Quotations of news and views by subject

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

Within each section of this page the more recent items are shown first. However, extracts can, if preferred, be read in chronological order by using the "Up" link to go to the start of the item next above the one just read.

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


Asylum – illegal immigration
UK hands visas to eight illegal migrants a day
Daily Express, 4 December 2014

Britain's soft-touch system is granting asylum to illegal immigrants and those who overstay their visas at a rate of up to eight a day.

Figures reveal that the number who move from being here illegally to legal residency each year – and with it the right to tap into Britain's welfare state – has doubled since 2010.

Up to 11,500 migrants were given refuge in the UK in only four years with many only claiming sanctuary after their visas ran out.

Ukip migration spokesman Steven Woolfe said: "Not only has the Government broken its promises on the number of legal migrants entering the UK, but it still remains ignorant and delusional about the problems we face over illegal immigration.

"These figures will have a serious effect on social cohesion and the provision of public services that the Government budgeted for in yesterday's Autumn Statement.

"The Government needs to tell us what levels of legal and illegal migration it has planned for in its economic numbers.

"Otherwise, it's like building a house and not knowing how many will be living in it."

The figures were released by Home Office minister James Brokenshire. ...

Migrants who sneak into the UK then claim asylum make up the majority at 9,679, with 1,775 overstaying visas accounting for the rest.

Even on the lower estimate, the total more than doubled from 1,400 a year in 2010 to 3,300 in 2013.

Ugandans led the stampede for the right to stay with 2,410 over four years – often by saying they are gay and face persecution.

Those from Eritrea are the second biggest group with almost 1,400 granted asylum since 2010.
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Asylum – border controls
European court: asking asylum seekers to prove sexuality is breach of human rights
Matthew Holehouse
Daily Telegraph, 3 December 2014

Gay and lesbian asylum seekers must not be asked to prove they are homosexual in order to stay in Britain, following a judgement by a European court yesterday.

Asking refugees detailed questions about their sexual habits in order to establish whether they are at risk of persecution at home is a breach of their fundamental human right to a private life, the European Court of Justice ruled. ...

In a ruling that may have implications on British cases, the court said an asylum seeker's failure to answer questions about their personal circumstances was not sufficient reason to reject their credibility.

Nor was an applicant's failure to declare his homosexuality from the start grounds to reject a claim, the judges said.
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Asylum – Middle East, Christians
Welby warns offering asylum to Christians could 'drain' Middle East of 2,000-year-old communities
John Bingham
Daily Telegraph, 19 November 2014

Offering asylum in Britain to Christians fleeing the forces of the so-called Islamic State risks "draining" the Middle East of communities which have been there since the time of St Paul, the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned.

The Most Rev Justin Welby said while the UK has a "humanitarian duty of hospitality and welcome" in extreme cases, it should use its international influence to press for the creation of safe havens in the region as a priority.

He was speaking ahead of an emergency discussion of the Church of England's General Synod in London about the threat to Christians, Yazidis and Muslim minority groups in the Iraq and Syria. ...

The Synod has already heard calls for Anglican congregations to sponsor asylum applications for Christians fleeing violence and potential genocide in their homelands.

It follows cross-party calls from politicians for the UK to follow the example of France and offer refuge to persecuted Christians.

But Archbishop Welby said Britain should be wary of any action which could ultimately empty the region where Christianity was born of Christians.

"There is a huge debate going on, not least amongst the Christian communities in the Middle East, in fact principally among them, about what they actually want to happen," he said.

"We had a gathering of Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox at Lambeth [Palace] in the beginning of September, one of the bishops who had just come from a town under siege from Isis, his family were still there, said 'please, please don't offer asylum, enough of us have left already'.

"But on the other hand others say we really need it in extreme circumstances.

"I don't think there's a straightforward simple answer.

"I think there is an answer that says we need to do more where there is really no choice but we also need to be deeply committed to enabling solutions to be found enabling communities that have been there for 2,000 years to remain there.

"These are not Johnny-come-latelies, they have got more history of being there than we have, most of us, of being in this country." ...

"There are things that can be done and it is better than simply draining the entire region of Christians who have been there since the time of St Paul."
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Home Office 'chaos' over asylum appeals
Jamie Doward
The Observer, 19 October 2014

Thousands of decisions by the Home Office to refuse asylum seekers and migrants permission to remain in the UK have been withdrawn before a series of appeals.

A letter to Labour MP Paul Blomfield from Home Office minister James Brokenshire, filed in the parliamentary library, highlights official figures showing that on more than 3,000 occasions in the year to 12 December 2013, the home secretary, Theresa May, withdrew her department's decision about an applicant's immigration status as appeals were put in place. More than 200 of these were asylum claims, while over 2,000 related to "temporary migrants" – chiefly people who have come to the UK for a short period.

Critics say the Home Office's actions have left the immigration status of some claimants unclear, contributing to a backlog of cases that have yet to be decided. "It's another example of chaos within the Home Office," Blomfield said. "There are victims at the centre of it all who have bona fide applications and are being left in legal limbo." ...

In March it emerged that 19,685 applications for asylum received since 2006 were still awaiting a decision.
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Asylum – Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough at breaking point over asylum seeker numbers
Paul Jeeves
Daily Express, 9 October 2014

A town flooded by a sudden surge of asylum seekers can no longer cope, angry locals claimed yesterday.

New figures revealed Middlesbrough has topped England's asylum seeker league with the town becoming the first in the country to breach Government accommodation guidelines.

The amount of cheap housing in the Teesside town means it has become a magnet for penniless arrivals seeking sanctuary in the UK.

The Government insists no local authority area should need to house more than one asylum seeker per 200 of population.

But a Middlesbrough Council report has revealed almost 1,000 asylum seekers are currently being housed in the town, which has a population estimated at 138,400 - putting it almost one-and-a-half times the Government limit.

Asylum seekers are generally housed at taxpayers' expense homes while the Home Office decides whether to grant them asylum.

The process can take up to a year and a total of 982 asylum seekers are currently housed in paid-for accommodation in Middlesbrough.

In the report to be discussed by the Labour-run authority next week, Richard Horniman, economic development manager at Middlesbrough Council says the town has seen a rise in the number of asylum seekers through Government-funded regional contracts.
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Asylum – costs
Taxpayers fund migrants B&B rooms in top holiday destinations
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 29 September 2014

Britain's immigration crisis spread yesterday as it emerged more seaside hotels are being used to house asylum seekers at taxpayers' expense.

The Daily Express can reveal 150 refugees have been bussed to Bournemouth where they are enjoying full bed and board on the public purse.

The move sparked anger on the "Sunshine Coast" coming just days after it was revealed how 130 migrants had taken over a hotel in Folkestone, Kent.

The Daily Express has learned that beleaguered Home Office officials have turned to Britannia Hotels, one of the UK's largest groups, to solve the UK's growing asylum epidemic.

Coach loads of African and Arab refugees have checked in to the three-star Heathlands and Roundhouse hotels in Britain's premier destination resort while their claims for asylum are processed. ...

Their stay in Bournemouth comes as Britain struggles with the number of new arrivals. ...

In 2011/12, the latest figures available, Home Office accommodation provision for asylum-seekers was £150 million. ...

The rush to start a new life in Britain sees 82 asylum applications made every day, figures obtained by the this newspaper show.

Last year, almost 30,000 desperate refugees and their dependents begged to stay in the UK.

The lure to start a new life here is now so strong applications have shot up 15 per cent in two years.
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Asylum – refoulement, EU law, border controls
Refoulement – EU law and asylum
Helen O'Nions
The Law Society Gazette, 7 July 2014
[Dr Helen O'Nions is a senior lecturer at Nottingham Law School]

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights sets out the fundamental right to seek and enjoy asylum. However, the controversial public image of immigration currently challenging governments across the EU, coupled with asylum being seen as a problem and another aspect of irregular migration, means that states are neglecting to meet their basic international obligations.

Since the Treaty of Amsterdam, the EU has had competence to legislate in the field of asylum and has recently amended directives in three key areas, establishing: common asylum procedures; common reception conditions; and standardising the approach taken by states when determining refugee status. This should mean that asylum seekers experience common, uniform procedures across the EU, thus promoting consistency and fairness in decision-making. However, there are a number of significant obstacles which undermine common procedures and challenge the individual's right to seek and enjoy asylum.

The reality is that the number of asylum applications into the EU has decreased dramatically since its peak a decade ago. The vast majority of the world's asylum seekers are confined to regions of origin in highly precarious situations, as we can see with the Syrian refugee camps. The numbers arriving in the EU are certainly manageable – in the UK the figure for applications in 2013 was 23,000.

Yet there has been a political obsession with reducing the headline number at all costs – mechanisms such as interception at sea, expedited procedures, routine detention and carriers' liability have made it almost impossible for applicants to find legal mechanisms of travel in order to claim refugee status. ...

On arrival a culture of disbelief sees most applications rejected at first instance and, notwithstanding the enormous reduction in free legal advice, a comparatively high success rate in asylum appeals. The disparate recognition rates for refugees across the EU also indicate that in some countries there is almost no chance of being recognised as a refugee even when the applicant is able to access the asylum procedure.

These directives should ensure that all EU states are free from persecution, respecting the obligation of non-refoulement and offering a common standard of refugee detection and protection. But with some states failing to meet even the most basic needs of applicants, it places them at risk of refoulement. ...

Contrary to public perception, research shows that most refugees would prefer to stay in their region of origin.

However, this is not always possible and the EU and other developed states should be prepared to do much more in meeting their obligations under refugee and human rights law to identify and protect those in greatest need. A failure to do this will ultimately have dramatic repercussions both for the individual and for global peace and security, as the wealthy west becomes ever more insulated from the needs and aspirations of the rest of the world.
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Asylum – refugees, World
Global refugee figure passes 50m for first time since second world war
Harriet Sherwood
The Guardian, 20 June 2014

The number of people forced to flee their homes across the world has exceeded 50 million for the first time since the second world war, an exponential rise that is stretching host countries and aid organisations to breaking point, according to figures released on Friday.

Half the world's refugees are children, many travelling alone or in groups in a desperate quest for sanctuary, and often falling into the clutches of people traffickers, the annual UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) global trends report said. ...

The increase of 6 million over the 2012 figures has mainly been driven by the war in Syria. By the end of last year, 2.5 million Syrians had fled across the country's borders and 6.5 million were internally displaced – more than 40% of the population.

Conflicts in the Central African Republic and South Sudan also contributed to rising numbers. ...

Factors that forced people to leave their homes included climate change, population growth, urbanisation, food insecurity and water scarcity – many of which interacted with and enhanced each other.

"It's sometimes difficult to identify the main motivation," said Guterres, adding that movement could be due to several factors.

"The classic idea that you have economic migrants who want a better life, and refugees who flee conflict and persecution – it is true, but now you have a number of people who are forced to move by a combination of reasons, which are not always obvious." ...

It defined three groups:

Refugees – 16.7 million people worldwide. ...

Asylum seekers – close to 1.2 million people submitted asylum claims, mostly in developed countries. ...

Internally displaced people – a record 33.3 million were forced to flee their homes but remained within their country's borders.
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Asylum – deportation
Ministers announce new moves to stop failed asylum seekers absconding
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 10 June 2014

Asylum seekers will no longer be notified straight away when they lose their appeals in a bid to stop them absconding before they can be removed from Britain, under new measures published by the Ministry of Justice.

Currently, the applicant is notified of the immigration tribunal's final decision at the same time as the Home Office, giving them the opportunity to go underground if they are determined to avoid being sent back to their home country.

But under secondary legislation published by ministers the immigration service will be given a "heads up" before the asylum seeker is notified of the outcome.

It will now be the Home Office's duty to notify the applicant of the decision - possibly allowing immigration officers to detain them on the spot if there is deemed to be a risk of them disappearing.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "This amended procedural rule allows for the first-tier and upper tribunals to serve a final decision notice on the Home Office for onward service on the appellant, as they do with other types of asylum appeal decisions."

"This will enable the Home Office to consider any additional arrangements that may be necessary when serving the decision on the appellant, such as taking measures to prevent the parties absconding or ensuring the vulnerable receive additional support."
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Asylum – European Union
Asylum seekers in Europe reach two-decade high
Martin Santa
Yahoo! News / Reuters, 24 March 2014

Nearly half a million people sought asylum in Europe last year, the most in two decades, with the largest number coming from Syrians fleeing civil war, the European Union said on Monday.

In total, 434,160 people sought refuge in the EU's 28 member states in 2013, according to Eurostat, the EU statistics office. That was an increase of nearly 30 percent from the 335,000 requests in 2012.

The European Union rejected 65 percent of the requests and granted refugee status to 15 percent of the asylum seekers. The remaining 20 percent got at least temporary permission to stay in Europe. Rejected applicants had a right to appeal.

Some 50,000 applicants from Syria accounted for the largest number, nearly 12 percent of the total. ...

Russia accounted for the second-largest number of claims, at 41,000, a 10 percent share. Afghanistan was third with 26,000 claims. Serbia, Pakistan, Kosovo, Somalia, Eritrea, Iran, Nigeria and Iraq followed.
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Asylum – UNHCR Gateway programme
Refugees hail UNHCR Gateway programme as a British success story
Harriet Grant
The Guardian, 19 March 2014

... one of the first refugees to move to the UK as part of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' Gateway Protection Programme. Now, to mark the 10th anniversary of their arrival, campaigners want the government to expand the scheme. ...

The UK currently takes about 750 people a year through the Gateway route, a number the Refugee Council, which runs the welcome package with local authorities, wants to see increased.

There are 690,000 people waiting to be resettled worldwide, according to the UNHCR, but only 5,500 resettlement places are offered across the European Union each year. The United States takes 70,000 people annually, the largest number of any country. ...

The UNHCR wants to see the UK and other European countries take more refugees through direct resettlement. Roland Schilling, the UNHCR's representative in the UK, told the Guardian that camps were not a long-term solution.

"One of my first lessons when I started at UNHCR, was that you can do three things for a refugee. You can send them home or they can stay where they are or you can try to find them a new country. The ideal is that people go home. But there are protracted situations where that is not happening. People are fleeing to camps and you can say it's OK as temporary conditions, but not for five years plus."
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Asylum – cost
British taxpayers will fork out £400m to feed and house asylum-seekers
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 29 January 2014

The true price of mass migration was laid bare yesterday by figures showing just what a backlog in asylum-seeking cases costs Britain's taxpayers.

In the past three years, the Home Office admits taxpayers have paid £414 million to feed and house foreigners waiting to hear if they can stay in the country.

The refugees are not entitled to work but can be paid what's known as Section 95 support "to avoid slipping into destitution".

But costs are mounting with the backlog of cases soaring past 32,600 since January last year. Some claims have been going through the system for 16 years.

Keith Vaz MP, chairman of the Commons home affairs committee, said: "This inefficiency not only impacts on the wellbeing of refugees but also means that they need support for longer." ...

A recent National Audit Office survey found asylum-seekers in taxpayer-funded accommodation with iPads and wide-screen TVs. ...

A Home Office spokesman last night said the department had reduced its total bill for supporting asylum seekers by £250 million in the past three years.
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Asylum – repatriation
More asylum seeker chaos of foreign athletes after our Olympic legacy
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 9 January 2014

Britain is facing an asylum hangover from the Olympics with dozens of foreign athletes refusing to leave.

Fewer than half the competitors who claimed asylum in 2012 won the right to stay. But 18 months on only one in four of those without leave to remain has been sent packing.

Of the 82 Olympians, coaches and other back-room staff applying to stay after the London Games, 40 were granted refugee status.

Just 10 of the remaining 42 were put on planes back home while the rest are either on the run, fighting legal battles against deportation or still waiting for a first decision.

The delays are costing UK taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds to support the athletes and fund their legally aided appeals. ...

Immigration officials have refused to give a full breakdown of the asylum seekers' nationalities.

But it is thought the vast majority are from African countries. The Eritrean team's flag-bearer and long distance runner Weynay Ghebresilasie, 19, was one of four from the country to claim asylum.

Five of the Congolese delegation also applied for sanctuary.
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Benefits and costs – workers from Turkey
UK loses bid to opt out of benefits deal with Turkey: Ruling could lead to higher spending on welfare payments and pensions for immigrants
Mail on Sunday, 21 December 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

'We will be examining the full implications of the ruling.'
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Benefits and costs – housing
One in 10 council houses is occupied by a foreigner
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 17 December 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said that the figures would fall next year after new measures introduced by the Government.
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Benefits and costs – welfare benefits
My £60,000 in benefits helped build my house: Romanian migrant boasts handouts from the UK have helped him construct home for wife and children in his homeland
Sam Webb
MailOnline, 8 December 2014

A Roma gypsy says he is using the £60,000 he has received in benefits to create a lavish house in his homeland.

Ion Lazar boasts that British handouts are funding the refurbishment of the property in the village of Argetoaia in southern Romania.

He said: 'I know the benefit I can make very easily in England. It's coming in benefits. It's like free money, thank you England.'

Mr Lazar, 36, a part-time self-employed scrap metal collector in London, pays no tax as he earns so little and claims £1,700 a month in welfare. The father-of-three's comments will feature in a Channel 5 documentary to be shown this week. ...

Mr Lazar came to the Britain with five other immigrants when the work restrictions on Romanians were lifted in January.

In April he appeared in another Channel 5 documentary which followed the lives of Roma gipsies in Britain.

In it he admits he is just planning to stash his benefits to take home to his family in Romania.

He added: 'I know it's very, very easy to take benefits in Englandà She's give me home free, she's give me money free, she's give me everything.'
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Benefits and costs – jobseekers' allowance
Migrants who can't find work 'will lose benefits': 4,000 long term claimants face tough new tests
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 3 December 2014

Thousands of EU migrants who are still on the dole after a lengthy stay in Britain could have their benefits taken away under a crackdown to be unveiled today.

Up to 4,000 Europeans living here for a year or more will be assessed on whether they have the genuine prospect of finding work.

Those who fail will lose their right to Jobseeker's Allowance.

The measures are in addition to David Cameron's detailed plans to ban EU migrants from claiming benefits including lucrative tax credits until they have worked in this country for four years. ...

From January this year EU migrants were given a maximum of six months of JSA claims during which they could look for work. In July, Mr Cameron announced this would be cut to three months.

But the rules were not retrospective, meaning some 4,000 EU migrants who have been here since before January do not fall under the six months maximum. ...

Currently, Jobseeker's Allowance is paid out at £72.40 a week for over 25s and £57.35 a week for under 25s. Meanwhile, Eurosceptic Tory MPs will attempt to embarrass Mr Cameron today with a new demand to seize back powers from Europe over borders and immigration.

Twelve backbenchers have signed up to a proposal that would hand Parliament an override on all diktats from Brussels – and allow Britain to overrule rulings from European judges.

The Bill would provide for an effective veto of any law coming out of the European Union with a majority vote in both Houses of Parliament.
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Benefits and costs – EU, welfare benefits
EU says UK must dole out MORE benefits: Brussels takes legal action to force Britain to lift restrictions on migrants claiming handouts
Martin Beckford
Mail on Sunday, 30 November 2014

Britain will be forced to pay benefits to even more migrants under EU plans to be fought over in a politically explosive court case.

Officials in Brussels last night confirmed that the European Commission is taking legal action to make Britain lift existing restrictions that prevent some migrants claiming child benefit and child tax credit in the UK. The news comes just days after David Cameron pledged to cut handouts in a bid to reduce soaring immigration.

The case at Europe's highest court will further anger the public and politicians who have called on the Government to tighten up Britain's generous welfare system and make the country a less attractive destination for would-be immigrants.

If Britain loses, it will either have to change the law to allow jobless migrant families to claim child benefit, or face paying millions in fines.

Latest figures show 24,000 families are currently claiming child benefit of at least £89 a month for 38,500 children living abroad, at an estimated cost of £30 million a year, while 4,000 claim child tax credit.

On Friday, the Prime Minister pledged to end the 'exporting' of child benefit, as well as to ban migrant workers from claiming tax credits until they have worked in the UK for four years. ...

The case, to be heard at the European Court of Justice, centres on the 'right-to-reside' test that EU migrants must pass before they can claim benefits in this country.

Labour introduced it in 2004 as concerns began to be raised about the 'open doors' policy that would eventually see more than one million Eastern Europeans arrive over a decade. The test allows officials to check if benefit claimants are 'economically active' – in a job, self-employed or looking for work – or able to support themselves.

But since 2011, the European Commission has been telling the UK that the right-to-reside rule is discriminatory, as it makes it easier for native Britons to access social security than migrants. ...

It can be disclosed today that court papers were lodged on June 27 this year. ... ...

Professor Steve Peers, an expert in EU law at Essex University, said: 'This is a very important case regarding whether the UK can deny benefits to other EU citizens and could potentially have a big impact on Mr Cameron's renegotiation plans.' A Treasury insider insisted the right-to-reside test was 'vital and fair', adding: 'We are not only fighting this, but pressing ahead with plans to strengthen the UK benefits and tax credits system to ensure it cannot be abused.'

Next month, the Luxembourg-based court will pass judgment in a separate case about whether or not Britain can opt out of a decision to give Turkish migrants more rights to social security systems in Europe. The UK has already lost two similar cases involving other countries outside the EU.
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Benefits and costs – NHS, health services
Is THIS why you wait so long to see your GP? Half a million immigrants are signing up at doctors surgeries every year
Stephen Adams
Mail on Sunday, 30 November 2014

The strain placed on the NHS by patients from abroad is revealed by figures showing that around half a million immigrants sign up at GP surgeries every year.

The startling finding has come from independent research because the Government has failed to look into the impact of immigration on the health system.

Adding to the demand on the NHS, many GP surgeries lead new arrivals to believe that all health care is free – even though temporary migrants should pay for expensive hospital care, unless it is an emergency.

While doctors struggle with groaning workloads, they are reluctant to talk about immigration and often downplay the issue.

But with more patients sometimes waiting weeks for an appointment with their GP, the issue has begun to move up the political agenda.

On Thursday, Tory Chief Whip Michael Gove became the latest politician to voice concerns.

He told the BBC's Question Time audience that 'the rate and pace of immigration' was creating particular pressures, including those 'on access to GPs and hospitals'.

Experts do not know how many immigrants registering at GPs come from within the EU, but it is estimated they account for about 40 per cent, or 200,000 each year.

Despite growing worries, the Department of Health has not carried out a single study into the impact of a decade's worth of mass immigration on use of the NHS. It has only researched the sensitive issue of 'health tourism'.

However, analysis by the highly respected Nuffield Trust think-tank has found immigration is leading to about half a million joining GPs' books every year.

Researchers Adam Steventon and Martin Bardsley looked at the number of people aged 16 and over registering with a GP for the first time. Mr Steventon said: 'The method is not perfect, but we identified 550,000 probable immigrants registering in the year 2003-04. This rose to 583,000 for 2004-05 and to 625,000 for 2005-06.' ...

Separate figures show that the average length of GP patient lists has increased in 198 of 211 health authority areas across England since April 2013.

Dr Richard Vautrey, a member of the British Medical Association's General Practice Committee, said that although doctors were concerned about being overwhelmed, the pressure was not down to immigrants, but the ageing population.

He said: 'They [GPs] say they are struggling, but it's not because of changes in the population.'

Dr Vautrey added that immigrants tended to be younger and healthier than the general population, elderly people used the NHS far more and GPs were having to carry out more work traditionally done in hospitals. However, he said migrants with poor English did tend to need longer consultations and also the use of interpreters.
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Benefits and costs – maternity services, births
Huge jump in numbers of East European women who give birth in NHS hospitals
Stephen Adams
Mail on Sunday, 30 November 2014

Births to women from Eastern European countries in the EU have leapt tenfold over the past decade at NHS hospitals.

In 2004, there were about 4,500 births in England and Wales to women from Poland and other former Eastern bloc nations that are now members of the EU.

But by 2013 that figure had risen to 42,500, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Polish women account for about half of these births, with their number rising from 1,830 a decade ago to 21,275 in 2013. ...

With the average hospital delivery costing around £1,500, the NHS's total maternity bill may have risen by around £57 million due to immigration from these 'new EU' countries.

Women from these countries used to account for a tiny proportion of births in England and Wales overall – just 0.7 per cent in 2004. By 2013 that had grown to 6.1 per cent.

Over a similar period, the ratio of UK births to all foreign-born mothers rose from 19.5 per cent to 26.5 per cent – up from 124,563 in 2004 to 189,075 in 2012.

Births to UK-born women numbered 515,144 in 2004 and 540,572 in 2012.

The rises have left maternity units struggling, with the Royal College of Midwives demanding 3,200 more midwives.
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Benefits and costs – welfare benefits, Germany
Deport jobless migrants? Germany ALREADY doing what Cameron can only promise
Sunday Express, 30 November 2014

David Cameron's tough new stance on immigration has been left looking too little too late with Germany already enforcing his 'radical' ideas. ...

Instead the PM outlined a number of ideas including shipping out EU migrants who failed to get a job within six months of entering the country.

But it appears Mr Cameron has been taking note of German chancellor Angela Merkel, whose Government passed the same rule yesterday.

Despite Mrs Merkel being an advocate for freedom of movement across the EU, the tightened rules have been made to stop Germany attracting poverty migration. Benefit fraudsters will also be banned from Germany for up to five years.
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Benefits and costs
How much do immigrants really claim in benefits?
Raziye Akkoc
Daily Telegraph, 27 November 2014

The Deputy Prime Minister has waded into the argument about EU migrants on benefits by giving his support for "ensuring that EU jobseekers cannot claim out-of-work benefits from day one".

Nick Clegg, in an op-ed for the Financial Times, said they must wait three months and "support will depend on demonstrating a genuine prospect of employment".

The Lib Dem leader's piece comes months after the head of the Conservatives in the European parliament, Syed Kamali MEP, called for migrants to have their benefits blocked in a new contributory system where people 'pay in' first before making claims.

Mr Kamali's comments in the Times are themselves not unfamiliar arguments in the Tory party.

Iain Duncan Smith, Work and Pensions Secretary, previously said unemployed foreigners from the European Economic Area (EEA) would be barred from claiming benefits in a future Tory government.

But let's have a look at the numbers: how many of those who receive welfare payments are EU migrants?

Between 2008 and 2013, the number of EU working age benefit claimants doubled from 65,000 to 130,000.

Data in a House of Commons Library briefing note released on earlier in October show that the majority of non-UK working age benefit claimants are still from outside the EU. And of course, the vast majority of claimants are British.

... EU claimants are the smallest group receiving either working age benefits or tax credits.

The data from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and HMRC, also show that the majority of welfare recipients are British.

In 2014, 4.9 million (92.6 per cent) working age benefit claimants were British while only 131,000 (2.5 per cent) were EU nationals. The number of recipients from outside of the UK – but not from the EU – was 264,000 (five per cent).

Likewise, in the latest data from 2013 for those tax credits, 3.9 million (84.8 per cent) families receiving the benefits were British citizens, 302,000 (6.4 per cent) were EU citizens and 413,000 (8.8 per cent) were from outside of the UK.

But the data do show that among single families receiving either working family tax credit or childs tax credit, the majority of within non-UK claimants are from the EU: 157,600 single families from the EU receive one or both of the benefits while 146,000 of those from outside of the EU do. ...

According to the Roderick McInnes, author of the Commons Library analysis, it is important to note when looking at the data that it does not offer a "complete picture" as the numbers are based on individuals who were not UK nationals when they applied for National Insurance. They could have since applied for British citizenship.

Between 2008 and 2014, the number of benefit claimants increased by more than 130,000. The total number of migrants receiving working age benefits also increased in the last five years from 288,000 in 2008 to 395,000.

But only 113,700 EU migrants were on key out-of-work benefits in February this year of which only 65,000 were on Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA). In February, more than 1.1 million were unemployed although the DWP said last month the figure dropped to below a million for the whole of the UK.
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Benefits and costs – tax credits
Tax credits 'turned UK into a honeypot for EU immigrants': Worker on minimum wage could receive additional £330 a week
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 25 November 2014

The true scale of tax credit benefits for EU migrants to Britain is revealed today – amid warnings that it is turning this country into a 'honeypot nation'.

Figures published last night by the Open Europe think-tank make clear how taxpayers are subsidising low-wage migrant workers.

A migrant worker with two children earning the minimum wage sees their basic income of less than £200 a week propped up with an additional £330 in tax credits and other benefits.

An average worker from Spain coming to Britain will see their weekly wage go up by nearly half compared to what they would earn at home. A worker from Poland can double their basic pay and new arrivals from Bulgaria will increase their pay by 250 per cent.

Senior Tory MP Bernard Jenkin said: 'We've become a honeypot nation in the European Union, which is why we've done well controlling immigration by non-EU countries, but that has been offset by quite a dramatic increase in immigration from EU countries.

'One of the things that's keeping low pay suppressed is the endless supply of cheap labour coming in from the EU8, the Eastern European countries, the recent entrants to the European Union which has really changed the whole equation.

'And most people come to this country unaccompanied by their families, but they're able to claim benefits to support their families back home.'

Mr Jenkin said migrant numbers were 'causing real problems in hospitals, in schools, in provision of public services, shortage of housing'. ...

Yesterday, a Downing Street spokesman insisted cutting net migration to the tens of thousands remains the Prime Minister's objective – while Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said the promise was 'pretty stupid'. ...

Tax credits were introduced by Gordon Brown to top up the incomes of low-earning families, particularly those with children. Families can claim up to £10,000 a year.

The most significant other benefit received by migrant workers is child benefit of £20.55 for the first child and an extra £13.55 for each additional child. EU migrant workers are also potentially entitled to housing benefit.

Overall, Britain spends £5 billion a year on tax credits for migrant workers, with 415,000 foreign nationals benefiting from the perk.
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Benefits and costs – asylum
NHS spends thousands asking asylum seekers if they ever hear voices: Anger as taxpayer money is spent investigating immigrants' psychological state
Simon Walters and Glen Owen
Mail on Sunday, 16 November 2014

Thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money is being spent investigating the psychological state of asylum seekers – triggering furious complaints by some mental health campaigners who have seen their own budgets stretched.

Refugees held in Dover are being asked questions such as 'do you hear voices?' by NHS staff. ...

A local MP added it was 'yet another' drain on resources caused by a malfunctioning immigration system.

The NHS staff have gone into the Dover Immigration Removal Centre, which is run by the prison service to hold failed asylum seekers while the authorities attempt to deport them back to their native countries.

The centre, which is housed on a site fortified since Roman times, holds 300 people. Most are removed after two months, but some stay for substantially longer if they mount a legal challenge to the decision. ...

Dr Al Aditya Khan, who is in charge of the project for the Oxleas NHS Trust, says the aim of the scheme is to identify occupants who 'hear voices or have abnormal beliefs', and ensure those who do have access to professional help.

But Tracy Carr, of Talk It Out, a support group in Dover, said locals with mental health problems resented the fact that more money was being ploughed into the centre while they struggled to receive the help that they needed. ...

Charlie Elphicke, Tory MP for Dover, said: 'Already millions are wasted keeping asylum claimants in detention for years. This is yet another waste of taxpayers' money.

'Many asylum claimants eat their papers to hide where they are from. The cash would be better spent tracking down where people are from and speeding up the asylum claim and deportation process.'
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Benefits and costs – welfare benefits
Fury as immigrant says: I'll get £25k in benefits when I bring family to UK
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 14 November 2014

Britain's soft touch benefits system provoked outrage last night after a Romanian scrap yard worker said he plans to bring his family here to pocket £25,000 a year in handouts.

The move, allowed under European Union freedom of movement rules, was even denounced by a Labour MP as an "abuse".

One British worker described the handouts the Romanian can expect to get as "a disgrace".

Nicu Popescu, 30, originally from near Bucharest, came to Britain two years ago and began working in the scrap trade.

The father-of-five, who lives in Birmingham, has realised that he and his family can use the benefits system to top up his low income.

He has told wife Iuliana, 24, to come over with their children Hagi, Peter, Marta, Mica, and Rubens.

Currently sleeping in a single room where he works, Popescu hopes they will be given a three or four bedroom house and extra cash as well.

In Romania, the family would be given a total of £425 a year in handouts.

But in the UK they can expect nearly £4,000 in child benefits alone, plus income credit, housing benefit and council tax support.

The total could be at least £25,000.

The children too will have free schooling and the whole family will be able to use the NHS for nothing. ...

Birmingham Labour MP Khalid Mahmood said: "I think this family's attitude just epitomises the attitude of people in Eastern European countries.

"Our system is open to abuse when it comes to this benefits issue.

"The key is to sort out the Department of Work and Pensions.

"People can abuse the system and that's why so many are coming in, so the DWP needs to set stricter guidelines."
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Benefits and costs – tax credits
Britain must now curb migrant tax credits, Iain Duncan Smith says
Georgia Graham
Daily Telegraph, 13 November 2014

Britain will now focus on curbing the millions of pounds paid to migrants in tax credits following the landmark ruling on benefit tourists, Iain Duncan Smith has suggested.

The European ruling allows countries to deny benefits to those who refuse to work and do not have any money bolsters Britain's efforts to introduce better immigration controls "enormously" but "more needs to be done" to cut tax credits and protect Britain's public services, the Pensions Secretary said. ...

Mr Duncan Smith said that the ruling stopped people who plan to "plonk themselves down and say I'm here and you have to pay me" but the focus must now shift to blocking people who come with the intention to work and "then can claim full tax credits even though they have made no contribution".

He said that the Britain's negotiations on freedom of movement would also push for measures that would recognise that there are "limits that communities can absorb people and the pressure on public services and housing and stuff like that."

Figures released this summer revealed that migrant workers cost British taxpayers £5 billion a year in tax credits. Almost £100 million a week is spent on the 415,000 foreign nationals working in Britain who are benefitting from the payments, new analysis reveals.

Figures released by HM Revenue and Customs revealed that 17 per cent of the 2.45 million child tax credit claimants were foreign nationals when they were given National Insurance numbers.
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Benefits and costs – welfare benefits
Prime minister warned: no need to alter EU migrant rules after verdict
Rowena Mason and Philip Oltermann
The Guardian, 12 November 2014

David Cameron has been warned there is no need for fundamental changes to EU immigration rules, after the European court of justice (ECJ) ruled that member states already had the power to stop jobless migrants claiming many benefits for up to five years.

The prime minister welcomed the "commonsense ruling" of the Luxembourg court, but the legal decision could hamper No 10's efforts to persuade other EU countries they need to change the fundamental principle of free movement.

In a case relating to a Romanian woman living in Germany, the European judgment made it clear that jobless migrants who cannot support themselves and have never worked do not have to be given some non-contributory welfare payments for up to five years after they arrive in a new country.

Cameron described the ruling as "a step in the right direction because, as I've said, the right to go and work in another European country should not be an unqualified right. There should be rules about restricting benefits and this is good news".

The European commission said it was too early to determine how the ruling would affect the UK but said it had always stressed that free movement was a qualified right and not an unconditional one. ...

Jonathan Portes, director at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, said the ruling would affect only a very small number of people, but suggested it could give legal cover to the UK's existing measures to restrict benefits.

"We can say with confidence that for the most part this establishes that what we were doing anyway is legal. It may have been somewhat dubious before. It might make it easier for us to go further in denying benefits but the number of people [affected] is pretty small as we know this is pretty much a ruling about benefit tourism and that is pretty much a myth."
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Benefits and costs – more immigration
More immigration – but managed much better. That's what the UK needs
Ian Goldin
The Observer, 9 November 2014
[Professor Ian Goldin is Director of the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford]

The intense debate over Britain's immigration reforms is generating more heat than light. Vital questions of migration and border management have descended to the level of partisan squabbling and short-term fixes based on arbitrary numerical targets. This is counterproductive: it will undermine the growth and dynamism of the British economy and current policies such as caps on migrants will fail both to control population dynamics and to promote British jobs and economic growth. ...

While economists are notorious for being unable to agree on most things, there is a growing consensus regarding the economic benefits of immigration. Indeed, there is no reputable evidence for the oft-cited fears that immigrants undermine job prospects or reduce wages, either for the UK or any other major economy. Studies on the short-term impact of immigration on wages tend to show it yields a positive or at worst no statistically significant impact.

For the UK, the longer-term benefits are undoubtedly even more significant than the strong revenue gains identified by Dustmann and Frattini in the UCL study, even though that was not the focus of their or other studies of immigration into the UK. The economic impact of immigration to the US has been studied in the greatest depth and shows that the dynamism provided by migrants is vital for growth and competitiveness. ... ...

The costs of migration may be immediate and local, while the benefits are often diffuse and are only fully realised in the medium and long term. Governments should focus their efforts on burden sharing and support for pressured local services. Simply limiting numbers undermines the short-term competitiveness and the long-term growth and dynamism, and also tends to result in a growing number of undocumented migrants, making everyone worse off in the longer term. ...

Properly managed immigration does not pose a threat to the UK. We could and should benefit from higher, but better managed, immigration. With businesses and universities complaining bitterly about the negative impact of current policies, a far less onerous non-EU visa regime is also required, not least for skilled workers and students, the most successful of whom should be allowed to stay after their studies, as is the case in Australia, Canada, the US and elsewhere.

What we need is an adult debate that looks at the UK and global evidence. But economic analysis is clearly not enough. Immigrants do pose a severe burden on particular communities at particular times. These communities need to be helped, with additional resources provided by central government, in the knowledge that the overall benefits to the UK outweigh the short-term and local costs to particular communities.

