impossible for churches and faith-based charities to insist that senior staff lead the lives in accordance with organisations' religious beliefs. ...

CARE's report, A Little Bit Against Discrimination?, warns that the proposals contained in the Bill are a serious threat to religious liberty in Britain. ...

The report's author, Dr Daniel Boucher, said: "The Equality Bill is a direct assault on the freedom of all faith-based organisations, from churches to charities. ..."
[Newspaper link]


Egalitarianism – education
Race rules that could brand top schools as failures
Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 2 January 2010

Schools risk being branded inadequate by government inspectors for failing to promote race relations, gender equality and human rights.

Even those with good educational records could be placed in "special measures" by Ofsted under new rules that put equality on a par with exam results and child safety. ... ...

The guidance tells teachers that inspectors will check for differences in results between groups, including those from ethnic minorities, children from broken homes and those with disabilities. Classes should promote equal opportunities, eliminate discrimination and ensure that "stereotypical views are challenged", the guidance adds.

Advice handed out to inspectors said schools "should be aware of gender imbalances in 'upper-ability' groups, and which groups of learners, by ethnicity, are participating in after-school sport".

Schools are expected to set out policies designed to tackle gender, race and disability discrimination in a single "equality plan" document. ...

Ofsted said three areas – pupils' achievement, procedures for keeping children safe and the extent to which schools "promote equality and tackle discrimination" – would be classed as "limiting judgments" and effectively given higher priority. Previously, all parts of the inspection were given roughly equal weight. ...

An Ofsted spokesman said: "Inspections place a strong emphasis on outcomes for pupils, and we believe attention to equality and diversity is essential in assuring the quality of their development and wellbeing."
[Newspaper link]



Minister to close the door on skilled migrants
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 21 December 2010

The most skilled foreign workers will be stopped from coming to Britain this week as the interim cap on numbers is reached.

The "highly skilled" migrant route will be closed before Christmas when the limit of 5,100 is met – some four months early.

Damian Green, the immigration minister, will announce today that the interim cap, ruled unlawful by the courts last week, is to be reinstated. ...

Mr Green will lay new rules today to allow the cap to continue.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – European Union
EU Commissioners say Europe needs more immigration, 11 December 2010

Europe needs more immigration if it wishes to remain globally competitive, says two members of the European Commission.

In an article penned by European Commissioners Cecilia Malmström and László Andor, the authors state that there are skills shortages in many sectors of the European job market, including science, health, agriculture, engineering, and tourism – This is despite the fact that the EU continues to experience high unemployment rates.

"These deficits will increase and spread rapidly to other sectors because of the EU's severe demographic challenges," the authors state.

According to Malmström and Andor, as early as 2013, the working-age population will start to decline in the EU, with Eurostat projections suggesting that the EU workforce will shrink by as much as 50 million over the next 50 years.

Malmström and Andor are quick to point out that the EU will not need 50 million immigrants and that reducing existing unemployment should be a top priority. However, they feel that increased skilled immigration should play an important role in combating the problem.

For example, they say that recent reports suggest that the EU economy will need between 384,000 and 700,000 IT workers by 2015, and by 2020, between one and two million health-care workers.

"Even with the best policies, it is highly unlikely that all these resources could be found within the Union," the authors said.

"At the same time, global competition for manpower will grow", they added. "If Europe is to keep its position on the global market, we need to make our labour market more attractive to possible migrants."

The European Commission has been proactive in trying to encourage more skilled immigration into the EU. The EU intends to implement a "blue card" which would allow non-EU citizens to live and work in the 27-member bloc. The recent article by two prominent EU Commissioners will it is hoped speed up the introduction of an EU-wide immigration scheme.
[Site link]


'Loophole' in migrant cap leads to surge
David Barrett
Sunday Telegraph, 28 November 2010

The Government's cap on immigration is being undermined by a surge in foreign workers who are exempt from new visa rules, according to official figures.

Home Office statistics show that the number of foreigners arriving on "intra-company transfers" (ICTs), which do not count towards the cap total, rose significantly after the Coalition's announcement of an interim cap in mid-July.

Between July and September this year, as the Home Office was restricting other immigration routes, more than 8,000 foreigners came to work in the UK under ICTs – up by 30 per cent from the same period last year.

Experts said the increase showed that companies were continuing to import cheap labour despite the Government's efforts.

Peter Skyte, of the trade union Unite, said: "It is a massive loophole."

The ICT scheme allows firms to bring non-EU nationals who are already on their payroll into the UK.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – recruitment
One in five firms plans to hire migrant labour, CIPD finds
People Management, 25 November 2010

UK employers are showing increased demand for migrant workers in the last quarter of this year as the private sector labour market improves, CIPD figures show.

The study on skills, migration and offshoring in the latest quarterly CIPD/KPMG Labour Market Outlook (LMO) report shows that more than one in five (22 per cent) employers in the private sector intend to recruit migrant workers in the fourth quarter of 2010 - its highest level since the LMO started tracking baseline migration data in the summer of last year.

Demand for migrant labour in the public sector is relatively low at 9 per cent. Skilled positions, such as IT, finance and engineers, make up the biggest area of demand and more than half of the migrant workers will be recruited from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

Furthermore, almost one in five (16 per cent) private-sector companies plan to offshore jobs in the 12 months to September 2011, with India the most popular destination.
[Site link]


Employment – education
UK government agrees on skilled migration cap
BBC, 23 November 2010

The government has announced a cap of 21,700 on the number of skilled workers from outside the European Economic Area allowed into the UK.

The figure is a cut of 6,300 on the equivalent figure for 2009.

It excludes employees transferred by companies from abroad - in future they will be allowed to stay for up to five years if their salary exceeds £40,000.

Home Secretary Theresa May said immigration would become "sustainable", but Labour called the plans "a con".

The exclusion from the cap of intra-company transfers - for example someone working for a large US company taking up a job in their London office - is seen as a success for the business lobby.

In addition to an apparent unlimited number of such transfers if the salary is above £40,000, firms are also being allowed to bring members of their staff to work in the UK for a year if the job is in ICT and the salary is over £24,000.

Altogether 22,000 employees came to work in the UK via intra-company transfers in 2009.

The government's 21,700 figure will include 1,000 people let in under a new "exceptional talent" scheme applying to scientists, academics and artists, Mrs May told MPs. ...

Mrs May said: "We will have to take action across all routes to entry - work visas, student visas, family visas - and break the link between temporary routes and permanent settlement." ...

Mrs May said: "Nearly half of all students coming here from abroad are actually coming to study a course below degree level and abuse is particularly common at these lower levels - a recent check of students studying at private institutions below degree level showed that a quarter could not be accounted for.

"Too many students, at these lower levels, have been coming here with a view to living and working, rather than studying. We need to stop this abuse."
[Site link]


Employment – numbers
Bidding war feared if migrant visa quota goes up for sale
Louisa Peacock
Daily Telegraph, 19 November 2010

Migrant work visas could be auctioned off to employers who are "prepared to pay whatever amount" necessary to bring skilled foreigners into the UK, an official committee has proposed.

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), the body asked by the Government to recommend an immigration cap, yesterday said that selling some visas to employers desperate to recruit overseas staff should be considered.

The proposal, which the committee's report said had "appeal", has the potential to start bidding wars among rival companies willing to pay hundreds or even thousands of pounds to bring specialist workers into the UK.

It was suggested alongside a 20pc reduction in the number of work-related visas issued by the Government during the lifetime of this Parliament, which could see up to 12,600 fewer work-related visas issued in 2011-12. Professor David Metcalf, of the MAC, said family and student migration should bear the brunt of the cap, which was broadly welcomed by business groups.
[Newspaper link]


4m migrants work in the UK
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 18 November 2010

British workers are losing out in the battle for scarce jobs because of soaring numbers of migrants from within the EU.

Nearly four million people working in the UK between July and September this year were born abroad, the Office for National Statistics revealed yesterday.

The figure is 204,000 up on 2009, a rise of 5.5 per cent and nearly half of the influx are economic immigrants from the new EU member states in eastern Europe.

The number of British-born workers in employment grew by just 0.4 per cent. ...

Last night, critics lined up to attack Britain's lax immigration policy and called for tougher laws to stem the tide of cheap migrant labour at a time when the UK jobs market is under pressure.

Alp Mehmet, of campaign group MigrationWatch, said: "This just proves what we have been saying all along. The majority of jobs created in this country are going to overseas workers. It is right that the Government should be cutting back on economic migrants and creating incentives for our own people to go into employment.

"At a time when 16 per cent of our IT graduates are unemployed we should not be taking in thousands of IT workers from India.

"We are shooting ourselves in the foot."

Gerard Batten, immigration spokesman for Ukip, said: "These figures make a mockery of the Conservatives' plans to cap migrants coming to this country. What they show is that there is a continual conveyor belt of cheap labour being brought to the UK by big business. It drives down wages, boosts the population and drains public services but does not add to the well-being of indigenous workers." ...

Figures released by the ONS showed that while the number of UK-born workers over the age of 16 grew by 100,000 in the last year, there was more than double that from overseas with 204,000.

The home-grown total rose from 25.3 million to 25.4 million. Their foreign counterparts numbered just more than 3.88 million, up from 3.68m in 2009. Around 90,000 – a rise of 18 per cent – of the extra overseas contingent come from the eight new EU members including Poland, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

India and all the African countries apart from South Africa contributed 50,000 each. India's proportion rose by more than 14 per cent and Africa's by 9.1 per cent.

There are 12,000 South Africans working in this country, up 8.4 per cent.

The number of workers born in the 14 other EU countries actually fell by 14,000 as they scrambled to get away from the hard hit British economy.
[Site link]


Employment – business
Cameron will bow to business and relax cap on immigrant workers
Robert Winnett, Rosa Prince and Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 15 November 2010

David Cameron is expected to increase significantly the number of immigrants from beyond Europe permitted to enter Britain each year, ...

The Prime Minister is understood to have been influenced by business concerns that the cap introduced after the election is preventing highly-skilled people from coming to this country.

The current limit of about 2,600 non-EU migrants a month is expected to be increased to allow more than 4,000 workers a month to enter Britain next year. The final cap is still being discussed but is expected to be unveiled later this month.
[Newspaper link]


Foreign workers benefit from economic recovery
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 13 November 2010

Foreign workers have benefited far greater from the early stages of the economic recovery while the number of Britons in work fell.

The UK officially came out of recession on January 1 and over the next six months the number of non-UK born workers increased by 126,000 to a record 3.8 million while the number of working Britons fell by 179,000.

More than half of the rise in migrants was accounted for by Eastern Europeans which will renew concerns that the recent drop in numbers could be reversed once the economy started improving. ...

Figures show there was a record 3.84 million foreign-born workers in the UK at the end of June this year, a rise of 126,000 from December 2009.
[Site link]


Employment – trade, politics, European Union
EU plot to force Britain to take more migrants
Macer Hall
Daily Express, 8 November 2010

Britain could be forced to accept a fresh wave of migrant workers from India under secret plans being discussed in Brussels, a leaked document reveals.

Officials want the UK to take 40 per cent of up to 50,000 Indian skilled migrants expected to come to Europe every year under a new international free trade agreement, European Union discussion papers show.

The proposed quota of migrants for the UK under the deal is set to be almost seven times that proposed for France, the EU document reveals.

Critics were furious last night to discover that Eurocrats were plotting to order Britain to take more migrants at a time when the Government is attempting to drastically cut the annual influx.

The document was obtained by the pressure group Migrationwatch.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the group, said: "This looks suspiciously like a side door to Britain for 15,000 to 20,000 Indian IT (information technology) workers every year.

"It is even more astonishing coming at a time when British IT workers are finding it increasingly difficult to find employment and there is a 17 per cent unemployment rate among computer science graduates who left university last year."

The quota system is being discussed as part of negotiations for a new free trade agreement between India and the EU to be signed next month.
[Site link]


Employment – controls
DJs, Kabaddi players, comedians and models beat government's migrant cap
James Slack
Daily Mail, 4 November 2010

Magicians, disc jockeys, waitresses, comedians and models have all benefited from a route into the UK excluded from the Government's immigration cap.

The revelations intensified the row over the Coalition's decision to exempt intra-company transfers from the annual cap on non-EU economic immigrants. ...

On Wednesday it emerged that Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable had successfully argued that intra-company transfer of 'skilled workers' from abroad was crucial to the competitiveness of British business.

But internal government figures show the route has been exploited by companies seeking to bring in entertainers or – in some cases – traditionally low-paid staff.

They have included commentators, comedians, ice hockey coaches, magicians, acupuncturists, disc jockeys, models, and polo grooms and players. In recent years, businesses have even brought in waitresses from outside the EU. ...

The biggest number of intra-company transfers involved IT workers – of whom more than 65,000 were allowed in between 1999 and 2008. The unemployment rate among British IT workers is around 16 per cent.

In total, Labour allowed in around 350,000 people using the intra-company transfers route.

Tory MP James Clappison, who unearthed the figures, said the Coalition had to be alive to the dangers of excluding intra-company transfers from the flagship cap policy.
[Site link]


Employment – jobs
Migrants took 9 out of 10 jobs created under Labour
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 29 October 2010

Nearly nine out of ten jobs created under Labour went to foreign-born workers, astonishing figures revealed last night.

Official statistics showed the vast majority of the rise in the employment total under the last Government was accounted for by workers born abroad.

Total numbers of those in work went up by two million during 13 years of Labour. But of those jobs, 1.8 million individuals were classed as 'non-UK born'.

Just a quarter of a million declared themselves to be born in the UK.

The figures, from the Office for National Statistics' Labour Force Survey, are an indictment of the last Government's failure to control the influx of migrants, train British workers and tackle welfare dependency.

Just as startlingly, the figures also revealed that the proportion of the foreign-born workforce nearly doubled under Labour – from 7 per cent to 13 per cent.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the Migrationwatch think-tank, said: 'This is stunning evidence of the need to cut back on the immigration of foreign workers.

'As long as foreign skills can be obtained "off the shelf", employers will have no incentive to train British workers.'

The figures were released in a written parliamentary answer to Tory MP James Clappison.

He said: 'This is a reflection of the huge increase that took place under the previous Government. It does nothing to lessen the case for a cap on migrant numbers.'

The data showed there were just over 26 million people aged 16-64 in employment between April and June 1997. Of those 1,946,000 were foreign born, leaving 24,058,000 born in the UK. By the same period this year, the total in jobs was up more than two million, to 28,107,000. Of those, 3,787,000 were born abroad, and 24,314,000 born in the UK.

It means 88 per cent of the rise in employment was accounted for by workers born abroad, and just 12 per cent by those born in the UK. ...

As Prime Minister, Gordon Brown said economic migration would fall by up to 12 per cent. But his points-based system for overseas workers actually led to totals of foreign workers going up 20 per cent and foreign students by more than 30 per cent.
[Site link]


High-skill migrants taking low-skill jobs
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 28 October 2010

Only one in four of the foreign workers allowed to come to Britain as a "highly skilled migrant" is working in a skilled job, the Home Office disclosed yesterday.

Many are in more lowly posts, including supermarket cashiers and shop assistants, a study found.

It is not even known what jobs almost half of the highly skilled migrants are doing.

The findings suggested that thousands of foreigners were exploiting the route, under which it is easier to get a visa, to take jobs that should be filled by British workers, the immigration minister said.

He signalled that the visa route, aimed at attracting the brightest and the best from outside the European Union, could be overhauled radically as the Government prepares to impose an annual immigration cap next year.

Earlier this week, David Cameron sought to reassure business leaders at the annual CBI conference that the planned cap would not be a bar to companies recruiting the "best talent" from overseas.

But the Home Office report shows that one of the key routes for doing that is being misused.

The so-called Tier 1 of the points-based system is aimed at allowing highly skilled migrants, such as doctors and engineers, to come to Britain.

Unlike those taking other routes through the system, they do not need to have a job offer and are deemed eligible based on their qualifications and previous earnings.

They are expected to end up in jobs paying at least £25,000 a year.

But a study of 1,184 cases found just 25 per cent were definitely in skilled jobs.

Some 29 per cent were in unskilled posts, including working as shop assistants, security guards, supermarket cashiers and care assistants and half of those had been in Britain for more than a year. It was not known what jobs, if any, the remaining 46 per cent were doing.

Among the worst culprits were foreign students who switched to the high-skilled status after graduating.

The study found that three in five of those were in unskilled jobs.

Almost 19,000 people were allowed into Britain under Tier 1 last year and while the report stressed that the findings could not be definitive it said they were "indicative".

A similar review last year found one in five were in unskilled jobs. ...

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the Migrationwatch pressure group, said: "This has to be the final nail in the coffin of immigration routes for people who do not have a skilled job to come to.

"Closing this route will allow headroom for those whom companies really need."
[Site link]


Employment – European Union
EU's deal with India will let in more migrants
Alison Little
Daily Express, 26 October 2010

Britain's bid to slash immigration could be wrecked by an EU trade deal with India aimed at winning £3.9 billion-worth of business a year, campaigners warned yesterday.

It came as David Cameron hinted at a possible climbdown over his promise to cap the number of people allowed into the UK from outside Europe.

The Prime Minister sparked alarm with comments at the Confederation of British Industry conference in London yesterday.

He said: "As we control our borders and bring immigration to a manageable level, we will not impede you from attracting the best talent from around the world."

His spokesman insisted the comments did not signal a rethink because final decisions on future limits had yet to be taken. ...

Migrationwatch chairman Sir Andrew Green said: "It is time the Government came clean about what is in this agreement. It looks as though the Indians are about to drive a bulldozer through Britain's immigration system. There is no point in a limit on economic migration if specialists from India are excluded from the cap by a separate agreement." ...

Britain has a say on the deal but no veto. Whitehall sources expect it to be agreed by early to mid-2011.

Migrationwatch said the deal on Intra-Company Transfers' – currently exempt from the interim immigration cap – had potentially serious implications.

Its report said there appeared to be no upper limit on numbers and there would be no test to see if a British worker could have done the job.

A Business Department spokesman said: "The EU-India Free Trade Agreement will have considerable benefits to UK businesses trading with India, expected to be in the region of hundreds of millions of pounds per year.

"We will ensure that any commitments placed on the UK by this agreement will be consistent with the Government's commitment to reduce net migration."

Workers would still have to meet the points-based assessment applied to all ICTs, it is understood, and only companies already operating in the UK would be covered.
[Site link]


Foreign worker numbers surge to a record 2.4m as Eastern Europeans return to Britain
Steve Doughty
Daily Mail, 19 October 2010

The number of foreigners working in Britain has hit an all-time high despite the fragile state of the recovery.

This summer, the total topped 2.4 million for the first time after thousands arrived from abroad in the spring.

Some of them were Poles and other Eastern Europeans who began to return to the UK. The number of Eastern European workers also reached a record – of 551,000.

It means the workforce of foreigners has surged by more than a million in only seven years.

By contrast the number of Britons in jobs fell by hundreds of thousands during the recession.

The growing total of foreign workers comes at a time of deepening concern over the five million British adults who do not work and the intensification of Government efforts to persuade many that jobs are preferable to a life of benefits dependency.

The rush to take jobs in Britain is also adding to immigration and concerns over population growth and overcrowding. ...

The latest count of foreign citizens working in Britain was released alongside unemployment figures by the Office for National Statistics.

It showed there were 2.401 million non-UK nationals active in the economy between April and June, up by 147,000 on the previous three months.

The previous peak came at the end of 2008, as the recession began to bite, when there were 2.377 million foreign citizens working in Britain.

After that, Labour ministers maintained that numbers were falling because thousands of Eastern European migrant workers had gone home.

But by this spring they were returning to take jobs in Britain – a signal that work is widely available.

Eastern Europeans may be taking jobs that workers here are reluctant to do, possibly because unemployed Britons regard the jobs as either too low paid or too demanding.

The number of workers from Poland and other Eastern European countries in the EU rose by 54,000 over the three-month period to 551,000.

Only seven years ago, in the summer of 2003, before the admission of eight Eastern European countries to the EU, there were 1.39 million foreign nationals in jobs in this country.

The new figures, drawn from the Labour Force Survey, showed there were 26.530 million Britons in jobs, around 650,000 down from the peak in summer 2008.

Librarians at the House of Commons confirmed that the number of foreign workers is the highest since the count was first carried out in 1997, when it was 966,000.
[Site link]


Employment – doctors
Foreign GPs avoid English tests
Stephen Adams
Daily Telegraph, 13 October 2010

Hundreds of foreign doctors working in Britain have not been checked for language skills or competency, according to figures released today. Despite outrage over the case of a German doctor with poor English whose mistake led to the death of a patient, less than one in four foreign GPs is being properly verified, it has been disclosed under a Freedom of Information request.

The investigation by Pulse, a newspaper for GPs, also found that 74 NHS trusts have no accurate record of whether a doctor has been checked. ...

Today's survey of more than 100 primary care trusts shows that hundreds of foreign doctors are included on "performers' lists" without having been fully checked. ...

Prof Steve Field, the chairman of the Royal College of GPs and co-author of a recent report that was highly critical of out-of-hours care, said: "We've given PCTs a wake-up call and its disgraceful they still aren't taking the issue seriously."

The Department of Health said that under EU rules regulators cannot "systematically test the language knowledge" of EU migrant doctors.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – European Union, India
EU wants open door to Indian workers
Bruno Waterfield
Daily Telegraph, 9 October 2010

Thousands of Indian workers will be allowed into Britain under a new European Union trade deal that threatens to overturn the Coalition's pledge severely to limit immigration.

A planned "free trade agreement" with India, to be signed this December, will give skilled Indian IT workers, engineers and managers easy passage into Europe in return for European companies gaining access to India's huge domestic market. ...

Cabinet talks over the deal begin next week and senior government sources have admitted that "the circle must be squared" to thrash out an agreement that protects the country from increased immigration without damaging British industry.

The European Commission has asked for comments by the end of October from the British and other EU governments on a negotiating position that was hammered out with the Indian authorities over the summer.

India has insisted on increased mobility for its skilled workers in return for reduced tariffs on European products and the lifting of some restrictions on businesses bidding for public procurement contracts.

Under the current EU negotiating position, Indians who are skilled professionals will be able to work in any EU country under contract.

Britain has no opt-out and will be bound by any final EU agreement.
[Newspaper link]


139,000 immigrants beat the jobs crunch: But number of Britons in work drops by 654,000
Steve Doughty
Daily Mail, 5 October 2010

Migrant workers have continued to flow into the country during the recession while Britons lose their jobs, a report shows.

Over the past two years, 139,000 migrants have found jobs in Britain, it adds.

But the number of British workers in employment dropped by 654,000.

The analysis questioned the Government's plans for a cap on immigration from outside the European Union.

The report said that recently arrived migrant workers contribute to Britain's economy and pay taxes, while British workers are more likely to drain the Treasury by claiming benefits.

Some Treasury officials are worried about the effect of an immigration cap on tax receipts, it added.

The findings echo official figures two months ago that the number of foreign-born workers had risen by 114,000 in a year, bringing the full number in the economy to 3.85 million.

Some 100,000 of the migrants who have arrived in the past two years come from outside the EU, according to yesterday's report by the Financial Times.
[Site link]


Polish migrants are coming back to UK
Matthew Day and Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 2 October 2010

Polish migrants are returning to the UK after weathering the worst of Britain's economic recession back home, new research has revealed.

Figures for the second quarter this year published in Migration Information Source show there has been "a significant increase" in the number of Polish migrants in Britain, with the total jumping from the 484,000 seen at the end of 2009 to 537,000 come the end of June. ...

The increase comes after a period of reverse migration that saw Poles leave Britain as the recession bit to find relative safe haven in the Polish economy, which was the only one in the EU that avoided falling into the red in 2009.

But now they appear to be heading back, eager to take advantage of the UK's fragile recovery and its better jobs. ...

The fact that Poles appear eager to return to the UK despite the country's recent economic woes has caught some experts off-guard.

"I'm very surprised by the figures because they show quite a big increase," said Professor Krystyna Iglicka, a migration expert at Warsaw's Institute for International Affairs and one of the authors of the new research. ...

At the same time experts say that many migrants, having spent years working in the UK in menial jobs, lack the skills needed for Poland's labour market. Finding themselves unemployable back home they now return to Britain.
[Site link]


Employment – work permits, visas
Migrant cap 'has NOT led to a crisis for firms' despite Coalition minister's claims
James Slack
Daily Mail, 27 September 2010

Claims that the Coalition's immigration cap is causing a crisis for British business have been challenged by leaked figures.

Liberal Democrat ministers – led by Business Secretary Vince Cable – have repeatedly declared that the interim cap is preventing firms bringing in the staff they need.

They have relied on claims made by three big companies which have been critical of the interim limit.

But documents seen by the Mail show none of the companies has exhausted its supply of work permits.

A U.S. firm cited by Energy Secretary Chris Huhne as proof the cap was causing problems has not applied for any of its visa allocation.

The firm, General Electric International, is also free to bring in up to 235 workers from its offices overseas on 'inter-company transfers'. So far, it has used only 89.

Mr Huhne has claimed the company – which wants to build an offshore wind-turbine factory in Britain – would find it difficult to operate here because of the cap.

Another critic of the interim cap, PricewaterhouseCoopers has received only 26 of its 50 available visas. It can bring in a further 200 staff on inter-company transfers.

A third firm, BT Group, has five remaining work permits to apply for. BT has also taken only five from an allocation of 150 inter-company transfers.

Whitehall officials suspect that the Lib Dems – who agreed to the cap, as part of the coalition agreement – are voicing their ideological objections to the cap by citing complaints by individual companies.
[Site link]


Immigration cap 'puts economic recovery at risk'
Channel 4 News, 9 September 2010

Exclusive: The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, tells the government that its cap on the number of non-EU immigrants allowed to work in Britain will damage the economy, Channel 4 News has learned.

Channel 4 News has seen Mr Johnson's submission to the Home Office consultation on the issue, in which he says the cap is "likely to have a significant negative and disproportionate impact on London" and "put the economic recovery at risk by creating skills gaps and placing London at a competitive disadvantage in the global competition for talent and inward investment".

He says that the economic harm of limiting the number of workers from outside the European Union (EU) "would be substantial given their vital contribution to UK economy, and disproportionately felt in London given their concentration in the capital".

He also argues that leading businesses are "unanimous in their opposition and hostile to the proposal", adding: "They warn that the limit will damage small, medium and large businesses, prevent inward investment, talent and trade opportunities coming to London, and thereby materially damage London's competitiveness".

The mayor believes the interim cap on numbers is "already causing businesses significant recruitment problems", and he concludes that "a major rethink of government policy is required".

The coalition government has imposed a temporary cap on the number of highly skilled people from outside the EU allowed to work in Britain - 24,100 between June 2010 and April 2011. It is planning to introduce a permanent cap in January - the goal to reduce net migration to below 100,000 by the next election.
[Site link]


Employment – politics
Top adviser warns over proposed immigration cap
Dominic Casciani
BBC, 7 September 2010

A top government adviser says ministers may need to stop workers bringing families to meet an immigration cap.

Prof David Metcalf said ministers may also stop companies freely moving their own staff in and out of the UK, despite a potential coalition rift.

The government has pledged to cut net immigration to tens of thousands by introducing a cap from next April.

Business leaders warn a cap could be damaging - but ministers say firms must rely less on foreign workers.

On Monday, immigration minister Damian Green said that the number of foreign students let into the UK was unsustainable.

Shortly after taking office, Home Secretary Theresa May announced a temporary limit of 24,000 on the number of migrant workers from outside the EU who would be allowed into the UK.

Ministers are consulting on how next year's cap should work and the Migration Advisory Committee, chaired by Prof Metcalf, will recommend a figure to government within weeks.

The final figure for the cap may be announced before the end of the year.

Prof Metcalf told the Home Affairs Select Committee that the target of reducing migration to tens of thousands a year could not be achieved simply by restricting work visas for people from outside the EU.

Last year net immigration touched 196,000 people and non-EU workers comprise about a quarter of that total. The figures show that for every five people who enter the UK on a work visa under the UK's points-based system, four dependents eventually follow.

"If students and family don't take their proportionate share, then work, which is the smallest of the fractions, will have to take a more than proportionate share," he said.

"To reach the [net target of] tens of thousands from hundreds of thousands, you have got to be thinking about dependents," said Prof Metcalf.

One possible option, said Prof Metcalf, would be to give points to the partners of work visa applicants, making entry easier for spouses with higher qualifications or skills that were more in demand.
[Site link]


Coalition immigration cap 'could threaten recovery'
Jonathan Russell
Sunday Telegraph, 5 September 2010

The Government has got its policy on immigration caps wrong and should drop it in favour of a points-based system, according to the head of London First, the business group, and leading international companies.

With just days left until submissions to the Government consultation on immigration controls are due, businesses are warning that caps on skilled labour could threaten the recovery and drive business abroad.

London First claims that the coalition's plans to cap non-EU immigration will affect only 55,000 of the 567,000 migrants who came to the UK, based on last year's figures. Those migrants – known as Tier 1 and Tier 2 migrants – are highly skilled and skilled workers regarded, in many cases, as key employees.

"I do not think the public had these people in mind when they voted for this Government's plan to cap immigration," said Baroness Valentine, chief executive of London First.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – trade, politics, India
Britain's pledge on Indian migrants
Dean Nelson
Daily Telegraph, 26 August 2010

Britain's immigration minister has offered supplementary immigration arrangements to India in a move designed to entrench the special relationship promised by David Cameron during last month's visit to New Delhi.

Senior British business leaders in New Delhi said Damian Green consulted local officials on exclusions to immigration rules that would guarantee that employees of top Indian firms would be able to work freely in Britain. The arrangements would make the smooth transfer of key staff to British offices much easier.

The Government is unlikely to restrict "intra-company transfers" to Britain of key Indian staff, while Mr Green, speaking in New Delhi yesterday, said new annual quotas would be flexible to allow more Indian businessmen and professionals to move to Britain as trade between the two countries increased. He said Britain's new immigration quotas were not "about erecting barriers and closing doors". ...

In 2009, 97,000 non-EU migrants arrived in Britain, including more than 40,000 Indian visa holders and their dependants. The Government is committed to reducing these numbers by at least five per cent, but is struggling to persuade Indian ministers and business leaders that it will not affect trade.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – European Union
Safety tests for foreign nurses are scrapped
Richard Alleyne
Daily Telegraph, 23 August 2010

Thousands of foreign nurses will be allowed to start work in Britain without safety checks because they could be deemed discriminatory under European Union law.

Until now the Nursing and Midwifery Council has insisted that new recruits must have worked at least 450 hours in the last three years or take a refresher course.

But it has stopped administering the tests after being told it could be sued by the European Commission for breaking the law on "freedom of movement" for workers. Now all foreign recruits will need is a diploma from their country showing they are qualified.

The more stringent requirement still applies to British nurses and those from outside the EU. ...

The House of Commons health committee plans to investigate the change.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – unemployment
Migration linked to youth jobless levels
Daily Telegraph, 19 August 2010

Youth unemployment is linked to high levels of immigration, according to figures from a campaign group.

Migrationwatch UK found that in areas with large numbers of immigrants, youth unemployment was also high.

For every 1,000 migrants in the 50 local authorities in England most affected by immigration, an average of 700 more young people were out of work, the group said.

Taking out the 21 London boroughs, the figure was 900 higher. In London 200 more young people were unemployed for every 1,000 migrants.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – prostitution
12,000 prostitutes are migrants
Daily Telegraph, 19 August 2010

Up to 12,000 foreign women are being forced to work as "sex slaves" in British brothels by gangmasters running multimillion pound rackets, police said yesterday.

A report by the Association of Chief Police Officers showed that at least 2,600 women were trafficked into England and Wales and made to become prostitutes. ...

A further 9,200 women at brothels were considered to be "vulnerable migrants" working unwillingly in the sex trade, but whom researchers could not be certain had been trafficked.

Police found that 17,000 of the 30,000 women involved in the off-street sex trade were foreign born, with half of the women Chinese.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – jobs
Employment rise 'down to foreign workers'
Wesley Johnson
The Independent, 11 August 2010

The largest rise in employment for more than 21 years was mainly down to the influx of foreign workers, campaigners said today.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of think-tank Migrationwatch UK, said the employment figures were "further evidence that immigration really does affect the job prospects of British-born workers".

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures showed the number of employed rose by 184,000 to 29 million, marking the largest quarterly hike since the three months to May 1989, and about three-quarters of this increase was due to workers born outside the UK.

Sir Andrew said: "An astonishingly high proportion of the increase in employment is down to foreign workers getting jobs in Britain."

The quarterly rise in non-UK born workers was 145,000, compared with an increase of just 41,000 UK-born workers. The overall figure is adjusted to take account of how the labour market is affected by seasonal factors, such as school leavers starting work in June, the ONS said.

The figures also showed a total of 25.08 million people born in the UK were in employment in the three months to June 2010, down 15,000 on a year earlier.

But the number of people born outside the UK who were in employment was up 114,000 to 3.85 million, compared with the same time last year.

The ONS added the employment rate for UK-born people aged from 16 to 64 was 70.9% in the three months to June 2010, down 0.5% on a year earlier, while the corresponding rate for non-UK born people was 66.5%, up 0.5% on this time last year.
[Site link]


Employment – health services
Potters Bar's MP speaks out against recruitment of foreign doctors and nurses
Chris Richards
Welwyn Hatfield Times, 8 August 2010

Hertsmere MP James Clappison has urged the coalition Government to put a stop to the practice of hiring foreign doctors and nurses to fill healthcare vacancies in the UK.

He spoke out after immigration minister Damian Green revealed that a total of 2,995 health workers came to Britain for employment in 2010.

The figure is nearly half the total for 2009, however significant numbers of doctors and nurses are still being recruited from countries such as Zimbabwe, Ghana and Nigeria where there are major health problems.

Mr Clappison, who has represented Potters Bar in Westminster since 1992, said: "These are countries with very great needs and we are recruiting their trained medical staff.

"We should be training more nurses here."

He went on to accuse the previous government of reneging on an international agreement, where ministers pledged the UK would not take on doctors and nurses from developing nations.

"I would like to see the coalition Government stop recruiting nurses from these countries as it has a real impact on their health services," Mr Clappison added.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: "We are determined to have an ethical approach to recruiting healthcare professionals from overseas. ..."
[Site link]


Employment – finance
Leading Square Mile financiers label coalition's immigration cap 'a disaster'
Jill Treanor
The Observer, 1 August 2010

Leading City employers are furious about the limits being imposed by the government on the number of non-EU citizens they are able to employ and are urging a dramatic rethink of the government's policy.

The financial district prides itself on its cosmopolitan workforce and is concerned that the quotas on migrants being set by the coalition will make it impossible for them to keep operating effectively.

A senior City source described the new rules as a "disaster". Firms were told the implications of the policy by the government last week. Industry sources said that some top City companies believe they will be restricted to hiring as few as six non-EU nationals during the remainder of the year. ...

Employers' body the CBI said it was in dialogue with the Home Office over the migration caps while the City's trade body, the Association for Financial Markets in Europe, said its members were worried: "There is a concern that it will become more difficult to move people around their businesses on a global basis."
[Site link]


Employment – doctors
Patients in peril from foreign GPs
Rebecca Smith and Andrew Porter
Daily Telegraph, 15 July 2010

Foreign doctors working as out-of-hours GPs risked the lives of patients by mistakenly giving them overdoses despite repeated warnings they were a danger, a report concluded.

... The Care Quality Commission, which regulates health and social care, found that on at least two other occasions German doctors brought in by Take Care Now, the out-of-hours company that employed Dr Ubani, administered overdoses of the same painkiller, diamorphine.

Fortunately, those overdoses were not fatal.

The findings, published in a report today, raise questions again about the competence of foreign doctors covering shifts in Britain and the failure of managers to heed warnings. The report says the NHS must make sure that the competency of overseas doctors is properly tested before they are employed. ...

The General Medical Council is frustrated at European legislation on the free movement of labour that prevents extra language and skills testing of EU doctors.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – nursing
EU regulations mean an end to competence tests for foreign nurses
Murray Wardrop
Daily Telegraph, 12 July 2010

Competence exams for foreign nurses working in Britain are to be dropped due to European Union regulations, it has emerged.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council is to stop administering the tests after being told that it could be sued by the European Commission. It is said that the safety checks breach EU law on the freedom of movement of workers. ...

Currently, nurses from the EU must demonstrate that their skills are up to standard before they can obtain work in hospitals, surgeries or care homes.

They must show either that they have undertaken at least 450 hours of nursing in their own country in the previous three years, or they must attend an intensive three-month course with regular tests of their knowledge and skills.

The tests will still apply for nurses from outside the EU.

Research has indicated that up to a quarter of nurses – more than 60,000 - - working in London are foreign, with the largest number coming from the Philippines. ...

Roger Goss, a co-director of the campaign group Patient Concern, said: "This decision is outrageous. Undoubtedly, there is a risk that this will lead to an increase in deaths among patients.

"There are bound to be mistakes and it simply cannot be right to take avoidable risks with patients' lives.

[Newspaper link]


Loophole lets in migrant workers
David Barrett
Sunday Telegraph, 4 July 2010

The Government's immigration cap has been criticised a "sham" as new figures disclose that companies will be able to bypass the restriction to bring in thousands of foreign workers.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, announced last week that the number of migrant workers coming to Britain from outside the European Union would be limited to 24,400 a year, fulfilling a Conservative manifesto pledge.

However, the Home Office has admitted that the interim cap will not apply to a system known as "intra-company transfers", or ICTs, which allows firms to bring in non-EU nationals who are already on their payroll.

Figures obtained by this newspaper show the extent to which companies are able to use the ICT system to import foreign staff on a massive scale.

One Indian company, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), sponsored 4,600 of its employees to come to Britain in 2008 through ICTs, according to Home Office data.

Although there is no suggestion that TCS has broken the rules, the scale of immigration from India through ICTs is startling. Another Indian company, Infosys Technologies Limited, sponsored 3,235 people to come to Britain in the same year, while a third, Wipro Technologies, brought in 2,420.

While the Home Office has said there were 30,000 arrivals under the ICT system last year, this was down from a total of 46,000 the previous year – suggesting that the use of ICTs could rise again when the global economy recovers. In 1992 there were only 7,000.

Indians make up 70 per cent of those brought to Britain on ICTs. Others were from nations including the US, South Africa, Japan and China.

Although the system is intended to help companies that cannot recruit suitable candidates within Britain, critics claim that in practice much of the work could easily have been done by Britons.

The Home Office has disclosed the names of about 20,000 employers registered to bring skilled migrant workers into Britain on so-called "Tier 2" visas. Names on the list, published on the UK Border Agency website last week, range from Chelsea Football Club and Conservative Campaign Headquarters to hundreds of Thai restaurants, Indian takeaways and kebab shops.

Of the companies on the list, about 4,700 are permitted to use ICTs. Yet the UK Border Agency has only 125 staff responsible for visiting sponsor companies and keeping checks on them. ... ...

One British IT worker told The Sunday Telegraph how his contract at Lloyds TSB was cut short after the bank hired a dozen Indian trainees through the ICT system. ...

The IT specialist, who has 20 years' experience in the industry, said use of ICTs was widespread in the banking industry. "ICTs are used to bring large numbers of people in for the purposes of cheap labour," he said. ...

A spokesman for Lloyds TSB declined to comment on the claims. ...

Peter Skyte, of the trade union Unite, said: "Our prediction is that the ICT will remain after the interim period because of pressure from multinationals and from embassies.

"We are very concerned about displacement of UK resident workers and its potential for undercutting pay rates."
[Newspaper link]


Employment – workforce
Revealed: The British towns where one worker in two is a migrant
James Slack
Daily Mail, 30 June 2010

A map today reveals parts of Britain where more than half of jobs are held by workers who were born overseas.

The workforce in large parts of London is dominated by people born abroad – despite Labour's repeated promises to deliver 'British jobs for British workers'.

But foreign-born employees also have a strong foothold in other British towns and cities, from Slough and Reading to Manchester.

Campaigners said the focus of employers and Whitehall should be on finding jobs for the young Britons out of work in many of these areas.

And last night, immigration minister Damian Green said: 'This shows why we need a limit on work visas as well as a better trained British workforce.

'British workers need to be able to benefit and take the jobs available.'

The most startling figures, based on information from the Office for National Statistics, relate to Newham – the East London borough hosting the 2012 Olympics.

Here, almost seven in every ten jobs are filled by workers who were not born in the UK – or 65,100 out of 93,700 posts. Many of the jobs are on the Olympic site itself. ...

There are six local authority areas where more than 50 per cent of the jobs are filled by migrant workers – and a further 18 where those born outside the UK take up more than one in every three jobs.

Outside London, the areas where the biggest proportion of jobs are taken by immigrants are Slough, Leicester, Luton, Reading, Cambridge, Manchester and Oxford. ...

Alp Mehmet, of MigrationWatch, said: 'Where there are gaps in the UK labour market we should be filling them from the UK population.

'There is a laxness and a looseness about the way people are allowed in. What we want is closer control.' ...

Under Labour more than 1.1 million jobs – half the total created – were taken by non-EU immigrants requiring work permits, according to the independent House of Commons Library.

In October 1997, British-born workers made up 92.5 per cent of the workforce. By 2009, this had fallen to 87.1 per cent.
[Site link]


Employment – work permits
Migrants took work as dole queues rose
Emily Hall
Daily Star, 8 June 2010

Half the jobs created under Labour were taken by immigrants who could have been refused work permits.

More than 1.1 million positions were filled by foreigners from outside Europe, outstripping the number gained by Brit workers by two to one.

They were handed the jobs despite hundreds of thousands of Brits languishing on the dole, shock new figures show.

And critics say it proves ex-PM Gordon Brown's promises of "British jobs for British workers" were nothing but hot air.

Research from the House of Commons Library found that while the number of migrants gaining work since 1997 has sky-rocketed, the number of Brits in jobs has crashed by 400,000.

Ministers had claimed most foreign workers were from Europe and therefore allowed to work here.

But the new statistics show 1.1m jobs were given to people from outside the EU on work permits.

Home Secretary Theresa May said: "This proves that immigration was out of control under Labour.

"The new Government will bring net migration down from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands."

Sir Andrew Green, from MigrationWatch UK, said: "This shows British workers have been displaced by foreign-born workers."

Since October 1997 the percentage of British-born workers has dropped from 92.5% to just 87.1% – meaning almost one in seven of the workforce was born outside the UK.
[Site link]


Employment – politics
The EU migration lie: Official statistics expose huge gap between PM's figures and truth
James Slack
Daily Mail, 5 May 2010

Labour was rocked yesterday by explosive new claims about its 'disastrous' policy on EU workers.

Figures showed almost four times more EU citizens working here than Britons taking jobs on the continent.

Opposition parties said the figures destroyed the claim by Gordon Brown – who promised 'British jobs for British workers' – that there had been equal numbers travelling in each direction.

The Prime Minister made the claim only last week, during his encounter with Rochdale pensioner Gillian Duffy.

But the EU's own statistics authority, Eurostat, says there were just 287,600 UK nationals filling jobs elsewhere in the European Union in autumn 2008.

Some 1,020,000 citizens from other Euro countries are taking posts in the economy here – more than 500,000 from Poland and other Eastern European nations granted 'open door' access by the Government.

The revelations were put to immigration minister Phil Woolas during a live TV debate.

Initially, he said he was surprised his opponents, the anti-EU UKIP party, 'trusted' figures from the EU's official statistical body.

He added: 'You can bandy around figures as long as you want', before insisting: 'There are around 2.2 million British people who live and work in the European Union.'

Critics pointed out Mr Woolas was not comparing like for like as he was counting Britons who simply live abroad, and may have retired.

In any case, his argument flatly contradicted figures given by the Prime Minister less than a week ago.

In his exchange with Mrs Duffy, Mr Brown had insisted: 'A million people come from Europe but a million British people have gone into Europe.

'You know, there's a lot of British people staying in Europe as well.' ...

UKIP spokesman Nigel Farage, who produced the Eurostat figures, said: 'These figures destroy the argument that we have a mutually beneficial open door with the EU'.

During heated exchanges, Mr Woolas repeatedly refused to say whether the two million increase in the migrant population under Labour had been a deliberate policy or an 'accident'.

But he insisted: 'The benefits to our economy are clear for all to see.'

The Lib Dems also endured a torrid time during the BBC Politics Show debate.

Spokesman Tom Brake confirmed the party planned an 'amnesty' for illegal immigrants who have been here for ten years or more, even though his leader Nick Clegg said last week that it should not be called 'amnesty'.

Mr Brake also risked ridicule by saying the hugely controversial regional immigration policy, confining migrants to one area, would be piloted in Scotland, raising the prospect of controls on the border with England.
[Site link]


Labour's betrayal of British workers: Nearly every one of 1.67m jobs created since 1997 has gone to a foreigner
James Chapman
Daily Mail, 8 April 2010

Immigration was at the centre of the election campaign today as it emerged that virtually every extra job created under Labour has gone to a foreign worker.

Figures suggested an extraordinary 98.5 per cent of 1.67 million new posts were taken by immigrants. ...

Shadow immigration minister Damian Green revealed unpublished figures showing there are almost 730,000 fewer British-born workers in the private sector than in 1997.

Mr Green said the Tories would reduce net migration to tens of thousands a year from the peaks of 200,000 under Labour by enforcing an annual cap.

Mr Brown rejected the idea of an immigration quota, which he said would do 'great damage to British business'.

But Mr Green said the official figures were 'the final proof that Gordon Brown was misleading the public when he promised British jobs for British workers'. ...

The ONS figures show the total number of people in work in both the private and the public sector has risen from around 25.7 million in 1997 to 27.4 million at the end of last year, an increase of 1.67 million.

But the number of workers born abroad has increased dramatically by 1.64 million, from 1.9 million to 3.5 million.

There were 23.8 million British-born workers in employment at the end of last year, just 25,000 more than when Labour came to power. In the private sector, the number of British workers has actually fallen.

The number of posts for people of working age has increased since 1997 by over 500,000, to 20.5 million.

But the number of British-born workers in the private sector has slumped by 726,000, from 18.4 million to 17.7 million.

The figures exclude people working beyond pension age, which critics say the Government includes as 'new jobs' in its assessments.

Last year, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said that, over ten years, only Luxembourg had seen more of its new jobs taken by migrants.

The latest totals do not include the hundreds of thousands of migrants employed in the 'black economy'.

Sir Andrew Green, of the Migrationwatch pressure group, said: 'The government's economic case for mass immigration is finally blown out of the water.'
[Site link]


Employment – immigration
British jobs pledge shattered as 98% given to immigrants
Macer Hall
Daily Express, 8 April 2010

Gordon Brown's attempt to silence election debate on Labour's immigration record was shattered last night.

Official figures revealed that more than nine out 10 of the 1.7 million jobs added to the economy since 1997 have gone to workers from overseas.

They also showed that nearly 300,000 fewer British-born workers were employed in the private sector than when Labour came to power.

The figures provoked renewed fury over the Government's open-door policy just weeks before polling day. Critics seized on them as devastating proof of the complete failure of the Prime Minister's pledge to provide "British jobs for British workers". ...

Last month, Mr Brown warned that critics of Labour's immigration policy were appealing to the "worst instincts of nationalism and xenophobia" – comments that were seen as an attempt to neutralise the controversial issue, which many voters see as the Government's worst policy failure.

Earlier this year, Mr Brown claimed credit for creating more than two million jobs.

"If we had said 12 years ago there would be, even after a global recession, 2.5 million more jobs than in 1997 nobody would have believed us," he said in a speech in Glasgow.

But figures from the Office National for Statistics Labour Force Survey, disclosed to the Spectator magazine yesterday, showed those who had benefited were almost entirely migrants.

They showed that 1.7 million jobs had been added to the economy since 1997 once workers over retirement age were excluded. Of those, 1.6 million had been taken by immigrants.

The huge proportion – 92 per cent – is even bigger than previously thought.

British-born workers in private sector jobs fell from 19,020,000 in 1997 to 18,732,000 while over the same period the number of immigrant workers doubled to nearly three million. ...

Foreign Secretary David Miliband was also accused of using misleading figures yesterday.

In a BBC radio interview, he claimed that half the 160,000 people who came into the country last year were British people returning.

But the population think-tank Migrationwatch pointed out: "He was referring to net immigration for 2008, which was 163,000, but none of them was British.

"Of the total of 590,000 who arrived in 2008 only about one in seven was British."

Migrationwatch chairman Sir Andrew Green, said: "If Cabinet Ministers cannot get the facts right, how can they possibly have an effective immigration policy?"
[Site link]


British jobs for British workers...
Fraser Nelson
The Spectator, 7 April 2010

Did you know that there are fewer British-born workers in the private sector than there were in 1997? I'd be surprised if so: these official figures are not released. The Spectator managed to get them, on request from the Office of National Statistics. ... ...

No-one would have believed the scale of immigration, or the rapid expansion of the public sector - for these two are the only factors that have pushed the jobs total upwards. ... there were 288,000 fewer UK-born people working in the private sector in Q3 of last year than there were in 1997. Strip out pension-age workers, and there are 637,000 fewer.

Brown loves to include pension-age people returning to work in his figures for job increase. Strip them out and immigrants accounted for 1.64m of the 1.67m jobs created since 1997 according to another set of unpublished official figures - a staggering 99 percent. Here's the maths: ...

So Brown should not talk about "creating" new jobs. "Importing" would be a much better word.
[Site link]


New curbs will cut only 3,000 migrants
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 19 March 2010

Tighter rules designed to limit the number of skilled migrants entering Britain will only reduce numbers by 3,000 a year, the Home Office admitted yesterday. ...

About 50,000 migrants are currently allowed to work in Britain every year but the changes will only cut that by some six per cent.

International firms are allowed to move employees between countries on a temporary basis, which effectively bypasses normal work permit controls.
[Newspaper link]


Public sector hires more foreign staff
Roland Gribben
Daily Telegraph, 19 February 2010

Public sector organisations are hiring migrant workers at a faster rate than their private sector counterparts despite the jobs shake-out, research shows.

One-in-five employers has recruited foreign workers over the last three months, with almost 25pc of public sector concerns offering them jobs compared with 15pc of private sector businesses.

The survey – by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and business advisers KPMG, based on data from 700 public and private sector employers – shows foreign workers are filling more British jobs overseas as well as at home.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – doctors, European Union
Foreign doctors in Britain
Sir Norman Browse
Daily Telegraph, 11 February 2010
[Letter to the Editor]

In the early 1990s, I, along with the presidents of the General Medical Council and the Royal College of Physicians, demanded of the Department of Health, as forcibly as we could, that doctors registered to practise medicine in other EU countries should have their knowledge and competence assessed before being allowed to practise in Britain.

We based our arguments on our experience of the enormous variety of methods of medical education and training throughout Europe.

The response was that this could not be allowed because it would breach a fundamental tenet of the EU – the free unrestrained movement of workers. Political dogma won and was followed by a multitude of errors by visiting doctors.

When the new GP contract was introduced, the Government compounded the problem ...

All these problems have arisen from the Government's slavish adherence to free movement of workers within the EU, without regard to its practical effects. ...
[Newspaper link]


Immigrants handed 1.3m jobs in Britain
Macer Hall
Daily Express, 8 February 2010

More than 1.3 million immigrants have been given the right to work and claim benefits in Britain since Gordon Brown promised "British jobs for British workers".

Damning Whitehall figures revealed last night prove a shattering new blow to Labour's open-door border policies.

Official statistics show that a total of 1,370,820 foreigners have been granted National Insurance numbers over the last two years. And the influx has continued despite hundreds of thousands of British-born workers losing their jobs in the recession and unemployment rising to 2.46 million.

Latest evidence of the collapse of Britain's border controls will be a huge embarrassment to the Prime Minister following his now discredited vow to put British-born workers first.

And it raises fresh questions about Britain being a target for "benefits tourism", with concerns that immigrants are using National Insurance numbers to get state pensions and other welfare handouts. ...