The debate should also include a discussion of the responsibilities that immigrants need to abide by to remain in our country, which include paying taxes, abiding by our laws and other obligations. But responsibilities come with rights, including equal treatment under the law and benefiting from the minimum wage and other employment rights.

Immigration is too important to be crushed under the weight of populist politics. For those concerned with the future of British jobs and the British economy, it is time to turn down the rhetoric and turn to what we like to think of as the British traits of fairness and reason.
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Benefits and costs
Mass immigration has been a total disaster for the UK
Leo McKinstry
Daily Express, 7 November 2014

The drive by the metropolitan elite to foist mass immigration on this country has been accompanied by a barrage of deceitful propaganda.

As we grapple with the transformation of our social fabric and the loss of our national identity, the arrogant political class continually tells us that the destruction of our borders has brought huge benefits to Britain. According to their triumphalist narrative, the vast foreign influx has enriched our culture, galvanised our economy, and boosted our public finances.

This week has brought new evidence of the determination by the pro-immigration lobby to hoodwink the British public.

These ideologues seized on a report from the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration at University College London (UCL), which state that over the decade from 2001 to 2011, migrants to Britain from within the European Union made a net contribution of around £20 billion to the UK's public finances.

Of this sum, declared the UCL Centre, £5 billion came from Eastern European workers who have been allowed to settle here under the EU's free movement rules since 2004.

Predictably, the cheerleaders for mass immigration and cultural diversity could hardly contain their glee. Here, apparently, was a new vital new weapon for their arsenal of disinformation. The critics of open borders could be trounced.

But all this smugness from the progressives is misplaced, for the UCL report is certainly no vindication of their stance.

For a start, the findings about EU migration should be taken with an extremely large dose of salt.

After all, one of the lead researchers on the study was Professor Christian Dustmann, who predicted in 2003 that just 13,000 migrants would come to Britain from eastern Europe when restrictions on movement were lifted. ...

Furthermore, the report does not examine the physical strains that have EU migration has imposed on our public infrastructure, especially transport, housing, schools and the NHS.

The import of cheap labour, extolled by a bizarre alliance of left-wingers and big business, has other heavy economic costs, like exerting a constant downward pressure on living standards and forcing a vast swathe of working-class Britons onto the dole.

Low wages also impose their own burden on the public purse, since they often have to be topped up by welfare payments; no less than £5 billion a year is now paid in tax credits to migrants. So in practice, tax-payers are heavily subsidizing low pay for foreigners.

As it ends in 2011, the report does not deal with the flood of new arrivals from Bulgaria and Romania, two of the poorest countries in the EU.

Effectively, we are importing destitution on a massive scale, as reflected in the chilling fact that one third of the sellers of the Big Issue magazine for the homeless are now estimated to be Romanian.

But the progressive delusions about immigration really fall apart when the UCL report is considered in its entirety. Damningly, the researchers found that immigration from outside the EU has actually come with a colossal price tag. ...

With many Britons now feeling like aliens in their own land, the true tale of open borders is one of national destruction, not the hollow fantasy of economic progress.
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Benefits and costs – debate
Let's have a grown-up debate on migration, not this dangerous stalemate
Michael White
The Guardian, 6 November 2014

Reading the new study on the benefits of migration into Britain I wondered what a Ukip voter, elderly or unskilled, would make of its upbeat conclusion that we've collectively benefited to the tune of a net £20bn from the arrival of so many skilled and educated people from across Europe.

"What's in it for me?" they might ask in Clacton or Rochester, even before they got to the bit – buried away in the study published by University College London (UCL), but not by Times and Daily Mail headline writers – about non-EU/EEA migrants costing us an additional £118bn in the 17 years from 1995-2011 because they weren't all so young, skilled and motivated to work hard. What the Mail et al were less explicit about was that this figure includes everyone who was not born in the UK, not just those who arrived in that period. The £118bn does not include the full tax contribution they have made during their working lives in the UK. ...

Skipping quickly through what is clearly a serious bit of research from UCL's Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CREAM) my layman's superficial complaint is that it reads as if the authors are marshalling evidence to support a case they believe in: migration is an inherently good thing. Outrageous? Possibly, but the awkward £118bn figure pops up in passing only in paragraph 4.2.1 and is offset by the fact that British-born have a net cost too – £500bn over the same period.

But hang on there, we are talking about the cost of "state benefits and tax credits". Are not the authors making the same sleight of hand also deployed – for opposing reasons – by George Osborne this week when he lumped pensions under "welfare" because voters quite like pensions. Migrants tend to be younger than average and don't claim pensions.

In making these uncomfortable points again, I can turn to Wednesday's headlines for evidence of their divisive impact. The Guardian, FT and BBC all provided the positive "UK Gains £20bn from EU migrants" emphasis, as reflects their institutional bias: confident, cosmopolitan, outward-looking. The Mail majored on "Non-EU migrants take more from state than they put in", a point made more explicit by the Times: "Migrants cost £120bn but energetic young Europeans earn their keep". "Immigration from outside Europe costs £120bn" roared the Telegraph.

In addition to extensive upbeat coverage of the UCL study – produced by Professor Christian Dustmann and Dr Thomaso Frattini – the good old Guardian runs a Comment article by Paul Collier. A distinguished Oxford professor of public policy, a weighty, progressive intellectual of international repute, author of Exodus, he has thought about these things harder than most of us.

Collier's article is not quite as prominently displayed on the Comment is Free site as one might wish. But here it is. ...
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Benefits and costs
Immigration: the real cost to Britain
Robert Colvile
Daily Telegraph, 6 November 2014

It's official: immigration is great. According to a new report from University College London, those arriving on these shores between 2001 and 2011 put roughly £25 billion more into the economy than they took out, creating millions of new jobs in the process. So what's all the fuss about?

... For starters, the benefits we're talking about aren't as significant as they sound. During that decade, the immigrant population grew by more than 2.5 million, meaning (to a rough approximation) that each new arrival is chipping in less than £20 a week.

In fact, if you widen the timescale, and focus on immigrants as a whole rather than those who have arrived in the past decade or so, you can tell a rather different story. Between 1995 and 2011, those originally from Europe – whether they arrived under Heath, Thatcher, Blair or Cameron – added just £4 billion to Britain's economy. Meanwhile, those who came from further abroad – the West Indies, India, Australia etc – took out £118 billion. It's hard to call that a good deal.

The next obvious criticism is that "net fiscal benefit" is not the same thing as things getting better. Just as concreting over the green belt increases GDP, but sends voters into a rage, so immigration has costs that don't turn up on the spreadsheets – greater competition for housing, pressure on public services, lower wages for those at the bottom, changes to the character of communities. It would be a foolish politician who waved this report at the people of Rochdale or Boston, and told them not to worry.

Even the fact that the newest arrivals are putting in more than they take out shouldn't be much of a surprise. For all the furore over benefit tourism, it's long been clear that most migrants want to add to Britain's wealth, not to leach off it.

The problem is that increasing the size of Britain's economy is not the same thing as making its existing inhabitants richer. Back in 2008, Lord Lawson, the former chancellor, was part of a House of Lords committee that produced a wide-ranging study of immigration's effects. "If you take everything into account," he tells me, "there's very little evidence that it increases prosperity, in terms of GDP per head of population. In terms of what most people are worried about – their standard of living – it doesn't make any difference at all."

Moreover, while today's immigrants may be young and keen, they will soon grow out of it. "Initially, you may get some economic boost," says Lord Lawson. "But as immigrants get older they require more help from social services and so on, and as they have children, those children require education, and in the longer run you don't get that benefit." ...

What this suggests, in turn, is that we've got our perception of immigration upside-down. It's not a case of foreigners coming over here and taking our jobs. It's us creaming off the best and brightest from other countries, and bringing them here to do the jobs we can't or won't. ...

The impact of this new "brain drain", from the rest of the world to Britain, can be seen in the NHS, which is hugely dependent on immigrant labour (26 per cent of doctors are foreign nationals, compared to 15 per cent of the workforce as a whole). A study by Civitas found that after EU migration controls on Romania were lifted, it lost 30 per cent of its doctors to richer countries within two years.
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Benefits and costs
To determine the true cost of immigration, we need more accurate figures
Professor Gerry Dickinson
Daily Telegraph, 6 November 2014
[Letter to the Editor]

SIR – The University College, London, study on immigration was well researched (report, November 5), but it understates the true cost of immigration. Due to the limitations of data, it was not possible to measure marginal costs (or benefits) but only average costs. Marginal costs will be higher than average costs when there are bottlenecks in the supply of resources consumed.

Estimating the cost of immigration should allow for these higher values, given that, during most of the period, there were: shortages of properties for rent, especially in London; the NHS running close to capacity; and pressures on school places.

The true cost is the difference between the total costs for these resources (with immigration) and what these total costs would have been (without immigration). Hence, one cannot draw firm conclusions from the study, even for European Economic Area immigrants.
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Benefits and costs
It's simply incorrect to say migrants represent a huge cost to Britain
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 6 November 2014

For the Telegraph, the headline it extracted from the authoritative University College London report on migration was: "£120bn cost of Labour's policy on immigration" while the Daily Mail's account also accentuated the negative: "Non-EU migrants living in Britain have cost the public finances almost £120bn since 1995," it began.

So how did the Guardian, Independent and Financial Times all manage to end up with the apparently contradictory positive conclusion that "EU migrants contribute £20bn to Britain"? Were the Telegraph and Mail simply making it up?

Well, no. The study by UCL migration economists Dustmann and Frattini does indeed include two sets of calculations of the fiscal impact (that is, the amount they contribute in taxes as against the amount they receive in state benefits and public services) of immigration to the UK.

The first calculation, which led to the negative figure of £118bn was based on the population of all immigrants, ie non-UK born people, living in the UK between 1995 and 2011.

The second calculation is the estimated net contribution of all migrants who arrived in Britain between 2001 and 2011. The study concluded that, over that decade, EU migrants made a net positive contribution of £20bn. Of this £20bn, migrants from the original 15 EU western European countries contributed £15bn more to the UK economy than they took out, while those from the 10 eastern European accession states, such as Poland, made a net contribution of £5bn. On top of that, recent migrants from outside Europe have also made a net contribution of more than £5bn bringing the net benefit to Britain's finances from recent immigration to more than £25 billion over the past decade.

So which set of calculations helps to answer the question "do immigrants contribute their fair share to the tax and welfare systems?", which the study's authors say they set out to answer.

Dustman and Frattini say it is misleading to use the £118bn figure as the Telegraph and Mail have done. As they point out, this is based on the cost of all immigrants living in Britain between 1995 and 2011. This isn't migrants who arrived in Britain in the late 1990s and 2000s but all the non-UK born people living in Britain at that time. More than 90% of them will have arrived in Britain long before 1995, including Britain's large long-settled Asian and Caribbean communities who were born abroad.

The authors say that, for example, the calculation will include people who came to Britain in 1950 but only what they paid into the state and took out in benefits and public services after 1995.

The authors say this doesn't tell us anything about how much these people have cost Britain in net terms because it ignores their contribution during the first 45 years of their residence.

"In fact, as they are now older, they are likely to have higher rates of welfare dependency and low labour force participation that does not reflect their overall contributions," say the authors.

As 90% of these migrants will have been living in Britain for many years, possibly decades, before 1995, it is difficult to see how Labour's immigration policy in government between 1997 and 2010 can be held responsible for them.
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Benefits and costs – emigration
There's one obvious question about immigration, but nobody is asking it
Kit Wilson
Spectator blog, 6 November 2014

If you were to close your eyes at any debate on immigration, you might reasonably picture the participants standing back-to-back, shouting and gesticulating to opposite corners of the room. On such occasions, there's typically only one point on which everyone actually agrees: that very highly skilled migrants – doctors, engineers, scientists – are welcome here in Britain.

Oddly, though, nobody ever seems follow up with the obvious question: what about the countries these migrants leave behind?

Look at the four nations from which we take most foreign doctors – India, Pakistan, South Africa and Nigeria. Is it not unfair to deprive them of their brightest medical minds? South Africa has the world's largest population of people with AIDS – are its 5,000 doctors here really being put to best use?

Finding the evidence to prove the actual effects of immigration policy is, of course, tricky. Nonetheless, it's interesting to note that throughout the 90s, when we employed very few foreign doctors, India, Pakistan and Nigeria were all steadily climbing up the international life expectancy tables. The following decade – the point at which we suddenly ushered in huge numbers of their physicians – all three fell back drastically (11, 10 and 10 places respectively). The same is true for the Philippines, which, after India, provides us with the largest number of migrant nurses.

It is also far from certain, contrary to the best-of-all-worlds optimists, that these doctors and nurses will ever return to their home countries to help them develop.

True, there are all sorts of other factors that affect life expectancy rates. We'll never know quite how much these countries are held back by the 'brain drain'. But then isn't that the point? If we don't know what we're doing, shouldn't we proceed with more caution? Is it really wise, or even moral, to continue bleeding these countries of their talent, only to throw foreign aid at them when the next crisis arises?
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Benefits and costs
The winners and losers of the UK's migration policy
Don Flynn, Director, Migrants' Rights Network
The Guardian, 6 November 2014
[Letter to the Editor]

What does Paul Collier think successive governments have been trying to do for the last decade when he blithely asserts that "The time has come to slow down immigration" (Opinion, 5 November)? Transitional controls are in place for new EU nationals, a "tough" points-based scheme operates for others, and even fee-paying international students are being hit by policies that aim to do what he claims is necessary. Yet still the trend, measured by net migration figures, remains relentlessly positive.

"Slowing down immigration", in any circumstances short of another crisis-induced deep recession, is a policy objective that is neither possible nor even desirable. Immigration at current levels, and probably higher, should be regarded as the new normal for economies as closely integrated into global markets as is the case with the UK. ...
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Benefits and costs
The winners and losers of the UK's migration policy
Phillip Goodall
The Guardian, 6 November 2014
[Letter to the Editor]

Does your front-page lead give comfort to the left or the right in UK politics? The "centre-right" objections of Civitas's David Green should be coming, loud and clear, from the left: all the benefits are to the UK economy and business, and to the better-educated and energetic individuals who migrate; all the loss to less-wealthy nations, and to people less advantaged, less energetic, less educated, less footloose, less able to feel well-off on low wages, less confident and empowered. The majority of ordinary people, that is, who need work and housing where they live, and are not able – for so many very real reasons – to uproot and seek their fortune in this privileged and even pampered way.

Good for the economy, bad for ordinary people. Whatever else, this surely makes it plain that to favour unrestricted immigration is not the nice, safe, humane liberal-left position it might once have seemed.
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Benefits and costs – economy
UK gains £20bn from European migrants, UCL economists reveal
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 5 November 2014

European migrants to the UK are not a drain on Britain's finances and pay out far more in taxes than they receive in state benefits, a new study has revealed.

The research by two leading migration economists at University College also reveals that Britain is uniquely successful, even more than Germany, in attracting the most highly skilled and highly educated migrants in Europe.

The study, the Fiscal Impact of Immigration to the UK, published in the Economic Journal, reveals that more than 60% of new migrants from western and southern Europe are now university graduates. The educational levels of east Europeans who come to Britain are also improving with 25% of recent arrivals having completed a degree compared with 24% of the UK-born workforce.

It says that European migrants made a net contribution of £20bn to UK public finances between 2000 and 2011. Those from the original 15 EU countries, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain, contributed 64% – £15bn more in taxes than they received in welfare – while east European migrants contributed 12%, equivalent to £5bn more.

The research by UCL's centre for research and analysis of migration was undertaken to "fill the void" in the debate on immigration in which the contribution of unrestricted migration from within the EU has become the centre of intense political and public concern. ...

The report was criticised as being "shallow" by David Green of the centre-right thinktank, Civitas. He said that by focusing on taxes and benefits, the report had missed out some vital costs.

"People who migrate tend to be young, better educated and energetic. They make good employees here but they are a loss to their own country. If other European countries fail to prosper because their brightest and best have travelled to the UK, we are all worse off," he said.

Green added that the survey also disregarded the waste of human capital involved in too many university migrants working as baristas or waiters.
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Benefits and costs – economy, languages, multiculturalism
Immigration from outside Europe 'cost £120 billion'
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 5 November 2014

Immigrants who came to live in Britain from outside Europe cost the public purse nearly £120 billion over 17 years, a new report has shown.

The major academic study also found, however, that recent immigration from Europe – driven by the surge in arrivals from eastern European – gave the economy a £4.4 billion boost over the same period.

Experts from University College London also said native Britons made a negative contribution of £591 billion over the 17 years – because of the country's massive deficit.

The report analysed figures from 1995 to 2011, during most of which the Labour government was pursuing vigorously pro-immigration policies.

It found that migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) made a negative contribution to the public purse of £117.9 billion because they consumed more in public expenditure – including NHS costs, welfare hand-outs and education – than they contributed in taxes.

The report, to be published in the Economic Journal, said the non-EEA group – largely made up of immigration from countries such as India, Pakistan and African Commonwealth countries – contributed less because families tended to have more children and lower employment rates. ...

Immigrants from within the EEA – which is the European Union plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein - took out more than they paid in during only seven of the 17 years.

It meant European migrants made an overall positive contribution to the British economy of £4.4 billion over the period.

Since 2000 European migrants were 43 per cent less likely than native Britons to receive benefits or tax credits, and 7 per cent less likely to live in social housing, the report said.

The authors – whose research has previously been criticised by the right of centre think-tank Civitas and by MigrationWatch UK, which campaigns for tighter immigration laws – emphasised their findings on the contribution of European migrants and gave less prominence to the findings on the costs of non-EEA immigration. ...

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of MigrationWatch, said the report confirmed the huge cost of immigration.

"As for recent European migrants, even on the authors' own figures - which we dispute - their contribution to the Exchequer amounts to less than £1 a week per head of population," he said. ...

Between 1995 and 2011 the foreign-born population in the UK doubled from 3.5 million to about 7 million.

The non-EEA population grew from 2.8 million to 4.6 million during the period. Of those, in 2011, just over two million were not working, either because they were unemployed or for other reasons such as retirement or childcare.

At the same time the number of European immigrants in this country grew at a far higher rate, tripling from 723,000 to 2.3 million. ...

Meanwhile a separate study published by the Office for National Statistics exposed the full extent of language ghettoes in this country.

New analysis of the 2011 Census showed that around 90 per cent of elderly Bangladeshi-born women living in the UK cannot speak English.

And almost four in 10 Chinese-born migrants who settled in the UK more than 30 years ago had no English.
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Benefits and costs – economy, social cohesion
Immigration question still open
Robert Peston
BBC, 5 November 2014

The new report on the tax and spending impact of migration to the UK by Dustmann and Frattini probably settles one part of the immigration controversy. But the biggest questions remain open.

They have shown that the new migrants from Eastern Europe, the ones that are seen as largely responsible for the rise and rise of UKIP and the shaking up of the party-political status quo, have been net contributors to the public purse - after allowing for taxes, tax credits, benefits and use of public services ...

In a way that is not surprising. We have all seen - or certainly if we live in London and other major cities we have - how thousands and thousands of young Eastern Europeans, often with university degrees, have come here to work hard.

They are at that stage of their working lives, like indigenous young people, who are bound to contribute more to the state than they take out.

So what Dustmann and Frattini have exploded is the idea that the majority of them are benefit and public-service tourists, people who come to Britain to leach off the Exchequer, and our hospitals and schools.

Some may be. Most are not.

But as Migration Watch points out, Dustmann and Frattini have also shown that, over the longer term, immigrants to the UK have been a burden on the state.

They estimate that between 1995 and 2011, all immigrants to the UK - from outside the European Union and inside - were a net drain on public resources of between £114bn and £31bn, depending on whether a proportionate share of all public spending is allocated to them, or only a share of the public services whose costs increase as the population rises.

Strikingly Dustmann and Frattini show that all the net costs are generated by emigres from outside the European Union.

Again that is not surprising. The longer that immigrants stay in Britain, the more British they become, as it were. And the painful fiscal fact is that so-called native British people were a burden on the state over the same assessed period of between £591bn and £674bn.

There is an important lifecycle point here.

As most of us move from our 20's and into our 30's and become older still, for a period most of us become more productive, increasing our net contributions to the Exchequer.

But as we have children, we take more out from schools and the health service - until we retire or become infirm, at which point it is very hard for us not to be a net burden on the state.

So there are two big questions about the recent immigrants from Eastern Europe - one empirical or factual, the other cultural and social.

The empirical question is whether the Eastern European emigres will stay here or return home at the point they become a burden.

Is there anyone out there, apart from wannabe Merlins, who can answer that?

But of course there is a much bigger question, which is to do with all our happiness and what's often called social cohesion. Is a rapidly changing population mix and a population that is growing something we like and relish, or something we find unsettling or worse?
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Benefits and costs – economy
European immigrants contribute £5bn to UK economy but non-EU migrants 'cost £118bn'
Lizzie Dearden
The Independent, 5 November 2014

Immigrants from Poland and the other nine countries that joined the EU in 2004 have contributed almost £5 billion more to the UK's economy than they used in benefits and public services.

Analysis by the University College London Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration found that while the fiscal contribution by European workers was overwhelmingly positive – amounting to £20 billion in a decade – the same was not true for non-EEA arrivals.

Between 1995 and 2011, immigrants from outside the EU made a negative contribution of £118 billion over 17 years, the report found, using more publicly-funded services, including the NHS, education and benefits, than they paid in tax.

But native Britons also received more than they contributed in the same 17-year period – amounting to a cost of £591 billion as the national deficit grew - and European arrivals gave a £4.4 billion boost.

The report said the gulf between arrivals from inside and outside of the EU could partly be explained by the large number of children had by non-EEA immigrants, as the cost of their education was counted but as the children were UK-born, their subsequent tax contributions were not factored into the report.

Migrants who arrived since 2000 were 43 per cent less likely than UK-born workers to receive state benefits or tax credits and 7 per cent less likely to live in social housing.
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Benefits and costs – economy
Immigration cost us £118 billion in just 17 years
Rebecca Johnson
Daily Express, 5 November 2014

Immigrants from outside Europe have cost the taxpayer £118 billion since 1995, according to research published yesterday.

The University College London study revealed too that European migrants had made a net contribution of £4.4 billion during the same period.

The research also showed that native Britons had cost the country £591 billion in the 17 years to 2011.

The net cost of immigrants from outside the EU was higher due to their typically larger families and greater impact on health, education and welfare services.

However, in recent years the figures had greatly improved, said researchers at UCL.

Between 2001 and 2011 European arrivals made a positive fiscal contribution of £20 billion and those from outside Europe a positive net payment of £5 billion. ...

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of pressure group Migration Watch, said the report confirmed that immigration as a whole had cost the country vast sums over the past 17 years.

He added: "As for recent European migrants, even on their own figures, which we dispute, their contribution to the Exchequer amounts to less than £1 per week per head of our population.

"Meanwhile, they have added one million to the number of people on this island.' Last night David Green director of independent think-tank Civitas, accused the authors of making "shallow calculations" to prove their case, while they ignored the social harms caused by mass immigration.
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Benefits and costs – economy
Migrants from outside the EU have taken £120 billion more from the state than they paid in taxes over 17 years
James Slack
Daily Mail, 5 November 2014

Non-European migrants living in Britain have cost the public finances almost £120 billion since 1995, according to a study.

The report by University College London found that the immigrants had cost the country more in public services and State handouts than they had paid in taxes in every single year between 1995 and 2011.

The research by Dr Tommaso Frattini and Professor Christian Dustmann – which comes at a time of huge public concern over migration policy – sought to put an overwhelmingly positive gloss on the economic impact of mass immigration.

Headline-billing was given to a claim that migrants who arrived from the European Economic Area – predominantly the EU – since 2000 made a net contribution of £20 billion.

Three-quarters of the contribution – £15 billion – was made by people born in the 15 members of the European Union prior to the 'big bang' admittance of Eastern Bloc countries in 2004. It includes huge sums paid in by the likes of French bankers and German engineers.

A further £5 billion came from the East Europeans. Recent non-European immigrants' net contribution was also said to be positive, at about £5 billion.

But buried inside the 51-page report was the calculation showing that, if the time period 1995-2011 is considered instead, non-European migrants living in Britain took out more than they put in for 17 consecutive years.

Crucially, this group includes all non-EEA migrants – not just the new arrivals since 2000, who Dustmann and Frattini focus upon. ...

Overall, the net cost to the UK of non-EEA nationals living in Britain between 1995 and 2011 was nearly £118 billion. EEA nationals contributed £4.425 billion.

Critics will say the report is backward looking – focusing on the taxes paid by the influx of Eastern Europeans when they are young, single and healthy – but not the future burden their families may place on schools, hospitals and the welfare state.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of MigrationWatch, said the report had confirmed that immigration had cost the country vast sums over the past 17 years.

He added: 'As for recent European migrants, even on their own figures, which we dispute, their contribution to the Exchequer amounts to less than £1 per week per head of our population. Meanwhile, they have added one million to the number of people on this island.'

Last night, David Green, director of independent think-tank Civitas, accused the authors of making 'shallow calculations' to prove their case, while ignoring the social harms caused by mass immigration.

For example, Dustmann and Frattini say immigrants have 'endowed the UK labour market with human capital that would have cost £49 billion through the UK education system'.

However, Mr Green says the arrival of well-educated young migrants coincided with a slump in apprenticeships for UK teenagers – at great social cost.
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Benefits and costs – economy
EU migrants pay MORE tax to government than they receive in benefits
Jamie Grierson
The Mirror, 5 November 2014

European immigrants to the UK pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits, new research suggests.

However, the University College London (UCL) study revealed immigrants from outside the EU took more from the public purse than they put back in over a 17-year-period.

European immigrants contributed £4.4 billion to the UK between 1995 and 2011, whereas immigrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) made a negative contribution of £118 billion.

In the same period, UK-born workers made a negative contribution of £591 billion.

Looking more closely at recent arrivals, between 2001 and 2011, the picture improved for both EEA and non-EEA immigrants, with European arrivals making a positive fiscal contribution of £20 billion and those from outside Europe making a positive net payment of £5 billion.
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Benefits and costs – Northern Ireland
Immigration benefits Northern Ireland, says report
BBC, 4 November 2014

Immigration provides substantial economic and social benefits to Northern Ireland, a report has said.

The report, written by two academics from Queen's University, said about 4% of the Northern Ireland workforce is made up of migrant workers.

Commissioned by the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building, it suggested migrants contribute more in tax than they use in services.

It claimed migrants contributed £1.2bn to the economy from 2004 to 2008.

The report was written by Professor Peter Shirlow and Dr Richard Montague at Queen's University Belfast, and its findings claim to challenge commonly held misconceptions about migrants.

It examined a number of areas like population, employment, housing, benefits, economy, healthcare, education, crime and social cohesion.

The report said migration contributed to sustaining economic growth, filling labour shortages, bringing much needed skills and enriching society through cultural diversity.

Its key findings were:

• Migrant workers contributed about £1.2bn to the economy from 2004 to 2008

• 4% of the Northern Ireland workforce is made up of migrant workers

• 3% of the total number of pupils attending school in Northern Ireland are ethnic minorities

• 81.5% of migrants in the UK are employed

• Less than 5% of EU migrants claim Jobseekers Allowance

• The cost of temporary migrants using the health service amounted to about £12m of the £109bn NHS budget
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Benefits and costs – beggars
Why the hell are we importing beggars?
Richard Littlejohn
Daily Mail, 4 November 2014

In Manchester, a 14-year-old girl begging on the street is rewarded with a few coins from Ed Miliband. ...

Rebeca State, seen rattling her cup at the Labour leader, hails from Romania. ...

Rebeca lives with her aunt, mother-of-nine Livia Stoica, in the Levenshulme area of Manchester. She doesn't attend school. A visibly embarrassed Miliband dropped '60p or 70p' into her cup, but couldn't look her in the eye.

No wonder. The story behind this photograph sums up the grotesque farce which underpins modern Britain's welfare and immigration policies, foisted upon us by bien pensant politicians like Miliband. ...

There is no need for anyone to beg in Britain in 2014. Yet our city centres teem with beggars, many of them seemingly from Eastern Europe. It is a direct consequence of Labour opening our borders to millions of migrants from former Communist states.

While most people come here to work in low-paid jobs, there is also a hard-core criminal element.

Last year, Home Secretary Theresa May told EU ministers that migrants were travelling to Britain to 'beg and steal' on the streets.

Her words, not mine.

Roma gypsies are the worst offenders. Begging is what they do for a living. Who says beggars can't be choosers?

We've seen them in Central London, camped out in shop doorways and using Hyde Park as a latrine. It's their culture, innit. All part of celebrating diversity.

Manchester has been plagued by Romanian beggars for years. Some of them don't even bother with a begging bowl, they simply invite passers-by to throw money into a suitcase.

Point this out, however, and you'll be howled down as a 'racist' by assorted Guardianistas and their allies at the BBC. They simply refuse to face up to the disastrous consequences of their devotion to welfarism and mass immigration.

Sealed away in their cosy metropolitan bubble, they rarely, if ever, come into contact with reality. That's why Miliband was so uncomfortable.

He looked as if he wanted the pavement to open up and swallow him.

You could almost hear the cogs in his head revolving in competing directions at breakneck speed. What should he do?

Begging is a criminal offence. But if he didn't give this poor girl some money, he could appear heartless. And as she was so obviously a member of a 'vulnerable' ethnic minority he couldn't ignore her.

I don't suppose it occurred to him for a moment to wonder what she was doing there in the first place. ...

Fortunately, journalists aren't quite so cowed. Awkward questions are what we ask for a living.

As a result we know that Rebeca says she doesn't go to school because her parents don't have a fixed address in Britain. Yet she lives with an aunt who sells the Big Issue and receives £550 a week in welfare benefits. ...

Politicians from the three main parties have lied and dissembled about immigration for years. ... ...

Miliband isn't the only politician who should hang his head in shame.
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Benefits and costs – economy
European Union migrants add £20bn to the British economy – in just a decade
Nigel Morris
The Independent, 4 November 2014

Highly skilled migrant workers from the European Union have provided a £20bn boost to Britain's finances over a decade by paying far more in taxes than they claim in benefits, fresh research discloses today. ...

It found that EU migrants who arrived since 2000, including citizens from new member states such as Poland, had contributed more than £20bn between 2001 and 2011. Migrant workers from the EU15 countries, which include Germany and France, paid 64 per cent more in tax than they received in benefits. New arrivals from Central and Eastern European "accession" countries contributed 12 per cent more than they took out.

Immigrants who arrived since 2000 were 43 per cent less likely than UK-born workers to receive state benefits or tax credits and 7 per cent less likely to live in social housing.

The UCL's Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration found the EU migrant workers were strikingly better educated than British nationals and brought "human capital" equivalent to spending £6.8bn on education.
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Benefits and costs – education
Model pupils from state schools refused student loans
BBC, 1 November 2014

Bright students from state schools are at risk of missing out on university because of their uncertain immigration status, Newsnight has learned.

At least 120,000 school children in the UK do not have the legal right to live in the country, even though many of them were born in Britain.

For those with good grades and ambition, their uncertain status has a big implication for their future because they cannot receive student loans.
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Benefits and costs – public opinion
Don't dismiss public fears about migration as mere bigotry
John Harris
The Guardian, 23 October 2014

There is plenty of sense in the idea that an ageing UK population will increasingly need the help of migrant labour, that whole swathes of the economy would shrivel without their contribution, and that the tensions surrounding EU migration may well subside over time. The point is: before anyone joins this increasingly testy and often ugly debate, the least they should do is admit that this is very difficult stuff to deal with. ...

The University of Oxford's Migration Laboratory estimates that between 1991 and 2003 about 61,000 migrants from the wider EU came to the UK each year. Between 2004 and 2012, by contrast, that number almost tripled, to 170,000 annually. The 2011 census put the number of UK residents from Poland alone at 654,000. ...

This year I visited Wisbech – where a third of the 30,000 population is now estimated to be from overseas – and what was happening there spoke loud truths about why free movement has become so politicised. For all that recently arrived families have started to settle, and their children are acquiring new, hybrid identities, there are still glaring problems. Young men from eastern Europe often live four or five to a room, and work impossibly long hours; with echoes of Europe's macroeconomic asymmetries, the local labour market is divided between insufficient jobs that be can be done by people with families and mortgages, and a surfeit of opportunities for those who will work whenever they are required for a relative pittance.

This creates endless tension. There have also been inevitable problems surrounding how far schools and doctors' surgeries have been stretched. Is anyone surprised? Moreover, even if such places represent socioeconomic extremes, similar problems surface whenever large-scale migration fuses with the more precarious parts of the economy. In modern Britain, this obviously happens often, and the under-reported consequences of austerity have hardly helped.

What passes for the modern left tends to be far too blase about all this. Perhaps those who reduce people's worries and fears to mere bigotry should go back to first principles, and consider whether, in such laissez-faire conditions, free movement has been of most benefit to capital or labour. They might also think about the dread spectacle of people from upscale London postcodes passing judgment on people who experience large-scale migration as something real. ...

There again, do the shrill voices accusing them of pandering to prejudice have any convincing stance of their own? Or is the fashionable metropolitan option still to cast aspersions on millions of people, and then look the other way?
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Benefits and costs
What Bradford's 'dark satanic mills' tell us about immigration
Andrew Critchlow
Daily Telegraph, 20 October 2014

Few cities in Britain demonstrate the complexities for the business community of immigration more than Bradford. ...

Two damaging riots during the past 20 years have arguably marked the city out as being on the front line of the debate about the benefits and risks of apparently uncontrolled immigration for the British economy and society. During this time, business investment in Bradford suffered and the city almost became a no-go zone for investors.

The lesson from Bradford is that as long as the economy and business can create opportunities for foreign workers and existing citizens then the model of opening Britain's borders has generally worked well.

Widening the pool of labour can have profound benefits for business in terms of helping to meet skills gaps and boosting productivity. In the case of Bradford and many other industrial towns these migrants have stayed on and enriched their local communities and economies.

However, this model has increasingly been challenged by the uncontrolled influx of migrant workers entering the UK via the EU. According to official figures there were more than 4.5m foreign workers recorded in Britain in the first quarter of whom around 1.7m had come from EU Treaty nations.

Although there are 1.97m unemployed people in the UK, more migrants continue to come to the country under the terms of the EU's freedom of movement rules in search of work in the region's fastest growing economy. These migrants often fill low-paid jobs that many businesses claim existing British citizens either refuse to take, or are unqualified for.

However, the concern is that these migrants are also creating an unsustainable draw on vital services such as schools and health care, while putting little back into the economy longer term. ...

Business groups have wasted little time in dismissing the idea of restricting the flow of foreign workers into the UK as being potentially dangerous for the economy.
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Benefits and costs – tax credits, welfare benefits
Tories vow to slash £100m a week migrant tax credits: New pledge as Cameron says it's time to give EU one last go
Jason Groves, James Slack and Tamara Cohen
Daily Mail, 17 October 2014

Migrant workers could be stripped of up to £100 million a week in tax credits under Tory plans to seize the initiative from Ukip on immigration.

Home Secretary Theresa May has told the Daily Mail that the Treasury is conducting detailed work on ways to restrict access to tax credits, which are seen as a major 'pull factor' for migrants to the UK.

'The tax credits issue is something the Treasury has looked at and the Treasury is continuing to look at it,' she said.

Britain spends £5 billion a year on tax credits to migrants – from both inside and outside the EU.

The subsidies – which are available upon arrival and top up lower-paid jobs – can treble the take-home pay of a worker with a family on minimum wage.

Any attempt to restrict the right of EU nationals to in-work benefits will spark a ferocious row with Brussels. ...

Ministers are pushing for a so-called 'emergency brake' on arrivals from EU states if numbers exceed expectations. ...

Ministers have already acted to restrict access to out-of-work benefits for migrants in and outside the EU. But many experts believe the lure of in-work benefits is far greater.

According to the Government's Migration Advisory Committee, 415,000 foreign nationals are benefiting from the perk – worth the equivalent of almost £100 million a week.

The MigrationWatch campaign group found a migrant with no dependants earning the minimum wage has their net income of about £184 a week boosted to £254 by tax credits and housing benefit.

If they have a partner and two children, it rockets from £184 to £543. The benefit increases depending on the size of a family. State handouts can constitute 66 per cent of a total annual income of £28,241.

Compared with back home, a family from Romania and Bulgaria could multiply their take-home pay by eight.
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Benefits and costs – schools
Migrants lie about their age to get into Brit schools
Daily Express, 17 October 2014

A child safety alert was sparked last night after headteachers revealed that adult asylum seekers are being sent to British schools.

Some migrants are knocking years off their real age in a bid to be placed with foster carers rather than be put in shared accommodation.

Others arrive with so little information that immigration staff have to guess their age.

One headteacher said he was sent a pupil said to be 15 or 16, only to discover he was actually 20 or 21.

The claims emerged in Kent, where Michael Waters, head of St Anselm's Secondary School in Canterbury, said: "We are being asked to admit pupils with very little information about them."

Nicki Martin, head of Spires Academy near Canterbury, said: "We have to be increasingly vigilant. Safeguarding our pupils is paramount."
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Benefits and costs – doctors
European doctors three times more likely to be struck off: GMC
Rebecca Smith
Daily Telegraph, 8 October 2014

European doctors are three times more likely to be struck off by the GMC than British-trained doctors, a report has found, as one in three medics working in the UK has trained abroad.

Out of 13,150 new doctors joining the register in 2013, 3,123 of them were from within the European Economic Union, 2,496 were from outside Europe along with 7531 from the UK.

Doctors who qualified from overseas are more likely to have a complaint made about them to the GMC and are more likely to be suspended or struck off, a report said.
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Benefits and costs – child benefit
£600,000 a week paid out in child benefit to parents overseas
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 4 October 2014

Foreign children living overseas are receiving £600,000 in British child benefit every week, it has emerged.

Figures show that £31 million was paid to families of children living overseas last year. In all 20,400 Child Benefit claims were made, covering 34,268 children – two thirds of whom are living in Poland.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister, has said that he wants to address the issue of benefits being sent abroad when he begins renegotiating Britain's relationship with the European Union after the next election. ...

The UK, Czech Republic, Germany, Latvia and the Netherlands allow child benefit to be paid for children who live elsewhere in the EU.

Child benefit in the UK is worth £81.20 a month for the first child and £53.60 for the second and subsequent children, roughly four times higher than Polish rates.

Labour said the figures showed the Coalition "seems to have given up any effort to end the scandal of millions of pounds of child benefit being sent abroad every year".
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Benefits and costs – housing
House price boom helps migrant workers - Willetts
Brian Wheeler
BBC, 1 October 2014

Migrants gain an advantage over British workers in the jobs market because they are willing to share accommodation, a former business minister has said.

David Willetts said high house prices in London and the South-East should "superficially" act as a deterrent to migrant labour.

But, he suggested at a fringe meeting at the Conservative Party conference, the opposite was true.

House prices rose 9.4% in the year to September, according to the Nationwide.

The Conservative MP said: "The paradox is that a lot of migrant workers are coming into areas with very high house prices. It is, superficially, a rather peculiar phenomenon."

But he added: "The willingness, especially of single migrants, to share accommodation, including quite extraordinary arrangements, where you have one room and one has it for 12 hours and another has it for the other 12 hours... gives you a heck of an advantage, which increases the higher house prices go." ...

Mr Willetts was speaking at a Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) debate on why British employers seem to prefer foreign labour and what can be done about it.
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Benefits and costs – unemployment benefits
UK embroiled in welfare row over European migrants
Matthew Day and Bruno Waterfield
Daily Telegraph, 27 September 2014

Iain Duncan Smith has sparked diplomatic protests from Eastern Europe after refusing to pay over £10 million in unemployment benefits to immigrants who returned to home after losing their jobs in Britain.

Diplomats and European Union officials have accused the Work and Pensions Secretary of an "act of aggression" by refusing to pay benefits to thousands of Czech, Slovak and Polish migrant workers - even though they are no longer in Britain.

The three governments paid out unemployment benefits to people who had been working and paying taxes in UK before becoming unemployed and moving back home.

Under EU rules the UK – as the last state of employment – is obliged to contribute to the unemployment benefits of jobless Czechs, Slovaks and Poles who once worked and paid tax in Britain.

But the Central European states claim this is no longer happening, and the UK has left them to pick up the entire bill.

The outstanding bill for the Czech Republic and Slovakia comes to £6.8 million and, according to sources, the cash owed to Poland is "much, much more".

Poland's labour ministry said Britain had been reimbursing countries but changed its policy earlier this year. ...

The three countries have the full support of the European Commission. Last year the commission's "administrative committee on social security systems" ruled against the UK but earlier this year Mr Duncan-Smith refused to pay.

While the decision is not legally binding, no country has ever refused to abide by the commission's rulings and officials have warned that the UK's attitude threatens the whole Europe-wide system of cross-border benefit payments, jeopardising the operation of free movement for workers across the EU. ...

A DWP spokesman said: "This government does not pay benefits to someone in another country when they would not have been eligible for them in the UK. We are working with our counterparts across Europe on this issue."
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Benefits and costs – interpreters, Northern Ireland
Health service spends £8000 on interpreters every day - Allister
Ballymena Times, 26 August 2014

TUV leader Jim Allister says that the 'EU's open door immigration policy' is having a massive impact on Northern Ireland.

And the North Antrim MLA sought to illustrate his point by using figures from the health budget which show that £8000 of health service funds is going on paying interpreters every day, giving an annual cost of almost £3 million. ...

Through assembly questions, the TUV leader has also established that 5% of pupils in Northern Ireland schools do not have English as their first language, with the percentage topping 10% in South Belfast and 9.5% in Fermanagh & South Tyrone. In North Antrim this translated to 727 pupils or 3.6% overall.

In some areas of the county such as Ballymena which has witnessed a particularly high number of immigrants in recent years, this figure is likely to be much higher.
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Benefits and costs – translation services
Nick Clegg announces end to subsidised translation services for migrants
Nigel Morris
The Independent, 5 August 2014

Migrants applying for a passport or driving licence will no longer be offered subsidised translation services, Nick Clegg has announced.

The move is designed to encourage them to learn English as "a common language is the glue that binds a society".

The Deputy Prime Minister disclosed he had instructed Passport Office and the DVLA to scrap the translation service.

"Obtaining a passport and drivers' licence is a privilege and 'rite of passage' in this country," he said.

"It is only right that someone gaining such rights should be able to speak English to an appropriate standard and I certainly don't think everyone else should pay for them to use an interpreter or translation service if they can't."

In a speech designed to toughen the Liberal Democrat message on immigration, he called for tougher border controls to thwart illegal entrants, as well as moves to attract bright students from around the world.

He made the case for EU migration, arguing that freedom of movement between EU member states is a "cornerstone of European integration". He said: "Those who wish to undo it should be careful what they wish for."
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Benefits and costs – parking fines, vehicle tax
EU drivers owe millions in fines
Daily Telegraph, 2 August 2014

Millions of pounds worth of unpaid parking fines have to be written off each year by councils unable to trace drivers of foreign vehicles, according to the Local Government Association.

Some councils have had to rip up thousands of parking tickets, and one local authority – Brighton and Hove council – is owed more than £750,000.

The LGA said the EU allows European vehicles to drive on British roads for six months before having to register with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency but the Government does not keep a record of the estimated three million vehicles entering the UK each year. This means foreign vehicles are able to disappear within the system. It added that this left town hall parking officials with an impossible task to chase up drivers for payments.

The LGA said Oxfordshire, Southampton and Portsmouth councils have been forced to rip up more than 10,000 tickets issued in the past five years to foreign-registered vehicles valued at more than £500,000.

In the past 12 months, Bournemouth council has been forced to write off £57,000 of parking fines to foreign-registered vehicles while Maidstone council in Kent has written off £28,455 of tickets.

Leicester city council has written off £20,000 in tickets in the past year. ...

An RAC spokesman said: "The millions of pounds being lost through unpaid parking fines are unfortunately just the tip of the iceberg when compared to the car tax that should be paid once a vehicle has been in the UK for more than six months."
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Benefits and costs
How mass migration hurts us all: No, it's not the Mail saying this, but the verdict of a top Left-wing economist from Cambridge
Steve Doughty
Daily Mail, 1 August 2014

Mass immigration will damage the living standards of everyone in the country as minor economic benefits are outweighed by the social pressures of a relentlessly rising population, one of Britain's most eminent Left-wing economists declared yesterday.

Professor Robert Rowthorn, Emeritus Professor of Economics at Cambridge University and a longstanding adviser to Whitehall departments, said the economic advantages of immigration are 'unlikely to be very large'.

But the downside – from building on the green belt to the overcrowding of cities – means that the consequences of large-scale immigration 'are mostly negative for the existing population of the UK and their descendants'.

The findings are a major blow to claims that immigration has and will continue to bring major economic benefits. Over the past decade, widely-publicised studies by academics and liberal think tanks have repeatedly said that immigration will make us better off. ...

Professor Rowthorn, a former consultant to the International Monetary Fund and the UN Trade and Development Commission, said in his report that there may be no economic gains from immigration at all.

If there are, they will be outweighed by extra costs imposed by the strain on housing, land, schools, hospitals, water supplies and transport.

He said in a landmark report for the Civitas think tank: 'Unrestrained population growth would eventually have a negative impact on the standard of living through its environmental effects such as overcrowding, congestion and loss of amenity.

'Such losses would ultimately outweigh the small gain in average wages apparently resulting from mass immigration.'

Professor Rowthorn said the major economic benefit that immigration can provide is increasing the number of younger people in the population, so that there are more working-age people to support the growing numbers of the elderly who rely on pensions and need more health and social care.

But he found that the difference to the 'dependency ratio' made by mass immigration is tiny compared to the major increases in population needed to sustain it.

'If many of the immigrants fail to get jobs, or if they end up in low skill jobs or displace native workers, large-scale immigration will have a negative impact on GDP per capita and on government finances,' he added.

'The impact could be positive or negative but either way it is unlikely to be very large. The only thing that is certain is that immigration on the present scale, if it continues, will lead to much faster population growth and a much larger total GDP than would otherwise be the case, with consequent pressure on infrastructure and the environment.'

Professor Rowthorn, 74, is a former Marxist and remains a significant figure in Left-wing economic thinking. ...

David Cameron's promise to reduce net migration to tens of thousands, the levels of the 1990s, will be 'virtually impossible to achieve' because of EU immigration, the report found. It said that net migration remains at more than 200,000 a year, close to the highest level considered by the Office for National Statistics in its population projections, 225,000.

This level means the population of the UK will go up by 20 million over the next 50 years and 29 million over the next 75 years, Professor Rowthorn said.
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Benefits and costs – welfare benefits, tax credits
The inconvenient truth Mr Cameron ignored in his 'crackdown' on immigrant benefits... Migrants handed £5 billion tax credits
James Slack
Daily Mail, 30 July 2014

Britain is spending £5 billion a year on tax credits for migrant workers, it has emerged.

Official figures show that 415,000 foreign nationals are benefiting from the perk, worth the equivalent of almost £100 million every week.

The bill dwarfs the total savings achieved by David Cameron's latest crackdown on out-of-work welfare payments to migrants, which was unveiled amid great fanfare on Tuesday.

These proposals, which include limiting access to jobseekers allowance to a period of three months, will reduce the benefits bill by just £100 million a year.

Mr Cameron, who went on a PR offensive on Tuesday designed to win back Tory deserters to Ukip, said he was determined to create an immigration system which 'puts Britain first'.

But, while campaigners welcomed his remarks, they said he had ignored the real 'pull factors' for migrants to Britain.

These are the significantly higher wages that are on offer in Britain compared to countries such as Poland, Romania and Bulgaria – and the hugely generous tax credits system.

Tax credits top up the wages of the lower paid and have a particularly startling impact on the income of those on the minimum wage.

Recent research by MigrationWatch found a migrant with no dependants earning the minimum wage has their net income of around £184 a week boosted to £254 by tax credits and housing benefit.

If the migrant has a partner and two children, the net weekly income rockets from £184 to £543.

State handouts constitute 66 per cent of a total annual income of £28,241.

Compared to back home, a family from Romania or Bulgaria could multiply their take-home pay by a factor of eight. ...

Information released by HMRC, seen by the Mail, showed the extent to which migrants are claiming working and child tax credits, which were introduced by Gordon Brown.

Some 415,000 out of 2.45 million claimants were foreign nationals at the time they were issued with National Insurance numbers – the equivalent of 17 per cent of all recipients.

Analysis of these figures by the independent Migration Advisory Committee said that, based on annual tax credit expenditure of £30 billion, 'around £5 billion is claimed by non-UK nationals'. ...

The number of EU migrants who will be affected by reducing their access to state handouts from six months to three months is likely to be fewer than 10,000.
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Benefits and costs – Jobseeker's Allowance
EU immigration policy: How many will be affected?
Anthony Reuben
BBC, 29 July 2014

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a change to which EU migrants in the UK are entitled to claim Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA).

The amount of time that migrants who have not made national insurance contributions will be able to claim JSA (after waiting an initial three months) is being reduced from six months to three months.

How many people will be affected by this change of policy?

To get an idea of this figure, let's start with the maximum possible number, which is 60,100. That's the latest figure (February 2013) from the Department for Work and Pensions for the number of people claiming JSA who were EU nationals from outside the UK at the time when they applied for their National Insurance card.

To get some context, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that in June there were 1.04 million people claiming JSA in the UK, so it's 5.8% of claimants.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith has been using the figure of 121,000, which comes from the same report but is the number of people claiming any type of working-age benefit. As today's policy is about jobseekers that is not as useful a figure.

The prime minister said the policy would also affect claims for child benefit, but that is only child benefit being claimed by jobseekers, so it does not expand the figures.

We are interested only in those who have been claiming JSA for between three and six months because EU migrants are already unable to claim for more than six months and they will still be able to claim for three.

The latest ONS figures tell us that of those 1.04 million total claimants, 179,500 of them, about 17%, had been claiming for between three and six months.

That's for the whole population, but it would be reasonable to assume that EU migrants do not claim for longer than the population as a whole because they have extra incentives to get a job as a result of the threat to stop their benefits.

So the number of people affected is unlikely to be above 10,000.

Next, you have to subtract the people who have made national insurance contributions. It would be legally tricky to prevent them from claiming JSA and indeed Mr Cameron was very clear that what he wanted to say was: "you can't expect to come to Britain and get something for nothing".

The people we're interested in are the ones who have never worked. Unfortunately we don't have figures to help with what proportion of those 10,000 will have made contributions, but it is likely that many of them will have done so.

We also need to subtract those who, in the prime minister's words, "had very clear job prospects". Finally, we need to deduct those who have taken on UK nationality since getting their National Insurance card.

So, it is unlikely that more than 10,000 people, or 1% of JSA claimants, will be affected and it could be considerably fewer.

We have no idea how much this policy will save. The figure of £500m has been trumpeted around as being the Office for Budget Responsibility's estimate of the saving over five years.

But the OBR has now said that figure was a valuation for various measures in Budget 2014, and nothing to do with today's announcements.
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Benefits and costs – housing
£1.7m a month to house migrant families
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 25 July 2014

Soaring numbers of homeless migrant families are costing British taxpayers millions of pounds by seeking emergency accommodation.

More than 2,000 foreign families are now living rent-free, official figures show.

The number of eastern Europeans housed by the state has almost tripled over four years, the data reveals.

The figure for all migrants unable to pay their way in the UK has doubled – leaving hard-pressed councils footing a £1.7 million-a-month rent bill.

Concerns were raised last night at the growing pressure new migrants are putting on public services. ...

Alp Mehmet of MigrationWatch UK said: "If poor people come here, one of the consequences is homelessness and the resulting cost. It's not rocket science.

"These figures are another indicator of what happens when people come here at will without consideration of how they will maintain themselves and accommodate themselves."

Statistics released by the Department for Communities and Local Government showed that in the first three months of this year councils across England gave emergency homes to 2,080 foreign households. Eastern Europeans account for 410 of those including 220 Poles.

Four years ago in the same quarterly period the number stood at 1,040 with 140 of them from the former Eastern Bloc countries that joined the EU in 2004.

More than 1,200 foreign national households from outside the European Union were given emergency housing.
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Benefits and costs – crime, welfare benefits
Curb EU benefit tourism, Whitehall told: Report finds growing concern among Britons about access to the welfare state by migrants
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 22 July 2014

A major overhaul is needed to curb migrants' access to British benefits, a Government review has concluded.

The report finds growing concern among Britons about access to the welfare state by the hundreds of thousands of arrivals from Europe taking advantage of EU free movement rules.

If the system is not urgently reformed it could 'significantly undermine' public support for freedom of movement, it concludes.

The report, published today, cites clear evidence that EU migration has put pressure on public services such as the NHS and schools.

And it concludes that EU court rulings have allowed an explosion in illegal activity such as fake passports and sham marriages by non-EU migrants trying to live and work in Britain.

The report, which is based on submissions from businesses, interest groups and members of the public, was due to be published earlier this year. But a Whitehall source said senior Lib Dems blocked its release because they feared it was too critical of the EU.

Pro-immigration Business Secretary Vince Cable has claimed that increases in migration are a 'good thing'. He told the BBC he had ordered the report to be rewritten because it was 'propagandist'.

But its final conclusions are far from comfortable for the Lib Dems as it highlights a great many problems which have resulted from mass EU migration and calls for urgent action to combat them. ...

The review found evidence of growing public opposition to mass EU migration as numbers entering the country have ballooned over the last decade.

Shifts in attitudes show the British public have gone from being two-to-one in favour of free movement in 2005 to, last year, nearly half being opposed.

It found that free movement rights have been gradually extended – in part by EU judges - far beyond the original intention of member states, and cites concerns around whether existing welfare restrictions are 'fit for purpose'. ...

EU rules make it harder to send home even convicted criminals, and ministers must 'respond effectively' to concerns about criminals abusing free movement, it says.

At the same time, Britons struggle to find work overseas because other countries fail to implement EU rules on fair working properly.

The review also cites evidence that workers in low paid jobs can lose out from mass migration when the economy is weak because of competition for jobs and lower wages. ...

Number of EU migrants living in Britain from eight Eastern European states, including Poland, who joined the EU in 2004, have increased from 125,000 a year to more than 1 million in 2012. Romanian and Bulgarian nationals have increased from 20,000 to 155,000.

And more recently there has been a sharp increase in migrants from southern European countries such as Spain hit by economic difficulties – leading to a 50 per cent rise in EU migrants. ...

The report contains calls from academics and think tanks for a cap of 75,000 in the number of EU migrants allowed in every year.
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Benefits and costs – health tourism
One in 14 new mothers are maternity tourists: £182m bill for births to short term migrants and visitors
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 19 July 2014

One in 14 women giving birth in the UK are either temporary migrants or visitors – and cost taxpayers £182 million a year.

These new mothers, around 50,000, account for 7 per cent of NHS maternity spending.

The official figures indicate the likely scale of 'maternity tourism' whereby women from overseas come to Britain purely to give birth. ...

The statistics were revealed as Jeremy Hunt announced a system aiming to recover £500 million a year of the estimated £2 billion annual cost of health tourism.

Patients from outside the EU are currently charged after receiving NHS care, but only a fraction of these costs are paid.

Under the Health Secretary's plans, they will be charged one-and-a-half times the cost of the treatment in advance. They will also pay a £200 upfront charge when they obtain a visa.

Health trusts who fail to track down those with no right to free care could face swingeing fines running to millions of pounds.

But the plans show that migrants who refuse to pay in advance will still be entitled to emergency treatment – because of the Human Rights Act. This includes all maternity services.

Treatment regarded as 'urgent' because it cannot wait until the overseas visitor returns home will also be provided even if hospital staff cannot secure a deposit.

Details of the cost of maternity care were released in Department of Health documents accompanying the plan. It said research suggests 'overseas visitors and migrants' from Europe and beyond account for around 2 per cent of NHS resources but 7 per cent of its maternity spending. ...

London doctors have described how foreign nationals deliberately board flights from Africa in the weeks prior to their due date to use the capital's hospitals. ...

There remains a maternity crisis in the NHS because of the growing birth rate in the UK. There is already a shortage of around 4,500 midwives in the NHS in England.
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Benefits and costs – NHS, welfare tourism
NHS crackdown to claw back migrants' £500m in welfare tourism
Martyn Brown
Daily Express, 14 July 2014

Migrants who travel to Britain from outside Europe for NHS treatment will be charged 150 per cent of the cost in a new crackdown on welfare tourism to be unveiled by ministers today.

Tory Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said new rules on charging foreign visitors would provide hospital bosses with an incentive to chase payments.

The new measures could help claw back up to £500 million spent by the NHS on treating foreigners.

Mr Hunt will announce that NHS trusts must take the personal details of foreign patients so they can be traced and made to pay.

The hospital will get 75 per cent of the cost of the treatment up-front and the same amount again when the patient pays the bill. Hospital trusts that fail to identify and bill chargeable patients will be fined.

There are an estimated 260,000 non-European foreigners in England who have legal access to NHS services.

Under existing rules visitors from outside Europe are supposed to pay for hospital treatment but the Government says only a fraction of charges are collected because hospitals mask how many foreign nationals they are treating to avoid chasing payments. ...

Trials begin this summer in selected A&E departments to explore how details can be taken when patients register to make pursuing payment easier. ...

It is estimated the savings of £500 million could pay for 3,000 hospital consultants and 10,000 nurses.
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Benefits and costs – population, Europe
Europeans 'will die out' without migration
Ann Cahill
Irish Examiner, 12 July 2014

Europeans will become extinct if anti-migration policies are pursued, a comprehensive study of the realities points out.

A detailed analysis of eight popular assumptions about migration shows that they have no basis in fact and that the opposite is frequently the truth.

Europe's share of the world's population has halved to just 7% since the mid-1950s, and the pace is likely to be even faster over the next few decades, leaving the continent without a say globally.

The number of babies born is exceeded by the number of deaths, and any growth last year in the EU was accounted for by migrants.

In just 15 years, half of Europeans will be over the age of 65 years and the numbers under 45 will drop by a quarter.

This means that countries will not be able to afford their health and pension systems unless there is an influx of new workers, according to the report published by the migration policy centre in the European University in Florence.

For Ireland, which has the highest birth rate in the EU, its workforce will be reduced by 10% over the next 10 years without the arrival of migrants.

The worst-affected countries would be Spain and Italy, whose workforce would be reduced by 30%, leaving Italy in particular with one of the oldest populations in the EU in a dire situation.

The evidence shows that migrants do not deprive local people of jobs, as they migrate to where there is work, and leave when it dries up.

"Migrants are not stupid. The research shows that they go to a country because there is work available," said Philippe Fargues, director of the Migration Policy Centre.

A graph showed that the highest level of migration in the EU was in 2007/2008 when unemployment was at its lowest, and it has dropped since, in line with growing joblessness.

Claims that migrants undermine a country's welfare system are also wrong as they tend to be young, healthy and hardworking and contribute more than they take from the system. In Ireland they break even.

Migrants appear to improve a country's capacity to innovate, according to the study, as the greater the number of migrants in a country, the more patents for new products it tends to produce. In education, the performance of children of migrants depends on the resources they are provided with, the study finds.

In Ireland, Portugal and Britain, children from mixed-race couples perform much better than natives or migrant children.

Presenting the study, Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said that migration will define how Europe will evolve in the coming years.

"We have to set our policies based on facts and evidence, not on impressions and myths.

"Countering stereotypes on migration and recognising the contribution migrants bring to our societies demands strong political leadership.

"We have to act to counter xenophobic and racist influences on political agendas in EU countries. Europe cannot afford to ignore the benefits of immigration and to undermine Europe's recovery from the crisis".

Their work also debunks the idea that Europe does not need low-skilled migrant workers and should concentrate on highly skilled employees.

The study found that the needs differ in different countries.
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Benefits and costs – house prices, white flight, housing
Immigration damages house prices, say Home Office advisers
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 9 July 2014

Immigration has a negative impact on house prices when foreigners move to areas of the country previously dominated by British citizens, according to a major new report.

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) said research showed there was a "significant negative association" between property values and immigration.

If the immigrant population of a local authority grows by one in 100 overall, then house prices will fall by 1.6 per cent on average, the study found.

The MAC said research in the area suggested the phenomenon was down to a range of factors including migrants being more willing to live in overcrowded conditions - for example, in shared houses - heading to a general fall in demand in the market.

It was also thought to be due to overall wealth declining in areas of increasing immigration, as British-born workers move out and lower-paid immigrants move in.

Other research examined by the committee suggested that homes in the average to low price bracket were those most likely to be affected by immigration, while it exhibited "almost no effect" on prices" among higher-value properties.

"The results suggest that migration has a significant negative association with house prices at the local level," the report said.

"Specifically, an immigration inflow equal to one per cent of the local authority's initial population leads to a reduction of 1.6 per cent to 1.7 per cent in house prices compared to what it otherwise would have been."

The original academic paper referred to by the MAC, written by Filipa Sa of Cambridge University in 2011, which has only just come to light, examined data on immigration and house prices in 159 local authorities in England and Wales. It examined prices between 2003 and 2010.

The author produced a mathematical model based on the research and concluded: "It finds that immigration has a negative effect on house prices and presents evidence that this negative effect is due to the mobility response of the native population.

"Natives respond to immigration by moving to different areas and those who leave are at the top of the wage distribution. this generates a negative income effect on housing demand and pushes down house prices."
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Benefits and costs – employment
EU migrants milking benefits will be KICKED OUT of Britain
Martyn Brown
Daily Express, 30 June 2014

Jobless EU migrants who have been claiming benefits for the past six months and show no signs of being able to find work could be forced to leave the UK from Tuesday. ...

It means those who have been claiming jobseeker's allowance for six months will have to undergo "prospect of work" interviews to determine whether they can stay in the country.

Those who do not have a job offer or the imminent prospect of finding work will lose their right to reside in the UK – leaving many liable to be sent home. ...

Under the new rules, EU nationals must wait three months before claiming jobseeker's allowance and are entitled to it for a maximum of six months. Anyone earning £150 a week, equivalent to working 24 hours on the minimum wage, will be classed as a worker.

Those earning less than that and claiming benefits will be interviewed to assess whether they have a genuine prospect of work.

If they fail, they will be classed as "marginal and ancillary" and are liable to be sent home. If language is a barrier to employment, claimants will be given six months to improve their communication skills.

The rules will also apply to the right to claim child benefit, worth £20.30 a week for the first child and £13.40 for each additional one, and child tax benefits.

In April, new job seekers from the European Economic Area were banned from claiming housing benefits.

EU nationals who no longer have any right of residence in the UK are liable to be removed, added to a watch list and prevented from re-entering Britain for 12 months, unless they have a valid reason to be here. They may be able to retain their right of residence in another capacity, such as being self-sufficient or a student.
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Benefits and costs – health services
EU immigration now means the elderly cannot see a doctor
Ross Clark
Daily Express, 24 June 2014

Next time a politician pops up to tell us how mass immigration has been an unmitigated benefit to Britain he should be made to explain himself to 95-year-old Lily Dove.

Mrs Dove, who suffers from arthritis, diabetes, heart problems and defective eyesight, recently received a letter from her surgery telling her she was being "deregistered" and had two weeks to find herself another practice.

Her protests fell on deaf ears. The facts that she has used the surgery in Watton, Norfolk, all her life and has paid taxes to the NHS since its inception in 1948 seem to count for nothing.

The surgery said it was being forced to reduce the number of patients on its roll because it was overloaded, that its catchment area was being redrawn to exclude certain villages outside the town and that it couldn't make an exception in her case because to do so might be seen as "discriminatory".

What have public services in Britain come to when an elderly and infirm lady can be cast adrift in such an offhand and disgraceful fashion?

At the heart of the problem in Watton, as in many places across the country, stands an utter failure on the part of the Government and its various arms and agencies to plan for mass migration from Eastern Europe after 2004. ...

Breckland District Council – whose boundary includes Watton estimates that its migrant population numbers somewhere between 6,600 and 15,000.

But no one seems to be sure. ...

When in 2007 Westminster City Council commissioned an independent report into its migrant population, statisticians estimated there were 13,000 illegal migrants living in the borough, plus 11,000 migrants who, while legal, had lives too itinerant to be captured in official statistics.

This hidden population of 24,000 didn't feature in the calculations of Whitehall civil servants when planning for public services. Yet it did nevertheless use hospitals, surgeries and other public services. ...

... When you have a 95-year-old lady thrown off a surgery list because a sudden migrant-led burst of population growth has left doctors struggling to cope, the subject has to be debated.

As for it being "discriminatory" for the surgery to keep Mrs Dove on its rolls, what about discrimination against taxpayers who have been paying for the NHS for years on the understanding that it would be there for them in old age?
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Benefits and costs – NHS charges, health tourism
Migrants will pay for the NHS: New bid to cut the £500 million-a-year health tourism bill
Macer Hall
Daily Express, 18 June 2014

Up to £500 million a year spent by the NHS on treating migrants is to be clawed back in a new crackdown on welfare tourism.

The Government yesterday unveiled an initial scheme designed to reward health trusts that reclaim payments for caring for EU patients.

Under the plan, a trust can expect a 25 per cent bonus for each treatment claimed for.

The shake-up follows concerns that NHS administrative staff are failing to use the system for reclaiming cash for treating foreign patients because they cannot be bothered with the red tape.

It follows a series of initiatives by ministers seeking to stop migrants milking the welfare state.

At present, the Government pays more than £800 million a year to cover the cost of Britons receiving healthcare abroad.

But it receives only £29 million a year back from EU and associated countries for treating overseas visitors.

When patients from outside Europe are included, the total reclaimed by the NHS reaches £73 million.

Tory Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "There is about half-a-billion quid in money we should be collecting from international visitors who use the NHS.

"I have no problem whatsoever with foreigners using our NHS, as long as they contribute to it either through taxes or through paying charges.

"We need to be much better at collecting that revenue.

"Trusts have no financial incentive to report someone as an EU visitor.

"We are announcing a premium on the tariff for trusts who report EU visitors using their services, to pay for the extra administrative costs and to create financial incentives so we get proper reporting and we get the money.

"My target is that, by this and subsequent measures we will announce for non-EU visitors, we will raise around half-a-billion pounds a year to pay for additional doctors and nurses on the front line."
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Benefits and costs – student loans
Loans to foreign students blocked
Graeme Paton
Sunday Telegraph, 15 June 2014

Large numbers of students from mainland Europe face being blocked from taking out loans at UK taxpayers' expense after it emerged that thousands of Bulgarians and Romanians attempted to wrongly claim more than £65 million of public money.

Ministers have pledged "stringent new measures" to prevent students from EU member states claiming financial support in Britain amid fears over widespread abuse of the system.

David Willetts, the Universities Minister, said Europeans must be resident in the UK for five years – rather than three at the moment – to claim loans for living costs under major plans to prevent wrongful claims.

He also pledged tougher action on EU students who return to their home country after graduating without paying back loans.

The move comes after an investigation by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills found that more than 5,000 students – all from Eastern Europe – who claimed support to study at private colleges in the UK last year had been ineligible for payments.

Some £8 million had already been paid out, but a further £65.2 million of loans were blocked following the crackdown.

Of those payments made, £2.5 million has since been recovered and debt collecting agencies have been instructed to recover the rest. ...

Just weeks ago it emerged that thousands of students, half of which were Eastern European, were receiving up to £11,000 to study at a private college in north London dubbed "the ATM", with no requirement to actually turn up to lectures.
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Benefits and costs – welfare benefits
'Lost the plot' Outrage as thousands of migrants living abroad are still claiming SICK PAY
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 6 June 2014

This latest benefits scam sparked outrage last night.

Loopholes in the system mean cheats are free to return to their homeland while being paid £87.55 a week. Workers from the EU see our 28-week statutory sick pay as easy pocket money.

Some even claim the payments while holding down second jobs back home. The deception was rumbled by company managers across Britain who say they are powerless to act.

The scandal confirms Britain has "lost the plot on immigration," said a Ukip MEP last night. ...

The Department for Work and Pensions said the system is not abused but admitted it does not keep records on sick pay for migrant workers. But it is worried enough to urge companies to report staff suspected of lying. ...

The scam is a particular burden for smaller companies as employers are responsible for sick pay and cannot get a refund. Before rules changed in April this year, firms could claim back the money.
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Benefits and costs – welfare benefits
Iain Duncan Smith says Big Issue magazine is 'helping UK benefit tourists'
Rob Williams
The Independent, 5 June 2014

Iain Duncan Smith has criticised the Big Issue magazine saying that it provides a way for immigrants from eastern Europe to claim benefits in Britain.

Mr Duncan Smith said the magazine was being used "more and more" as a foothold for Romanians and other eastern Europeans to access tax credits.

The work and pensions secretary, who was answering a question from the floor at an event in Berlin, said that immigrants from Europe were "immediately" able to claim tax credits on arrival in Britain due to their self-employed status as magazine vendors.

The Times reported that Mr Duncan Smith, who was in Germany speaking about British welfare policy, also attacked EU interference in immigration matters saying it was "unwarranted and unwanted". ...

A DWP spokesman said the department had already taken action to stop immigrants using the loophole.

"We recognise that this was a loophole that was abused and that's why, this March, we introduced the minimum earnings threshold of £153 per week."
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Benefits and costs – child benefits
British taxpayers GIVE AWAY £30 million in benefits to other countries each year
Macer Hall
Daily Express, 28 May 2014

British taxpayers are giving more than £30 million a year in Child Benefit to families in other EU countries, it emerged last night. ...

The figures showed that last year Child Benefit funded by British taxpayers went to 20,400 families with a total of 34,268 children living overseas.

Most is being paid to relatives of migrant workers who have come to Britain under EU free-movement rules. ...

The biggest payout was to 13,174 families in Poland with 22,093 children.

Other recipients included 1,215 families in Lithuania with 1,712 children and a total of 416 families with 637 children in Romania and Bulgaria.

The numbers of families receiving the cash last year was around 15 per cent lower than in 2012.
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Benefits and costs – economy
Mass immigration not the secret to economic growth, says OECD
John Bingham
Daily Telegraph, 21 May 2014

Mass immigration has brought little or no overall financial benefit to the UK and other countries, a study by the club of the world's leading economies has concluded.

Evidence from around the world over the last 50 years shows that immigrants are not a "panacea" to boost economic growth but nor are they a "major burden" on the taxpayer, new analysis by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) finds.

Overall, the fiscal impact of migration in OECD countries has been "broadly neutral" with taxes paid by new arrivals usually matching what they receive in benefits, it finds.

Although in some countries the amount immigrants contribute to the public purse exceeds what they receive, new arrivals contribute less overall than the existing population, because many are less well paid. ...

It comes in marked contrast to the findings of a report by University College London last year which concluded that European migrants contributed £8.8 billion more to the British taxpayer than they received over a 16-year period. ...

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the campaign group Migration watch, said: "Gradually the claims for the benefits from immigration have been fading and this is another nail in he coffin."

Britain had the third highest number of new arrivals among the world's leading economies in 2012, after the US and Germany, with 282,600 in 2012.

The total was in fact 11 per cent down on that for the previous year but more recent figures from the Office for National Statistics show a further increase in the number of people arriving to settle during the course of 2013.

International migrants account for around 12 per cent of the UK population, or 7.8 million people, according to the OECD. The UK is one of 10 countries, which together are hosting half of all the world's immigrants.

By far the biggest change was in Germany, which jumped from fifth to second place in the rankings with a startling 72 per cent increase in the number of new permanent migrants in 2012.

Within the OECD, the number of migrants jumped by 35 per cent in the last decade, the study said, while the number of people moving within the EU "soared" in 2012, with 925,000 Europeans moving to another country.

Over the past 10 years immigrants accounted for 70 per cent of the increase in the European workforce and almost half of that in the US, the report finds.

Significantly the UK is close to the top of the world emigration rankings, with 3.5 million Britons living permanently in other OECD countries, behind only Mexico and China and ahead on India.
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Benefits and costs – welfare benefits, income tax
Are 150,000 eastern European migrants really paying just £1 a week in tax?
Tom Wills
Guardian blog, 1 May 2014

On Wednesday the Daily Express newspaper splashed on the claim that 150,000 migrants from eastern Europe were paying just £1 a week in tax. The figures, it said, were set out in a report from the Migration Watch think tank.

Except they weren't. Migration Watch had published a briefing paper on its website with various calculations for the amount of income tax and National Insurance paid by low wage earners, and the amount of tax credit and other cash benefits some of them receive. Charts showed the income distribution of eastern European employees in the UK - lower, on average, than for all employees in the UK.

But the 150,000 figure was nowhere to be seen. It did appear in the Migration Watch press release accompanying the study, but without a full explanation of how the headline figure was calculated.

... The Datablog finally caught up with the organisation's vice-chairman, former British ambassador to Iceland Alp Mehmet. He put me in touch with the executive director of the organisation - whose name does not appear on the its website save for some press releases dating back more than three years - one Matthew Pollard.

Pollard, it transpires, was the main author of the study. According to the Labour Force Survey from the Office of National Statistics, around 23% of eastern European employees in the UK earn less than £221 a week. Mr Pollard explained that his assumption is that people at this level of income are unlikely to be paying more than £1 a week in net tax because they would either be below the personal earnings allowance or eligible for tax credits on account of their low wage. With 800,000 eastern European employees in the UK, Mr Pollard said it was fair to estimate 150,000 of them would be paying no more than £1 a week in net income tax if tax credits are taken into account.

It's an analysis of the economic activity of migrants from eastern Europe which is difficult to verify and, moreover, highly selective. ...

On the Today programme, the Migration Watch chairman Sir Andrew Green said: "Our paper does not deal with indirect taxes, and we say that very clearly." He said this omission was balanced by not including other costs to the exchequer such as health, education and social services. ...

There is little fundamentally different about the tax position of an eastern European worker on minimum wage and that of someone who was born in Britain. But migrants are more likely to be at the lower end of the wage spectrum. They're damned if they earn a little for not paying enough tax and damned if they earn a lot for taking plum jobs from British workers.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – welfare benefits, income tax
The 150,000 migrants paying £1 a week tax
James Slack
Daily Mail, 30 April 2014

Hundreds of thousands of Eastern Europeans are making little or no contribution to the Exchequer despite working full-time, a report claims today.

The UK's generous tax credits system means 150,000 migrants without partners or children, who earn the minimum wage, pay just £1-a-week net tax, including National Insurance.

If they have a non-working partner and children, it costs the taxpayer money to support them, according to Migration Watch.

A single earner couple with two children receives nearly £90 a week more in benefits than they pay in tax.

With two children, the cost rises to £295. For three children it is £400, four children £500 and five children £600 per week.

The think-tank's analysis said a couple where both partners work on minimum wage would pay in a total £28 net. But if they have two children they could receive a net benefit of £380 a week.