The Department of Work and Pensions figures – obtained by the Tories – confirm that over half a million newcomers every year are joining Britain's employment and welfare system.

Nearly half of the overseas workers getting National Insurance numbers come from east European countries such as Poland and Lithuania. But the figures also show that more than 400,000 migrants from Asia, Africa and the Middle East came to Britain between July 2007 and June last year.

Overall, a total of 4.1 million National Insurance numbers have been handed out to foreign workers since 2002, the figures reveal. Total net immigration to the UK increased from 51,000 a year between 1993 and 1997 to an average of 209,000 a year from 2004 to 2008.

Separate figures show that one in 13 workers in jobs in Britain are non-UK citizens, a total of around 2.2 million. And evidence suggests that growing numbers are settling in Britain for the long term and not returning home. Employment-related grants of settlement rose by 63 per cent to 60,770 in 2008 compared with 2007. ...

Last night Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said: "We recognise the benefit to our economy and culture from immigration. We're also very clear that it needs to be controlled."
[Site link]


Employment – doctors
Foreign doctors' English not checked properly, says study
Rebecca Smith and Rosa Prince
Daily Telegraph, 4 February 2010

A catalogue of failures in out-of-hours GP services has been found by a critical review after the death of a pensioner at the hands of a foreign doctor. ...

The review, carried out by Prof Steve Field, president of the Royal College of General Practitioners, and Prof David Colin-Thome, national clinical director for primary care, found widespread failings in the out-of-hours system. ...

Foreign doctors coming in to work for out-of-hours providers did not have their language skills checked thoroughly and they did not undergo proper inductions.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – doctors
Patients 'at risk' from foreign doctors
Rebecca Smith
Daily Telegraph, 21 January 2010

Patients are not being properly protected from poor foreign doctors, the General Medical Council has warned.

The council called for tighter rules on doctors brought in from abroad.

European rules mean that medical qualifications from within the EU must be recognised even if they are not up to British standards.

The doctors' regulator cannot order language or skills testing and must allow them on the medical register to practise here.

It is left to employers to ensure they are happy with the competency of doctors. ...

Niall Dickson, the new chief executive of the GMC, said: "The current situation is profoundly unsatisfactory.

"To ensure patient safety, when doctors register with us we need to be able to test their English language proficiency and we need to be able to test their clinical knowledge and skills. At present we can do that for doctors from outside Europe but we can't do it with doctors from within the European Economic Area."
[Newspaper link]


Employment – wages
Migrants ARE driving down wages of the poor as equalities watchdog blames East European influx
James Slack
Daily Mail, 18 January 2010

The 'almost unprecedented' influx of 1.5 million Eastern European workers into the UK in recent years is likely to have driven down the wages of less well-off Britons, the equalities watchdog said yesterday.

Poorer parts of the country may become locked in a 'vicious circle' where the only jobs which are created are low-skilled and likely to be taken by migrants, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission said in a landmark study.

The research also found that, overall, Eastern Europeans had better employment rates than British workers and had received dramatically bigger pay rises from bosses who value their 'excellent work ethic'.

'Their wages have grown by an average of 5 per cent a year compared with 1 per cent for natives', the study says. Many are highly skilled but downgrade their 'occupational status' when they come to the UK, making them more attractive to employers.

Researchers for the EHRC examined dozens of studies into the 'almost unprecedented scale and speed' of migration from Eastern Europe since 2004 when the UK's labour market was thrown open to workers from Poland and seven other former Eastern Bloc countries.

They estimate that 1.5 million people have arrived here, although only 700,000 remain, and found that the 'new EU citizens' overall fiscal impact is probably small but positive'.

But their report adds: 'Perhaps more significant is the impact on local areas: local public services have had to adjust to concentrated increases in population and larger numbers of non-English speakers.' ...

Ministers had always denied that pay to British workers had suffered from the influx of Eastern Europeans predominantly doing low-skilled jobs.

But the report, written for the EHRC by the Migration Policy Institute, says: 'The recent migration may have reduced wages slightly at the bottom end of the labour market, especially for certain groups of vulnerable workers, and there is a risk that it could contribute to a "low-skill equilibrium" in some economically depressed areas.'

It defines this as 'a situation in which the local labour force has low skill levels and so local employers only create low-productivity jobs'.
[Site link]


Arrival of 30,000 migrant IT workers 'deprives Britons of jobs'
Richard Ford
The Times, 5 January 2010

Tens of thousands of foreign IT workers are being sent to work for their companies' subsidiaries in Britain, sparking fears that British workers are being denied job opportunities.

Almost 30,000 non-EU technology workers entered the country under so-called intra-company transfers last year, with the overwhelming majority coming from India.

Most of those arriving came for low and mid-level IT jobs where there are not significant skills shortages among British-born workers, fuelling suspicion that British workers are losing out to foreign workers who are being paid lower wages.

Ann Swain, the chief executive of the Association of Professional Staffing Companies, which represents recruitment companies, said that such transfers were designed to allow specialists within a particular company to fill senior positions abroad. But he added that they were being abused to fill lower level roles in which the skills used are largely standardised.

"Intra-company transfers are being done on an almost industrial scale," she said.

The system allows international companies to transfer their staff to Britain without having to advertise a job vacancy here. They are supposed to pay their employees an equivalent British salary.

Staff can stay in the country for three years with a possible extension of two years. From next year they will have to work for the company for twelve rather than six months before being eligible for transfer and will no longer be able to apply to settle.

A total of 45,000 non-EU foreign workers came to Britain under the scheme last year – up from 15,400 when Labour came to power. Almost 70 per cent of them were Indians, according to Home Office figures. ...

Figures released by the Border and Immigration Agency show that seven of the top ten companies bringing in IT workers were Indian. Topping the list is Tata Consultancy Services, which sponsored 4,465 intra-company transfers last year, followed by Infosys Technology with 3,030.

Many of the applications approved were in low-level jobs, including almost 18,000 in what were described as "other IT-related occupations". ...

Ms Swain said that many of the transfers were for jobs for which there were not shortages of British workers. She said: "These figures show how easy it is for foreign companies to bypass the UK labour market." ...

Phil Woolas, the Immigration Minister, defended the transfers, saying that they made Britain an attractive place in which to do business. He said: "Workers that come in via this route must display the appropriate level of earnings and qualifications and the numbers are strictly controlled by the points-based system, meaning only those the UK needs can come here."
[Site link]



Extremism – Islam, multiculturalism
The profound problem of Muslim immigration
Henrik R. Clausen
EuropeNews, 26 December 2010
[Book review: Al-Hijra: The Islamic Doctrine of Immigration by Sam Solomon & Elias Al Maqdisi, ANM Publishers, 2009, 139 pp., $14.95]

As the West has accepted extensive immigration from Islamic countries, unexpected social and political problems have followed. While rising crime rates, rampant unemployment and a heavy load on our much-appreciated welfare systems are severe problems in itself, a distinct and dramatically more significant problem is the subtle subversion of our free and democratic societies, also known as "Stealth Jihad".

The retired Islamic scholar Sam Solomon, in this compact book "Al-Hijra, The Islamic Doctrine of Immigration", connects the dots and explains why seemingly unrelated incidents are in fact rooted in Islamic tradition and are steps on the path to create a fully Islamized society.

To demonstrate how this functions, Sam Solomon dives into his exhaustive knowledge of Islamic history and law. As Islamic scholars everywhere, he derives his conclusions from Islamic scripture, the life of Muhammad in particular, and shows how historically immigration has slowly but steadily lead to formerly Jewish or Christian societies submitting to Islam. The primary example in the book is Muhammads takeover of Yathrib, today known as Medina, and how the concepts and strategies developed for the conquest of a relatively insignificant Arab city are being duplicated by Islamic leaders worldwide, with the same goal: Expanding Islamic conquest ever further. ...

That said, this book is indispensable for a very simple reason: It presents information otherwise not available to the uninitiated Westerner, and mercilessly reveals the twisted logic of Islamist activists, their justifications, methods and ultimate goal: A fully Shariah-compliant society. By pointing out the scriptural justifications and inner logic of seemingly benign and unrelated Muslim demands, it provides an invaluable tool for identifying and countering the stealth jihad destabilizing our societies. Dismantling this threat peacefully requires knowledge as provided by Sam Solomon. ...

Explaining how this seemingly irrational development can take place requires some history. This first and foremost means the life and conduct of Muhammad, the perfect example for the pious Muslim even today. The authority of Muhammad is absolute in Islam, be it in form of Quranic commands or the examples of conduct recorded in hadith collections, known in Islam as the 'Sunna'. Hijra, immigration, was a key element in Muhammads takeover of Yathrib, today known as Medina.

Unfortunately, the concept of Hijra is not limited in time or space to 7th century Arabia. The command as given is absolute, and remains an obligation on Muslims. One of many hadith quotes Muhammad for this:

I charge you with five of what Allah has charged me with: to assemble, to listen, to obey, to immigrate and to wage Jihad for the sake of Allah.

Thus, immigration is step four out of a five step plan. Sam Solomon elaborates:

So Hijra or migration is binding on all Muslims for numerous reasons; the most important being that migration is preparatory to jihad with an aim and objective of securing victory for Islam and Muslims either in another country or generally as a community.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam, employment
The latest WikiLeaks revelation: 1 in 3 British Muslim students back killing for Islam and 40% want Sharia law
Daily Mail, 22 December 2010

Around a third of young British Muslims favour killing in the name of Islam, according to a survey revealed by the WikiLeaks' publication of U.S. diplomatic cables.

A survey of 600 Muslim students at 30 universities throughout Britain found that 32 per cent of Muslim respondents believed killing in the name of religion is justified.

A U.S. diplomatic cable from January 2009 quoted a poll by the Centre for Social Cohesion as saying 54 per cent wanted a Muslim party to represent their world view in Parliament and 40 per cent want Muslims in the UK to be under Sharia law. ...

A further U.S. cable, dated February 5 2009, said reaching out to Britain's Muslim community there was a 'top priority' for U.S. embassy staff.

It stated: 'Although people of Muslim faith make up only 3 to 4 per cent of the UK's population, outreach to this key audience is vital to U.S. foreign policy interests in the UK and beyond... This is a top mission priority.'

The February cable outlined a plan encompassing 'engagement and community capacity-building' to counter the possible growth of 'violent extremism' in the UK.

The outreach plan for British Muslims was published a month after a cable that revealed that while the community had grown to more than 2 million, unemployment rates were higher among Muslim men and women than in any other religion.

Muslims were also found to have the highest disability rates - with 24 per cent of men and 21 per cent of women claiming a disability - while the cable also cited statistics claiming Muslims were also the most likely group to be unavailable for work or not actively seeking employment due to illness, their studies or family commitments.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
Majority of Muslims want Islam in politics, poll says
Meris Lutz
Los Angeles Times, 6 December 2010

A majority of Muslims around the world welcome a significant role for Islam in their countries' political life, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center, but have mixed feelings toward militant religious groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

According to the survey, majorities in Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan and Nigeria would favor changing current laws to allow stoning as a punishment for adultery, hand amputation for theft and death for those who convert from Islam to another religion. About 85% of Pakistani Muslims said they would support a law segregating men and women in the workplace.

Muslims in Indonesia, Egypt, Nigeria and Jordan were among the most enthusiastic, with more than three-quarters of poll respondents in those countries reporting positive views of Islam's influence in politics: either that Islam had a large role in politics, and that was a good thing, or that it played a small role, and that was bad.

Turkish Muslims were the most conflicted, with just more than half reporting positive views of Islam's influence in politics. Turkey has struggled in recent years to balance a secular political system with an increasingly fervent Muslim population.

Many Muslims described a struggle in their country between fundamentalists and modernizers, especially those who may have felt threatened by the rising tides of conservatism. Among those respondents who identified a struggle, most tended to side with the modernizers. This was especially true in Lebanon and Turkey, where 84% and 74%, respectively, identified themselves as modernizers as opposed to fundamentalists.

In Egypt and Nigeria, however, more people were pulling in the other direction. According to the poll, 59% in Egypt and 58% in Nigeria who said there was a struggle identified with the fundamentalists.

Despite an overall positive view of Islam's growing role in politics, militant religious organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah spurred mixed reactions. Both groups enjoyed fairly strong support in Jordan, home to many Palestinians, and Lebanon, where Hezbollah is based. Muslim countries that do not share strong cultural, historical and political ties to the Palestinian cause, such as Pakistan and Turkey, tended to view Hezbollah and Hamas negatively.

Al Qaeda was rejected by strong majorities in every Muslim country except Nigeria, which gave the group a 49% approval rating.

The poll was conducted April 12 to May 7 in seven countries with large Muslim populations. About 8,000 people were interviewed face to face, ...
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
A terrorist war cry at the touch of a button
Duncan Gardham
Daily Telegraph, 3 November 2010

To find out about radical Islam, impressionable Muslims need look no further than YouTube.

There were more than 5,000 postings on the website yesterday that featured videos by Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical preacher – one of which had been visited 164,420 times.

Among the most-watched were "Constants on the Path to Jihad" and "44 Ways to Support Jihad", which serves as a guide to pursuing or supporting holy war. ...

In 44 Ways to Support Jihad, he tells his audience: "The hatred of Kafir [non-believers] is a central element of our military creed. We need to realise that Allah will not grant us victory as long as we still have some love towards his enemies in our hearts."
[Newspaper link]


Extremism – multiculturalism, Islamisation
The capture of Tower Hamlets
Melanie Phillips
The Spectator, 24 October 2010

People like myself who have warned for some years now about the steady Islamisation of Britain receive a torrent of scorn and abuse from the so-called custodians of our culture. Terms such as 'scare-mongering', exaggeration' or 'alarmism' tumble out alongside the inevitable 'Islamophobia'.

Now we can see what these cultural kamikazes are helping bring about. In the east London borough of Tower Hamlets, a man with links to radical Islamism, Lutfur Rahman, has been elected Mayor of the borough, giving him control of a million-pound budget and a platform for the progressive intimidation and silencing of British Muslims who do not want to live under sharia law, let alone the non-Muslim majority in the area.

In order to know anything about this crucial development, you have to read the Telegraph's Andrew Gilligan who has been closely following what's been going on in Tower Hamlets during the past year. ... ...

... Yet as far as I can see, no-one apart from Gilligan has even mentioned last week's seismic development. ...

Much responsibility for this debacle must be laid at the door of the Labour Party which, as the Labour MP Mike Fitzpatrick warned earlier this year, was failing to deal with Islamic entryism so that the IFE had effectively become a party within a party. This evening a brave Muslim, Dr Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri who previously issued an anti-terrorism fatwa and is currently facing death threats from al-Qaeda and the Taliban, is due to issue another anti-extremism call at a meeting in east London. But what chance does he have given the failure of the British ruling class to tackle Islamic extremism? ...

The outcome is that Britain's establishment is actively assisting the progressive Balkanisation of Britain, in accordance with the global strategy of the Muslim Brotherhood and their allies to take over the west. Astoundingly, the security and political establishment even now still chooses to embrace the Brotherhood, treating them as authoritative Muslim spokesmen and even employing them as counter-extremism advisers, on the ludicrous basis that they are merely religious ideologues who can be used to divide British Muslims and divert them from al Qaeda. ...

... This devastating analysis by Hadar Sela itemises the extent to which the Brotherhood has the useful idiots and malign ideologues of the British progressive establishment in its clutches. As she so bleakly states:

There is barely an aspect of British life today in which Muslim Brotherhood and/or Hamas supporters lack influence. From the academic world, including student organizations, through politics and government, trades unions, the media, the legal system and even some Christian churches, they have succeeded in re-writing the prevailing narrative by means of the employment of the language of charity and human rights. Skilfully, they deflect criticism by the use of anti-racism laws and social mores and manage to market themselves as the face of 'moderate Islam' so successfully that they are often invited to act in an advisory capacity to decision makers and are even able to secure government funding.

But of course, it is Islamophobic exaggeration and scare-mongering to say so.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
Labour: London borough becomes 'Islamic republic'
Andrew Gilligan
Daily Telegraph website, 22 October 2010

Outside the Wellington Way polling station in Tower Hamlets yesterday, as at many other polling stations in the borough, people had to run a gauntlet of Lutfur Rahman supporters to reach the ballot box. As one Bengali woman voter went past them, we heard one of the Rahman army scolding her for her "immodest dress."

That incident is perhaps a tiny taste of the future for Britain's poorest borough now it has elected Mr Rahman as its first executive mayor, with almost total power over its £1 billion budget. At the count last night, one very senior figure in the Tower Hamlets Labour Party said: "It really is Britain's Islamic republic now."

For the last eight months – without complaint or challenge from Mr Rahman – this blog and newspaper have laid out his close links with a group of powerful local businessmen and with a Muslim supremacist body, the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE) - which believes, in its own words, in transforming the "very infrastructure of society, its institutions, its culture, its political order and its creed ... from ignorance to Islam." Mr Rahman has refused to deny these claims.

We have told how the borough's change from a conventional council leader to a mayoral system came about as a result of a campaign led and financed by these two groups – and how the IFE, in its words, wanted to "get one of our brothers" into the position.

We have described in detail, again without complaint or challenge by Mr Rahman, his deeply problematic two years as council leader until he was removed from that post six months ago, partly as a result of our investigations. After he secured the leadership with the help of the IFE, millions of pounds were channelled to front organisations of the IFE, a man with close links to the IFE was appointed as assistant chief executive of the council despite being unqualified for the position and the secular, white chief executive was forced out. Various efforts were made to "Islamicise" the borough. Extremist literature was stocked in Tower Hamlets' public libraries.

We have described, once more without complaint or challenge from Mr Rahman, how he signed up entire families of sham "paper" Labour members to win the party's mayoral nomination – acts which caused him to be sacked as the Labour candidate by the party's National Executive Committee.

Now, however, Mr Rahman has won as an independent – getting more than double the number of votes of the Labour candidate imposed in his place, Helal Abbas. As mayor, he will have far more power than he had as a council leader. And unlike a council leader, no-one can sack him, except the voters in four years' time.

We should be clear what this result was, and was not. It was a decisive victory. But it was not much of an endorsement by the borough's people. Turnout, at 25.6%, was astonishingly low, with most voters (particularly the white majority, and they still are a majority) unaware of, indifferent to or turned off by the process. Lutfur's 23,000-odd votes are only about 13 per cent of Tower Hamlets' electorate.

It was not a victory for any sort of democracy. It was the execution of a careful and sophisticated plan by a small, well-financed and highly-organised cabal to seize control of a London borough. ...
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
Islamic students at top university 'are preaching hard-line extremism,' terror experts warn
Daily Mail, 18 October 2010

Radical Islamic extremism is being openly practised at a leading university campus, a report today claimed.

Think tank Quilliam said they had evidence of hard-line Islamist ideology being promoted through the leadership of the university's student Islamic Society at City University in central London.

The group had intimidated and harassed staff, students and members of minority groups, it was claimed.

The counter-extremism think tank said they had evidence of the president of City University's Islamic Society, (ISoc) openly preaching extremism during prayers held on the campus during the 2009/10 academic year.

They said the president - Saleh Patel, was recorded saying: 'When they say to us 'the Islamic state teaches to cut the hand of the thief', yes it does!

'And it also teaches us to stone the adulterer.

'When they tell us that the Islamic state tells us and teaches us to kill the apostate, yes it does!

'Because this is what Allah and his messenger have taught us and this is the religion of Allah and it is Allah who legislates and only Allah has the right to legislate.'

'When a person leaves one prayer, one prayer intentionally, he should be imprisoned for three days and three nights and told to repent.

'And if he doesn't repent and offer his prayer then he should be killed. And the difference of opinion lies with regards to how he should be killed not as to what he is - a kafir or a Muslim'.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
Jihadists using British website to spread terror, think tank claims
Duncan Gardham
Daily Telegraph, 27 September 2010

Middle Eastern exiles are using a British-based website to encourage suicide bombing and the killing of Westerners, according to a report.

Cheering for Osama, by the think-tank Quilliam, describes the website as the "mouthpiece of the most extreme and bloodthirsty strand of jihadism".

It says the Arabic-language site is a "jihadist" discussion forum which "regularly praises suicide bombing, the death of British and Nato soldiers and incites hatred and violence against Iraqi Shias, Jews and Westerners".
[Newspaper link]


Extremism – Islam
Muslim extremists threaten new 7/7
James Murray and Neil Doyle
Sunday Express, 1 August 2010

A new Muslim extremist group threatened a terrorist atrocity similar to 7/7 during a highly provocative demonstration outside the front gates of Downing Street.

Calling themselves Muslims Against Crusaders, they chanted furiously against British soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. ...

Some of the demonstrators were supporters of Islam 4 UK, run by former solicitor Anjem Choudary. The group was banned by former Home Secretary Alan Johnson this year as it planned a protest march against soldiers at Wootton Bassett, the Wiltshire town which honours the war dead from Afghanistan.

Mr Choudary insists he has nothing to do with Muslims Against Crusaders and was not at the Downing Street protest on Monday but he does promote their protests. Last night the Centre for Social Cohesion think tank said the Government must adopt a different approach to the constantly evolving extremist groups.

Director Douglas Murray said: "They are one step ahead of the Government because they are constantly changing their names and thinking of ways of getting their message across but the Government has to be one step ahead of them."

Father-of-four Choudary lives on state benefits of around £25,000 a year, like many of those who organise meetings and events to promote their extremist views.

Mr Murray said: "There is one solution... stop paying for their benefits. It is utterly ridiculous that the state is effectively financing this problem."

Today we reveal that Choudary and two hate preachers have joined forces to launch an internet operation devoted to their views. ...

Choudary has joined forces with Omar Bakri Mohammad, who is banned from re-entering the UK after he fled to Lebanon in the wake of the 7/7 bombings in London. With them is Abdullah el-Faisal, deported from the UK in 2007 after being jailed for distributing recordings of speeches in which he solicited the murders of Jews and Hindus.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam, fifth column
Muslim fifth column
Michael Nazir-Ali
Daily Telegraph, 31 July 2010
[Letter to the Editor]

Both Baroness Manningham-Buller and Imran Khan have been reported in your columns as claiming that the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan have led to increased recruitment of Muslims in Britain to radical causes. They may well be correct.

The implication, however, that whenever the West acts to protect itself or to prevent genocide or oppression by extremists and tyrants, it is causing a fifth column to arise in its own societies, is deeply worrying. Such a situation has enormous consequences for the will to resist extremism and for morale generally.
[Newspaper link]


Extremism – Islam
Does the Prime Minister understand the 'Real Islam'?
Rod Liddle
The Spectator, 27 July 2010

The Prime Minister has decided that Turkey should be a member of the EU in order to form some sort of bridge with the rest of the Muslim world. He has also made the same mistake that the last government – and most apologists on the left made about Islam. He said of those people critical of Islam: 'They see no difference between real Islam and the distorted version of the extremists. They think the values of Islam can never be compatible with the values of other religions, societies or cultures.'

In other words he is setting himself up as a Koranic expert, much as did Blair, in being able to adjudicate as to what is the "real Islam". Obviously the "Real Islam" isn't people blowing themselves up, although a large proportion of Palestinians, Afghans and so on would argue that it is, as would one or two cadres sitting tight in their Keighley or Tipton bedsits. But ok, let's give him that one. What about apostasy, then? The majority of Islamic states impose a penalty for giving up the religion, either through the state or sharia courts; imprisonment or death. Is this Real Islam or the "distorted version of the extremists"? It's certainly the practice of the overwhelming majority of Islamic countries, and cleaved to by all four major schools of Islamic thought, even the comparatively liberal Hanafi. What about gays? More than 30 of the 50 or so Islamic countries persecute homosexuals with anything ranging from fines to beheadings. Again, all four schools of Islamic thought believe homosexuality to be haram and thus worthy of punishment. Are they Cameron's fatuous "Real Islam", or the other kind? What about rights of women, rights of Christians to practice their faith AND proselytise, what about being allowed to whisper that Allah's a goon, or doesn't exist? What about the attitude towards Israel and, more pertinently, Jews in general? Cameron's "Real Islam" in truth consists of secular west Turkey and a few decent liberal Muslim organisations in the UK, a constituency which represents a minuscule proportion of the Ummah. You don't "understand" Islam by making this false dichotomy; it is not just presumptuous and ignorant, but also plain wrong.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam, government
Whitehall 'open' to extremists
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 25 July 2010

The Government has opened the way for official links with Muslim extremists after Whitehall civil servants said radical groups could be a "safety valve" for people tempted by terrorism.

The groups specifically named in leaked documents include al-Muhajiroun, which praised 9/11 as "magnificent", and Hizb ut Tahrir, which wants to turn Britain into an Islamic dictatorship.

In the classified papers, presented last week to Coalition ministers on the Cabinet's home affairs committee, officials say a "clear assessment" had been made that individuals "do not progress" to violence through such

groups. ...

At least 19 terrorists convicted in Britain had links with al-Muhajiroun. These include Omar Khayam, who was sentenced to life in jail as leader of the fertiliser bomb plot, and Abdullah Ahmed Ali, the ringleader of the airliner liquid plot. He is also serving life. Al-Muhajiroun provided backing to Abu Hamza, the extremist cleric whose mosque in north London was a forming ground for other terrorists. ...

The organisation was banned under Labour, but former members have regrouped under different banners. ...

Hizb ut Tahrir claims that it opposes terrorism, and condemned the 9/11 and 7/7 attacks. However, it regards integration as "dangerous", orders Muslims to keep apart from non-believers and says that "those [Muslims] who believe in democracy are Kafir", or apostates. ... ...

The Whitehall documents admitted that a "minority" of terrorists was involved with non-violent extremist groups such as al-Muhajiroun, stating that such groups "can foster a sense of Muslim isolationism from wider UK society, which may increase vulnerability to radicalisation".

But in a "restricted" memorandum to Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, written on July 15, Robert Mason, one of his senior officials, said the papers presented "a clear assessment that individuals do not progress through non-violent extremist groups to violent groups ... Extreme groups may also provide a legal 'safety valve' for extreme views." ...

The papers are understood to have been prepared with the involvement of Mohammed Abdul Aziz, a controversial paid ministerial adviser to the communities department. Mr Aziz is an honorary trustee of the East London Mosque, which has hosted dozens of extremist preachers, including Anwar al-Awlaki, a cleric cited as an inspiration by the perpetrators of 9/11 and many other terrorist attacks.

The mosque is the headquarters of the Islamic Forum of Europe, a secretive fundamentalist network that believes in transforming "the very infrastructure of society, its institutions, its culture, its political order and its creed ... from ignorance to Islam". Mr Aziz is a former officer of the forum's youth wing.
[Site link]


Extremism – politics
Geert Wilders to spread anti-Muslim movement to UK
Daily Telegraph, 16 July 2010

Geert Wilders, the controversial anti-Muslim Dutch MP, has said he is forming an international alliance to spread his message to Britain and across the West in a bid to ban immigration from Islamic countries.

Mr Wilders will launch the movement late this year, initially in five countries: the US, Canada, Britain, France and Germany.

"The message, 'stop Islam, defend freedom,' is a message that's not only important for the Netherlands but for the whole free Western world," Mr Wilders said at the Dutch parliament.

Among the group's aims will be outlawing immigration from Islamic countries to the West and a ban on Islamic law.

Starting as a grass-roots movement, he hopes it eventually will produce its own lawmakers or influence other legislators. ...

Mr Wilders has won awards in the Netherlands for his debating skills and regularly stands up for gay and women's rights.

But he rose to local and then international prominence with his firebrand anti-Islam rhetoric that has led to him being charged under Dutch anti-hate speech laws and banned from visiting Britain - until a court ordered that he be allowed into the country.

He said he hopes to position the alliance between traditional Conservative parties and far-Right wing groups, saying that in Britain there is "an enormous gap" between the ruling Conservative Party and the far-Right British National Party.

"The BNP is a party that, whatever you think of it, it's not my party - I think it's a racist party," Mr Wilders said.

Mr Wilders, who calls Islam a "fascist" religion, has seen his support in the Netherlands soar in recent years, even while he has been subjected to round-the-clock protection because of death threats.

His Freedom Party won the biggest gains in a national election last month, coming third with 24 seats in the 150-seat Parliament, up from the nine before the election.
[Site link]


Extremism – racism, discrimination, hypocrisy
Worst human rights offenders condemn West
Licia Corbella
Calgary Herald, 19 June 2010

In what can only be described as Orwellian double-speak, the Organization of the Islamic Conference told the United Nations Human Rights Council – made up of many of the world's worst human rights violators – that Muslims in western democracies face unbearable racism and discrimination, and demanded that the UN do something about it.

"People of Arab origin face new forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance and experience discrimination and marginalization," an Egyptian delegate said on Wednesday.

Pakistan, speaking for the 57-nation OIC, tabled a resolution instructing the council's special investigator into religious freedom to look into such racism, "especially in western societies" to "work closely with mass media organizations to ensure that they create and promote an atmosphere of respect and tolerance for religious and cultural diversity."

Mahfooz Kanwar, a professor emeritus at Mount Royal University and author, said these resolutions – which are expected to pass owing to the over-abundance of "Islamist and other dictatorial states" that sit on the oxymoronically named UN Human Rights Council – would be funny for their sheer audacity and hypocrisy if they were not so potentially harmful and disturbing.

"I was born and raised in Pakistan and any honest person from there will admit that nobody in that country has religious freedom – or any kind of freedom – not Muslims and certainly not members of minority religions who are afforded even less rights and are often beaten, raped and killed for not being Muslim," said Kanwar, a sociologist and criminologist. "As for gender equality, there is none. Women are considered property in Pakistan and virtually every Islamic country," he added. ...

Just last month, on May 28, Muslim suicide bombers stormed two Ahmadi Muslim mosques in Lahore, Pakistan and murdered about 100 worshippers. "That's extreme discrimination. The Pakistani government declared long ago that Ahmadiyya Muslims are not real Muslims, they are infidels and therefore deserve to be killed," said Kanwar. ...

"The reality is," he added, "the ONLY countries where Muslims can really practise their religion freely and without coercion or discrimination is in the West. In Muslim countries, they force you to worship the way the state wants you to worship or you face being attacked. That's why Muslims are always killing Muslims. The Sunni kill Shiites and vice versa. They think anyone who doesn't believe exactly like they do is an infidel and deserves to die." ...

... Freedom House ranks the level of freedom in every country and when the lists are compared, the same countries that want the UN to condemn the West for discriminating against Muslims are among the least free countries in the world. These countries are also seeking at the United Nations to make it a crime for anyone to ever blaspheme Islam or Muhammad in the West, yet in their own countries, they have laws that state that non-Muslims have less rights than Muslims.

According to Kanwar and Voice of the Martyrs – a Christian non-governmental organization – in Pakistan, a Christian man's testimony in court is counted as being worth half that of a Muslim man's. A Christian woman's testimony in court is worth only one-quarter of a Muslim man's, making Christian women and girls prime targets for rape, since it's near impossible for the perpetrator to be convicted under such laws.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
German study claims devout Islamic youth more violence-prone
Monsters and, 5 June 2010

The more devout a young Muslim male in Germany is, the more likely he is to resort to violence, according to a federally financed study seen Saturday by the German Press Agency dpa.

The study, based on interviews with 45,000 boys and girls aged 14 to 16, also concluded that male supremacist views and a preference for violent videos and computer games link closely with mosque attendance among the young. It compared Christians and Muslims.

The as-yet-unpublished research was jointly conducted by the federal Interior Ministry and the KFN criminology research institute in Hanover headed by Christian Pfeiffer. Dpa obtained a copy in Berlin.

In a conclusion, the authors said the finding might be explained by hypotheses of Rauf Ceylan, an ethnic Turkish scholar in German who studies religion.

They said Ceylan had discovered that a majority of mosque clergy in Germany encouraged their congregations to practice a conservative form of Islam and to preserve their ethnic roots.

More than half of German Muslims, who make up 5 per cent of the population, have Turkish roots.

The findings characterised imams or clergy as men working only temporarily in Germany with no knowledge of the German language, preventing them from developing a positive attitude to German culture or from questioning male dominance.

The study suggested those views were transferred to young people at the mosque, whereas non-devout boys picked up more liberal German attitudes. Pfeiffer wrote: 'This is not a problem with Islam, but a problem with their education in Islam.'

Contacted for comment by dpa, Ceylan warned the interpretation might be simplistic and said many other factors had to be taken into account.

KFN conducted interviews in 2007 and 2008 in 61 cities with the aim of detecting how religious belief influences attitudes and behaviour. It found that young people who were intensely Christian were less likely to be violent than the average.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam, politics
Revealed: Council secretly gives another half-million to Islamic fundamentalists
Andrew Gilligan
Andrew Gilligan's blog, 19 April 2010

As readers of the paper, this blog and viewers of Channel 4's Dispatches will know, very disturbing things are going on at Tower Hamlets, the east London council which has fallen under the influence of an Islamic supremacist group, the Islamic Forum of Europe, based at the hardline East London Mosque.

The Labour council leader, Lutfur Rahman, squirmingly refuses to deny that he was elected to his job with the IFE's help. Several key officials and councillors are closely linked to the IFE. Various organisations controlled by the IFE, including a youth group called the Osmani Trust, have been given enormous amounts of council money.

The Osmani Trust, run by leading figures in the IFE, is a recent merger of two IFE youth organisations, Blyda and Elite Youth. Part of its purpose, according to critics, is to take vulnerable young people off the streets and imbue them with the values of the IFE.

The man in charge of its project working with local gang members, Muhammad Rabbani, is the same person who trains young IFE recruits. Last year, he told them: "Our goal is to create the True Believer, to then mobilise these believers into an organised force for change who will carry out dawah [preaching], hisbah [enforcement of Islamic law, eg Sharia law] and jihad. This will lead to social change and iqamatud-Deen [an Islamic social, economic and political order.] We have to bear in mind that victory is for Islam and Muslims."

Despite the exposure of all this, the council's cabinet brazenly decided on April 7 to hand another £500,000 to the Osmani Trust. Perhaps aware of what it might do to the Labour vote at next month's election, the decision was taken in secret – only to be notified to the public once Labour was safely back in power. But I've been leaked the papers. Sorry, chaps!

In September 2008, Tower Hamlets decided to spend £3.3 million on building the Osmani Trust a new youth centre, even though there is already an existing, secular youth centre just round the corner, recently refurbished by the council at massive public expense. This sum then mysteriously rose to £4 million. It then mysteriously rose again, in June 2009, to £4.4 million.

This month, the Osmani Trust was secretly granted yet another half-million, taking the total council contribution to this project to £4.9 million – nearly 50% higher than the original amount. It will be given in the form of four and a half years' free rent on the premises the council has just built them and is supposedly because the Osmani Trust has agreed to raise a similar amount from its other income for fixtures and fittings of the new building.

In fact, of course, quite a lot of the Osmani Trust's "other income" also comes from Tower Hamlets council. Last year Blyda and Elite Youth together scored a handy £400,000 worth of grants from the council, excluding money for the new building. They got a further £365,000 from other public sector bodies, including the NHS and the Big Lottery Fund. Nearly 70 per cent of their funding comes from the public purse.

As well as being done in secret, the decision to give the extra half-mill was taken under an unusual "urgency procedure". So the alternative explanation for the council's action, of course, is that they are anticipating defeat – and need to shovel as much public money as they can into the Islamists' coffers before that happens.
[Site link]


Extremism – prisons, Islam
Growing fears over Muslim prison 'gangs'
BBC, 12 March 2010

The Muslim prison population in England and Wales has sharply increased in recent years. The BBC's Ushma Mistry hears from former inmates and prison officers who claim gangs of Muslim prisoners are an increasingly powerful force.

"Muslims run it. Muslims run the prisons and there's nothing the screws can do about it. For a Muslim you'd say it's good but for a non-Muslim, it's very, very bad," a former inmate called Jay says.

It is a claim which is backed by former prison officers and other inmates.

Jay, 24, is a Muslim and has been in and out of prison for most of his life. He openly admits to helping to convert non-Muslim inmates to Islam and has meted out violence against anyone who dares to "disrespect" his religion.

He first went to prison when he was 15 and said there were hardly any Muslims inmates back then.

"At the beginning not many knew about Islam. There weren't many converts. The mosque was empty, but nowadays jails are run mostly by the Muslims," he said. ...

Muslims represent 12% (9,795) of the prison population in England and Wales, according to the latest available figures from 2008. This has risen by 50% over five years.

In some high security prisons, the figures are well above average.

In 2008, Muslim prisoners accounted for a third (34%) of prisoners in HMP Whitemoor, in March, Cambridgeshire, and about a quarter (24%) of inmates in HMP Long Lartin, in Evesham, Worcestershire.

Speaking anonymously, a former prison officer, who worked at HMP Long Lartin, told the Donal MacIntyre programme about cases where non-Muslim prisoners were seriously assaulted and intimidated for refusing to abide by unofficial rules imposed by Muslim gangs, about eating pork or listening to Western music. ...

Colin Moses, national chairman of prison workers' trade union, the POA, said not all Muslims in prison were in gangs, but acknowledged there was a growing problem.

"People are being radicalised, forcibly radicalised by these gangs. We see it as a real danger, now and for the future of prisons," he said.

And, he pointed out that those who were in gangs or converted to Islam often did it to carry out criminal activities.

"As the Muslim population grows, the gangs are becoming more and more prevalent by the week and they fight to take control of the drug trade and the dealing of mobile phones in prison.

"This will make our prisons even more violent," he added. ...

In a statement, a Prison Service spokesman said the allegations made about Muslim gangs were unsubstantiated.

"It is ridiculous to suggest that any gang 'controls' a prison," he said.
[Site link]


Extremism – politics, Islam
Islamists got voters out for Livingstone
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 7 March 2010

A fundamentalist group that believes in sharia, jihad and creating an "Islamic social and political order" in Britain arranged an "unprecedented mobilisation" of voters for Ken Livingstone, the former Labour London mayor, at the last mayoral election.

In a poll lost by Mr Livingstone, the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE) helped secure massive and unexpected swings towards him in its east London heartland.

In one ward, Spitalfields, his vote share rose from 29.6 per cent in 2004 – an election he won – to 68.4 per cent in 2008.

In every other ward in Tower Hamlets and Newham with a sizeable Muslim population, his vote rose by between 23 and 36 percentage points. His vote in other Muslim and ethnic minority areas of London also rose, but by far smaller amounts.

Mr Livingstone's economic development body, the London Development Agency (LDA), had agreed to pay more than £1.3 million to the East London Mosque, controlled by the IFE.

Emails ... show that Peter Brimson, a senior LDA official, protested against at least £500,000 of this grant, saying there were "major concerns" about the mosque project and "no case" for giving it the money. He was overruled.

Part of Mr Livingstone's voting rise will have been due to his opposition to the Iraq war and support for the Palestinian cause, both popular among Muslims.

However, part can be explained by the activities of a group, "Muslims 4 Ken," which ... was run by Azad Ali, the IFE's community affairs co-ordinator, and Anas al-Tikriti, an IFE ally in the British Muslim Initiative.

... On his IFE blog, Mr Ali has praised a key mentor of Osama bin Laden, described al-Qaeda as a "myth," and justified the killing of British soldiers in Iraq. ...

Electoral officials have also expressed concern ... about dramatic fluctuations in the number of people registered to vote in Tower Hamlets.

... ...

The launch of the Muslims 4 Ken campaign came after the East London Mosque secured at least £1.3 million in funding from Mr Livingstone's City Hall.

This included £500,000 awarded by the LDA in 2004 for the building of the mosque's extension, the London Muslim Centre, which houses the headquarters of the IFE. Most of the rest of the money was given under the LDA's Ways to Work programme for job-creation projects. ...

Mr Livingstone said he could not recollect the project, or whether he had been personally involved in approving the payment. He refused to comment on the activities of Muslims 4 Ken and said: "You are a liar who is stirring up racism."

Mr Ali said that his involvement with Muslims 4 Ken was limited to being asked to "contribute articles to its website."
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
Charity is linked to Islamic terrorists
Andrew Gilligan
Daily Telegraph, 2 March 2010

A charity praised by Gordon Brown has paid hundreds of thousands of pounds supposedly raised for "disaster relief" to two organisations allegedly linked to terrorist groups.

Muslim Aid, which has been given at least £830,000 of public money, diverted substantial sums to Islamist organisations, possibly in contravention of its charitable status.

It has received grants from the Department for International Development, the EU and London councils.

The charity, based at the hardline East London mosque, has close links to the Islamic Forum of Europe, a fundamentalist group accused by a Labour minister of infiltrating his party.

Muslim Aid raised more than £24 million last year. It says its charitable objectives, which it is legally required to follow, are "to relieve ... all those who are in need ... as a result of natural disasters" and "to relieve those who are refugees fleeing from war."
[Newspaper link]


Extremism – politics, Islam
Islamic radicals 'infiltrate' Labour
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 28 February 2010

A Labour minister says his party has been infiltrated by a fundamentalist Muslim group that wants to create an "Islamic social and political order" in Britain.

The Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE) – which believes in jihad and sharia law, and wants to turn Britain and Europe into an Islamic state – has placed sympathisers in elected office and claims, correctly, to be able to achieve "mass mobilisation" of voters.

Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, Jim Fitzpatrick, the Environment Minister, said the IFE had become, in effect, a secret party within Labour and other political parties.

"They are acting almost as an entryist organisation, placing people within the political parties, recruiting members to those political parties, trying to get individuals selected and elected so they can exercise political influence and power, whether it's at local government level or national level," he said.

"They are completely at odds with Labour's programme, with our support for secularism."

Mr Fitzpatrick, the MP for Poplar and Canning Town, said the IFE had infiltrated and "corrupted" his party in east London in the same way that the far-Left Militant Tendency did in the 1980s. Leaked Labour lists show a 110 per cent rise in party membership in one constituency in two years.

In a six-month investigation by this newspaper and Channel 4's Dispatches, involving weeks of covert filming by the programme's reporters:

• IFE activists boasted to the undercover reporters that they had already "consolidated ... a lot of influence and power" over Tower Hamlets, a London borough council with a £1 billion budget.

• We have established that the group and its allies were awarded more than £10 million of taxpayers' money, much of it from government funds designed to "prevent violent extremism".

• IFE leaders were recorded expressing opposition to democracy, support for sharia law or mocking black people. The IFE organised meetings with extremists, including Taliban allies, ...

• Moderate Muslims in London told how the IFE and its allies were enforcing their hardline views on the rest of the local community, ... ...

The IFE has particularly close links to Tower Hamlets council. Seven serving and former councillors said Lutfur Rahman, the current council leader, gained his post with the group's help. ... After Mr Rahman was elected, a man with close links to the group, Lutfur Ali, was appointed assistant chief executive of the council with responsibility for grant funding. ...

Since Mr Rahman became leader, more council grants have been paid to a number of organisations which our investigation established are closely linked to the IFE. Funding for other, secular groups was ended or cut. ...

Schools in Tower Hamlets are told by the council should close for the Muslim festival of Eid, even where most of their pupils are not Muslim.
[Newspaper link]


Extremism – Islam
Swinging Sixties past of radical who wants sharia in Britain
Barney Henderson
Daily Telegraph, 20 February 2010

As part of the Bohemian scene in Swinging Sixties London, Ian Dallas inspired Eric Clapton to write Layla and counted George Harrison and Edith Piaf among his friends. ...

But these days Mr Dallas is famed for very different reasons as the leader of an extreme Islamic group with thousands of followers across the world.

He has called for Britain to be run by a Muslim council and likened the war in Afghanistan to the Holocaust. ...

In 1967 he met Shaykh Abdalkarim Daudi in Fes, Morocco, converted to Islam and took the name Abdalqadir. He spent years travelling in north Africa, learning from various leading Muslim scholars, before founding the orthodox Murabitun Worldwide Movement in the 1980s.

It now has more than 10,000 committed followers across the world – spread from Denmark to Indonesia – and thousands more who support the movement.

Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi, as he is now known, believes the Islam world will conquer the "Jewish-dominated" West with a hard-line interpretation of Islamic law. ...

He has also claimed that Britain is on "the edge of terminal decline and it is the British Muslim population that alone can revitalise this ancient realm".
[Newspaper link]


Extremism – police, Islam
Muslim police say Islam not to blame for terror attacks
Robert Winnett
Daily Telegraph, 21 January 2010

Muslim police officers have rebelled openly against the Government's anti-terrorism strategy, warning that it is an "affront to British values" which threatens to trigger ethnic unrest.

The National Association of Muslim Police (NAMP) claimed that ministers were wrong to blame Islam for being the "driver" behind recent terrorist attacks.

Far-Right extremists were a more dangerous threat to national security, it said.

The officers told MPs that Muslims were being "stigmatised" by the Government's attempts to tackle terrorism, which was adding to "hatred" against entire communities.

In the official intervention, the association said the Government's anti-terrorism policies could not "continue unchecked".

The comments, made in a seven-page memorandum to a parliamentary committee investigating extremism, are embarrassing for Gordon Brown. ...

The organisation, which represents more than 2,000 officers, was previously publicly backed by Mr Brown. ... ...

There is growing criticism among Muslim groups of the government strategy, which was welcomed by mainstream police organisations.
[Newspaper link]


Extremism – Islam
UK Muslim TV channel linked to al-Qaida cleric al-Awlaki
Jamie Doward
The Observer, 10 January 2010

A London-based satellite broadcaster that describes itself as "the voice of authority for Muslims in the UK" has been accused of giving a platform to Anwar al-Awlaki, the extremist cleric with alleged links to al-Qaida and to the man charged with trying to blow up a transatlantic jet on Christmas Day.

The Islam Channel, a free-to-air English-language channel that claims to be "a trustworthy source to the two million-plus population of Muslims in the UK", last year carried adverts for a box set of DVDs of Awlaki's sermons and for at least two events at which the cleric was due to be the star speaker via a video link.

The channel's website has allowed visitors to click through to a pooled archive of Islamic scholars, from which they can download sermons by Awlaki, including "Stop Police Terror", "Brutality Towards Muslims" and "It's a War against Islam".

Islamic scholars have expressed concern. "Anwar al-Awlaki is asking all Muslims to unite against the west as Muslims," said Dr Irfan al-Alawi of the Centre for Islamic Pluralism. "He supports jihad to ensnare all naive, young people who get emotionally attached and go on jihadist tirades." ...

Awlaki, a US-born engineer-turned-cleric, is now based in Yemen, where some reports suggest he was killed just before Christmas in a strike on a suspected al-Qaida base. His family insist he was not harmed in the raid.

Leading British Muslim organisations, including the Islamic Society of Britain, have promoted Awlaki's lectures in the past, but now condemn his views.

Haras Rafiq of Centri, a counter-extremism consultancy, said Awlaki's online influence over young radicals was becoming a serious concern. ...

The channel's chief executive officer, Mohamed Ali Harrath, has been on an Interpol wanted list since 1992, after his native Tunisia accused him of attempting to create "an Islamic state by means of armed revolutionary violence". Harrath denies the charges.

A spokeswoman for the channel said it had been unaware its website had provided links to Awlaki's sermons. She said the sermons were in an online archive shared with many websites. "Islam Channel has not at any time given a platform to Mr Awlaki," she said. The channel has now removed the link.
[Site link]


Extremism – education, Islam
British universities: seats of learning – and loathing
Ruth Dudley Edwards
Daily Telegraph, 2 January 2010

It's not that universities haven't had enough warnings. Sheikh Musa Admani, an imam at London Metropolitan University, pleaded with both the Home Office and academic leaders to supervise and control Islamic societies. ...

Admani's common-sense advice – for instance, that prayer rooms should be open to all, not just Muslims, and that speakers should be vetted – were seemingly ignored by most academics and officials. So what he had observed continued: university after university provided Muslim prayer rooms that were all too often taken over by extremists who changed the locks, showed innocent freshers heavy-duty propaganda films of Muslim suffering at the hands of wicked Jews, Americans and Brits, and brought to the campus inspirational speakers who encouraged the young to sacrifice themselves for Allah.

Then there was Professor Anthony Glees who, four years ago in his book When Students Turn to Terror, named more than 30 universities where "extremist and/or terror groups" were to be found. He was denounced by the National Union of Students and met with hostility from the academic establishment. The following year, when an all-party parliamentary commission reported on the rise in anti-Semitism that was accompanying increasing support for Islamism on campuses, in the words of its chairman, the respected Denis MacShane, "university vice-chancellors and the university lecturers' union pooh-poohed our concerns". ...

And all this denial has continued, despite a steady stream of evidence about the university background of notorious jihadists like ... There are close to 100,000 Muslim students in the UK, and extremists are swimming among them. In the work of radicalisation, the agents of the controversial Hizb ut-Tahrir – which works to set up a global caliphate – infest the campuses of Britain unchecked.

The truth is that a mixture of greed, knee-jerk Left-wingery, anti-Semitism and pusillanimity have combined to make our universities breeding grounds for Islamism. The greed is two-fold. Starved of funds and bullied by the Government into dropping standards in the name of social and ethnic diversity, universities court more foreign students than they can cope with and do nothing to upset them. Equally alarmingly, they woo benefactors from such rotten societies as Iran and Saudi Arabia.

In A Degree of Influence: the Funding of Strategically Important Subjects in UK Universities, the Centre for Social Cohesion revealed how universities have been seduced by vast sums of money from Arabic and Islamic sources. ... ...

Academics tend towards the Left and, for a variety of perverse reasons, the Left has allied itself with radical Islam, choosing to ignore the brutality, the oppression of women, the stifling of dissent and many of the other repellent aspects of countries ruled by Sharia law. There will always be a substantial body of students who are idealistic, radical and hot-headed, but all too many academics seem incapable of grasping that the Islamist variety is a threat to the very foundations of democratic society: even the worst of the small number of student lunatics in the late Sixties were not suicide bombers intent on random mass murder.

Worse still, fearful of being accused of racism and cultural insensitivity, the academic establishment is running scared of Islamic bully-boys. ...

Society has always laughed at the unworldliness of ivory towers, but the times are too dangerous now for such indulgence. If vice-chancellors of universities that contain festering ideological cesspits do not clear them out, they should be replaced.
[Site link]



Fraud and corruption – marriage
European judges kill off British law that curbed sham marriages
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 15 December 2010

Laws credited with cutting the number of sham marriages by more than 70 per cent were yesterday killed off by European judges because they breach human rights.

The rules, which required some immigrants to apply for a certificate of approval from the Home Office and pay a £295 fee before they could wed, were judged discriminatory and against the right to marry by the European Court of Human Rights.

Judges said they had 'grave concerns' about the scheme because many immigrants could not afford the fee.

The scheme, introduced by David Blunkett in 2004, resulted in a huge reduction in the number of ceremonies performed in its first few years. ...

The number of reports from registrars about suspicious marriages also dropped spectacularly. A total of 6,652 people were refused a certificate under the scheme. However, a string of court rulings in the UK began to challenge the system. ...

The judges said the exemption for Anglicans having Church of England weddings also breached religious freedoms guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Home Office earlier this year announced that certificates of approval would be scrapped, in anticipation of the ruling.
[Site link]



Immigration – politics
Cameron will be punished for failure on immigration
George Eaton
New Statesman, 30 December 2010

The news that immigration is unlikely to fall significantly in 2011 should set alarm bells ringing in Downing Street. An IPPR study published today suggests that net migration will remain around the 200,000 mark, far short of the government's flagship promise to reduce net migration from "the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands".

The report cites several reasons why net migration will remain high: increased economic migration from the EU (which the government cannot legally restrict) as the UK economy continues to outperform those of Spain, Portugal and Greece; increased emigration from Ireland (120,000 Irish nationals are expected to leave the republic in 2010 and 2011); higher immigration from Latvia and Lithuania (the numbers have risen from 25,000 to 40,000 a year); and lower emigration from the UK (30,000 left in the year to March 2010 compared to 130,000 in the year to March 2008). ...

One should add that the possibility of Conservative failure on immigration represents a big political opportunity for Ukip and the far right. There is always a danger at times of high unemployment that voters will turn to populists and demagogues in search of solutions. On Twitter, the Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, correctly points out: "Good report by IPPR on immigration, Cameron's cuts are meaningless. If euro collapses in 2011 expect a flood from Europe we can't control."

Cameron's decision to raise unrealistic expectations on immigration will return to haunt him.
[Site link]


Immigration – number
IPPR says UK net migration unlikely to plunge in 2011
BBC, 30 December 2010

The UK's net migration rate is unlikely to fall significantly in 2011, according to a think tank's analysis.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) says the figure for immigrants to the UK minus the number leaving will be around 200,000.

One reason it points to is that only about 30,000 UK citizens are emigrating - the lowest for almost a decade.

The government said it was committed to reducing net migration from its current 215,000 to less than 100,000 by 2015.

As well as pointing to the emigration rate, the IPPR report says that the relative strength of the British economy compared with some Eurozone countries is likely to attract migrant workers from Spain, Portugal, Greece and the Irish Republic.

The government has announced a cap on skilled workers from outside the European Economic Area and is planning to curb the number of foreign students.

But the IPPR says the cap will have only a limited effect while the student restrictions will not take full effect next year. ...

The IPPR also points out that last year there was a big rise in the number of immigrants from Lithuania and Latvia - up 21,000 and 19,000 respectively compared with increases of 13,000 and 12,000 the previous year, and it predicts further rises.
[Site link]


Immigration – European Union
Romania accuses France and Germany of 'discrimination' over Schengen exclusion
Bruno Waterfield
Daily Telegraph, 22 December 2010

Romania has accused France and Germany of "discrimination" after the EU's two most powerful countries joined forces to block the Balkans country from joining Europe's "Schengen" open borders zone.

Berlin and Paris have opposed both Romania and Bulgaria's entry into the EU's passport free travel area because of concerns that both countries have not done enough to clean up corruption and organised crime raising concerns about their ability to curb illegal immigration.

"In our opinion it is still premature to envisage the entry into the Schengen zone in March 2011," said a Franco-German letter to the European Commission.

"Deficiencies would have serious consequences for the internal security of the EU and each member state."

While Bulgaria is known to have so far failed to prove that its Black Sea borders are secure, Romania has formally met conditions set by Brussels for allowing passport-free travel within all EU countries, except for Britain and Ireland.

Traian Basescu , the Romanian President, whose country joined the EU with Bulgaria in 2007, said: "We will not accept discrimination from anyone, not even from the EU's most powerful states. We must have the same conditions as all the other states."

EU diplomats and officials have suggested that the French and German move is driven by domestic political concerns over immigration from Bulgaria and Romania. ...

Also a barrier has been Romania's decision to give passports to more than 900,000 Moldovans with an ethnic Romanian background, EU travel documents that will allow them free movement.

Britain remains outside the Schengen zone and maintains passport checks on all entrants. Unlike in Germany, Bulgarians and Romanians have been allowed to travel to Britain freely since 2007 but face work and residency restrictions.
[Site link]


Immigration – curbs
High court rules immigration cap illegal, 17 December 2010

Theresa May's attempt to cap the number of immigrants coming to the UK has been judged unlawful by the High Court.

Lord Justice Sullivan and Mr Justice Burton found the home secretary had tried to sidestep parliamentary scrutiny when setting the limit.

As a result of the decision there is currently no legal limit for the two tiers of job applicants from abroad.

The ruling relates to the temporary cap installed since this summer. It marks a significant victory for the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) and English Community Care Association (ECCA), who were concerned about the effect of the ban on care workers.

Ed Balls, shadow home secretary, said: "The government's immigration policy is in a state of chaos.

"Their so called cap may have sounded good before the election but it wasn't properly thought through and didn't get the scrutiny it deserved. Not only will it do little to control immigration it also risks damaging British businesses."

JCWI chief executive Habib Rahman said: "This is a victory for democracy and the rule of law.

"It shows that the home secretary cannot simply sideline parliament and the requirements it has imposed to check her powers. It also has important implications for migrants in the UK who were affected by the imposition of an unlawful limit."
[Site link]


Immigration – controls, students
Government pledges to slash 100,000 foreign student visas, but critics say new rule is ripe for 'abuse'
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 7 December 2010

A loophole in new foreign student rules is ripe for 'abuse' and could allow in tens of thousands to study at English language colleges, critics warned today.

Ministers announced a major crackdown on abuse of the student visa system that is expected to cut the total numbers arriving but up to 100,000.

But it emerged that short term student visitor visas - which allow non EU students into the UK for up to six months - will be exempt from the tougher regulations.

Last year some 37,715 students came into the country on one of these visas.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the Migrationwatch UK think tank, said the new measures were 'tough' and to be welcomed.

But he added: 'The absence of measures on student visitors is a disappointment. This route is just as likely to be abused as the longer term route.

'The cost of a short course in the UK is only a fraction of what a people-smuggler would charge.'

Ministers said the proposals would restrict abuse of the system by stopping those coming as students whose real intention is to get a job. ...

Last year some 313,011 foreign students were granted visas - a rise of more than 30 per cent. Students now account for two thirds of all those entering the UK. ...

In the year to March some 313,011 foreign students were granted visas, and they brought with them 31,385 dependant relatives.

That was an increase of 32 per cent on the 235,295 students and 24,780 dependants given visas in the previous year.

Numbers of relatives are likely to fall as only students studying for more than 12 months will be permitted to bring in dependants.

Dependants will also be barred from working in the UK, unless they qualify for a visa in their own right.

Students who are allowed in will be subject to much tougher rules on work, to stop them taking jobs from British workers.

They will be barred from working for any company not based on their university campus during the working week. ...

The focus on private colleges comes after an analysis of visa files showed one in four non-EU students who attend them go on to flout the rules. Many do not return home or work illegally. ...

Last month figures emerged showing one in five foreigners who arrived here to study in 2004 was still in Britain five years later.
[Site link]


Immigration – controls, students
Bogus foreign students facing visa crackdown after shocking figures show a quarter flout the rules
James Slack
Daily Mail, 6 December 2010

An end to the rampant abuse of the visa system by thousands of students who claim to be attending private colleges will be announced by ministers tomorrow.

The Home Office has uncovered shocking figures showing that 26 per cent of the non-EU students given permission to attend the colleges go on to flout the rules.

They do not bother to go home, disappear into the black economy, or work illegally.

Under plans to be unveiled tomorrow, only students attending university courses will be entitled to a visa.

Only a small number of the most trusted private colleges will be allowed to 'sponsor' migrants.

In stark contrast to private colleges, only 2 per cent of immigrants going to university break immigration rules.

Ministers will also slash students' entitlement to work – which is currently 20 hours a week – and limit their ability to bring in dependants. ...

Home Office research, released last night, shows that students represent almost two-thirds of the non-EU migrants entering the UK each year. Last year, the figure was more than 300,000.

But officials said 41 per cent of students from abroad were coming to study a course below degree level, and abuse was 'particularly common' at those levels.
[Site link]


Immigration – Europe, European Union, Libya, illegal immigration
Gaddafi wants £4bn to stop Europe being flooded by migrants
Macer Hall
Daily Express, 1 December 2010

Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi is demanding billions of pounds from the European Union to stop Europe turning "black" through immigration.

The dictator also warned that the EU could be swamped by Muslims unless the aid is poured into schemes to tackle illegal immigration from Africa.

Gaddafi made the ultimatum at a two-day summit of EU and African leaders in Libyan capital Tripoli. The meeting finished yesterday.

But last night, critics accused the tyrant of trying to hold Europe to ransom and raised concerns that the EU may cave in to his huge demands.

Gaddafi, 68, sparked uproar at the summit by saying that unless "Christian white" countries gave him around £4 billion, Europe would be flooded by migrants from poverty-stricken Africa.

"We should stop this illegal immigration. If we don't, Europe will become black, it will be overcome by people with different religions, it will change," he said. He complained Libya had only received £42 million from the EU to help tackle illegal immigration across the Mediterranean. ...

Gaddafi made similar demands during a speech in Rome earlier this year when he said: "Italy needs to convince her European allies to accept this Libyan proposal: Five billion euros to Libya to stop illegal immigration. Europe runs the risk of turning black from illegal immigration, it could turn into Africa.

"We need support from the EU to stop this army trying to get across from Libya, which is their entry point. There is a dangerous level of immigration from Africa into Europe and we don't know what will happen.

"What will be the reaction of the white Christian Europeans to this mass of hungry uneducated Africans?

"We don't know if Europe will remain a cohesive continent or if it will be destroyed by barbarian invasion.

"We have to imagine this could happen but before it does we need to work together."

A leaked report from border officials estimates that 900,000 illegals a year enter the European Union.
[Site link]


Immigration – public opinion
Coalition should be even tougher on immigration, says poll
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 30 November 2010

Seven in ten people think the Coalition should take an even tougher stance on immigration and cut annual numbers to less than 50,000, a poll has revealed.

The majority of the public backed the Government's pledge to bring net migration down to the tens of thousands but believe it should go even further, according to the study for the think-tank Migrationwatch.

A cap on migrant workers will limit the number of foreign staff arriving in the UK to 21,700 a year and a review of student visas is expected to cut those numbers by the tens of thousands.

The aim is to bring net migration, the difference between those arriving and those leaving, from around 200,000 to the "tens of thousands".

The latest poll found 81 per cent were in favour of such a move, including 79 per cent of Liberal Democrat voters who were asked.

However, seven in ten people thought the numbers should be at the most 50,000 or lower.

The poll also revealed almost three quarters of the public are concerned over recent reports that white Britons could be in a minority by 2066.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch, said, "These results are a strong vote of confidence in the government's recent measures to control economic migration.

"But they are also warning that the public, who would like to see even lower levels of immigration, are very unhappy about the long-term consequences of immigration for the make-up of our society.
[Site link]


Immigration – public opinion
Huge public support for government restrictions on economic migration
Migrationwatch UK, 30 November 2010
[Press release]

A resounding vote of confidence in the government's measures announced last week to reduce the number of economic migrants allowed to come to the UK - that was the message of an opinion poll conducted by YouGov for Migrationwatch on 25-26 November.

81% supported this policy (55% strongly) while only 13% opposed (4% strongly). 6% did not know. Interestingly, 79% of Lib Dem's supported the policy, compared to 95% of Conservatives and 69% of Labour voters. Support was very strong in London (87%) and in the rest of the South (84%) but less strong in Scotland (71%).

As for the government's broader policy aim of getting net immigration down to tens of thousands by the end of this Parliament, most respondents wanted to see an even lower inflow. 70% thought that immigration of 50,000 or less would be best for Britain while 11% favoured 100,000 or more; 21% of Lib Dem's took this view but only 8% Conservatives and 16% Labour voters agreed with them. 19% did not know.

The poll also revealed widespread unhappiness about the result of a recent study which found that, if immigration continues at roughly its present levels, then by around 2066 there will be fewer White British people in the UK than those from other ethnic groups. 73% were unhappy (56% very unhappy) while only 2% were happy and 21% were neither or unhappy.

Commenting Sir Andrew Green Chairman Migrationwatch UK said, "These results are a strong vote of confidence in the government's recent measures to control economic migration. But they are also warning that the public, who would like to see even lower levels of immigration, are very unhappy about the long-term consequences of immigration for the make-up of our society."
[Site link]


Immigration – controls
English test for foreign brides
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 27 November 2010

Foreign brides and grooms will have to prove they can speak English before being allowed to move to Britain under rules which come in to force on Monday.

Immigrants wanting to marry a Briton or other British resident will have to pass an English test before they are given a visa in an attempt to promote integration and crack down on sham marriages.

The new rule discriminates against Britons because European Union laws mean Europeans living here can bring a partner from anywhere in the world without having to pass the test, as the spouse of an EU citizen is automatically given the same right to free movement. This does not apply while an EU member is in their home country, such as a Briton living in Britain.

About 40,000 spouses, engaged migrants and homosexual partners will be affected each year, it is estimated.

Applicants will have to take an oral exam in which they must demonstrate a command of the English language to the equivalent level of a six-year-old child.
[Newspaper link]


Immigration – numbers, students
580,000 immigrants in Labour's last year: Overseas students help push up population total
Steve Doughty
Daily Mail, 26 November 2010

Immigration pushed up Britain's population by more than 200,000 during Labour's last year in power, an official count showed yesterday. ...

In the 12 months to the end of March, 580,000 people moved to Britain, including a record 211,000 students. In the same period 364,000 left the country – the lowest level in a decade.

That has resulted in a rise in the population of up to 215,000.

This net migration count underlines the huge task facing the Government if it is to keep the figure below 100,000. The totals for 2008 and 2009 were 163,000 and 198,000 respectively.

The Office for National Statistics has said that the population will hit 70 million by 2029 if net migration runs at 180,000 a year. ...

The ONS breakdown revealed that the fastest-growing group of immigrants are students. The 211,000 figure for 2010 compares with 175,000 in 2008 and only around 100,000 in 2001.

Migrationwatch said non-EU citizens accounted for the bulk of immigration.

... ...

The number of student visas issued by the Home Office has been running much higher than the ONS count of arrivals at air and sea ports.

In the year to September, it handed out 355,065 student visas, up 16 per cent on the figure for a year earlier.

The ONS-Home Office disparity is down to a number of factors, including the rule that says a foreigner staying for less than a year is not considered an immigrant.

Some recipients of student visas never make it to Britain, while others who have studied using one never move back to their home countries.
[Site link]


Immigration – controls
Non-EU migrant workers cut by a fifth - but cap of 21,700 comes with a catch
James Slack
Daily Mail, 24 November 2010

The number of non-EU workers entering Britain is to be slashed by a fifth, Theresa May announced yesterday.

The Home Secretary said the first permanent cap on foreign workers would be fixed at 21,700.

But ministers were criticised for creating a 'loophole' which allows businesses to transfer unlimited staff from overseas if they stay for less than 12 months.

The Home Office said that, if evidence of abuse of this route emerged, they would change the rules next year, when they are due to be reviewed.

There will also be a major crackdown on foreign students taking non-degree level courses, reducing the number of visas handed out by tens of thousands every year.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of MigrationWatch, said: 'This is a thorough and wide-ranging package. These measures are a very good start on delivering the government's immigration pledges.'

Business Secretary Vince Cable, who has used 'guerilla tactics' to try to dilute the Government's immigration policy, said only that the deal was 'acceptable'.

His remark points to frustration at being unable to keep the door wide open to non-EU workers.

The complicated design of yesterday's package makes direct comparison with previous years impossible.

But in the categories which have remained the same – the so-called tiers one and two of Labour's point-based system – the number of work permits will be cut by 20 per cent, from 28,000 to 21,700.

Tier one, which was for supposedly highly-skilled migrants, but was being abused by those taking taxi-driving jobs, has been cut to only 1,000 work permits.

A category will be created for so-called 'exceptional talent', allowing in 1,000 who are considered outstanding in arts, science and research.

The most controversial element of the review is the decision to exclude intra-company transfers, which allow businesses to bring in staff currently employed by them overseas.

Last year, 22,000 people entered under this route. Mr Cable had demanded the transfers, which are largely used by Indian companies to bring in IT workers, be left out.

The Government agreed but has introduced a condition that, if the worker plans to stay for more than a year, he or she must earn £40,000 or more.

Based on the figures for 2009, this would have slashed the number of transfers by 50 per cent, to 11,000.

The loophole in the new regime is that, if the workers stay for less than a year, they need only earn £24,000.

Crucially, given the Government's promise to halve net migration – the difference between the number arriving in the UK and those leaving – from 196,000 to the 'tens of thousands', anybody staying for less than 12 months does not show up in official net migration figures.

Union leaders criticised the decision, saying it would allow companies to continue to undercut British workers by bringing in cheaper staff from abroad.
[Site link]


Immigration – controls, politics
Britain's self-defeating new immigration policy
Gideon Rachman
Financial Times blog, 24 November 2010

Britain's Conservative Party promised to restrict immigration during the last election campaign. But the policies they unveiled this week are pointless and self-defeating. At a time when Britain should be doing everything it can to help private business, the government is deliberately setting out to make things harder by imposing an arbitary cap on the number of skilled migrants who can come into the country to work. ...

So what is going on? The problem is that the government has promised to cut the number of migrants coming into the country. But it is fiendishly hard to tackle the kind of migration that actually worries the great British public. This basically falls into three categories:

1. Semi-skilled workers from Europe: The enlargement of the EU led to hundreds of thousands of Poles and others coming to Britain in search of work. This was great for the likes of me - since it was suddenly easier to get a builder and restaurant and bars were filled with eager and personable new staff. But it was not so great if you were a British builder, or were competing for local services. The backlash against Polish immigration put the issue on the agenda - and probably provoked the Tories to promise to act. But there is a big snag. Free movement of labour is guaranteed by the European treaties. So the government cannot do anything about this sort of immigration.

2. Asylum seekers - This group of migrants provide a regular stream of stories for the British papers about vast families of immigrants, living in public housing and claiming the dole. They tend to be from not very popular groups - gypsies, Somalis etc. But, again, this form of migration is hard to control. Asylum seekers can be treated more sceptically and harshly. However, the basic right to asylum is guaranteed by international conventions and laws that Britain is loth to withdraw from.

3. Muslims - Muslim immigration has become much more controversial since the 7/7 bombings in London in 2005, which were largely planned and carried out by British citizens of South Asian origin. But, again, this is a very tricky thing to control. Most of the immigration from Pakistan and elsewhere took place decades ago. The 7/7 bombers were the children of migrants. Current immigration is mainly driven by arranged marriages, which are covered by the laws on "family reunion". Again, the laws can be changed or tightened. But not without considerable difficulty - and the risk of being acccused of racial discrimination and the violation of international conventions.

So, unable effectively to tackle the kind of immigration that actually upsets people, the British government is taking aim at the one group of migrants that are largely uncontroversial and that unambiguously contribute to the country's well-being. What idiocy.
[Site link]


Immigration – controls
Immigration cuts possible, says PM
Evening Standard (London), 21 November 2010

David Cameron has insisted it is "perfectly possible" to cut immigration to the tens of thousands a year.

MPs have cast doubt on whether a limit on numbers from outside the European Union can significantly reduce net migration from its current level of almost 200,000 a year.

But, in an interview with Sky News, the Prime Minister indicated he remained committed to more than halving immigration and insisted that it was achievable.

"If you stand back and look at the big picture, actually immigration between Britain and the rest of the EU is pretty much in balance," he said.

"It's between Britain and the rest of the world where it's got out of balance and we have this large level of net migration into the UK.

"That is partly economic migration. It's also about large numbers of people coming to settle in the UK. It's also about a lot of people abusing the student regime.

"So I think if you tackle all of those things it's perfectly possible - it's my ambition - to get to net migration from the rest of the world coming down to the tens of thousands rather than the hundreds of thousands."
[Site link]


Immigration – reduction
Floods of foreign students must be halted, say experts
Martyn Brown
Daily Express, 19 November 2010

The number of foreign students coming to Britain from outside the EU must be slashed by more than half for the Government to meet its immigration target, officials warned yesterday.

More than 87,000 student visas should be scrapped if those coming to study are to take their share of the cut needed to bring net migration down from the current figure of 196,000 a year.

The Migration Advisory Committee, the body tasked with setting the Government's immigration cap, said net migration numbers would have to fall overall by 25 per cent next year.

The number of visas for skilled workers with job offers and highly skilled workers arriving on spec should drop to between 37,400 and 43,700 for 2011/12, it said.

This would mean a reduction of between 6,300 and 12,600 compared with last year, according to the Committee's chairman, Professor David Metcalf.

The level of the proposed cap was "more severe, more stringent" than the temporary cap imposed this year, he said.

But it will still not be enough to cut migration by 146,000 – the figure the MAC decided was needed to give the Government the best chance of reaching their "tens of thousands" target by the end of the Parliament.

The recommendations came on the day research suggested white Britons would be a minority by 2066 if immigration continued at the current rate. Professor Metcalf warned it was impossible to reduce net migration at the levels hoped for by the Government by tackling workers alone.

The Committee assumes they should take 20 per cent of the overall cut but that family and student migration has to take the other 80 per cent.

Work-related migration accounts for just 20 per cent of the overall reduction needed, he said, meaning non-EU students must make up 60 per cent of the cut, with the final 20 per cent coming from family visas and their dependants.
[Site link]


Immigration – policy proposals
Speech: UK Immigration [part 1]
Theresa May
eGov Monitor, 8 November 2010
[Speech by the Home Secretary at a Policy Review event]

Historically migration has enriched our culture and strengthened our economy. Well-managed migration can benefit the UK, economically, socially and culturally. ...

So managed well, immigration is something that can bring great benefits.

But managed poorly, it is something that can cause great economic and social pressure.

Net inward migration in the last year was nearly 200,000.

Between 1997 and 2009, net migration to Britain totalled more than 2.2 million people. That is more than twice the population of Birmingham.

I am focused on getting immigration down to sustainable levels. ...

The public should know that I will take action. I am determined to get the immigration system back under control. And I can achieve that without impeding business from getting on with the job of stimulating growth.

But we cannot do that, with the tools we currently have at our disposal.

The points-based system alone is not sufficient. It's been tried and it is not effective.

Controlling immigration using the points-based system alone is rather like squeezing a balloon. Push down work visas and the number of student visas will shoot up. Clamp down on student visas and family visas will spring up. Bear down on family visas and work visas will explode.

With unskilled labour set to zero, all that happened was student visas rocketed by thirty per cent to a record 304,000 in just one year, as some applicants used it as an alternative work route. ...

But bringing down net migration to sustainable levels will not be easy. And we will not be able to achieve it by focusing on just one area of the system or on one route into Britain.

We will need fast and decisive action and we will need steady downward pressure on each of the main routes into the UK.

That is why we are looking to propose a comprehensive package - focussing on all aspects of our immigration system. ...

But work routes accounted for less than a quarter of the non-EU citizens entering Britain last year.

The majority of non-EU migrants are, in fact, students. Including their dependents, students accounted for around two thirds of the visas issued last year under the points-based system.

Numbers are now so high that last year the UK Border Agency had to suspend student applications in various parts of the world because the system could not cope with the numbers and could not prevent students without the right qualifications or applying to questionable institutions from getting a visa.
[Site link]


Immigration – policy proposals
Speech: UK Immigration [part 2]
Theresa May
eGov Monitor, 8 November 2010

We want suitably qualified students with the genuine desire to study to come to study in our country but we must have a more robust system to manage their applications and, most importantly, to ensure their departure at the end of their legitimate stay.

People might imagine that by students we mean people who come here for a few years to study at university and then go home – but that's not always the case.

We estimate that nearly half of all students coming here from abroad are coming to study a course below degree level. ... ...

We have also been left with astonishingly generous arrangements for students who graduate in the UK. They are effectively free to enter the labour market and look for skilled work. In 2009, 38,000 did so. ...

The sheer number of students coming in, and the large proportion of total inward migration this represents, means we cannot delay in taking this necessary and decisive action.

An area where we have already taken action is the family visa route. Unsurprisingly perhaps, over two thirds of the 63,000 people who entered the UK in 2004 to join family here, were still in Britain five years later. And last year, some 40,000 marriage visas were issued.

We estimate that the family route accounted for nearly 20 per cent of non EU migration last year. ...

But the common link with all of these temporary routes in the immigration system is that they can all lead to permanent residency. That is, temporary stays can become permanent stays.

No one is suggesting that those who come here to marry legitimately should not be able to make the UK their permanent home. But, under the current system, many skilled workers are allowed to apply to stay here permanently. In 2009, 81,000 people who entered the UK for employment were granted settlement.

And Home Office research shows that over a fifth of students who entered Britain in 2004 were still here five years later. Many of those were only supposed to be coming for short courses in the first place.

The consequences of such unchecked permanent migration through the back door are clear.

It is too easy, at the moment, to move from temporary residence to permanent settlement.

We will not implement the last government's policy of earned citizenship, which was too complicated, bureaucratic and, in the end, ineffective. ...

Working in Britain for a short period should not give someone the right to settle in Britain. Studying a course in Britain should not give someone the right to settle in Britain. ...

We will reduce net migration from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands. It will not be easy. It will take hard work and a great deal of political courage. But the British people want us to do it and it is the right thing to do. So we will do it.
[Site link]


Immigration – controls, politics
Long-term immigration
P.G. Carder
Daily Telegraph, 5 November 2010
[Letter to the Editor]

The House of Commons' Home Affairs Select Committee claims that Home Office ministers are unlikely to succeed in reducing "net" migration (report, November 3).

What ministers should seek to reduce is not the "excess" of persons entering Britain and staying for more than a year over the number leaving (the International Passenger Survey definition), but instead the number allowed to settle here permanently (224,400 non-EU nationals in 2009-10 alone).

Since transient migrants only become immigrants when allowed to settle permanently, and it is these who are mainly fuelling Britain's population growth to beyond 70 million in just 20 years, the obvious solution is the one suggested by the All-Party Panel on Migration (co-chaired by Frank Field and Nicholas Soames), namely that UK settlement rights should no longer automatically follow from the issue of a work or study permit. ("Indefinite leave to remain" may at present be obtained by qualifying permit-holders simply applying via the UK Border Agency website.)

By trying to "cap" the annual number of non-EU migrants, the Coalition would seem to be setting itself an impossible goal, in that the new restrictions are affecting people who, though intending to stay for more than a year, have no intention of becoming permanent UK residents (expatriate American bankers and academics, for example).

It is therefore to be feared that, in trying to impose restrictions that inevitably encounter concerted vested-interest opposition, the Coalition Government will be afforded the necessary justification quietly to renege on David Cameron's general election pledge – which is probably the reason that he is now Prime Minister at all.
[Newspaper link]


Immigration – controls, citizenship
Teresa May promises immigration crackdown
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 5 November 2010

The home secretary, Theresa May, is to end the right to permanent settlement for more than 100,000 skilled workers and overseas students who come to Britain each year.

In her first major speech on migration, the home secretary also disclosed that she intends to drastically reduce the flow of 160,000 overseas students who come to the UK to study on below degree-level courses in further and higher education colleges.

Those on below degree-level courses are nearly half the 320,000 students who come to study in Britain each year.

May was anxious to reassure Britain's prestigious universities that students coming to study on degree-level courses and above would not be affected by the new curbs. ...

May's speech also sought to row back on David Cameron's announcement – made during prime minister's questions on Wednesday – that 30,000 skilled migrants working for multinational companies would be excluded from the proposed immigration cap next year.

She indicated that while they would not be included in the annual cap, their numbers would be limited by a minimum salary level – probably about £40,000 a year – or other criteria to ensure that they were coming to do managerial or specialist-level jobs. ...

She made clear that one priority would be to cut the traditional link between temporary visas and permanent settlement, which she claimed was a route for "back door migration".

"No one is suggesting that those who come to marry legitimately should not be able to make the UK their permanent home," she said.

"But, under the current system, many skilled workers are allowed to apply to stay here permanently. In 2009, 81,000 people who entered the UK for employment were granted settlement.

"Home Office research shows that over one-fifth of students who entered Britain in 2004 were still here five years later. Many of those were only supposed to be coming for short courses in the first place."

The Home Office confirmed that 38,000 overseas graduates exercised their right to stay in Britain and look for skilled work in 2009.

The implication of May's speech is that nearly 120,000 people a year could lose their current right to settle in the UK and become British citizens.

The home secretary also confirmed that Labour's plans for a system of "earned citizenship" to provide a route to a British passport were being dropped by the coalition.

The curb on permanent settlement rights for overseas students is likely to include a time limit on student visas, as well as closing post-study work concessions.

At present, the majority who settle qualify by the length of time they stay in the UK as they move from a degree course to post-doctoral and further research.
[Site link]


Immigration – business, controls
Cameron 'red carpet' offer to foreign entrepreneurs
BBC, 4 November 2010

David Cameron has promised to reform the immigration rules to allow more foreign entrepreneurs to set up new businesses in the UK.

Announcing plans for an "entrepreneurs visa", the prime minister said he wanted to "put out the red carpet" for people able to create wealth and jobs.

Those with a "great business idea" and "serious investment" were welcome.

Businesses have expressed concerns about government plans to cap the number of non-EU migrants every year.

In a speech in east London, Mr Cameron sought to address some of these concerns and also announced changes to copyright law to attract more hi-tech companies to the UK.

The prime minister said he wanted to make it "loud and clear" that anyone with a business idea - whether it had come from "a classroom or a laboratory" - could come to Britain to turn the dream into reality. ...

He said plans for an "entrepreneur visa" would be introduced to make the UK the "home of enterprise and land of opportunity".

"If you have a great business idea, and you receive serious investment from a leading investor, you are welcome to set up your business in our country," he said. "We want you, we will make it easy for you, we will put the red carpet out for you."

This could be done while also fulfilling the government's pledge to reducing net immigration from its current level of 196,000 a year to "tens of thousands", Mr Cameron added.
[Site link]


Immigration – business, controls
Migrant cap exemption for company transfers - Cameron
BBC, 4 November 2010

Thousands of employees of multinational companies will be exempt from the government's immigration cap, Prime Minister David Cameron has indicated.

The government is still deciding on the level at which the cap will be set - and to whom it will apply.

But speaking at Prime Minister's Questions, Mr Cameron said: "Intra-company transfers shouldn't be included in what we are looking at."

Labour said the cap policy was "unravelling before our eyes".

The cap on migrant numbers from outside Europe comes into effect next year.

The majority of skilled workers entering the UK from outside the European Economic Area come in on intra-company transfers. In 2009, they accounted for 22,000 out of a total of 36,490 skilled migrants.

Under present rules, workers on intra-company transfers can stay for up to five years.

The immigration cap - which was a key part of the Conservatives' election manifesto - is aimed at cutting net immigration from its current level of 196,000 a year to "tens of thousands". A temporary cap of 24,100 will be replaced by permanent measures from April 2011.

But it has provoked a furious backlash from businesses, who claim it will leave them at a competitive disadvantage. ...

But Sir Andrew Green, of the Migration Watch think tank, said the system was being abused - and was shutting many UK graduates out of the jobs market.

"In 2009. over half of all intra-company transfer visas issued went to Indian IT workers - 10,000 to just three companies.

"They are clearly undercutting tens of thousands of unemployed UK IT workers while computer science graduates suffer the highest unemployment of any discipline, currently 16%."

He said intra-company transfers could be "substantially reduced" by "returning this route to its original purpose of bringing key staff to the UK offices of a multinational company".

"To do so, the minimum salary level should be raised to £50,000, and the cost of sponsorship increased dramatically in line with the number of visas requested," he added.
[Site link]


Immigration – controls
Immigration cap 'may not work', MPs warn
BBC, 3 November 2010

The government will struggle to achieve its aim of limiting net migration to the UK to "tens of thousands" in five years, MPs have said.

New curbs on international students and those joining family members in the UK may be needed to fulfil the pledge, the Home Affairs Committee said.

And migrants may have to be stripped of the right to settle in the UK to bring numbers down, it added.

The planned cap on workers from outside Europe comes into effect next year.

Net migration - the difference between the number of people coming to live in the UK and the number emigrating - stood at 196,000 last year.

The coalition government has promised to at least halve this by 2015, partly by capping the number of skilled workers from outside the European Economic Area.

The Home Office introduced a limit for work visas for non-EU citizens in June. A key part of the Conservative election manifesto, this temporary cap of 24,100 will be replaced by permanent measures from April 2011.

But the Commons Home Affairs Committee said this would affect only 1% to 20% of the total number of immigrants and would "make little difference to immigration overall" unless it was set at virtually zero.

And there was a risk that a permanent cap could "hamper businesses, prevent top-class international professionals from coming to the UK and damage the UK's ability to recruit the most distinguished scientists into universities and highly talented individuals into UK companies and public services".

Labour MP Keith Vaz, the committee's chairman, told BBC News the system must be flexible enough to ensure top flight academics, scientists and business people were not barred from coming to Britain.

And he said the government should look at curbing other kinds of migration, such as family reunions and international students, instead of highly skilled workers.

"It can be done, but the government needs to look at other routes in order to achieve it," he said. ...

On Monday, the Home Office changed the rules so that skilled migrants already working in the UK will have their work permit extended automatically in order to give their employers "greater certainty". ...

But Sir Andrew Green, of the Migration Watch think tank, said that nearly 100,000 work related visas were issued last year, a "significant number compared to net immigration of about 200,000".
[Site link]


Immigration – controls
Immigration cap will have little effect, MPs warn
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 3 November 2010

The Government's planned immigration cap will make "little difference" and allow more than 400,000 migrants to move to Britain every year, MPs warn today.

Next year, as part of its pledge to bring net migration down to the "tens of thousands", the Coalition will set an annual limit on the number of foreign workers allowed to come to the country.

In a report, the Commons home affairs select committee says any limit will affect less than 20 per cent of the more than half a million immigrants who move to Britain for the long term each year.

The rest are made up of European Union citizens, foreign students or those arriving on family visas, who will all be unaffected by a cap on work permits. ...

The report highlights figures that show 538,000 immigrants moved to Britain for at least a year in 2008 but less than 20 per cent of those were economic migrants (foreign workers) from outside the EU. As an example, a five per cent cut in foreign workers will reduce overall immigration by just one per cent, it says.
[Newspaper link]


Immigration – gesture, controls, education
Ministers vow to curb every migrant route... But MPs warn cap on arrivals will have little effect
James Slack
Daily Mail, 3 November 2010

Immigrants face an unprecedented crackdown on every route into the UK amid a warning from MPs that the Coalition's cap on foreign workers will make 'little difference'. ...

Home Office minister Damian Green said: 'We have been saying for months now we need to act on every immigration route to make the numbers sustainable.' ...

In a fresh blow David Cameron's former speechwriter Ian Birrell said the proposed cap was a political 'gesture'.

A friend of the Prime Minister, he said in an article for the London Evening Standard the Tories had come up with an 'arbitrary cap to make it appear they had a policy on immigration'. ...

But Government sources said a series of crackdowns would be announced in coming months.

The biggest losers will be non-EU students. In the year to June this year, 362,015 foreign students were allowed to come and study in the UK, up 35 per cent on the previous year.
[Site link]


Immigration – politics
Cameron softens stance on blocking immigration
Nigel Morris
The Independent, 26 October 2010

Plans for a stringent cap on numbers of immigrant workers are to be softened in the face of warnings from business leaders that it could prevent them from bringing the brightest foreign talent to Britain.

Ministers are close to a deal on an issue that has deeply divided the coalition partners, The Independent understands. Introducing a limit on visas issued to non-European Union workers was a Conservative election manifesto promise, while the idea of a rigid annual cap was fiercely opposed by the Liberal Democrats.

Since the election, industry has strongly lobbied the Government against taking too inflexible an approach. It has received strong support from Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Business Secretary, and David Willetts, the Tory Science Minister.

David Cameron yesterday signalled that the limit would be designed in such a way that it would allow firms to recruit high-flying foreign staff. He told the Confederation of British Industry conference: "As we control our borders and bring immigration down to a manageable level, we will not impede you from bringing talented overseas staff in to help grow your business."

Ministers are considering two options: they could allow firms to transfer staff from offices overseas to Britain for limited periods without counting towards the limit, or allow them to take on highly qualified foreign staff in return for paying a high visa fee. Cabinet ministers will meet shortly with a view to announcing the policy by December.

Whitehall sources made clear that there was no question of the cap being abandoned. One said: "Politically this issue is very important to the Tory Party – it has real concerns about the levels of immigration. It's about the balance that will be achieved in implementing the policy."
[Site link]


Immigration – proposed solution
How to make immigration work in Britain's interests
Irwin Stelzer
Daily Telegraph, 13 October 2010

Britain can do little to reduce the flow of immigrants from the other 26 EU member states. In future it will be able to do even less if Bulgaria goes through with its plan to issue 500,000 passports to citizens of non-member countries; and if the new EU rule that guarantees immigrants the right to all welfare benefits accorded to native populations proves a magnet for immigrants.

Work visas for non-EU immigrants are now subject to a temporary cap that has left affected firms threatening to move where the skilled workers are. Employers are right. Restrictions on the numbers of would-be workers cut into their bottom lines, put pressure on them to train British citizens to do these jobs – often costly – and probably reduces national wealth.

Native workers are also right. In many cases immigrants take "their jobs" or, at minimum, place downward pressure on wages.

And residents of towns in which immigrants cluster are also right. Their culture is threatened as strange sounds and smells dominate once-familiar streets, and the burdens on the social services are increased.

The Government is desperate to satisfy all parties. So it has called in the bureaucrats to decide which immigrants should be admitted. It should instead concentrate on how to get the winners to share some of their increased profits with the losers who bear the costs.

Immigrants possess skills that are in short supply here, and add billions of pounds to national output. But a system that calls on bureaucrats to award points to workers with skills the bureaucrats decide are most needed is bound to get things wrong. There is a more efficient and fairer way.

Employers and immigrants strike wage deals that leave out of the equation the costs to society. Schools are more crowded, demands on the NHS increase, in some cases policing costs rise, incentives to train native workers fall. Economists call these "externalities" – costs created but not borne by the parties to a transaction.

The government can put these costs where they belong – on the firms and workers who benefit – and make sure that each visa adds to national wealth. How so? By requiring employers to bid for the limited number of entry permits, the proceeds to be remitted to the communities on which the immigrant imposes costs, or to HM Treasury. The employer will pay the full cost of the immigration, perhaps making up some of that cost by offering the immigrant a lower wage – which will reduce the demand for entry.

Like other market-based solutions, this is adjustable: if bidding for permits gets outrageously high, the government can increase their number.

Of course, other things need doing. Britain could refuse entry to anyone with a passport from Bulgaria, and fight it out before Europe's courts. ... Britain can also really, really defend its borders. The government can put any applicant for entry at Heathrow with no papers back on a plane to wherever he had embarked on his journey. ... ...

Imperfect solution? Sure. But before dismissing it, consider this. Economists Pia Orrenius and Madeline Zavodny, in their new book Beside the Golden Door, suggest an initial minimum price, which would fluctuate according to demand, of $10,000 for a high-skill permit to work in the US. If British companies really need those foreign workers, a price anything like that would net the Treasury £350 million for 50,000 permits. And the nation the workers it most needs.
[Site link]


Immigration – numbers
Migration to rich countries slows down sharply - report
Mark Doyle
BBC, 8 October 2010

Migration from poorer to richer countries has slowed down sharply as a result of the international recession, a report commissioned by the BBC says.

The study says migrants tend to be among the hardest-hit communities in an economic downturn.

But it adds that the hundreds of billions of dollars they send home to their families every year remains relatively steady.

Migration to richer countries has been on the increase for the last 30 years.

The percentage of immigrants in rich country populations doubled from 5% to 10% between 1980 and 2010, according to the United Nations.

But the new report for the BBC by the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute says the global recession has hit the immigrants hard, and this rapid growth in foreign-born communities has now virtually stopped.

This is partly because immigrants tend to have less skilled jobs in economic sectors like construction, which shrink quickly at times of economic strain.
[Site link]


Immigration – numbers
Pay up front: Tory MP urges migrants to shell out £5,000 to use public services before they are given visas
Gerri Peev
Daily Mail, 4 October 2010

Immigrants should pay a bond of £5,000 to cover the costs of using public services, a key ally of David Cameron suggests.

Tory MP Nick Boles – a friend and former aide of the Prime Minister – has urged the Government to impose a 'surety' on migrants before granting them visas.

This would be returned only if they paid several times more in tax than the value of their deposit.

Mr Boles says the Government needs to go further in making sure immigrants contributed to society or risk spreading social unrest.

He says immigration had been 'too high in recent years', adding: 'We need to make sure people who come here make a financial commitment to the country which they'll get back in a few years time.

'One proposal is that they make a deposit that they forfeit if they commit a crime, if they're convicted of a crime or if they don't pay tax in the next three years.'

Mr Boles makes his radical suggestions in a book, Which Way's Up: the Future for Coalition Britain and How to Get There.

He calls for an annual cap on non-EU immigrants of 20,000 to 50,000.

The Government has imposed a cap of 24,100 but this applies only to skilled workers.

Last year 190,640 foreign workers and their dependants moved to Britain, despite unemployment hitting 2.5 million.

Mr Boles also suggests unemployed EU migrants should be expelled – an act he claims would be legal under treaties – calls for language tests for all migrants and a restriction on access to social housing for at least five years.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said: 'We are addressing concerns about immigration. We have imposed a cap.

'Our positions are not really that far apart. We are looking with interest at what he is proposing but we are not endorsing it.'
[Site link]


Immigration – public opinion, multiculturalism
&Get a grip on immigration
Ted Jeory
Sunday Express, 3 October 2010

One of David Cameron's closest allies last night warned the Government to get a grip on immigration before it is too late.

The call came as a Sunday Express opinion poll revealed 51 per cent of people believe it is the most important issue facing the country after the economy.

Influential Tory MP Nick Boles, who is part of the Prime Minister's "Notting Hill set", said the country could face social breakdown unless radical measures were taken to tackle the number of migrants coming here. Mr Boles, founder of the Policy Exchange think tank, called for new policies that would not only cut migrant numbers but also help unite the country.

He said there should be an end to the millions spent on translators, expulsion of unemployed EU migrants, greater emphasis on the teaching of British history and the introduction of a US-style pledge of allegiance in primary schools. ...

Asked in our poll what is the most important issue facing Britain today after the economy, 51 per cent said immigration. That is more than double the next most important issue, health, at 19 per cent.

The concerns were most pronounced among the over-55s and in the Midlands and Wales.

Mr Boles said our findings proved that Mr Cameron must continue to debate immigration. He has outlined his views in a hard-hitting new book, Which Way's Up.

He said he had changed his mind about the matter after working as a councillor in inner city Westminster where he saw the "downside of mass immigration".

Newly arrived migrants and asylum seekers "made it impossible for young adult children to find accommodation in the communities in which they had grown up and where their parents lived".

The July 7 bombings in 2005 not only proved that we had failed to integrate immigrants into our society but also that the authorities had lost control over the "sheer scale" of the numbers.

Mr Boles said the country risked social breakdown if drastic measures were not taken to prevent "hundreds of thousands of people from around the world" joining hospital queues and sending their children to British schools. "Nor can we sit back while eight million British citizens of working age either shun or are shut out from all forms of useful economic activity because employers can find migrant workers who will accept subsistence wages to do menial jobs," he warned.

He said the points-based system introduced by Labour, in which would-be settlers are assessed on the skills they offer, was a good start but Mr Cameron needed to go further.

In 2009 the net inflow to the UK of non-EU migrants was 196,000. The coalition has pledged to cap those numbers but has yet to state a figure.

Mr Boles said new arrivals should be required to pay a surety before their visas are stamped. He told the Sunday Express the figure would vary depending on the migrant's skills but a typical sum could be about £5,000.
[Site link]


Immigration – border security
Gypsy families 'flock to UK'
James Fielding
Sunday Express, 3 October 2010

Thousands of gypsy families kicked out of France and other European countries are set to flock to Britain, to escape the grinding poverty of their homelands.

France has already expelled 1,000 of its 15,000 gypsy population and cleared 100 illegal camps. Settlements in Italy have been removed and other traditional destinations including Germany are tightening controls.

EU membership now makes it much easier for migrants from Romania and Bulgaria to come to Britain where they can get access to our generous benefits system.

Iulian Stoian of the Roma Civic Alliance of Romania, said: "Given the conditions in Romania the repatriated Roma will seek a better life in countries such as Britain for sure. The exodus of citizens is only to be expected."
[Site link]


Immigration – illegal
On immigration sea patrol with EU border team
Damon Embling
BBC, 16 September 2010

The south of England is particularly vulnerable to illegal immigration - the vast coastline provides a target for those wanting to slip into the UK.

The region is also home to busy airports and ports.

But where are illegal immigrants coming from right now and how do they get here?

European border officials say the biggest flow is from places like Afghanistan, Somalia and West Africa.

The current illegal gateway of choice into Europe is the Greek-Turkish border. Britain is often the favourite destination, where people have the chance of a better life.

I joined Italian sea patrols off the tiny, lush Greek island of Samos which, at its closest point, is less than one mile (1.6km) off the coast of Turkey, and which has become a major target for the trafficking gangs.

The price to get across here illegally is said to be 500 euros. ...

The traffickers operating here are part of sophisticated crime networks.

"They're very organised. For example, we have information right now about a guy in the Turkish shore who brings Iranians into Europe," said Panaziotis Kourdonourouris, from the Samos police department.

When illegal immigrants are arrested here by the Greek authorities, they are interviewed and most are given a police note telling them to leave voluntarily within 30 days.

Some use that as a way to disappear into Greece, into Europe. That is how some will have eventually ended up in the south of England and the rest of Britain. ...

In Samos, the number of illegal immigrants being discovered has reduced dramatically this year, but hundreds have still been found.

The authorities are now reporting a huge increase further north at the Greece-Turkey land border.
[Site link]


Immigration – numbers
How Britain attracts more migrants than France AND Germany
Steve Doughty
Daily Mail, 11 September 2010

Britain is surging ahead of France and Germany as a magnet for immigrants, figures showed yesterday.

Tough controls mean that the two countries that once drew in hundreds of thousands of migrants a year have now achieved a virtual balance between immigration and emigration.

Yet the new count shows that in 2008 Britain opened its doors to almost ten times the number accepted by France and Germany together.

The latest figures from Eurostat, the European Union's statistical arm, drew calls from campaigners for the Government to follow the example of Berlin and Paris and bring in measures to limit the impact of immigration on Britain.

Ministers promised earlier this week to 'bear down' on every aspect of immigration into Britain from outside the EU after the latest British figures showed a big leap in net migration – the number of people coming to live in the country minus the number leaving to live abroad.

Eurostat figures say that in 2008 the United Kingdom grew because of net migration by 226,400.

Germany, which no longer accepts unskilled migrants and which declined to accept Eastern European workers when Poland and other countries joined the EU, had negative net migration.

That meant that 53,600 more people left the country to live abroad than arrived.

France, which experienced a brief immigration boom in 2007, cut back net immigration to 77,000. ...

Net migration numbers in Britain are the third highest in Europe, behind Italy and Spain, which have seen high levels of arrivals from Africa and from Latin America, and where signs of popular unrest over the impact on jobs and public services have been growing.

Critics of the Rome and Madrid governments have said they have encouraged higher immigration by offering amnesties to illegal immigrants. In 2008, the EU figures say, net migration in Italy was 437,900 and in Spain 413,800.

Eurostat uses different methodology to Britain's Office for National Statistics. The ONS has calculated net immigration at 163,000 in 2008. Last year, it rose sharply to 196,000.
[Site link]


Immigration – public opinion
Immigration Hostility Widespread in U.S. and 5 Largest European Countries
Earth Times, 10 September 2010

A new Financial Times/Harris Poll finds that immigration is widely unpopular in the United States and in all of the five largest countries in Europe. The survey asked about immigration generally and not about illegal immigration. Majorities in four of the countries and pluralities in the other two believe that immigration makes it harder to find new jobs. Majorities in three countries and over 40% in the other three believe it has a bad effect on education. Majorities in four of the countries and 40% or more in the other two think it has a bad effect on health care services. Americans, even though they live in what has been described as a nation of immigrants are not, in general, any less hostile to immigration than Europeans. ...

• Majorities in Britain and Spain, and large minorities in the U.S., France, Italy , and Germany think that immigration has a bad impact on the economy;

• Majorities in the U.S., Britain, Italy, and Spain believe that immigration makes it harder to find a new job, as do 45% in France and 46% in Germany;

• While most people who are working do not believe that immigration has had any effect on their pay, those who think they are paid less greatly outnumber those who say they are paid more;

• Only minorities, between 13% in France and 40% in Italy, believe that immigration has made it more affordable to hire services such as cleaners, builders or plumbers;

• Majorities in the U.S., Britain, France and Spain and over 40% in Italy and Germany believe that immigration makes the level of health care services worse; and,

• Majorities in the U.S., Britain and Germany believe that immigration has made public education worse, as do over 40% in France, Italy and Spain.

Overall, many people in all six countries believe that the current level of immigration makes their countries worse places to live in, varying from 64% in Britain, 60% in Spain, and 57% in Italy to 49% in the U.S., 44% in Germany, and 43% in France.


Immigration – education
Overseas students may be refused visa
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 6 September 2010

Foreign students could be blocked from some educational institutions and courses as part of a plan to reduce immigration.

Ministers want to cut the number of overseas students entering Britain by tens of thousands.

More than 362,000 were allowed to study here in the year to June, an increase of 35 per cent on the previous year.

Figures show that one in five foreign students is still in Britain five years after arrival, leading to concerns that student visas are being exploited as an easy migration route.

Home Office research shows half the foreign students who arrive each year are not studying degrees, but a range of lesser qualifications such as A-levels and even GCSEs. ...

Research for the Home Office shows that in 2004, around 186,000 students were granted visas and 21 per cent of them were still here in 2009, meaning they had been able to switch to other routes such as work permits or marriage, paving the way for them to settle here permanently.

And that is only those known to immigration officials. Tens of thousands more may have simply overstayed their visa and disappeared.
[Newspaper link]


Immigration – public opinion
The legacy of Tony Blair
Natalie Hart and Hannah Thompson
youGov, 2 September 2010

57% of the British public think former Prime Minister Tony Blair is 'likeable', although opinion remains divided over the legacy that he will leave behind, our survey shows. ...

41% of people themselves think that Blair was a 'fairly' or 'very good' Prime Minister, while a statistically similar 44% consider him 'fairly' or 'very bad'.

And despite media focus on the 2003 war in Iraq, the public identifies Blair's biggest crime while in office to be 'allowing immigration to rise to unacceptable levels': 62% chose this option when asked to identify his three biggest failures while in office. However, only 30% of those aged 18 to 24 identified increased immigration as a failure, compared to a staggering 78% of those over 60.
[Site link]


Immigration – numbers, student visas
20pc rise in immigrants driven by student visa 'loophole'
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 27 August 2010

Immigration increased by a fifth last year, driven by a sharp rise in the number of foreign students being allowed into the country, figures show.

Some 196,000 more people moved to Britain than left in 2009, compared with a net migration of 163,000 in the previous year.

The figures are for the last full year of the Labour government and raise questions over the effectiveness of its points-based system introduced to curb immigration. It also means that more than three million foreign nationals were added to the British population under Labour since 1997. Separate figures show student visas have risen by a third, renewing fears that the route is being exploited for illegal immigration.

... A total of 567,000 people migrated to Britain last year while only 371,000 emigrated, leaving a net inflow of 196,000.

If the movement of Britons is removed, there was a net inflow of 226,000 foreign nationals in 2009. That took the total of foreign migrants who moved to the UK since 1997 to 3.2 million.

In the 12 months to June, a total of 362,015 foreign students were allowed to study here, an increase of 35 per cent on the previous year, according to the ONS.
[Newspaper link]


Immigration – population
Immigration is more than an economic issue
Daily Telegraph, 27 August 2010
[Leading article]

The public pressure for more rigorous immigration controls is far less to do with xenophobia or racism (we remain one of the most tolerant countries in Europe) and far more to do with the intolerable pressures imposed on our public services and infrastructure, and therefore on our quality of life. The Coalition proposes to address this problem by imposing an annual cap on economic immigration from next April, a move that is being resisted by employers who say it could inhibit the recovery by depriving them of specialist skills. ...

To a great extent, however, the focus on economic migration misses the real target, which is the number settling here through family reunion and marriage. The largest single non-EU element in net immigration comprises spouses and family members from the Indian sub-continent. This raises difficult social and cultural questions that politicians are reluctant to engage with – hence their concentration on economic migration. But the political classes are lagging far behind the general public: it took the intervention of Gillian Duffy, "that bigoted woman", to shoe-horn immigration into the last general election campaign. Such political timidity does the country a disservice. Immigration raises serious and potentially divisive problems that must be addressed. We ignore them at our peril.
[Newspaper link]


Immigration – European Union
Passport giveaway opens UK back door: 2m more Hungarians will have right to work here
Daily Mail, 6 August 2010

Hungary is set to hand passports to millions of people living outside the EU – raising the prospect of a new wave of immigration into Britain.