The group added that the calculations do not include indirect taxes such as VAT nor do they include health, education and social services.

There are also major costs in later life, for pensions and health, to which the low-paid will make no significant contribution. These could amount to £120,000 for a single pensioner and £160,000 for a couple. ...

But Migration Watch said that the figures blew a hole in claims that mass migration is good for the economy because of the taxes paid by foreign workers.

Chairman Sir Andrew Green said the taxpayer was 'subsidising' the wages of many low paid migrants from the ex-Eastern Bloc, who have had unrestricted access to the UK's jobs market since 2004.

He added: 'No wonder then that employers are in favour of them and that so many people find the UK such an attractive destination. ...

Sir Andrew said ministers should consider denying migrants access to in-work benefits and tax credits for the first five years they are here.

Under the current regime, a single worker on the minimum wage in the UK would be able to earn four and a half times that which they could earn in Romania. For a family, this rises to nine times.
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Benefits and costs
Cardinal warns politicians over 'alarmist' immigration rhetoric
Cole Moreton and John Bingham
Daily Telegraph, 22 April 2014

Britain's most senior Roman Catholic churchman has condemned politicians for deploying "alarmist" language in the debate over immigration.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales spoke out against the use of arguments which stoke up "distress" about foreigners coming to the UK. ...

Cardinal Nichols did not single out any individual party but appealed to politicians of all backgrounds to approach the issue with "realism and a sense of respect".

He said Britain should celebrate the "richness" that immigrants bring the country rather than treating their arrival as something worthy of "anger or dismay".

The Cardinal argued that immigration is not only good for Britain's national "well-being" but in turn provides more money through remittances to people poorer parts of the world than the entire overseas aid budget.

He said: "What I would appeal today is that the debate about immigration is done with a sense of realism and a sense of respect – and that it is not cushioned in expressions which are alarmist and evocative of anger or of dismay or distress at all these people coming to this country."

Some Catholic churches in British cities are full to overflowing thanks to immigration, but the Cardinal said the whole country should celebrate what was happening.

"We have to grow to appreciate the richness that immigration brings, not simply to the Catholic church but to the life of hospitals and many public sector areas where we are now embracing and dependent on people who come to this country willing to give and wanting to support their families back home." ...

But the Cardinal insisted: "The reality is that the vast majority of migrants to this country add to our well-being."
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Benefits and costs – welfare benefits
3,000 jobless European migrants on benefits
Tim Ross
Sunday Telegraph, 13 April 2014

Thousands of European migrants are living off benefits after moving to Britain without a job, costing taxpayers £10 million a year in subsidised rent, new figures disclose.

An estimated 3,000 unemployed immigrants arrive from Europe each year to claim Housing Benefit of about £100 a week, government analysis suggests.

More than half continue to claim state support for housing costs for at least six months, while almost one-third have been receiving the hand-out for more than a year without working.

The figures from the Department for Work and Pensions represent the first time the government has published an official estimate of the scale of so-called European "benefit tourism".

In this case, the analysis focuses on one part of the welfare system, housing benefit, in an attempt to show how many European immigrants claim taxpayer-funded help without paying tax or National Insurance themselves.

The figures indicate the potential extent of exploitation of Britain's welfare system by European migrants who use immigration rules to travel to the UK without jobs and live off benefits.

However, the results are likely to be an under-estimate, as they are based on a snapshot of one 12 month period in 2011-12 and a large proportion of immigrants continue to claim the payments for more than a year.

Ministers have this month introduced new limits banning future waves of migrants from claiming housing benefit unless they have already found work. ...

The analysis, by officials at the DWP, found that 300,000 European migrants registered for a National Insurance number during the 2011-12 period, with 3,000 of them then making claims for housing benefit as jobseekers.

Fewer than one in five made short claims for housing benefit, lasting no more than three months, while 57 per cent claimed the payments for six months or more. The figures showed 31 per cent – equal to 930 individuals during the course of the year – were claiming housing benefit for more than 12 months without working.

Three-quarters of the European immigrants were single, or in childless couples, while one in four had children. One third lived in the London area, 10 per cent were from Scotland and three per cent lived in Wales.

Until the rules were tightened this month, immigrants from the European Union were only able to claim Housing Benefit if they were unemployed and claiming Jobseekers' Allowance, worth at least £57 per week.

Under new rules rushed into law in the last two weeks, future immigrants from the European Union will be banned from claiming Housing benefit unless they have already found work.

Only those European migrants who are working or who have recently lost their jobs in the UK will be able to claim housing benefit, under the reforms.

The government says that the new curbs will "protect the UK's benefit system from those who might seek to exploit it" and to "deter" migrants from moving to Britain without a "firm offer" of a job.

The government expects the ban to save £70 million of taxpayers' money by 2019.

However, the tighter rules will only apply to new arrivals, meaning that unemployed immigrants who were claiming housing benefit before the ban came into force this month can continue to do so.
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Benefits and costs – welfare benefits
Sheffield, Rotherham Roma Benefits Plague, Ch5 Documentary Gypsies on Benefits & Proud
Nadeem Walayat
Market Oracle, 11 April 2014

Channel 5 will be showing a documentary tonight (at 9pm, also available on demand) that will illuminate the consequences of out of control eastern european mass immigration that has resulted in literally a flood of migrants whose primary focus is NOT to work hard but to maximise benefits by moving whole villages lock stock and barrel to cities such as Birmingham, Sheffield and Rotherham which is the focus of today's programme.
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Benefits and costs – welfare benefits
George Osborne to announce tough new benefit curbs for EU migrants
Patrick Wintour
The Guardian, 9 April 2014

EU migrants to Britain will not be able to claim child benefit or child tax credit until they have lived in the country for three months, George Osborne will announce on Wednesday. Immigrants already face a three-month wait before they can receive jobseeker's allowance, and access to housing benefit has been banned. EU claimants are eligible for child benefit only if they are earning more than £150 a week.

Entitlement to jobseeker's allowance, child benefit and child tax credit is already restricted for many claimants to a maximum of six months, so the latest announcement in practice means most EU migrants will receive the latter two for between three and six months after arrival. After six months, the Treasury said, only those who have a job offer or compelling evidence they have a genuine chance of finding work will be able to continue claiming – and then only for a short period.

Conservatives are also looking to see how far they can follow recently announced German proposals to take powers to deport any EU migrant who does not have a realistic chance of securing work after six months, regardless of whether they claim benefits. The German move goes to the heart of the principle of free movement of workers within the EU, one of the cornerstones of the union.

The new three-month wait for child benefit and child tax credit, announced by the Treasury on Tuesday night, will come into force in July. The government also announced that from Wednesday EU migrants eligible for jobseeker's allowance will no longer have routine access to interpretation services, and from the end of the month their spoken English will be tested in England. If claimants' language is found to be a barrier to looking for work, they will be expected to improve it. ...

The sanctions would include loss of benefit, but there is no proposal at present to deport a migrant found not to be taking reasonable steps to find a job.
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Benefits and costs – welfare benefits, EU rules
'Ignore EU and ban migrant benefits'
Peter Dominiczak
Daily Telegraph, 8 April 2014

Britain should be able to ignore European Union rules and ban some migrants from claiming benefits for up to a year, the Work and Pensions Secretary said on Monday.

Iain Duncan Smith said the Conservatives wanted to "go further" in reducing migrants' access to benefits.

For legal reasons, the Government has only been able to stop EU migrants claiming benefits until they have been in Britain for three months, earning at the level at which employees start paying national insurance. The proposal, which comes into force this month, means migrants will have to show they have been earning at least £150 a week for three months before claiming benefits.

Mr Duncan Smith said the measure would stop people "taking advantage" of the welfare system.

The "minimum earnings threshold" is designed to stop some migrants gaining access to a range of benefits.

Previously, a loophole allowed EU citizens to claim thousands of pounds of benefits despite working only a few hours every week.

Mr Duncan Smith believes that the Government should cast aside EU regulations and impose even tougher sanctions on foreign workers. Speaking at the headquarters of Pimlico Plumbers in London on Monday, Mr Duncan Smith said ministers would try to go further with their benefits reforms, regardless of "what the European Commission tries to tell us". ...

Sources close to Mr Duncan Smith conceded that the Government had been advised that it cannot legally go further than the current three-month limit.
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Benefits and costs
Time to stop this influx
Nick Ferrari
Sunday Express, 6 April 2014

It is difficult to imagine what more needs to be done.

Every week four men die under the wheels of giant trucks in Calais as they try to clamber in, on or cling underneath them to get into this country.

If that is not enough to wake up our politicians about the problems of unchecked immigration into Britain, what is?

How about the report from the widely respected pressure group Migration Watch which highlighted that over the next four years, enough people from Eastern Europe will enter this country to fill a city larger than Manchester?

Have you any idea where more than half a million people can fit? Nope, me neither, but those in charge either do not or will not care. ...

Migration Watch chairman Sir Andrew Green spelt it out when he said: "It was crazy to have opened up our labour market and our benefit system to 100,000,000 people from countries with a standard of living less than a quarter of our own."

The previous Labour government must never be allowed to forget how it betrayed this nation over that and the many decent families who came and found the streets were not paved with gold.

Mealy-mouthed assurances that everything is under control are simply not good enough.

Immigration Minister James Brokenshire responded to last week's Migration Watch findings by bragging how this government had managed to get non-EU migration down to its lowest level in years, totally missing the point that the biggest challenge comes from the hundreds of millions of Europeans across the Continent who could (and any sane person realises they are obviously not all going to) waltz towards Britain while we roll out the welcome mat. ...

No rational person would argue that immigration has not been good for this country.

It has. The percentage of immigrants who come here and are in work is nearly 10 per cent higher than British nationals in employment.

They create jobs, they pay taxes, they contribute massively and it is totally fair to say the economic recovery has in part been borne on their backs.

However, be in no doubt, Britain's barmy benefits system is a magnet for many.

Instead of blitzing you with statistics about age groups, percentages and contribution to GDP, just focus on this figure: British taxpayers pay more than £20 million each year to Polish parents living here but whose children are in Poland.

That's right; through our taxes, you and I are paying enough money to recruit an army of nurses or a platoon of police to children from Gdansk while pleading poverty concerning the needs of those in Grimsby.

That shows precisely why the idea of a five-year ban on benefits for migrants makes so much sense.
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Benefits and costs – welfare benefits
EU migrants flock to 'soft touch' Britain
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 3 April 2014

The number of Europeans claiming benefits in the UK has more than doubled over the past decade – at a cost of hundreds of millions of pounds.

Fewer than 50,000 EU citizens in 2003 were relying on British state benefits – but that figure rocketed last year to 121,000, according to government data.

If all migrant claimants were on the minimum handout of £56.80 a week, the cost to hard-working taxpayers would be £357 million a year.

But the true figure will be far higher when extras – such as housing and child benefits, disability and carers' allowances plus tax credits – are taken into account. ...

The latest figures are contained in Department for Work and Pensions statistics.

Of the 46,970 EU citizens living on state handouts in Britain in 2003, just 3,890 were from new member states.

By 2013, the total number of Europeans being supported by the British taxpayer was 121,280.

But Brussels' policy of expansion meant those from eastern European accession countries rocketed to 58,950.

The largest group of EU claimants in the UK last year was the army of 26,500 unemployed Poles – an increase on the 1,300 signing on 10 years previously.

The second biggest growth was seen among Portuguese registered for benefits, which more than doubled in a decade from 5,700 to 12,400.

Slovakians on the dole shot up from just 100 a decade ago to 8,000 last year and there was also a massive hike in Lithuanians from a mere 300 to 6,500.

Among others in Britain without a job were 6,800 Dutch, 6,400 French, 6,300 Italians and 5,500 Czechs.
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Benefits and costs – translation and interpreting
£1m of taxpayer's money spent on foreign language interpreters by Dorset Police and the CPS
Emma Walker
Daily Echo [Bournemouth], 28 March 2014

More than one million pounds of taxpayers' money has been spent on foreign language interpreters in Dorset by police and the CPS in just five years.

From defendants, prosecution witnesses to victim support, the cost of translation in the county can now be revealed by the Echo.

Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that more than half of this huge amount was spent in between 2008 and 2011.

The Echo has been told that high but declining costs fall in line with the changes in the way interpreters are hired by police and the CPS as well as the expansion of the European Union and waves of immigration into the county, in those years. ...

The most requested interpreters to help defendants, witnesses and victims were for Polish translation.

Translation costs also includes interpreting legal documents.

It is not only visitors from overseas who get help.

Huge sums are also paid to provide translation for long-term residents. ...

The Race Relations Act simply says that all parts of the community should have access to services.

The Human Rights Act only requires translation if someone is arrested or charged with a criminal offence.
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Benefits and costs – EU migration
David Cameron facing calls to expel jobless EU migrants
Padraic Flanagan
Daily Telegraph, 27 March 2014

David Cameron is facing Tory calls to expel out-of-work EU migrants after Germany drafted plans to adopt the radical measure.

A number of the party's MPs told The Times that proposals from a German government panel, stating that EU migrants would be removed if they failed to find work within three months, should be adopted in Britain.

At the start of the year, ministers rushed through reforms aimed at easing concerns about mass migration to Britain from Eastern Europe.

None of the proposals, which included making EU migrants wait three months before receiving benefits, went as far as the planned German move.

Now Mr Cameron's allies in the party are claiming that the German plan shows the Prime Minister is winning support in his attempt to overhaul rules allowing migrants to move freely throughout Europe.

Commenting on the legality of the German move, European Commission sources said member states were entitled to refuse residency if a migrant was unemployed after three months and did not have the financial means to avoid becoming a burden on the host country.
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Benefits and costs – EU's rules
Europe takes UK to court over benefits
Robert Mednick
Sunday Telegraph, 23 March 2014

The European Commission is to take Britain to court over its attempts to limit benefits payments to migrants in a "politically explosive" case ahead of the European elections.

It was unclear whether the commission had planned to go ahead with the legal action, which centres on the "right to reside" test that European Union migrants must pass before they can claim benefits in this country.

However, The Sunday Telegraph has now been told that the lawsuit will be lodged "shortly" in the European Court of Justice.

With European elections held in Britain on May 22, the timing of the lawsuit, over such an emotive issue, threatens to be incendiary. ...

The European Commission said it was bringing its legal case because the "right to reside" test is discriminatory since British citizens do not have to pass it.

The test, first introduced by Labour to try to calm fears of so-called "benefits tourists" coming to the UK, requires migrants from other EU states to prove they are seeking work before they can claim benefits such as Jobseeker's Allowance.

If Britain loses the case it will either have to change the law or face multi-million pound fines for non-compliance with EU rules.
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Benefits and costs
How immigrants 'have cost Britain £140bn since 1995': Study contradicts claims immigration helps to cut taxes
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 13 March 2014

Migrants have cost the Exchequer £140 billion since the mid-1990s – more than £22 million a day – it was claimed yesterday. ...

Think-tank MigrationWatch has responded to another study – given substantial coverage by the BBC last year – which purported to show that immigrants made a contribution of £25 billion to the public purse between 2001 and 2011.

But MigrationWatch says it was based on 'highly misleading' claims and some 'wholly unrealistic' assumptions.

It says authors Christian Dustmann and Tommaso Frattini, researchers at University College London, overstated the likely tax revenues from migrants and under-played the amount they claimed in benefits.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of MigrationWatch, said: 'Our report finally disposes of the immigration lobby's oft repeated claims that immigration reduces our tax burden.

'The total cost is high and increased dramatically between 1995 and 2011, providing no compensation for the overcrowding of this island which we are experiencing, largely as a result of immigration.'

'The study by UCL's Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration suggested that migrants contributed 34 per cent more in taxes than they cost in benefits and consumption of public services.

But the MigrationWatch researchers point out that buried in a table at the back of the report, the net fiscal cost of migrants between 1995 and 2011 – the full span of the study – is revealed to be £95 billion.

But the UCL report used a much shorter period between 2001 and 2011, when Britain saw a huge influx of Eastern Europeans, to conclude migrants had made a net contribution of £25 billion.

The figures were based on the assumption that the most recent arrivals contribute as much as long term migrants, despite being younger and on lower incomes.

It also assumed they paid the same amount of council tax and that foreign workers in agriculture and construction were paying the same in income tax as lawyers and accountants.

It assumed migrants were taking no more in means-tested benefits than the rest of the population, and they received no more in housing benefit than the UK average.

Using the same methodology as the UCL report but its own adjusted assumptions, MigrationWatch found that migrants in the period 2001-11 would have actually cost the Exchequer some £25 billion. Over the longer period, from 1995 to 2011, they cost more than £140 billion. ...

Professor Dustmann was one of the academics behind the prediction that only 13,000 migrants from Eastern Europe would come after controls were dropped in 2004. In the event, more than one million arrived in almost a decade.

Last night he said: 'The main criticisms by MigrationWatch relate to three points.

'The first and second points are unfortunately based on a serious misinterpretation of the methodology we have used in our work, which leads to fundamental mistakes that invalidate their calculations.

'The third point has been already raised by other commentators in the past. We have responded to that point in much detail and show that it does not affect the basic conclusions of our paper.'
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Benefits and costs
Immigrants have cost the tax payer over £140 billion since 1995
Migration Watch UK, 13 March 2014
[Press release]

Migration Watch UK today issued a new assessment of the cost of immigration to the tax payer. The outcome is that immigrants cost the taxpayer over £140 billion or more than £22 million a day over the 17 years 1995 - 2011.

The Migration Watch study followed the methodology of a recent paper from the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM) but queried some very unrealistic assumptions. Even on their own assumptions, CReAM had calculated that the overall effect of immigration since 1995 has been a net cost of £95 billion. This result was contained in a table annexed to their paper but it was not even mentioned in the text of the report, still less in the summary or the press release - a truly astonishing omission.

CReAM also claimed a net benefit of £25 billion from recent migrants which they described as "a very sizeable fiscal contribution". However, analysis by Migration Watch finds that the true figure is more likely to be a net cost of that amount.

To get any positive result from this group, CReAM had to make the extreme assumption that even the most recent arrivals contribute as much as long-term migrants and the UK-born when both their younger age and lower incomes make this most unlikely. They also included the EU 15 with the A8 which had the effect of obscuring the cost of the growing number and proportion of relatively low paid migrants from Eastern Europe.

They then overstated the revenue paid by recent migrants by assuming for example that:

• These immigrants had on arrival, the same amount of UK investments as the resident population.

• They also immediately occupied the same kind of homes and therefore paid the same amount of council tax as the resident population.

• Self employed people pay all of the UK's Business Rates,

• Amongst the self-employed, agricultural and construction workers pay the same amount of income tax as lawyers and accountants

As regards government expenditures on these migrants, they underestimated them by assuming for example that:

• Immigrants received no more in means-tested welfare payments than the average for the general population, despite clear evidence of lower income.

• Immigrants claiming housing benefit received no more than the UK average despite their much higher concentration in London and the South East where payments are nearly twice as high as in low cost areas.

The effect of adjusting for these assumptions is to reduce the "contribution" of recent EEA migrants from £22bn to nothing at all. This disposes of the CReAM claim that they contributed 34% more in revenues than they received in state expenditures.

As for a further claim that recent EEA migrants were only half as likely to claim 'benefits or tax credits', this overlooks the fact that they disproportionately claim the more expensive of these. For example while they might be much less likely to claim Job Seeker's Allowance (JSA) they are much more likely to claim both housing benefit, which in London is on average twice the amount of JSA, and Tax credits which can easily be four times that amount or more.
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Benefits and costs
Nigel Farage keeps on about EU migration, but non-EU migration is the greater problem
Melanie McDonagh
Spectator blog, 11 March 2014

Last week, I spoke alongside Nigel Farage in a debate about immigration ... I did get the chance to get to talk briefly to him myself and ask the question I'd wanted to put to him for ages: why it is that he keeps on about EU migration, when it's non-EU migration that's the greater problem.

He was unfazed, of course, and said, look, when we meet again in the future to talk about all this, it'll be EU immigration that'll be the problem. Well, that's as may be. He's returned to the fray today in a piece in the Evening Standard in which he declares that 'most of our school leavers are desperate to work but they have been blown out of the water by an endless stream of Eastern European migrants who are older, often better qualified, and ready to share bedrooms in shifts while they are getting established.'

And that's what you get from Ukip... the invariable linkage of immigration and the EU; their answer to the question is that Britain must regain control of its borders. Look, I do realise that freedom of movement within the EU is a problem, though nothing like what it'd be if the main parties had their way and Turkey joins, because it is a virtually unlimited pool of labour. Nonetheless, in terms of numbers and the capacity to integrate, it is immigration from outside the EU which poses the real problem. Of the 532,000 people who came to Britain in the year to last September, 244,000 of them were non-EU citizens. That's less than 269,000 the year before but still nearly half, and it was about half the previous year's total too. And of the 3.8 million people – net, not gross – who came to Britain under Labour, no fewer than 70 per cent were from outside the EU. The notion that immigration is a problem of EU membership just isn't true.

Besides numbers, there's the problem of migrants' fiscal contribution – though of course I do appreciate that people's human potential is rather larger than whether they contribute more in taxes than they take out in benefits. But if we're going to be vulgar and talk in these terms, there's simply no comparison between the contribution of EU and non EU migrants. There's a very good analysis of a recent UCL report on the question by Ruth Alexander on the BBC More or Less website. The report, on the face of it, bore out the standard contention that migrants pay in more than they take out in benefits. But only if you're talking about recent arrivals, those who came between 2001 and 2011, most of whom are in their twenties. Of those, the arrivals from the EU (and almost certainly more from the older member states than the newer ones) contributed over a third more in tax than they took out in benefits; non-EU migrants contributed just two per cent more. And if you look at the figures from 1995-2011, including all migrants, the picture is even more dramatic. It appears that while those from the EU still pay £6,000 per capita more than they take out, those from outside it take out £21,000 per capita more than they contribute. Quite a difference, no? And I don't think all of it is attributable to age – many people from the Indian sub-continent will have been here for quite a long time. In fact, it turns out that taking all migrants into account for that longer period, immigration costs the state £95 billion overall. Which is something to put in your pipe and smoke the next time someone declares as a matter of fact that migrants 'contribute more'.
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Benefits and costs – employment
400,000 migrants on taxpayer-funded wonder they flock to Britain
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 10 March 2014

The growing popularity of Britain as a haven for economic migrants has been exposed in figures showing the lives of almost 400,000 foreign-born residents are funded by the taxpayer.

New Home Office statistics reveal that 397,000 non-UK nationals received handouts in February 2013 – a rise of nearly 110,000 from 288,720 in the five years since 2008.

But the true number could be even greater as the details are not yet available for the past 12 months. ...

There are now 5.6 million claiming working-age handouts in Britain – roughly 16.5 per cent of the 33.6 million working population.

Individuals need to supply a National Insurance number when making a claim or starting a job.

Department for Work and Pensions figures show NI registrations to adult overseas nationals entering the UK has nearly doubled in a decade. In 2002 there were 311,288 but that figure jumped to 617,237 in 2013.

Those coming here from within the EU and demanding an NI number totalled 385,000 in 2012/13 – a 10 per cent increase on the previous year.

Leading the way were Poles but almost 18,000 Romanians arrived too.

Britain's soft-touch reputation for benefits meant, as of February last year, 31 per cent of claimants who were non-UK nationals when first registering for a NI number were from within the EU, including 15 per cent from accession countries.
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Benefits and costs – integration
Rather than pledging to cut immigration, politicians should promise a fairer system
Tim Finch
New Statesman, 7 March 2014

At an event the other day, one of the most distinguished economists of migration, Professor Christian Dustmann of UCL, told the audience that when he came to the UK 20 years ago, he couldn't convince the main academic funding bodies that the economic impact of migration was a subject worthy of a research grant. How times have changed. Now this is one of the most intensively researched issues across the disciplines. ...

For, as expected, the internal Home Office report says migration has at most a small impact on the job prospects of British people – contrary to what the new immigration minister said in his much-derided speech this morning. The conclusions of the report confirm what the research community has known for years - not least because of the work of economists like Dustman and colleagues. Moreover, there is a strong body evidence that migration - even at the high levels experienced for many years by the UK - brings fiscal benefits and helps to drive overall economic growth. Countries that have open economies have stronger economies. ...

The public has not been won over, however, much to the frustration of some pro-migration advocates. Why, they ask, are people being so irrational when the evidence that they are "wrong" is so strong.

Research carried out for a new IPPR report gives some clue to this apparent conundrum. It shows clearly that the public continue to feel wounded by persistent high migration - and the phrase that sums up the root of their feelings is that migration often seems "unfair". They apply this word to issues like access to benefits or social housing or school places, reasoning that it cannot be right that people who have only arrived recently in the country and can't have been paying into the system for long should have the same rights as people who've lived here all their lives.

... ...

The fairness concept goes beyond a better sharing of costs and benefits, however, and reaches into areas that economic data and hard evidence can't reach. What has become clearer in recent years – and it was touted quite shrewdly by Nigel Farage only recently – is that economic growth, even fairly shared, is not everything to the public, particularly when migration is a component. High migration can bring about dislocating social and cultural change too and people in settled communities, with no prospect or inclination to migrate themselves, feel the upheaval they face is unfair. They do not see why the onus should be on them to adapt. It would be much fairer if the responsibility was the other way round. This means that a greater focus on migrant integration and adaption to the UK is needed. The public view here is that migrants should not just work hard, and pay into our system, but also make an effort to "fit in".
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Benefits and costs – rough sleepers
More than a quarter of London's vagrants are from Eastern Europe: Figures revealed by official report showing England's rough sleepers up by a third in three years
Damien Gayle
Daily Mail, 26 February 2014

More than a quarter of rough sleepers in London are migrants from Eastern European countries that joined the EU in the past decade, figures reveal.

Counts found that new arrivals from Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic account for 28 per cent of rough sleepers in the capital.

Meanwhile, official England-wide statistics showed that the number of rough sleepers had risen by 37 per cent since 2010, as Britain has been gripped by a growing shortage of affordable housing. ...

Citizens of the EU who do not have a job and cannot support themselves are not allowed to live in Britain - meaning that officials can deport those who are unemployed and sleeping rough.

The problem of Polish rough sleepers in the London has become so bad that last year a homeless charity in the capital produced a Polish-language video warning of the dangers of moving to the city without a job or means to support themselves. ...

'Case work statistics by the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (Chain) found migrants sleeping rough in the capital were most likely to be Poles, accounting for one in every ten people sleeping outdoors.

That was followed by Romania, with 8 per cent, and Lithuania, with 3 per cent. In sum more than half the capital's rough sleepers were from overseas, figures showed.

Around 15 per cent hailed from countries outside Europe. ...

Overall the figures showed there were 2,414 rough sleepers in England in autumn last year, the latest period for which data is available.
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Benefits and costs – welfare benefits
Brussels claims it is ILLEGAL for Britain to force migrants to earn £149 a week for three months before claiming benefits
Matt Chorley
Daily Mail, 20 February 2014

David Cameron's plan to ban foreign migrants from receiving benefits unless they earn a minimum of £149 a week are illegal, Brussels claimed today.

The Prime Minister wants to change the rules so that from March 1st people from European countries who claim to have been in work or self-employed in order to gain access to a wider range of benefits will face a more robust test.

But the European Commission sparked a furious row with Westminster after claiming that defining a worker 'according to the amount he or she earns is not compatible with EU law'.

Under current EU law the definition of a 'worker' is very broad meaning that those who work just a few hours a week in a pub once a week can access Housing Benefit, Child Benefit and Child Tax Credits.

To show they are undertaking genuine and effective work in the UK, a European migrant will have to show that for the last three months they have been earning at the level at which employees start paying National Insurance.

The new minimum income threshold is the equivalent of a working 24 hours a week at the minimum wage.

Those who qualify as a 'worker' will be able to claim benefits, including Jobseeker's Allowance if they fall out of work.

They will also be able to claim Income Support and Employment and Support Allowance as well.

Those who fail to meet the minimum income requirement will be classed as a jobseeker or not economically active and will have to wait three months after they start searching for work before they can claim JSA. From April 1st they will also have to wait three months before claiming Housing benefit as well.

The move was ordered by Mr Cameron to prevent people arriving in Britain and claiming benefits almost immediately. ...

Stephen Booth from the Open Europe think tank, said: 'It would be politically explosive if the Commission takes the Government to court over this, and not simply in the UK. Several other EU member states share the UK's concern that EU migrants' access to benefits should depend on an economic contribution to their new country.
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Benefits and costs – welfare benefits
EU migrants must earn £149 a week to claim benefits
BBC, 19 February 2014

European migrants coming to the UK will have to show they are earning at least £149 a week before they can access a range of benefits.

The minimum earnings threshold, first announced last year by David Cameron, will come into force on 1 March. ...

Ministers argue that the longstanding principle that citizens of EU countries should be allowed to live and work in other member states does not amount to an automatic right to claim benefits abroad.

They say it has become too easy for migrants from the other 27 EU member states to access public services in the UK, such as the welfare state and the health service. ...

Welfare Minister Esther McVey will announce the details of how it will work later on Wednesday.

At the moment, EU law defines a "worker" as someone whose employment is "genuine and effective".

Ministers think this definition is too loose, and they will apply a threshold of £149 a week - the level at which national insurance starts being paid - above which people will be eligible to get jobseeker's allowance, child tax credits, child benefits and a number of other benefits.

Any European migrant who declares an income below the threshold, which will rise to £153 a week in 2014-15, will face further assessment of whether they are in the UK to undertake "genuine" work.

If they do not pass this test, they will have to wait three months before becoming eligible for jobseeker's allowance. ...

The BBC News Channel's chief political correspondent Norman Smith said the government was seeking to send a strong signal to those planning to come to the UK in the future that they cannot expect to claim benefits easily.

But the evidence, he added, suggested this was not a huge problem at the moment. EU figures suggest only 2% of people currently claiming jobseeker's allowance were EU migrants.
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Benefits and costs – welfare benefits, benefits tourism
'Your benefits system is crazy. It's like finding a sackful of cash left on the road': How shocking admission by Rudi and his huge Romanian family debunks Eurocrat's claims that 'benefit tourism is a myth'
Sue Reid
Daily Mail, 15 February 2014

Rudi Ion struggles to count up the children from his huge Romanian clan who now call Britain home. It could be 100, he tells me.

'I've got 25 cousins all living around Nottingham, each with three or four kids,' he adds with a loud laugh. ...

This week, the EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Laszlo Andor, attacked the so-called xenophobia of British politicians over the issue of migrants coming to Britain and claiming welfare. He grandiosly announced: 'Benefits tourism as such is a myth.'

Yet Rudi readily admits that our generous benefits' culture does encourage Romanians to uproot to the UK, where they can claim state money for the children they bring with them.

'Your benefits system is crazy – I would actually say it was sick,' he says, as he makes a gesture involving sticking his two fingers down his throat.

'Of course Romanians will settle in Britain if they get this kind of money. It is like walking down the road and seeing a sack full of cash that has been dropped, picking it up and no one saying anything.

'If my people bring more children in, or have more children here, there are more benefits. So, of course, they have babies.' ...

'But I don't do bad things anymore because I am not poor and live on your benefits,' he told me. 'I arrived in the UK on January 7 three years ago, and went to the Nottingham job centre to get a National Insurance number a few weeks after.

'I came to Nottingham to stay with a cousin and found a good private accountant who told me how to claim the benefits. I soon brought over my family, too.

'I have never been told to look for work by the job centre. I have never called back there after I got the National Insurance number. Why would I want a real boss when I get £300 put into my bank account each week for nothing?

'There is the child benefit of £170 a month for Ionut and Constantin, too. In Romania, we were only given £17 a month for them. Now I sing "God praise your Queen Elizabeth" every day, because we have arrived in heaven.'

The £300 Rudi receives each week is made up of housing benefit, to cover his £500 a month rent (the house is owned by a private landlord), and he also receives tax credits (paid weekly or monthly) because his self-employed income is so low. ...

He adds: 'It is political strategy to say there are few Romanians arriving in the UK. If the authorities tell the British public that we are claiming benefits there will be a row. They do not count the numbers because they dare not. They need the matter to remain a secret.' ...

'We Romanians can go anywhere we want in Europe now – but, of course, it is only Britain that pays us to live.

'Of course, we want to be here. I will only run away when your country starts sinking under the weight of people, which will happen one day.'
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Benefits and costs – child benefits
Britain pays for upkeep of migrants' children abroad in £200k child benefit scandal
Martyn Brown
Daily Express, 10 February 2014

Taxpayers are forking out £200,000 a year in child benefit to 61 EU migrants with six or more children who live abroad.

Forty of the claimants are from Poland and all 61 pick up the handouts in the UK, according to new figures that sparked an angry backlash yesterday.

In many cases they are still pocketing their country's version of child benefit – which Britain then tops up to match the total cash able to be claimed by a UK parent here. ...

Child benefit and tax credits are currently paid to the parents of around 40,000 children living abroad, costing the Treasury around £55 million.
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Benefits and costs – advance payment
Migrants must pay £2,000 'advance' before they can enter Britain to cover costs of care and benefits, says report
Matt Chorley
Daily Mail, 30 January 2014

Migrants would be forced to pay a £2,000 bond to enter Britain to cover the cost of them claiming benefits and using services, Nick Clegg's favourite think tank said today.

The National Insurance Advance would be paid by anyone from outside the EU and would only be refunded once they have paid enough tax or left the country without becoming a drain on the welfare state.

The radical report for CentreForum, written by a Lib Dem policy adviser, will heap pressure on Mr Clegg to go further in promising tougher action to deal with immigration.

The report says the bond would 'demonstrate that migrants are coming to the UK to work, not claim'.

It follows concern that immigrants are accessing services and the benefits system without paying in to the welfare state.

CentreForum also calls for the time it takes EU migrants to become eligible for benefits to be extended to a year.

David Cameron rushed through laws at the end of 2013 to increase the limit to three months, ahead of work restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians being lifted.

The report, published today, says that liberals need to 'start to engage properly with people's concerns on immigration'.

And it warns that the challenge for Mr Clegg is to 'devise a distinctive approach which addresses people's concerns in a proportionate and realistic fashion and begins to restore confidence in the immigration system - while preserving the liberal principles of freedom and tolerance to the greatest extent possible'. ...

The report also criticises Mr Cameron's pledge to cut net migration to the 'tens of thousands', describing this target as 'perverse' and 'unfulfillable'.

A broader target should instead be set at the start of each parliament covering migration and population change, the report adds.
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Benefits and costs – economy
More or Less: Calculating how much migrants cost or benefit a nation [part 2]
Ruth Alexander
BBC, 25 January 2014

Of course it's well known the UK government has been running an annual deficit that's much larger than this.

That is, it's been spending more than it's got for some time now. And it's spending a large proportion of that money it doesn't have on, of course, its own people.

And we can see that clearly when we look at how much native Brits are each putting in and taking out of the public purse. On average, each native Briton took out roughly £11,000 more than they put in between 1995-2011.

So to conclude, on average only Europeans are putting in more to the UK public purse than they're taking out. At least that was the case between 1995 and 2011.

It's worth highlighting the UCL calculations are conservative, in the sense that they are likely to allocate relatively more costs to immigrants than to natives. ...

But there's a bigger question to consider. ...

You would expect the economy to grow if there are more people in the country.

But what we really want to know is, are immigrants creating added value? That is, are we all better off because of the newcomers?

Therefore, we have to think about what's happening to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita of the resident population.

A few studies have considered that for the UK and other countries, but the impact is generally found to be quite small, according to Thomas Liebig, a migration specialist at the OECD.

"If you look at it in per capita terms, most studies don't find a particularly large impact and these studies depend on a whole range of assumptions and the impact will depend on how you look at things," Liebig says.

"Another specific issue is the impact on the labour market - who benefits and who loses. And globally, you find that the impact is not particularly large. That doesn't mean that it can't have a significant impact on some specific groups or sectors."

Indeed, perhaps some people feel the effects of immigration more than others.

Two groups are generally believed to be clear beneficiaries of immigration - the immigrants themselves, who move from poor countries to ones where more opportunities are on offer, and the employers of cheap labour.

Two studies from the US give us some insight into how the resident workforce might be affected, according to Carlos Vargas-Silva, an economist at the Migration Observatory at Oxford University. ...

So we've considered both the fiscal and aspects of the economic impact of immigrants. But experts agree it's hard to capture the true picture, without making a lot of assumptions.

There are many things you can measure, and you can measure them in many different ways, making many different assumptions.

And of course it's not just a question of economics and numbers. There are less tangible effects to consider. The impact on culture, on community, for example - important considerations, which are difficult to measure.
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Benefits and costs – economy
More or Less: Calculating how much migrants cost or benefit a nation [part 1]
Ruth Alexander
BBC, 25 January 2014

Now the initial furore about Romanian and Bulgarian people being allowed to work in the UK has subsided, what does a more detailed look at immigration statistics tell us about the benefits, or otherwise, of welcoming overseas citizens? The picture is mixed.

Immigrants to the UK since 2000 have made a "substantial" contribution to public finances, a recently published report claimed.

Those from the European Economic Area (EEA - the EU plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) had made a particularly positive contribution in the decade up to 2011, the authors noted, contributing 34% more in taxes than they received in benefits and services.

"Given this evidence, claims about 'benefit tourism' by EEA immigrants seem to be disconnected from reality," one of the study's authors Christian Dustmann, professor of economics at University College London, said.