From next year, Hungary's leaders will begin a huge passport giveaway to minority groups who have historic or ethnic ties to the East European country but live elsewhere.

Most of the beneficiaries live in impoverished countries on the fringes of Europe. Once they are given a passport, they will be entitled to full access to the rest of the EU – including Britain.

Similar passport handout schemes – which are legal under EU laws – are under way in Romania and Bulgaria.

Together, it is estimated the three countries could add nearly five million citizens to the continent's population, at a time when it is struggling to bounce back from a deeply damaging recession and financial crisis.

Although they have come control for Romanian and Bulgarian nationals, UK ministers are powerless to place restrictions on arrivals from Hungary. That means the potential impact on Britain of two million new Hungarian passports is much larger.
[Site link]


Immigration – European Union, Romania, Moldova
Moldovans could get a passport to Britain
Daily Telegraph, 19 July 2010

Romania has opened a backdoor route entitling hundreds of thousands of migrants from Moldova, a former Soviet republic, to work and claim benefits in Britain.

More than 900,000 Moldovans with an ethnic Romanian background have applied for passports from Romania, a European Union travel document that will allow them free movement into Britain.

Up to 120,000 applications have already been cleared and 800,000 are pending, increasing fears of a mass migration from Moldova, one of Eastern Europe's poorest countries, which is sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine.

Romania's president Traian Basescu has said all Moldovans who consider themselves Romanian, which takes in most of the country's 3.6 million population, should be able to "move freely both in Romania and the EU".
[Newspaper link]


Immigration – European Union
Brussels go-ahead for new wave of migrants
Macer Hall
Daily Express, 14 July 2010

Bureaucrats are planning to encourage more new migrants to come to the EU despite rising levels of unemployment, it emerged last night.

Brussels officials are to simplify entry rules for workers heading to Europe to take up temporary seasonal jobs in farming, tourism and other industries.

EU home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said: "We need immigrant workers in order to secure our economic survival."

She claimed more were needed to fill "labour shortages".

But her remarks are bound to provoke new concerns that Eurocrats are determined to press for ever higher levels of immigration.

Last night, Home Office insiders insisted Britain would refuse to sign up to the latest overhaul of EU border controls.

Mrs Malmstrom said: "We know unemployment rates are still very high in Europe. Paradoxically, at the same time there are labour shortages." She plans to speed up procedures for hiring managers, specialists and seasonal workers from outside the 27 EU member states.

The EU lacks workers in certain sectors even though average unemployment is at 10 per cent, up from seven per cent before the crisis, commission officials said. Mrs Malmstrom – responsible for migration policies – has said the EU will continue to need extra workers in the next few years even though slower economic growth is putting pressure on some EU governments to curb the number of immigrants.

An ageing population and low birth rates mean that migrant labour will be necessary to help EU growth in the long term.

Mrs Malmstrom said: "In light of the demographic challenge the EU is facing, where our active population is forecasted to start falling already in 2013, we need immigrant workers in order to secure our economic survival.

"I will continue to take more steps towards a more inclusive labour migration policy for the EU in the coming years."

Under the proposals, which have to be approved by EU governments and the European Parliament, companies will be able to bring seasonal workers into the EU more quickly to address changing needs.

Officials insist the measures are aimed at tackling the growing problem of illegal migrants working in a black economy. Thousands, many from Africa, are hired each year to do jobs such as harvesting tomatoes in Italy. ...

And companies would benefit from simplified application procedures when bringing managers and specialists into EU branches of international corporations.

A spokesman for Mrs Malmstrom said last night: "It is up to each member state to decide whether they need more seasonal workers and how many they should take. If they don't need more seasonal workers, of course that is their choice."
[Site link]


Influx predicted after Hungary law change
Duncan Gardham
Daily Telegraph, 21 June 2010

A decision by Hungary to grant 500,000 passports to ethnic Hungarians living abroad could see a large number of workers arriving in Britain from outside the EU.

The new law allows around 3.5 million ethnic Hungarians abroad – mostly in Romania and Slovakia, but also in Ukraine and Serbia – to apply for Hungarian citizenship.

The measure is due to come into force on New Year's Day.
[Newspaper link]


Immigration – benefits and costs
Immigrants should pay, says Nobel Laureate
Angela Monaghan
Daily Telegraph, 17 June 2010

Immigrants should pay for the right to settle in Britain and the United States, a Nobel prize-winning economist will argue tonight.

Professor Gary Becker will say that it would be up to individual governments to set a price, adding that a charge of $50,000 (£34,000) per immigrant could generate $50bn a year in the US.

The same sum could generate about £17bn a year in Britain, based on Office for National Statistics data which showed 503,000 immigrants arrived between October 2008 and September 2009.

"What the government would do is set a price, and the price would be determined by how many people they would like to admit, and then they would allow everyone to come in who could pay that price, aside from obvious exceptions like terrorists," he told The Daily Telegraph before delivering the 19th Institute of Economic Affairs Annual Hayek Memorial Lecture in London.

The American economist said that as well as being a revenue raiser for governments at a time of record deficits, the policy would ensure only the most productive and committed immigrants were attracted, at a time when the present system was not working in countries including the UK and the US.

"If you were just coming temporarily it wouldn't be worth paying the price, so you'd get people committed to becoming British, or an American, or whatever it may be."

Professor Becker, who teaches at the University of Chicago and won the Nobel Memorial Prize for Economic Science in 1992, said the most skilled immigrants would still be attracted, because they would be able to generate the highest returns from their investment in the entry fee.

He said the programme would also reduce opposition to immigration, by eliminating the sense that immigrants were getting "a free ride".

He will argue that a government loan system should be introduced to ensure that young, ambitious people could borrow the entry fee and pay it back over time.
[Site link]


Immigration – World, public opinion
Roughly 6.2 Million Mexicans Express Desire to Move to U.S.
Jon Clifton
Gallup, 7 June 2010

Amid an ongoing debate in the U.S. on immigration from Mexico, Gallup estimates 6.2 million Mexican adults say they would like to move permanently to the United States if given the chance. That's close to half of the 14 million Mexicans – or 19% of the adult population – who say they would like to resettle somewhere else; would-be migrants in Mexico choose Canada and Spain as their other top desired destinations.

The findings are from Gallup surveys that previously estimated that roughly 700 million adults worldwide would like to move permanently to another country if they had the opportunity. Asked which country they would like to relocate to, more than 165 million adults worldwide name the United States.

Keeping in mind that Gallup's numbers reflect desire rather than actual migration rates, Mexico's roughly 6.2 million would-be migrants to the U.S. are significantly less than the estimated 22.9 million adults who would come from China, 17.1 million from India, and 16.6 million from Nigeria. Ethiopia, Bangladesh, and Brazil would also send more migrants than Mexico.

If all of the adults worldwide who tell Gallup they would like to move to another country actually did so, the United States could see a net population gain of 60%. Several other developed countries, such as Singapore, however, could be even more overwhelmed with migrants because of their smaller relative current population. Mexico, on the other hand, could potentially see net population losses as high as 15%.

While Gallup's migration findings reflect people's aspirations rather than their intentions, they reveal the desires of potential migrants around the world – an important consideration for leaders seeking to proactively manage migration and migrant policy in their countries.
[Site link]


Immigration – deception
Labour system let in more migrants
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 3 June 2010

Tens of thousands of migrants have been allowed into Britain under a supposedly tougher points system introduced by Labour.

The points-based system was intended to reduce the record flows of immigration.

But an analysis of the first two years of operation reveals that the number of foreign workers and their families allowed into Britain by 20 per cent.

There was also a 30 per cent rise in overseas students.

Ministers had said the new controls could cut the number of new migrant workers by 12 per cent. Labour was last night accused of hiding a "guilty secret" after declining to answer parliamentary written questions on the subject before the general election.

Research of Home Office statistics by the think tank Migrationwatch found that 159,535 non-EU economic migrants and their dependants were allowed into Britain in 2007. ...

But in 2009 a total of 190,640 foreign workers and dependants moved to Britain, a rise of 20 per cent.

This took place despite unemployment of 2.5 million. ...

Sir Andrew Green, the chairman of Migrationwatch, said: "This is Labour's guilty secret. When they talked about immigration at all before and during the election campaign, they claimed that they were getting it under control with their tough new system. The truth was quite different."
[Newspaper link]


New wave of migrants heading to UK from Eastern Europe
Nick Fagge
Daily Star, 1 June 2010

Britain was last night warned to expect a new wave of immigration from Eastern Europe.

A law change in Hungary has given almost half a million Ukrainians and Serbians the right to live, work and claim benefits in the UK.

Anyone who can speak the language or prove Hungarian ancestry can now become a citizen and get a full EU passport. It means they are eligible to work – or claim benefits – in Britain.

Last night there was anger that Britain's borders were being opened to yet more Eastern Europeans.

UKIP Euro-MP Gerard Batten said: "It must be wrong the Hungarian government can give almost half a million people the right to move to Britain."

More than 150,000 ethnic Hungarians live in Ukraine and almost 300,000 live in Serbia, where residents usually face strict restrictions on moving to Britain.

Sir Andrew Green of MigrationWatchUK said: "This is a consequence of the previous government's decision to open our borders to all EU citizens whatever their origin."

Last night the Home Office claimed the new Hungarian law would not affect the UK.
[Site link]


Immigration – World
Downturn does little to slow migration
Jason Deparle
New Straits Times [Malaysia], 28 May 2010

The world may be staggering through its worst economy in 70 years, but international migration, an ever-growing force, shows few signs of retreat.

Globally, the number of migrants appears undiminished, and last year they sent home more money than forecasters expected. Many migrants did lose jobs, but few decided to return home, even when others offered to pay.

In some places, demand for foreign labour grew.

From the Arizona statehouse to Calabria, critics warn that porous borders hurt native workers, threaten local cultures and increase crime. But even a downturn of rare magnitude did less than expected to slow the flows, revealing instead the persistent forces that keep migrants venturing abroad.

Perhaps no place shows the lure of migration as much as the Philippines, a nation of nearly 100 million people, where a quarter of the labour force works overseas. Despite the world's sagging economy, the country set records last year for the number of workers sent abroad and the sums they returned.

"We hardly felt it – the global financial crisis," said Marianito D. Roque, the labour secretary, who has been promoting the virtues of Filipino workers from Alberta to Abu Dhabi. ...

The financial crisis follows an age of growing mobility that has scattered migrant workers across the globe. Polish nannies raise Irish children and Indians build towers in Dubai. Of 15 million American jobs created in the decade before the bust, nearly 60 per cent were filled by the foreign born, according to a report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. ...

But with few exceptions, the hard times have not sent migrants home. Spain, Japan and the Czech Republic tried to pay foreign workers to go, but found few takers.

Likewise, the number of Mexicans leaving the United States has not grown, said Jeffrey S. Passel of the Pew Hispanic Centre. While the economy and tightened borders have reduced new arrivals, he said, the total population of Mexican migrants remains unchanged.

Hania Zlotnik, director of the United Nations Population Division, said: "Worldwide, the crisis has slowed the growth of migration, but the number of migrants is still increasing."

There are many reasons. Some "receiving" countries have escaped recession, especially in the Middle East. Some "sending" countries have been hit hard, giving migrants more reason to leave or stay away.

Even in bad economies, migrants typically do work that others avoid, like picking crops or cleaning toilets. And many migrants move for non-economic reasons, to join spouses or parents. That helps explain why migration, once established, is hard to reverse. ...

"It is the resiliency of international migration flows that again is most striking," wrote two migration scholars, Stephen Castles of the University of Oxford and Mark J. Miller of the University of Delaware, in an April paper.
[Site link]


Immigration – economy
Macer Hall
Daily Express, 21 May 2010

A think tank with close links to the Labour Party faced criticism last night for backing more mass immigration to the UK to boost the Third World.

A report from the Institute of Public Policy Research argued that mass immigration into Britain cannot be stopped because of the huge incentives for migrants from impoverished countries.

The Government should instead preside over a "managed" immigration to encourage newcomers to enter Britain legally. ...

The IPPR, which was influential in Downing Street under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, will publish its latest research today.

But its findings were dismissed last night by critics. Sir Andrew Green, of the population think tank Migrationwatch, said: "Of course immigration is good for immigrants, that is why they come.

"The question is whether mass immigration is good for Britain. Opinion polls show that the vast majority of British people don't think so."

The authors of the IPPR report argue that a "fortress" approach to immigration will not work. Instead they call for a managed scheme to encourage legitimate means of entry.

A research team looked at the experience of nearly 10,000 households in seven countries – Colombia, Fiji, Georgia, Ghana, Jamaica, Macedonia and Vietnam.

It found that typically between 70 and 90 per cent of migrants reported an increase in disposable income, with the majority registering a large rise.

This in turn delivered wide-ranging benefits to their home country.

More than half of overseas workers sent money home, a move that helped not only their family, but the wider community. ...

IPPR project director Dr Danny Sriskandarajah said: "Migration is too good to stop.

"Migration offers one of the best routes to improving development prospects for individuals and countries alike. More people are on the move than ever before, and our study shows this mobility is generally having a more positive impact on social and economic development than previously thought.

"Even where migration causes pressure points – such as 'brain drain' from some sectors in some countries at some points – the money, skills and ideas that migrants send home or bring back with them often outweigh the negative impacts."

Lead author Laura Chappell said: "As long as there are imbalances in the global economy, migrants from poorer countries are going to want to come to countries where the economic opportunities are greater.

"In these circumstances policies mainly designed to keep migrants out or kick them out may well be destined to fail.

"Managed migration can be achieved, but it needs to take into account migrants' aspirations as well as the concerns of local electorates."
[Site link]


Immigration – multiculturalism
Labour must become the anti-immigration party
David Goodhart, Editor of Prospect
Labour Uncut, 18 May 2010

The regrets and half-apologies for Labour's mass immigration policy are starting. The Eds, Balls and Miliband, and Jon Cruddas have all accepted that too many people came in too quickly. ...

This should be just the start of a historic shift on immigration policy. Labour should become the party that is anti-mass immigration, but pro-immigrant. ...

Labour can be proud that since the 1950s it (often alone among the main parties) has championed the cause of race equality and stood up for immigrants. It should continue to do so, but not in a way that conflicts with the economic and cultural interests of the British mainstream. The party therefore needs to re-think its commitment to the laissez-faire multiculturalism that has left many of Britain's towns ghetto-ised and divided.

Social democracy and a generous welfare state cannot survive in the long run unless there is a strong sense of a common life, of shared cultural references and experience. Rapid and high-level immigration weakens a sense of reciprocity and "exchangeability" (that could be me without a job) and lowers trust between citizens. Without a widely accepted national story a society can quickly begin to feel like a random collection of individuals or, even worse, a collection of Balkanised ethnic or religious groups battling for recognition and resources.

Labour should make common cause with the Tories if they are indeed serious about bringing net immigration down to tens of thousands a year rather than the 150,000 to 200,000 that it has been averaging in recent years – and expose its wishful thinking on this subject when, as seems likely, it doesn't happen. (Employers in both the private sector and public sector may have become addicted to the highly motivated but cheap labour that mass immigration brings.) But it should also, in opposition, develop a distinctive policy of modern "nation building" and citizenship integration.


Labour has, in fact, made a start in several of these areas. Many years too late we are finally starting to control movement across our borders and will soon be able to count people in and out. And we have developed a language, and even institutions, of citizenship: citizenship ceremonies (mocked by the bien pensants, but a huge success), citizenship and language tests, citizenship in schools and so on. Moreover, it IS now possible to decouple the pros and cons of mass immigration from the question of race and racism. ...

But the default position of liberal Britain is still to think of immigration in terms of the interests of the immigrant. Immigration (when it is voluntary) is always in the interests of the immigrant, but not always in the interests of the existing citizen. ...

Only deranged people are against immigration per se. ...

Nobody planned or prepared for this huge act of social engineering. It was never mentioned in Labour manifestos in 1997, 2001 or 2005. It happened as the result of several apparently small decisions, which together produced a big and unintended outcome. ...

Labour sleep-walked in to a huge, and in many places very disruptive, change. It happened because of a combination of metropolitan Labour's cultural liberalism, which saw immigration as an inherently good thing, and Treasury economic liberalism which welcomed its labour market effects.
[Site link]


Immigration – multiculturalism
Should Labour become the "anti-immigration party"? Absolutely not
Daniel Trilling, Deputy Culture Editor of the New Statesman
New Statesman blog, 18 May 2010

David Goodhart is wrong – and so was New Labour.

In the days since Labour's election defeat, various ex-ministers have stepped forward to offer their thoughts on where the party went astray. Immigration has cropped up time and time again.

All three potential leadership candidates – David Miliband, Ed Miliband and Ed Balls – have said that Labour should have done more to address voters' concerns about immigration. Writing in the Guardian, the former communities secretary John Denham correctly linked the issue to New Labour's embrace of neoliberal economics: ... ...

Now, these voices inside the party have been joined by David Goodhart, editor of Prospect magazine, who argues that Labour should now become the "anti-immigration party": ...

But does immigration really conflict with "British interests"? Let's take the economic argument first. Goodhart rightly says that "social democracy and a generous welfare state cannot survive in the long run unless there is a strong sense of a common life, of shared cultural references and experience". To blame this on immigration, however, is to take the symptom as the cause.

As the historian Tony Judt has argued, the threat to social democracy has come from the inequality wrought by free-market policies.

If migrants coming to Britain in 2010 find that they are entering a country where people fear for their jobs and are ready to blame their misfortunes on the new faces who have moved into the street, then the actions of Thatcher, Major, Blair and Brown are at root.

A failure to recognise this leads Goodhart to pursue an even more dangerous line of reasoning: ...

This idea that the spectacle of party leaders competing with each other to sound tough on immigration helped the fight against the BNP is simply wrong. Margaret Hodge, MP for Barking, tried this kind of intolerant rhetoric before the local elections in 2006 – and was rewarded with an unprecedented number of BNP seats on Barking and Dagenham Council.

As the social statistician Ludi Simpson pointed out in a piece I wrote last month, Barking has experienced a relatively low level of immigration compared to the rest of London. And nationally, support for the BNP is strongest in areas with low, rather than high, numbers of immigrants.

If there is no "strong sense of common life" in Stoke-on-Trent, another BNP stronghold, then the reason lies in the destruction of its old industries - - mining and pottery – rather than "competition" for jobs between white people and the city's small Asian population. ...

Ed Miliband got it right when he said that immigration is a "class issue", just not in the sense he meant. Class is the one thing New Labour proved itself unable to talk about, except when it appeared in racially loaded discussions about the "white working class".
[Site link]


Immigration – statistics
Fresh blunder reveals 15,000 more migrants
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 14 May 2010

Thousands more migrants are in Britain than previously claimed after officials underestimated the size of the population, the Government's statisticians admitted yesterday.

A revision of the way migration statistics are collated has found that there were 15,000 more people living in the UK in 2008 than previously thought. ...

The change will increase concerns over the accuracy of immigration statistics and the true picture of movements in and out of the country.
[Newspaper link]


Immigration – politics, public opinion
Why we lost, by Straw
Rosa Prince
Daily Telegraph, 14 May 2010

Labour lost the election because working-class families felt "disconnected" from the party, Jack Straw has said.

The former justice secretary told Radio 4's Today programme: "We've done a great deal, as it were, for that group [working-class families] in terms of social welfare, education and so on, but they felt this argument about fairness quite strongly, particularly with respect to immigration and benefits."
[Newspaper link]


Dr Rowan Williams says opponents of immigration display 'confusion'
Ruth Gledhill
The Times, 14 May 2010

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, risked conflict with the new Government when he criticised opponents of immigration. He also challenged the view of his predecessor that migration "threatens" British identity.

Dr Williams said that those who feared new arrivals showed "confusion" and a "lack of proper confidence" in society's ability to learn.

The Government is pledged to set annual limits on non-EU migration.

Although he did not refer directly to him, his speech was interpreted as a critique of Lord Carey of Clifton, who wrote in The Times last year that migration threatens "the very ethos or DNA of our nation".
[Site link]


Immigration – numbers
61 million now live in Britain: Migrant boom fuels 3m rise since 1997
Steve Doughty
Daily Mail, 14 May 2010

The number of people living in Britain has shot up by well over three million during Labour's 13 years in power, official figures confirmed yesterday.

Around 70 per cent of the increase is down to immigration, through direct arrivals or children born to them.

But the count - which puts the United Kingdom population at 61,398,000 - could still be too low because of doubtful source figures and the lack of any method of estimating how many migrants have come into the country illegally. ...

Yesterday's figures, released by the Office for National Statistics, take into account several years of attempts to gauge the real rate of immigration.

The population total in the summer of 2008 is 15,000 higher than the previous official estimate of 61,383,000.

In the first 11 years after Tony Blair became Prime Minister in 1997 the population went up by 3,084,200. ...

The latest population figures are the result of four years of efforts by Whitehall statisticians to get a grip on the real level of immigration.

But few will accept them as definitive. Many will see them as just the latest movement in population estimates that have regularly been rewritten over the past eight years.

The problem is that statistical methods have been left hopelessly outdated by the 13-year immigration boom.

Under Labour there has been a continuously rising number of people arriving from around the world, supplemented by a leap in asylum seekers in the late-1990s and the influx of more than a million Eastern Europeans after 2004.

One way of counting immigrants used to be 'landing cards' which non-EU migrants had to fill in before arrival at British ports and airports. Labour scrapped these in 1998.

The once-a-decade national census, seen as a tried and tested method of counting the population, proved a disastrous failure in 2001. It missed out more than a million people, many of them recent immigrants.

That left the International Passenger Survey, a system under which people coming and going at ports and airport terminals are asked questions about their intentions.

Apart from the fact that those who do not intend to comply with immigration law are unlikely to give truthful answers, the scale of the survey was pathetically inadequate for its task.

In 2006 - a year when hundreds of thousands of Eastern Europeans came to work in Britain - the official estimates said there were 48,000 Eastern European immigrants.

This figure was based on a mere 169 immigrants who had been stopped and questioned for the IPS.

By this time, the Office for National Statistics could no longer brush aside the complaints of hard-pressed local authorities that their populations had been outrageously underestimated.

Since 2006 the ONS has poured millions into revamping the IPS. It has examined NHS and family doctor rolls, and more than £500 million is going into trying to carry out an accurate census next year.
[Site link]


Immigration – bigotry, politics
The immigration experiment shows Labour at its worst
Alasdair Palmer
Sunday Telegraph, 2 May 2010

Gordon Brown has apologised profusely for calling Gillian Duffy "bigoted" after she asked him what he was going to do about immigration. But for all his very public penitence, Mr Brown's initial reaction reveals what he really thinks of those who are sceptical about immigration's benefits.

The number of people coming to stay in Britain is now nearly four times greater than in 1997: every year, at least 130,000 more people have arrived than left (in 2007, the figure was 248,000). ...

The influx of migrants, many of whom are not familiar with British norms and traditions – and who have traditions of their own that they are, understandably, not ready to abandon – has already had very significant effects on many communities. Some people like those changes, ... Others don't. Their reaction doesn't have to be based on bigotry, although of course it can be. But you don't have to be a bigot to deplore more overcrowding in schools, or more pressure on housing, health services and transport.

The huge increase in immigration has taken place almost without discussion. It was not mentioned in Labour's manifesto in 1997, nor in 2001. In 2005, it rated scarcely more than a few lines. When Michael Howard, the then Conservative leader, tried to make the subject an election issue, he was accused of racism by Labour – and, of course, "bigotry". The charge was effective in closing down the debate.

So Labour has – in an astonishingly cynical subversion of the democratic process – conducted a huge social experiment on the British population without asking us whether we wanted it or agreed to it. ...

This is the first election when the new wave of immigration has been discussed openly. That may explain why the quality of the debate has been so low. Nick Clegg, for example, challenged David Cameron in Thursday's televised debate to agree with him that "80 per cent of people who come here come from the EU" – implying that Mr Cameron's proposed cap on their numbers would have no effect at all, because the new entrants have a right to live here under EU law.

The Tory leader wavered. The best he could come back with was that he would impose "transitional controls" on migrants from the newest members of the EU, something that the law allows. But he should simply have said that Mr Clegg was plain wrong: 80 per cent of migrants are not from EU countries. The largest group is from the developing world, principally Pakistan, India, Africa and China, and the Government can put restrictions on their numbers. In 2008, a mere 25 per cent of permanent, as opposed to temporary, migrants were from the EU. Even in 2007, when migration from the EU was at its peak, the figure was only 38 per cent.

A couple of weeks ago, the BBC's John Ware reported on the effects of population increase in a programme entitled Is Britain Full? It was immediately denounced as a "disgrace". Yet it did no more than attempt to inform people of the likely impact on public services and housing if immigration continued at roughly the present rate. There is still a sense, among many politicians and commentators, that the effects of large-scale immigration should not be talked about, because if they are, people will object to immigration itself.
[Site link]


Immigration – progressive attitude
Is the progressive case for migration truly progressive? [part 1]
Tim Finch
Institute for Public Policy Research, 26 April 2010
[The writer is Head of Migration at the IPPR]

More migrants entering the UK does not equal a more progressive attitude to migration. Those who make the case for a fairer migration policy would do well to question their own position.

Ever since the 1960s, progressives have been bemoaning the drift towards what we have seen as ever more restrictive and reactionary immigration policies. We have asked ourselves endlessly how we can put across the progressive case for migration in a more effective way. But these discussions are always based on the assumption that our case is truly progressive – an assumption I think we need to question. By 'unpacking' our case we might find that along with some cherished possessions, there are a few things in there which have been weighing us down and which we would do well to junk.

Part of the reason for this relatively unquestioning attitude to the justice of our arguments is the very fact that they have proved so unpopular. There is nothing that convinces a progressive more that they are in the right than finding that most people disagree with them. A particularly unfortunate element of this syndrome in relation to migration is a tendency to characterise our opponents as nasty, stupid and backward. By so doing, we give ourselves license to either patronise or ignore them. But it is not the case that the classic progressive view on migration – which I will summarise below – is disputed only by extremists, such as the BNP. In fact, as must now be obvious to us, the vast majority of mainstream public opinion does not see the logic or the ethics of our case. ...

So, how might we summarise the classic progressive position on migration? In its modern form it was forged in anti-racist struggles of the sixties and seventies, so a key component is that immigration policy should not discriminate on the basis of race – and an assumption that it invariably does. This assumption in turn leads to a position that restricting immigration flows is inherently wrong – or at least to be viewed with suspicion – because restrictions, whatever the government of the day might say, are not fundamentally aimed at controlling numbers of people, but types – and that is offensive.

Moreover, the progressive world view is essentially internationalist in spirit and has little truck with any sort of nationalist sentiment. In this spirit, migration is viewed as a manifestation of our common global humanity and as such a good in itself. ...

Progressives of course also argue (with strong evidence at the macro-level to back them up) - see Christian Dustman and Ian Preston Is Immigration Good or Bad for the Economy?, that migration brings economic benefits to destination countries. ... Moreover, progressives tend, simply, to like the change and diversity that immigration brings. A strong part of the self-identification of a progressive is formed in opposition to the conservative celebration of tradition and stability - and solidarity with new communities is one way of manifesting this world view. A final component worth mentioning is that not all migrants to the UK have enjoyed great success here. Some migrant communities regularly feature as among the most deprived and excluded in our society, so supporting these communities in their struggle for social justice comes naturally to those with progressive sympathies.
[Site link]


Immigration – progressive attitude
Is the progressive case for migration truly progressive? [part 2]
Tim Finch
Institute for Public Policy Research, 26 April 2010

On the face of it, the case set out above has a strong appeal. However, its failure to win traction with the wider public should at least give us pause for thought. ... In framing my argument I take three principles which ippr thinks are central to progressive values: fairness, democracy and sustainability. In a nutshell, a progressive view on migration needs to be: fair to both migrants and host communities; consistent with democratic norms, but also based on majority consent; and sustainable in the long run.

Let me start with the question of restricting immigration flows. The concern that such restrictions target particular nationalities unfairly is perfectly reasonable of course – particularly if race comes into the equation in any way. But it does not follow that restrictions per se are inherently wrong, and it is certainly not the case that totally free flows are more progressive than controlled ones. For migration to benefit migrants properly the receiving state should be able provide the economic opportunities, the infrastructure support and the integration policies necessary to help people to adjust to life and to thrive in a new country. If large numbers of migrants are entering in an uncontrolled and unplanned way this is impossible. So while controls restrict entry, they help to ensure that the migrants who are allowed in are treated decently and can make the most of their migration experience.

Moreover, a controlled approach ensures that the impacts of migration inflows can be managed most fairly for the benefit of host communities. A real blind spot in the progressive case is this question of negative impacts from migration, particularly in more deprived areas. At its worst, this can amount to complete denial that migration brings anything other than benefits. But it is self-evidently the case that large numbers of migrants arriving in some areas, particularly if it happens very rapidly, can have serious downsides. An obvious problem is that the provision of infrastructure and services lags behind the increase in the population. The government now tries to mitigate this through its Migrant Impacts Fund. But the wider lesson is surely obvious: if a state is controlling inflows it is much better placed to plan and provide for new populations. That means that everyone in a community (in-comers and long term residents) gets the support and services they need – surely what any progressive would want to see.

The fact that managed migration necessarily means keeping many people out is self-evident. Managed migration does in effect 'ration' migration opportunities, which is hard on those excluded. But what, in the real world, is the alternative? Porous borders and poorly managed immigration systems may allow for higher levels of migration, but they do not deliver complete fairness – or anything like. In many ways, they create a more competitive, and ruthless world for would-be migrants. To take an obvious example; while progressives may want to defend irregular migrants as individuals, we surely don't seek to defend irregularity itself, with all that follows from it? Some argue that irregularity only exists because immigration systems 'create' it. But the logic of this argument leads us to anarchy not justice – because anything approaching 'open borders' would cause chaos and massive destabilisation –within both developed and developing economies.


Immigration – progressive attitude
Is the progressive case for migration truly progressive? [part 3]
Tim Finch
Institute for Public Policy Research, 26 April 2010

There is in truth nothing progressive at all in a 'laissez faire' approach to migration which relies for its logic on an extreme neo-liberal position that people should fight 'dog eat dog' for economic opportunities wherever they can find them in an unregulated global economy. A new fairer world economic order is not going to be built on this approach. Neither is it persuasive to take the line that because developed, former imperialist powers like the UK have helped to create such an unjust world, mass migration would solve the problem. Research by ippr 'Development on the move' to be published in May, shows that migration has largely beneficial development impacts, but the report is quite clear that it does not amount to a development strategy. It is through the pursuit of trade justice, improved governance and economic redistribution that a fairer world will be achieved, not through huge disorganised movements of people.

This of course is not to argue for 'fortress' type policies to keep the 'hordes' from our shores. Indeed I would argue that in some areas – such as low skilled migration from outside the EU – we should be opening some managed, circular routes for migration into this country. But I also think it is perfectly fair to suggest that such schemes should be demonstrably economically beneficial for the UK. Not the least of the reasons for doing so is that our concern as progressives to provide opportunities for migrants should not outweigh our responsibility for citizens and long-term residents. A central concern of progressives should be that those most disadvantaged in a society are not further harmed by any policies pursued by the state. While evidence in this area is very thin, it is important not to dismiss the widely held perception that migration helps the rich, but hurts the poor. At the very least, progressives need to be sure that our policy proposals on migration are not increasing inequality and diminishing economic opportunities for already resident populations.

So, to sum up, my argument is that just because migration is very often a 'good thing' doesn't mean that more of it is necessarily better. Indeed for it to be a good thing, it needs to take place in circumstances in which the country of origin and country of destination, the migrants and long term residents, all have a shared interest and enjoy shared benefits. Much the best way to achieve this is to put in place a well managed and controlled migration system based on transparent criteria for entry, fairly applied. This might mean lower numbers of migrants coming in the future, but why is that a problem for progressives? In the end, more migrants do not equal a more progressive attitude to migration – indeed it is just this fuzzy logic which has weakened our case in recent years.


Immigration – illegal, amnesty
UK home to 1m illegal immigrants
David Leppard
The Sunday Times, 25 April 2010

More than 1m illegal immigrants are living in Britain – double the government's most recent estimate, according to a study.

The report warns that a proposed amnesty for illegal immigrants could add a total of 2.2m to the population because each of the 1.1m "regularised" illegals would be entitled to bring at least one spouse, child or other family member into Britain.

The report is a direct challenge to Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, who has proposed an amnesty for long-term illegal residents who have been here for 10 years.

The study for MigrationWatch, a think tank that lobbies for stricter immigration controls, updates earlier studies from the Home Office and the mayor of London.

It points out that the latest Home Office study is based on figures from the 2001 census. It also challenges the formula for calculating the number of people who overstay their visas every year. The report says that the number of overstayers each year could be as many as 60,000 rather than the 10,000 implied by estimates.

Frank Field, Labour's former welfare minister and co-chairman of the parliamentary cross-party group on balanced migration, welcomed the study's findings.

"These are some of the immigration figures the three main parties didn't want published before the election and it shows the danger of the Lib Dem loose talk of offering an amnesty," he said.

Government ministers and left-wing think tanks have previously questioned research by MigrationWatch, saying that it was biased. But this weekend independent academics pointed out that the study's estimate of 1.1m illegals was only 237,000 above the upper estimate of 863,000 produced last year by the London School of Economics (LSE) for Boris Johnson, the mayor of London. They said that study was based on figures to 2007, and therefore three years out of date. ...

Until 2005 the government said it was simply impossible to provide a meaningful figure on illegal immigration because people who were here illegally went to great lengths to conceal their existence from the authorities.

Before the 2005 election Tony Blair said that no such official figure existed. But weeks afterwards, the Home Office released a survey that gave a range of between 310,000 and 570,000. Those figures were based on the 2001 census.

Both the government and independent academics admit that immigration – legal and illegal – has mushroomed since then. Last year the LSE updated those figures by including population movement to 2007. It said the number of failed asylum seekers had since risen by 219,000, while an estimated 50,000 more foreign citizens had overstayed their visas.

Clegg wants to "regularise" those who have been here the longest, so they can integrate into the legal economy. The Lib Dems call it an "earned route to citizenship" but admit they have no idea how many people would qualify.

Phil Woolas, the immigration minister, could not say how many illegal immigrants were in the UK. "It's a question that no immigration minister can answer," he said.
[Site link]


Immigration – politics, amnesty
The Lib Dems' stance on immigrants is their most dishonest (and dangerous) policy yet
Leo McKinstry
Daily Mail, 20 April 2010

Hard as it may be to believe, the Lib Dems are even more determined than Labour to dismantle our borders. The Liberal Democrat leader continually boasts about his 'honesty', but by far the most dishonest moment in last Thursday's debate was when Clegg talked tough about immigration.

With frightening hypocrisy, he spoke of a crackdown and more rigorous frontier controls, while also accusing Brown of presiding over 'chaos'.

But Clegg's words were hollow. For in its advocacy of an extraordinarily lenient policy on migration, his party's manifesto represents a huge blow to Britain's social cohesion and national identity. ...

During recent years the annual number of arrivals has been running at more than 500,000, and that doesn't include the countless number of illegal immigrants. Even in 2009, after all Labour's noisy rhetoric about new restrictions, the immigrant total was still 518,000.

Never in our history has this nation been through such a dramatic demographic change, and the trend is speeding up. No fewer than a quarter of all births in Britain are to foreign-born mothers, with the figure rising to an astonishing 55 per cent in London.

Any politician who cared about the future of our country would be calling for action to reverse this destructive pattern. But the Lib Dems, while cynically adopting a populist posture on the campaign trail, are dogmatic enthusiasts for more uncontrolled immigration.

They are like the worst sort of earnest student radicals, clinging to policies wholly out of tune with the public mood. For the Lib Dems want to institute a full amnesty for illegal immigrants living in Britain, meaning such law-breakers could work, demand benefits and gain British citizenship.

Using the language of sophistry, the party's manifesto asserts that this would not only boost our economy by turning illegals into taxpayers, but also free up the police to concentrate on real crimes.

But such claims insult the intelligence. The truth is that, once granted, an amnesty would act as a magnet for migrants from all over the world, as others would quickly realise that they would almost certainly be treated with the same welcoming leniency if they were to come here illegally.

Human trafficking would rocket. Relatives of illegals, from spouses to distant uncles, would pour into the country. The Government admits that it 'doesn't have a clue' how many illegal migrants there are in Britain, but reliable estimates point to at least 750,000.

If an amnesty were implemented, that number could be more than trebled by the subsequent, completely legal arrival of all their dependants. An amnesty would stretch our overly generous welfare system to breaking point.


... Moreover, there is a terrible injustice about an amnesty, in that it both makes a mockery of the law by rewarding criminals and is grossly unfair on those who settled here legally.

And the modern history of the western world is that amnesties do not work. Since 1980, Italy has had 20 of them and Spain six, as a result of which immigration in both countries has soared.

Similarly, the U.S. instituted an amnesty in 1986 when the number of illegals stood at 3.5 million. Today, that figure is thought to have reached 20 million. Far from serving as a symbol of decency, an amnesty represents a surrender to illegality. Such a move is a sign that a country has given up trying to maintain its borders.
[Site link]


Immigration – politics
Brown faces backlash after telling voters to put immigration crisis 'into perspective'
Kirsty Walker
Daily Mail, 19 April 2010

Gordon Brown risked an angry backlash over immigration yesterday by telling voters to get the problem in 'perspective'.

The Prime Minister suggested that fears about the numbers coming into the country were unfounded as he repeated his controversial claims that net inward migration is falling.

Mr Brown has rejected Tory plans for a cap on immigration, insisting that a 'tough' points-based system for admitting skilled migrants is a better way of controlling the numbers.

Asked whether 160,000 coming in every year was acceptable, he said: 'Let's get this in perspective; there are a million people who've come from the European Union at various stages to work in Britain, but there's also a million Britons have gone to work in the European Union.

'And we've got to accept that there's bound to be more people wanting to study abroad or work abroad or work here for some time or study here for some time, and we've just got to get that into its proper perspective.'

Mr Brown went on to insist that figures for 2009 would show the number coming into Britain is a 'lot lower'.

The Prime Minister has already been rebuked by the statistics watchdog for using erroneous figures to back up his claims.

But he told BBC1's Andrew Marr: 'It's going to be lower. It's already lower this year. The points system is starting to have a big effect.' ...

Mr Brown admitted that Labour's previous open-door policy was a mistake, but insisted that the system had been toughened. 'We've had to learn lessons,' he acknowledged.

'And the one lesson I learnt was that the points system was the best way.' ...

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of MigrationWatch, said: 'Immigration has trebled under Labour and it is now driving our population towards the 70 million mark. The Government are in denial.'
[Site link]


Immigration – population pressure, politics
Crammed Britain: And why no politician is being honest about the devastating consequences of immigration [part 1]
John Ware
Daily Mail, 19 April 2010
[John Ware is a reporter for the BBC's Panorama]

The great election TV debate last Thursday night was launched with a question on the vexed issue of immigration, a subject that until then had been barely touched on by the three party leaders.

But in the ten minutes allocated to the subject, there was one figure conspicuous by its absence from the lips of Messrs Brown, Cameron and Clegg: 70 million.

That's the number of people who our national statisticians expect will populate the UK by mid-2029. ...

To that extent, the discussion about immigration in the leaders' first TV debate was just a start.

The UK's population is currently estimated to be just over 62 million. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), 68 per cent of the growth to 70 million will come from immigration (both from the number of new arrivals as well as the increase they make to the birth-rate). We are on course, apparently, for eight million more people over just two decades.

However you carve up the rough equivalent of this rise - one big city the size of London, eight cities the size of Birmingham or one city the size of Bristol every year for the next 19 years - never in our history will we have we grown by such numbers, nor over such a sustained period.

England would take 90 per cent of this growth.

Some argue there are still vast open spaces where all the new houses, schools, hospitals, railways lines, roads, shops, reservoirs, waste disposal facilities and power stations that will be needed could be built. Yet, bar the island of Malta, England is already the most densely populated country in Europe.

So where will everyone live?

Judging by the Government's growth plans, most of the extra people will live in an ever-widening belt stretching diagonally across Britain: from Dover in the South-East, through the Thames Gateway, on up north of London into the south, east and west Midlands, then into west Cheshire, Warrington, the Mersey heartlands and Greater Manchester, and finally to Blackpool.

Nor are the North-East and West Country spared - only the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales. Literally, dozens of towns and cities will grow.

The Communities Department's sales pitch for these 'Growth Areas' and 'Growth Points' brims with excitement: 'Renaissance Bedford', 'Opportunity Peterborough' and 'Cambridgeshire Horizons'.

However, 'Squashed' is perhaps another way of putting it.

Government plans appear to extend only to 2021. By then, England's population is projected to have increased by 4,235,000. So where will the remaining 2,965,000 go by 2029?

The truth is that land released for development is very scarce. This means we cram houses with the smallest dimensions in Europe into what little there is of it.

On the roads, the Department of Transport forecasts the total time lost by commuters due to congestion in England will rise from 400 million hours today, to 700 million by 2025.

[Site link]


Immigration – population pressure, politics
Crammed Britain: And why no politician is being honest about the devastating consequences of immigration [part 2]
John Ware
Daily Mail, 19 April 2010

It took 57 years for our population to grow from 50 million in 1948 to 60 million in 2005. Yet the ONS calculates it's going to grow another ten million in less than half that time.

But, according to Immigration Minister Phil Woolas, there is no need to worry. Our national statisticians 'will be proved wildly wrong', he told me confidently.

He must hope that he is right because the number of new households forming every year is nearly double the net additions from new build and conversions.

While most of these extra homes will be needed because more people are living longer or alone, 39 per cent of new households will be formed because of immigration, according to Government figures. ...

When I interviewed Mr Woolas, he was clearly irked by the findings from the official statisticians. Indeed, last year he accused them of being 'sinister' for publishing figures showing that one in nine UK residents were born abroad.

Woolas complained that the Labour Government was being blamed for 'whipping up anti-foreign sentiment when it was the independent ONS who are playing politics'.

A fortnight earlier, the ONS had published figures showing that while the number of foreign workers had increased by 175,000 to 2.4 million, the number of British workers fell by 234,000 to 27 million. ...

Since 1997, net migration has added more than half the four million increase in the UK's population. ...

In this context, the differences in approach to the problem by both Labour and Conservatives may not be quite as sharp as they would like voters to think. ...

So, where does all this leave the ONS projection of 70 million? ...

Whoever wins the General Election, the ONS population projection will present them with an acute dilemma: if immigration figures don't fall very substantially, house prices and rents will go yet higher, increasing the divisions of an already deeply divided society.

The alternative is a massive building programme. But where will the many billions come from to pay for it? We are about to enter one of the most deep and sustained periods of spending cuts in our history. Politics is, indeed, about tough choices.
[Site link]


Immigration – politics
Immigration – the subject no politician wants to talk about
Richard Woods
The Sunday Times, 18 April 2010

For the past two elections, immigration has been the issue that dare not speak its name. Anyone questioning the number of people coming to live in Britain was crudely accused by Labour of racism; the Tories, fearing rivers of electoral blood, ran scared.

Yet it is an issue the public wants debated. Today's Sunday Times/YouGov poll shows that 53% of people believe there has not been enough discussion of immigration in the campaign so far. And 76% believe the number of immigrants coming to Britain is "far too high". ...

Labour has itself to blame for the suppuration of such sentiments. Official figures show that it let immigration rip once it took power. In the early 1990s, long-term net immigration rarely rose above 50,000 a year but in 1998, after Labour's first year in office, it leapt to 140,000 and hit 174,000 in 2001. It peaked at 245,000 a year before falling slightly. The latest figures show that 590,000 people arrived to live in Britain in 2008; net immigration only fell to 163,000 because 427,000 other people emigrated.

Since 1997 about 3m immigrants have arrived and the population is now 61m. The Office for National Statistics projects that the population will go on rising to 70m, with 70% of the increase caused by immigration.

Beneath the headline figures, the make-up of the country is rapidly changing. In 2008, for example, many more British citizens emigrated than returned to the UK, and many more EU, Commonwealth and other foreign nationals arrived than left. More than 500,000 arrivals in 2008 were non-British citizens. ...

According to a recent study by Oxford Economics, GDP per capita did rise during Labour's first two terms, but it fell in the third. GDP per capita is now lower in real terms than in 2005. Even The Economist, a fan of cheap and mobile labour, concluded last week that "there is little sign that wealth per person increased much" as a result of immigration.

The rise in the number of foreign-born people has almost matched the rise in the number of jobs, according to some calculations, leading to claims that 98% of new jobs have gone to migrants. Although this is disputed, the Trades Union Congress concedes that 50% of jobs created since 1997 have probably gone to non-UK nationals. ...

Once again immigration may end up the big issue the main parties would prefer to ignore.
[Site link]


Immigration – politics
Great election sham: what the leaders won't talk about
Steve Moxon
Sunday Telegraph, 18 April 2010

The fact that the Conservatives made immigration an issue at the last election is often cited as why Labour got a third term. In reality, the electorate were simply not tired enough of Tony Blair. The 2005 election came before jobs dried up and we found out that nine in 10 of all new jobs had gone to migrants. It was before the Home Office spectacularly imploded over immigration, and ministers declared it "dysfunctional".

That happened in 2006, kick-started by my whistleblowing in 2004. As a caseworker within the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (now the Borders and Immigration Agency) in Sheffield, I found the whole system to be a sham. We were mostly granting applications without checking, thus ignoring immigration law.

The political will from on high was deliberately to let in people en masse. The immigration minister would not acknowledge my emails, so I had no choice but to go to the media under the Public Interest Disclosure Act. The minister (Beverley Hughes) was forced to resign.

Immigration is still the subject politicians do not want to discuss for two reasons. One is practical in part: the Civil Service insists that immigration is an impossible problem that can be managed at best only in respect of the PR. The other reason is more profound: politicians are signed up to the "progressive project" notion that ordinary people are unimportant.

We know this for certain of Labour thanks to Andrew Neather, the former adviser, coming clean on the secret Downing Street policy documents which revealed that the point of importing millions of people not like us is to change society.

During the leaders' debate, Mr Brown droned on about the "points system". Let me nail that one. Mr Brown said that no non-EU unskilled worker now gets into Britain. Really? There are dozens of immigration channels – notably "family reunion" routes – that can get you over here officially without meeting any work criteria.

Points are 100 per cent spin. Managed Migration – where I used to work – has been fused with Work Permits UK, and their work has been merely rebranded, not changed. The other parties are so ignorant on the issue that they haven't spotted this Government Achilles' heel.

Mr Brown also said that he was going to reverse the mistake of not counting people in and out – which was a Labour move regarding non-EU individuals, not a Tory one as he alleged. Come again? This was announced several years ago and is not set for completion until 2014; not 2010. Nick Clegg was spot on that "both parties have been talking tough on immigration but delivering complete chaos". No mention of his own brand of chaos, however: an amnesty for illegals.

Politicians are ignorant of the realistic estimates of the total number of illegal immigrants. Forget the Government's guesses based on "international comparison". There is no comparison for a country that is unique: the fact that we have a US-style open labour market, and an EU-style welfare state coupled with our Commonwealth history means there are enclaves for just about every ethnicity.

Estimates should be in the millions, not hundreds of thousands. This is why the Government dares not have an Immigration Service to throw out over-stayers. And instead of deportation there is "removal", which just means that the process that might end in expulsion has begun. Immigration is just too big and complex a topic for the poor politician.
[Newspaper link]


Immigration – politics
Migrant issue may haunt main parties at UK poll
Stefano Ambrogi
The Washington Post / Reuters, 16 April 2010

Step out on the streets of the rundown suburban town of Barking on the fringes of East London and you will find a fierce debate raging on the issue of immigration.

Opinion polls show it to be the second most important issue after the economy for voters nationally ahead of a May 6 election – more pressing even than crime, health or education. ...

The main parties have been reluctant to confront the issue. Political analysts say that is down to fears it could backfire and cost precious votes in one of the most tightly fought general elections in 20 years.

"The Labour government knows it cannot deliver the policy the vast majority want, because that is no immigration and that is not possible," said Prof. Robert Ford, a political sociologist at Manchester University.

"It's neither economically sensible nor is it legislatively feasible to stop – so they are not inclined to start talking about a subject where they know they are very much at odds with the public."

For the opposition Conservatives, Ford says, it comes down to a perception they lost voters when they talked it up at the 2005 election, which they lost.

"They equate talking about it with intolerance and race prejudice," he said. "There's a belief that if they launch the debate then it panders to the image of them being labeled (in the words of a former Conservative minister) the 'nasty party' – an image they are desperate to shake off."

In places like Barking, a white working-class area with high levels of social housing and a poorly educated workforce – the last census found 40 percent of adults had no formal qualifications – voters are crying out for debate.
[Site link]


Immigration – business, politics
Lord Mayor takes swipe at Tory immigration policies
Louise Armitstead
Daily Telegraph, 15 April 2010

The Lord Mayor of the City of London appeared to attack Conservative policies in a high-profile speech in which he warned against "any attempt" to curb immigration.

Nick Anstee, who hosted a dinner at Mansion House attended by David Miliband, the foreign secretary, and 130 diplomats from around the world, said limiting foreign workers could damage London's economy.

"The UK needs to guard against any attempt to block skilled immigration or access to the global talent pool. Capital can move very easily, so can talent," he said.

"Globalisation is part of our DNA in the City. For our part, we will always champion an immigration policy which favours and welcomes overseas skilled citizens to spend some of their career in London."

In their manifesto launched on Tuesday, the Tories pledged to reduce net migration to "tens of thousands" a year. The party has promised an annual limit on immigration, new curbs on unskilled workers, and "transitional controls" on new European Union members.

The policy triggered a volley of criticism from the City – the first serious business rebellion against Tory policies so far in the election campaign.

London First, the City lobby group that represents many of London's biggest firms and banks, warned that Tory plans to curb economic migrants threatened Britain's position as a global commercial centre.
[Newspaper link]


Immigration – politics
Robert Winnett
Daily Telegraph, 14 April 2010
[From a report on the Conservative Party's election manifesto]

The manifesto says immigration has "enriched our nation" and the economy needs "the brightest and the best".

But it says immigration is too high and promises to reduce net migration to "tens of thousands" a year, without giving any more details.

The Conservatives promise an annual limit on immigration, new curbs on unskilled workers, and "transitional controls" on new European Union members.

But with other EU nationals guaranteed freedom of entry, a Tory government would have no way of restricting European workers.
[Newspaper link]


Immigration – politics
Why is there no talk about immigration? [part 1]
Frank Field
Daily Telegraph, 14 April 2010

The economy and immigration are the two big issues that voters wish to see debated at this election. The economy has already featured in the clashes between the main parties. But, despite brief mentions in the manifestos, immigration is the issue that dare not speak its name.

No sensible person is calling for a policy of no immigration. It is the scale of population change, which over the past decade has transformed parts of Britain, that voters wish to make an election issue. A continuation of mass immigration on roughly the present scale will bring the population of the UK to 70 million in 20 years – and the growth won't stop there, unless we are prepared to control drastically the size of net migration. Immigration will account for 70 per cent of this population increase. This is what needs to be tackled.

We have just lived through 10 fat years of public expenditure increases, of a scale we are unlikely ever to see again. Yet, even as most budgets doubled during the past decade, the pressures on our public services due to immigration have been plain.

Maternity units are struggling as 25 per cent of all births in England and Wales are to foreign-born mothers – in London it is 50 per cent. Primary schools in some areas have to resort to portable classrooms to cope with new arrivals, and are forced to redirect teachers' time to teaching English rather than ensuring that the weakest pupils succeed.