The story is slightly different for immigrants who came to the UK from outside the EEA in that period. They also put more into the public purse than they took out, but by a smaller margin of 2%.

However, studying the numbers in the UCL report more closely, another finding emerges.

And that is, that if you look at the figures for the whole of the period under study, 1995-2011, immigration has been a drain on the public purse.

To the tune of about £95bn.

So how can that be? How can the picture be so radically different if you look six years further into the past?

It's because these figures include all immigrants living in the UK at that time - so, not just recent arrivals, but people who'd been in the UK for, in some cases, decades.

This is significant because a good proportion of those people who have been in the UK for some time are likely to be older than the most recent immigrants, and so are more likely to be on benefits and using health services than those who have arrived since 2000 (who have an average age of just 26 years).

Dustmann argues therefore if you look at the fiscal contribution of all immigrants in this way, then you may not be capturing the truest picture of their total contribution to the public purse.

Certainly, focusing on the most recent immigrants gives a clear view of how much immigrants contribute to the public purse in the first few years of their stay in the UK, but it also doesn't give a complete picture, because what you are capturing is a very particular time in their lives - some of their youngest, most productive years.

To make sense of the numbers, it helps to break them down a little - to divide the net contribution to the public purse by the number of people in each group under study.

When we do that, we see that between 1995-2011, on average each EEA immigrant put about £6,000 more into the public purse than they took out.

Non-EEA immigrants each took out about £21,000 more than they put in during that period.

And this group is the biggest - non-EEA immigrants make up two thirds of the UK immigrant population. So both groups of immigrants - EEA and non-EEA - considered together, take out around £14,000 more than they put in, amounting to a deficit of around £95bn for the public purse between 1995-2011.
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Benefits and costs – housing benefit
Jobless migrants to be DENIED housing benefit: Ministers insist UK's generous welfare system will no longer be a magnet for citizens of other EU states
James Chapman
Daily Mail, 20 January 2014

Jobless immigrants are to be denied housing benefit.

Writing in the Mail today, Iain Duncan Smith and Theresa May say Britain's generous welfare system should no longer be a magnet for citizens of other EU states.

The Work and Pensions Secretary and the Home Secretary claim Labour doled out millions of pounds 'for people to sit on benefits' while opening the door to mass migration.

They pointed to incendiary figures showing the number of Britons in jobs plunged by 413,000 between 2005 and 2010, while the number of working foreigners soared by 736,000.

They said this was a shameful betrayal and evidence that immigration can displace some British workers and depress wages for the low-skilled.

Under the new rules, to be introduced in April, new European arrivals claiming jobseeker's allowance will not be able to receive housing benefit as well.

Those who get jobs but then go on to out-of-work handouts will be able to claim housing benefit for up to six months.

After this they will have to show they have a genuine prospect of work.

Housing benefit helps cover accommodation costs for people who are out of work or on low incomes.

Under emergency regulations that took effect on January 1, all new EU migrants now have to wait for at least three months before they can claim out-of-work benefits.

In their article, Mr Duncan Smith and Mrs May say the Government's reforms to the welfare and immigration systems are beginning to pay off.

Between 2010 and 2013, the number of Britons in jobs rose by 538,000, while the number of working foreigners increased by 247,000.

The figures are even more striking for the year 2012-13 with 348,000 more British workers and only 26,000 from abroad.

The ministers say the new £26,000-a-year cap on household benefit claims has affected 33,000 families and encouraged up to 19,000 to return to work.

A limit on economic migrants from outside the EU, changes to the rules on family and student visas and a crackdown on bogus colleges have helped bring down net migration by nearly a third from its peak.

However, Mr Duncan Smith and Mrs May admit there is 'much more to do' to meet a Tory target of getting annual net migration down to the tens of thousands.

Ministers have set out a series of measures to limit migrant access to public services and benefits to try to reduce further so-called 'pull factors' to the UK.

Landlords will be fined up to £3,000 if they rent a property to an illegal immigrant, while non-EU migrants will be expected to pay a levy of £200 a year to access the NHS if they do not have private healthcare.

The changes to the housing benefit rules will not affect UK and Irish Republic nationals, or European migrants genuinely self-employed or in a job.

European nationals who have been working in the UK, and are subsequently made redundant and claim benefits, will not be affected.

Historically, EU migrants have been able to lodge a claim for the benefit as soon as they arrive in Britain and pass a 'habitual residence test' under EU rules.

The Government's reforms mean they will not be able to make a housing benefit claim at any point unless they are in work.
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Benefits and costs – literacy and numeracy
Prove basic maths and literacy skills or lose benefits, Labour says
Peter Dominiczak
Daily Telegraph, 20 January 2014

Labour is attempting to reduce the Conservative Party's dominance on welfare by pledging tough new curbs on benefits claimants.

Benefits claimants will be forced to sit a test showing they can read, write and do maths in order to claim benefits, Labour will announce, prompting a furious row with the Conservatives over welfare.

People receiving Jobseeker's Allowance would be forced to sit a basic skills test within six weeks of signing on or face being stripped of their benefits, Labour will say, in a move designed to challenge the Tory's popular welfare policies.

Anyone who does not show basic competency in literacy, numeracy and IT will be sent on training programmes.

Labour believes that around 300,000 people could be sent on courses every year. If they refuse, they will be denied welfare.

Rachel Reeves will announce the curbs in her first major policy speech since being promoted to shadow work and pensions secretary.
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Benefits and costs – interpreting, translation cost
Speak English or lose benefits: Cameron to stop payouts to immigrants who use taxpayer-funded translators
Simon Walters and Martin Beckford
Mail on Sunday, 19 January 2014

David Cameron plans to strip welfare handouts from immigrants who cannot speak English.

In a radical bid to slash Britain's benefits bill, the Prime Minister intends to stop printing welfare paperwork in foreign languages and prevent claimants using taxpayer-funded translators at benefits offices.

The move – which would also hit British residents who cannot speak English – was due to be announced tomorrow, but has been delayed following a row with Nick Clegg.

Tories hope that axeing foreign-language versions of documents explaining how to claim benefits would make it harder for immigrants such as newly arrived Romanians and Bulgarians to cash in on the UK's benefits system, encourage others already here to learn English – and save money spent on translators. ...

The plans were been drawn up by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith. ... ...

The announcement of the changes was delayed after a behind-the-scenes dispute between the Coalition partners – just the latest in a series of clashes between Mr Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Mr Clegg.

But Tory sources say they are 'optimistic' the changes will be confirmed later this week if the Lib Dems can be won over. ...

Labour's Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons' home affairs committee, also expressed reservations saying: 'In principle, it is a good idea, but it could cost the taxpayer more because if people are refused benefit and have a genuine claim, they will sue the Government.'

At present the inability of claimants to speak or write English is no bar to them obtaining benefits. Translation services are available in all Jobcentres while local councils provide information leaflets in dozens of different languages.

Latest figures show the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spends £5 million on language services a year. The vast majority, £4.5 million, is spent on face-to-face and telephone help, with £415,000 more on 'document translation'.

The DWP used interpreters 271,695 times in the space of one year to assist foreign claimants, statistics released under the Freedom of Information Act show. ...

Benefits offices deal with more than 140 languages, including Icelandic and Vietnamese as well as the more common Polish, Czech, Slovak, Urdu and Gujarati.

Town halls such as Tower Hamlets in East London publish guides on how to claim benefits in foreign languages which would be paid for separately to the DWP figures. ...

The latest proposed crackdown reflects the influence of Australian-born Tory election chief Lynton Crosby. Mr Crosby is said to have given orders that the party must produce 'a new policy to curb immigrants and benefits' every week.
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Benefits and costs – economy
Cameron's plan to cut migration to under 100,000 would add £300 BILLION to national debt, economic watchdog warns
Matt Chorley
Daily Mail, 14 January 2014

David Cameron's plan to cut immigration could cost Britain £300 billion, the official economic watchdog warned today.

The Office for Budget Responsibility warned the loss of taxes paid by migrants would far outweigh the costs providing extra benefits or school and hospital places.

The Tory plan to reduce net migration to below 100,000 would, over a 50-year period, increase national debt by 20 per cent or £300 billion in today's prices, the OBR claimed. ...

The OBR has repeatedly put itself at odds with government policy on immigration, claiming in July that the UK would need 7 million extra immigrations over 50 years to meet the costs of caring for the elderly.

Today OBR chairman Robert Chote told the House of Commons Treasury Committee that immigration boosts national income. ...

The OBR argues that allowing 140,000 immigrants of working age into Britain each year – totalling 7 million over 50 years – would fill jobs and raise taxes for Treasury coffers. ...

The OBR's Fiscal Sustainability Report, produced last year, predicts that public sector net debt will stand at just under 100 per cent of GDP by 2063 if net migration continues at 140,000 a year.

But it will reach as much as 140 per cent of GDP if it is reduced to zero.

A half-way point, to model the impact of cutting net migration to the tens of thousands, would lead to a rise in debt as a proportion of GDP of around 20 per cent, the committee was told. ...

Mr Chote stressed that future governments have the power to alter the fiscal outcome of a shift in migration levels by changing policies in other areas:

'Clearly if you made a choice on migration, or an assumption on migration, that made the fiscal position look better or worse, then you could adjust other policies to compensate for that.

'There is no level of net inward migration you have to have for there to be fiscal sustainability. It's an influence on a whole variety of other choices government has to make.'
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Benefits and costs – excitement, health
Immigration has been exciting! Ken Clarke sparks Tory row with claim the EU has NOT led to 'unacceptable waves of migration'
Matt Chorley
Daily Mail, 13 January 2014

Immigration from the rest of Europe has made Britain 'far more exciting and healthier', Kenneth Clarke has claimed.

The Cabinet minister risked igniting a new Tory row over border controls, insisting the European Union had not been to blame for 'unacceptable waves of migration'.

But William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, refused to endorse the remarks, warning it was too early to tell what impact large numbers of foreigners will have on the UK. ...

The pro-European minister put himself at odds with Conservative moves to take a tougher stance on both the EU and immigration.

Mr Clarke, minister without portfolio, told the Financial Times that migrants made 'a positive contribution to our economy' and had helped to create a 'far more exciting and healthier' society.

He went on to dismiss the idea that freedom of movement rules had triggered an influx of people to Britain.
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Benefits and costs – welfare benefits
Labour toughens stance on EU benefit restrictions
Nicholas Watt
The Guardian, 13 January 2014

A growing consensus among Britain's main political parties over the need to impose further curbs on benefits for EU migrants was emerging on Sunday after Labour said it might be prepared to countenance more restrictions.

Rachel Reeves, the shadow work and pensions secretary, said Labour would support proposals upholding the principle that "you have to pay something in before you get something out".

The vocal support from Reeves for the contributory principle – the cornerstone of benefit systems in many parts of Europe – will be noted in Labour circles because her predecessor, Liam Byrne, fell foul of Ed Miliband when he made a similar call. But Reeves, who is talked of as a future shadow chancellor, has more leeway than Byrne.

Reeves said Labour was prepared to examine further EU benefit reform after Iain Duncan Smith raised the prospect of extending the three-month ban on EU benefits to two years. The work and pensions secretary told the Sunday Times that he has been working with Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Finland to deal with "benefit tourism". ...

Government sources played down Duncan Smith's remarks, saying the government wants to toughen restrictions on benefits – and would like to increase the time before they can be claimed – but that Duncan Smith had mentioned the two-year delay after being asked about Boris Johnson, who has spoken of such a delay, and about Nigel Farage, who wants to impose a five-year ban on immigration.

Reeves, who noted that the government was rowing back from Duncan Smith's remarks, said Labour had supported the three-month delay on paying benefits to EU migrants and would be willing to go further. ... ...

Nick Clegg backed the need to curb benefits for EU citizens. He told the Andrew Marr Show on BBC1: "I'm up for establishing a very clear principle that says that the freedom to move around the EU to look for work is one thing, but it's not the same as the freedom to claim benefits on day one, no questions asked, no strings attached." ...

The growing cross-party support for further restrictions risks a row with Brussels.
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Benefits and costs – welfare benefits
UK 'working on benefit restrictions' for EU migrants
BBC, 12 January 2014

The UK is working with several European governments to try to restrict the benefits migrants can claim when they move from one EU country to another.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith told the Sunday Times the UK, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Finland wanted to change EU law.

A three-month ban on EU migrants claiming UK out-of-work benefits came into force earlier this month.

But a senior EU official said migrants pay in more than they take out.

European commissioner Laszlo Andor told the BBC the UK risked "losing friends" and developing a bad image because of the way the debate on immigration was developing.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, meanwhile, said it was "eminently sensible" to consider further changes to benefits for EU migrants.

But he cautioned changes must be done in conjunction with other European states or there would be a "danger" of tit-for-tat changes made by other governments. ...

Mr Duncan Smith said there was "a growing groundswell of concern about the [immigration] issue" and Britain was "right in the middle of a large group of nations saying enough is enough". ...

Sources close to Mr Duncan Smith stressed he was expressing an aspiration for the future rather than spelling out a policy.
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Benefits and costs – welfare benefits
Ban immigrants claiming benefits for TWO YEARS, says Boris Johnson weeks after the government extended it to three months
Matt Chorley
Daily Mail, 8 January 2014

Immigrants should be banned from claiming benefits in Britain for two years, Boris Johnson declared today in a direct challenge to government policy.

Weeks after the David Cameron rushed through new laws to extend the ban to three months, the London Mayor said a much longer limit was needed to stop Britain being seen as a 'magnet' for people from poor parts of Europe. ...

EU migrants had been able to start claiming jobseeker's allowance and other benefits within weeks of arriving – prompting concern that some people are arriving, signing on and only then looking for work.

But today Mr Johnson claimed the Prime Minister's curbs were too weak and failed to send out a clear message that Britain was not open to benefit claimants.
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Benefits and costs – EU negotiations
Cameron to push for cap on European migrants in UK negotiations with EU
Rowena Mason
The Guardian, 6 January 2014

David Cameron will consider pushing for a cap on workers from Europe and make cutting immigration a top priority as he seeks to renegotiate Britain's relationship with Brussels.

The prime minister said the UK needs changes to the way migrants can claim benefits and the number coming over to work, as he set out key areas for discussion with other EU members. Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, he said all options are on the table in terms of pushing for a cap on the number of immigrants from new entrants to the EU.

His comments come after a row last month when the Liberal Democrats condemned as illegal Home Office proposals to bring in a limit of around 75,000 EU migrants per year. ...

"We need change on claiming benefits, we need changes on free movement. I've said we want to get Britain out of the idea that there's an ever-closer union in the European Union – we don't want an ever-closer union, we want to have trade and co-operation, not an ever-closer union." ...

Among the changes he wanted to see, Cameron said he would work to stop child benefit being claimed by migrants for their children abroad. "I don't think that is right and that is something I want to change," he said. ...

The prime minister said it was also absolutely achievable to stop new members without tighter restrictions on migration in place joining the EU, suggesting he could veto accessions if not. ... ...

Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, responded on Twitter with a cutting putdown, saying: "David Cameron seems to be trying to sound like me. But the thing is, I believe in what I say." Speaking later, on the Sky News Murnaghan programme, Farage said the coalition was still not doing enough. He suggested that only people earning the national average wage should be allowed into Britain and they should have to wait five years before claiming jobless benefits.
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Benefits and costs – taxes avoided
How EU migrants avoid tax in UK
Robert Mendick, Holly Watt and Claire Newell
Sunday Telegraph, 5 January 2014

Romanians and Bulgarians coming to work can avoid paying taxes in Britain because of a loophole.

Instead they can pay taxes at home where basic rates are much lower.

The rules allow European workers "posted" to Britain for less than two years to pay national insurance and, in some cases, income tax in their own country.

Almost 100,000 EU immigrants already in Britain are taking advantage of the regulations.

The head of Romania's biggest recruitment agency, which has just set up an office in London, said yesterday it was perfectly legitimate for workers coming to Britain to pay tax in their own country. ...

... EU migrants working in Britain but paying tax abroad would be entitled to some free health care, housing benefit and child benefit.

Bulgaria charges a flat rate of tax of just 10 per cent on earnings while Romania levies just 16 per cent, compared with a basic UK rate of tax of 32 per cent, comprised of 20 per cent income tax and National Insurance contributions at 12 per cent. ...

Under EU rules, workers may be posted abroad for up to two years – and potentially longer – allowing them to pay the equivalent of national insurance in their home state. ...

Separate UK tax treaties can also allow workers to continue to pay income tax in their home country.

To qualify, migrant workers must not spend more than half the year in Britain. But with wages four and five times higher in the UK than in Romania or Bulgaria, a six-month job in Britain is equivalent to a salary of at least two years back home.

The Government admits that its data on the number of "posted" is patchy.
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Benefits and costs – selective immigration
Migration could be so good for the country if it were controlled
Patrick O'Flynn
Daily Express, 4 January 2014

The point about EU freedom of movement is that it expressly forbids the imposition of any selection criteria upon migrants.

In order to stop the Left from demonising us and attempting to portray us as bigots who just hate foreigners those of us who object to the utter lunacy of such a rule need to spend part of our time making the case for how a sensible immigration system could work.

For there is no doubt that properly controlled immigration really could be a major boon to our country. Britain is one of the most attractive places in the world for people to come to live. For some reason that very often escapes me people from all over the world find the thought of living in London particularly exhilarating.

If only we were to run a comprehensive, points-based immigration system and also clamp down properly on the abuse of our asylum system then we could have our pick of the best and most productive people from around the planet.

We could go for quality instead of quantity. Top scientists and entrepreneurs could be made extremely welcome while unskilled folk with large families and a record of dependency could be politely refused. We could make sure that everyone who comes is likely to put more in than he or she takes out.

But we don't. Instead for more than two dozen countries on mainland Europe including a dozen or so very poor ones we offer a complete open-door to our labour market and welfare state. ...

Even if we assume that such a policy does not contribute to higher levels of unemployment and welfare dependency among Britons (which it certainly does) then the net impact upon the public finances is damaging and the cuts needed in order to eliminate the deficit have to be that much greater. Allowing migrants access to out-of-work benefits after a very short period has even less to commend it.

And that is before we impute a standard of living cost to mass immigration in terms of housing shortages, general congestion, less cohesive neighbourhoods and the cultural disharmony associated with certain less successfully integrated minority communities.

So that's my New Year's resolution about migration: always to begin any discussion with an upbeat acknowledgment of how good it could be for us before analysing how our current system is letting us down.

Exceptional business people, wealth creators, employers, scientific innovators and yes, worldclass sportsmen and women too I am all for your arrival and the contribution you can make to our national life and also to our beleaguered public finances. There are not very many of you and we should count ourselves lucky that you want to come.

But the unskilled, low-skilled or even bog-standard skilled and even more so the frankly unemployable, you need to do plenty of work on yourselves before you even merit consideration.

It is not immigration as such that is the threat. It is the uncontrolled, non-selective, mass immigration that this country has endured for the past 20 years and continues to endure to this day.
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Benefits and costs – slums
Uncontrolled immigration has brought back slums
Daily Express, 4 January 2014
[Leading article]

With a new influx now under way from Romania and Bulgaria nobody should underestimate the problems that excessive immigration has already brought to our major cities.

The latest clampdown on the rapidly proliferating "beds in sheds" phenomenon is a reminder of the squalor that occurs when proper immigration controls are not in place.

Some of those occupying outbuildings are illegal immigrants working for cash in hand while others are legally here from Eastern Europe.

But neither groups pays council tax despite the services they use and their combined numbers are putting a huge strain on communities, creating fire hazards and undermining public health while all the time unscrupulous landlords profit.

There has been a palpable failure by successive governments to protect the quality of life of the law-abiding British public.

Susan Hall of Harrow Council is therefore to be commended for sounding the alarm on behalf of local authorities across the country.

Were immigration properly controlled then the nation could benefit from the skills that newcomers can bring.

But the downside of our chaotic, open-door approach is all too often to be found in the back gardens of terraced houses where an invisible population lurks in a re-creation of the slum-dwelling that most of us hoped had disappeared for good half a century ago.

Truly we cannot go on like this.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs
Fatal flaws in report claiming migrants boost the economy, according to one of the country's most senior statisticians
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 2 January 2014

Academics who said Eastern European migrants had made a substantial contribution to the public finances were guilty of 'schoolboy errors', it was claimed last night.

A report by Christian Dustmann and Tommaso Frattini, two researchers from University College London (UCL), was given blanket coverage by the BBC when it was published last month, and hailed as proof that immigration has a positive economic impact on Britain.

But last night their study was condemned as 'fatally flawed' by one of the country's most senior statisticians.

Mervyn Stone, Emeritus Professor of Statistics at UCL, said the study was 'obviously driven to make the case it claims to have made'.

He added: 'If any honest statistician had made the same painstaking but assumption-based calculations, the last word he/she would have used to describe the estimates is "precise" – unless exhaustion had affected judgment.

'Most of the underlying crude assumptions that the all-embracing approach has been obliged to make have not been subject to sensitivity tests that might have been made if the study had not been so obviously driven to make the case it claims to have made.'

Prof Stone and statistician Nigel Williams point out flaws in the paper's findings in new research published by the Civitas think-tank. ...

Prof Dustmann was one of the academics behind the prediction that only 13,000 migrants from Poland and other Eastern European nations would come after controls were dropped in 2004.

In the event, more than one million arrived in almost a decade.

Civitas director David Green said: 'The UCL study's claims were held up by many as evidence that immigration from Romania and Bulgaria is unquestionably a good thing. ...

"It is regrettable that even academics from an august institution like UCL can only see what they want to see.

'Yet again the BBC has failed in its duty to provide the public with impartial information. It has the resources to double-check conclusions based on statistical studies but instead seized on the conclusions to bolster its pre-existing prejudices.'
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Benefits and costs – Romanians, Bulgarians
New migrants could hypothetically cost the UK billions
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 2 January 2014

Almost one in five new Romanian and Bulgarian migrants could, at maximum, live on benefits costing taxpayers almost £1.4 billion, it emerged last night.

Experts estimate 350,000 people will flock to Britain over the next seven years after restrictions on low-skilled workers from both countries were lifted yesterday.

But figures unearthed by the Daily Express have revealed the true potential cost of this stampede. ...

With the latest influx it has been left to observers to provide a panicked British public with a calculation of the potential impact on stretched public services like schools and the NHS.

Of the 150,000 Romanians already here, 15 per cent don't have a job.

If a similar number of the fresh wave of migrants fail to find work it would leave around 52,500 reliant on handouts capped at £26,500 a year.

The benefits bill alone could add up to £1.39billion over seven years.

But benefits are almost the least of it.

The NHS has to find £1.5 billion a year to treat the 600,000 unemployed migrants already living in Britain.

It is feared the overall burden on Britain's bloated welfare system could hit £12 billion by 2021. ...

Across Romania hundreds of thousands of jobless individuals live in poverty, surviving on monthly welfare payments of just £20.

If they come here they will be entitled to a raft of benefits. They will also be able to join council waiting lists and send their children to state schools. Jobseekers' allowance alone is at least £56.80 a week, rising to £112.55 for couples aged over 18.
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Bias – BBC
John Humphrys: Sheltered, liberal BBC staff did not interrogate immigration for fear of appearing 'racist'
Hannah Furness
Daily Telegraph, 15 December 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

When asked whether there was a similarity with the situation in Rotherham, where police and council members have been accused of turning a blind eye to child abuse for fear of being labelled racist, he said: "Precisely. We didn't interrogate immigration rigorously enough. We failed to look at what our job was."
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Bias – benefits and costs
Snapshot: New Immigration Report Is Written By 'Expert' Who Predicted 2004 Influx Would Be 'Relatively Small'
Alex Wickham
Breitbart, 5 November 2014

Read the Guardian this morning and you will discover a new study by economists at University College London claims that European migrants give Britain a £20 billion net gain, paying far more in tax than they take in benefits.

Read the Telegraph, however, and their write up of the very same report says the very same experts found that immigration from outside of Europe cost Britain £120 billion. Lots for proponents and opponents of immigration to argue over today.

Cynics might be interested to note the identity of the lead author of today's report. Christian Dustmann also wrote the ill-judged 2003 Home Office report that played down the numbers of EU migrants that would arrive in the country. Back then the study predicted net immigration following the 2004 EU enlargement "will be relatively small, at between 5,000 and 13,000 immigrants per year up to 2010". As UKIP and the Tories love to tell us, we now know that net migration from these countries was over 80,000 per year.
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Bias – BBC
John Humphrys: pro-Europe BBC shied away from immigration debate
Josh Halliday
The Guardian, 11 March 2014

The BBC was not "sufficiently sceptical" in its coverage of the immigration debate because it had "bought into the European ideal," according to its best-known radio interviewer.

John Humphrys said the BBC had previously overlooked the potential negatives of unchecked immigration, but had since redressed the imbalance in its coverage.

"We weren't sufficiently sceptical – that's the most accurate phrase – of the pro-European case. We bought into the European ideal," the Today programme interviewer told the Radio Times.

"We didn't look at the potential negatives with sufficient rigour ... I think we're out of that now. I think we have changed."

In an interview likely to reignite allegations of a leftwing bias at the BBC, the veteran broadcaster also said the corporation had been "grotesquely over-managed" and recruited people with "broadly liberal views".

He told the magazine "the BBC has tended over the years to be broadly liberal as opposed to broadly conservative for all sorts of perfectly understandable reasons.

"The sort of people we've recruited – the best and the brightest – tended to come from universities and backgrounds where they're more likely to hold broadly liberal views than conservative."

The observation is likely to be leapt upon by politicians and rightwing sections of the media hostile to the public broadcaster. But Humphrys is the latest in a series of senior BBC figures publicly to question the corporation's commitment to impartiality on controversial topics including Europe and immigration.

Nick Robinson, the BBC's political editor, said in January that the broadcaster had made a "terrible mistake" by shying away from a proper debate on immigration in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

In publicity interviews for his BBC programme The Truth About Immigration, Robinson said BBC news executives "feared having a conversation about immigration, feared the consequence", worried that a full debate might "unleash some terrible side of the British public".

Last year Helen Boaden, the BBC's former head of news, conceded that the broadcaster had a "deep liberal bias" on the subject when she took up the post in 2004.
[Site link]


Bias – BBC
BBC benefits from immigration, claims former BSkyB and Channel 5 executive
John Plunkett
The Guardian, 14 January 2014

The BBC has a "vested interest" in mass immigration into the UK because it would mean more people paying the licence fee, according to former BSkyB and Channel 5 executive David Elstein.

Elstein said the corporation was one of a small group of public organisations that directly benefited from "unlimited expansion of the population".

Giving evidence to MPs on the Commons culture, media and sport select committee investigation into the future of the BBC on Tuesday, Elstein said the BBC had failed to properly deal with issues around immigration for three decades.

A long-time critic of the licence fee who believes the BBC should be funded by subscription, Elstein admitted his remark was "tongue in cheek" but said it was a "fact of life".

It follows the BBC political editor Nick Robinson's admission that the corporation had made a "terrible mistake" over its coverage of immigration, admitting it censored concerns over fears they could trigger racism.

Labour MP Paul Farrelly questioned Elstein about a chapter he had written for a book, in which he said the BBC might feel nervous about being one of the few public bodies with a vested interest in mass immigration.

Elstein replied: "They can't help themselves. If you want to watch television you have got to pay the licence fee.

"It's not a happy place to be when you are one of the very few public organisations directly benefiting from the unlimited expansion of the population.

"It's not [the BBC's] decision, there's nothing they can do about it. It is a side product of a certain social phenomenon [and] the BBC might benefit."

Elstein said the growth in single person households over the last two decades had a similar impact on BBC funding, leading to a "50% rise in the number of households paying the licence fee".

"For probably 20 or 30 years the BBC has been just too nervous to deal with the subject [of immigration] directly," he added. "I know from my own personal experience there are some subjects the BBC just doesn't want to report. They would rather err on the side of omission than take a risk. The [Jimmy Savile scandal] was a small example of that."

While he did not believe there was any bias to be found in individual BBC reporters, Elstein said it was "a structural, not an individual thing. There is a cultural, institutional reluctance to handle certain issues".
[Site link]


Bias – BBC
The sorry story of the BBC and immigration
Sir Andrew Green
Conservative Home, 10 January 2014
[Sir Andrew Green is Chairman of Migrationwatch UK]

Last Sunday, Nick Robinson, the BBC's Political Editor, told the media that the senior management of the BBC deliberately suppressed discussion on immigration in the early 2000s for fear of an extremely negative public reaction. If true, this would be an astonishing indictment of a publicly funded body that is supposedly committed to impartiality.

By Monday, he had popped up in the Today's programme top slot assuring us that he had meant no more than previous admissions by senior staff that the BBC had been "slow on the immigration story".

As the only organisation making the case at that time against rising levels of immigration, Migrationwatch is in a unique position to judge what the BBC were up to. Certainly, they were absurdly timorous. For a year or two after we launched in 2001 they would not even use the 'I' word. Instead they referred to "in-migration". For the next five years, on the relatively few occasions that I was interviewed by the BBC, the first question was "Is it racist to talk about immigration?" ...

... In the autumn of 2005, for example, official figures showed that net migration had risen by 65 per cent in one year. This was not even mentioned on the BBC. ...

... The programme started with the ridiculous cliché that "we are a nation of immigrants". In 1901, only 1.5 percent of the population were foreign- born. In just ten years from 2001 to 2011 the foreign-born population increased by nearly three million, bringing it to 13 percent. The programme failed to appreciate that this massive acceleration of immigration is what lies at the heart of public concern.

Then, as usual with the BBC, the focus was almost entirely on European immigration, although two thirds of net migration under Labour has been from outside the European Union. Great attention, too, was paid to the decision not to impose conditions on the Poles and others in 2004 – yet a glance at the immigration statistics would have revealed that the explosion in numbers occurred in 1998 when net migration nearly trebled to 140,000.

The thrust throughout was the economic benefit of immigration, with several speakers in that vein. There was nobody to point out that all serious studies have found that the impact of immigration on GDP per head is minimal – slightly positive, but minimal. Nor was there any mention of the massive impact on population and the resultant pressure on housing, infrastructure and public services. We are now heading for a population of 70 million in 13 years time and 80 million in 2060, yet England, with Holland, is already the most crowded country in Europe.

These are absolutely elementary points which should have been included in any half-serious attempt to address the immigration issue. Also missing was a fundamental question. Starting from the premise, which must surely be widely agreed, that some immigration is essential for an open economy and society, just how much do we want and how do we achieve that level?

There are only two conclusions to be drawn from the outcome of this much-trumpeted programme. Either there is extensive ignorance within the BBC about the basic parameters of the problem, or there was a deliberate decision that any such programme must trot out the usual "positive" genuflections towards immigration, with no suggestion of limits. Either answer, or even a combination of the two, weakens the authority and, crucially, the credibility of the BBC.
[Site link]


Bias – BBC
At last, the BBC talks about immigration
Allison Pearson
Daily Telegraph, 9 January 2014

The present anger about immigration is not directed against desperate asylum seekers or even immigrants themselves. As BBC political editor Nick Robinson pointed out in his refreshingly forthright BBC2 programme, The Truth About Immigration, it's largely the result of uncontrolled mass immigration over the past decade and the failure of the BBC and the political class to permit an open debate about what it was fair or reasonable for this island to absorb.

Public anger is about child benefit being paid to 45,000 children in Poland when our own sisters and daughters and friends have had their child benefit taken away. It's about maternity units in East Anglia where midwives report unsupervised women going into labour in the corridors because no one thought to plan for the large number of Eastern European babies.

It's the outrageous official denials that any such problems exist. It's the primary school in Leicester where a teacher I know doesn't have a single white child in her class. ...

It's the grievous failure to expand public services to cope. ... ...

It's a blamelessly average town like Luton suddenly popping up every week on the local news as a centre of gang violence. It's the fresh-faced BBC reporter not allowed to make any connection whatsoever between residents from "war-torn Somalia" and the mounting body count. ...

Have I left anything out? Oh, yes, sorry. It's daring to suggest that any of the above might be a bit worrying or quite scary, actually, or not in keeping with values we hold dear, and immediately being called a Little Englander, or xenophobic, or "racist". And it's the way that hissed epithet is used to silence legitimate concerns, especially when the UK has treated its immigrants a damn sight better than comparable European nations. ...

Let us also recall the remarks of Sir Nicholas Kenyon, former controller of BBC Radio 3, who said the Last Night of the Proms was "dangerously English" and made it more "inclusive". Try to imagine the directors of the Paris Opera describing it as "dangerously" French. It would never happen.

Dripping with condescension, Sir Nicholas typifies a BBC breed which regards patriotism as a kind of disease still rife among the lower orders who have not been inoculated against love of country by claret and visits to foreign museums. I encountered the same type when I did teacher training in the Eighties. For our lecturers, indigenous traditions were a jingoistic embarrassment. By contrast, we were told to encourage immigrant children to celebrate their own identity, which was preferable to being dangerously British. ... ...

How could this censorship of such a crucial issue have been allowed to happen? Consider the journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, who wrote this week that the BBC "has a duty to moderate our national conversation". George Orwell would have loved that slippery use of "moderate". Or "suppress", as it's also known. ...

... The failure to provide proper coverage of immigration, and to offer an outlet for mixed feelings, has ended up encouraging the very racism it was intended to crush.
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Bias – BBC
Why can't the BBC ever talk honestly about immigration?
James Delingpole
The Spectator, 11 January 2014

Immigration. Were you aware that this has become a bit of a problem, these last ten years? I wasn't, obviously, because like all credulous idiots I get my news from a single trusted source – the BBC – and as a result I've known for some time now that immigration is great, regardless of what the facts and figures are.

I know, for example, that all those warnings by evil right wing MPs about a potential 'flood' which might 'swamp' Britain were dangerously inflammatory 'dog-whistle' politics; that Eastern Europeans have a work ethic which puts our native population to shame; that all the cleverest think tanks tell us that immigration represents a boon to our economy; that we are a nation of immigrants and that this is what has made us great; that anyone who thinks otherwise is 'racist'; and so on.

This week the BBC tried a cunning new variant on this theme called The Truth About Immigration (BBC2 Tue). By roping in notionally right-leaning Nick Robinson to present it and by trailing it as some kind of massive volte-face the BBC sought to give the impression that it was saying something new, controversial and daring.

It wasn't really though. Sure, there were some sops to reality: ... Underneath all that distracting surface detail, though here was the same old BBC feigning a critique of Britain's disastrous immigration policy but ending up presenting an apologia for it.

Consider, for example, its predictably lazy analysis of Enoch Powell's 1968 Rivers of Blood speech. According to the programme, this was what for years after rendered all serious discussion of the race and immigration issue politically untenable. What it didn't attempt to grapple with, though, was why this might have been.

Was Powell's speech disturbing, lurid, nightmarish – inflammatory even? Why yes, very likely, but that was rather the point – much as, say, Fiver's blood-drenched visions were in Watership Down. You don't deliver urgent warnings in such a way as to lull your audience into complacency, do you?

Now, when confronted by a speech like Powell's (or Fiver's), there ought, in any rational world to be two logical responses: either you agree with it and discuss the best practical response or you disagree with it and explain why you think it's rubbish and that no action should be taken. This is how free speech and civilisation work.

Not, however, if you think like the BBC. Rather, you choose the third way of deciding that the language you have heard is so discomfiting that the argument must be declared off limits for two generations – even if this means that the nightmare vision you found so offensive starts to come true. The reason the BBC can never talk honestly about the immigration problem, in other words, is because it is largely responsible for shaping the cultural and dialectical mindset which made it possible. ...

So all this overcrowding, all this destruction of social cohesion, all this unwelcome pressure on our schools, hospitals and transport infrastructure, all this dilution of what used to be our national identity has been inflicted on us, by our remote political class, against our wishes, to no useful purpose whatsoever. What a fantastically interesting documentary that would be. Now I wonder who is going to make it.
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Bias – BBC
Nick Robinson is right, the BBC did get it badly wrong over immigration
Ross Clark
Daily Express, 7 January 2014

Like the Soviet leaders who turned former favourites into non-persons the BBC is frank when it comes to admitting to past failings while simultaneously trying to claim that it has changed. But it never does change. ...

The BBC is not biased in the sense that one of its correspondents is going to say, "Vote Labour!" It is scrupulous in the airtime it allows Tory and Labour MPs. It is biased in that so many of the issues it covers begin from the presumption that a Left-liberal position is the one that all decent human beings hold and that anyone who deviates from this must be an oddball or extremist.

The coverage of immigration typifies so much of the BBC's output in this. As Nick Robinson observes, for many years the BBC sought to suppress any kind of discussion on the subject apparently out of fear that it might stir some of its listeners into a state of racial hatred.

Just how wrong it was in this was revealed when after much soul-searching it allowed BNP leader Nick Griffin on to Question Time in 2009. Far from inspiring a wave of neo-Nazism it proved the beginning of a downturn in his party's support with his own side attacking him for his poor performance. Mr Griffin is what you get when you suppress debate on immigration. People turn to extremists when they feel that mainstream politics is ignoring their concerns.

Now that guests on the BBC are allowed to challenge immigration we can all see how reasonable the debate is. It isn't race that motivates so many people to oppose the open-borders policy imposed upon us by the EU, it is the effect on employment and public services of a sudden huge rise in the population.

The debate is not simply between pro-immigration and anti-immigration but over what sort of immigration should be encouraged and what should be disallowed.

A great number of people whom the BBC would have previously dismissed as bigots are actually in favour of controlled immigration. They want required, skilled workers to be allowed to settle in Britain. What they don't want is a benefits system that offers handouts to anyone prepared to get on a bus to London.

Over the weekend some of us learned that British taxpayers are paying for migrants' wives and children who do not even live in this country. Not only that but some migrants posted to Britain are allowed to carry on paying taxes in their homelands even though they are living here and using our public services.

Had the BBC allowed this debate prior to the accession of Eastern European countries to the EU in 2004 we wouldn't be in the mess we now are.

By censoring debate the BBC encouraged one of the most dishonest policies ever to be foisted upon the British people: an immigration policy that we were assured would result in 17,000 migrants arriving in the first year, a fraction of the 500,000 who actually came.

While I'm sure it was not designed to achieve political bias the BBC's policy of censoring debate on immigration played into the hands of Tony Blair at the 2001 and 2005 general elections in which Labour sought to make Conservative policies on immigration and Europe seem beyond the pale.
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Bias – news coverage
UK migration: real figures v the headlines
Mona Chalabi & Guardian Research Department
Guardian data blog, 6 January 2014

Migrants, this time foreign workers, are yet again in the headlines today as political parties debate the causes of Britain's financial problems. It's a story that is receiving a lot of attention in the British press.

That's slightly problematic because, when it comes to objective reporting, there are few topics that invoke as much criticism of the British press as immigration. Many argue that the continual debate is disproportionate to the facts.

We've tried to find out how much of that criticism is justified by comparing mentions of migrants in the press to their actual presence in the UK. By breaking those figures down by specific nationalities, it's also easier to see if certain groups are receiving undue attention.

The interactive below shows that some of the criticism about the British press may be justified. There's clearly a disconnect; media coverage fluctuates enormously, while there's a slow and steady rise (and occasional dip) in migrant workers. ... ...

The results above are important given the evidence that newspaper coverage can have a big effect on public opinion. An Ipsos MORI report released last week found that levels of concern about immigration had risen sharply since the late '90s - and that newspaper readership was a strong predictor of how rapid that rise had been. However, the data doesn't distinguish between cause and effect - do Guardian readers have the lowest levels of concern about immigration because the newspaper covers it less, or does the paper merely reflect the views of its audience?

These graphs might look neat, but measuring hype can be a difficult thing to do. Official statistics on long-term migration to the UK are not broken down by country of birth or nationality. So, to get yearly figures on foreign-born individuals we had to use labour market data from the Office for National Statistics (only available up to 2012). Those figures are arguably important ones given the emphasis on threats to jobs in the UK's migration debate.

We used the research site Lexis Nexis which has an archive of almost every article published by British papers. But it's important to remember that more headlines do not necessarily mean more negative coverage.
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Bias – Guardian newspaper
The Seven Stages of Guardian attitudes to Eastern European immigration
Sean Thomas
Telegraph blog, 2 January 2014

However, one thing we can predict, with certainty, is exactly how the Guardian will react if there is a big influx. They will go through the Official Seven Stages of Guardian Attitudes to Unexpectedly High Levels of Eastern European Immigration.

Stage One. Denial.

When and if there is a large influx, the Guardianistas will, at first, deny it is happening at all, with a derisive and mocking headline aimed squarely at "hysterical" Right-wingers who predicted "a flood".

Example paragraph: "Christopher Thompson, a senior diplomat at the British embassy in Warsaw, said: 'Everything suggests that it has been more of a trickle than a flood. All the information of the UK ports authorities backs this up. There has been wild exaggeration.'"

Stage Two. Evasion.

As it becomes increasingly apparent (about ten weeks later) that there is a bit more than "a trickle" of Eastern European immigrants, indeed that maybe 200,000 have relocated to the UK in the first six months, the Guardian will say: OK it looks like quite a few are coming, but we still need more.

Example paragraph: "a report by Labour's favourite think-tank, the Institute of Public Policy Research, says that, far from being overrun by a tide of workers from the east, we may find there will be too few low-skilled immigrants to meet the economy's needs."

Stage Three. Look, squirrel!

While the number of incomers rises, inexorably, the Guardian will try to distract attention, and confuse the issue, by saying the stats for an entirely different group of migrants could be wrong.

Example misleading headline: "Migration figures explode claims of east European invasion".

Stage Four. Self-hatred.

When the evidence of mass EU immigration becomes undeniable, the Guardian will half-heartedly admit that there has been quite a large influx – but it doesn't matter, as the migrants are now heading home, because Brits are violent, criminal racists:

Example sentence: "Hundreds of Polish migrants have decided to leave Britain, blaming high crime levels and racism for their premature return to eastern Europe."

Stage Five. Cognitive Dissonance.

As the disconnect between reality and Guardianland grows dangerously wide, the Guardian will begin to lose it, and say Yes yes OK maybe hundreds of thousands came over, or even millions, who the hell knows, but it's alright, because at least half of them have already departed, and all immigration is brilliant.

Example paragraph: "Director of left leaning Institute for Public Policy Research, Danny Sriskandarajah said: "Migration from the new EU member states has happened on a staggering scale but seems to have been largely positive for all concerned."

Stage six. Grudging acceptance.

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Border controls – EU law
European court ruling threat to Britain's borders
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 18 December 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"As the case is still to return to the UK's High Court for a final judgment, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."
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Border controls – numbers arriving and leaving
Why don't we know how many migrants are entering and leaving the UK?
Joseph O'Leary
Full Fact, 17 December 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Starting in 2008, it was expected to gather an increasing proportion of passenger data, culminating in 95% coverage by the end of 2010 (reflecting Gordon Brown's claim above) and 100% coverage by 2014. In fact, by 2010 only about 60% of passengers were being recorded and today about 80% are.
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Border controls – Calais
Holiday camp for migrants: EU spends £3 million converting Calais play centre to cope with hundreds queuing to get into UK
Abul Taher and Tim Finan
Mail on Sunday, 7 December 2014

European Union cash is set to be used to fund a 'holiday camp' for migrants in Calais in a scheme that was last night condemned as being an 'encouragement' for the many thousands desperate to enter the UK illegally.

The new day centre for migrants is being built on a former children's summer camp, next to Calais port, where hundreds of illegals try to board lorries each day in the hope of stowing away to Britain.

The French government has demanded a £3 million grant from the EU, which would include money that ultimately comes from British taxpayers.

But critics of the plan have already compared the new centre to the notorious Sangatte camp, which was closed down in 2002 amid claims that it attracted thousands of migrants who wanted to enter Britain illegally. ...

French officials say that the new centre will be up and running by the middle of this month or by the beginning of January at the latest.

It will have kitchens that will serve about 700 meals per day. There will be four halls where up to 400 migrants will be able to sit to stay warm.

There are an estimated 2,500 migrants in Calais, from troubled countries including Eritrea, Sudan and Libya in Africa and the war-torn states of Syria and Afghanistan. ...

Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Home Affairs Committee, said: 'I don't think it's a good idea. What will be created is a new Sangatte which will be a magnet for different sorts of migrants.

'People traffickers will advertise this day centre as another reason to come to Calais to go to Britain. This day centre will definitely attract more migrants to Calais.' ...

The French interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, announced the plans to build the migrant centre in Calais in October, saying it will cost around £4.3 million to run each year. ...

Philippe Mignonet, deputy mayor of Calais, said: 'We get blamed for doing something, and we get blamed for doing nothing. The new centre will not make Calais more appealing for illegal migrants – the appeal lies in England, in your benefit system and your illegal jobs market.'
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Border controls
UK border FARCE: Meet the smiling 'illegal immigrants' who easily slipped into Dover undetected
Patrick Hill
Mirror, 7 December 2014

The two Afghans and a pal made UK border controls look farcical as they slipped into Dover in the back of a truck.

They were only caught because they clambered out in a lorry park after mistaking it for a layby near the port.

Despite being arrested, the trio were overjoyed at making it to the land of "money, money, money" and were last night believed to be applying for asylum while held in a detention centre.

Our exclusive photos were taken by another cross-Channel truck driver who told us: "It's scary the number of immigrants getting through undetected.

"The whole system both in Calais and Dover is failing and is in total chaos. It's just a joke.

"The immigration guys on both sides of the Channel are understaffed.

"Over in Calais they're happy for immigrants to get through to Britain so that they're not their problem any more.

"Sadly officials here just aren't equipped to stop the flow.

"It's wrong and I'm speaking out now because things are out of control."

The three men, who have not been named, entered the UK last Saturday night after boarding a haulage truck driven by a Hungarian man in Calais before it boarded the P&O ferry the Spirit of France.

Our whistleblower, who saw the moment they were caught by chance, said: "They got in and out of the truck by cutting a hole in the roof tarpaulin with a knife.

"The truck had been checked four times by immigration officers in Calais but unbelievably they hadn't spotted the hole or the men.

"The driver showed me the paperwork. It's a scandal really. They completely missed them. The hole wasn't spotted by officials at our end either." ...

Our source, who asked not to be named for fear of losing his job, went on: "It was another truck driver who spotted the three.

"They tried to get away into nearby woodland but couldn't because the car park the lorry was in is surrounded by 12ft fences. ...

"Eventually they realised they couldn't get away and peacefully gave up. When police arrived they asked the men, 'Why are you here?' One who could speak quite good English said, 'Money, money, money.' He was laughing.

"He said they were part of a group of eight who came from Afghanistan via Turkey and then to Italy before spending months in Calais. One said he had family here. Even though they were caught they were celebrating." ...

Speaking about lack of checks at Dover, the man added: "I'd say only one in ten trucks get stopped when they arrive in Britain. I reckon at least 50 illegal immigrants get in undetected a month and that's a conservative estimate."
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Border controls – European Union
Keith Vaz: 'Migration is the number one problem facing Europe'
Harriet Alexander
Daily Telegraph, 6 December 2014

The European Union should make migrant control its top priority and is failing to adequately police its borders, Keith Vaz MP, the chair of the Home Affairs Committee, said on Friday.

Mr Vaz visited Calais to view border controls and assess the pressures on the city from migrants wanting to come to the UK.

"Britain has given £12 million to spend on securing the port and tunnel – but that's not the answer," Mr Vaz told The Telegraph. "The EU must take responsibility. What are they doing here? Nothing. And the issue is also with the borders in Greece, Italy, Spain. Imagine if we used that £12 million there."

Mr Vaz said the EU should cooperate with the governments of Turkey and northern Africa, from where the migrants sail or cross by land into Europe.

"The solution is not building camps to house them, or fences to keep them out," he said. "The solution is starting with the source countries, and Libya, Algeria, Morocco. Because once they get to Calais, it's too late."

He said Britain, at the same time, needed to start "a propaganda war."

"We need to show that there is no soft touch in Europe. That you are better not to set off on that long journey to Europe, because it will not be worth it. Let me be very clear: the benefits system in Britain is very tough indeed."

Mr Vaz was accompanied by two members of the Home Affairs Committee, Tim Loughton and David Winnick. The three visited the port area to be shown how the lorries were scanned, and the Eurotunnel to see the security measures in place.

They also spoke to some of the estimated 1,500 migrants currently living in Calais – sleeping rough in the forests outside the city, or in squatter houses scattered throughout the town.

The committee was told that the numbers of migrants caught trying to enter Eurotunnel had doubled since last year – rising from 6,000 in 2013 to 12,000 this year.

At the port, 10,000 migrants have been stopped since January 1. The majority are Eritrean, Sudanese, Afghan or Albanian. ...

The real villains, Mr Vaz said, are not the migrants themselves but the criminal gangs who traffic people into Calais and smuggle them onto the lorries. ...

Mr Vaz's visit followed the appearance of Natacha Bouchart, the mayor of Calais, before his committee on October 28.

She said that Britain needed to overhaul its benefits system and lax identity controls which made the country seem like "El Dorado" to the migrants.

Mr Vaz told a press conference in Calais town hall yesterday that it was not simply a question of Britain reforming its benefits system.

"I believe that this is the number one problem facing Europe," he said. "And the answer must be at EU level."
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Border controls
'Border security damaged by staff shortage', claims poll
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 5 December 2014

An overwhelming majority of Britain's border guards have said security is being damaged by staff shortages, meaning illegal immigrants and contraband could be evading detection.

A poll of 500 members of Border Force staff, carried out by a trade union and ITV News, found 98 per cent said there were not enough guards to check goods vehicles and freight for illegal substances and stowaways.

More than six out of 10 also said they had been taken off customs duties to check passengers' passports as a result of staff shortages, with most saying this happened on a regular basis. ...

ITV News also said the number of illegal immigrants found in Britain rose from 6,520 in 2012 to 8,564 in 2013, according to figures obtained under freedom of information laws.
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Border controls – EU migrants
EU migrants 'could be required to register with police on arrival in the UK'
Stephanie Linning
Daily Mail, 29 November 2014

Migrants arriving from the European Union could be required to register with police as part of the immigration reforms announced yesterday by David Cameron, it has been reported.

Mr Cameron hopes that the new packet of measures, which the Tories say they will implement if they regain power in the general election in May, will work to cut overall levels of immigration by making it harder to stay in Britain without a job.

But critics were quick to point out that it would be difficult to monitor and deport any out-of-work migrants - arguing that they were unlikely to appear on official databases.

Now the Daily Telegraph has reported that the solution might be in a controversial scheme that would see migrants being forced to register at a police station on their arrival. ...

The practice is common in a number of other countries, and minister believe it would be straightforward to set up a similar scheme here.
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Border controls – illegal immigration
Border checks spending hits 5-year low despite surge in illegal migrants
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 18 November 2014

Britain spends less on border security than it did five years ago, despite a big rise in illegal immigration.

A damning dossier obtained by this newspaper also shows that no official estimate of the number of people in the UK without permission has been made since 2007.

In 2009/10, Border Force's budget was £493 million and it undertook 451 operations. Last year it fell to £465 million and officers carried out just 396 operations.

Meanwhile Government figures show over-stretched officials seized 19,003 stowaways trying to get into Britain in the last year – 52 a day – and almost double the 11,731 caught in 2012.

Last night, Ukip MEP Steven Woolfe said: "This Government has knowingly and deliberately starved the border service of funding.

"That they haven't even bothered producing an estimate of the level of illegal immigration over the entire period of this government, a period in which immigration has become the number one public concern, just proves they are sticking their fingers in their ears and shouting, 'It's not happening.'

"This is a clear dereliction of duty. The country has the right to demand and expect better from those who pretend to govern them." ...

The Government is advised by the independent Migration Advisory Committee but, despite widespread public concern, only two estimates of the size of the UK's clandestine population have been made in the past 13 years.

In 2001 it was believed to be 430,000, a figure that jumped 43 per cent to 618,000 in 2007. Now there are thought to be as many as 1.1 million illegal migrants, many working in the black economy.

The Home Office said calculating numbers is "extremely difficult", but Alp Mehmet, vice-chairman of MigrationWatch UK, said: "It seems clear the number of illegal immigrants here today is higher than ever...if we are serious about tackling this problem, we can start by increasing what we spend."
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Border controls – scanners
Britain has just FIVE lorry scanners to catch thousands of illegal immigrants trying to smuggle themselves into our ports
Matt Chorley
Daily Mail, 10 November 2014

Britain has just five scanners to detect stowaways trying to enter the country in lorries through our 29 ports, it can be revealed.

There is mounting concern about security at our borders with 2,500 illegal immigrants camped in Calais trying to reach the UK.

The UK Border Force budget fell by 20 per cent last year, raising fears about the ability to detect attempts by foreigners to smuggle themselves across the Channel in cars, trucks and trailers.

Ministers have been forced to admit that despite there being 51 points of entry into the UK at 29 ports for foreign vehicles, there are just five scanners in operation in France checking vehicles before they leave for Britain.

The so-called Passive Millimetre Wave Imaging devices scan vehicles for the presence of 'clandestines'. Each scanner costs around £800,000 to buy, and £83 to run for 24 hours.

With so few devices available, there are concerns that they are not used in some areas because they risk causing queues of lorries to build up, making it easier for stowaways to climb into the backs of lorries.

The figures were unearthed by Tory MP Steven Barclay in a series of parliamentary questions. ...

The Home Office confirmed that the five Passive Millimetre Imaging devices are 'located at the juxtaposed controls' in France and are used for 'detecting clandestines in soft sided vehicles'.

There are a further 19 body-scanners which individuals must walk through, which are used to detect drugs.

The Home Office said that last year the Border Force detected and prevented 18,000 attempts to enter the UK illegally before they left the continent, a 62 per cent rise on the previous year. ...

A Home Office spokesperson said: "Security at the UK border is our priority and Border Force employs a number of cutting-edge techniques to detect clandestines.

'These include the use of body scanners, imaging devices, sniffer dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners - in addition to officers conducting visual searches.

"Last year, our officials detected and prevented 18,000 clandestines entering the UK illegally and we will continue to strengthen our border to stop those who have no right to enter the UK."
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Border controls – European Union
EU migrants: Merkel v Cameron
BBC, 3 November 2014

The suggestion that Angela Merkel would rather see Britain leave the EU than accede to changes to the EU's freedom of movement principle has raised political temperatures in the UK.

Firstly, within the political establishment in Berlin there is increasing frustration with the UK. They do not know what David Cameron wants and are increasingly sensitive to demands that appear to be endlessly changing.

In particular the Germans are alarmed by the suggestion of "caps" or "quotas" or "emergency brakes" on the numbers of EU migrants arriving in Britain. They believe that would undermine freedom of movement, a core EU principle. ...

So the message sent to London was clear: there is room for manoeuvre when it comes to tackling "abuses" but there is deep-rooted opposition to any attempt to weaken the principle of free movement itself. ...

The German magazine Der Spiegel has gone further and suggested that Angela Merkel warned David Cameron that his attempts to limit migration risked pushing Britain towards leaving the EU. ...

So in Downing Street the search may be on to find a formula that appears to make it harder for EU migrants to stay in Britain but does not undermine the principle of free movement.
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Border controls – Dover, Calais
Immigration shambles: France considers scrapping border treaty which could see illegal incomers QUADRUPLE
David Collins and Euan Stretch
Mirror, 3 November 2014

The number of illegal immigrants entering Britain could quadruple because a vital agreement with France is under threat.

A government whistleblower here has revealed that "furious" French chiefs are thinking about scrapping the Le Touquet Treaty which effectively moved the UK border across the Channel.

The deal, signed in 2003, allows British border officials to be stationed at ferry terminals in France.

But there has been a breakdown in relations between the Home Office and counterparts in France's Interior Ministry, the source has revealed.

French officials are angry that the treaty has turned Calais into a dumping ground for migrants.

It is feared that abolishing the agreement could result in the notorious migrant camps that have blighted the French town being set up in Dover.

The highly-placed whistleblower said: "If this deal is scrapped it would be a complete disaster for our border control."

Our relationship with French officials has hit rock bottom since under fire Home Secretary Theresa May scrapped the UK Border Agency last year, the source added. ...

Around 2,500 refugees are living rough in Calais and many risk their lives on a daily basis in their bid to get to England by smuggling themselves into trucks or cars bound for the ferry port. ...

The source added: "The Interior Ministry is carrying out a private review to explore the option of removing all UK border officials out of northern France.

"Our border, which is effectively at Calais at the moment, would then become Dover.

"The advantage of having border staff at Calais and Dunkirk is that illegal immigrants can be turned back before they can reach the UK.

"But as soon as an illegal reaches UK soil they can then claim asylum in this country, which would be an enormous problem if the frontier is moved back to Dover."

The insider added that the treaty led to the number of asylum seekers falling from around 80,000 in 2003 to roughly 18,000 by 2007.

"It has now crept back up to around 25,000, and it is thought this number would quadruple should border officials be removed from Calais and Dunkirk," the source said. ...

Labour MP Mr Blunkett said today: "The treaty and subsequent agreement to place intelligence and security staff with immigration officers on French soil was vital to stemming the flood of clandestine entry into Britain.

"If we did not have UK officials on French soil there would be nothing to stop people making their way to Britain and then seeking refuge or disappearing into the sub-economy." ...

Meanwhile fears over an increased influx of asylum-seekers into the UK via Calais were further heightened today with news that the port is set to open a new "welcome centre" for them within days.

The French government is today due to sign a contract with a charity to open the Jules Ferry centre, two miles north of Calais, to offer "food, warmth and healthcare" to migrants.
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Border controls – Calais, France
Delyn MP David Hanson: Stop migrants reaching Calais
BBC, 2 November 2014

The French authorities should be doing more to stop migrants heading for the UK after reaching Calais, a senior Welsh MP has said.

Shadow Immigration Minister David Hanson, MP for Delyn, said he had seen "bedspreads in bus shelters" and "tents on roundabouts" in the port.

He said migrants should be stopped from entering France in the first place.

Mr Hanson called for Europe-wide action to stop illegal immigrants travelling unimpeded across EU member states.

"What I saw was quite disturbing," he said of his visit to the French port.

"There are many people who are poor, who are dispossessed, who've made tremendous journeys to get to Calais.

"But there's a lack of action I think in terms of both protection of the border and removal by the French authorities.

"We need to have an international European response to make sure we stop people getting to France in the first place."
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Border controls – benefits
UK benefits a magnet to migrants, says Calais mayor
BBC, 28 October 2014

Illegal migrants see the UK as a "soft touch" and its benefits system acts as a "magnet" to them, the mayor of the French city of Calais has told MPs.

Natacha Bouchart added that the fences placed around UK border controls set up in the city "make everybody laugh".

"These people are ready and prepared to die to come to England," she told the Home Affairs Committee.

Calais has struggled in recent months with increasing numbers of migrants arriving and trying to get to the UK. ...

Ms Bouchart estimated that 2,500 illegal immigrants were now living in Calais and that most were Eritrean, Ethiopian, Sudanese, Syrian, Egyptian, Lebanese, Iranian and Iraqi.

Calais was suffering problems from "a lot of mafia and traffickers in this population", Ms Bouchart said.

She added: "There hasn't been a message from the British government or anywhere else that it's not El Dorado." ...

Ms Bouchart said the "real magnet is the benefits that are perceived in Great Britain".
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Border controls
Border staff 'turn away 500 migrants a week'
Matthew Davis
Sunday Express, 26 October 2014

Migrants without any right to be in the UK are being turned away at ports and airports at a rate of almost 500 every week, new figures have shown.

More than 30,500 foreigners were stopped at passport control last year by suspicious immigration officials checking into their backgrounds.

Only one in five was allowed in, with 23,811 sent packing.

The total number detained by border officials in 2013 is a rise of 20 per cent on the previous year while the numbers being sent straight home rose 13 per cent. ...

The figures, released by the Home Office under the Freedom of Information Act, support claims by Home Secretary Theresa May that her department is cracking down on illegal immigration.
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Border controls – Calais
France sends more cops to quell migrant unrest
The Local [France], 23 October 2014

After more violence at camps filled with UK-bound migrants around the French Port of Calais, France's top cop is sending more police to try to quell the desperate and tense situation there.

France's interior minister said Thursday he had dispatched 100 extra police to the port of Calais –bring the total to 450 – where an influx of illegal migrants trying to get to Britain is causing more and more havoc. ...

And this week, violent fights between migrants in an industrial district where many have taken refuge, saw police fire tear gas and seal off the area to try and restore calm.
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Border controls – Calais
Migrants storm UK-bound lorries at Calais
David Chazan
Daily Telegraph, 21 October 2014

About 300 migrants tried to force their way into lorries queuing outside the port of Calais to board ferries for England on Monday, police said.

"The migrants tried to storm a long line of lorries backed up on the motorway outside Calais," said a police union spokesman, Gilles Debove.

"Police fired tear gas to deter them, but some still managed to climb into the lorries," Mr Debove said. "The officers on duty were overwhelmed and called in reinforcements from Boulogne." ...

Calais has received a huge influx of migrants in the past six months as Eritreans, Sudanese, Afghans and others have converged on Calais to attempt to cross to Britain. ...

Mr Debove said: "With the reinforcements, there were about 60 or 70 officers and they managed to bring the situation under control relatively quickly, but it's another example of how difficult it is for the Calais police to keep order with so many migrants here." ...

He said some migrants had certainly managed to get aboard the lorries yesterday and while they would probably be detected by scanners and checks in the port, there was always a chance that some would get through.

"We know some get across every day but we can't tell how many," Mr Debove said.

The deputy mayor of Calais, Philippe Mignonnet, estimates that about 40 migrants a day reach Britain, equivalent to more than 14,000 a year.
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Border controls – politics, deportations
Coalition sees drop in number of foreigners removed after border stops
David Barrett
Sunday Telegraph, 19 October 2014

The number of foreigners who are removed from Britain after being stopped at the border has plummeted under the Coalition, according to figures obtained by the Opposition.

Labour said data from the House of Commons library showed the number removed after being "refused entry at port" – which includes airports – was 14,473 last year.

In 2009-10, the last full year before the Coalition came to power, the figure was 26,378, meaning there has been a 45 per cent fall.

Foreigners can be stopped at the border for reasons including being on a criminal "watch list", failure to have the correct visa or forgetting their passport.

Other new figures showed the number of foreign national criminals deported last year rose to 5,097, up from 4,722 in 2012-13.

However, the figure was still significantly lower than the 5,471 deported under the Labour government in 2009-10.

Labour claimed the figures showed the Coalition had "done too little to protect our borders".

But immigration sources told The Telegraph that Labour were at least partly to blame for declining stops at the border because of the "points- based" immigration system the party brought in from the end of 2008.

The controversial system allowed larger numbers of foreigners to arrive with visas which are more difficult for border guards to challenge if they have suspicions about the traveller, the source said.

Austerity measures under the Coalition had also made a major impact, he added.

Falling staff levels meant hard-pressed staff at the border had less time to interview suspect travellers and many inexperienced staff had not received training in spotting forged passports and visas, the source claimed.

Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said: "These figures expose the gaping holes in the Government's immigration policy.

"Fewer foreign criminals are being deported and fewer people are being stopped from entering and sent back.

"The Home Secretary has focused entirely on her failed net migration target and has done too little to protect our borders and tackle illegal immigration."

Miss Cooper, who obtained the new figures, said: "Labour has been clear that we need stronger border controls, including fingerprinting in Calais to stop people trying multiple times to enter the country and proper exit checks, which the Coalition promised but failed to deliver.

"We need to know who is entering and leaving the country so visas can be enforced.

"But we also need a clear plan for tackling exploitation in the workplace, including much larger fines for businesses employing people illegally."
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Border controls – UK, European Union
EU is too busy for Cameron's reforms, says French PM: Socialist believes union is more occupied with tackling weak growth and unemployment
Daniel Martin and Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 7 October 2014

The EU is too busy tackling eurozone economies to help David Cameron claw back powers from Brussels, the French premier said last night.

Mr Cameron has promised tough negotiations to bring about an overhaul of EU rules on free movement, which he says allow thousands of migrants to come here to claim benefits.

But Manuel Valls, the socialist prime minister of France, said in London that the union is too preoccupied with tackling weak growth and high unemployment to overhaul its treaties and change the terms of Britain's EU membership.

After talks with Mr Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne, he said that opening up the EU treaties would be 'perilous' and unpicking the right of free movement of people would be 'to call into question the very basis of the EU'.

Mr Cameron has pledged to change the rules on free movement ahead of an in/out referendum on EU membership by the end of 2017.

Only last week he told the Conservative party conference: 'I know you want this sorted so I will go to Brussels. I will not take "no" for an answer when it comes to free movement – I will get what Britain needs.'

Mr Valls, a former interior minister, suggested he was prepared to discuss the conditions for migrants settling in other countries and reducing red tape.

But, speaking to journalists after meeting financiers in the City of London, he added: 'I don't think the EU at the moment is ready for a shake-up of its treaties and institutions. The priority is jobs and growth.'

In comments reported in the Financial Times, Mr Valls said unpicking the principle of free movement of people and workers would be 'to call into question the very basis of the EU'.

He said that in any case, member states from eastern European Europe would oppose it.
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Border controls – UK, France, Italy
Migrants under camper-vans and the crisis of Britain's porous borders
Simon Heffer
Daily Mail, 4 October 2014

... the influx of illegal immigrants able to slip into Britain is becoming ever greater, thanks to the shameful porosity of our borders.

This week the man who runs the port of Calais told a French newspaper the place was in 'chaos' and the security staff in a 'state of panic' because of a siege by an estimated 3,000 illegal immigrants. The newspaper said the immigrants, many of them Eritrean, were waiting to get to 'the English El Dorado'.

There have been violent brawls in the streets between rival bands of immigrants, and far-right French groups have raised tensions further by protesting there. The suggestion is that if many more migrants arrive in Calais, they may overrun the town, and lorry drivers are already threatening a boycott of it and other French ports.

The story raises several urgent questions. If Calais is in chaos and the system is breaking down, how many of these people are going to find their way to Britain? It won't be the odd one or two, but a large number.

Why are the French so ready to let these people into France? Most of them come up through Italy – which is only too delighted to send them on their way north – and enter France at the Riviera town of Menton, where it has been reported border guards wave them on knowing they will eventually become Britain's problem.

And why is Britain such an El Dorado? That is not hard to work out. Many of the migrants who smuggled themselves across the Channel are now accommodated in south coast hotels while awaiting allocation of their council housing, living on welfare benefits and using up the scarce resources of the NHS – to which they have not, of course, contributed a penny.

Disturbingly, it has now emerged that Calais is not the only pressure-point along the northern French coast. Officials in Dunkerque, Cherbourg and Le Havre have reported groups of illegal immigrants touring those ports, looking for weak links in the chain of French border security, and trying to get aboard on lorries or into vans headed for Britain.

And, of course, around all these ports there are people traffickers ready to exploit this particular brand of human misery and grow rich at the expense of those so desperate to get into Britain by any means possible.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary and her French counterpart, Bernard Cazeneuve, had talks last month to deal with the problem. This ended with Britain agreeing to pay £4 million a year over the next three years for better security in Calais, and to help fund new technology to spot illegal immigrants concealed in vehicles. ...

Italy, though, is at the root of the problem, in allowing so many to land and pass largely unmolested through that country on their way north, without either making them claim asylum or sending them back to north Africa.

If France and Britain are serious about this problem – and the public expects them to be – then both countries should send those who are judged to be economic migrants and not genuine asylum seekers straight back to the port where they entered the EU, which will normally be in Italy.

This would mean the French implementing more serious border controls on their frontier with Italy. And it might force the Italians to take more responsibility for immigrants, rather than just hurrying them northwards to become somebody else's problem.
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Border controls – crime
Failure to control our borders has let in foreign murderers
Stephen Pollard
Daily Express, 20 September 2014

Arnis Zalkalns is a 41-year-old Latvian who was jailed for seven years for murder in his home country. ...

... Under the EU's free movement rules, anyone from one of the 28 member states can turn up anywhere else in the EU.

There is one caveat to that. Because we are not signed up to the Schengen Agreement, which completely removes border controls between EU countries, we still have the power to check exactly who arrives on our shores. And even though EU law does not allow us to block people simply because they have been convicted of a crime we are - in theory - allowed to block criminals if they can be said to be a danger to the public.

But in practice things are very different. Because when you add to the theory the appalling state of our border controls, which have been beyond a joke for many years, you see that the power to bar such people is almost entirely theoretical.

We only contact other EU countries to find out about the convictions of foreign nationals if he or she is ever convicted of a crime here in the UK. Talk about shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.

In 2009 Zalkalns was arrested by the Metropolitan Police on suspicion of indecently assaulting a teenage girl in west London, although no prosecution followed. Even then his conviction as a murderer did not come to light.

The Home Office runs a computer system called the Warnings Index or WI which collates information released by foreign countries about criminals and terrorists. Anyone whose name is on the database who attempts to enter the UK is flagged up.

They can then be arrested or refused entry. But a report last September by the National Audit Office said the WI was "unstable and at risk of collapsing" and "contained a great deal of out-of-date information". ...

And the Latvian authorities say rightly that they are under no legal obligation to pass on information about murderers such as Zalkalns. That is indeed the law. And the law is an ass.

Last June the police reported that there are far more foreign criminals in the UK than had been thought. A Metropolitan Police unit identified 40 "predatory rapists" who had been convicted overseas but were living in London.

So there's a double whammy of idiocy behind the entry here of criminals such as Zalkalns. First, the information in the WI database is so full of holes and inaccuracies that it is barely worth bothering with.

But even if it was the RollsRoyce of databases the Border Force operating it is not up to the job.

Things are so bad that last month John Vine, the chief inspector of borders and immigration, who has repeatedly highlighted the flaws in the system, resigned apparently in frustration over the Home Office's attempts to cover up his reports.

Last year, for example, he revealed that the £500 million e-borders scheme, which is meant to stop anyone who has been deported or barred from the UK from returning by stopping them getting on a plane abroad, has been a total failure. It has not stopped a single person.

So much for the title of the (now defunct) UK Border Agency five-year strategy, published in 2010, which was Protecting Our Border, Protecting Our Public.
[Site link]


Border controls – UK, France, EU
France must control its borders - Lord Howard
BBC, 6 September 2014

France must control its borders better to stem illegal immigration to the UK, ex-Home Secretary Lord Howard has said.

It comes amid rising tensions in Calais where migrants have protested over their human rights and the mayor has threatened to block the Channel port.

Lord Howard told the BBC the problem was that France was a member of the Schengen Agreement which eases border controls across much of Europe.

The UK was not part of the agreement so had control over its borders, he added.

Lord Howard of Lympne, who was the MP for Folkestone and Hythe until 2010, said the UK was not a soft touch for migrants.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I've some sympathy for the mayor of Calais and the problems which she's had to face but she's directing her frustration and her anger at the wrong target.

"The general principle which every member state of the European Union has subscribed to is that people fleeing persecution should apply for asylum in the first safe country they reach.

"France used to take this very seriously. When I was home secretary we had an agreement with France under which if people came to the United Kingdom from France and claimed asylum we would return them to France, and France dealt with their claim, and that's what really ought to happen."

The former Conservative Party leader said France had "lost control of its borders" because it was a member of the Schengen Agreement.

Lord Howard added: "Some French governments have recognised this. President Sarkozy, in 2012, threatened to withdraw France from the Schengen Agreement if other countries didn't take measures to control their borders.

"So the mayor of Calais ought to be directing her frustration at President Hollande, and getting him to take the kind of action that President Sarkozy was talking about.

"We have not lost control of our borders - we have control of our borders - but it's the countries of the Schengen Agreement which ought to get their act together and deal with this problem." ...

The Conservative leader in the European Parliament, Richard Ashworth, the MEP for South East England, which includes Dover, said it was not just the UK government that should do something.

He said: "There are large-scale, organised, people-trafficking criminal gangs who are bringing the people here. It is the criminal gangs who are doing it and as far as I'm aware there hasn't been a single prosecution of a criminal gang.

"The police forces right throughout Europe - and I'm not just talking about the United Kingdom here - through France, through Italy, Greece or any other country they come through should be doing more to stop and arrest those criminal gangs."
[Site link]


Border controls – terrorists
Weak borders here won't stop fanatics from coming home, former immigration chief claims
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 22 August 2014

The UK's borders offer 'no hurdles' for British jihadis returning from Iraq and Syria intent on launching a 'massacre of the innocents', it was claimed last night.

A former policeman warned that Islamist fighters who had sneaked out of the country 'under the radar' of the police and security services would be 'welcomed home' by inadequate immigration controls at British airports.

And he raised the terrifying prospect that unknown extremists could cause carnage on UK streets using terror tactics learned on Middle East battlefields, such as building homemade bombs.

Chris Hobbs, a retired Special Branch officer who worked intercepting suspected criminals at UK airports for more than ten years, said repeated calls to successive Home Secretaries to bolster border controls had 'fallen on deaf ears'.

He said ministers were more concerned with preventing queues at airports than protecting the public – a claim described as 'utter rubbish' by the Home Office.

Mr Hobbs spoke out after Labour MP Khalid Mahmood claimed that as many as 2,000 British Muslims had travelled to fight a 'holy war' in Iraq and Syria. The security services claim the number is 500, with 250 having already returned.

The Metropolitan Police veteran, who served 32 years before leaving in 2011, said it was 'scandalous' that embarkation controls had not been reintroduced after being scrapped by Labour in 1998.

These controls were staffed by immigration officers who would examine passports and scrutinise passengers as they passed through to their flights. Suspicious people would be flagged up to Special Branch. ...

Mr Hobbs said that on their return to Britain, extremists who had not come to the attention of the security services would face little attention at passport control. He said UK Border Force officers were discouraged from asking even the most basic questions of travellers.

Instead they simply scan passports against terror and criminal watchlists and compare the photograph in the document with the person in front of them – another claim vehemently denied by the Home Office. ...

The Home Office said embarkation controls were being reintroduced next spring to boost intelligence on who was in the UK.

A source at the department said border officers had vast terror and criminal databases at their fingertips. Some 95 per cent of travellers arriving at Britain's airports underwent checks.

He said border officers routinely questioned arriving passengers and said it was 'utter rubbish' to suggest the Border Force prioritised queues over security.
[Site link]


Border controls – eBorders
A new fiasco over Britain's open borders: 20 million people arrive or leave every year without proper checks against terror and criminal watchlists
James Slack and Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 19 August 2014

One in five travellers is not counted in and out of Britain or checked against terror and criminal watchlists.

Catastrophic IT failures and management blunders mean 20 million passengers escape full screening every year.

Launched seven years ago by Labour, the eBorders system was supposed to log every journey to and from the UK. ...

Despite the huge outlay, only 80 per cent of trips are being logged by what remains of the eBorders programme.