Housing is another area where pressures have been allowed to build. Nearly 40 per cent of all new households over the next 25 years will form due to immigration – an average of nearly 100,000 extra households every year. We are not building homes to match this demand and that is why the waiting list for social housing in England has gone up by 60 per cent in seven years, leaving Britain's white and black citizens at the end of the queue.

Now that a decade of financial reckoning has arrived, these stresses will intensify alarmingly unless we get public-sector reform of rising outputs with lower budgets. The public know this instinctively, if not in detail. As a result, they want effective action to tackle immigration – but they find that the political classes are deaf to their demands. Our political leaders must allow the ballot box to decide this issue before anger over the scale of immigration spreads to our streets.

Neither of the major parties in their manifestos has committed themselves to the "dual lock" that is needed to prevent immigration increasing our population.

The first lock should be to break the link between coming here to work and becoming a citizen. Of course, we want our cake and eat it. Britain benefits by attracting the brightest and best to come to our shores with some of the energy and skills which will be essential for our economic recovery. But there is all the difference between coming here to work, for a set period, and then to be almost automatically offered citizenship.

The second lock is to cap the total number who arrive minus those who leave each year: a net immigration limit. It is impossible to be precise when such large numbers are moving in all directions. But it is absolutely essential that governments should have a clear net limit, and direct their policy to meet it.
[Newspaper link]


Immigration – politics
Why is there no talk about immigration? [part 2]
Frank Field
Daily Telegraph, 14 April 2010

Despite their tough talk, the Liberals' policy will significantly increase immigration. Their proposal to lift the ban on illegal immigrants sends out all the wrong messages, and their idea of forcing immigrants towards Ayrshire and Lincolnshire – as Nick Clegg suggests –is farcical.

Alan Johnson has got Labour, thankfully, committed to breaking the link between coming here to work and becoming citizens. Unless voters push them into it, though, Labour is adamant that it won't deliver a double lock by setting a cap on net migration.

The Conservative Party failed in its manifesto to commit itself to breaking the link between work and citizenship. Instead, David Cameron promises to reduce net immigration to the tens rather than the hundreds of thousands we have seen in recent years. But will that commitment be sharpened to below 40,000 and so prevent the population growing and breaking the 65 million and then the 70 million barrier? Voters need to apply pressure to local candidates to get a commitment on this score.

With a double lock on immigration, our politicians must then deal honestly with the question of integration. Here is another of the political classes' greatest failures. Large groups of immigrants do not integrate – and could justifiably argue that they have never been told what being a citizen of this country entails. I have spelt out in a new book that we no longer have an agreed hymn sheet from which all we British are required to sing.

My constituents, overwhelmingly white, as well as some newcomers, have been deserted by a political leadership that has offered only a pick-and-mix citizenship. After the votes are counted, with a government committed, hopefully, to a double lock on immigration, the task of rebuilding a British citizenship around duties must rank with reducing the country's debt as the new administration's top priority.

Frank Field is the Labour candidate for Birkenhead and has just published 'Saints and Heroes' (SPCK Publishing)
[Newspaper link]


Immigration – population pressure
City that can't cope any more: While this Czech family are thrilled with their new council house, such largesse is ruining communities
Sue Reid
Daily Mail, 10 April 2010

Helena Horvatova is proud of her seven children. She lines them up in the back garden of her terrace house and explains that the youngest, aged four months, is called Kevin.

'It is a very British name. We want him to grow up British,' says the 27-year-old Czech mother, who arrived in Peterborough two weeks ago. In broken English, she continues: 'We came to Britain because we wanted a better life for all of our children.' ...

Inside the house sits Mrs Horvatova's husband, Frankie. He is 29 and also is able to speak only a few words of English.

'He does not go to work,' his wife says, as her ten-year-old daughter, Nicola, tries to help as an interpreter. ...

Officially, the Horvatovas are among 10,000 new eastern European immigrants who have turned up in the city in the past six years.

But that is a conservative count. The East Of England Regional Assembly believes 16,000 have settled in Peterborough since Britain opened its borders to migrants from the former communist bloc countries in 2004.

Yet local people are convinced this figure is a gross underestimation of the tally of foreigners arriving in this beautiful and once quintessentially English city, ...

'There must be at least 20,000,' said one GP with a surgery near the city centre. 'We can tell because the total number of patients we have registered has gone up by 3,000 in just a few years. Most of the new patients are from Poland, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.'

At this surgery staff are also overwhelmed with increasing numbers of pregnant women.

'This whole place is about to explode with babies,' explained a nurse at a clinic, half-a-mile from Mrs Horvatov's home.

'It is a common thing for 14, 15 and 16-year-old girls who have arrived from Slovakia and Lithuania to come in pregnant or wanting fertility advice. We tell them it is illegal in this country to have sexual intercourse at their age.

'We suspect they want babies because they know it will lead to a house and child benefits. There are so many foreign girls having babies that it will change the face of Peterborough.' ...

While it should be stressed that many of the new arrivals work very hard for low wages - doing jobs local people are not prepared to do - there are many who have quickly learned how to work the benefits system.

Each day at 1pm, when the Inland Revenue Office at Hereward House opens, a queue of girls speaking foreign tongues snakes down the road.

Their buggies and prams crowd the pavement as they wait to sign on for tax credits and child benefits - as they are entitled to under EU law. ...

The city's housing list is longer than at any time since World War II. There are nearly 7,000 families waiting for accommodation.

At the housing office, 95 per cent of the people who are seen by officials do not speak English and interpreters (paid £30 an hour) are on hand to help out.

Meanwhile, primary school teachers say they are struggling to cope with the increasing numbers of pupils who speak Slavic languages.
[Site link]


Migrants to be surveyed over whether they enjoy living in UK
James Slack
Daily Mail, 8 April 2010

Migrants are to be asked whether they like living in the UK and if the immigration system is working properly.

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) is spending tens of thousands of pounds on the survey, which will involve quizzing thousands of new arrivals.

The survey aims to 'explore the perceptions' of a wide range of migrants - including asylum seekers, refugees, economic migrants, foreign students and immigrants joining their families in the UK.

It states that in order to 'address a key evidence gap' in its data it needs a 'sample size' of between 4,000 and 6,000 migrants to help 'develop' Government immigration policy. ...

The final report , including an analysis of key findings, is due to be handed over the Home Office chiefs by March next year.
[Site link]


Immigration – numbers, politics
The Labour Party's enthusiasm for mass immigration has little to do with the EU
Geoffrey Van Orden, MEP (Cons)
Daily Telegraph, 5 April 2010
[Letter to the Editor]

... The Government's deliberate encouragement of mass immigration was part of a plan to change the fabric of our country.

The way the statistics are presented makes it difficult to understand the reality. The following, however, stands out from the years 1998-2008: net migration from EU countries, 547,000; net migration from other countries, 2,264,000 (predominantly South Asia, Africa and the Middle East).

The net foreign inflow into Britain in 2008 was 250,000. Of this, 64,000 came from EU countries, 186,000 from other countries.

The Ukip argument of blaming everything on the EU is therefore a nonsense. Even more nauseating is to hear ministers now saying that they want to control immigration and that the figures are moving in the right direction.

The priority must be to integrate our resident immigrant population and to bring a rapid end to mass uncontrolled immigration. The first cannot happen without the second.

We then need to have the truth about what has really been going on over these past 10 years.
[Newspaper link]


Immigration – economics, politics
[Gordon Brown's claim]
Randhir Singh Bains
Daily Telegraph, 5 April 2010
[Letter to the Editor]

Gordon Brown's claim (report, March 31) that "a re-elected labour government will deliver a controlled and fair immigration system flexible enough to meet the needs of British business" is flawed.

Britain's labour market is not designed for any specific level of immigration, or even a specific number of unskilled jobs. A labour market is a dynamic, not a static, system. It responds to price signals. Labour is substituted for capital when the price of labour falls through immigration; the opposite happens when the price of unskilled labour rises through strict immigration control.

Immigration would be beneficial if its levels rose and fell with the economy, but they rarely do. Britain has been in recession and yet immigrants are still coming, and hardly anyone is returning.

Whether or not the Government wants more immigration from non-EU countries is, therefore, a political problem, not an economic one.
[Newspaper link]


Immigration – public opinion
Labour: 75% think they have failed on immigration
Kirsty Buchanan
Sunday Express, 4 April 2010

Just four per cent of Britons think Labour immigration policies have been a success for the country, in a fresh blow for beleaguered Gordon Brown.

Three-quarters of voters believe 13 years of mass immigration have been a failure, in an exclusive eve-of-election poll for the Sunday Express.

The survey, carried out in the wake of the Prime Minister's call for an "honest debate" on the subject, shows it is the top issue for one in five voters.

The poll reveals that 42 per cent think Labour's policies on immigration have been "generally a failure" and 33 per cent believe they were "more of a failure than a success".

Eighty-four per cent regard unlimited immigration as bad for Britain.

Fears about Britain's recession-hit economy emerged as the key issue for 61 per cent but 20 per cent ranked immigration as their chief concern. It outstripped health (which was most important for 11 per cent of voters), education (ranked the number one concern for five per cent) and defence, which was the primary issue for just three per cent. ...

The poll, carried out by Angus Reid Public Opinion, shows 41 per cent of people back the Conservatives as the party most likely to curb immigration, compared with just 12 per cent who endorsed Labour.

But it is not all good news for the Conservative leader, with 38 per cent of voters not knowing which party would be best at bringing immigration under control.
[Site link]


Immigration – politics
Labour's hypocrisy over migrants: How the party is trying to woo voters with tactics that would shame the BNP [part 1]
Andrew Pierce
Daily Mail, 27 February 2010

The carefully worded letters all send the same sympathetic messages to local 'white families' about the difficulties caused by the record rise in immigration.

Soothing words of comfort are combined with powerful pledges of action to ease the pressure on jobs, school places and council housing.

'There is a great deal of worry about the pressure on schools, doctors' surgeries and housing allocations,' reads one of them. 'I want you to help me keep the pressure up on the Government in relation to reforming and updating our immigration and citizenship rules and laws.'

Stirring stuff indeed. So which party do you think is promising to fight the Government on these policy failings? The Conservatives? UKIP, perhaps?

No, with astonishing hypocrisy, these pledges come from the Labour Party itself. For the authors are senior Labour MPs who fear losing their seats as a result of the political fall-out from the mass immigration policy that they gladly helped to implement.

Dozens of these letters from sitting Labour MPs have been passed to the Daily Mail - and the authors all have one thing in common. They are fighting for their political lives because of the threat posed by the odious, far-Right British National Party.

They include Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary and key ally of Gordon Brown, and Margaret Hodge, the Culture Minister who is fighting a seat in the East End of London.

Some of the leaflets sent out to constituents include dubious immigration questionnaires and promises that local people will be put first in the jobs queue.

Labour's hypocrisy has come to light only days after the scale of Labour's deliberate plan to create a multicultural Britain through mass immigration was revealed. ...

Today, however, on the cusp of a General Election, many Labour MPs have realised that their secret plan has backfired spectacularly. As a result of mass immigration, many of their core white working-class voters complain that they feel like second-class citizens in their own communities, and believe that immigrants are given unfair precedence for jobs and public services.

As a result, Labour MPs in marginal seats or with a BNP threat are desperately scrambling to play the race card in a shameless attempt to be seen as acting tough on immigration after all. ...

It is a similar story in Barking - the East London constituency where BNP leader Nick Griffin is fighting the Culture Minister Margaret Hodge.

With one of the highest rates of immigration in Britain, Barking has seen a massive social upheaval as a result of Labour's policy, with many local families struggling to come to terms with the sheer number of new arrivals from abroad.

Yet in a two-page letter to constituents, Mrs Hodge paints herself as being tough on immigration, saying that it can be 'very unsettling' for 'predominantly white' and 'traditional East End families'.

She adds: 'I respect your concerns about the pace of change. It is wrong for others to dismiss these out of hand and rest assured that you do have my support on this.' ...

Yet at no time has she accepted responsibility for her part in creating these problems, through her own Government's bitterly controversial 'social objectives'. Only now that her seat is under threat has she seen fit to speak out.
[Site link]


Immigration – politics
Labour's hypocrisy over migrants: How the party is trying to woo voters with tactics that would shame the BNP [part 2]
Andrew Pierce
Daily Mail, 27 February 2010

In Wakefield, West Yorkshire, the Government whip Mary Creagh has produced similar leaflets and surveys on immigration.

'One issue comes up time and time again,' she writes, 'immigration, and in particular its impact on local communities and the Wakefield job market.' ...

Or how about Tom Watson, the West Bromwich East MP and another close ally of the Prime Minister, who has also been busy posing as being tough on immigration? ...

In a recent direct mail and survey about immigration, Watson declared: 'Most people told me that they were concerned about the level of immigration. More surveys were returned than on any other subject I have asked you about in the past.

'There is a great deal of worry about the pressure on schools, doctors' surgeries and housing allocations.

Also unsurprisingly, a lot of people also mentioned the issue of protecting local jobs. I want you to help me keep the pressure up on the Government in relation to reforming and updating our immigration and citizenship rules and laws.'

In Burton, Labour MP Ruth Smeeth has gone even further, actively campaigning to portray the Tories as the party that is soft on immigration.

Defending a majority of just 1,421 - smaller than the number of BNP votes in her constituency at the 2005 election - Ms Smeeth has highlighted how London's Conservative Mayor Boris Johnson is 'campaigning for an amnesty for illegal immigrants'.

Such breathtaking hypocrisy from the party that has presided over the biggest influx of immigrants in British history has shocked even seasoned immigration campaigners.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of MigrationWatch UK, says: 'It would seem that some Labour MPs are singing to an entirely different hymn sheet from the rest of the Government.

'We have been pressing the Government on these issues for years. It appears to be only the onset of a General Election that has caused some of them to respond - even if it is in a surreptitious manner.'

Shown the evidence of Labour's new electioneering tactic, Lord Carlile, QC, the Government's independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, accused the MPs involved of willfully stirring up resentment and prejudice against immigrants.

He says: 'I don't think that any candidate should demean him or herself by grovelling on the ground occupied by Nick Griffin and the BNP.

'We need a sensible debate, and a true analysis of the effect of immigration issues on the economy, benefits and the work place. But pandering to and encouraging prejudice is a very bad idea.'

Lord Ouseley, the former chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, is similarly appalled by these 11th-hour demands for action from vulnerable MPs.

'Where have they been for the past ten years while this is going on? It is only because it has become such a high-profile issue and they fear they are losing support that they are now raising it. No wonder people are so cynical.

'They were too busy at Westminster to worry about the threat from the BNP. Yet their constituents have been worried about this issue for years. They are trying to shut the door now that the horse has well and truly bolted. ...'
[Site link]


Immigration – citizenship
Record number of migrants become UK citizens, figures show
Richard Ford
The Times, 25 February 2010

A record number of migrants became British citizens last year, according to official figures published today.

More than five times as many people were given citizenship last year compared with the number when Labour came to power.

The surge in people being given citizenship was accompanied by a rise of almost a third in the number of migrants allowed to settle in the country indefinitely.

As the number of migrants deciding the UK is their new permanent home increased, fewer people from eastern Europe came to Britain seeking work.

While the number of Poles registering for work fell by almost half, applicants from Latvia and Lithuania rose.

Figures published by the Home Office show the number of people given citizenship last year jumped by almost 60 per cent to a record 203,865. When Labour came to power in 1997 the figure was 37,000.

Overall 1,530,000 migrants have become British citizens since 1997.

Home Office officials suggested that one reason for the surge in new citizens is because of changes in the law coming into force later this year. This will mean migrants will in future spend a time on probation before becoming a citizen.

The Government is also proposing to link the granting of citizenship to the awarding of points based on age, educational and other qualifications.

Separate figures show the number of migrants allowed to settle indefinitely in the UK rose by almost a third last year to 192,000.

Permanent settlement based on employment jumped by more than a third to 81,200 and 70,000 were allowed to settle on the basis of family links with the UK – a rise of 27 per cent compared with 2008.

Today's figures confirm that the biggest wave of migration in British history is over with immigration from the former Soviet bloc states continuing to fall.

The number of migrants from Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovakia and Slovenia registering for work fell to 113,000 last year compared with 166,000 in 2008.

Applications to work from Polish migrants fell from 104,000 in 2008 to 54,700 last year but the numbers from Latvia more than doubled to a record high of 15,300 and Lithuania from 11,560 to 14,720.

Long term immigration into the UK remained broadly stable at 518,000 to the end of June last year and emigration increasing by under 10,000 to 371,000.

Net migration – the difference between those leaving and those arriving – was 147,000, down from 168,000 in the previous year.
[Site link]


Immigration – politics, racism, crime
Labour say we are all racists
Macer Hall
Daily Express, 23 February 2010

Labour dismissed the British public's widespread opposition to mass immigration as "racism", a Government document revealed yesterday.

Officials made it clear that public opinion was strongly against relaxing border controls.

But ministers were urged to ignore voters' "racist" views and press ahead with a secret policy to encourage migrants to flood into Britain. Whitehall experts even proposed a major propaganda campaign to soften up voters in preparation for the mass influx of newcomers.

The details were laid bare in the original draft of a policy document released for the first time under the Freedom of Information Act.

Last night critics accused the Government of snubbing the concerns of British citizens in their deliberate pursuit of a multicultural society.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the population think-tank Migrationwatch UK, said: "This report confirms that ministers deliberately rode roughshod over public opinion in adopting a policy of mass immigration.

"They concealed their real intentions in the hope they would benefit from the immigrant vote without losing their working-class supporters. They are now paying the price."

Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said: "The Government has simply not been telling the truth about its policies on immigration. More and more evidence is now emerging to show that they deliberately planned a big jump in immigration for their own political purposes."

"Now they are trying to rewrite history to pretend those decisions never happened. Their conduct over all of this has been a complete disgrace."

Written by staff at the Home Office and Cabinet Office in 2000 in the run-up to the expansion of the European Union into eastern Europe, the report made it clear that voters wanted tougher rather than looser border controls.

"It is correct that public opinion favours relatively restrictive policies on immigration," the document said. But demonstrating thinly disguised contempt for much of the British public, the document said that this opposition was linked to racist attitudes. ...

Ministers also ignored warnings that immigration would lead to an explosion in organised crime including trafficking in drugs, illegal migrants and prostitutes. "Migration has opened up new opportunities for organised crime," the report insisted.

The document, titled Going With The Flow: Managing Migration in the 21st Century, went on to urge the Government to manipulate public opinion on the issue.

"A new approach to migration policy would need to be not only accompanied by, but underpinned by, a clear strategy for public opinion and public debate," the report argued. ...

It said: "Education and people's personal exposure to migrants make them less likely to be anti-migrant." The document went on to be heavily edited before being officially published in 2001, with all references to public opposition stripped out.

References to migration opening up "new opportunities" for organised crime were also expunged from the final version.
[Site link]


Immigration – public opinion
Poll finds 77% want immigration cut
James Boxell
Financial Times, 19 February 2010

An increasing number of British people believe ethnic minorities are integrating well within local neighbourhoods even though most still want a sharp reduction in immigration, a government poll on social attitudes has found.

The latest update of the "citizenship survey", which has sought people's views about community cohesion since 2001, showed that 77 per cent of people thought immigration should be cut, with slightly more than half saying it should be reduced "by a lot".

Those figures will be seized on by anti-immigration lobby groups, who argue that the mainstream political parties remain out of step with the electorate over the issue, with many voters saying it is one of their highest priorities.

However, the survey - conducted for the Department of Communities and Local Government - also showed that 84 per cent of people agreed that their local neighbourhood was a place where people from different backgrounds got on well together, up from 80 per cent in 2005. ...

The 2008-09 survey also showed that negative attitudes towards immigration were not softening. There was a small decrease in the number of people who want to see a big fall in immigration, but the number who want some kind of cut remains stable at more than three-quarters.

Students, better-paid workers and holders of degrees were far more favourable towards immigration than those further down the wage scale and people without qualifications, who often find themselves competing with migrant workers.


Migrants are not going anywhere, say influx towns
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 17 February 2010

Claims that migrants are returning home have been dismissed in the areas most affected by the recent influx.

Ministers have said that Eastern European workers who arrived following European Union enlargement in 2004 have begun to leave.

However, officials in some towns and cities insist migrants are still arriving. The head teacher at one school in Boston, Lincs, said children from overseas would soon account for six in 10 pupils.

Three councils have given warning that official population estimates vastly understated the true picture and public services and budgets were "under enormous strain" as a result.
[Newspaper link]


Immigration – politics
The beautiful ghost of big government: On both the left and the right, voters say they feel powerless. And in many ways they are
Ian Jack
The Guardian, 13 February 2010

Over the past dozen years Britain's demography has changed significantly and promises to change even further. As a fact, this is beyond dispute. Countable immigration rates more than tripled during the Blair epoch; since 1997, about 1.6 million people have been granted permanent right of residence and in 2008 nearly a quarter of all births in England and Wales were to foreign-born mothers (in London the figure is nearly a half). Add to these figures EU migrants who stay for long periods and it becomes clear that Britain has been socially transformed at a speed and on a scale unprecedented in its written history. The Windrush generation and Idi Amin's refugees were sideshows by comparison.

Because "immigration" was once the codeword for "race", and because race led to racism and the British National party, slavery and Auschwitz, most public discussion of the subject has been awkward. When the economy was good and the unemployment rate low, only the bravest of liberals questioned the notion that mass immigration led to greater prosperity and a stimulating cultural diversity, and disadvantaged nobody. ...

This week the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph have been filled with their version of the answer. The government had encouraged immigration not just because the country's existing pool of labour was too small or insufficiently skilled or unwilling, but also to promote certain "social objectives". These included the creation of new Labour-inclined populations that would help keep the party in power.

In fact, the charge is pure speculation, though the phrase "social objectives" does occur several times in the early draft of an immigration paper prepared for the cabinet, the revised version of which was published in 2001. Using a freedom of information order, Sir Andrew Green, chair of MigrationWatch, recently obtained this draft – hence the coverage – after a former Blair adviser, Andrew Neather, disclosed its existence in a piece published last year by Neather's new employer, the London Evening Standard.


He can be heard being slightly more circumspect on a BBC documentary on immigration policy in the Analysis slot, which is repeated tomorrow at 9.30pm on Radio 4. Its narrator and interviewer, David Goodhart, the editor of Prospect magazine, takes us calmly and lucidly through a story that mixes intention with happenstance. Neather says that "diversity" appealed to the Labour leadership as a substitute for class struggle: "I mean crudely seeing ethnic minorities as essentially the standard bearers of ... social justice rather than ... the white working class." David Blunkett says this is nonsense. The economic imperative was what drove government policy: "The idea [that, per se] it would be a very good idea to have a multicultural Britain was never debated in my presence or in cabinet; and if it had been, I would have poured cold water on it very strongly.'

So far as Goodhart can discover, the cabinet has never debated what the country's immigration strategy should be. ...

Could it have been otherwise? Possibly not. Jobs of all kinds needed filling, the potential for economic growth seemed infinite, and the business lobby was powerful. And yet, as Goodhart says, politicians made policy (if that's not too strong a word) with "a nervous glance over their shoulder, aware that their instincts were not shared by the majority of British citizens." As a result, the fabric of Britain is very different to 1997: its changed demography may well turn out to be Labour's most enduring legacy. "Nobody consulted us about any of this," will be the objection that meets many canvassers on doorsteps in a few weeks time. And the truth is that, for better or worse, nobody did.
[Site link]


Immigration – politics
For Hague, voters have two choices: change or ruin
Benedict Brogan
Daily Telegraph, 13 February 2010

William Hague stopped playing the piano when he was appointed to the front bench by David Cameron. ... ...

We ask him specifically about immigration, ... Mr Hague took a robust line on the issue when he led his party in the 2001 election, but is not about to do so now. He says the party should stick to its priorities: protecting the NHS, reforming education, sorting out the economy. "We must not change that strategy and that means in the campaign itself those issues have to be to the fore. So if you are saying the Conservatives should make immigration a front-page issue then I say no. It would be a distraction to fight the election on immigration." However, he reiterates party policy, which is a cap on the number of migrants from outside the European Union. At the moment it is running at near 200,000 a year; Mr Cameron says it should be slashed the "tens of thousands". Mr Hague is firm: "We are not going to fight another election on immigration. It would not reflect the nation's priorities."

He does argue that tackling immigration is among those things that voters can rely on a Conservative government to do in any circumstances, along with being tough on crime and not ceding more powers to the EU.
[Newspaper link]


Immigration – politics
Paying the price for a decade of deception
Sir Andrew Green
Daily Mail, 12 February 2010

So there was indeed a Labour conspiracy to change the nature of our society by mass immigration.

New evidence confirms claims made by a Labour political adviser last October which he subsequently tried to recant.

In an article for the Evening Standard, Andrew Neather revealed that 'it didn't just happen: the deliberate policy of ministers from late 2000 until at least February last year ...was to open up the UK to mass migration'.

He went on to describe a Government policy document which he had helped to write in 2000.

He said that 'drafts were handed out in summer 2000 only with extreme reluctance: there was paranoia about it reaching the media'.

The paper eventually surfaced as a purely technical product of the research department of the Home Office but earlier drafts that he saw 'included a driving political purpose: that mass immigration was the way that the Government was going to make the UK truly multicultural'.

We in Migrationwatch have now obtained an earlier draft of that policy paper, circulated in October 2000.

It had already been censored but it was to be neutered still further. In the executive summary, six of eight references to 'social' objectives were cut from the version later published.

What could have been meant by social policy in the context of immigration, especially as it was dressed up as combating social exclusion?

This must surely have been code for increasing the numbers substantially, as Mr Neather revealed. If not, why all the secrecy?

Why the censorship that has now been laid bare? Reading between the lines of these documents it is clear that political advisers in Number 10, its joint authors, were preparing a blueprint for mass immigration with both economic and social objectives.

None of this was in the Labour manifesto of 1997 or 2001. One passage in the report that the political censors failed to cut was a prediction about foreign immigration from outside the European Union.

This had it climbing from 142,000 in 1998 to nearly 180,000 in 2005 (in fact, it reached nearly 200,000 by that date).

But what this shows is that ministers were clearly warned about a continuing rise in immigration which, even leaving aside the East Europeans, has been even greater than expected.

So what can we deduce from all this? Mr Neather later withdrew some of his remarks but examination of the texts shows that he had, in fact, blurted out the truth.

It seems there was a project led by Downing Street political advisers to introduce a secret policy of mass immigration.

Their economic arguments surfaced in an obscure research document but the social objective of greatly increased diversity was entirely suppressed for fear of public reaction – especially from the white working class. ...

One point to consider is the impact on the electorate. It is not generally realised that Commonwealth citizens legally in Britain acquire the right to vote in general elections as soon as they put their names on the electoral register.

In Labour years we have now seen an additional 300,000 from the Old Commonwealth and about one million from the New Commonwealth.

They may well have been conscious that they have much stronger support among the ethnic communities than their Conservative rivals.

Given that mass immigration is heavily in Labour's electoral interest, they may have thought that they could get away with it.
[Site link]


Immigration – politics
Using immigration to turn Britain into a nation of Labour voters is so shameful I can hardly believe it
Stephen Glover
Daily Mail, 12 February 2010

What will future historians consider to be New Labour's greatest legacy? I don't believe it will be economic collapse or ill-judged foreign adventures or even the apparent peace settlement in Northern Ireland, though all of these will have long-term effects.

My guess, bordering on conviction, is that the achievement for which the Government of 1997 to 2010 will be remembered above all is the unprecedentedly fast rate of immigration into this country.

During this period, some three million immigrants were added to the British population.

Historians may note that the 1997 Labour manifesto offered no clue whatsoever as to what was in store. It merely stated that 'every country must have firm control over immigration and Britain is no exception'.

Neither the manifesto nor the utterances of leading Labour politicians gave the British people any reason to expect the ensuing surge that took place.

Why did it? There were doubtless several reasons, most of which we are familiar with. ...

But some of us have long suspected that there was a deeper cause which had more to do with New Labour's unspoken philosophy than economic forces. And yet, the suggestion that it had deliberately tried to re-engineer Britain for its own political advantage was almost too outrageous to entertain.

Could a political party in a democracy really do that?

A previously unseen official document from 2000 suggests it could. It makes clear that immigration policy was driven partly by economic needs but also by the Government's 'social objectives'.

The phrase 'social objectives' appears eight times in the document's executive summary of a few hundred words, and in six instances was removed in a censored version published in 2001.

Anyone who reads the uncensored document – which has been released following a Freedom of Information request by the pressure group MigrationWatch – can hardly be in any doubt as to the importance of these 'social objectives'.

It is a reasonable inference that these included transforming the social make-up of Britain in a way that would be favourable to New Labour.

Migrants, and to a slightly lesser extent their descendants, are much more likely to vote Labour than for any other party. It seems that one shameful motivation behind New Labour's open-door immigration policy was to alter the social composition of this country so as to improve the chances of the party being reelected.

This confirms what Chris Mullin, the former Labour minister, wrote in his diaries. In January 2004, he lamented the failure of the Government to tackle immigration abuses such as 'the rackets that surround arranged marriages' before noting that 'at least 20 Labour seats depend on Asian votes'. ...

Even as I write these words I can scarcely believe them. That a political party should have put its narrow, selfish interests above those of the country on so enormously important a matter is deeply shocking. To me it is a thousand times more shocking than all the MPs' expenses fiddles about which we have learned recently. ...

Britain does not belong to Labour, and it is to the party's eternal shame that it has behaved as though it did.
[Site link]


Immigration – social objectives, politics
Labour's 'secret plan to lure migrants'
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 10 February 2010

The release of a previously unseen document suggested that Labour's migration policy over the past decade had been aimed not just at meeting the country's economic needs, but also the Government's "social objectives".

The paper said migration would "enhance economic growth" and made clear that trying to halt or reverse it could be "economically damaging". But it also stated that immigration had general "benefits" and that a new policy framework was needed to "maximise" the contribution of migration to the Government's wider social aims.

The Government has always denied that social engineering played a part in its migration policy.

However, the paper, which was written in 2000 at a time when immigration began to increase dramatically, said controls were contrary to its policy objectives and could lead to "social exclusion".

Last night, the Conservatives demanded an independent inquiry into the issue. It was alleged that the document showed that Labour had overseen a deliberate open-door policy on immigration to boost multi-culturalism.

Voting trends indicate that migrants and their descendants are much more likely to vote Labour.

The existence of the draft policy paper, which was drawn up by a Cabinet Office think tank and a Home Office research unit, was disclosed last year by Andrew Neather, a former adviser to Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett.

He alleged at the time that the sharp increase in immigration over the past 10 years was partly due to a "driving political purpose: that mass immigration was the way that the Government was going to make the UK truly multi-cultural".

However, the full document was made public only yesterday following a Freedom of Information request by Migrationwatch, a pressure group. A version of the paper was published in 2001, but most of the references to "social objectives" had been removed. In the executive summary alone, six out of eight uses of the phrase were deleted.

Labour has overseen an unprecedented rise in immigration, which has led to a rise of about three million in the UK population since 1997. Until recently, it accused opponents who called for tougher controls of playing the "race card". Labour was forced to change its rhetoric amid concerns that the economic and social reality of immigration had alienated voters in its heartlands.

Gordon Brown pledged to secure "British jobs for British workers" as the recession led to a rise in unemployment and, just four months ago, he was accused of a U-turn when he insisted that it was "not racist" to discuss the issue.

The document released yesterday suggested that Labour originally pursued a different direction. It was published under the title "Migration: an economic and social analysis" but the removal of significant extracts suggested that officials or ministers were nervous over references to "social objectives".

The original paper called for the need of a new framework for thinking about migration policy but the concluding phrase – "if we are to maximise the contribution of migration to the Government's economic and social objectives" – was edited out.

Another deleted phrase suggested that it was "correct that the Government has both economic and social objectives for migration policy".
[Newspaper link]


Immigration – politics, votes
The key: ethnic communities vote heavily for Labour
Andrew Green
Daily Telegraph, 10 February 2010

I rubbed my eyes with disbelief when I saw an article by Andrew Neather, a former speech writer for Blair, Blunkett and Straw, saying that mass immigration "didn't just happen: the deliberate policy of Ministers from late 2000 ... was to open up the UK to mass immigration".

At last the truth was out. ... ...

Labour got away with it for the best part of 10 years until the white working class started to abandon them in droves. This is a risk they must have seen. Indeed, Mr Neather revealed that the policy of mass immigration was surrounded by tight secrecy for this very reason. ...

According to research conducted for the Electoral Commission in 2005, the ethnic communities vote heavily in favour of Labour. Labour gets about 80 per cent support from the African and Caribbean vote, compared with 2-3 per cent for the Conservatives. For Asian voters, it is about 50 per cent to 10 per cent. ...

Mr Neather's revelations confirm what many have suspected for a long time. Labour have never been honest about the scale of immigration, nor serious about controlling it.
[Newspaper link]


Immigration – politics, deceit
The deceit of Labour's immigration policy
Daily Telegraph, 10 February 2010
[Leading article]

This Government has presided over the biggest inflow of immigrants in our history. In the past 12 years, three million immigrants have made the United Kingdom their home. Our society has been transformed and that transformation will continue. In 2008, a quarter of all births in England and Wales were to foreign-born mothers: in London, it was half. Our population, boosted by this immigration, is expected to reach 70 million by the middle of the century, and many towns in England (already the fifth most densely populated large country on the planet) are experiencing immense pressures on housing and welfare services as a consequence.

It has become commonplace to attribute all this to a catastrophic failure of policy by a Government that simply lost control of our borders. Now we learn that, to the contrary, it was all part of a plan – albeit a secret one – to change the social fabric of this country and make it, in the words of one official involved, "truly multicultural". A policy document written in 2000 was so incendiary that it had to be bowdlerised before publication. The Migrationwatch think tank has, under a Freedom of Information request, obtained the unexpurgated original. It reveals Labour's real agenda just as the floodgates were opening. The document notes that migration pressures would intensify, "but this should not be viewed as a negative"; trying to stem the flow would anyway "be very difficult (perhaps impossible)"; the Government had "both economic and social objectives for immigration policy"; the benefits included "a widening of consumer choice and significant cultural contributions"; entry controls, on the other hand, "can contribute to social exclusion"; and, most devastating of all, the previous policy of curbing immigration had "no economic or social justification".

Here, at last, is the truth of what the Government really thought about immigration but never dared tell the electorate.
[Newspaper link]


Lord Tebbit calls for zero immigration policy
Daily Telegraph, 8 February 2010

Lord Tebbit, the former Conservative cabinet minister, has called for a policy of zero immigration.

In a blog on The Daily Telegraph website, Lord Tebbit said: "These islands are our islands. We live here and it is we, the people, who have the absolute right to decide who may, and who may not, come here and upon what conditions they come." ...

Lord Tebbit concluded: "It seems to me that we must assert that we need to aim for a zero net immigration policy. We cannot achieve that while our frontiers are open to EU citizens, and although that is not too threatening at present, some of the prospective new member states would act like wide open doors to Third World migration."

Lord Tebbit said Britain needed a "decent policy of giving sanctuary to true refugees" but, he added: "We must close the door to others and start serious work on deporting those here illegally, as well as reinstating proper border controls.

"There is much to be done – but the political class will do almost anything to avoid talking about it at the forthcoming election."
[Site link]


Immigration – Poles
Are Poles returning home?
Sanchia Berg
BBC, 22 January 2010

A leading Polish expert on migration has told the BBC that it is simply not true that half the Polish migrants in the UK have returned home.

A recent report estimated that at least half the 1.5 million eastern European migrants who have come to the UK since 2004 have returned home.

Most migrants - one million - are estimated to be Polish.

"We do not see them here," says Prof Krystyna Iglicka, of the Centre for International Affairs in Warsaw.

The report, commissioned by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), follows a 2008 report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) in 2008 which also said half the migrants had returned.

But the Polish Central Statistical Office produces its own estimates of Poles working abroad. According to their figures, the total rose consistently until 2008, when there was a slight fall - a fraction of the British estimates.

Professor Iglicka cited real figures too - not estimates - for the numbers of the returning Poles who have registered at their local labour offices.

She said they would have to do this to transfer any benefits earned abroad, or to claim benefit in Poland. The figures for 2008 were just 22,000 for the whole country.

There are as yet no figures nor estimates for 2009, but Professor Iglicka said she would expect a large number of returnees to affect the labour market or unemployment figures - both of which have remained stable.

She personally would assume that around a million Polish migrants - workers, dependents, students - remain in Britain.

Dr Pawel Kaczmarczyk of the Centre for Migration at Warsaw University helped the Polish government set up the "powroty" or return website, which was intended to help entice the migrants back.

But he too says that the great return has not taken place. He also considers the British estimates inaccurate.

"Definitely 50 percent did not come back," he said.

It was the IPPR which came up with a way of calculating the numbers of migrants who have left, using existing data and some additional research. The second report by the Migration Policy Institute built on their work.

The IPPR have defended their methods - saying that their technique is robust, and the best that could be done with the data available.

Director of Strategic Communication at the IPPR Tim Finch stressed that all such work came with a "health warning" and wouldn't be 100% accurate. He suggested that the missing Poles might have gone to another European country.
[Site link]


Immigration – public opinion, politics
Cameron's call for immigration cap woos voters in Labour seats
David Leppard
The Sunday Times, 17 January 2010

David Cameron could clinch a general election victory by placing a cap of 50,000 on net immigration, a new opinion poll shows.

A YouGov poll in 43 Labour marginals shows that nearly half the respondents were more likely to vote Tory if Cameron backed a 50,000 cap.

The poll is significant because it suggests for the first time that immigration curbs could have a decisive impact on the general election result.

The Conservatives need to win the marginals to help to secure an effective working majority at the election.

With 85% of voters worried about the population reaching 70m by the end of the next decade, the poll indicates that Cameron's pledge to cut net migration to ensure the population remains below that figure could reap benefits.

The Tories will seize on the poll as evidence that placing immigration centre stage in their coming campaign will not backfire, as it did when Michael Howard led the Tories to defeat in 2005.

Then, any talk of a cap on migrants was considered political suicide by most MPs. But the recession and the pressure that record migration has put on jobs and public services has transformed the debate. ... ...

The poll, commissioned by Migrationwatch, a right-wing think tank, found that only the economy is more important than immigration to voters in Labour seats.

When asked which issue was most likely to influence them, 36% of voters in Labour seats named the economy while 13% said it was immigration. Taxation, at 8%, and health, at 6%, were next.

YouGov found that 85% of people in the Labour marginals were worried about the population reaching 70m, with 49% saying they were "very worried".

The poll found that 44% in Labour marginals would be more likely to vote Conservative if Cameron were to say outright that a Tory government would reduce immigration to 50,000 or below.
[Site link]


Immigration – politics
Clegg attacks Tory plans on immigration and marriage tax breaks, and calls for area-based policies for migrant workers
Daily Mail, 17 January 2010

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg today said that he would reform the immigration system by allowing workers into the country on an area by area basis to address the shortage of workers in the north while clamping down on over-saturation of migrant-workers in south-east England.

Mr Clegg said Conservative plans to introduce a cap on immigrants completely ignored parts of Britain where 'some industries were crying out for people'.

He called instead for an Australia-style area-based immigration policy, which would tie an immigrant worker to a particular part of Britain, and would not allow them to work in a more congested part of the nation.

'Some parts of Scotland ... and the fruit-picking trade in Lincolnshire, for example, badly need more workers to come in,' the Lib Dem leader said.

He said it was absolutely plausible to make people register to work in a particular area if there is a shortage of workers there in a system that has proven to work in Australia.
[Site link]


Immigration – politics
Limit on immigrants would be set each year under Tories
Rosa Prince
Daily Telegraph, 11 January 2010

Immigration levels would be capped "in the tens of thousands" each year under a Conservative government, David Cameron said yesterday.

The Tory leader said an annual cap on new arrivals would be announced, based on the number of people who left Britain. Net immigration would be kept in the "tens of thousands", rather than the current level of "hundreds of thousands".

Mr Cameron said he opposed a rise immigration that would take the population above 70 million. ...

The Tory leader said he was in favour of immigration.

"But I think the pressures, particularly on our public services, have been very great", he said.
[Newspaper link]


Immigration – multiculturalism
Migration threatens the DNA of our nation
George Carey, a former Archbishop of Canterbury
The Times, 7 January 2010

Too often in recent years the call for a rational debate on mass migration has degenerated into name-calling and charges of racism. Even the campaign for Balanced Migration, which I have supported, representing cross-party politicians, has barely been heeded by party leaders who have run scared of the issue.

This is why we have launched a declaration calling on the leading political parties to make manifesto commitments to prevent the UK population reaching 70 million, which is projected in official figures by 2029.

The fact is that a rise in the UK population by ten million in two decades will put our nation's resources under considerable strain, stretching almost to breaking point the enormous reserves of tolerance and generosity of the British people.

The declaration by no means spells out a halt to immigration. In fact we welcome the contribution of both economic migrants and asylum seekers to our lively cosmopolitan culture. But we urge a return to the levels of the early 1990s, about 40,000, compared with 163,000 in 2008. Failure to take that action could be seriously damaging to the future harmony of our society.

Last year nearly a million votes were cast for the British National Party. We cannot ignore the fact that such far-right groups exploit genuine concerns about both overpopulation and the ability of this nation to integrate new communities whose values are sometimes very different, even antithetical, to our own.

In Dagenham, where I was brought up, there is a very real danger that a white working-class electorate, alienated by far-reaching social change and largely ignored by the mainstream parties, could vote for a BNP Member of Parliament. This would be a tragedy in our long history of parliamentary democracy. Yet we play into the hands of the far Right if we do not seriously address the concerns that have led to some otherwise decent people supporting modern-day fascism.

There are two aspects to this debate, but they are related. The sheer numbers of migrants from within Europe and elsewhere put the resources of Britain under enormous pressure, but also threaten the very ethos or DNA of our nation.

Recent debates over what it means to be British have been urgently arranged against the background of constitutional changes and the exigencies of mass migration. The Prime Minister has urged us to heed shared values such as tolerance, fair play, pluralism. However, the reality is that these values cannot be said to be solely British. So we must look also to language, institutions and our shared history in valuing what it means to be British and what we could lose if the make-up of our nation changes too rapidly. ...

Yet, is there anything distinctly Christian about such a call? Some will say "no". Our values lie rather with the Enlightenment than with the Church. I believe that history is against them. It is my firm view that our society owes more to our Christian heritage than it realises and to overlook this inheritance of faith will lead to the watering down of the very values of tolerance, openness, inclusion and democracy that we claim are central to all we stand for.
[Site link]


Immigration – politics
Cut migration, says cross-party alliance
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 6 January 2010

A cross-party group of MPs and peers, including a former Commons speaker and a former Archbishop of Canterbury, has demanded that the British population be kept under 70 million or put harmony at risk.

The Parliamentary Cross-party Group on Balanced Migration has called on the main political parties to make an election pledge to slash immigration.

The group includes Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Baroness Boothroyd, the former Speaker, and Lord Jordan, the former president of the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union.

They have signed a declaration demanding net immigration be reduced from 163,000 to 40,000, so the population does not pass 70 million within two decades. ...

The group says: "We are convinced that failure to take action would be seriously damaging to the future harmony of our society. Nearly a million votes by our fellow citizens for an extremist party amount to a danger sign which must not be ignored.

"If politicians want to rebuild the public's trust in the political system, they cannot continue to ignore this issue which matters so much to so many people. The time has come for action."

In a joint statement, the co-chairmen of the group, Frank Field, the Labour MP, and Nicholas Soames, the Tory MP, said: "Poll after poll shows the public to be deeply concerned about immigration and its impact on our population."
[Newspaper link]


Immigration – Gurkhas
Fears over migrant Gurkhas
Daily Telegraph, 6 January 2010

Armed Forces' charities said yesterday they were concerned over their ability to cope with the numbers of former Gurkhas asking for help.

One predicted that up to 12,000 former soldiers could apply for British residency over the next three years after winning the right to settle here last year. Many will need accommodation and basic equipment on arrival. ...

The Ministry of Defence said that more than 2,000 people had attended its resettlement office in Nepal since it opened three months ago.
[Newspaper link]



Immigration abroad – Canada
Canada's population growing because of immigration: StatsCan
Rebecca Lindell / Postmedia News, 22 December 2010

Canada's population in the third quarter of 2010 was driven forward by the highest immigration rates seen in four decades, Statistics Canada says.

Canada's population was estimated at 34,238,000 as of Oct. 1 – an increase of 129,300 since July. The federal agency said 65 per cent of that growth came from new Canadians during the three-month period, as 84,200 immigrants arrived in the country.

The influx reached most provinces and territories, some of which had their highest quarterly immigration levels since 1971. ...

Growth driven by immigration is a trend the federal government said it expects to continue – at least through the end of 2010.

"In 2010, we should be landing the largest number of permanent residents in 50 years," said Kelli Fraser, a spokeswoman for Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Canada expects to welcome between 240,000 and 265,000 newcomers by the end of this year.

Fraser said that number is driven largely by a June announcement that Canada would open its doors to more immigrants, especially those in the economic category.

"The reason the announcement was made was because the post-recession economy is now demanding a high level of legal immigration to keep the workforce strong," she said, adding that there also has been a high number of family reunification immigrants and refugees.

To date, the department said it has already made more decisions, issued more visas and admitted more people to Canada over last year.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – population, USA
Census: Population Up 27 Million in Just 10 Years
Steven A. Camarota
Center for Immigration Studies, 21 December 2010

Most of the media coverage of the 2010 Census will likely focus on the country's changing racial composition and the redistribution of seats in Congress. But neither of these is the most important finding. Rather, it is the dramatic increase in the size of the U.S. population itself that has profound implications for our nation's quality of life and environment. Most of the increase has been, and will continue to be, a result of one federal policy: immigration. Projections into the future from the Census Bureau show we are on track to add 130 million more people to the U.S. population in the just the next 40 years, primarily due to future immigration.

• Immigration accounted for three-quarters of population growth during the decade. Census Bureau data found 13.1 million new immigrants (legal and illegal) who arrived in the last 10 years; there were also about 8.2 million births to immigrant women during the decade. ...

• Without a change in immigration policy, the nation is projected to add roughly 30 million new residents each decade for the foreseeable future. ...

• While our country obviously can "fit" more people, and technology and planning can help manage the situation, forcing such high population growth through immigration policy has profound implications for the environment, traffic, congestion, sprawl, water quality, and the loss of open spaces. ...

• Census Bureau data collected earlier this year showed that the 13.1 million immigrants who arrived in the last 10 years, plus all of the children they had once in the country, have reduced the average age in the United States slightly, from 37.4 years to 36.8 years.

• As the Census Bureau stated in its population projections published in 2000, immigration is a "highly inefficient" means for addressing the problem of an aging society in the long run. The updated projections done in 2008 show the same thing.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Australia
Beware gurus selling high migration
Ross Gittins
The Sydney Morning Herald, 20 December 2010

The economic case for rapid population growth though immigration is surprisingly weak, but a lot of economists are keen to give you the opposite impression. Fortunately, the Productivity Commission can't bring itself to join in the happy sales job.

I suspect that, since almost all economists are great believers in economic growth as the path to ever higher material living standards, they have a tendency to throw in population growth for good measure. There's no doubt a bigger population leads to a bigger economy; the question is whether it leads to higher real income per person, thereby raising average living standards. ...

In 2006 the Productivity Commission conducted a modelling exercise to assess the effect of a 50 per cent increase in our skilled immigrant intake. It found that, after 20 years, real gross domestic product was only about 4 per cent higher than otherwise.

And the increase in real income per person was minor. What's more, most of the gains accrued to the migrants themselves, with the existing population suffering a tiny net decline in income. Why this lack of benefit? You'd expect the extra skilled labour to raise the proportion of the population participating in the labour force, thus boosting production per person.

But most of the productiveness of workers are achieved by the physical capital they're given to work with. ...

Note, too, that we have to increase the housing stock to accommodate the migrant workers and their families, as well as providing the extra public infrastructure for a bigger population. So the migrants are paid to supply their labour, but the rest of us have to provide the extra economic and social capital they need if standards aren't to fall.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA
Is This Our America Anymore?
Patrick J. Buchanan, 17 December 2010

Buried in the Oct. 30 Washington Post was a bland headline: "Report Points to Faster Recovery in Jobs for Immigrants."

The story, however, contained social dynamite that explains the rage of Americans who are smeared as nativists and xenophobes for demanding a timeout on immigration.

In the April-May-June quarter, foreign-born workers in the U.S. gained 656,000 jobs. And native-born Americans lost 1.2 million.

From July 1, 2009, to June 30, 2010, foreign-born Hispanics gained 98,000 construction jobs. Native-born Hispanics lost 133,000. Black and white U.S. construction workers lost 511,000 jobs.

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, from Jan. 1, 2000, to Jan. 1, 2010, 13.1 million immigrants, legal and illegal, entered the United States, a decade in which America lost 1 million jobs.

From 2008 and 2009, the figures are startling. In 24 months, 2.4 million immigrants, legal and illegal, arrived, as U.S. citizens were losing 8.6 million jobs.

Query: Why are we importing a million-plus workers a year when 17 million Americans can't find work? Whose country is this?

Why do we not declare a moratorium on all immigration, until our unemployment rate falls to 6 or 5 percent? Charity begins at home. Ought we not take care of our own jobless first before we invite in strangers to take their jobs?

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, each year between 300,000 and 400,000 "anchor babies" are born to illegal aliens. These newborns are entitled to citizenship, free health care and education, welfare and food stamps.

Their parents – almost all are poor or working class – rarely pay any state or federal income tax.

How long can we keep granting citizenship and full social welfare benefits to the children of people who break our laws and break into our country or overstay their visas? How long can we keep bringing in workers to take jobs when our unemployment rate hovers around 10 percent?

Again, according to the Pew Center, the number of anchor babies here now is about 4 million. Add to that 3 million to 4 million born each decade, and it will not be long before Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and Texas resemble California, which is on the brink of default.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Canada
Immigration in Canada: A smaller welcome mat
The Economist, 16 December 2010

Canada has long been known as one of the world's most welcoming countries for immigrants, and thus a good bet for refugees, who are granted most of the same rights and freedoms as citizens. ... But multiculturalism has been a part of the national identity since 1971, when a Liberal government embraced it as official policy. Today 20% of the population is foreign-born. The biggest sources of new arrivals are China, the Philippines and India.

Yet the Conservative minority government of Stephen Harper that took power in 2006 has begun to restrict immigration. It has toughened the citizenship test and doubled the lump sum required to gain quick access as an investor. And it has presented bills to fine and jail people-traffickers and detain their clients, and to penalise unauthorised immigration advisers who charge fees (to be called the Cracking Down on Crooked Consultants Act).

Mr Harper is also changing the profile of immigrants who are accepted, giving priority to the skilled over the needy. His government has cut the refugee intake by 36% and imposed visa requirements on visitors from Mexico and the Czech Republic, some of whom it accuses of exploiting loopholes in the asylum system. The only category of immigrants to have grown significantly since 2005 is temporary workers, who are rarely a drag on the state.

All this adds up to slight tinkering, rather than the kind of retreat from multiculturalism seen in parts of Europe, or America's harder line against illegal immigration. The number of new permanent residents accepted every year has held steady since 1990, at 0.7-0.8% of the population. But the changes reflect Canadians' newly ambivalent attitudes. And they go with an increasingly vocal debate about immigration.

A report on national security published last month by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, a non-partisan think-tank, listed "uncontrolled immigration" as one of three foreseeable threats to Canada. ... ...

... Given immigrants' numbers, bashing them is politically dangerous: they and their children are already a majority in Toronto, the country's most populous city. ...

That seems borne out by an opinion poll commissioned by the government. Only one respondent in four said there were too many immigrants, whereas half said the current level was about right. Canada may be narrowing the door for immigrants, but it is not about to slam it shut.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – World
UN: Migrant population on pace to reach 405 million by 2050
Earth Times, 16 December 2010

If migration continues at the same pace as in the last 20 years, there would 405 million migrants by 2050 around the world who will bring enormous benefits to local economies, the UN said Thursday.

The statement was issued in advance of Saturday's observance of International Migrants Day.

The International Organization for Migration said the steep rise in the migrant population is in response to an expected 25-per-cent decline in population in industrialized nations.

At the same time, demand for migrant workers will increase as the labour force in developing countries will grow from 2.4 billion people in 2005 to 3.6 billion by 2040.

The IOM said native-born US citizens gained an estimated 37 billion dollars a year from immigrants' contributions to their economy, according the US president's Council of Economic Advisers. It said one in 10 self-employed business people in the United States is a migrant.

Yet some Americans have reacted negatively against migrant workers, IOM said.

"Unfortunately, many of these discussions are based on emotions and myths and not on social and economic reality," IOM director William Lacy Swing said. "Migration now and in the future will be driven by global economic, social and demographic trends that can no longer be ignored."

The IOM, which recently issued a fresh report on world migration, cited an earlier study by the University College London, which showed that Eastern European migrants paid 37 per cent more in taxes than they received in benefits and public services in Britain in 2008-09.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – World
US is still the world's leading destination for immigrants
Brigitte Perucca
Guardian Weekly, 14 December 2010
[This article originally appeared in Le Monde]

In a study published last month, France's Demographic Studies Institute (Ined) lists countries that have the largest number of migrants in absolute or relative terms, and also where the millions of migrants come from.

Although a large number leave their homes in the developing world in search of work in industrialised countries, there is still significant movement between emerging economies, and from one part of the developed world to another.

Of the 214 million people living outside their home country (just over 3% of the world's population, according to a UN estimate published this year), 62 million left a country in the south for a destination in the north. Migration between countries in the south involved 61 million people, against 53 million in the north.

With 43 million foreign nationals on American territory in 2010, according to UN forecasts, the US remains the world's prime destination for immigration, well ahead of Russia, with 12.3 million immigrants. In all, some 13% of the population were born outside the US. For the last five years its "migratory balance" – the difference between the number of people entering and leaving the country – is estimated at 1 million a year.

In most other industrialised western democracies the proportion of immigrants ranges from 7% to 16%, according to Ined. This category includes Germany (13%), France (11%), the UK and the Netherlands (10%), and Belgium (9%). Spain is a relative newcomer, having only become a big destination for immigration in the past 20 years, with a peak in 2002-07. Immigrants now account for 14% of the population.

But in terms of the share of the total population these countries have fallen far behind the Gulf states, where immigrants sometimes outnumber the natives, as in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. Europe has also been overtaken by Australia and Canada, where 21% of the population are immigrants.

Lastly, the proportion of immigrants is particularly high in countries with an attractive tax system, such as Monaco (72%), Singapore (41%), or to a lesser extent Luxembourg (35%) and Switzerland (23%).

So where do the migrants come from? The answers here are less precise, "arrivals being more accurately registered than departures". Mexico ranks as the top source country (10 million migrants) with many of its citizens resident in the US. India is close behind (9 million), followed by Bangladesh (6.5 million).

But as a percentage of total population the smaller countries rank highly for emigration. A third of the population of the Cape Verde islands live abroad. The same is true of Bosnia, with almost as many (27%) having left Albania. The UK stands out: in 2000, it had almost as many emigrants (4.2 million) as immigrants (4.9 million). In contrast, France is one of the countries with the smallest number of expatriates.

Finally a word of caution: the national perspective underpinning the Ined study fails to reveal the full picture regarding migration. For example, proportionally only a very few Chinese move abroad (0.1%), but huge numbers of people have migrated from one province to another in recent years.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – European Union, Libya
Libya to cut anti-migrant efforts unless EU pays
Reuters, 13 December 2010

Libya will scale back its efforts to stem the flow of illegal migrants from Africa to Europe unless the European Union meets its demands for additional funding, a government minister said on Monday.

Oil exporter Libya intercepts thousands of sub-Saharan Africans each year crossing its territory on their way to Europe, but says it is not fair that it has to shoulder the burden of defending the EU's borders.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, on a visit to Italy in August, demanded that the EU pay Libya 5 billion euros ($6.6 billion) a year to help it fight illegal immigration.

"If there is no money, there will be no security, there will be no guards (on the borders)," Abdalfatah Yunes Elabedi, Libya's public security minister, told reporters at a meeting of north African and southern European interior ministers.

"We thought the situation would not reach this point because it would be a disaster for the Europeans.

"Either they (the EU) do what they have to do, in which case we will be grateful to them, or they will bear responsibility for their decision," he said at the meeting in Tripoli.

The minister said that, as part of the funding row, Libya had already suspended some development projects in sub-Saharan Africa that were aimed at discouraging people from leaving home and trying to reach Europe.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Jews, Moroccans, Netherlands
Dutch politician urges Jews to 'emigrate to US or Israel'
Ynetnews, 7 December 2010

Prominent Dutch politician Frits Bolkestein sparked an uproar in the Netherlands by saying practicing Jews had "no future here, and should emigrate to the US or Israel," French newspaper Le Monde reported Tuesday.

In the recently released book "The Decay; Jews in a Rudderless Netherlands" by Manfred Gerstenfeld, chairman of the Board of Fellows at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the former European Commissioner and ex-leader of Holland's ruling rightist VVD party is quoted as saying there is no future for Orthodox Jews in Holland because of "the anti-Semitism among Dutchmen of Moroccan descent, whose numbers keep growing."

He added that the increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the Netherlands over the past decade had led him to have limited confidence in the government's ability to fight anti-Semitism.

Bolkestein also said he was "pessimistic regarding the never-ending Israeli-Palestinian conflict that feeds anti-Semitism."

The Dutch parliament is expected to hold a special session to discuss Bolkestein's remarks.

Geert Wilders, the leader of the anti-Islam Party for Freedom, reacted by saying that "not Jews should emigrate, but anti-Semitic Moroccans."
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Israel
Israel fears 'flood' of migrants threatens state / APNews, 6 December 2010

In recent years, tens of thousands of Africans ... have entered the country through its long desert border with Egypt, turning Israel, like parts of Europe, into a magnet for asylum seekers, and even more, for migrants desperate for jobs in the industrialized world.

Their arrivals are hardly being welcomed. Facing a public furor, the government is scrambling to erect a fence along the 130-mile (220-kilometer) Egyptian border and a massive detention center in the remote southern desert.

With Israel, however, come special complications: Founded six decades ago in the wake of the Nazi Holocaust genocide, its society is torn between a sense of duty toward the persecuted and fears that the influx might make the country less Jewish.

In a speech to parliament last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of a "flood" of illegal migrants. "It is threatening the jobs of Israelis, and it is threatening the Jewish and democratic character of the state of Israel," he said.

The government says that all but a select few are economic migrants and not eligible for refugee status. But critics charge the government is turning away bona fide refugees fleeing persecution. ...

Some cities have been transformed. Some 10 percent of the population of the Red Sea resort town of Eilat are African migrants, and an entire neighborhood in south Tel Aviv is known as "Little Africa," where ethnic food shops and phone card stalls line the streets. ...

Initially, Israel took in many of the early arrivals, providing shelter and even arranging jobs in hotels and on kibbutz collective farms. Nearly 3,000 people received temporary residence or work permits. But with no overarching policy, most migrants are simply released onto the streets after brief detentions.

Haifa University geography professor Arnon Soffer estimates that if the current pace persists there will be approximately 500,000 illegal migrants in Israel within 15 years. He called the influx an "existential threat" to a country of just 7.6 million people.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – population, USA
Census estimates US population at 306M to 313M
Hope Yen / Associated Press, 6 December 2010

Census surprise? The government provided new estimates Monday showing the U.S. population grew to somewhere between roughly 306 million and 313 million over the last decade, acknowledging uncertainty due to rapid shifts in immigration.

The estimates, which are separate from the official 2010 census count, are based on a review of birth and death records as well as calculations of new immigrants as of April 1, 2010. ... ...

The estimates also indicate:

Hispanics accounted for all the growth in the youth population in the last decade. In 2000, Hispanics made up 17 percent of the U.S. population under age 20. They now represent somewhere between 22 and 25 percent of that age group.

There were roughly 40.9 million to 41.7 million blacks in the U.S., based on a tabulation that includes Hispanic blacks. That would put the share of blacks at roughly 13 percent of the U.S. population.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – crime, deportation, Switzerland
Swiss referendum backs expelling convicted foreigners
Catherine Bosley and Anne Richardson
Reuters, 28 November 2010

A majority of Swiss voted in a referendum on Sunday to ease the expulsion of foreigners convicted of serious crimes such as murder, the latest sign of growing hostility to immigration in the Alpine state.

Some 53 percent of voters accepted a proposal to deport automatically foreigners convicted of crimes including rape or trafficking in drugs or people, according to returns published by Swiss television.

A committee will draw up a draft law that minimizes any conflict with Switzerland's international obligations, the government said. The law will then be voted on by parliament. ...

The expulsion initiative was put forward by the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP), which has mined increasing fear about immigration in recent years to become the country's biggest political movement.

Posters for the SVP's proposal show a group of white sheep kicking a black sheep off the Swiss flag. They first ran when the SVP was collecting signatures for the referendum. ...

Critics have said the SVP's proposal could contravene international anti-discrimination treaties and the free movement of peoples under European Union law. Switzerland is outside the EU, but has accepted the bloc's code allowing EU citizens to take up residence without special permission.

Under current law, decisions to expel foreigners convicted of serious crimes are made on a case-by-case basis.

Swiss official figures show that foreigners – who make up more than a fifth of Switzerland's population of 7.7 million – are disproportionately charged with crimes.

Turnout was 53 percent, above the usual 40 percent in Swiss referendums, Swiss television reported.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – national identity, Israel
Israel to crack down on illegal migrant workers
Ori Lewis
Reuters, 28 November 2010

Israel approved a plan on Sunday to hold and deport thousands of illegal migrant workers whom Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described as a "threat to the character of the country."

In remarks to the cabinet, Netanyahu said thousands of migrants who have entered Israel mainly through Egypt in past years would be housed at a special holding facility, due to built in Israel's southern Negev desert.

"We must stop the mass entry of illegal migrant workers because of the very serious threat to the character and future to the state of Israel," he said, adding Israelis who gave them work would face severe fines to make their employment unviable.

Established as a Jewish state in 1948, Israel welcomes Jewish newcomers, most of whom receive automatic citizenship, but policies toward non-Jewish migrants are more restrictive. ...

Netanyahu said however that migrants fleeing persecution would be allowed to stay. ...

Eyal Gabai, director-general of Netanyahu's office, said last week that over 35,000 migrants had entered Israel in the past few years and that in 2011 Israel could expect to see up to 20,000 migrants enter illegally.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – diversity promotion, USA
USA Visa Program Record: 15M Worldwide Entered the Green Card Lottery
Tudor Cozma, 24 November 2010

The USA Green Card Lottery just hit a new record: this year, 15 million people worldwide applied for a green card. The "diversity visa program" is in fact a government program that offers permanent U.S. residence to 50,000 people a year, randomly selecting the lucky winners. According to the State Department, this year's green card lottery drew nearly 25 percent more applicants than last year. However, some lawmakers now call for an end to the immigration program.

Each year, the green card lottery causes a rage all across the developing world, with millions of applicants rushing to fill out online applications in hopes of winning a USA green card. This year the one-month enrollment ended November 3, and in the last hours 62,000 applications were submitted per hour. However, many critics argue that the government program poses major security risks by luring uneducated immigrants and allowing individuals worldwide to enter the country more quickly than others sponsored by employers or relatives. Also, the USA green card lottery has given an opportunity to many con artists to create hundreds of phishing sites and Internet scams.

The green card lottery program was launched in 1990 to promote diversity in the immigrant population. Now, it is open to people worldwide, except countries like Mexico, China, India and the Philippines, that already boast a great number of nationals in the U.S. Millions of people chase "The American Dream", and the USA green card lottery is even more appealing as it doesn't require any special skills, a high school diploma will do. The green card is often just the first step for someone who dreams of becoming a US citizen. Applying for US citizenship is the next step for many lottery winners.

The number of applications has been rising each year, and this year's total was more than 2.5 times greater than five years ago. ...

The draw will be made electronically and about 100,000 applicants will be notified in May and scheduled to undergo interviews, background checks and medical exams. Half of them will be eligible to move to the U.S. Although there is no cap on how many times can an individual enter the lottery, no country can represent more than seven percent of the total visas issued in one year.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – politics, multiculturalism, USA
Black, Hispanic Caucus Members Gain Clout
Gary Fields
Wall Street Journal, 23 November 2010

The black and Hispanic caucuses emerged from this month's elections as among the largest blocs in the House, and their members said they planned to push hard for liberal priorities such as government spending to create jobs.

Members of the two caucuses will hold nearly a third of the Democratic seats in the next Congress – 61 of the party's 190 seats – with the outcome of several additional House races still up in the air.

While centrist Democrats bore the brunt of the midterm election losses, members of the black and Hispanic caucuses, all Democrats and most of them liberal, won 56 of 60 re-election bids. They will gain seniority as the minority-party members on congressional committees and will carry a louder voice among the Democratic House contingent. ...

... In an uncommon development, the Congressional Black Caucus next year will include at least one Republican, Allen West, who opposed the economic-stimulus program in his campaign. ...

Mr. West said he wanted to address unemployment among African-Americans and broaden the discussion within the caucus on "how do we extend long-term economic growth in that community." ...

Mr. West and Tim Scott, newly elected from South Carolina, are among only six African-Americans to be elected as Republicans to the House or Senate since the Congressional Black Caucus formed in 1969.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Scott said he hadn't made a decision about joining the caucus. The most recent black Republican in Congress, Rep. J.C. Watts of Oklahoma, didn't join the black caucus when he was in office. The other African-American Republican lawmakers all joined. Amid Hispanic lawmakers, Republicans in 2003 formed a separate organization, the Congressional Hispanic Conference.

A second priority for the black and Hispanic caucuses is an overhaul of immigration policies that would include a pathway to citizenship for many undocumented immigrants.

Some lawmakers say the midterm elections should give Democrats an incentive to push for new immigration laws favored by Hispanic voters. Those voters were important to the Democrats' Senate victories in California, Nevada and Colorado, which were among the party's few bright spots in the midterm elections.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Australia, population
Population boom inevitable, PM told
Josh Gordon
The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 November 2010

Julia Gillard's election pitch to avoid a "big Australia" is to be abandoned after a Treasury warning that strong future immigration is "probably inescapable".

In another policy retreat, the government's population review has been delayed and "recalibrated" to focus on skills shortages and regional growth, rather than nominating population targets.

During the election campaign in August, Ms Gillard said Australia should not "hurtle" towards a big population. At the time, she said a Treasury projection that Australia would have a population of 36 million people by 2050 was excessive. ...

However, a Treasury briefing sent to Ms Gillard after the campaign suggests she could have no choice. The briefing warns that the prediction of 36 million people "factors in a significant reduction" in migration, from a recent peak of 300,000 to an annual average of 180,000.

It concludes that even if annual net migration was lowered to an unrealistically low 60,000 per annum, Australia's population would still reach 29 million by 2050.

"Given the powerful global forces driving the Australian economy, net immigration figures well in excess of that low number are probably inescapable," the briefing says. ...

A senior Labor source said business groups had been pressuring the government to adopt a default position "where the issue of specific targets is not addressed".

"I believe the government has accepted the reality that it is not prepared to cut migration to the extent needed to significantly reduce population growth," the source said.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Europe, North America
It's no longer taboo to question immigration
Paul Stanway
Calgary Herald, 13 November 2010

Privately, the impact of immigration has been a constant topic among Europeans, almost an obsession, but it's been a no-go area of public discussion. Only "racists" and "bigots" challenged immigration policy. For mainstream politicians it became a dreaded third rail.

Until now. The combination of Muslim extremism and the recession seems to have encouraged European leaders to confront this elephant in the room. With much trepidation, countries of the European Union are tightening immigration rules, and for the first time in 50 years talking about the expectation that immigrants should "assimilate."

It's produced some head-spinning changes in direction. In Germany, as recently as 2005, new legislation declared the country an immigrant society and officially placed multiculturalism at the heart of public policy. A couple of weeks ago German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that "multikulti" was dead, kaput!

Remarkable, but not the sudden "racist" eruption that some commentators would have us believe. It has more to do with overpopulation and labour supply than bigotry.

With slower economic growth and the EU's expansion to include much of Eastern Europe, it has an adequate supply of cheap labour within its borders: one that's legally entitled to live and work in the EU. It no longer needs to import labour from forgotten empires. ...

In Canada we need more immigrants to supplement our pathetic birthrate and grow our economy. The issue is whether we choose new citizens, or sit back and allow a free-for-all.

The U.S. is already more crowded than Canada, and stress on public services and an intractable unemployment rate could persuade Washington to scale back immigration. The flow of migrants into the U.S. has increased by an astonishing 40 per cent since the passage of the 1990 Immigration Act – and almost half of those are illegals!

Without changes, the U.S. Census Bureau predicts the country's population will rise from around 310 million to more than 400 million by 2050 – and some 70 million of that increase will come from immigration.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – multiculturalism, California, USA
Latino kids now majority in state's public schools
Will Kane
San Francisco Chronicle, 13 November 2010

Latinos now make up a majority of California's public school students, cracking the 50 percent barrier for the first time in the state's history, according to data released Friday by the state Department of Education.

Almost 50.4 percent of the state's students in the 2009-10 school year identified themselves as Hispanic or Latino, up 1.36 percent from the previous year.

In comparison, 27 percent of California's 6.2 million students identified themselves as white, 9 percent as Asian and 7 percent as black. Students calling themselves Filipino, Pacific Islander, Native American or other total almost 7 percent. ...

It's no surprise that Latinos make up the new majority in California schools, considering that their numbers have grown by leaps and bounds in recent decades. In 2009, Latinos made up 37 percent of the state's population, a number that continues to increase, according to the California Department of Finance. ...

Fuller, the UC Berkeley professor, suggested state educators look at language education in an entirely new way.

"If the majority of the population is becoming bilingual," he said, referring to the growing Latino population learning English, "why shouldn't the white minority also become bilingual?"
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Islam, multiculturalism, Germany
Germans argue over 'failure to integrate'
BBC, 7 November 2010

Thilo Sarrazin is not charismatic, but he has become a man of influence. He has changed the debate over immigration in Germany. ...

I met Thilo Sarrazin at his old school in Recklinghausen. He was there to promote his book, Germany Abolishes Itself. He is both reviled and admired for its controversial thesis. ...

... His book has sold close to a million copies.

His essential message is that Muslims are either "unwilling or unable to integrate" into Western society. "If the majority of migrants from non-Muslim countries don't have any obvious problem integrating," he told a packed hall, "then the failure to integrate on the part of migrants from Muslim countries can't be due to a fault on our side - because all are treated equally. It has to be because of a characteristic of Muslims themselves."

He is not a great speaker. He deals in statistics. He recognises that some Muslims have integrated, but he believes Germany has gone too far in trying to accommodate them. "People who obey laws are welcome to live here," he told me, but he wants to end Muslim immigration. ...

Last month, Chancellor Angela Merkel said multiculturalism had "failed utterly". What she meant was that some immigrants and others who had lived in Germany for some years were not integrating. Last week at a regional conference for her party in Essen she said: "Of course integration has changed our society, but not at the expense of our core values... We are Christians and this informs everything we do... We are for diversity but we will not abandon our basic beliefs."

What seems to be changing is what is expected from immigrants. The past idea of multiculturalism was that migrants could live in their new societies much as they had done previously in their home countries. Now the emphasis is on them adapting. The fear is that otherwise there will be separate, parallel communities. ...

Prof Jurgen Habermas, writing in the New York Times last week, said Germany was being roiled by "waves of political turmoil over integration, multiculturalism and the role of the 'Leitkultur', or guiding national culture." He said it was reinforcing trends towards xenophobia. He sees clear dangers in getting immigrants to assimilate "the values of the majority culture and to adopt its customs".
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA
Republican Resurgence Likely to Derail 'Immigration Reform'
Fox News, 6 November 2010

As part of an 11th-hour appeal, President Obama warned Hispanic voters last month that the fate of "comprehensive immigration reform" would hinge largely on Tuesday's midterm elections.

Now that Republicans, through sweeping gains in those elections, have captured the House and diminished the Democratic majority in the Senate, the fate of that initiative is very much in doubt.

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, who is expected to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said "immigration reform" will be pushed aside for streamlined enforcement of current laws.

"The enforcement of our immigration laws is critical to both our national security and economic prosperity," he told the San Antonio Express. "We need to know who is entering our country, and why."

He told the newspaper that the committee under his leadership would "enact policies that will better secure our border and discourage illegal immigration, human smuggling and drug trafficking."
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Greece, European Union
Migrants race to beat EU border crackdown
Daily Telegraph, 1 November 2010

Migrants were streaming into Greece from Turkey yesterday in an attempt to get into the European Union two days before the EU sends in rapid intervention teams to shore up the border.

Dozens of illegal immigrants, most from far beyond Turkey itself, crossed the border over the weekend, wading across streams and walking through farmland to reach frontier villages near Orestiada in north-eastern Greece.

Greece, already facing a huge financial crisis, said its facilities were overwhelmed.

Frontex, the border agency, will deploy 175 staff as Rapid Border Intervention Teams in an attempt to stem the flow.

Greece currently accounts for 90 per cent of the EU's detected illegal border crossings, up from 50 per cent two years ago, and has reported 45,000 illegal border crossings in the first half of the year.
[Newspaper link]


Immigration abroad – employment, USA
Immigrants top native born in U.S. job hunt
Aaron Smith
Cable News Network / CNNMoney, 29 October 2010

Immigrants have gained hundreds of thousands of jobs since the Great Recession is said to have ended, while U.S.-born workers lost more than a million jobs, according to a study released Friday.

Native-born workers lost 1.2 million jobs in the year following June 2009, when economists say the recession officially ended, reported the Pew Hispanic Center, a division of the Pew Research Center.

In that same period of time, foreign-born workers gained 656,000 jobs, according to the center, which based its analysis on statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Labor.

The study did not specify whether or not the immigrants were authorized to be in the United States. A separate Pew study released earlier this year said 7.8 million immigrants, about a third of the foreign-born labor force, are unauthorized. ...

Immigrants suffered a decline in pay even as they experienced a boom in employment. From 2009 to 2010, the pay for foreign-born workers fell by 4.5%, compared to a decline of less than 1% for U.S.-born workers.

"It might be that in the search for jobs in the recovery, immigrants were more accepting of lower wages and reduced hours because many, especially unauthorized immigrants, are not eligible for unemployment benefits," read the report. ...

Pew also said there is evidence that immigrants are becoming a much larger part of the U.S. work force. Foreign-born workers make up 15.7% of the labor force now, compared to 9.7% in 1995, according to the study.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – multiculturalism, integration, Germany
Germany's charged immigration debate
Stephen Evans
BBC, 17 October 2010

When German Chancellor Angela Merkel sat beside Recep Tayyip Erdogan as their two countries played each other at football earlier in the month, nothing could have seemed friendlier. ...

For her, the idea of the two cultures melding amicably has not happened.

This type of "multikulti" (as German sceptics call it disparagingly) has "utterly failed", as she put it in a speech on Saturday.

But the headline does not tell the whole story.

She added a softening caveat: "We should not be a country either which gives the impression to the outside world that those who don't speak German immediately or who were not raised speaking German are not welcome here. That would do great damage to our country.

"Companies will go elsewhere because they won't find the people to work here anymore."

In other words, her basic message is that integration has not worked - but it needs to. And immigrants have to accept that, in particular, they need to learn the language.

This is far short of the harder line of Thilo Sarrazin, a central banker who caused a storm by saying: "A large number of Arabs and Turks have no productive function other than in the fruit and vegetable trade."

Mrs Merkel treads warily because she finds herself in a hard place. There is a strong view among Germans that immigration has harmed the country.

A study by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation indicated that nearly a third of respondents agreed that "foreigners come to abuse the welfare state" and that immigrants might "overrun" the country.

It is a minority - but a growing minority and one that the researchers say crosses party boundaries.

It is not a fringe view, but one that permeates the mainstream - which is, of course, the core of voters. ...

In the blunter pages of populist newspapers, the image is one of a country being taken over by an alien culture.

Europe's most popular newspaper, Bild, talks of the "insanity" of multiculturalism. ...

Opinion polls suggest many Germans agree with Bild. A recent one showed 55% thinking that Muslims were a burden on the economy.

There are about four million people of Turkish background in Germany, half of them full citizens.

Part of the difficulty might be in the way they were invited - to work but not to stay. Turkish migration to Germany stems from 31 October, 1961, when a labour recruitment agreement was signed between the two countries.

The agreement was tempered in 1964 when the "rotation clause" whereby workers could only stay for a certain time was ended, partly because German companies did not want to constantly retrain new workers.

But the impression remained that Turks were in Germany on sufferance.

There has been a change in attitudes - but it is hard to say how deep and wide it really goes.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – public opinion, USA
Majority of Americans now believe feds are encouraging illegal immigration
Dave Gibson (National), 11 October 2010

A recent Rasmussen poll found that 62 percent (up six points from October 2009) of likely U.S. voters believe that federal policies are actually encouraging illegal immigration, only 23 percent disagree, with another 16 percent not sure.

That same poll found that 63 percent (up four points from July 2010) of voters favor passage of an immigration law similar to Arizona's SB1070 in their own state, while only 26 percent would oppose such a law.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – deportation, crime, USA
U.S. deportations reach record high
Shankar Vedantam
The Washington Post, 7 October 2010

The Obama administration announced Wednesday that in the past year it has deported a record number of unauthorized immigrants - more than 392,000, about half of whom were convicted criminals.

Officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said removals during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 included more than 1,000 murderers, nearly 6,000 sex offenders, 45,000 drug offenders and 28,000 drunk drivers. The number fell short of the agency expectation of 400,000 deportations but still surpassed the 2009 total of 389,834, the previous record, according to the Associated Press.

The percentage targeting criminals rose sharply - up from 35 percent in the previous fiscal year - in keeping with a new emphasis at the Department of Homeland Security to use immigration enforcement as a crime-fighting tool. ...

Officials said that they had also stepped up audits of employers suspected of using unauthorized immigrants as workers, part of a strategy to undercut the magnet of jobs that draws many migrants. Officials said that 180 owners, employers or managers had been criminally charged and $50 million had been levied in fines. ...

Immigrants who overstay their visas or enter the country without authorization are not considered criminals; unauthorized immigration is an administrative violation. The Obama administration has sought to distinguish such immigrants from those who have committed crimes.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Canada
A few frank words about immigration
Margaret Wente
The Globe and Mail, 7 October 2010

Of all the issues of concern to the future of Toronto, there's one that's off limits during this mayoral election. It's so taboo that nobody will even say the word. It's I-M-M-I-G-R-A-T-I-O-N.

Immigration has helped make Toronto one of the most successful and diverse cities in the world. That's the good news. The bad news is, a lot of immigrants aren't doing well. Many of them live in what are known as "priority neighbourhoods," where unemployment is high and incomes are low. The number of people receiving social assistance has gone up. Although the city has no say in immigration policy, it pays the bills. Meantime, another 100,000 immigrants are arriving in the city every year.

This is not a rant. It's a plea for honest conversation. And that's sometimes hard to have. ...

Canada admits 250,000 immigrants a year, a higher rate than any other country. Why? No one can say. It's not to raise the birth rate or replace our aging workers – the numbers don't work out that way. Is it to create wealth and improve our productivity? If so, it isn't working.

... The two fastest-growing groups in our population are aboriginals and new immigrants. ...

Our system is supposed to select for success. But only 17 per cent of new arrivals are fully assessed on the basis of their employment and language skills. Half never meet a visa officer at all. Most of the people we bring in are "family class" immigrants, including parents and grandparents. The Centre for Immigration Policy Reform estimates that recent immigrants receive billions of dollars a year more in benefits than they pay in taxes.

... ...

No political parties, not even the Conservatives, are in any hurry to debate how many, and who, we bring in. After all, they need the ethnic votes. So the debate has been largely ceded to the immigration industry – an army of lawyers and consultants who try to shut it down by calling people nasty names.

... Politicians may not welcome this debate. But plenty of Canadians think it's long overdue.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – China, Africa, Africans
China cracks down on African immigrants and traders
Tania Branigan
The Guardian, 6 October 2010

Guangzhou has drawn hundred of thousands of people from the continent. Now harassment and prejudice is widespread.

The red vinyl banner hanging from the front of Canaan market, a multi-storey wholesale emporium of cheap jeans and hair extensions, begins promisingly "Welcome to Guangzhou" and concludes, less warmly, "Please have your passport ready for checks by police".

This southern city in China's Guangdong province has drawn hundreds of thousands of immigrants from across Africa in the last decade: from Burkina Faso and Somalia, Ivory Coast and Ghana, Tanzania and Angola. The banner and the dwindling numbers of traders here attest to an immigration crackdown that has alienated many and left young men injured and languishing in detention, community leaders say. ...

It has not always been this way. Between 30,000 and 100,000 Africans, mainly young men, are living here. Most are traders lured by the cheapness and variety of goods made in the surrounding Pearl River Delta. In complexes such as Canaan, they purchase nappies, tractor parts, luxuriantly floral shirts, stock cubes, mobile phones, air conditioners, and pirate DVDs. ... ...

It is common for China to restrict visas in the run-up to big events. But Africans allege they are bearing the brunt. They believe it is harder to gain renewal and complain they are targeted in random raids, with police demanding passports from any black faces present. ...

Those seized are detained for 21 days if they cannot pay the fine; longer if they cannot afford a plane fare. Sometimes officers will let overstayers slip away for a bribe of 2,000-10,000 yuan (£188-£940), they say. Many risk their lives to escape, leaping from buildings to escape raids and paying with broken limbs. ...

According to state news agency Xinhua, there are around 1m Chinese people in Africa, of whom the largest number (around 300,000) are in South Africa. Others put the overall figure at perhaps double that.

The Guangzhou Academy of Social Sciences has estimated that there are around 30,000 legal migrants from Africa in the city. Its senior researcher Dr Peng Peng said the number of Africans arriving grew by around 30% to 40% annually between 2003 and 2008, but now appeared to have peaked. Local media have suggested there could be 100,000 African residents in total.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – New Zealand, ethnic mix
Ethnic mix changing rapidly
Simon Collins
The New Zealand Herald, 5 October 2010

What it means to be a New Zealander has changed dramatically in the 50 years since Paul Henry was born and is projected to change even more.

In the March 1961 Census, seven months after Henry was born in Auckland, 99 per cent of the resident population was classified as either European (92 per cent) or Maori (7 per cent), with the latter required to show at least half "Maori blood".

Long-established Chinese, Indian and Pacific minorities shared the remaining 1 per cent.

Official ideas about ethnicity have changed and Statistics NZ now lets people claim multiple ethnicities with no official "blood" requirements, so the figures add up to more than 100 per cent.

Public attitudes have changed too and at the last Census in 2006, 11 per cent of the population refused any ethnic label and claimed to be plain "New Zealanders". Researchers found that about 90 per cent of them had previously been classified as European.

But even adding in all the self-described New Zealanders, only 77 per cent of the population now claim "European" or "New Zealander" as either their sole ethnicity or one of their ethnicities. In contrast, in the 45 years since 1961:

* Those claiming Maori ethnicity doubled to 15 per cent.

* Those claiming Pacific ethnicity multiplied 12-fold to 7 per cent.

* Those claiming Asian ethnicity multiplied 18-fold to 10 per cent.

By 2026 Asians are expected to equal the Maori population with about 16 per cent each, Pacific people will be up to 10 per cent, and Europeans will be down to 70 per cent.

Waikato University researcher Dr Tahu Kukutai, who has a $300,000 Marsden grant to investigate the treatment of ethnicity in censuses around the world, said Henry's comments illustrated "a disconnect between this rapidly changing demography and this Eurocentric analysis of what being a New Zealander is. What he is saying is clearly out of step with the demographic realities."
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – France, repatriation, gipsies
Gypsies paid to leave France face tough new measures to prevent their return
Peter Allen
Mail Online, 1 October 2010

Gypsies given cash payments before being deported from France are to have their fingerprints recorded to try and stop them coming back again, it emerged today.

The radical measure follows President Nicolas Sarkozy's decision to try and rid his country of Roma communities based on the outskirts of major cities like Paris and Lyon. ...

But many of those deported are suspected of taking the 255 pounds cash payment they get for leaving, and then coming back again a few weeks later.

Most travel under false identities, claiming that their passports have been lost or stolen.

'It's something we clearly want to stop,' said a spokesman for France's Immigration Ministry.

He said that from today biometric records were to be created on all those receiving the money before flying back to their homes in Bulgaria or Romania.

In 2009 more than 15,000 return aid payments were made to immigrants, mostly Roma, who were expelled from France.

The French government classes the majority as 'volunteers', who are given a cash payment of 300 euros per adult or 150 euros for each child.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Germany, public opinion
Most Germans see Muslims as a burden
The Local, 30 September 2010

More than half of Germans see Muslim immigrants as a drag on the country, a poll published Thursday has found.

According to the Allensbach poll commissioned by the Financial Times Deutschland, 55 percent judged that the migrant group "has cost significantly more financially and socially than it has yielded economically."

Only one fifth of respondents believed Muslim immigrants were more a benefit than a burden. The skepticism is particularly strong in the former east of the country, where 74 percent of respondents saw Muslims as a drain on the nation. In the former west, the figure was 50 percent.

Furthermore, more than one third of the population believes Germany is indeed becoming "dumber on average" because of immigration, as former Bundesbank board member Thilo Sarrazin has controversially claimed. Migrants were poorly educated and had more children, many respondents said.


Sarrazin, who sparked a tumultuous debate about immigration last month – and lost his job in the process – has claimed among other things that many Muslims do not want to integrate with German society and, on the whole, make the country dumber.

Some 60 percent of respondents to the poll believed Sarrazin was generally right, while just 13 percent rejected his theses altogether.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – France
French MPs debate controversial immigration law
Yahoo News, 29 September 2010

French lawmakers debated a controversial immigration bill Tuesday which would expand the state's power to strip foreign-born citizens of their nationality if they commit major crimes.

The government says the bill is aimed at bringing French law into line with European Union immigration directives, but rights groups accuse President Nicolas Sarkozy of pursuing a populist anti-immigrant agenda. ...

The bill extends the state's right to strip those who have immigrated within the last 10 years of their nationality if they kill or attempt to kill a person in authority, such as a police officer, a fireman or a judge.

Under current French law immigrants can be stripped of their nationality if they commit a crime against "the fundamental interests of France" or an act of terrorism.

The fifth immigration law in France in seven years, the bill makes it easier to expel foreigners, including EU citizens who "threaten public order" through repeated theft, aggressive begging or "abusive occupation of land".

Rights groups say that equating begging or setting up caravans with public order issues plays on fears and prejudices – and unfairly targets Roma.

EU laws on freedom of movement currently only allow removal of EU citizens who represent a "genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat to one of the fundamental interests of society." ...

The bill accelerates entry procedures for highly qualified immigrants and requires those seeking French nationality to sign a charter of citizens rights and duties.

Immigration Minister Besson said that he would be "very happy" if his ministry "could be a machine for making 'good French people.'"

"Last year we gave French nationality to 108,000 foreigners," Le Parisien newspaper quoted him as saying. "Being a 'good French person' doesn't mean denying your history, your roots or your French culture," he said.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Germany
Merkel battles ailing popularity with tough immigration stance
France 24 / Reuters, 26 September 2010

Chancellor Angela Merkel told conservative party members on Saturday that immigrants needed to do more to integrate into German society, including learning the language and obeying "every single" law. ...

Her comments follow weeks of heated debate over a best-selling book by ex-central banker Thilo Sarrazin, in which he accuses Turkish and Arab immigrants of lowering Germany's intelligence quotient and living off the state.

Merkel and most of Germany's political establishment initially condemned Sarrazin, but his views struck a chord with the public and many right-wing members of her CDU.

"Anyone who wants to live here in our country has to obey our laws, want to learn our language and accept the rules of our society and every single article of our constitution," Merkel told a cheering CDU party meeting in the western town of Mainz.

"That means everything from equal rights for women and everything else – that's our motto and there's no tolerance for anything else," said Merkel, whose centre-right coalition has fallen about 15 points behind the opposition in opinion polls.

There are about four million Muslims living in Germany. The vast majority are of Turkish origin and an estimated 280,000 have an Arab background.

Some are well integrated into German society, but others live in communities where Muslim traditions prevail and very little German is spoken. ...

"If there is any corner of a city where police have the feeling they aren't welcome anymore, there must be a public outcry," Merkel said. "The state monopoly of power must be valid everywhere. Otherwise, it would be the end of our democracy."
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Canada
Former ambassador lends support to new anti-immigration group
Peter O'Neil
The Vancouver Sun, 26 September 2010

A pillar of the Canadian establishment, brushing aside the risk he could become embroiled in one of the country's most sensitive political issues, is endorsing a new organization challenging Canadian immigration policy.

Derek Burney is a former senior corporate chief executive, ex-U.S. ambassador, the one-time chief of staff to Brian Mulroney, and served as the head of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's transition team after the Conservatives won the 2006 election.

Canadian society, he said, needs to stop treating immigration as an untouchable "third rail" that can't be debated without prompting allegations of bigotry.

So he's joined the advisory board of an organization being launched Tuesday on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The Centre for Immigration Policy Reform will be headed up by Martin Collacott, a former ambassador who writes frequently on immigration and refugee policy at the Fraser Institute, and James Bissett, a former director general of the Canadian Immigration Service.

The Centre for Immigration Policy Reform argues that the benefits of high immigration aren't worth costs that include considerable government expenditures and higher housing costs, pollution and crowding in big Canadian cities.

"Unfortunately immigration and refugee policy is a bit like health care in Canada," Burney told Postmedia News.

"It's being denied rational debate at the political level, and this is despite the very clear evidence of abuse of the system, of fraud in the system and a lack of co-ordination in the country in terms of screening."

He says his major concern is that Canada's economy has been chronically plagued by relatively low economic productivity, yet the large number of unskilled workers and family-class immigrants weakens productivity further.

Burney said politicians of all stripes refuse to discuss such concerns because some immigrant communities that lobby for high quotas of family-class immigrants are "very active" in federal politics.

Burney, 70, acknowledged he is courting controversy that could damage his legacy as a business executive and senior public servant who played a key role in the successful negotiation of the 1988 Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.

He is an Order of Canada recipient, has several honourary degrees, and had a street named after him in his hometown of Thunder Bay, Ont. ...

"It's a third-rail kind of issue, nobody wants to talk about it, it's not for polite company," said Burney, ..." ...

Canada has in recent years brought in roughly 250,000 immigrants and refugees annually, and since 1990 has accepted more per capita than any country in the world, according to the Fraser Institute.

There are also 300,000 or so skilled and unskilled "temporary" workers currently in Canada, of which 192,500 arrived in 2009. And the government admitted 79,500 foreign students last year.

The critics say Canada's policy is essentially hijacked by self-interested groups – employer groups seeking cheap labour even when there's high unemployment, lawyers, advocates and consultants in what they call the "immigration industry," and urban MPs from all parties who depend on immigrant groups for political support.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Sweden
Swedish gov't loses majority as far-right surges
Karl Ritter, Associated Press Writer
The Guardian, 20 September 2010

A far-right party entered the Swedish Parliament for the first time in elections Sunday, spoiling the center-right government's victory and majority, and plunging the country into political disarray, preliminary results showed.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt was seeking to become the first center-right leader to win re-election after serving a full term in a Scandinavian welfare nation dominated for decades by the left-wing Social Democrats.

But the Islam-bashing Sweden Democrats held the balance of power after winning 5.7 percent of the votes for 20 seats in the 349-seat legislature, according to results. ...

The result suggested a hung Parliament, because both blocs have ruled out governing with the Sweden Democrats, who want sharp cuts in immigration and have called Islam Sweden's biggest foreign threat since World War II. ...

Large waves of immigration from the Balkans, Iraq and Iran have changed the demography of the once-homogenous Scandinavian country, and one-in-seven residents are now foreign-born. The Sweden Democrats say immigration has become an economic burden that drains the welfare system.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Sweden
Swedish elections: The impact of immigration
Andrew Brown
The Guardian, 18 September 2010

There has always been a streak of romantic nationalism in Swedish life. For most of the Social Democratic years, it took a paradoxical form: people here believed Sweden was the best country in the world because it was the most internationalist. This led to a fantastically generous policy on asylum and integration. Nearly a third of Sweden's population today are either immigrants or the children of immigrants. ...

Sweden is still an extremely conformist, authoritarian society, where opinion formers and politicians move together like a shoal of herring. The whole shoal can change direction in a flash, but not one herring dares swim anywhere on its own.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Mexico, Guatemala
Another Wall Blocks Route to U.S.
Danilo Valladares
IPS, 15 September 2010

Travelling without documents to the United States from Latin America can turn into an odyssey, in which migrants have to elude common criminals and drug traffickers along the way, not to mention the laws on migration. But now another obstacle is emerging: a wall between Guatemala and Mexico.

According to the head of customs for Mexico's tax administration, Raúl Díaz, in order to stop boats carrying contraband, the southern Mexican state of Chiapas is building a wall along the border river Suchiate, similar to the one the United States is building along its southern border with Mexico.

"It could also prevent the free passage of illegal immigrants," admitted the Mexican official. ...

Some 500,000 migrants cross Mexican territory without permission each year, according to Mexico's National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH).
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Germany
Official's views on Muslim immigration divide Germany
Anthony Faiola
The Washington Post, 10 September 2010

In Berlin the most talked-about man in Germany is a 65-year-old economist whose hot new book and sudden groundswell of popular support have the media dubbing him a folk hero. But that is not the only thing they are calling Thilo Sarrazin these days.

Some are also calling him dangerous. ... Wielding statistics and scientific arguments both in his book and in public comments, he delves into territory largely taboo here since the Holocaust, suggesting that "hereditary factors" are at least partly to blame. Turks and Kurdish immigrants, he asserts, are genetically predisposed to lower intelligence than Germans and other ethnic groups, including Jews.

His statements have shocked many in Germany, not only because of a national sensitivity to anything remotely smacking of genetic superiority claims in the post-World War II era. What has also shocked many is that so many Germans have rallied to his side as the central bank and his political party have sought to oust him for his pronouncements. ...

Though most of Sarrazin's backers are publicly distancing themselves from his genetic arguments, they are lauding him as a straight-talker willing to address the problem of Muslim immigrants, who often eschew German language and culture. By throwing political correctness to the wind, they say, he has dared to speak the truth about higher immigrant unemployment, birthrates and welfare rates.

Among Germany's population of 82 million, about 5 percent are Muslims, most of Turkish descent. A poll published in the national magazine Focus this week showed 31 percent of respondents agreeing that Germany is "becoming dumber" because of immigrants, with 62 percent calling Sarrazin's comments "justified" and 52 percent saying he shouldn't be thrown out of his Social Democratic Party because of them. Since party chiefs began a process to evict him last week, their headquarters in Berlin has been inundated with thousands of e-mails supporting Sarrazin. ...

Sarrazin now has more than 21,000 friends on Facebook and an online fan club. Less than two weeks after its release, his book, "Germany Does Away With Itself," is in its seventh printing, topping bestseller lists with more than 300,000 copies shipped so far and many bookstores in Germany still sold out.

German Jewish groups are among Sarrazin's staunchest critics, calling him a dangerous racist. Though Sarrazin has spoken positively of Jews, saying they have "high IQs," he courted controversy after declaring in an Aug. 29 interview that "all Jews share a certain gene." In fact, observers here say that the official outcry against Sarrazin - including the move to expel him from the board of the central bank - would have been far more muted had he simply stuck to his generalizations about Muslims.

But by generalizing about Jewish genetics at all, Sarrazin also "crossed a red line," said Stephan Kramer, secretary general of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. ...

Many, like Carl Moser, a 26-year-old business school student in Bavaria who launched a Facebook fan site for Sarrazin, say he went too far with some of his comments. But "I support him because he dares to speak out on facts that have come from real data and won't bow down to political correctness," Moser said. "I am not supportive of everything he is saying, but Germany does have problems with immigration and integration and politicians are not willing to talk about it."
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA
The Costs of Birthright Citizenship
Hans A. von Spakovsky, 8 September 2010

There have been numerous debates about "birthright" citizenship in recent weeks. As the Heritage Foundation has pointed out, the claim that the 14th Amendment confers citizenship on the children of visitors or illegal aliens is mistaken. Neither the text nor the legislative history supports such an interpretation.

Perspective is needed. How many other countries have birthright citizenship? How many such children are there in the United States, and how much is this costing us? The Center for Immigration Studies has just released a study by Jon Feere that gives some answers. The report didn't get the attention it should have – perhaps because it has some very inconvenient truths.

Feere's research found that the "overwhelmingly majority of the world's countries do not offer automatic citizenship to everyone born within their borders." Only 30 countries out of 194 offer automatic citizenship, CIS confirmed. Of the 31 counties listed on the International Monetary Fund's list of advanced economies, only the United States and Canada grant automatic birthright citizenship.

No country in Europe, a continent many liberals often cite for its supposedly superior views on everything from government health care to high tax rates, grants automatic citizenship. The trend has been toward eliminating it in the few countries that grant it. Australia, Ireland, India, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom have all jettisoned this policy.

CIS estimates there are 300,000 to 400,000 children born to illegal immigrants in the U.S. each year. There were 2.3 million such children in 2003; there were four million in 2008 – and that number doesn't include children who are older than 18 or who are married. ...

And the hundreds of thousands of such children are no accident. Many of them are the result of a deliberate effort by illegal aliens and foreign tourists to exploit our law and use these children to keep themselves in the country. Such children provide access to welfare benefits that would otherwise be off-limit to the parents and can "ultimately initiate chain migration of the child's extended family and in-laws," the CIS study notes. ...

CIS estimates that 40% of illegal alien households nationwide receive some type of welfare despite federal prohibitions. That rate is even higher in states with larger numbers of illegal aliens such as New York (49%), California (48%), and Texas (44%).

Contrast that very high rate with the fact that only 19% of households headed by a native-born citizen receive welfare benefits. CIS cites data released by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services showing that the children of illegal aliens in the county received $50 million in welfare benefits just in February 2010. So much for federal efforts to bar illegal aliens from receiving taxpayer-funded public assistance.

As for chain migration, CIS points out that when a child becomes an adult, he can "legalize his parents, and also to bring into the United States his foreign-born spouse and any foreign-born siblings. The sponsored spouse can, in turn, sponsor her own foreign-born parents and siblings, and the siblings can, in turn sponsor their own foreign-born spouses, and so on, generating a virtually never-ending and always-expanding migration chain." This type of immigration is almost uncontrollable.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Germany, public opinion
German banker hits nerve with anti-immigration book
Yahoo News, 6 September 2010

Politicians have rushed to condemn a board member of the German central bank for a new book tackling immigration, but his views have found considerable support among the population at large.

Thilo Sarrazin's book "is not convincing, but it has convinced many people," said the influential Spiegel magazine, which this week has the Bundesbank executive on its cover, calling him a "people's hero."

His publisher is rushing to print more copies of "Germany Does Itself In" to meet demand. ...

The Social Democrats (SPD), the centre-left political party Sarrazin belongs to, has been inundated with thousands of letters, emails and phone calls attacking the central bank board's desire to expel him.

"Listen to the voice of the people for once," Spiegel quoted one of the almost 4,000 emails as saying.

In the book, Sarrazin says Europe's top economy is being undermined, overwhelmed and made "more stupid" by poorly educated, fast-breeding, badly integrated and unproductive Muslim immigrants and their offspring.

"If I want to hear the muezzin's call to prayer, then I'll go to the Orient," he says, saying that allowing in millions of "guest workers" in the 1960s and 1970s was a "gigantic error." ...

Chancellor Angela Merkel called the remarks "completely unacceptable." The Bundesbank's board has asked President Christian Wulff to fire him, as it cannot do so itself. ...

But at the same time, Sarrazin's book has thrown the spotlight on the fact that Germany's record is poor on integrating its 15.6 million people with what the government calls "a migration background."

According to official figures, nearly one in five young people without German nationality, which many second and third generation immigrants do not have, leave school with no qualifications. ...

The debate has taken on such proportions that Merkel, 56, gave an interview to the Turkish daily Hurriyet, and on Sunday she admitted in the Bild am Sonntag weekly that Germany has made mistakes and has a lot of work to do.

In the past, Germany "dreamed a so-called multi-cultural dream and didn't do enough to remind immigrants of their responsibilities," she told the paper. ...

But a Pandora's Box has been opened. Backing for Sarrazin, 65, is so strong that a survey published on Sunday indicated that if he set up his own new political party, almost one in five (18 percent) would vote for him.

Sarrazin has no intention of doing any such thing, but the survey raised fears that a charismatic right-wing populist in Germany, like anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, could win considerable political support.

According to a study from Bielefeld University, one in two Germans thinks there are too many foreigners in the country.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Italy
Italy to tear down gipsy shanty camps as backlash spreads
Nick Squires and Matthew Day
Daily Telegraph, 3 September 2010

A Europe-wide backlash against gipsies gathered pace yesterday as Italy announced that it would demolish shanty settlements. ...

Gianni Alemanno, the mayor of Rome, said the city would demolish dozens of illegally-built shanty camps.

The first, at Quartaccio on the outskirts of the city, was razed yesterday.


Local officials said that 20 gipsies had accepted an offer of voluntary repatriation, but many others had fled.
[Newspaper link]


Immigration abroad – France, deportation
Sarkozy expels 700 Roma from France
Daily Telegraph, 18 August 2010

Hundreds of Roma will be expelled from France tomorrow as part of President Nicolas Sarkozy's summer crackdown on gipsies living illegally in the country.

In all, about 700 Roma would be taken back to their home countries before the end of the month, said Brice Hortefeux, the interior minister.

Police had dismantled 51 illegal Roma camps, he said, adding that two flights would take the Roma to Romania and Bulgaria on Aug 19 and 26, with a third flight set for the end of September.
[Newspaper link]


Immigration abroad – USA, deportation, crime, illegal
Immigration chief: 'We're going to get this right'
Amanda Lee Myers
Google News / AP, 13 August 2010

The federal government has deported more illegal immigrants from the U.S. than ever before, the director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Thursday as part of an effort to push back on the suggestion Washington isn't doing enough.

"For those who doubt the federal government's resolve in the enforcement of immigration law, let me say this: We are committed to strong, effective immigration enforcement, and the facts speak for themselves," ICE Director John Morton said.

He said his agency removed a record 380,000 illegal immigrants from the U.S. last fiscal year, and about a third of them were convicted criminals. So far this fiscal year, ICE removed 136,000 illegal immigrants who are convicted criminals, also a record, Morton said.

"Is there more work to be done? Absolutely. Is the problem a significant one, a challenging one for the nation? Absolutely," he said. But "we're in this for the long haul. ... We're going to get this right." ...

Morton spoke specifically about ICE's efforts in Arizona, and said that during an average week, his agency removes 1,500 illegal immigrants from the state, arrests five human smugglers, investigates three drop houses, inspects the employment records of 526 people working for state companies and seizes a ton of marijuana.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA, births, illegal
Illegal Immigrants Account for 8% of U.S. Births
Miriam Jordan
The Wall Street Journal, 11 August 2010

One in twelve babies born in the U.S. in 2008 were the offspring of illegal immigrants, according to a new study, a statistic that could inflame the debate over birthright citizenship.

Undocumented immigrants make up slightly more than 4% of the U.S. adult population. However, their babies represented twice that share, or 8%, of all births on U.S. soil in 2008, according to the nonpartisan Pew Research Center's report.