Six million people arriving by train – which includes Eurostar – do not undergo advance checks.

Only 20 per cent of sea journeys are logged – the equivalent of ten million passengers slipping through the net without having their details compared against lists of killers and dangerous fanatics.

Even though airport coverage is 95 per cent, almost four million people still arrive every year without having their details checked. The failings mean officials are denied the full use of a vital weapon in the fight against terrorism.

Sir Charles Montgomery, who runs the Border Force, has told MPs that – when it works – the eBorders system 'provides extremely valuable information to the intelligence services and to the police'.

The system, however, is unable to fully count people in and out, leaving officials in the dark about the true scale of illegal immigration. MPs on the Commons home affairs select committee last night vowed to reinvestigate the shambles. ...

When the full plans for eBorders were drawn up in 2007 Labour ministers promised to 'export the border' to other countries by forcing anyone trying to get into Britain to reveal their personal information in advance. Passed on by carriers, it is then checked against watchlists and security databases and logged on a vast database. Extremists, criminals and wanted criminals could either be arrested at the airport or turned away.

Alternatively, they can be put under surveillance to identify terrorist plots.

By the end of 2013, 95 per cent of all journeys into the country were supposed to be covered by the system. This was expected to rise to 100 per cent by early this year.

But, from the outset, the system turned into a shambles. It was delayed by EU countries refusing to participate on the grounds that it breached Brussels directives, including on data protection.

There are still six airlines on the continent refusing to participate, Sir Charles recently told MPs. In a devastating report, John Vine, the chief inspector of borders, warned the 'electronic borders' project had descended into a shambles. Technical problems mean people arriving on ferries, Eurostar trains, cruise ships and small planes are not screened in advance.

And, even when known criminals and illegals are flagged by the system, airports may not be phoned in advance to warn about their impending arrival.
[Site link]


Border controls – chief inspector
Immigration watchdog quits as Theresa May accused of trying to silence him
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 2 August 2014

The man who exposed flaw after flaw in Britain's immigration system has quit as Theresa May was accused of trying to silence him.

John Vine, the chief inspector of borders and immigration, will step down in December seven months earlier than planned and amid a row over the way his critical reports are published.

The Home Office has taken control of their publication and changed the way they meet press deadlines, potentially limiting their impact.

The Home Secretary was accused of a "cover up" over another report which had some details redacted while a number of others are still to be published up to four months after they were completed.

Mr Vine has been a frequent critic of the immigration system since becoming the watchdog six years ago including exposing flaws in the e-borders scheme and revealing there was a "migration refusal pool" which listed illegal immigrants but who could not be found.
[Site link]


Border controls – Calais, lorry drivers, violence
Calais lorry drivers BEG for aid as migrants turn VIOLENT
James Murray
Sunday Express, 27 July 2014

Lorry drivers are urging the Government to act before one is killed by illegal immigrants desperate to get into Britain from France.

They say French police have given up trying to deal with gangs of up to 100 migrants who surround lorries and demand passage across the Channel under threat of violence.

The situation is so bad they want the British Army to be called in to help protect the drivers.

Many have been verbally abused or physically attacked and one needed hospital treatment after being kicked and punched by an angry mob.

Haulage boss Kevin Hopper said: "I am convinced a lorry driver will be killed soon, probably stabbed."

Driver Tommy Harrison at the firm based near Wakefield, West Yorkshire, was ambushed by a gang in Calais. ...

"The French have given up and actively urge them to get on the lorries and go to England. They just want to pass the problem on to us." ...

Tommy said: "What often happens is that two migrants lie in front of lorries, which obviously have to stop and then a mob surrounds the vehicle and some of them try to get inside.

"The French show no interest in trying to stop anything, so what are we supposed to do?" Fellow driver Mark Smith, 48, of Dudley, West Midlands, said: "The Government has to send over troops to protect us."

Kevin added: "The Government must appreciate how the situation has deteriorated. Unfortunately, they will only start taking notice when there is a tragedy. I'm having sleepless nights because I am worried sick about the safety of our drivers."
[Site link]


Border controls – deportation
Fury after government spends £80,000 of taxpayer cash flying 200 migrants back to Romania and Bulgaria - only for them to return weeks later
Sanchez Manning
Mail on Sunday, 27 July 2014

The Government has spent £80,000 of taxpayers' cash flying Eastern European vagrants back to their homelands – only for many to return weeks later.

More than 200 people were flown back to Romania and Bulgaria in the first three months of this year – using tickets paid for by the Home Office, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. The migrants returned to Eastern Europe after a crackdown ordered by David Cameron on foreign EU nationals begging or sleeping rough in the UK.

London landmarks such as Marble Arch and Park Lane have been blighted by gangs of Romanian beggars setting up makeshift camps, dumping rubbish and urinating in the street.

There have also been increases in the levels of aggressive begging, pickpocketing and prostitution.

But now it has emerged that Romanian beggars who have been deported are returning using different names. A police officer based in the Marble Arch area, who asked to remain anonymous, said: 'We've been informed that they are getting an identity card but changing the name, although the number stays the same. So now we check the number as well as the name.'

Jack Gordon, chairman of the Hyde Park safer neighbourhood panel, said he too was aware of deported Romanians returning just weeks later. He said: 'Some of them have been banned from this country and they come back using false identities. It's a waste of money. We need to have a border regime that is efficient and effective and doesn't let these people come sliding back in.'
[Site link]


Border controls – Home Office IT system
Home Office blows £347m on failed immigration IT system
Joe Curtis
Computer Business Review, 22 July 2014

The Home Office threw away £347m on an underachieving immigration IT system it subsequently closed, it was announced today.

The flagship Immigration Case Work (ICW) system was supposed to launch in March this year.

But the Home Office shut it down in August 2013 after it achieved "much less than planned", according to a National Audit Office (NAO) report. ...

Now the Home Office is replacing the failed ICW system with a new programme, called Immigration Platform Technologies, expected to cost £209m over four years by 2017.
[Site link]


Border controls – visa fraud
'Entrepreneur' visa scheme tightened after new scam uncovered
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 11 July 2014

Ministers are tightening up the "entrepreneur" visa scheme after checks uncovered a new scam involving potentially thousands of bogus applications.

The Home Office disclosed the number of foreigners applying for the right to stay in this country under the entrepreneur scheme rocketed from 118 in 2009 to just under 10,000 last year.

It was unclear when ministers were alerted to the rapid rise in numbers, but a Home Office spokesman confirmed two thirds of the applicants – more than 3,000 people – were granted a visa.

The Government believes organised crime gangs have been involved in the scam.

It is understood gangs would charge applicants to temporarily lend the £50,000 required to demonstrate they had the capital to invest in business schemes.

The surge in entrepreneur visa applications coincided with ministers' decision to close another visa route – for "post study work" by students who had completed their courses – in 2012.

Applicants denied access to those visas are now believed by the Government to have fraudulently switched to the entrepreneur route.

Immigration officials uncovered the scam after comparing their files with tax records which showed many of the so-called "entrepreneurs" had been working full-time for employers after obtaining their visas, sometimes in low-skilled jobs.

Under the terms of an entrepreneur visa, the holder is only allowed to work for their own business and not take employed work elsewhere.
[Site link]


Border controls – EU, English language
Euro-Court Destroys Cameron's Pledge that Immigrants Must Speak English
M.E. Synon
Breitbart, 11 July 2014

The European Court of Justice has dealt a blow to David Cameron's 2010 election manifesto pledge to make immigrants from outside the European Union pass an English language test before they are allowed to come to the UK to marry. In a judgement handed down on Thursday, the EU's top court overturned a German law requiring foreign spouses from certain non-EU countries to take a language test before receiving a visa. ...

The German government claims that the goal of the language requirement is to prevent forced marriages as well as marriages made simply for the sake of obtaining a visa. The requirement is also meant to promote integration. ...

The agreement prohibits introducing any new obstacles to the "freedom of establishment," and the ECJ has held the 2007 German law to be such an obstacle. ...

In the general election of 2010, the Conservative Party manifesto pledged "there will be an English language test for anyone coming here to get married."

While the court has demonstrated that Britain cannot impose such a language restriction on immigration by any of the 74m people who live in Turkey, the judgement may have effects which reach further than that.

The ECJ judgement was based on the fact that Turkey has an Association Agreement with the EU. This is "a framework for bilateral relations" and in some cases is a step towards entry to the EU.

According to the European External Action Service, the EU has concluded "Association Agreements (albeit not always under the name 'Association Agreement')" with countries that include Tunisia, Israel, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Macedonia and Albania.

Men or women seeking visas to enter Britain to marry an immigrant already established in the UK may use yesterday's ECJ judgement as precedent for claiming they do not have to demonstrate any ability to speak English.
[Site link]


Border controls – immigration and emigration numbers
UK 'e-borders' programme unable to help track immigration
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 22 April 2014

The Home Office's £500m "e-borders" programme which is designed to check everybody in and out of Britain and has taken more than 10 years to develop cannot be used to estimate immigration, ministers have admitted.

They told MPs on the public administration select committee (PAC) that data from the flagship programme cannot be used to replace the existing methods of estimating net migration to Britain because it doesn't collect information about whether passengers are long-term migrants or just visitors or tourists.

In fact the Home Office has said it would be illegal under European Union legislation on free movement to routinely ask passengers how long they intend to stay or their purpose in entering the UK.

The disclosure that the programme, which has cost at least £500m, cannot be used to provide a proper count of migration came in an official response to a PAC report which had said the existing method of estimating net migration based on the international passenger survey (IPS) was "not fit for purpose".

The MPs recommended that ministers should no longer base their key immigration target of getting net migration below 100,000 by next year's election on "such an uncertain statistic".

Home Office ministers rejected the MPs' claim that the IPS, in which more than 700,000 passengers are interviewed a year, was inadequate for measuring, managing and understanding migration levels.

In their official response published on Tuesday, ministers said they didn't agree and cited the UK Statistics Authority in supporting their view that the IPS remained as reliable and accurate as possible and was "currently the best available estimate of 'net migration'".

The official reassurance follows the disclosure earlier this month by the Office of National Statistics that net migration – the number of people coming to live in the UK for more than 12 months minus those going to live abroad for more than 12 months – had been underestimated by 346,000 between 2001 to 2011. The ONS said improvements to the IPS since 2009 had dealt with the problem.

MPs on the PAC had told the Home Office they were so unimpressed by the estimates based on the survey that the ONS and the Home Office should move as quickly as possible to start using e-borders data to measure immigration, emigration and net migration.

But the Home Office said the border system programme, as it is now called, under which passengers have to supply their name, nationality, gender, date of birth and passport details, could not be used to replicate the questions asked during the in-depth survey.
[Site link]


Border controls – visa restrictions
Immigration crackdown made us 'nasty Britain', says Osborne's father-in-law
Matthew Holehouse
Daily Telegraph, 29 March 2014

A senior Conservative peer has launched a stinging attack on the Government's immigration policy, saying visa restrictions were creating a "nasty Britain feeling" among foreign students and businesses.

Lord Howell, a former energy minister and George Oborne's father-in-law, said businesses are being put off from coming to the UK because of a "tangle of regulation" while students are close to "despair" at the restrictions imposed on them." The policies are creating a "blot" on Britain's reputation, he said.

"This country has got to be open for business, our leaders say that all the time," he told the BBC.

"Being open for business means we've got to welcome the right people, including a lot of students and brilliant skilled people who add to our power in the world and we've got to keep out those obviously who would do bad things to Britain and damage us."
[Site link]


Border controls – UK, Germany, European Union
Jobless European migrants could be deported from Britain after Germany backs tougher stance on migration
Matt Chorley
Daily Mail, 29 March 2014

Germany has guaranteed Britain will be protected from a more powerful eurozone as the two countries examine plans to kick out jobless migrants after three months.

David Cameron yesterday signalled his support for the idea to send migrants home if they fail to find work. ...

The Berlin Government released a report suggesting that new arrivals should be returned to their countries of origin within a few months.

German politicians have suggested the limit should be set at 3 months - though the document does not specify an exact deadline.

The UK has already restricted access to benefits for migrants until they have been in Britain for three months.

But the German plans would go further, giving member states the right to kick out those who are not working.

Mr Cameron said the proposals are proof that key European Union leaders are coming round to his view that there should be greater restrictions on free movement around the EU. ...

Tackling immigration is a major concern in both countries, with Germany's coalition government considering proposals to limit the time unemployed migrants from other EU member states can stay in the country looking for a job.

Mr Cameron said that he would now seek to work with the Germans and other like minded allies to see if they could tighten EU rules further. ...

Mrs Merkel commissioned the report by a German government committee in January amid concern about the lifting of restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian migrants.

An interim version of the report published earlier this week also recommends that governments be allowed to prevent migrants expelled for committing fraud from returning to their countries - a restriction that currently does not exist.

A spokesman for the German Embassy in London said: 'The committee recommends the introduction of a time limitation on the right of residence for EU citizens seeking employment. EU citizens must provide evidence that their ongoing attempts to find a job have a prospect of success.

'The right of EU citizens to reside in Germany can already be stopped in case of fraud and abuse of rights, such as forging documents or wilful misrepresentation.

'However, there is at present no way to prevent the immediate re-entry of EU citizens who abuse their right of freedom of movement.

'Therefore, the committee proposes the introduction of temporary re-entry restrictions for cases of "abuse of rights" and "fraud".' The final report is due to be published in June.

Downing Street sources said that they were also encouraged by suggestions from Germany that migrants should no longer be able to send child benefit to their children back home - a move that both Mr Cameron and Nick Clegg have also supported.
[Site link]


Border controls – visas, students
UK immigration policy damages creative economy, says Lords committee
Shiv Malik
The Guardian, 28 March 2014

The UK's immigration visa system is unnecessarily complicated and having a damaging impact on the country's creative economy, a Lords committee has said.

The newly established Lords committee on UK "soft power" has accused the government of unbalanced rhetoric on migration and described the inclusion of students in Home Office migration targets as "destructive" and "disingenuous".

The 155-page report, Power and Persuasion in the Modern World, says that "almost every one" of their witnesses testified that the government's new visa policies are "harming the assets that build the UK's soft power", such as film, music and legal services.

They said the editor of the Economist, John Micklethwait, was "scathing" about how increased visa restrictions and costs have affected UK commerce, describing the system as "bananas" and "suicidal". ...

Quoting figures that almost £1 in every £6 spent in Britain by overseas residents came from those who required a visitor's visa, the 12-member committee said the government's rhetoric was also potentially putting people off from arriving. ...

The newly established committee said the Home Office should remove students from its immigration cap, and that counting students as part of overall migration figures was both "destructive" and "disingenuous". The evidence given to them, they said, "was emphatic" that falls in student numbers were due to UK visa policies and visa administration. ...

"Counting students as part of overall migration figures is not only destructive of the UK's attractiveness and international links, but is disingenuous," because many students did not go on to stay in the UK, the report says.

"The government should remove students from net migration targets, and publish data on how previous progress on migration targets would have looked had the government not counted students in previous years," the committee recommended.

They also pointed out that the degree of consensus between six select parliamentary committees on this issue was "unprecedented".

However, a Home Office spokesperson said there would be no change to the way the target was made up.
[Site link]


Border controls – sham marriage
Croydon priest's 'gay marriage' with immigrant to keep him in the UK
Gareth Davies
Croydon Advertiser, 28 March 2014

A Catholic priest has been suspended for 'marrying' a Pakistani immigrant to keep him in the UK.

Father Donald Minchew has admitted entering into a civil partnership to help Mustajab Hussain, a family friend, obtain a British passport.

The 66-year-old father-of-four entered into the sham marriage with Mr Hussain in 2008, while he was a vicar at Parish Church of Saint Michael and All Angels, in Croydon town centre. ...

Fr Minchew moved to St Mary's Catholic Church, in West Croydon, in 2011. He has been withdrawn as leader of Croydon Ordinariate, which holds mass at the church, while the matter is investigated.

In a statement read out at the church last Sunday, Monsignor Keith Newton, of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, said Fr Minchew "deeply regrets" his actions.

He said: "Two days ago he informed me that in 2008 – four years before he was ordained as a Catholic priest – he entered into a civil partnership in order to gain a British passport for a Pakistani national whose family is well known to him.

"I had no previous knowledge of this and I now need to investigate the implications fully.

"Father Minchew has informed me that this partnership involved no sexual relationship. He apologises unreservedly for any harm or embarrassment he has caused." ...

Fr Minchew told a journalist that the civil partnership was: "The only way I could see of getting him in the country."
[Site link]


Border controls – education
The truth about Britain's bogus foreign students: They work illegally, claim benefits... and one 'college' had no teachers
James Slack
Daily Mail, 28 March 2014

The ongoing 'significant abuse' of Britain's border controls by bogus students was revealed in government papers last night.

Foreign students are illegally working for five-figure salaries and claiming benefits, as well as pretending to attend courses that have no teachers.

But a detailed Home Office blitz planned by Theresa May against the migrants and their colleges is being blocked by Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats.

The revelations will further fuel the row between the two sides of the Coalition over the need to get a firmer grip on Britain's borders.

A leaked Cabinet letter written by the Home Secretary reveals that, despite a concerted government crackdown on bogus colleges, 'abuse of the system has evolved, not disappeared'.

At a single college, 397 students with no right to work in Britain were caught earning more than £20,000 a year – potentially depriving Britons of a job.

This suggests that, nationwide, thousands of students may be guilty of working illegally. At the same private college 62 students were found to be wrongly pocketing benefits.

Investigators also discovered that one college claimed it had 50 students but only 18 were attending classes. It had recruited 70 more to study at a campus that has no teachers. ...

In a letter seen by the Mail, Mrs May warned the Deputy Prime Minister that 'we need to take decisive action to protect the integrity of the system and the reputation of our education sector'.

She outlined a string of detailed policy proposals requiring Mr Clegg's approval. These include banning foreign students from bringing their dependants with them unless they are studying for two years or more.

The move would lead to thousands fewer migrants being allowed to bring over wives, partners and children. ...

Other plans include making it easier to strip universities of the right to bring in lucrative foreign students if they flout the rules.

Universities and colleges would also be required to work with immigration officers to provide intelligence on students who had overstayed their visas. ...

But Mr Clegg and other Lib Dems are blocking the proposals, which are now locked in Cabinet stalemate. ...

Mrs May's letter makes clear that widespread abuse continues, despite the Government stripping dozens of colleges of their licences since 2010. ...

Under existing rules higher education providers keep their 'trusted status' even if 20 per cent of their students are later rejected by the Home Office because officials do not think they are genuine.

Mrs May wants to cut this threshold to 10 per cent.

There are 1,700 education institutions with highly trusted status. Around 105 have between 10 and 20 per cent of students rejected.

Of those, around 70 are colleges and the remainder include independent schools and universities.
[Site link]


Border controls – passport, Bulgaria, EU
EU citizenship for sale to non-Europeans in Bulgaria for as little as £150,000
Holly Watt, Claire Newell and Ben Bryant
Daily Telegraph, 15 March 2014

Non-Europeans can buy European Union citizenship entitling them to live and work in Britain for as little as £150,000 under a scheme operating in Bulgaria, ...

... So long as applicants can deposit sufficient funds, they need only visit the east European country for two days to obtain all the rights of EU citizens.

Even someone with a criminal record who has been turned down for a British passport can qualify for Bulgarian citizenship under the scheme, agents brokering the deal said.

The fast-track programme was quietly introduced just weeks before restrictions on Bulgarian nationals living and working in other EU countries were dropped earlier this year. Hundreds of foreign nationals are already believed to have applied for EU citizenship under the scheme. ...

Arton Capital, a "one stop shop for citizenship" with offices in Sofia, London and Dubai, explained that there were extensive benefits from buying a Bulgarian passport.

Milan Keremedchiev, the vice-president of the firm, said: "When you become a Bulgarian citizen, then you have all ... the rights of an EU citizen, you live, study, work, settle down, uh, anywhere within the European Union."

He added: "When the main applicant receives his Bulgarian citizenship, within three months, the children ... apply and receive Bulgarian citizenship based on what I told you before, one of the parents being Bulgarian."

He set out three different options for obtaining Bulgarian citizenship, for which his firm would charge a fee of more than £50,000. Under the first route, an individual deposits about £425,000 in a Bulgarian bank.

After six months, the individual receives "permanent residency". After five years, they can apply for European citizenship, at which point the applicant receives their money back from the bank.

Under the second system, the applicant borrows the £425,000 from a Bulgarian bank and pays the institution around £150,000 in interest up front. As with the first option, they can apply for Bulgarian citizenship after five years. Mr Keremedchiev said that about 85 per cent of Arton Capital's applicants opted for this route.

A third option is also available for clients. Here, applicants paying around £235,000 are fast-tracked and citizenship is received in two years. This process was brought in at the end of the last year.

Mr Keremedchiev said that a parent with several children wishing to study at a British university could save large amounts of money. ...

"It's an EU passport, yes, but ... since the first of January 2014, anywhere in the European Union you can settle down and live, work, study, take your kids to school. Of course, you know that the different prices in universities for EU and non-EU citizens and so on," he said.

For example, an EU or British student studying Preclinical Medicine at Oxford University would pay £9,000 a year in tuition fees, but an overseas student would pay £16,545 a year. EU residents studying as undergraduates in Scotland are entitled to free tuition.

The passport broker explained that potential clients would barely have to visit Bulgaria to qualify for citizenship, because the firm can provide clients with a "virtual" address.
[Site link]


Border controls – exit checks
UK exit checks
Elizabeth Edmunds
Daily Telegraph, 14 March 2014
[Letter to the Editor]

Normal checks at airports cover 100 per cent of all passports. It is data from the Advance Passenger Information system that is received from only 90 per cent of international flights.

Immigration checks on passengers leaving Britain ceased in 1998. Labour's immigration minister, Mike O'Brien, described them as "an expensive fiction". As a former immigration officer, I know they were a useful tool, not least for security (as demonstrated by concerns over the Malaysia Airlines flight). They also acted as a disincentive to overstaying a visa.

The Coalition Agreement included a commitment to reintroduce exit checks by the end of this parliament in 2015.
[Site link]


Border controls – insecurity
Questions over UK border security in wake of missing Malaysia Airlines jet
Peter Dominiczak, Steven Swinford and Malcolm Moore
Daily Telegraph, 11 March 2014

The passport details of more than 20 million people entering and leaving the UK are not being properly checked, official figures show, amid concerns that a lack of security at UK airports could aid terrorists.

According to the Home Office's most recent figures, data is still not being collected and examined for around 10 per cent of the 200 million people flying in and out of the UK every year. ...

The Home Office last night admitted that it needs to "improve" border checks using advance passenger information (API) in the coming years.

Investigators have discovered that two men boarded the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing using stolen passports and intelligence officials have warned that governments around the world are not doing enough to check travellers' details. ...

Interpol, the international intelligence agency, has said that governments are failing to properly monitor stolen passports.

In Britain, the Home Office's e-borders scheme was meant to improve immigration controls by collecting passport details from people on every scheduled inbound and outbound journey to and from the UK.

The Government originally set a target to collect data on 95 per cent of all passenger movements.

However, millions of travellers are still not being fully checked.

A Home Office spokesman said: "For foreign passports that have been reported as lost or stolen the UK has access to the Interpol Lost and Stolen database and is able to run checks against it.

"The UK receives API - the biographic information in an individual's travel document - for in excess of 90 per cent of passengers flying to, or from, the UK. We have significantly increased the proportion of passengers providing this information over the last five years. We are working to improve our coverage even further."

It comes amid a growing row over Liberal Democrat proposals to introduce "exit checks" at UK borders.

Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, was left furious last year after the Home Office stalled on plans to track everyone leaving the country by 2015.

Norman Baker, the Lib Dem Home Office minister, last night said: "The Liberal Democrats are firmly committed to exit checks at the earliest opportunity. Clearly the events of last week are facts to bear in mind."
[Site link]


Border controls – leisure boats
Government postpones introduction of e-Borders
Rob Peake
Motor Boats Monthly, 19 February 2014

The controversial e-Borders scheme for motorboaters will not be introduced next month, despite long-held government plans to do so. The scheme, designed to combat illegal immigration, is operational for ferries and air traffic, but the UK Border Force has not worked out a way for it to be implemented in a practical way for leisure boatowners.
[Site link]


Border controls – student visas
Student visa system 'abused' to gain illegal entry to UK
Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 10 February 2014
[Immigration Undercover: The Student Visa Scandal will be broadcast at 8.30pm on Monday 10 February, on BBC1]

The Home Secretary has launched a clamp down on alleged abuses of student visas after an investigation found the system was providing a "free for all" for illegal entry to the UK.

Theresa May suspended English language tests set by a major exam board in the UK and temporarily withdrew accreditation from a series of colleges and immigration advisers amid evidence of a thriving market in fraudulent visas.

The move came after an undercover investigation by BBC One's Panorama revealed a network of agents was helping overseas students pass English language exams, obtain false documents and doctor their academic records.

In one case, a researcher paid an immigration consultancy in west London £500 for a "guaranteed pass" in an official English test – staged as part of a requirement to prove applicants have the necessary language skills to gain a visa.

Footage shows the researcher about to take a speaking and listening exam in a designated test centre alongside a dozen other applicants before a number of "fake sitters" with perfect English enter and take the assessment in their place.

The same student takes another test – a multiple choice writing exam – a few days later at the same centre but the invigilator simply reads the correct answers to all 200 questions to enable the registered candidates to copy them down.

In another case, an immigration agency in east London is seen offering a package of fake documents needed to secure a one-year visa extension. This includes falsifying the reporter's Barclay's bank statement to show more than £9,000 in credit – satisfying requirements for sufficient funds to remain in the UK without working.

The disclosure – in a programme to be aired at 8.30pm on Monday – was met with a tough line from the Home Office.

In a statement released on Sunday evening, it said that all English language tests set in the UK by American-based Educational Testing Service (ETS) – the company behind the exam in the film – had been suspended for the purposes of immigration pending an investigation. ...

Student visas are the biggest source of non-EU migration into the UK.

In 2012, almost 210,000 Tier 4 visas were issued to students from outside the continent. Around 100,000 more people each year have their visas extended to remain in the UK for longer periods.

Students need to show they can speak the language, display an appropriate academic record, provide a bank statement to prove they have the necessary funds and win acceptance on to a course run a Home Office-approved college or university.

Harjap Singh Bhangal, an immigration lawyer, told the programme that the student visa system was providing an "open free for all" for criminals.

"The government has created a marketplace for fraud," he said. "It's created such a weak system that fraudsters have thought, 'well hold on, this is a weak system, let's abuse it', and the government haven't done anything to tackle it."
[Site link]


Border controls – inadequacies
Terrorists and drug barons could be sneaking into Britain through security loophole
Mark Ellis
Mirror, 31 January 2014

Terrorists and drug barons could be slipping into Britain unnoticed because border security officers are not stopping every high-risk passenger who lands in a private plane.

Passengers flagged as security risks can expect to be met by Border Force officials, but around of 2% of arrivals are not stopped, according to figures released to Labour's Shadow Aviation Minister Gordon Marsden.

Ministers refused to say how many people were involved.

And they revealed that not all staff sent to meet high-risk passengers are trained for restraint or arrest.

Shadow Immigration Minister David Hanson said: "These new figures paint a worrying picture of border control under Theresa May where high risk flights into the UK are simply going unchecked, meaning criminals and terrorists could be entering the country at will.

"The Tory-led Government is in shambles on immigration with 13% fewer foreign criminals deported under this Government and now clear evidence of the loopholes in our border protections.

"The Home Secretary needs to act urgently to ensure that all of the UK has the protection it needs and that criminals don't have a potentially free pass into this country."

Immigration Minister Mark Harper said "specific statistics" on high priority passengers could not be released "to ensure the integrity and security of the UK".
[Site link]


Border controls – education
Foreign student courses 'not up to scratch'
Hannah Richardson
BBC, 21 January 2014

Two-thirds of awarding bodies offering postgraduate-level courses, mainly for foreign students, do not meet required standards, exams regulator Ofqual says.

A review of the so-called Tier 4 qualifications, which enable people to come to the UK on student visas, revealed some "serious concerns".

Ofqual has told two awarding bodies it is withdrawing their recognition.

The review was not about immigration matters, but making sure qualifications were of an adequate standard, it said.

Content and assessments in qualifications offered by two-thirds of the 13 awarding bodies sampled by Ofqual were found to be inadequate.

Issues were also raised over the quality of students' work shown by the course providers.

Director of regulatory operations at England's exams regulator Jane Farleigh said the investigation was prompted by complaints about postgraduate level Tier 4 courses - known as level 6 and 7 qualifications. Some 29 awarding bodies offer qualifications of this sort at this level.

"The review is not about the legality of students' entry in the UK. Our role is to make sure that the awarding organisations offering qualifications used in this sector are meeting the standards we require of them.

"We sampled a range of the awarding organisations, and found some serious concerns."
[Site link]



Citizenship – inspector's report
Thousands of foreign criminals given UK citizenship every year... including violent killer who admitted frenzied stabbing
James Slack Tom McTague
Daily Mail, 12 December 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Citizenship – inspector's report
Citizenship checks missed criminal records, report finds
BBC, 11 December 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This amounted to a "serious failing" and made it likely that the failure to notice that one asylum applicant had previously killed someone "was not an isolated case".
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UK grants nearly quarter of all new citizenships in EU
BBC, 19 November 2014

Britain granted nearly a quarter of all new citizenships in the EU in 2012 - more than any other member state.

A total of 193,900 migrants were issued UK passports over that year, according to records from the European Union's statistical office Eurostat.

The highest percentage of those went to people from India, followed by Pakistan, Nigeria and the Philippines. ...

Eurostat said three quarters of the 818,000 new citizenships in the EU were granted in six countries - with Britain granting 23.7% of them.

Germany granted 14%, followed by France on 11.7%, Spain on 11.5%, Italy on 8% and Sweden on 6.1%.
[Site link]


Citizenship – passports
208,000 passports handed to migrants in one year: One reason there's a massive backlog...
James Slack and Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 14 June 2014

A surge in applications from migrants is fuelling the Passport Office crisis, it emerged last night.

A record 207,989 foreigners were handed citizenship last year – a huge rise on the 82,000 seen in the year 2000.

Their requests for papers are contributing to the delays at the Passport Office, which is struggling to clear a backlog of 500,000 applications.

The holiday plans of thousands of families are being wrecked by the failure of their passports to arrive on time. Last year only 3 per cent of those who asked for citizenship were rejected and two million migrants have been awarded it since 2000. ...

In the final three months of last year, 59,687 citizenship applications were approved compared with 41,121 in the same period of 2011. This is the group of people most likely to be seeking their first British passport.
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Illegals who fiddled £130,000 in benefits may stay in Britain
Daily Express, 26 December 2014

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

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

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

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

They are now appealing against deportation.

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

Their counsel Kenneth Hind claimed they had been persecuted in India and said friends and family in Britain told them to destroy their passports to have a better chance of staying here.
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Hungarian killer driver wins right to stay in Britain
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 26 December 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Alastair MacGregor QC, the Commissioner for the Retention and Use of Biometric Material, warned that recent reforms by the Home Office may not solve the problem.
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One in seven people arrested in Britain last year was FOREIGN, damning figures reveal
James Slack
Daily Mail, 15 December 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Despite a ten-fold increase in case workers, the number of foreign prisoners has gone up by four per cent, to 10,649. Meanwhile, one in six overseas inmates freed from jail has absconded
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Criminals 'let off' by inefficient courts and prosecutors, says police watchdog
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 15 December 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Home Office has now also introduced new checks to make it harder for applicants to cheat – such as verifying their identity using fingerprints.
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12,000: Size of the army of foreign criminals living in Britain today, including 700 murderers and 500 rapists
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 10 December 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Crime – border security
Why are we allowing an army of thugs and riff raff into this country?
Frederick Forsyth
Daily Express, 5 December 2014

Once again David Cameron has been humiliated by the revelation of figures showing immigration from the EU to have skyrocketed after he had pledged "no ifs, no buts" to bring it plunging down.

All right, it is the dire economic situation of the Eurozone that has triggered the lemming-like rush for the French cliffs and then the UK.

But that was all totally foreseeable.

Almost the same day we learned these figures we also saw once again the battered face of Mr Paul Kohler, beaten half to death by four Polish thugs. Now, I regard the Poles as a very fine people but these were four animals.

Is there any connection here? Of course there is if our politicians had the wit to see it.

Our hands may be tied on immigrants seeking work, but not on thugs and career gangsters.

There are an estimated 30,000 EU-sourced criminals in the UK, about 11,000 in prison, the rest on the streets.

Hardly a week goes by without reportage of a crime of major theft or violence by a foreign perpetrator.

What would Brussels say, what would it dare say, if we began by giving career criminals a one-way ticket home?

I suspect there would be an icy silence, Treaty of Rome or no Treaty of Rome.

And from the British people? A thunderous round of cheering.
[Site link]


Crime – shoplifting
Weekend trafficking: Gangs now flying shoplifters into Britain and back on budget airlines
Paul Peachey
The Independent, 4 December 2014

Eastern European victims of people trafficking are being exploited by criminal gangs to carry out weekends of high-end shoplifting before being returned home on block-booked budget airline flights, in a new trend of modern slavery identified by Scotland Yard.

UK-based gang leaders are marshalling groups of up to 20 people brought over from countries such as Poland and Lithuania on cheap flights to target designer shops during trips lasting just a few days, detectives said yesterday.

The gangs accept a 20 per cent arrest rate as the cost of a "weekend trafficking" operation that can secure items worth up to £100,000 that are then taken out of the country for resale. Suspected thieves who have given statements have told police that they have been coerced into carrying out crimes out of fear about what would happen to their families if they refused. ...

A report into the scale of human trafficking into Britain earlier this year found that six of the top 10 source countries of trafficking victims were European, with most coming from Romania and Poland. Statistics from Scotland Yard also revealed that more than a quarter of people arrested for criminal offences in the capital were foreign nationals.
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Crime – slavery
Slavery Levels In The UK Are Four Times Higher Than Previously Thought
The Huffington Post, 29 November 2014

Up to 13,000 people in Britain are being held in conditions of slavery, four times the number previously thought, the Home Office has said.

In what is said to be the first scientific estimate of the scale of modern slavery in the UK, the Home Office has said the number of victims last year was between 10,000 and 13,000.

They include women forced into prostitution, domestic staff and workers in fields, factories and fishing boats.

Data from the National Crime Agency's Human Trafficking Centre had previously put the number of slavery victims in 2013 at 2,744.

Launching the Government's modern slavery strategy, Home Secretary Theresa May said the scale of abuse was "shocking".

"The first step to eradicating the scourge of modern slavery is acknowledging and confronting its existence," she said. ...

While many victims are foreign nationals, the document emphasises that vulnerable British adults and children are also being systematically preyed upon by traffickers and slave drivers.

The National Crime Agency estimates that the UK was the third most common country of origin for victims identified in 2013.

Among overseas victims, many of them brought into the UK by people traffickers, the most common countries were Romania, Poland, Albania and Nigeria.
[Site link]


Crime – human trafficking, sham marriage
Police raid human trafficking ring suspected of selling pregnant women for £15,000 each and forcing them to have babies with sham marriage husbands
Thomas Burrows
Daily Mail, 13 November 2014

Human traffickers are receiving £15,000 a time for forcing women to have babies following sham marriages.

Detectives investigating an organised crime group suspected of bringing women into Greater Manchester from Eastern Europe believe the traffickers are selling them for £3,000.

But the price increases to £15,000 if they will agree to have a child with their bogus husband.

The shocking price of women emerged as officers arrested eight men and three women during raids in Rochdale, Oldham and Cheetham Hill as part of Operation Retriever. ...

The offences for which they have been arrested include trafficking people for exploitation, conspiracy to facilitate breach of immigration law, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration into a member state. Two people were arrested over being overstayers in the UK. ...

The investigation linked addresses across Greater Manchester with women being brought into the country under false pretences and promises of a new life before being forced into marriage. ...

Mr Faulkner said there are currently as many as 400 cases involving women being trafficked for sham marriages in the Manchester area.

He added: 'Each sham marriage costs the UK economy £40,000.

'That's a Rochdale figure of £15m through benefits and cost to public services. The national picture is billions.' ...

The NCA's United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC) estimates that 2,744, people, including 602 children, were potential victims of trafficking for exploitation in 2013.

This represented an increase of 22 per cent on 2012.
[Site link]


Crime – bogus universities
Bogus foreign universities dupe thousands of Indian students – here's how to outsmart them
Shelly Walia
Quartz, 13 November 2014

Last week, a Chinese woman was sentenced to 16 years of federal prison for running a bogus university in San Francisco, California.

The Tri-Valley University was raided in 2011, and subsequently forced to shut down, for running an immigration scam. The perpetrator was found charging foreign students $2,700 in tuition per semester to illegally migrate and work in the US. Around 85% of them were of Indian origin – and may or not have been aware of the wrongdoing.

For almost 1,800 Indian students, job prospects were ruined. At the time, US authorities allowed only 435 students to transfer to other universities. The remaining were denied transfer, or they voluntarily chose to return to India.

The news caught media attention when US authorities required the expelled Tri-Valley students to wear radio collars to track their movements as they awaited their fate about deportation to India. That sparked protests in India.

But the Tri-Valley University was not the only diploma mill – as the unaccredited universities are sometimes called – duping mostly Indian students. ...

In 2012, US authorities denounced another university, Herguan University, in the Bay Area, for visa fraud – 94% of students were Indian.