"Unauthorized immigrants are younger than the rest of the population, are more likely to be married and have higher fertility rates than the rest of the population," said Jeffrey Passel, a senior demographer at Pew in Washington, D.C.

The report, based on Census Bureau data and analysis of demographic characteristics of the undocumented population, also found that the lion's share, or 79%, of the 5.1 million children of illegal immigrants residing in the U.S. in 2009 were born in the U.S. and therefore citizens.

About 11 million undocumented immigrants live in the U.S. Latinos account for 75% of undocumented U.S. immigrants and about 85% of the births among that population.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Canada
Tamil migrant ship nears B.C.
CBC News, 11 August 2010

Government sources have told CBC News a Thai cargo ship with an estimated200 Tamil migrants on board is now inside Canada's "exclusive economic zone" off the B.C. coast.

The exclusive economic zone is 200 nautical miles, or about 370 kilometres.

At its present rate of speed, the MV Sun Sea is expected to arrive inside Canadian territorial waters – which extend about 12 nautical miles (or 22 kilometres) off the coast – by late Thursday or early Friday, the CBC's national affairs editor Chris Hall reported. ...

It is thought to be carrying Tamil migrants from Sri Lanka. Officials have said there is reason to believe members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, known as the Tamil Tigers, are on the ship. The Tamil Tigers have been outlawed in Canada as a terrorist group since 2006. ...

Government sources say this ship's arrival, along with reports of other vessels ready to get underway, are a signal that Canada is becoming a target for human traffickers, the CBC's Hall reported.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Singapore
Singapore PM: We won't let in too many foreigners
Japan Today / Associated Press, 9 August 2010

Singapore's prime minister sought Sunday to ease concerns that the city-state is allowing in too many foreign workers who will undermine national unity.

The surge of foreigners living in Singapore has become a hot topic in the lead-up to the next general election, which the government must call by February 2012. Many of the newcomers are from China, India and other Asian countries.

"We will control the inflow, to ensure that it is not too fast and not too large," Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said during a speech ahead of Monday's National Day. "And we will make clear that citizens come first."

About 150,000 foreign workers have entered Singapore per year since 2007, and they now make up about a third of the island's 3 million work force and about a fourth of the total population of 5 million, up from 10 percent in 1990. ...

"It's no secret that a record influx of foreigners in recent years has led to discontent among Singaporeans, who feel crowded out of their own country," wrote Straits Times reporter Radha Basu in a recent editorial. "New immigrants are being blamed for a host of ills, from the squeeze in trains to the tussle for jobs."

Lee reiterated that foreign workers were necessary for economic growth, which the government expects to be as much as 15% this year. Lee said last month the government would allow more than 100,000 foreigners into Singapore this year to help keep the economy from "overheating" and inflation in check. ...

"We cannot do without a proportion of foreign workers," Lee said Sunday. "With new arrivals living and working harmoniously with those born here, we will keep Singapore dynamic, cosmopolitan, and successful." ...

"There are a lot of jobs Singaporeans wouldn't do anyway," said Gillian Koh, a senior research fellow at Singapore's Institute of Policy Studies.

Koh helped conduct a poll last year that found 63% Singaporeans surveyed believed the government's immigration policy was weakening national unity.

However, two-thirds of respondents also said they supported bringing in more foreigners if it helped the economy.

Singapore also tries to attract what is known locally as "foreign talent" - - educated professionals from abroad to work in the finance industry and other high-paying sectors.

The government's immigration policy has provided cheap labor for companies and depressed wages for Singaporeans, Kenneth Jeyaretnam, secretary general of the opposition Reform Party, said in a statement Sunday.

"The government continues to treat Singapore as a business rather than a country," Jeyaretnam said. "As long as the government permits a relatively elastic supply of labor from abroad while the cost of other domestic inputs, like land, continue to rise, then the real wages and salaries of our own workers will get squeezed, and this has indeed happened."
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – crime, public opinion, France
French back Sarkozy crime, immigrant crackdown-poll
AlertNet / Reuters, 5 August 2010

French people overwhelmingly support tough new measures proposed by President Nicolas Sarkozy to fight crime, delinquency and illegal immigration, a poll showed on Thursday.

Sarkozy unveiled the measures last week in a bid to shore up support ahead of 2012 elections, amid a series of political scandals and unpopular economic reforms that have pushed his popularity to record lows.

Opposition parties accused him of trying to divert attention from his woes with populist steps that make a clear link between youth crime and immigration, but the poll by Ifop for the daily Le Figaro suggested a big majority of citizens support him.

The survey of 1,003 people showed that 89 percent agree with Sarkozy's plan to force repeat criminals to wear electronic tags for years after they have served time for their crimes.

Some 80 percent backed his plan to strip French nationality from citizens with a foreign background who practise polygamy or promote female circumcision, and 70 percent favoured the same penalty for people with immigrant roots found guilty of killing a policeman. ...

Opposition parties, human rights groups and unions announced this week that they would stage major demonstrations across France on Sept. 4 to protest against security measures they have condemned as xenophobic.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Israel, illegal immigrants, deportation, national identity
Israel to expel hundreds children of migrant workers in the country illegally
Sun Sentinel, 1 August 2010

Israel on Sunday approved new residency criteria that could result in the deportations of hundreds of children of migrant workers.

The decision by Israel's Cabinet represented a small step by Israel to clear up the status of thousands of foreign workers in Israel.

Under the decision, children of migrants whose parents entered Israel legally may remain if they are enrolled in school, speak Hebrew and have been here longer than five years.

An Israeli advocacy group, the Hotline for Migrant Workers, estimates 700 of 1,200 school-age children are at risk of deportation, along with their parents.

About 200,000 migrant workers live in Israel, mostly from the Philippines, China and Africa. About half have overstayed their visas, thousands for many years. Many have children who were born in Israel and know no other home.

Some Israelis complain that illegal migrants are taking jobs away from citizens. Others worry that the non-Jewish workers could upset the Jewish nature of the society.

At the Sunday Cabinet meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed with the critics. "This is a tangible threat to the Jewish and democratic character of the state of Israel," he said.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – citizenship, USA
U.S. Immigration Fight Widens to Native Born
Miriam Jordan, Jean Guerrero and Laura Meckler
The Wall Street Journal, 30 July 2010

The immigration debate is reviving the explosive idea of denying citizenship to children born on U.S. soil if their parents are in the country illegally.

A U.S. senator and a state lawmaker in Arizona, both central players in the battle over immigration law, separately proposed this week that "birthright" citizenship be denied to the children of illegal immigrants. They said the change would help stem the flood of illegal border crossings. ...

Immigration-rights activists say citizenship isn't a significant driver of illegal immigration, because a child has to reach age 21 to petition for permanent legal residency for his or her parents. ...

At issue is the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, enacted in 1868 to ensure that states not deny former slaves the full rights of citizenship. It states, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." ...

Mr. Pearce, like some other proponents of the change, argued that the amendment as written doesn't apply to illegal immigrants. Because illegal immigrants aren't "subject to the jurisdiction" of the U.S., as the amendment requires, they fall outside its protection, these people argue. A group of House lawmakers made a similar argument when they tried to pass legislation changing the birthright principle in 2005.

"When it was ratified in 1868, the amendment had to do with African-Americans; it had nothing to do with aliens," Mr. Pearce said. "It's got to be fixed."

Given the controversial nature of this proposal, successfully amending the Constitution would be considered a long shot. It requires a vote of two-thirds of the House and of the Senate, and must be ratified by three-fourths of state legislators.

A change in state law redefining who is a citizen would likely draw a legal challenge, as did Arizona's effort to change state immigration law.

Under Mr. Pearce's proposal, Arizona would refuse to issue a birth certificate to any child unless at least one parent could prove legal presence in the U.S. "The 14th Amendment has been hijacked and abused," Mr. Pearce said. "We incentivize people to break our laws."

The U.S. is home to about 11 million illegal immigrants. There are nearly four million whose children are U.S. citizens, according to a 2009 report by the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research group in Washington.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – France, gypsies
Sarkozy accused of racism for ordering closure of 300 illegal gypsy camps and expulsion of Roma after riot
Daily Mail, 29 July 2010

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been accused of racism after ordering authorities to dismantle 300 gypsy camps and expel illegal Roma immigrants.

His actions come a week after riots between gypsies and police in which a young man was shot in the Loire Valley.

In response to the trouble, Mr Sarkozy called a government meeting yesterday and he said those responsible for the clashes would be 'severely punished'.

He ordered the government to crackdown on all illegal Roma immigrants, almost all of whom have come from Eastern Europe.

He said illegal Gypsy camps 'will be systematically evacuated', calling them sources of human trafficking, exploitation of children and prostitution.

He also pushed for a change in France's immigration law to make such expulsion easier 'for reasons of public order'.

It comes after last week's riot in the small Loire Valley town of Saint Aignan where dozens of gypsies armed with hatchets and iron bars attacked the police station, hacked down trees and burned cars.

The riot erupted after a gendarme shot and killed a traveller who had driven through a checkpoint.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA, Arizona
Ariz. law comes after years of mounting anger
Amanda Lee Myers and Jacques Billeaud, 25 July 2010

As the days tick down until the Arizona immigration law takes effect, the state stands as a monument to the anger over illegal immigration that is present in so many places.

The anger has been simmering for years, and erupted into a full-blown fury with the murder of a prominent rancher on the border earlier this year. The killing became a powerful rallying cry for immigration reform and the sweeping new law set to take effect Thursday, barring any last-minute legal action.

But it does not tell the whole story about how Arizona got to this point. ...

And the annual costs? About $600 million for educating illegal immigrants at K-12 schools, more than $120 million for jailing illegal immigrants convicted of state crimes and as much as $50 million that hospitals have to eat for treating illegal border-crossers, according to figures provided by Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne, Gov. Jan Brewer's office and the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Israel
Aharonovitch warns of influx of illegal African migrants
Yaakov Lappin
The Jerusalem Post, 21 July 2010

Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch has reiterated a warning over the influx of illegal African migrants into Israel, during a tour of the Egyptian border on Tuesday.

"A thousand two hundred migrants come through here every month, enter Israel, and then Tel Aviv, Eilat and Ashdod. This is a serious shortcoming, which Israeli society is paying for," he said during the tour.

The minister was briefed by an IDF commander and Southern District Police Chief Cmdr. Yohanan Danino.

Aharonovitch lamented the delay in implementing a March government decision to set up a fence. ...

On Sunday, Aharonovitch said that up to 2.5 million African migrants who are currently residing in Cairo "are waiting" to cross into Israel.

The public security minister added that Ashdod had become a new center for illegal migrants, and that 2,000 had made their homes in that city.

According to figures presented by Aharonovitch to the government, 155,000 illegal African migrants now live in Israel. Some 50,000 are based in Tel Aviv's central bus station area. Eight thousand migrants live in Eilat, and 7,000 live in Arad.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Israel, national identity
Netanyahu: Illegal African immigrants - a threat to Israel's Jewish character
Barak Ravid, 18 July 2010

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that the recent "flood of illegal workers infiltrating from Africa" into Israel was "a concrete threat to the Jewish and democratic character of the country."

Speaking at a meeting aimed at formulating Israel's immigration policy, Netanyahu said that most Western nations have already taken action to prevent similar dangers. "It is inconceivable that Israel, the one country that faces more threats than any other in the Western world, has no defined immigration policy to protect our national and security interests. The issue has been ignored for many years, and my aim is to bring it to an orderly and responsible legislation by the end of this year, during the winter seating of the Knesset."

Six months ago, Netanyahu visited the area near the border between Israel and Egypt in order to examine the possibility of an Israeli fence along the border to prevent infiltrations. Netanyahu said this trip highlighted the need for such a fence. "The situation, from the point of view of terrorism and infiltrations, is more severe than I thought," he said.

"We must man the region, and then it will be possible to minimize the terrorist infiltrations, as well as the smuggling of drugs and illegal workers," the prime minister went on to say. "If we don't move forward with construction of the fence, the problem will only get worse."

"Infiltrations [into Israel] have become an entire industry," Netanyahu added.

"The Egyptians are doing what they're doing, but we can't rely only on them. Egypt doesn't oppose the construction of the fence and everything is settled under the framework of the peace treaty [between Israel and Egypt]. A country's borders can't be penetrable – it is a national threat," Netanyahu concluded.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Republic of Ireland
More than 700 calls per month to immigration support service, 17 July 2010

The Immigrant Council of Ireland is receiving an average of more than 700 calls a month from migrants enquiring how to secure residency in this country.

The agency said the steady level of demand for advice did not support speculation that many migrants were going home because of the recession.

Chief executive of the ICI Denise Charlton said migrants were entitled to a "fair, transparent and efficient immigration system", but that Ireland "still had a long way to go in understanding who migrates to Ireland and how we can respond appropriately".
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA, cost, illegal immigration
Illegal Immigration a $113 Billion a Year Drain on U.S. Taxpayers
Federation for American Immigration Reform, 6 July 2010

A new study released today by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimates that illegal immigration now costs federal and local taxpayers $113 billion a year. The report, The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on U.S. Taxpayers, is the most comprehensive analysis of how much the estimated 13 million illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children cost federal, state and local governments.

The cost estimates are based on an extensive analysis of federal, state and local spending data. The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on U.S. Taxpayers examines dozens of government programs that are available to illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children, both legally and fraudulently. The report provides detailed analysis of the impact of illegal immigration on education, health care, law enforcement and justice, public assistance, and other government programs.

The report also accounts for taxes paid by illegal aliens about $13 billion a year, resulting in a net cost to taxpayers of about $100 billion. However, the study notes that government at all levels would likely have realized significantly greater revenues if jobs held by illegal aliens had been filled by legal U.S. residents instead.

Federal spending on illegal aliens amounts to $29 billion, ... lion's share of the costs of illegal immigration is borne by state and local taxpayers an estimated $84.2 billion. ... ...

The $113 billion in outlays for services and benefits to illegal aliens and their families represents an average cost to native-headed households of $1,117 a year. ... ...

Granting amnesty to illegal aliens, as President Obama and others propose, would not significantly increase tax revenues generated by current illegal aliens. However, over time, amnesty would dramatically increase public costs as newly-legalized aliens become eligible for all means-tested government programs.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA, illegal immigration
Justice sues to halt Arizona law on illegals
Stephen Dinan
The Washington Times, 6 July 2010

The Obama administration sued Tuesday to stop Arizona's new immigration law in a move that escalates President Obama's involvement in the thorny issue and stacks him against a majority of Americans who support the law. ...

In the challenge, Justice Department attorneys said Arizona's law violates the Constitution by trying to supersede federal law and by impairing illegal immigrants' right to travel and conduct interstate commerce. They argued that only the federal government can write immigration rules. ...

The government is asking a court to block the law from taking effect July 29.

The law requires police to check the legal status of anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally whom they encounter while enforcing other laws already on the books. ...

In a broad speech last week calling for immigration reforms, Mr. Obama called Arizona's new rules "unenforceable."
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Australia, racism, political correctness
Australian PM's immigration vows
Yahoo!, 4 July 2010

Australia's new Prime Minister Julia Gillard Sunday vowed not to let "political correctness" get in the way of tackling immigration, signalling a tough line on the issue.

Gillard, ..., said people should not be called racist for raising concerns about asylum seekers.

"I certainly dismiss labels like intolerant or racist because people raise concerns about border security, but we've also got to be very alive to the complexity of this and that there's no quick fix," ...

"There's a temptation for people to use these labels and names to try and close down debate and I'm very opposed to that. People need to be able to have honest discussions.

"So any sort of political correctness, or niceties that get in the way, I think, need to be swept out of the way."

The Welsh-born Gillard, whose parents emigrated to Australia in 1966, has made it a top priority to slow the steady flow of asylum seeker boats that plagued the Rudd government.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA, politics
Obama Fails to Square the Illegal-Immigration Circle
Victor Davis Hanson
National Review, 2 July 2010

There was very little new in the president's speech – certainly not his tired hope-and-change trope of blending legal and illegal immigration ("The scientific breakthroughs of Albert Einstein, the inventions of Nikola Tesla, the great ventures of Andrew Carnegie's U.S. Steel and Sergey Brin's Google – all this was possible because of immigrants"). There is broad public support for the former but not the latter – so he had to imply that those who oppose massive illegal immigration are unappreciative of the great contribution of legal immigrants. (And note his use of euphemism in "11 million undocumented immigrants"– as if immigrants simply forgot their documents upon entry.)

Confusion was thematic, and evident in, e.g., the idea that "being an American is not a matter of blood or birth. It's a matter of faith. It's a matter of fidelity to the shared values that we all hold so dear." If so, anyone in the world with the requisite beliefs and virtues would be an American. ...

It is disturbing to hear a president confess that he cannot enforce the law or secure the border. ("But our borders are just too vast for us to be able to solve the problem only with fences and border patrols. It won't work. Our borders will not be secure as long as our limited resources are devoted to not only stopping gangs and potential terrorists, but also the hundreds of thousands who attempt to cross each year simply to find work.") I hope the Taliban are not listening to that admission. ...

The president likes the passive voice and the use of abstraction, which suggest that illegal aliens are guided not by their own choices but by impersonal forces: "Crimes go unreported as victims and witnesses fear coming forward. And this makes it harder for the police to catch violent criminals and keep neighborhoods safe. And billions in tax revenue are lost each year because many undocumented workers are paid under the table." Note the absence of any reference to thousands of illegal aliens who commit crimes or the mounting cost of incarcerating them, which in California, for example, is nearing $1 billion a year.

Of course, tens of billions are also lost in the remittances that illegal aliens send south of the border.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Germany
German plan to test migrants' IQ
Daily Telegraph, 30 June 2010

German politicians are campaigning for immigrants to take intelligence tests before they are granted residency or citizenship rights.

Peter Trapp, a domestic policy expert with the ruling conservative CDU party, said: "We have to establish criteria for immigration that really benefit our country. I am in favour of intelligence tests for immigrants."
[Newspaper link]


Immigration abroad – Australia, population
Dick Smith's $1m prize to curb our growth
Olga Galacho and John Masanauskas
Herald Sun, 28 June 2010

Millionaire former electronics guru Dick Smith will give $1 million cash to a young person who designs the best population plan for Australia.

The businessman yesterday was "delighted" that new Prime Minister Julia Gillard had announced she opposed a "Big Australia" and had created a ministry of sustainable population.

Mr Smith, fiercely opposed to immigration, said he would devote the rest of his life to educating other Australians, including politicians, about the need to keep the nation's population from exploding.

"When we design an aircraft, it is built for 25 years of safety," Mr Smith said.

"But if we don't have a safety plan for allowing the population to grow to 36 million by 2050, then we will all come crashing down.

"That is why I am announcing a $1 million award for a person less than 25 years old to design a sustainability plan for our population," he said.

The ABC will screen Mr Smith's documentary on population in August, and the businessman said he would make other announcements at that time about incentives to limit the size of the nation.

There are now 22 million Australians and Mr Smith said if that number grew beyond 26 million, the nation could struggle to feed its own people.

"I am going to commit the rest of my life to this issue, and to communicate to Australians that they need to wean themselves off constant growth in the economy, too," he said.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA, border controls, deportation
A Broken Immigration Court System
Hans von Spakovsky
Heritage Foundation - blog, 21 June 2010

Many people do not realize that illegal aliens who are caught end up in immigration courts that are part of the Justice Department's Executive Office for Immigration Review. These courts are presided over by administrative judges; ...

On Thursday, ..., the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law held a hearing of its own. Mark Metcalf, a former immigration judge, was one of the witnesses, and he had some startling testimony that went completely unnoticed by the media ...

Mark Metcalf's research on the deceptive statistics released by the Justice Department is quite shocking. From 1996 to 2008, the U.S. allowed 1.8 million aliens (many of them here illegally) to remain free upon their promise to appear in court when their cases were scheduled to be heard, and 736,000 of them never showed up for their hearings. ...

Of course, you'd never know this from the numbers reported by the EOIR, because it masks the true numbers by manipulating its statistics. For example, in 2005 and 2006 EOIR reported to Congress that the "overall failure" rate of aliens "to appear" in court was only 39 percent. The real number of aliens who were free pending their court date who then failed to appear was actually 59 percent. EOIR got the deceptively lower 39 percent figure by combining the appearance rates for aliens who were free pending a hearing and aliens who were actually in jail! ...

Only 9 percent of aliens who lose their cases actually bother to appeal; most of them just walk away and disappear. Those dodging deportation orders issued by immigration judges number in the hundreds of thousands. In 2002, there were 602,000 backlogged deportation orders; in 2008, 558,000 remained unenforced. (Of those ordered deported, 45,000 were illegal aliens from countries that, according to DHS, abet terror.) The highest arrest rate for aliens ordered deported was achieved in 2008 when 6.1 percent were apprehended.

One of the biggest reasons for this is not just the lack of resources given to our immigration enforcement agencies, but the fact that because the immigration judges are just administrative judges and employees of the Justice Department, they have no ability to enforce their orders. So enforcement of all of these deportation orders is left up to the whims of the political appointees who run DHS and set the priorities of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, and whose lackadaisical attitude is one of the reasons that Arizona felt compelled to act on its own.

In August 2009, ICE announced it would not remove aliens who skipped court or disobeyed orders to leave the U.S., which gives even more incentives to illegal aliens to treat both our laws and our courts with contempt. So, as Mark pointedly says, "noncitizens who disobey immigration court orders are treated remarkably better than their citizen" counterparts in state and federal courts who are subject to arrest, contempt and incarceration for disobeying court orders.

I can't think of any word more appropriate to describe this situation than appalling. And no one in this administration seems to have any interest in doing anything to fix this broken system other than to relax all enforcement of our immigration laws and just open up the borders. Oh, yes, and sue Arizona for trying to enforce the law.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – costs, asylum, Australia
Asylum seeker charter flight bill hits $8.2m
Alison Rehn and Simon Benson
Herald Sun / Daily Telegraph [Australia], 15 June 2010

Almost $200,000 a week is being spent on charter flights to ferry asylum seekers and federal staff to and from Christmas Island to ease pressure on the overcrowded off-shore detention centre.

New figures on the cost of the Government's border protection policy reveal it has been forced to double the number of charter flights on and off the island this year, to an average of one every five days.

The cost of the aircraft has also more than trebled in just 10 months to $8.2 million, or $134,000 a flight. And it is forecast to keep rising, with the Government admitting it will cost an extra $8.1 million next year.

According to the latest figures - detailing the cost of flying asylum seekers from the island to 12 locations on the mainland, including Sydney - in the 10 months to April 30, 62 aircraft were chartered to carry 6500 people to and from Christmas Island. ...

But the latest figures do not include the recent transfer of 30 Sri Lankan, Afghani and Iranian family groups - 86 asylum seekers in total - from the island to the former mining camp in Leonora, in Western Australia.

They also do not include the 189 single Afghan males who were flown from the island on two charter flights to the Curtin Airbase in the remote West Kimberley region of WA at the weekend, costing more than $250,000.

The cost blowout is expected to continue, with the Government also confirming at the weekend it was looking for more sites to house asylum seekers on the mainland, to cope with overcrowded facilities on Christmas Island.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA, multiculturalism
U.S. Nears Racial Milestone
Conor Dougherty
The Wall Street Journal, 11 June 2010

Whites are on the verge of becoming a minority among newborn children in the U.S., marking a demographic shift that is already reshaping the nation's politics and economy.

The Census reported Thursday that nonwhite minorities accounted for 48.6% of the children born in the U.S. between July 2008 and July 2009, gaining ground from 46.8% two years earlier. The trajectory suggests that minority births will soon eclipse births of whites of European ancestry.

"The question is just when," said Kenneth Johnson, senior demographer at the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire. He guesses the demographic milestone will be crossed in the next few years, and could happen as early as 2011.

America's changing face has transformed race relations from the traditional divide of black and white to a more complex mix of race, language and religion. There are new strains on schools and social services, while immigration has emerged as one of the nation's most contentious issues – as evidenced by Arizona's recent law that makes illegal immigration a state crime.

A number of forces are pushing the U.S. toward a "majority minority" future. The median age of the white population is older than that of nonwhites, and thus a larger share of minority women are in prime child-bearing years. In addition, white women are having fewer children than nonwhites, while the growth in mixed marriages has led to more multiracial births.

The recession has slowed the transformation by reducing immigration. It also has made people of all races less willing to start families. But births among nonwhites slowed less than those among whites between July 2008 and July 2009. Among the Hispanic population, there were roughly nine births for every one death, compared with a roughly one-to-one ratio for whites.

Minorities made up 35% of the U.S. population between July 2008 and July 2009, up from 31% in 2000, the Census said. While immigration is a touchy political issue, it is not the driving factor behind the nation's growing diversity. Hispanics, for instance, accounted for 54.7% of the total population increase between July 2008 and July 2009, but about two-thirds of that gain came from births.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Sweden, politics, Islam
Rightist group jolts Sweden's tolerant self-image
Associated Press / Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review [Turkey], 6 June 2010

Recent opinion polls show that far-right Sweden Democrats party, which preaches sharp cuts in immigration and calling Islam the greatest threat to Swedish society, could play a king-maker role in this year's general elections. ...

Opinion polls show the Sweden Democrats could get 4 to 6 percent of votes in the September election, ... ...

Akesson, the clerkish 31-year-old leading the Sweden Democrat charge, insists voters are more disenchanted with liberal immigration laws than they admit out loud. "In Sweden, if you voice criticism against the immigration policy, you are viewed as a racist or xenophobe," Akesson said. "It's difficult to get people to stand up and say 'Here's what I think."' ...

And even though one in every four residents or their parents were born in a foreign country, and an estimated 300,000 Muslims live in the otherwise Christian but secularized country of 9.35 million, it hasn't swept any nationalist movements to prominence. ... ...

"Swedes in general are a very tolerant people," Akesson acknowledges. "But I'm convinced that a large part of the Swedish electorate believes that the immigration policies have been too lax and far too generous." ...

Sweden now has more immigrants from Iraq than from neighboring Norway and Denmark combined, according to government statistics. Last year alone it admitted more than 100,000 immigrants, including 10,000 Thais, 8,700 Somalis and 8,500 Iraqis, those statistics show.

A survey of 9,000 people by the SOM institute at Goteborg University last month showed the proportion of Swedes who believe the country has admitted too many immigrants fell from 52 percent in 1993 to 36 percent last year. No margin of error was given.

In some cities immigrants are nearly 40 percent of the population, and in certain neighborhoods nearly 90 percent. What worries many Swedes is the clustering of immigrants in neighborhoods with nicknames such as "Little Baghdad." Few native Swedes ever set foot in these districts, viewing them as dangerous slums infested with criminal gangs and Islamic fundamentalists. ...

The Sweden Democrats say immigration has become an economic burden, draining the welfare system and channeling jobs to newcomers who work for lower wages. Akesson says he fears Sweden is adapting to the Muslim minority instead of the other way around and has written of Islam's impact on Swedish society as "our biggest foreign threat since World War II."
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – border controls, Arizona, USA
The Battle for Arizona: Will a Controversial Border Crackdown Work?
Nathan Thornburgh
Time, 14 June 2010
[This magazine is published more than a week before the date it carries]

President Obama irritated many in his party by planning to send up to 1,200 National Guard troops to the border (although, as under President George W. Bush, the troops would neither be armed nor authorized to detain suspected illegals). ... ...

The biggest problem for the ranchers and border patrol isn't the valleys. It's the mountains. The Chiricahua and Peloncillo ranges, a series of rounded volcanic peaks, some nearly 10,000 ft. high, have hosted outlaws and rebels since the days of Geronimo and Cochise. These days, in border-patrol-speak, the U.S. does not have "operational control" of the ranges. That control belongs to the smugglers and drug cartels, whose scouts camp out on the peaks, sometimes for weeks at a time, and observe the movement of the border patrol in the valleys below. Until the border patrol receives some combat-grade helicopters that can drop agents into the mountains, Kranz told the Rodeo group, the cartels "own the mountaintops. They know where we're going before we do."
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – public opinion, USA
58% Say No to Citizenship for Children of Illegal Immigrants
Rasmussen Reports, 3 June 2010

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of U.S. voters say a child born to an illegal immigrant in this country should not automatically become a citizen of the United States, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

Thirty-three percent (33%) disagree and say if a women enters the United States as an illegal alien and gives birth to a child here, that child should automatically be a U.S. citizen. That's what the current law allows and many believe it would require a Constitutional Amendment to change the law. ...

On another aspect of the debate, voters overwhelmingly oppose allowing illegal immigrants to be eligible for state and federal government benefits. Just nine percent (9%) say illegals should receive such benefits, but 85% say they should not.

Most voters believe that the availability of government money and services draws illegal immigrants to the United States.

Still, there is a huge distinction in the minds of voters between dealing with illegal immigrants and overall immigration policy. Sixty percent (60%) of voters favor a welcoming immigrant policy that excludes only national security threats, criminals and those who would come here to live off our welfare system. Twenty-six percent (26%) disagree with such a policy, and 14% more are not sure. ...

The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on June 1-2, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. ... ...

Most Americans don't believe Mexico wants to stop the illegal flow of its citizens into this country and think America's southern neighbor should be asked to compensate U.S. taxpayers for costs incurred by illegal immigration.

Even as legislators in Washington once again are talking about immigration reform, voters across the nation remain skeptical about the federal government's role in the immigration debate. Three-out-of-four voters believe that the federal government is not doing enough to secure the nation's borders. Fifty-six percent (56%) believe the policies of the federal government actually encourage illegal immigration.

Among voters who are angry about immigration, 83% are angry at the federal government. Only 12% direct their anger at the immigrants.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – importing poverty, USA
More Importation of Poverty
James R. Edwards Jr.
Center for Immigration Studies, 31 May 2010

Robert Samuelson, in his weekly column in the Washington Post, highlights a key factor in why U.S. poverty rates seem not to improve. ...

Samuelson's column, titled "Why Obama's poverty rate measure misleads," primarily addresses a questionable poverty calculation the administration has proposed. However, he cites "the apparent lack of progress" in reducing poverty as "misleading," with one reason being that "it ignores immigration." He writes:

First, it ignores immigration, which has increased reported poverty. Many immigrants are poor and low-skilled. From 1989 to 2007, about three-quarters of the increase in the poverty population occurred among Hispanics – mostly immigrants, their children and grandchildren. The poverty rate for blacks fell during this period, though it was still much too high (24.5 percent in 2007). Poverty "experts" don't dwell on immigration, because it implies that more restrictive policies might reduce U.S. poverty.

The United States had for most of our history a strong policy of rejecting immigrants unable or unwilling to be self-reliant. Those who gained admittance but later went on the public dole faced deportation. In other words, the storied "poor, huddled masses" and "wretched refuse" largely didn't get admitted into the United States, and those immigrants who did had to be self-sufficient. This common-sense, tough-love approach is known as "public charge doctrine." But it became a victim of political correctness, judicial activism, and welfare statism.

The Clinton administration fought reforms that would have more fully restored public charge doctrine. In 1996, the GOP Congress would have required visa sponsors to earn at least 200 percent of the official poverty level. The status quo at the time was 100 percent of poverty income to be an immigrant sponsor – woefully inadequate. The Clintonites strong-armed lawmakers into accepting minimum sponsorship income of 125 percent of the federal poverty level.

Fast-forward to today. The newly enacted health law makes those earning 133 percent of the federal poverty level eligible for the welfare program Medicaid. That means immigrant sponsors can be poor enough to be on Medicaid (and other welfare programs Samuelson names, including the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is an outright redistribution-of-wealth program), yet "wealthy" enough to sponsor others for visas.

There is something extremely wrong with this picture. It shows how the combination of chain migration, lax visa sponsorship and public charge laws, and a welfare state guarantee the continued importation of the world's poorest. This puts America on a permanent treadmill of importing poverty while decrying how our antipoverty efforts haven't raised the economic boats of the underclass.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Mexico
Experts: Mexico harasses immigrants as it criticizes Arizona immigration law
Chris Hawley [Arizona], 27 May 2010

Arizona's new law directing local police to take a greater role in enforcing immigration rules has brought a lot of criticism from Mexico, the largest source of illegal immigrants in the United States. But, in Mexico, undocumented immigrants say they suffer even worse treatment from corrupt authorities.

"There (in the United States), they'll deport you," Hector Vázquez, an undocumented immigrant from Honduras, said as he rested in a makeshift camp with other migrants under a highway bridge in Tultitlan. "In Mexico, they'll probably let you go, but they'll beat you up and steal everything you've got first."

Mexican authorities have harshly criticized Arizona over Senate Bill 1070, which makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally. It states that an officer engaged in a lawful stop, detention or arrest shall, when practicable, ask about a person's legal status when reasonable suspicion exists that the person is in the U.S. illegally.

"(The law) violates inalienable human rights," the Mexican Foreign Ministry says.

Meanwhile, Mexican police freely engage in racial profiling, harassing Central American migrants while ignoring thousands of American retirees living illegally in Mexico, immigration experts say.

Mexico already has an Arizona-style statute requiring local police to check IDs. That clause has fed an epidemic of kidnappings, rapes and other atrocities against migrants because victims are afraid to talk to police, Mexico's National Human Rights Commission says. A bill eliminating the rule has been stalled in the Mexican Senate since March.

Mexican officials say they've been trying to improve treatment of immigrants by softening some of the most restrictive parts of Mexico's immigration law since 2008.

"We are trying to write a new story (regarding) immigrants, especially coming from Central American countries," Mexican President Felipe Calderón told CNN last week.

But human-rights activists say abuses have continued unabated. ...

Last year, 63,215 of the 67,282 undocumented migrants detained by Mexican authorities, or about 94 percent, were from four impoverished Central American countries: Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador. Only 836 detainees, or about 1 percent, were from the United States.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – China, employment
China set to curb migrant workers
David Elmer
Daily Telegraph, 24 May 2010

Beijing is planning to introduce its first immigration laws in an effort to control the increasing number of foreigners coming to China to work. ...

In 2007, almost 2.9 million foreigners were registered with the ministry of public security as working legally in China. That number is rising rapidly.


The People's Republic of China has never limited immigration, other than for health reasons, including a ban that was recently lifted on HIV positive immigrants.

However, China's buoyant economy has resulted in a sharp rise in the number of illegal immigrants from bordering countries such as Vietnam and Laos since the beginning of the global financial crisis.

Vietnamese are especially valued by the factory owners of southern China, because of their willingness to work for wages of 450 yuan (£45) a month, less than half of what a local would get, and the ease with which they can assimilate into Chinese society.
[Newspaper link]


Immigration abroad – Arizona, USA
On immigration, Obama backs Mexico, not Arizona
Byron York
Washington Examiner, 21 May 2010

When President Obama discussed the new Arizona immigration law with Mexican President Felipe Calderon at the White House Wednesday, he was doing something he has never done with the governor of Arizona. Although Obama has repeatedly criticized the law, he has not once talked about it with Gov. Jan Brewer, nor is any such discussion in the works.

If they did talk, Brewer might ask Obama why he took a foreign leader's side against a U.S. state on the issue of illegal immigration. In a Rose Garden appearance, Calderon called the Arizona law "discriminatory" and said it will lead to immigrants being "treated as criminals." Obama echoed Calderon's remarks, saying the Arizona law "has the potential of being applied in a discriminatory fashion" and creates the "possibility" that immigrants will be "harassed or arrested." ...

When Calderon spoke before Congress and declared, "I strongly disagree with the recently adopted law in Arizona," most Democrats – joined by a few Republicans – gave him a standing ovation.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Holder continues work on plans to sue Arizona over the law. But if Holder goes ahead, he'll have to get in line. A total of five such lawsuits have already been filed in federal court. ... ...

As it turns out, Arizona might be fighting Washington not only in court but also inside the federal bureaucracy. This week John Morton, head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told the Chicago Tribune his bureau might refuse to act in the cases of illegal immigrants found under the Arizona law because the statute is not "good government."

The bottom line is that Obama, the Justice Department, and the entire executive branch are on Mexico's side in this dispute. On the other hand, the majority of the American people are with Arizona; a recent Wall Street Journal poll found that 64 percent of Americans support the law.

The issue will play out not only in court but at the ballot box. A few months ago, in another context, Obama said that when political disputes can't be solved by other means, then "that's what elections are for." He's right.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA, deportation
Our Busted Deportation System Strikes Again
Michelle Malkin, 14 May 2010

Wouldn't it be grand if the Obama administration cared more about policing our borders than about policing our refrigerators? How about fixing our deportation system instead of fixing our junk-food diets?

First Lady Michelle Obama argued this week that obesity is a "national security" issue. But her husband allows far greater threats to go unabated.

... ...

Failure to crack down on visa overstayers and failure to stop the deportation revolving door are two key security vulnerabilities that lawmakers vowed to address after 9/11.

There are currently more than 2 million illegal alien visa overstayers in the country, along with an estimated 500,000 illegal alien absconders who have ignored orders from immigration judges to leave the country. Voluntary departure policies – granting illegal aliens the privilege of deporting themselves on an honor system – have allowed countless law-breakers to remain in the country. There are federal laws mandating up to 20 years in jail for those who re-enter the U.S. illegally after being deported, but the provisions are enforced sporadically.

The endless immigration litigation system lets known deportation fugitives stay in the country pending endless appeals (just ask President Obama's illegal alien absconder aunt Zeituni Onyango, whose 2002 asylum request was rejected and yet who remains here in taxpayer-subsidized public housing while awaiting the outcome of a second immigration hearing).

Just two months ago, the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Richard Skinner reported on lingering obstacles to enforcement and deportation of visa overstayers and absconders, including insufficient detention capacity; limitations of its immigration database; and insufficient staffing. "While most visitors leave by the time their visas expire, many thousands remain in the United States illegally," Skinner testified before Congress. "Overstays perpetuate the illegal immigration problem by using the visa process to break the law to remain in the United States. Moreover, some overstays represent a very real national security risk to the nation."

Indeed, they do. The Nationwide Visa Overstayers Club includes dozens of jihadists, including 9/11 hijackers Mohammed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi, Hani Hanjour, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Satam al-Suqami; 1997 New York subway bomber Lafi Khalil; 1993 World Trade Center bombers Mahmud and Mohammed Abouhalima, Mohammed Salameh and Eyad Ismoil; and 1993 New York landmark bombing and conspirator Fadil Abdelgani.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – racism, multiculturalism, Republic of Ireland
Minister to root out 'pockets' of racism in society
Jamie Smyth
Irish Times, 10 May 2010

Minister of State for Equality and Integration Mary White has vowed to root out "pockets" of racism in society and called for a radical reform of the asylum system.

She has also pledged to tackle rising discrimination against minority groups during the recession – a downturn she believes could, in the long-term, make Ireland a nicer place to live.

In her first major interview since being appointed, Ms White said she had no doubt "there were pockets of Ireland where racism rears its ugly head" and she would do everything she could to support people to embrace multiculturalism.

"While I am Minister in this brief I don't want any covert or overt racism, whether its awful graffiti spray painted on walls or whether its the nudge, nudge, wink, wink in the place of work or in the school yard.

"We have to be absolutely clear in our hearts and our minds that there is absolutely no place for racism and xenophobia in this country," she said. ...

Ms White said she would travel around the country to speak to migrants, to hear their concerns as part of a new ministerial council on integration. She plans to set up a new integration taskforce, which will include Irish representatives, to consider how to better deliver services to immigrants. A third body of academic and Civil Service experts will sit on an integration commission to consider all aspects of integration, she added. ...

Ms White also hoped the Government would overhaul its asylum system and extend the right to work to asylum seekers awaiting a decision on their cases. ...

The Department of Justice argues that giving the right to work to people seeking asylum would encourage bogus asylum seekers to come to Ireland.

It is likely to strongly oppose any amendments to the new Bill proposing to allow asylum seekers to work.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – multiculturalism, USA
An impending national transformation
Bruce Katz & Judith Rodin
Politico, 9 May 2010
[Bruce Katz is a Brookings vice president and director of the Metropolitan Policy Program. Judith Rodin is president of the Rockefeller Foundation]

The United States is confronting significant demographic shifts that could have critical implications for policy and progress throughout this decade, according to new census data.

In a first-ever comprehensive study of America's large metropolitan areas, we have found that the United States is undergoing the most significant socio-demographic change since the huge wave of immigrants in the early 20th century.

Failure to manage this change could have grave consequences for America's future quality of life. But success would allow us to use this demographic transformation as a competitive advantage for the 21st century. ...

But we are growing rapidly. Our population exceeded 300 million in 2006, and we are on track to hit 350 million in the next 15 years.

What will America and its cities look like in 2025? Who will these 50 million new Americans be? Based on our new analysis, America will probably be older, more diverse, more urban – and less equal.

Racial and ethnic minorities accounted for 83 percent of our population growth this last decade. We are well on the way to becoming a majority-minority society. ...

Fifteen years from now we might be more educated. Yet, if we continue as today, we could be living in a far less competitive and equitable society.

Today, whites and Asians are more than twice as likely to hold a bachelor's degree as blacks and Latinos, and young people are lagging. ... ...

We could be living in a less prosperous society. Indeed, our national prosperity in 2025 might depend on whether we master this demographic change and leverage its possibilities in two fundamental ways. ...

Over the next 15 years, as we deal with revolutionary changes in who we are and where we live, U.S. policy-makers, at the local and national level, could be tested, perhaps as never before. ...

In a fiercely competitive world, demographic transformation may be America's ace in the hole.

If we fail to meet the challenge of our changing social and urban landscapes, issues now on the horizon will compound those we face today.

But if we can successfully manage this transformation, the 21st century could be and hopefully will be a prosperous one for all Americans.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Arizona, USA, racial profiling
Is Arizona Law Still Wrong If It Works?
Jonah Goldberg, 7 May 2010

What if Arizona's "racial profiling" law worked perfectly?

In other words, what if Arizona police were always right? What if they could take a look at someone and, using race or ethnicity as just one of many factors (no advocate of profiling has ever suggested that race be the sole criterion), could pick out illegal immigrants from the crowd every time? Would that make it OK?

The reason I ask is that, to listen to opponents of the law from the president on down, the chief objection is that legal immigrants and citizens will be mistakenly singled out by law enforcement.

Here's President Obama on the law's ramifications: "You can imagine, if you are a Hispanic-American in Arizona – your great grandparents may have been there before Arizona was even a state. But now, suddenly, if you don't have your papers and you took your kid out to get ice cream, you're going to be harassed. That's something that could potentially happen. That's not the right way to go."

Never mind that this is a grotesque distortion of the law. Police have to have a reason other than suspicion of being an illegal immigrant – a traffic violation, disorderly conduct, etc. – to ask for your "papers" in the first place. ...

But forget that. Aside from the concern that Hispanic-Americans buying ice cream will be harassed, the other main objection is that legal immigrants will need to carry their "papers."

As many others have observed, this is pretty thin gruel. Legal immigrants have been required under federal law to carry their papers for generations. If you're for that in theory but against it in practice, you're against enforcing any kind of immigration policy at all.

Which brings us back to racial profiling. Obama is just one of many leading liberals who favor affirmative action for certain groups. ... These preferred minorities can be sized up as deserving simply by looking at their skin color and maybe their last name.

Liberals insist that in such cases race is just one factor among many, though studies suggest race is often the key factor since so many of these decisions are made at the margin.

In other words, when you have two equally qualified candidates, race trumps everything. ...

Many have pointed out the inconsistency of conservatives who support law-enforcement profiling while opposing admissions quotas, and of liberals who support quotas but loathe profiling. ...

Meanwhile, imagine you're an American kid of Chinese ancestry. Given your SAT scores and GPA, you should be able to get into, say, the University of Michigan. But because of Michigan's race-based policies, you're turned down because you're not black or Hispanic. That's not just inconvenient, that's a lifetime loss. ... Similarly, being turned down for a job you deserve because of your skin color is a real loss. ...

Opponents of Arizona's law believe government officials – i.e., cops – lack the judgment to enforce Arizona's law. But at the same time, they believe other officials can make a snap judgment about who deserves a job or a superior education based on skin color.

Given this inconsistency, one has to wonder: Is the objection to the law that it won't work, or that it will?
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Mexico
Mexico migrants face human rights crisis, says Amnesty
BBC, 28 April 2010

Migrants in Mexico are facing a "major human rights crisis" as the authorities fail to tackle widespread abuses, Amnesty International has warned.

The human rights group said officials ignored or even played a part in the rape, kidnap, and murder of migrants, often carried out by criminal gangs.

Tens of thousands of Central American migrants pass through Mexico every year to try to reach the US and find work.

Mexico has often stated its commitment to the protection of migrants.

Amnesty called on Mexico's government to "prevent, punish and remedy abuses".

"Migrants in Mexico are facing a major human rights crisis leaving them with virtually no access to justice, fearing reprisals and deportation if they complain of abuses," said Rupert Knox, who contributed to the report, Invisible Victims: Migrants on the Move.

"Persistent failure by the authorities to tackle abuses carried out against irregular migrants has made their journey through Mexico one of the most dangerous in the world," he added.

Amnesty's report may not come as a surprise to those who have made or tried to make the difficult journey through Mexico, the BBC's Julian Miglierini reports from Mexico City.

But its release comes just after the Mexican government denounced a new tough immigration law in Arizona as a human rights violation.

Many here think that, when it comes to migration issues, Mexico first has to clean up its own act, our correspondent says.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Mexico
How Mexico Treats Illegal Aliens
Michelle Malkin, 28 April 2010

Mexican President Felipe Calderon has accused Arizona of opening the door "to intolerance, hate, discrimination and abuse in law enforcement." But Arizona has nothing on Mexico when it comes to cracking down on illegal aliens. While open-borders activists decry new enforcement measures signed into law in "Nazi-zona" last week, they remain deaf, dumb or willfully blind to the unapologetically restrictionist policies of our neighbors to the south.

The Arizona law bans sanctuary cities that refuse to enforce immigration laws, stiffens penalties against illegal alien day laborers and their employers, makes it a misdemeanor for immigrants to fail to complete and carry an alien registration document, and allows the police to arrest immigrants unable to show documents proving they are in the U.S. legally. If those rules constitute the racist, fascist, xenophobic, inhumane regime that the National Council of La Raza, Al Sharpton, Catholic bishops and their grievance-mongering followers claim, then what about these regulations and restrictions imposed on foreigners?

– The Mexican government will bar foreigners if they upset "the equilibrium of the national demographics." How's that for racial and ethnic profiling?

– If outsiders do not enhance the country's "economic or national interests" or are "not found to be physically or mentally healthy," they are not welcome. Neither are those who show "contempt against national sovereignty or security." They must not be economic burdens on society and must have clean criminal histories. Those seeking to obtain Mexican citizenship must show a birth certificate, provide a bank statement proving economic independence, pass an exam and prove they can provide their own health care.

– Illegal entry into the country is equivalent to a felony punishable by two years' imprisonment. Document fraud is subject to fine and imprisonment; so is alien marriage fraud. Evading deportation is a serious crime; illegal re-entry after deportation is punishable by ten years' imprisonment. Foreigners may be kicked out of the country without due process and the endless bites at the litigation apple that illegal aliens are afforded in our country (see, for example, President Obama's illegal alien aunt – a fugitive from deportation for eight years who is awaiting a second decision on her previously rejected asylum claim).

– Law enforcement officials at all levels – by national mandate – must cooperate to enforce immigration laws, including illegal alien arrests and deportations. The Mexican military is also required to assist in immigration enforcement operations. Native-born Mexicans are empowered to make citizens' arrests of illegal aliens and turn them in to authorities.

– Ready to show your papers? Mexico's National Catalog of Foreigners tracks all outside tourists and foreign nationals. A National Population Registry tracks and verifies the identity of every member of the population, who must carry a citizens' identity card. Visitors who do not possess proper documents and identification are subject to arrest as illegal aliens.

[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Arizona, USA, illegal
Arizona's immigration law may spur a showdown
Nicholas Riccardi
Los Angeles Times, 23 April 2010

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday signed the toughest law against illegal immigration in the country, shrugging aside warnings from religious and civil rights leaders – and President Obama – that it would lead to widespread racial profiling.

Hours after Obama denounced the measure as "misguided," Brewer held a signing ceremony for the bill, which makes it a crime to be in the state illegally and requires police to check suspects for immigration paperwork.

Obama signaled that a legal showdown might be possible and that his administration would "examine the civil rights and other implications" of the law. ...

Brewer, at an afternoon news conference in Phoenix, cast the law in terms of public safety, saying, "We cannot sacrifice our safety to the murderous greed of drug cartels." Brewer said she would order the state police training agency to form guidelines to train officers and protect against racial profiling.

Brewer spent as much time during her remarks talking about diversity and the need to avoid racial profiling as she did about fighting crime and protecting Arizona from illegal immigration. "People across America are watching Arizona, seeing how we implement this law, ready to jump on the slightest misstep," she said.

But the law's opponents were highly skeptical that it could be enforced without police singling out Latinos. One provision of the law prevents police from using race "solely" to form a suspicion about someone's legality, but the law does not prevent race from being a factor. ...

Hundreds of high school students left classes this week in protest, pouring into the plaza outside the state Capitol and urging a veto. Religious leaders and police chiefs – and thousands of callers to the governor's office – pressed for Brewer to reject the bill. ...

But a recent poll showed that 70% of state voters supported the measure – even though 53% said it could lead to civil rights violations. ... ...

Unless opponents can stop it with lawsuits, the law will take effect 90 days after the legislative session ends this month or in May.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Arizona, USA, public opinion
70% of Arizona Voters Favor New State Measure Cracking Down On Illegal Immigration
Rasmussen Reports, 21 April 2010

The Arizona legislature has now passed the toughest measure against illegal immigration in the country, authorizing local police to stop and check the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that 70% of likely voters in Arizona approve of the legislation, while just 23% oppose it.

Opponents of the measure, including major national Hispanic groups, say it will lead to racial profiling, and 53% of voters in the state are concerned that efforts to identify and deport illegal immigrants also will end up violating the civil rights of some U.S. citizens. Forty-six percent (46%) don't share that concern. ...

Eighty-three percent (83%) of Arizona voters say a candidate's position on immigration is an important factor in how they will vote, including 51% who say it's very important.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA
More than 1.1 Million Secured Immigrant Status in FY 2009
David North
Center for Immigration Studies, 21 April 2010

A total of 1,130,818 persons obtained permanent resident alien status in fiscal year 2009; it was the first time in U.S. history that this number topped one million for the fifth year in a row.

Department of Homeland Security data on the year was released a few days ago. ...

It should be noted that more than 59 percent of the total were not new arrivals; they had come a few years to many years earlier and as a result of the immigration laws they were able, during the fiscal year, to adjust their status to that of permanent resident alien, or as DHS now prefers to say "Legal Permanent Resident." The other 41 percent were new arrivals.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – population pressure, Australia
Stable Population Party says massive cuts needed to Australia's immigration intake
Stephen Lunn
The Australian, 20 April 2010

Grassroots concern about Australia's burgeoning population is being ignored by the "hopelessly conflicted" major parties and needs a fresh voice in Canberra, says political hopeful William Bourke.

Mr Bourke, a Sydney small businessman and founder of the newly established Stable Population Party of Australia, plans to field candidates in all states at the next federal poll, running on a platform of restricting the nation's population to 23 million.

Mr Bourke says population growth might be a single issue, but it cuts across national policy agendas from health, housing and education to water, climate change – and particularly immigration.

He denies the fledgling party, formed in February, will be a honeypot for rednecks and racists, saying Australians are "capable of a mature and rational debate on the issue".

Nevertheless, he says massive cuts are needed to Australia's current immigration intake, including from the skilled migration program, family reunions, the high volume of New Zealanders allowed in, and overseas students.

Net overseas migration, the difference between those entering Australia with plans to stay for more than a year and those leaving with the same intention, was 297,000 in the year to September last year.

Mr Bourke, who says he has never been a member of a political party, thinks that figure should be reduced to zero.

"We need a balanced migration program, with immigration set at between 50,000 to 80,000 a year, matching the emigration that happens each year," he told The Australian.

"The major parties are hopelessly conflicted between the will of the people and the will of their big business donors, and both sides are just as bad.

"They keep using this measurement of higher gross domestic product to indicate our wellbeing, but of course it's going to grow if you have a bigger population. The measure they should be using is GDP per capita, and that has fallen for the past five quarters in a row."
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Australia
Indian migrants to be one of Australia's largest communities, says report
The Times of India, 18 April 2010

Melbourne: Indian migrants will be one of the largest communities in this country in the next 15 years when Australia-born families will become a minority group, a media report said on Sunday citing statistics from a consulting firm.

Outnumbered by a surging wave of migrants from Europe and Asia, especially from India and China, Australians will become a minority group in their own country within 15 years, Australia-based 'Daily Telegraph' reported quoting figures from demographic consultants Macroplan Australia.

It said most migrants came from Britain (14.2%), followed by New Zealand (11.4%), India (11.2), China (10.5%) South Africa (5.3%) and the Philippines (4.1%).

"Figures from Macroplan Australia show record overseas migration and an ageing population mean migrant families will overtake the number of locally born residents by 2025 - far sooner than previously imagined," the newspaper reported.

According to 2006 census data, 40% of Australia's population was either born overseas or had at least one parent who was born abroad. With the current immigration levels that proportion will jump to over 50% by 2025.

The newly-appointed first Population Minister Tony Burke now faces the task of managing the influx of migrants, which is expected to swell the population from 22 million today to 36 million by 2050.

In a survey of 3,000 people conducted after Burke was sworn in, 70% of Australians said they do not want a bigger population. Fewer than a quarter favoured immigration as the main contributor.

But experts said a migrant majority will be healthy for Australian culture and attitudes.

"It all adds to the cosmopolitan nature of modern Australia," KPMG demographer Bernard Salt said.

"It means our views become less blinkered, and we become more tolerant, confident, engaged, opportunistic and optimistic because we are open to new ideas, not obsessed with keeping things the same."

Macroplan chief executive Brian Haratsis said Australians tended to "stare at our shoes and say we're the best in the world".

"While immigration needs to be managed with better infrastructure, we also need high immigration for sound economic reasons - if we don't, we'll all end up paying higher taxes."
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Australia, population pressure
Australia's population to grow to 42 million by 2050, modelling shows
Daily Telegraph [Australia], 17 April 2010

Australia's population will reach 42 million by 2050, six million more than the Federal Government's target, if migration, fertility and life expectancy continue at today's pace.

Modelling by Australia's Centre for Population and Urban Research warned of a doubling of the population in 40 years, which it also claimed would be unsustainable, and significantly outstrips Federal Government targets.

Cities such as Sydney and Melbourne would evolve into mega high rise metropolises on the scale of Hong Kong, with a drastic deterioration in quality of life for its inhabitants, it warned.

The research conducted by Professor Bob Birrell, one of the country's leading demographers at Monash University, said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's target of 36 million people would be overshot based on the current net migration rate of 298,000 a year.

Under a business as usual scenario, Sydney would have a population of more than 7.5 million and Melbourne upwards of 6.5 million and both would need to be redesigned to cope.

Treasury modelling contained in the third Intergenerational Report forecast a population of 35.9 million by 2050 but assumed returning to a net migration rate of 180,000 a year.

Professor Birrell's modelling based on Treasury figures showed a continued rate of 298,000 would produce a population of 42.3 million based on greater life expectancies and lower birth rate of 1.9, as well as immigration. The workforce would be 22 million.

A lower net migration rate of 125,000 - the average from 1996 to 2007 - would result in a national population of 32 million. Professor Birrell warned the Federal Government had to return to a figure of 180,000 a year from existing higher levels if it wanted to avoid overshooting its own target of 36 million.

But even at these lower rates, Professor Birrell warned that cities such as Sydney and Melbourne would need to be completely redesigned. "We have to get down to that figure quickly, in the next few years," he said yesterday. "It's to do with economies of scale - to refit a city is an enormous exercise."
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Australia
'Labor elite out of touch' on population growth
Kellie Lazzaro
ABC News, 14 April 2010

A new survey has shed more light on how Australian voters would respond if population growth became a big election issue.

The survey by the Australian National University is the largest recent study of social attitudes to population growth and shows that nearly 70 per cent of respondents do not believe Australia needs more people.

The Australian Survey of Social Attitudes was restricted to voters, and 3,124 people completed the mail-out questionnaire.

They were asked "Do you think Australia needs more people?" and 69 per cent said no.

Dr Katharine Betts, Adjunct Associate Professor of Sociology at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, has written a report on the findings. She says those who voted 'no' were worried about local jobs, urban congestion and the environment.

"I think it's clear from this data that the growth train steaming ahead has a lot of unhappy passengers, and I think it's pretty clear that there's a large swathe of voters out here who would really like the train driver to put on the brakes," she said.

"We were rather surprised that the top pick there was the reason 'We should train our own skilled people not take them from other countries'. Twenty-four per cent of people chose that as either their first or second reason."

The 31 per cent of respondents happy with population growth were asked what sort of growth they would prefer, and 23 per cent chose immigration.

"With the people who favoured growth, they tended to pick economic reasons, having more babies and more migrants could counteract the ageing of the population, we need skilled migrants for the workforce - that accounted for nearly three-quarters of the responses amongst the pro-growth people," Dr Betts said.

The survey was completed in the three months to February. Its findings are in contrast to the much smaller Lowy Poll released last week which found most people want a bigger Australia but do not want the population to reach the predicted 36 million by 2050. ...

"There is this new party being formed, the Stable Population Party of Australia; we don't know what the Opposition is going to do, they've been talking about a rather smaller migrant intake and perhaps they'll pursue that line," she said.

"But I think it does show that [Prime Minister Kevin] Rudd and the Labor political elite are very much out of touch with Australian voters on this particular question."

The survey results will be published in the quarterly journal People and Place.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – India
India's migrant workers face hostility in Mumbai
Ben Arnoldy
Christian Science Monitor, 9 April 2010

In India's crowded and burdened cities such as Mumbai, local politicians have rekindled antimigrant attitudes by trying to restrict labor licenses to those who can speak a local language. Most migrant workers cannot.

The controversy rekindled the antimigrant attitudes that sometimes flare up in India's commercial capital. ...

This time, two top figures – politician Rahul Gandhi and cricket champ Sachin Tendulkar – defended migrants with the slogan "Mumbai is for all Indians" and cooled tempers, for now.

But the larger question remains whether to better accommodate migrants with improved urban infrastructure and government services, or to discourage them through locals-first job preferences and decentralized development.

... ...

As the country's commercial capital and therefore a magnet for job seekers, Mumbai for years has been the chief flash point for migrant-worker issues. But now a nativist party is gaining ground in the high-tech hub of Hyderabad. New Delhi's chief minister has also talked of curbing "in-migration."

The persistence of these efforts irks some analysts who fear they could stifle labor flows and economic growth.

"Without question, some of [India's] competitiveness could be placed at risk if [cities] can't get either this large pool of cheap labor for construction or a more talented group of people who can't find opportunities" at home, says Sumit Ganguly, a visiting professor at the Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. ...

"The whole notion of the idea of 'migrants' is something we must rebel against," he adds. "As a citizen of the US, for example, if tomorrow I get a job offer in San Francisco and I move to take it, no one is going to tell me I am a migrant to California."

But the Indian census looks at migrants precisely that way, finding that 30 percent of the population has permanently moved from a hometown. ...

"Sons of the soil" movements, however, argue that India would be better off if migration were discouraged.

The granddaddy of these movements, the Shiv Sena Party in Mumbai, argues that the city – with its 19th-century sewer system and traffic-choked roads – cannot handle the 500 newcomers who arrive daily.

"This place is already saturated," says Prem Shukla, editor of the party's newspaper. "Reverse migration should start, and there should be decentralized development." ...

In a 2008 book titled "The Invasion of Delhi," scholar Sanjay Yadav argues that the original inhabitants in and around Delhi have been marginalized by newcomers. He calculates that they now make up just 35 percent of the population and hold 6 percent of the white-collar jobs. He also appeals to environmentalism, arguing that the region has grown polluted partly as a result of too many people with too little connection to the land. He says migration is holding back development elsewhere.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Netherlands
'Non-western immigration costs up to €10bn a year': update, 7 April 2010

Immigration from non-western countries costs Dutch society between €6bn and €10bn a year, according to a preliminary report by private research institute Nyfer for the anti-Islam party PVV, the Telegraaf reports on Wednesday.

The research is based on 'conservative' estimates of the cost of 20,000 non-western migrants, the paper says. 'That is the number of foreigners who come here every year in order to reunite with their families. So the real cost is much higher,' PVV leader Geert Wilders told the paper.

According to Nos tv, Nyfer officials are angry the preliminary findings have been publicised and say the final report is due to be published at the end of the month. Wilders himself has come up with the rough estimates used in the Telegraaf, Nos quotes Nyfer as saying.

The price tag shows that the Netherlands must put an end to non-western immigration, particularly in the light of the spending cuts which need to be made, Wilders said.

'Academic research shows we can save billions if we stop or limit immigration,' Wilders said. He commissioned the research after integration minister Eberhard van de Laan said last year the figures were not available.

The Telegraaf says the research shows non-western immigrants cost society more because they are more likely to claim welfare benefits and long-term nursing care, and are over-represented in the criminal justice system.

By contrast, they are less likely to use state-funded childcare and get student grants.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Australia
Coalition to reduce migration
Patricia Karvelas
The Australian, 6 April 2010

Tony Abbott's Coalition will cut net migration levels if it wins government, in a bid to stop Australia's population reaching its predicted size of almost 36 million in 2050.

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison yesterday told The Australian the Rudd government had allowed immigration to rise too high and the population figure that Treasury's Intergenerational Report predicted last September for 2050 was unsustainable.

Mr Morrison said the Coalition would not allow the average net overseas migration of more than 300,000 a year that had occurred since the Rudd government took power to continue. ...

Mr Morrison said the current population growth rate of 2.1 per cent put Australia ahead of Canada, Britain and the US.

"It even puts us ahead of China and India," he said. "It's principally fuelled by net overseas migration. A natural increase in the fertility rate has (increased it) but what has been driving the numbers . . . has been spiralling rates of net overseas migration."

Mr Morrison said the Coalition would support skilled migrants coming, but was likely to cut other elements of the program, including family reunion. ...

The Opposition Leader last night backed Mr Morrison's comment that the prediction of a population of 35.9 million was not sustainable, saying the roads of Sydney and Melbourne were already choked.

But Mr Abbott stopped short of committing the Coalition to a cut in migration, saying decisions on the intake should be taken on a "year by year basis".

"Immigration has to be in Australia's national interest," he said on the ABC's Q&A program last night. ...

Mr Morrison said that according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia's population was growing in net terms at the rate of one person every minute and 10 seconds, and immigration accounted for more than 60 per cent of the increase.

The new immigration spokesman toughened the Coalition's rhetoric on asylum-seekers, challenging the government to take control of Australian borders in the wake of 103 boats carrying 4575 passengers reaching our shores since Labor was elected. ...

Mr Morrison denied the Coalition was pushing a racist agenda by endeavouring to cut migration numbers.

"It has nothing to do with issues of race," he said.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Australia
Australia appoints a Minister of Population
Radio Australia, 6 April 2010

Australia's Prime Minister has declared himself in favour of a "big Australia" and now he's appointed a minister for population to figure out just how big. The task is to formulate a population policy within 12 months, though of course the government must face an election before that. Critics say that, given Kevin Rudd's view, the government has no intention of seriously consulting on what Australia's population should ideally be. But given Australia's infrastructure and environmental constraints, and its growing immigration intake, there is considerable political steam in the population issue.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – India, census
Population Registry to Help Track Illegal Immigration
Vibhuti Agarwal
Wall Street Journal, 5 April 2010

Presumably fresh from the long Easter holiday weekend, an army of 2.5 million field workers is going door-to-door from now through September to quiz every family in India about all sorts of things from what each of its members does for work to where they were born.

The aim? To create India's first-ever National Population Registry, a digital database with specific information about every Indian resident, as well as photographs and fingerprints of everyone who is 15 and over.

The project is rolling out along with India's 2011 census, carried out once a decade since 1872. Along with the usual census questionnaire, everyone will have to fill up a separate form that will ask for a range of individual details, including name, date of birth, marital status, names of immediate family members, educational qualifications and occupation.

The enormous information-gathering exercise is expected to add $840 million to the cost of carrying out the regular census, which alone requires nearly half a billion dollars. The data will help a newly set-up government agency assign identification numbers to everyone and eventually issue identity cards to those over the age of 18. ...

A senior census bureaucrat told India Real Time that officials were hopeful the registry might also stem future illegal immigration. In the past Indian officials have expressed concern about migration from its poorer neighbor Bangladesh.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA
(No title)
Center for Immigration Studies, April 2010
[Notice of the book "How Obama is Transforming America Through Immigration" by Mark Krikorian (Encounter Broadsides, 2010. ISBN 1594034885)]

President Obama and his allies have made no secret about their immigration goals: easy amnesty, loose enforcement, and ever-higher levels of legal immigration. One prominent labor leader has boasted that continued mass immigration "will solidify and expand the progressive coalition for the future."

In this penetrating Broadside, Mark Krikorian lays out the details of Obama's open-borders approach to immigration and its political consequences. Krikorian, one of the leading critics of current immigration policy, examines the Administration's record of weakening enforcement and describes how legislation crafted by the president's supporters in Congress would ensure new waves of illegal immigration. Krikorian also explains how continued high levels of immigration, regardless of legal status, would progressively move the United States in the direction of more government and less liberty.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Australia
Mass immigration kills Aussie culture, says demographer Bob Birrell
Herald Sun, 24 March 2010

Traditions based on heritage, sporting culture and common language are threatened by mass immigration, a leading demographer has warned.

Monash University population expert Dr Bob Birrell has said the huge influx of people with few or no English skills had created social problems in Melbourne suburbs such as Dandenong, Sunshine and Broadmeadows and most major cities were feeling the population strain, the Herald Sun reported.

"This is not a pretty picture," he said. "Social divisions are becoming more obvious and geographically concentrated and certain areas are being overlain by an ethnic identification."

Dr Birrell made the explosive comments in an article for Policy, a magazine published by the Centre for Independent Studies, a right-wing think tank.

In a plea to the Rudd Government to slash the current immigrant intake of 180,000 a year, Dr Birrell warned that the predicted population of 35 million by 2050 would be a disaster for urban living and the environment.

"One would have to wander deaf, dumb and blind through Australian capital cities to not notice how urban congestion has already reduced the quality of life," he said.

The intake dominated by people from non-English speaking backgrounds was transforming Australia, Dr Birrell said. ...

"We are losing core elements of what was once shared. Almost all could once aspire to a house and land ... and sharing a common language, sporting culture and heritage," he said. ...

Kevin Rudd has made it clear that he believes in a big Australia. In a recent speech he declared that migration was "good for our national security, good for our long-term prosperity, good in enhancing our role in the region and the world".

But the Federal Opposition and the Greens said questions needed to be asked about Australia's immigration plans.

Opposition immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, told the ABC there should be an inquiry into how many people the nation can support.

"It's about what the carrying capacity is," he said. "We need to get that perspective from regional areas as well as metropolitan areas, where issues of congestion and housing affordability are major problems as well as public transport.

"What's more important, is the process for planning. For example, the states and territories have no input into questions of immigration and migration intakes but they're the ones at the end of the day that have to service the needs that are created by it."

Greens Leader Bob Brown said there should be an independent national inquiry into Australia's population target.

"So that politicians do have an idea of the carrying capacity of this country, its infrastructure, its ability to deal with those quite worrying projections of 35 million people by 2050," he said. "We've got to do better than just say well let it happen."

Other leading academics have also questioned the challenge that mass intake of migrants will pose.

In their book Australia's Immigration Revolution, Andrew Markus, James Jupp and Peter McDonald argue that while immigration "offers the most immediate and simplest short term measure to deal with labour and skills shortages" it also comes with serious questions about social cohesion.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Turkey, repatriation
Turkey threatens to expel 100,000 Armenians
Damien McElroy
Daily Telegraph, 18 March 2010

Turkey has threatened to expel 100,000 Armenians from the country in response to the US branding the First World War killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as "genocide".

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, said the position of the immigrants, many of whom have lived there as refugees for a generation, was being reviewed. ...

"There are currently 170,000 Armenians living in our country. Only 70,000 of them are Turkish citizens, but we are tolerating the remaining 100,000," said Mr Erdogan.

"If necessary, I may have to tell these 100,000 to go back to their country because they are not my citizens. I don't have to keep them in my country."
[Newspaper link]


Immigration abroad – USA
Law Breakers on Parade Again: Illegal Aliens Come to Washington Demanding Amnesty
Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)
Earth Times, 18 March 2010

The American public will once again be treated to the spectacle of thousands of illegal aliens brazenly demanding amnesty for having violated U.S. immigration laws. "The March for America," slated for Sunday, March 21 on the National Mall, is expected to bring thousands of illegal aliens and their supporters to Washington, followed by lobbying visits to Capitol Hill on Monday.

Encouraged by President Obama, who has revived talk of passing amnesty legislation in 2010, marchers hope to pressure Congress into moving an amnesty bill ahead of other legislative priorities. ...

Previous illegal alien marches have featured the slogan, "Today we march, tomorrow we vote," noted Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). "Those in Congress would be well-served to remember that the American public votes too. With an estimated 25 million people either unemployed or underemployed, Americans are far more interested in freeing up the millions of jobs now held by illegal aliens than they are in rewarding people who have broken our laws."

Recent polling data indicate that the American public is adamantly opposed to amnesty for illegal aliens. ...

"The American people have an immigration reform agenda too, one that Congress and successive administrations have been ignoring for decades," Stein said. "What law-abiding Americans want is an immigration policy that protects their vital interests and the enforcement of our laws, not amnesty for illegal aliens." ...

"Capitulating to the demands of the people who break our laws, fill scarce jobs, and consume billions of dollars in public services has been repeatedly rejected by the American people.

"It is time for President Obama and the leaders of Congress to decide whose side they are on: Those who demand to be rewarded for breaking the law, or the American people?" concluded Stein.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA
New immigrants avoiding big cities, study finds
Daniel B. Wood
Christian Science Monitor, 15 March 2010

US immigrant populations are spreading out, a study released Monday found.

New immigrants and their US-born descendants are expected to grow by 117 million by 2050, making up 82 percent of the US population growth over that period, and will "have important implications for housing demand at a time when aging baby boomers are expected to retire and leave the housing market," the study predicts.

New immigrants who once flocked to the large "gateway" cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and Chicago are now heading for smaller metropolitan areas like Detroit and Minneapolis, Colorado Springs, Colo., Sarasota, Fla., and El Paso, Tex., according to the study, released by the Lusk Center for Real Estate at the University of Southern California. The census data used for the study didn't take into account respondents' legal status.

"Every city in the US is getting a sizable immigration population," said Gary Painter, director of research at the Lusk Center and co-author of the study, in a phone interview. "We are no longer a country where immigration is largely confined to just a few places." ...

The study, "Immigrants and Housing Markets in Mid-Size Metropolitan Areas" by Painter and co-author Zhou Yu, an assistant professor at the University of Utah, looked at census data from 2000 to 2005 in 60 cities with housing priced lower than in the major gateway cities.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – population, USA
Births to Minorities Are Approaching Majority in U.S.
Sam Roberts
New York Times, 11 March 2010

In the latest sign of the nation's shifting racial and ethnic composition, births to Asian, black and Hispanic women in the United States are on the verge of surpassing births to non-Hispanic whites.

Minorities accounted for 48 percent of all births in the nation in the 12 months that ended in July 2008. While it will most likely take years for health statisticians to confirm precisely when the 50 percent benchmark will have been reached, demographers said it could occur this year. Depending on variables like the recession, which has depressed birth rates, it will almost certainly happen within a year or two, they said.

"It looks like 'majority' births would drop below 50 percent around 2012," said Carl Haub, senior demographer for the Population Reference Bureau.

As recently as 1990, non-Hispanic whites accounted for almost two-thirds of births.

The Census Bureau estimates that minorities will constitute a majority of the nation's overall population in about three decades and a majority of Americans under age 18 in about one decade.

Since 2000 alone, the proportion of people under age 20 who are non-Hispanic whites has dipped to 57 percent, from 61 percent. In 2008, Asian, black and Hispanic children made up 47 percent of the population under 5. ...

Even though immigration has declined from earlier projections, other variables are contributing to the racial and ethnic shift.

Among them are a decline in the number of non-Hispanic white and even black children; white and Asian birthrates below the replacement level, which magnifies the impact of higher Hispanic birthrates and immigration; and declining numbers of non-Hispanic white women of child-bearing age (down 6 percent since 2000), while the number of Hispanic women in that category climbed 21 percent. There were about 10 Hispanic births in a recent year for each Hispanic death.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Canada, multiculturalism
The changing face of Canada: booming minority populations by 2031
Joe Friesen
The Globe and Mail, 9 March 2010

A massive demographic change is taking place that could alter Canada's economic, political and education systems and exacerbate the divide between rural and urban communities.

By 2031, one in three Canadians will belong to a visible minority. One in four will be foreign-born, the highest proportion since the end of the last wave of mass immigration that began around 1910, Statscan said in a release Tuesday.

Never before have those who identify themselves as racial minorities seen their ranks grow at such a pace, sparking a debate about how Canada itself might change over the next 20 years. ...

The great demographic shift began with the liberalization of immigration policy in the 1960s, which opened a door that had been slammed shut on non-white immigrants. Canada currently maintains the highest rate of immigration in the developed world, largely from Asian countries.

Even if immigration were to be suddenly slashed, experts say, the projections would not change much. Visible minority groups, which have higher birth rates and younger populations, are expected to grow at roughly eight times the rate of the rest of the Canadian population over the next two decades.

Their ranks will grow from 5.3 million today to between 11.4 million and 14.4 million by 2031, one-third of whom will be Canadian-born. ...

Ratna Omidvar, executive director of the Maytree Foundation, said the concentration of visible minority populations, particularly in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, could give rise to "two Canadas," where the concerns of one half have no resonance with the other.

"We're already a nation that seems to divide itself into rural or urban, Quebec or anglophone. Are we now going to be cities with huge numbers of visible minorities and others where that's not so?" she said.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Canada
Study: Projections of the diversity of the Canadian population 2006 to 2031
Statistics Canada, 9 March 2010

All growth scenarios considered, the diversity of Canada's population will continue to increase significantly during the next two decades, especially within certain census metropolitan areas, according to new projections of the country's ethnocultural makeup.

By 2031, between 25% and 28% of the population could be foreign-born. This would surpass the proportion of 22% observed between 1911 and 1931, the highest during the twentieth century. About 55% of this population would be born in Asia.

Between 29% and 32% of the population could belong to a visible minority group, as defined in the Employment Equity Act. This would be nearly double the proportion reported by the 2006 Census. ... ...

Between now and 2031, the foreign-born population of Canada could increase approximately four times faster than the rest of the population. The population of foreign-born could reach between 9.8 million and 12.5 million, depending on various immigration assumptions.

The proportion of foreign-born in the total population would increase from 20% in 2006 to between 25% and 28%. ...

Regardless of future immigration, diversity will grow among the Canadian-born population. By 2031, according to the reference scenario, 47% of second-generation Canadians would belong to a visible minority group, nearly double the proportion of 24% in 2006. Second generation refers to those who are Canadian-born and have at least one parent born outside Canada.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA
The Corrosive Effects of Illegal Immigration
Doug Patton
GOPUSA, 8 March 2010

Most Americans realize that our federal government's deliberate refusal to control the influx of illegal aliens, primarily from Mexico, has had a deleterious effect on our nation's economy. Scores of California hospitals have had to close their doors because of a tsunami of illegals seeking "free" health care – and receiving it.

Schools across the country are being forced to deal with the children of those here illegally, with many states now fighting over whether to offer these children in-state tuition to attend state colleges and universities.

Two of the largest business associations in the country are at odds over this issue. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which sees cheap, illegal labor as a boon for big business, favors a program that keeps our southern border open. But the National Federation of Independent Business, which represents small business owners, says its members frequently see illegals as competition with legitimate enterprise. ...

But these are only the most obvious consequences of a misguided policy that has overburdened the most prosperous society on earth, and now the corrosive effects of not enforcing our immigration laws is taking a toll on our body politic at a whole new level. ...

"The idea that society is responsible for people who are breaking the law is completely ridiculous and completely false," says Dimitri Krynsky, who emigrated legally from Czechoslovakia thirty years ago. "What the state should do is make sure these people do not find work here, do not find apartments here," he says. "Nebraska should create an environment that will send them home."

Krynsky speaks for the overwhelming majority of Nebraskans, including the many legal immigrants who resent the fact that illegals are being granted all the rights of citizenship without having complied with the law. Since immigration is a federal issue, and it has become obvious that bureaucrats at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), have no intention of enforcing the law, state officials have two choices. They can capitulate to the pro-illegal cause or defend the law.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA, public opinion
67% Say Illegal Immigrants Are Major Strain on U.S. Budget
Rasmussen Reports, 3 March 2010

As the country wrestles with a future of historic-level deficits, 67% of U.S. voters say that illegal immigrants are a significant strain on the U.S. budget.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 23% disagree and do not believe illegal immigration is a strain on the budget.

Two-out-of-three (66%) voters say the availability of government money and services draw illegal immigrants to the United States. Nineteen percent (19%) think otherwise and do not believe government money and services are a magnet for illegal immigration. Another 15% are not sure.

These findings help to explain why 68% say gaining control of the border is more important than legalizing the status of undocumented workers already living in the United States. Twenty-six percent (26%) think legalizing illegal immigrants is more important.

The majority support for controlling the borders has been consistent through several years of surveying. ...

Fifty-six percent (56%) say the policies and practices of the federal government encourage people to enter the United States illegally. Twenty-seven percent (27%) disagree, and 17% are not sure.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Australia, public opinion, population
Australians don't want more people - poll
The Australian, 1 March 2010

The public has rejected plans to massively boost Australia's population.

The federal government wants to increase the population from 22 million to 35 million by 2050, largely through immigration.

But a poll has found three-quarters of respondents think Australia does not have the services or infrastructure to cope with more people.

More than 60 per cent wanted immigration slowed.

And a majority of the 1000 people surveyed by Essential Research late last month thought the environment was too fragile to cope with more people, and there was not enough space for them.

The government wants to boost the population because it means more young taxpayers to pay for the high costs of an ageing population.

But the public aren't buying the economic argument either - just over half of those surveyed thought more people would not help the economy.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Spain
The mounting cost of Spain's new illegal underclass
Jason Webb
Reuters, 22 February 2010

Spanish visa rules often deny renewal requests if migrants become unemployed and fail to make sufficient social security payments. So a side-effect of the economic contraction that has continued for seven straight quarters has been the growth of an illegal underclass. ...

The black economy, estimated to account for almost a quarter of Spain's gross domestic product, costs the government up to 25 billion euros a year in lost tax revenue and also traps workers in low-skill, low-pay occupations.

Already, large numbers of migrants survive by providing labor for cash in hand, no questions asked. ... ...

Five million migrants arrived during Spain's decade of heady economic growth from the mid-1990s, finding work on mushrooming construction sites, in shops or as domestic helpers.

There are no official figures but Carlos Gomez Gil, head of the Immigration Observatory at the University of Alicante, estimates as many as 300,000 could have lost their papers during the economic crisis.

"This novel, extraordinarily rapid and profound crisis is going to have a big effect on Spain's recently arrived immigrant population, which still hasn't had time to settle down here and is still politically, socially and economically fragile," Gomez Gil wrote in a recent paper.

"This is the first crisis Spain has ever experienced with an immigrant population," he said. ...

..., a large proportion of the newly illegal migrants are male manual workers from Latin America or North Africa – cast-offs from the building sites.

"About 40 percent of immigrants have only been educated to primary school level, and, as those in the construction sector lose their jobs, there is a big problem finding them new employment," according to Josep Oliver, professor of applied economics and the Autonomous University of Barcelona. ...

Despite the speed with which Spain became an ethnically mixed society, it has so far avoided the tensions associated with immigration seen in other European countries.

"One of the principal forces for the integration of foreigners into Spanish society is work," said Marin.

The Socialist government held an amnesty for 600,000 illegal immigrants in 2005, granting them visas if they could show proof of employment. And like left-of-center politicians elsewhere in Europe, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero welcomed immigration as a way to both to make Spain more tolerant and diverse, and to ensure an aging population would be able to continue to afford its social security system.

The government once spoke of how immigration could increase Spain's population by 50 percent to 66 million.

Now unemployment is around 18 percent – and 10 percentage points higher among foreign workers – it is changing its tune.

It has drastically cut back on working visas, tightened rules on family reunification and offered money to migrants wanting to leave Spain. In a stark departure from its previous talk of diversity, the government put up billboards featuring dark-skinned people and the question "Thinking of going home?"
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Italy, Spain, Greece
Southern Europe's Immigration Test
Nicole Itano
Time, 1 March 2010
[This magazine is published more than a week before the date it carries]

Millions of migrants have arrived in Greece, Italy and Spain over the past decade. To avoid serious social problems, those countries need to do a better job of making them feel welcome. ...

The economic crisis will slow the flow but is unlikely to undo the demographic shift, not least because the birthrate among immigrants is much higher than the general population's. "If there's a lesson that can be learned from the northern European experience, it's that temporary migrants tend to remain," says Joaquín Arango, professor of sociology at the Complutense University of Madrid. Here's another: when a society marginalizes its newest members, trouble ensues. Southern Europe needed its immigrants. Now it needs to find a place for them. ... ...

Demographically, Italy is transforming faster than almost anywhere in Europe. Last year, according to the Catholic charity Caritas, the percentage of noncitizen residents in the country – 7.2% – was greater than Britain's. And that's not counting the country's illegal population, estimated at well over half a million. In a country where the native-born population is aging rapidly, 1 in 6 babies delivered in 2008 was born to a foreign-passport holder. ...

... "People now accept that immigrants are here," says Giuseppe Sciortino, a sociology professor at the University of Trento. "But they're still in denial that they are a presence that will change Italy forever." ...

In 1997, the number of foreigners living in Spain was just over 500,000; 11 years later it was 5.3 million, out of a total population of 46 million.


Immigration is new to Greece, a country whose people emigrated en masse throughout much of the 20th century. ...

Noncitizens now make up more than 10% of Greece's population. The vast majority of these new arrivals come from neighboring Balkan countries, especially Albania. But in the last few years, Greece has also seen a surge of illegal immigrants from Africa and Asia, most of whom set off from Turkey in tiny boats and wash up on one of Greece's many islands. ...

Without a coherent immigration strategy in place, the government has been overwhelmed by the volume of people. The country's detention centers have spaces for only 1,000 people, but more than 95,000 undocumented migrants came in the first nine months of 2009 alone. Most new arrivals are simply held for a short period before being released with a paper telling them to leave in a month. There's also a backlog of 42,000 unprocessed asylum claims, not to mention the thousands more people who have not yet been able to submit their applications. The chaotic system has created a vast underworld of migrants who are living in legal limbo on society's fringe and are turning parts of Athens into crime- and drug-ridden slums.


Immigration abroad – Italy, public opinion
Almost half of young Italians dislike foreigners: poll
AsiaOne [Singapore], 19 February 2010

Almost half of young Italians are intolerant of foreigners or xenophobic, according to a study presented to the country's parliament on Thursday.

The poll of 2,000 people aged 18 to 29 found 46 percent expressed some form of hostility to foreigners, while 40 percent said they were "open" to people from other countries.

Among those hostile to foreigners, the study identified three distinct groups. One, accounting for one in 10 of those surveyed, was made up of overt racists.

A second, representing 15 percent, said it had a "phobia of Romanians, gypsies and Albanians", and was dominated by women.

The third group, representing 20 percent of those surveyed, were xenophobic and wanted foreigners to live apart from them, preferably outside Italy, but did not condone violence against them.

The study by the SWG research institute said there were around 1,000 xenophobic groups on the social networking website Facebook in Italy, including some 100 against Muslims, 300 against gypsies and 350 against immigrants.

Responding to the survey, the speaker of Italy's lower house of parliament Gianfranco Fini called on deputies to come up with an Italian model for integrating immigrants. ...

Fini said recent tensions between South American and North African immigrants in Milan showed "it was not enough to give them (the immigrants) a job."

"We need to reduce the delays in obtaining nationality and give them the right to vote in local elections without being Italian," Fini said.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Europe
The Incredible Shrinking Continent
Stefan Theil
Newsweek, 19 February 2010
[From the magazine issue dated Mar 1, 2010]

As bad as the surge of intolerance is for the foreigners who are its targets, it's a disaster for Europe. The continent is heading for serious long-term economic trouble unless it learns to manage immigration intelligently. Deaths are expected to outnumber births this year in 10 of the European Union's 27 member states. As of 2015 the EU as a whole will experience negative natural population growth, demographers say, and the gap will grow to 1 million excess deaths a year by 2035. ...

The trouble isn't a shortage of immigrants. The European Union has attracted 26 million migrants in the past two decades – a full 30 percent more than America's 20 million over the same span. But most European countries tried to protect homegrown labor by shutting out foreign workers. The efforts mostly backfired, encouraging a massive influx of illegal aliens, who tend to accept rock-bottom wages and benefits because they have no legal recourse. At the same time, Europe's generous social benefits encouraged a massive surge of "welfare tourism." As a result, Europe has ended up with 85 percent of all unskilled migrants to the developed countries but only 5 percent of the highly skilled. Compare that with the United States, which has honed its innovative edge by attracting 55 percent of the world's educated migrants. And because immigration happens largely via networks, with established immigrants paving the way for their peers, such trends tend to endure. "It therefore takes decades to turn immigration policy around," says Thomas Liebig, a migration specialist at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). ...

... Now many European countries have tabled important policy reforms such as the drafting of a continentwide asylum policy and the formulation of smarter immigration criteria based on education and skills. Others, like Spain and the Czech Republic, are actually paying migrants to go away. ... ...

As Europe fiddles, some countries aren't standing still. At the onset of the global crisis, the Canadian government briefly considered slashing immigration quotas to protect its labor market. It then decided to keep its borders open and even to speed up acceptance procedures for some highly skilled arrivals. While migrants have lost some ground recently, they're still twice as likely as native Canadians to hold doctorates or master's degrees. Even within Europe, there are a few countries doing it right. ... Europeans' concerns aren't totally misplaced. The rapid pace of immigration over the past decade has strained Britain's infrastructure and social institutions. Germans and the French are particularly worried about the underclass immigrants who have isolated themselves from society at large. But now the continent is facing a pivotal decision. Closing its borders will only divert more migration into illegal and uncontrollable channels. Europe is no defendable, homogenous island; it's surrounded by the wildly growing populations of Africa and the Middle East. Europe's choice is not whether to stop migration, but whether to channel it to its own advantage.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Thailand
Thailand Serious About Deporting Unregistered Migrant Workers
Lawi Weng
The Irrawaddy, 18 February 2010

Thai authorities say that despite protests by human rights groups they are proceeding with plans to deport up to 1.4 million migrants who fail to complete national verification procedures by the end of February. About 80 percent of the migrants threatened with repatriation are Burmese. ...

In January, the Thai Cabinet passed a resolution allowing for a two-year extension of work permits for about 1.4 million migrants provided they completed the national verification formalities, which involve processing by their home countries.

Migrants seeking to work legally in Thailand must submit detailed biographical information to the Burmese authorities in order to complete the nationality verification procedure. Many fear for their safety and of repercussions against family members in Burma if they turn up at the military government offices to complete the paperwork. ...

In Bangkok, Andy Hall, director of the Migrant Justice Programme, said deportation was "not realistic...the economy needs the workers."

But Jirisak Sukhonchaat said: "We must have these workers 'above ground.' They must work according to the law." He said a decision would be taken later in the case of migrants who had problems proving their nationality, such as Rohingyas. ...

Of an estimated 2 to 3 million Burmese migrants in Thailand, only 1,310,686 have registered as migrant workers.

Many of the migrants are from ethnic minority groups, such as Mon, Karen and Shan, who have fled Burmese army oppression and human rights abuses.

The rights groups say very limited public awareness has been raised about the national verification process and its benefits, both for migrant workers and employers.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Ukraine, deportation
Illegal migrants detained in Ukraine every year
The National Radio Company of Ukraine, 17 February 2010

Over recent five years, the number of illegal migrants detained by Ukrainian law-enforcement bodies remains stable and makes up 12-14,000 a year.

90 percent of them are deported from the country, First Deputy Director of the Interior Ministry Department Viktor Danylenko said during official handover of technical equipment of the perimeter security system worth EUR 70,000 in Chernihiv region. The funds for purchase and installation of this equipment were allocated by the European Union.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Russia
Migration Drives Population Growth
Alexander Bratersky
The St. Petersburg Times, 2 February 2010

The Federal Migration Service announced Friday that it had contributed to Russia's first demographic increase in 15 years by granting Russian citizenship to about 400,000 people last year.

The new Russians along with 227,000 migrants who arrived to Russia in 2009 have helped to offset the country's shrinking population and even allowed a small growth of 1.4 percent, Federal Migration Service chief Konstantin Romodanovsky said.

"This is the first demographic increase in the past 15 years," Romodanovsky said, Interfax reported.

President Dmitry Medvedev touted the end of a 15-year drop in the country's overall population in mid-January after Health and Social Development Minister Tatyana Golikova announced that preliminary statistics for last year showed that the country's population of 141.9 million had either remained stable or increased by 15,000 to 25,000 people.

The Federal Migration Service expelled 34,000 migrants from the country last year, an increase of 70 percent from 2008, and called $113 million in fines from people and companies that violated migration laws, Romodanovsky said.

He said 1.3 million migrants are expected to work in Russia this year, far below a cap of 2 million set in a government quota announced late last year.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – Australia
Populate and we will perish
Barry Cohen
The Australian, 2 February 2010

Now that Kevin Rudd has informed us that he favours a "big Australia" with a population reaching 35 million by 2050, will he also tell us what happens then? Do we continue to pursue policies that will further double our population by 2100, causing us to cease immigration altogether and then apply the Chinese solution: one child per family? And if the population is to increase to 35 million, what's the rush to get there so quickly?

Thanks to the ABC, Kerry O'Brien and The 7.30 Report, which devoted most of last week to showcasing the question of population growth, it appears that at last we are going to have the public debate some of us have been seeking for years.

I once asked in question time whether the prime minister was aware that immigration levels were causing concern because of the pressure they exert on "education, health and social services, housing and land prices and the consequent diminution in the quality of life that overcrowded cities have on our environment". I asked for a white paper on immigration to evaluate the costs and benefits of continued large-scale immigration. That was on June 10, 1970, and John Gorton's answer indicated he was none too pleased with my question. ...

My view then was that Australia couldn't have an immigration policy without first having a population policy. It hasn't changed.

The then minister for immigration, Phil Lynch, understood what I was on about. He set up an inquiry under Wilfred Borrie, but when Borrie eventually reported in 1978, no mention was made of population numbers.

What surprises me is that Rudd has decided to support a massive increase without the matter being debated in public, the parliament, the party or the press. I am not alone in my concern.

What advocates of big Australia haven't yet done is spelt out clearly the benefits from such a huge population increase. In the early 1990s our annual growth rate, including immigration as well as births and deaths, dropped below 1 per cent. It is now, thanks to more babies and more people living longer, almost 2 per cent.

With a population of 22 million, the deterioration in the quality of life in our cities is already obvious. Daily our media highlights the inadequacy of our schools, hospitals and transport system, housing and water shortages, and spiralling land prices. You don't need to be an urban planner, demographer or sociologist to see the problems.

If the 35 million predicted by 2050 is correct, with Sydney and Melbourne rising to seven million each, we are courting disaster. Double the population and life in the cities will be intolerable.

No, no, say the big Australians, we can take millions more. We can but who will benefit? It is up to the big Australians to show how this will improve the quality of life for present and future generations of Australians. ...

Why has it taken so long for this debate to take place? One reason is that the ethnic lobby brands anyone who questions immigration as racist. That won't work with the type of people who are now entering the debate. People of the calibre of Dick Smith, Bob Carr and, if I may say so, yours truly can't be so labelled.

More and more Australians are speaking out on this issue and they will not be silenced out of fear of being blackguarded by those afraid to seriously debate the issue.

Barry Cohen was a minister in the Hawke government.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA, politics, citizenship, voters
Obama adviser: Amnesty to ensure 'progressive' rule
Aaron Klein
WorldNetDaily, 2 February 2010

Granting citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants would expand the "progressive" electorate and help ensure a "progressive" governing coalition for the long term, declared a recent adviser to President Obama whose union group is among the most frequent visitors to the White House.

"We reform the immigration laws, it puts 12 million people on the path to citizenship and eventually voters," stated Eliseo Medina, international executive vice-president of Service Employees International Union, or SEIU.

Medina was speaking at a June 2009 Washington conference for the liberal America's Future Now!

Medina said that during the presidential election in November 2008, Latinos and immigrants "voted overwhelmingly for progressive candidates. Barack Obama got two out of every three voters that showed up."

"Can you imagine if we have, even the same ratio, two out of three? Can you imagine 8 million new voters who care about our issues and will be voting? We will be creating a governing coalition for the long term, not just for an election cycle."

... The SEIU is closely linked to the controversial Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN. SEIU President Andrew Stern was the most frequently logged White House visitor, according to an official list released in October.

Medina and the SEIU are top supporters of Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez's Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Bill, which seeks to document up to 12 million illegal immigrants inside the U.S.

During the most recent presidential campaign, Medina and Gutierrez served on Obama's National Latino Advisory Council. Also on the council was Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., the co-sponsor of Gutierrez's immigration reform bill.

Medina was a chief lobbyist credited with a change in the longstanding policy of the AFL-CIO, the largest union federation in the U.S. The union reversed its stance against illegal immigration in February 2000, instead calling for new amnesty for millions of illegals.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA
Obama's Amnesty Footnote
Virgil Goode, 1 February 2010

At the very end of his State of the Union address, President Obama said, "we should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system – to secure our borders and enforce our laws, and ensure that everyone who plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nation."

Like most Americans, I agree with those broad principles, and that is exactly why Obama was so vague in his speech. His claim that "jobs must be our number one focus in 2010" would be exposed as a complete fraud if he promoted giving amnesty for illegal immigration and importing hundreds of thousands of additional legal foreign workers in the same address.

The situation is already bad enough as it is. At least twelve million illegal immigrants are in this country and eight million illegal aliens are in the American workforce. Additionally, our government issues 75,000 permanent work visas and 50,000 temporary work permits to foreign workers every single month. A recent census study found that one out of every six workers in this country is foreign born. ...

"The steps forward on immigration reform" to which he is referring is HR 4321, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 or "CIR ASAP" sponsored by Rep. Louis Gutierrez, Solomon Ortiz, and 90 other Democrats.

As we all know, "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" and "Path for legalization" are nothing but code words for amnesty. The last two times the open borders folks introduced amnesties, they at least established some preconditions and made illegal aliens jump through a few hoops and before they could get amnesty. Under Gutierrez's bill, every single illegal alien in this country the day of the bill is signed will be eligible. This gives foreigners a great incentive to come to this country illegally because they know they'd soon be eligible for amnesty. A recent Zogby found that 56% of Mexicans said themselves or people they knew would be more likely to enter America illegally if they knew an amnesty was coming.

To make matters worse, when proving they have jobs and were in the country before the amnesty passed, illegal aliens apply for amnesty they are allowed to use their stolen identities, fake green cards, and fraudulent social security numbers without fear of prosecution.

In addition to giving legal status to the 12 million illegal aliens already here, it will make it much easier for more illegal aliens to break into our country in the future. Contrary to Obama's claim that the bill will increase border security, CIR ASAP does the opposite.

It guts successful enforcement measures, limits raids on illegal immigrants, prohibits use of troops on the border, and replaces the effective E-Verify system used to ensure that employers only hire legal American workers. It also overturns all state and local laws that crackdown on illegal immigration, and abolishes the successful 287 (g) program that allows local law enforcement to cooperate with federal authorities in apprehending criminal illegal aliens.

On top of the millions of illegal immigrants in this country, 1.5 million legal foreign workers come into our country each year. But this number isn't high enough for Gutierrez and his friends. ...

Additionally, CIR ASAP will create 100,000 visas from the countries that send the most illegal immigrants every year. This rewards countries such as Mexico who intentionally promote illegal immigration.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA
Business and Labor on Immigration Contrasting Views of Leaders vs. Rank and File [part 1]
Steven A. Camarota
Center for Immigration Studies, February 2010

A new Zogby poll of senior executives, business owners, and members of union households finds that each of these groups thinks the best way to deal with illegal immigrants in the country is to enforce the law and cause them to return home. This is in stark contrast to lobbyists for large companies, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which argue for legalization. The findings of the survey are consistent with surveys done by the National Federation of Independent Business, which represents small enterprises, showing strong opposition to legalization. Among unions, the leadership strongly supports legalizing illegal immigrants, but the survey shows enforcement – not legalization – is by far the option favored by union members and their families. The survey uses neutral language and includes 7,046 members of union households, 2,490 executives (e.g., CEOs, CFOs, VPs or department heads), and 9,990 small business owners.

Among the findings:

When asked to choose between enforcement that would cause illegal immigrants in the country to go home or offering them a pathway to citizenship with conditions, most members of the business community and unions choose enforcement.

Executives (e.g. CEOs, CFOs, VPs etc.): 59 percent support enforcement to encourage illegals to go home; 30 percent support conditional legalization.

Small Business Owners: 67 percent support enforcement; 22 percent support conditional legalization.

Union Households: 58 percent support enforcement; 28 percent support conditional legalization.

One of the most interesting findings of the survey is that members of the business community think there are plenty of Americans available to fill unskilled jobs. Union members feel the same way.

Executives: 16 percent said legal immigration should be increased to fill unskilled jobs, 61 percent said there are plenty of Americans available to do unskilled jobs, employers just need to pay more.

Small Business Owners: 13 percent said increase immigration; 65 percent said plenty of Americans are available.

Union Households: 10 percent said increase immigration; 72 percent said plenty of Americans are available.

Most members of the business community and union households do not feel that illegal immigration is caused by limits on legal immigration, as many of their lobbyists argue; instead, members feel it is due to a lack of enforcement.

Executives: Just 13 percent said illegal immigration is caused by not letting in enough legal immigrants; 75 percent said inadequate enforcement.

Small Business Owners: 10 percent said not enough legal immigration; 79 percent said inadequate enforcement.

Union Households: 13 percent said not enough legal immigration; 74 percent said inadequate enforcement efforts.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA
Business and Labor on Immigration Contrasting Views of Leaders vs. Rank and File [part 2]
Steven A. Camarota
Center for Immigration Studies, February 2010

In contrast to many business groups and union leaders, most executives and union members think immigration is too high.

Executives: 63 percent said it is too high; 5 percent said too low; 16 percent said just right.

Small Business Owners: 70 percent said it is too high; 4 percent said too low; 13 percent said just right.

Union Households: 63 percent said immigration is too high; 5 percent said too low; 14 percent said just right.


While it is often assumed that the business community wants to legalize illegal immigrants and increase the level of legal immigration in the future, a new Zogby poll indicates that this is a minority position among top executives and small business owners. The reason for this mistaken impression is that a number of politically influential business lobbying organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Restaurant Association, and the National Association of Home Builders have all endorsed legalization and increased future immigration. It is important to note that the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), which is by far the largest organization representing small businesses, has not endorsed this position and, in fact, endorsed legislation that would have increased immigration enforcement efforts. Part of the reason for this is that NFIB, unlike other business associations, surveys its members and asks them what positions they should take on controversial subjects. NFIB's surveys show strong support for immigration enforcement and strong opposition to legalization, which explains its position on immigration. The Zogby poll confirms this finding, with small business owners wanting enforcement, not legalization.

The union movement has reversed its long-standing position that high levels of immigration are bad for labor, and in recent years has become an important part of the coalition critical of almost every enforcement effort and in favor of legalizing illegal immigrants. This is true both of the AFL-CIO and the Change to Win coalition. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), part of the Change to Win coalition, has been at the forefront of this argument. The union movement generally has been critical of guestworker proposals, but supportive of efforts to increase permanent immigration.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA, public opinion, minority voters
An Examination of Minority Voters' Views on Immigration
Steven A. Camarota
Center for Immigration Studies, February 2010

While it is sometimes assumed that minorities, particularly Hispanics, favor increased immigration and legalization for illegal immigrants, a new Zogby survey finds that minority voters' views are more complex. The poll of Hispanic, Asian-American, and African-American likely voters finds some support for legalization. But overall each of these groups prefers enforcement and for illegal immigrants to return home. Moreover, significant majorities of all three groups think that the current level of immigration is too high. These views are in sharp contrast to the leaders of most ethnic advocacy organizations, who argue for increased immigration and legalization of illegal immigrants. The survey used neutral language, avoiding such terms as "amnesty," "illegal alien," or "undocumented."

Among the findings:

In contrast to the leadership of many ethnic advocacy groups, most members of minority groups think immigration is too high. ...

Most members of minority groups do not feel that illegal immigration is caused by limits on legal immigration as many ethnic advocacy groups argue; instead, members feel it's due to a lack of enforcement. ...

Most members of minority groups feel that there are plenty of Americans available to fill unskilled jobs. ...

When asked to choose between enforcement that would cause illegal immigrants in the country to go home or offering them a pathway to citizenship with conditions, most members of minority groups choose enforcement. ...

... What the poll does show is that, like most Americans, Hispanic, Asian, and black voters want the law enforced and illegal immigrants to go home. Moreover, they think the overall level of immigration is too high. When some leaders of minority groups speak on immigration and argue for legalization they are merely offering their own personal opinions, not necessarily those of voters in these communities.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – USA, politics
U.S. Jews and Latinos form unlikely bond over immigration policy
Nathan Guttman, 31 January 2010

Even as health care reform twists in the wind, immigration policy looms as the next big political debate, and Hispanics and Jews are moving to the forefront in a burgeoning political alliance. ...

But Jewish activists also see the joint work as an opening for cooperation with the Hispanic community on other issues, such as Israel.

"If we want to engage with the Latino community on issues that are of concern for us, including Israel, we need to engage on issues that bother their community," said Gideon Aronoff, president and CEO of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. "We want to create growing bonds with the Latino community, and we cannot create these bonds if we are indifferent to the issues that are of concern to them." ...

The organized Jewish community is more committed than ever to immigration reform. A letter supporting immigration reform, which will be sent out to all Senate offices in early February, was signed by dozens of national Jewish organizations.

Joining forces with the Hispanic community has been a longstanding goal for Jewish groups. But what seems to be a rare chance to reform immigration laws has helped galvanize the relationship. ...

Jewish groups bring to the table their experience and well-established network of political contacts, a contribution highly appreciated by Hispanic organizers.

"For us, as newcomers to the society, this experience is extraordinary," said Gutavo Torres, president of Casa Maryland, a Hispanic group active in the metropolitan Washington area. "They know how to work through the system, how to lobby, how to advocate. The Jewish community has a lot of experience and a lot of power."

Jewish organizations have been increasing their efforts to reach out to the Hispanic community for several years, and most national groups have established joint programs and sponsored Jewish-Hispanic events. With the rapid growth of the Hispanic community and with its rising political clout, Jewish groups see added value in building bridges to the community.
[Site link]


Immigration abroad – New Zealand
Immigration always controversial in New Zealand - Feature
Earth Times, 27 January 2010

Today, Maoris account for only about 15 per cent of the 4.3 million population. Nearly one-in-four residents were born overseas, and significant numbers of migrants from the Pacific and from Asia have made New Zealand richly diverse and multi-cultural.

A recent government study concluded there was no doubt that immigration benefited New Zealand hugely - helping boost the exports that the small trading nation relies on f