In the UK, the problem seems even more rampant: according to a report in The Guardian, "there are more than twice as many bogus universities in the UK as genuine ones – higher than anywhere else in Europe."
[Site link]


Gang rips medals from army veteran on his way to Remembrance Sunday service
Daily Telegraph, 12 November 2014

An elderly former soldier had his regimental beret and medals ripped off him by a gang of youths as he walked to a cenotaph to honour his fallen comrades on Remembrance Sunday.

Police are investigating after army veteran George Gill, 70, was pounced on by thugs as he strolled through his local park in his full dress uniform.

The former sergeant with 1st Battalion Duke of Wellington Regiment was left traumatised with cuts to his lip as the Asian youths fled laughing with their 'trophies'.

He said: "I was walking to the cenotaph in the centre of town for Remembrance Sunday, the same route I have taken every year for as long as I can recall. ...

... They were laughing and joking and speaking in a foreign language, not in English, so I don't know what they were saying.

"I was shaken and couldn't understand what was happening. They had taken my beret as a trophy and they were tearing it at like a pack of dogs with a piece of meat. They thought it was funny."

Mr Gill said that the gang "ran off laughing and joking" out of the park near the bowling green, before he realised his medals were also missing.

[Site link]


Crime – policing
Britain's police 'struggling to cope' with immigration, says Met chief
Joanna Walters
Daily Telegraph, 7 November 2014

Britain's police forces are "struggling to cope" because of the pace of immigration, the country's most senior officer warned last night.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, told an international terrorism conference that his officers face challenges not only because of the speed of growth but because those coming to Britain had different languages and views of authority. ...

"People arrive with different languages, different perceptions of the police so that in itself can be part of the challenge,".

Sir Bernard said that 25 percent of the population growth in the UK had arrived in London in the last 10 years.

"We have all seen growth but not at the pace we have seen more recently, so it's a simple logistical point that the more people that arrive, the more quickly they arrive, all our bureaucracies struggle to cope and the police are no different," he said.

Sir Bernard emphasised the importance of the community beat as much as high-level counter terrorism in the effort to combat the radicalisation of some of Britain's youth who become driven to plot attacks or head overseas to join the jihad of ISIS.

"As much as we are talking about very specialised areas of counter-terrorism, we are careful not to forget we have got officers on the street talking to people," he said.

But he warned: "That can be a challenge for new communities."
[Site link]


Crime – sham weddings
Sham wedding shocker: 10,000 illegal immigrant marriages take place in Britain EVERY year
Laura Mitchell
Daily Star, 30 October 2014
[The Sham Wedding Crashers will be shown on Channel 5 tonight (October 30) at 9pm]

Walking down the aisle in their finest wedding attire they look like any other nervous couple about to say their 'I dos'. ...

By setting up a scam marriage journalist Harriet Morter, who played the blushing bride, and investigative reporter Paul Connolly reveal how easy it is for immigrants to marry Europeans for UK visas.

"It was remarkably simple to do it," said Paul. "If you have the reason, the drive and the means to actually go through with it it's easy."

"All you have to do it go to a registry office and sign an intent to marry," he added.

The journalist found the unsuspecting groom, Ali, through a sham wedding fixer called Elizabeth.

Ali paid £5,000 to marry his British bride, while the fixer was given a further £400. The Indian groom even offered Harriet an extra £10,000 to have a baby with him. ...

He even revealed that he had been living on a student visa, despite the fact he never attended classes in over two years, and admitted to doing illegal 'cash in hand' work.

"He is in this country and fair enough if he wants to work but he hasn't got the correct visa and he's not paying his tax," said Harriet. ...

This story might seem shocking but it is becoming worryingly common in parts of Britain.

And earlier this year the Home Office released a statement saying sham marriages are 'spiralling out of control' in the UK.

In fact, there are as many as 10,000 fake weddings carried out each year.
[Site link]


Crime – border security
Judge attacks blundering Border Agency over 'catastrophic' failures that allowed 170 bogus workers to illegally move to Britain
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 28 October 2014

Border chiefs have been blasted for 'catastrophic' failures over a £500,000 scam that allowed more than 170 bogus Pakistani workers and their relatives to illegally enter Britain.

A senior judge branded it a 'scandal' that the discredited UK Border Agency had handed out so many work permits to a company which even its own inspector warned was a front for a massive immigration racket.

The firm, Techsense UK, claimed it had lucrative IT contracts with private and public sector giants including Microsoft, BT and the NHS – even though a single phone call would have exposed this as a fraud.

Bosses told officials that they needed staff from their sister firm in Islamabad, Pakistan, to work in highly-skilled £40,000-a-year jobs at their plant in Milton Keynes.

But many of those who travelled to the UK on false pretences actually got jobs in fast food restaurants and stacking shelves in supermarkets.

In a highly unusual move, the judge hauled a senior border official into court to explain the scandal and accused the Home Office of attempting to cover up the fiasco to 'spare their blushes'. ...

Furious Judge Peter Ross said the agency was guilty of a 'catastrophic failure to check the material provided' by Techsense UK. ...

Techsense UK was set up by Pakistani nationals Rashid Ghauri, 42, and Ali Junejo, 35, both of Milton Keynes, supposedly to contract IT work for other firms, Oxford Crown Court was told.

The pair submitted letters and emails to the Home Office claiming 'partnerships' with organisations including the NHS, Microsoft and IBM.

In fact, this so-called proof was actually welcome messages they had received for signing up to services on those companies' websites and the contracts did not exist.

Despite this, the company was classified as 'low-risk' by the Home Office and awarded a licence to grant certificates of sponsorship – a significant step in someone being awarded a work permit.

Between 2009 and 2012, the UKBA handed out 117 certificates to Techsense UK. This led to 55 three-year visas being issued to people travelling from Pakistan supposedly to work for the loss-making company.

Prosecutors estimated that more than 120 family members were also granted visas to join them – making a total of at least 175 Pakistani nationals brought here illegally. ...

The UK Border Agency, which was axed last year after a series of scandals and replaced with UK Visas And Immigration and Immigration Enforcement. The UK Border Force was created after being hived off from the agency in 2012.
[Site link]


Crime – Scotland
Scotland full of eastern European criminals!
Paula Murray
Sunday Express, 26 October 2014

Scotland has so many eastern European criminal suspects that the Polish military has been called in to fly them home, the Sunday Express has learned.

Hundreds of overseas fugitives are being caught here and sent home every year with majority coming from Poland, South Africa and the USA.

Earlier this year, there were close to 400 live cases involving 62 different countries - either Scots who had fled abroad or foreign nationals wanted for often serious crimes. ...

A Scottish Government report on international criminals, seen by the Sunday Express, states: "To facilitate the increasing number of extraditions to Poland and to reduce costs involved, arrangements have been made for Polish military flights to land at Edinburgh airport."

Following the introduction of the European Arrest Warrant in 2004, thousands of foreign suspects are being caught and sent home from Britain every year.

Four years ago, the Polish authorities also introduced regular military flights from Biggin Hill airport in Kent to cope with a peak in demand.

An 80-seater Polish military twin-propeller aircraft was sometimes making two flights a week to Warsaw, extraditing suspects in crimes ranging from murder to theft of a chicken. Many of those extradited were returning to Britain within days.
[Site link]


More than 700 foreign criminals caught in just two days: Fugitive wanted for 23 offences and man suspected of £11,500 fraud among those held in crackdown
Rebecca Camber and Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 23 October 2014

The extraordinary number of foreign criminals hiding in Britain was dramatically revealed yesterday after police arrested more than 700 suspects travelling on our roads in just 48 hours.

As a row raged over a report which showed the £1 billion-a-year failure of successive governments to guard Britain's borders, police launched the biggest-ever blitz on overseas offenders, rounding up 1,687 suspects in two days.

Using number plate recognition technology to spot foreign-registered vehicles potentially associated with criminal activity, police stopped 2,304 cars, arresting 729 immigrants.

They include gangsters and thugs wanted in their own countries for crimes such as human trafficking, robbery, fraud, drug smuggling, assault and domestic abuse.

One 28-year-old Czech fugitive wanted on a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) for 23 offences, including robbery, was spotted in Birmingham city centre.

... The week-long crackdown – involving 43 forces in England and Wales – has seen raids carried out targeting foreign criminals across the UK.

Police also handed out 958 fines and cautions to overseas motorists for driving without a licence, insurance or tax and using rebated fuel, known as red diesel.

West Midlands Police, which is co-ordinating Operation Trivium, gathered intelligence from 14 countries on their most wanted offenders in Britain. A list of 3,500 number plates associated with crime was distributed to traffic officers, who were instructed to pull over any matching vehicles. Meanwhile, 30 police officers from 14 European countries ran checks on the drivers on their own databases at a Birmingham control centre. ...

The crackdown came as ministers refused to name dozens of high-risk foreign criminals on the run for more than five years. ...

But yesterday David Cameron stressed that 22,000 foreign national offenders had been removed from Britain since he entered Downing Street, adding: 'We're making progress, the buck does stop with me but I wouldn't mind a bit of cross-party support for the actions we need to take.'
[Site link]


Crime – deportation
Failure to check foreign criminals 'costing millions'
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 22 October 2014

Police are failing to check whether seven out of 10 foreign suspects have criminal records in their native countries.

The full extent of the problem, which experts said was a major blind spot in the criminal justice system, was revealed in a report disclosing a catalogue of "appalling" errors in the Home Office's handling of foreign criminals.

The National Audit Office (NAO) report also revealed that at least 58 serious foreign criminals who pose a high risk to the public have absconded in Britain after being released from prison to await deportation.

In all 760 foreign offenders living in the community have gone on the run and of those 395 have been fugitives for at least four years.

The spending watchdogs said that when proper criminal records checks are carried out, one in three foreign suspects is found to have offended at home, meaning police could be failing to discover information on hundreds of offenders a year. ...

The NAO also found:

• Dealing with foreign criminals in Britain costs the taxpayer up to £1 billion a year, including £81 million in legal aid, £148 million in policing and £401 million in prison costs.

• Measures to keep foreign criminals out of Britain by turning them away at the border – even if they are European Union citizens – are not being used.

• Each foreign criminal costs the taxpayer £70,000 a year in criminal justice and other admin costs.

• Home Office investment on foreign criminal cases has increased 10-fold since 2006 but the number of overseas prisoners and the numbers deported has remained stagnant.

• Systems to track down and remove foreign criminals rely on slow, out-of-date technology such as fax machines and other paper-based processes. ...

The auditors also questioned figures which have been provided by the Home Office to the Commons' home affairs select committee on the number of prisoners released without being considered for deportation.

Home Office officials have told MPs that 151 offenders fell into that category – which led to the sacking of former home secretary Charles Clarke in 2006.

But the NAO spokesman said: "We have been unable to reconcile that figure."
[Site link]


Crime – EU, human trafficking
Trafficking harms 30,000 in EU - most in sex trade
BBC, 17 October 2014

The EU says 30,146 people were registered as victims of human trafficking across the 28-nation EU in the three years to 2013.

The European Commission report says 80% of the victims were women and 69% of all those trafficked were victims of sexual exploitation.

More than 1,000 child victims were trafficked for sexual exploitation.

Two-thirds of the victims were EU citizens. Nigeria and China were the main non-EU countries of origin.

The EU Home Affairs Commissioner, Cecilia Malmstroem, said EU countries had achieved much in combating "this slave trade of our time".

But "we do not claim to have measured the full extent of trafficking", she added, and "we must continue our work tirelessly, in Europe and beyond our borders".

In 2010-2012, EU states prosecuted 8,551 people for human trafficking, the report said. There were 3,786 convictions.
[Site link]


Crime – child sexual exploitation
More than 6,000 children across England are deemed at risk of sexual exploitation in past 18 months
Emma Glanfield
Daily Mail, 9 October 2014

More than 6,000 children across England have been reported as at risk of sexual exploitation in the past 18 months, according to new figures.

The data, collected by Channel 4, shows that 6,300 children aged under 16 have been flagged up to social services for being vulnerable to exploitation since January last year.

The figures, which were obtained from 88 councils across the country, have been disclosed following the Rotherham sex abuse scandal where more than 1,400 children were sexually abused over a 16-year period.

According to the new information, social services were aware of 3,202 children at risk in 2013 and a total of 3,009 children were referred to social services, or known to them already, in the first six months of 2014. ...

Children were found to be most at risk in northern regions, with 452 deemed at risk in Manchester, 407 in Derbyshire, 363 in Sheffield and 311 in Blackburn and Darwen.

However, the problem is not just confined to the north, as the data shows that children are at risk nationwide – including 256 in the London borough of Havering, 230 in Northamptonshire, 196 in Hampshire and 140 in Southampton.

Of those reported at risk, the majority were girls but 523 cases involved young boys.

Ann Coffey, the Labour MP for Stockport who is chairing an inquiry into child exploitation, said agencies were being more pro-active in tackling exploitation nowadays. ...

The issue of 'victim blaming' by the agencies and authorities who were tasked to support the children had been 'a real problem for victims' in the past, but Ms Coffey said this situation was now changing.
[Site link]


Crime – witchcraft child abuse
Witchcraft Child Abuse Cases On The Rise In The UK
Zoe Mintz
International Business Times, 9 October 2014

A rise in the number of child abuse cases linked to supposed witchcraft has been reported in the U.K., London's Metropolitan Police said Wednesday. ...

In the past year, 27 allegations of child abuse have been reported. The year before, the figure was 24, the BBC reports. ...

In one person's view, the spike in the number of cases can be attributed to "mass migration and globalization." Detective Superintendent Terry Sharpe, of the Metropolitan Police's sexual offenses, exploitation and child abuse command, said in the report that he believes an increase has coincided with an influx of immigrants from varied backgrounds. "People bring their cultures and beliefs with them," he told the BBC.

The number of people seeking U.K. citizenship in the past four years has been on the rise. In 2013 there were more than 152,000 "grants of settlement" to non-European migrants – an 18 percent increase from the year before. ... ...

According to Shape, exorcisms and isolation are frequently seen when a child is suspected of being possessed by an evil spirit. "A child is starved, or put in a cage, so that they can't pass the spirit on to other children," Sharpe told the BBC. "If someone is branded a witch, the violence can escalate quite quickly. They are no longer seen as a child but someone that can inflict harm on others. The parent will no longer see that child as theirs any more but an evil spirit that needs to be released."
[Site link]


Crime – people trafficking, illegal immigration
Smuggling of migrants tops agenda at opening of conference on organized crime
Irish Sun, 7 October 2014

The two main routes of smuggling of migrants to Europe and North America generate nearly $7 billion a year to the smuggling networks, according to an estimate today released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

"Terrible tragedies are occurring daily as vulnerable women, children and men, place their trust in criminals to smuggle them across national borders," UNODC Executive Director Yuri Fedotov said in Vienna at a conference focusing on the cooperation needed to confront criminals.

He was addressing the opening of the Seventh Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
[Site link]


Crime – fake documents
Romanian gang who moved to UK after borders were opened jailed for selling fake IDs to illegal immigrants so they can claim benefits
Julian Robinson
Daily Mail, 1 October 2014

Three Romanians are behind bars today for running a fake ID racket in Britain which could have entitled illegal immigrants to millions of pounds in state hand outs and free healthcare.

Crime boss Vasile Gheorghe and two accomplices Valentin Babtan and Andreea Necula exploited EU laws on border controls to offer forged Romanian and Italian identity cards and driving licences for up to £2,000 each to migrants hiding out in the UK.

Each fake ID would carry an image of the illegal immigrant, usually with the name and details of unsuspecting Romanian nationals living in Bucharest who would have been legally allowed to move to the UK under the EU's Free Movement of workers programme.

The EU ID cards entitling holders to UK benefits and free NHS treatment were sold mainly to illegal Afghans, Iraqis and Iranians who were smuggled into the UK after fleeing their homelands. ...

The scam began after border restrictions on Romania and Bulgaria were lifted on January 1, allowing nationals of those EU member states full access to the UK jobs market and limited access to welfare benefits in the UK.

Gheorghe, Babtan and Necula used the laws to settle legally in the UK but then began dealing fake ID cards on the black market so illegal immigrants could cash in on the UK welfare system and get access to the NHS.

Their racket was exposed during an investigation by a Sunday newspaper after investigators posing as unscrupulous businessmen held meetings with gang members based in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.
[Site link]


Crime – human trafficking
British Children Trafficked For Sex Or Forced Labour Surges
The Huffington Post, 30 September 2014

The number of British children reported as being trafficked for sex or forced labour within the UK has surged in the last year, as high-profile abuse cases in Rotherham and Rochdale boost awareness of the crime.

Britain was the most prevalent country of origin for potential child victims of human trafficking in 2013, with more than 128 child victims identified, a three-fold increase on the 38 found in the previous year, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.

The stark increase comes as the overall number of potential human trafficking victims identified in the UK, including adults and children from all countries, also jumped 22% in 2013 to 2,744.

The NCA said it had received emerging intelligence reports that human trafficking victims were being branded "like cattle" with tattoos to signify ownership or their age.

Liam Vernon, head of the NCA's United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC), said reports of wide-scale abuse by gangs in towns such as Rotherham, Rochdale and Oxford were behind a spike in child victims being identified. ...

A total of 602 child victims of trafficking were identified across all countries of origin, with 65% girls and 30% boys - the remaining 5% were unrecorded. The most common form of exploitation for girls was sex, while for boys it was mainly labour or criminal purposes.

Of the 128 UK national children identified, 112 or 88% were sexually exploited - a huge increase on the previous year.
[Site link]


Number of crimes committed by foreigners has doubled in five years - and one in five attempts to deport them fails
Corey Charlton
Daily Mail, 29 September 2014

One in five attempts to deport foreign criminals fail, while the number of crimes committed by immigrants has doubled in the past five years, new figures reveal.

Last year foreign criminals were responsible for 14 per cent of serious crimes such as murders, rapes and robberies - a rate that has jumped 50 per cent since 2008.

The high rate of offending coincides with news 20 per cent of last year's deportations were classed as 'failed removals' - meaning the Home Office failed to deport the offender.

The figures were compiled by the Sun on Sunday, which also reported migrants commit about 220,000 crimes a year. ...

Just two months ago Britain's top police officer warned the criminal justice situation was not adapting quickly enough to cope with the impact of immigration.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said more than half of all foreign criminals caught in Britain have a right to stay that prevents them being deported.
[Site link]


Asylum seeker sub-letting scam costs the taxpayer millions
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 29 September 2014

Former asylum seekers have raked in millions by illegally sub-letting luxury London flats paid for by the taxpayer, it is claimed.

Refugees given the right to stay get housing benefit to rent upmarket addresses.

But they have allegedly been renting them on to the super-rich.

In one case, a family pocketed £500 a week to pay the rent on a £1 million flat which they sub-let for up to £3,000 a week.

Investigators swooped on 21 alleged fraudsters at four blocks last week. Each is estimated to have made more than £100,000 over three years sub-letting the flats and taking £250,000 in benefit.

Estate agent Hany Hanna said after 20 years, the fraud is now at "epidemic" levels.

He said: "Some will come to the UK with a piece of paper with instructions.

"First you have to be pregnant, then go to the housing department – they give you a flat. An agent will find you a tenant and you'll be making double whammy."

Westminster councillor Lindsey Hall said the 21 claimants are facing court action to get the money back.

She called for more rigorous checks and said prosecutions cost "tens of thousands of pounds and months of work".
[Site link]


Crime – sham same-sex marriage
Gay weddings targeted for UK citizenship
Zack Adesina
BBC, 22 September 2014

Same-sex marriages were made legal in March this year but within weeks of the legislation coming into effect, criminal gangs were touting sham gay weddings to those wanting to dodge immigration controls.

Inside Out London went undercover to expose the fraud and discovered one gang that organises sham gay marriages for £10,000.

The reporter posed as an illegal immigrant urgently seeking a sham marriage to stay in the UK, while another posed as an uncle.

Peter and Ricardo, the gang's leaders, boasted to the undercover reporters they had "fixed" weddings "lots of times".

They offered two potential fake Romanian brides to the reporter, both of whom explicitly stated they were not lesbians but were willing to pretend to be gay and marry anyone for cash.

One of the girls, Alexandra, said she had organised six previous sham weddings and knew how to deceive immigration officers.

She said: "We have to declare we live together... That's not gonna happen but that's what we have to declare."

She said she could also arrange a "romantic" photo shoot of the undercover reporter and herself, designed to persuade the authorities that they were in a genuine relationship and said "we gonna like, hold hands, hold each other... we have to."

The number of reported sham weddings has trebled in recent years, according to the Home Office.

Mark Rimmer, head of Registration and Nationality Services at Brent Council, said: "Here in Brent, the Home Office stops marriages on a weekly basis.

"In many boroughs in London the thought is that up to 20 to 30% of marriages are actually for the avoidance of immigration control."

But these statistics only account for straight fake weddings.

The authorities have yet to get to grips with sham gay weddings.

Mr Rimmer said: "I think it is probably more difficult to spot the signs if you have a same sex couple whether they be male or female."

The gang investigated by Inside Out claimed that breaking the law by fixing sham gay marriages was easy.

Ricardo said he had never had any problems with the police or immigration officers.

He said: "You say 'I am gay'. No more questions for you. Easy for gay."

Minister for Immigration and Security, James Brokenshire, said what Inside Out London had uncovered was disturbing and he had ordered his enforcement teams to launch an investigation into sham gay weddings as a result.
[Site link]


Crime – Islam
Like it or not, Isis are Muslims. Calling them 'monsters' lets us off the hook
Melanie McDonagh
Spectator blog, 15 September 2014

There are various pieties that politicians observe in the wake of some barbarity committed by Islamic fundamentalists and duly David Cameron observed them in his statement yesterday about the murder of David Haines. Of the perpetrators, he observed:

'They are killing and slaughtering thousands of people – Christians, Muslims, minorities across Iraq and Syria. They boast of their brutality. They claim to do this in the name of Islam. That is nonsense. Islam is a religion of peace. They are not Muslims, they are monsters.'

I really wish he wouldn't. It doesn't add anything whatever to our understanding of Isis to say that they are not Muslims but monsters. They may not be our preferred kind of Muslims – my own preference is for the C of E sort you used to get in the former Yugoslavia – but they are, unquestionably Muslims of a particularly unattractive stamp. Calling them monsters is an impolite way of abnegating any effort to understand them.

As for the notion that Islam is a religion of peace, it is, of course, but it is also a religion of war; the reflexive description of it as a religion of peace doesn't quite do justice to its earliest history.
[Site link]


Crime – black women, domestic violence, USA
Why Black Women Struggle More With Domestic Violence
Feminista Jones
Time, 10 September 2014

Domestic and intimate partner violence (DV/IPV) is a "family secret" in our Black communities. While I'm not suggesting that all Black people think and function in similar enough ways that we could all be labeled simply as one "community," I do know we have pervasive problems that require nuanced discourse – especially in light of the national conversation about domestic abuse that has erupted over the last week. ...

... According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, an estimated 1.3 million American women experience DV/IPV each year. Women make up 85% of the victims of DV/IPV. Despite this, most cases are never reported to the police and most women are victimized by people they know.

And for Black women, it's an even bigger problem: Black women are almost three times as likely to experience death as a result of DV/IPV than White women. And while Black women only make up 8% of the population, 22% of homicides that result from DV/IPV happen to Black Women and 29% of all victimized women, making it one of the leading causes of death for Black women ages 15 to 35. Statistically, we experience sexual assault and DV/IPV at disproportionate rates and have the highest rates of intra-racial violence against us than any other group. We are also less likely to report or seek help when we are victimized.

The reasons Black women suffer disproportionately from abuse are complex. Racism and sexism are two of the biggest obstacles that Black women in America face. But because many Black women and men believe racism is a bigger issue than sexism, Black women tend to feel obligated to put racial issues ahead of sex-based issues. For Black women, a strong sense of cultural affinity and loyalty to community and race renders many of us silent, so our stories often go untold. One of the biggest related impediments is our hesitation in trusting the police or the justice system. As Black people, we don't always feel comfortable surrendering "our own" to the treatment of a racially biased police state and as women, we don't always feel safe calling police officers who may harm us instead of helping us. And when we do speak out or seek help, we too often experience backlash from members of our communities who believe we are airing out dirty laundry and making ourselves look bad in front of White people.
[Site link]


Crime – multiculturalism, anti-racism
Rotherham abuse: Researcher 'faced council hostility'
Alison Holt
BBC, 2 September 2014

A Home Office researcher who wrote a report into the sexual exploitation of children in Rotherham has said she faced "hostility" from the council.

Her inquiries in 2002 indicated there were then more than 270 victims. Last week, a report revealed more than 1,400 were abused from 1997 to 2013. ...

"I was collecting data on who the perpetrators were, what cars they were using, their grooming methods, their offending methods, and what I was also collecting, was information on professional responses."

When the researcher began to share her findings with the council, she told them most of the perpetrators being named were from the British Pakistani community.

She said she was taken aback by the response from one official.

"They said you must never refer to that again, you must never refer to Asian men," she said.

"And [the] other response was to book me on a two-day ethnicity and diversity course to raise my awareness of ethnic issues." ...

Her report was never published. And the council even tried unsuccessfully to get the researcher sacked.

She said: "I was subjected to the most intense personal hostility - there were threats made from a range of sources. I've never seen back-covering like it and I still feel extremely angry about that."

Prof Alexis Jay, who wrote last week's independent report into the abuse in Rotherham, said the Home Office report was "effectively suppressed".

Her report states: "Had this [2002 draft] report been treated with the seriousness it merited at the time by both the police and the council, the children involved then and later would have been better protected and abusers brought to justice."

Prof Jay told Panorama: "The response was, in a nutshell, she was punished for speaking truth to power.

"If they had taken account of the content and been less concerned with their own images then a great deal more might have been done at an earlier stage."

Panorama also spoke to Dr Angie Heal, who was employed by South Yorkshire Police to investigate drugs crime in 2003. She quickly identified links with sexual exploitation.

"It really didn't make any sense as to why there weren't major police operations that were being launched to investigate these issues," she said.

She wrote a report that pointed to a lack of convictions and named offenders, which was sent to senior police officers and council managers, but nothing happened.

"There were issues of ethnicity, and some people felt that ethnicity was a barrier to investigating, that it was seen to be too sensitive an issue," she said.
[Site link]


Crime – human trafficking
Human trafficking rises year on year in Cardiff
Steve Duffy
BBC, 2 September 2014

Human trafficking in Cardiff is increasing year-on-year, with women being exploited for sex and children forced to work, says a new report.

The number of children at significant risk of exploitation in the city has more than doubled, new figures show.

Trafficking cases across Wales also rose from 34 to 50 in the last year.

But experts say the figures are only the tip of the iceberg - with many cases not officially recorded. ...

• The internal trafficking of children for sexual exploitation is the "biggest issue" in south Wales according to police ...

A large number of cases in UK are from countries like Nigeria, Vietnam, China, Albania and Romania.
[Site link]


Crime – cannabis, slavery
Cannabis factories may spark rise in UK slavery
Yorkshire Post, 1 September 2014

Police forces across the country are staging a renewed crackdown on cannabis farms amid warnings that the factories are a key factor in the growth of modern-day slavery.

Among the forces taking part is West Yorkshire Police, who are developing an education programme on the multi-million pound crime for local councils. ...

The Yorkshire Post revealed on Saturday that hundreds of victims of forced labour and human trafficking are going undetected across the region, with many kept behind closed doors in brothels or cannabis farms. Police have vowed to tackle the problem.

Detective Superintendent Steve Smith, North Yorkshire Police's lead on human trafficking and modern slavery, said men from Vietnam and China had been found growing cannabis in rural parts of the county in recent years. ...

Detective Chief Superintendent Bill Jephson, who is national lead for cannabis-related crime for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said commercial cannabis cultivation is a problem "which affects all areas of our country".

He added: "Cannabis cultivation not only feeds a multi-million pound black market in increasingly potent and dangerous cannabis, which can have lasting physical and mental health effects on users, but it is also a key driver in modern slavery, with people forced to work on cannabis farms and strong-armed into servitude, either because of their untraceability as illegal migrants, or because they are in debt to the people in control of the operation."
[Site link]


Crime – sexual abuse of children
Rotherham sex abuse: 'The utter brutality is what shocked me most'
Elizabeth Grice
Daily Telegraph, 30 August 2014

Professor Alexis Jay had investigated complex cases of child sexual exploitation before. ...

It was when she started to read the case files and talk to people that her professional detachment was shaken. Something unimaginably evil was unfolding and on a scale that defied belief. ...

"The utter brutality is what shocked me most," she says. ... ...

... The numbers are overwhelming – 1,400 is a conservative estimate of Rotherham's young victims. The evidence was always there, but largely ignored. ...

... "The abuse is not confined to the past but continues to this day." "Over the first 12 years covered by this inquiry, the collective failures of political and officer leadership were blatant." ... ...

Three previous reports about child sexual exploitation in Rotherham were suppressed or ignored and their authors subjected to "personal hostility".
[Site link]


Crime – sexual abuse of children
Rotherham: In the face of such evil, who is the racist now?
Allison Pearson
Daily Telegraph, 28 August 2014

Let's start with a riddle. If South Yorkshire Police can mount a raid on Sir Cliff Richard's home in pursuit of evidence linked to a single allegation of child sex abuse 30 years ago, why were South Yorkshire Police incapable of pursuing multiple allegations against multiple men who raped 1,400 children over 16 years? ...

Men of Pakistani heritage treated white girls like toilet paper. They picked children up from schools and care homes and trafficked them across northern cities for other men to join in the fun. They doused a 15-year-old in petrol and threatened to set her alight should she dare to report them. They menaced entire families and made young girls watch as they raped other children.

These truly horrible things happened in our country – not in the distant, cruel past, but as recently as last year. ... ...

The Labour Party, in particular, is mired in shame over "cultural sensitivity" in Rotherham. Especially, cynics might point out, a sensitivity to the culture of Muslims whose votes they don't want to lose. Denis MacShane, MP for Rotherham from 1994 to 2012, actually admitted to the BBC's World At One that "there was a culture of not wanting to rock the multicultural community boat, if I may put it like that. Perhaps, yes, as a true Guardian reader and liberal Leftie, I suppose I didn't want to raise that too hard." Much better to hang on to your impeccable liberal credentials than save a few girls from being raped, eh, Denis?

Equally horrifying is the suggestion that certain Pakistani councillors asked social workers to reveal the addresses of the shelters where some of the abused girls were hiding. The former deputy leader of the council, Jahangir Akhtar, is accused of "ignoring a politically inconvenient truth" by insisting there was not a deep-rooted problem of Pakistani-heritage perpetrators targeting young white girls. The inquiry was told that influential Pakistani councillors acted as "barriers to communication" on grooming issues.

Front-line youth workers who submitted reports in 2002, 2003 and 2006 expressing their alarm at the scale of the child sex-offending say the town hall told them to keep quiet about the ethnicity of the perpetrators in the interests of "community cohesion".

Fear of appearing racist trumped fears of more children being abused. Not only were negligent officials not prosecuted, they prospered. ... ...

... Powerless white working-class girls were caught between a hateful, imported culture of vicious misogyny on the one hand, and on the other a culture of chauvinism among the police, who regarded them as worthless slags. Officials trained up in diversity and political correctness failed to acknowledge what was effectively white slavery on their doorstep. Much too embarrassing to concede that it wasn't white people who were committing racist hate crimes in this instance.

... Far from discouraging racism, the Labour policy of withholding the ethnic identity of men who preyed on white girls backfired spectacularly. Criminally, it endangered hundreds of children who might otherwise have been spared. A recent poll showed that 44 per cent of young Britons believe that Muslims do not share the same values as the rest of the population, while 28 per cent said they felt Britain would be "better off" with fewer Muslims.
[Site link]


Crime – culture, Islam
Rotherham: How Immigrant Communities are Enabled to Ghettoise and Get Away With Anything
Richard North
Breitbart, 28 August 2014

Watching the guilty men and women dive for cover over the Rotherham affair, I begin to wonder whether their incompetence and neglect stems from their own inadequacies, or from a more profound ignorance on key issue surrounding the vexed subject of immigration in the UK. ...

As to the role of religion in such matters, I have come up with some observations which would suggest that the causal factors are far more complex and subtle than most would allow, which possibly make religion only an incidental and relatively minor factor.

In the first instance, it is probably no coincidence that the men involved in the Rotherham incident, and many of the other similar incidents reported, were Pakistani, many of them actually Kashmiri.

In this, there is an important but often understated cultural heritage, based on the fact that these men come from tribal societies, and not just "tribes" in the sense of a grouping of people. Their particular tribal style is nomadic, which confers a form of governance which differs substantially from the structure of "settled" tribes.

The settled tribes adopt hierarchical structures, with powerful chiefs and councils of elders who exert a degree of control and discipline which carries over into immigrant communities. Those with nomadic origins lack this framework of community discipline and, as immigrants, find themselves without effective societal restraints. ...

As immigrants into the UK, with weak societal constraints, such men are nevertheless bound by traditions that prohibited casual acquaintance with members of the opposite sex within their own communities. In that context, the sexual mores of "liberalised" white women provided an easier means of attaining sexual gratification.

This has been made even easier in these decaying northern towns, where there has been a breakdown of family values and structures, as the old industries disappear and any element of social cohesion fades away. The female children of dysfunction families become easy prey to Asian men, seeking to fulfil their own fantasies.

Into this potent mix, we then had the bizarre situation which made this affair possible. At the very time when they were most needed, the very mechanisms in the host country which might have imposed discipline on immigrant communities, and protected the weak and vulnerable, were themselves coming under sustained attack.

Partly as an over-reaction to the institutionalised racism of the '50s and '60s, and partly because "race relations" had become a lucrative industry, with Rotherham alone spending more than £300,000 a year on employing diversity officers, local authorities and the police came under enormous pressure not to discriminate against immigrant – and especially coloured – communities. Behaviour that would not be tolerated amongst the indigenous population was thus given a free pass when perpetrated by Asians. ...

In this, it is hard to find a specific causal relationship with Islam. ... Islam has a structure where every Imam is master of his own house and which is particularly attractive to nomadic tribes. For the same reason, it appeals to the dispossessed and rootless. In otherwise, the religion is an effect, not a cause.
[Site link]


Crime – sexual abuse of children
Revealed: How fear of being seen as racist stopped social workers saving up to 1,400 children from sexual exploitation at the hands of Asian men in just ONE TOWN
Mia De Graaf and Amanda Williams
Daily Mail, 27 August 2014

The sexual abuse of about 1,400 children at the hands of Asian men went unreported for 16 years because staff feared they would be seen as racist, a report said today.

Children as young as 11 were trafficked, beaten, and raped by large numbers of men between 1997 and 2013 in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, the council commissioned review into child protection revealed.

And shockingly, more than a third of the cases were already know to agencies.

But according to the report's author: 'several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist'.

Professor Alexis Jay, who wrote the report, condemned the 'blatant' collective failures by the council's leadership, concluding: 'It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that child victims suffered.'

The landmark report which exposed widespread failures of the council, police and social services revealed:

• Victims were doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, terrorised with guns, made to witness brutally-violent rapes and told they would be the next if they spoke out;

• They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten and intimidated;

• One victim described gang rape as 'a way of life';

• Police 'regarded many child victims with contempt';

• Some fathers tried to rescue their children from abuse but were arrested themselves;

• The approximate figure of 1,400 abuse victims is likely to be a conservative estimate of the true scale of abuse.

The lack of reports was partly down to a fear of being racist, Prof Jay wrote, as the majority of the perpetrators were described as 'Asian men', and many were said to be of Pakistani origin. ...

The failures happened despite three reports between 2002 and 2006 'which could not have been clearer in the description of the situation in Rotherham'.

Prof Jay said the first of these reports was 'effectively suppressed' because senior officers did not believe the data.

The other two were ignored, the professor said.

Fears had also been raised by schools over the 16 years but the alerts went uninvestigated.

Teachers reported seeing children as young as 11, 12 and 13 being picked up outside schools by cars and taxis, given presents and mobile phones and taken to meet large numbers of unknown men in Rotherham or other local towns and cities. ...

The leader of Rotherham Council, Roger Stone, has today quit in light of the findings. He has led the council since 2003. ...

The prosecution was the first of a series of high-profile cases in the last four years that have revealed the exploitation of young girls in towns and cities including Rochdale, Derby and Oxford.
[Site link]


Crime – sexual abuse of children
Police chief must go over Rotherham grooming outrage says his own party
Rob Parsons
Yorkshire Post, 27 August 2014

South Yorkshire's police and crime commissioner Shaun Wright should step down following the "devastating" report into child abuse in Rotherham, the Labour Party said today. ...

Mr Wright said abuse report author Professor Alexis Jay should have gone further and "named names" in terms of council officials, politicians and police officers who had failed to protect youngsters from abuse.

He said issues identified in the report regarding culture and ethnicity came as a "huge surprise" to him because he had not been made aware of the problems at the time. ...

Prof Jay's report - commissioned by the council - said failures of the political and officer leadership of Rotherham council between 1997 and 2009 were "blatant" as the seriousness of the problem was underplayed by senior managers and was not seen as a priority by South Yorkshire Police. ...

Yesterday's report by Alexis Jay, said it was "extraordinary" that Rotherham council's ruling Labour group, in which Shaun Wright was a senior councillor, did not discuss child sex abuse until 2012. ...

These failures happened despite three reports between 2002 and 2006 "which could not have been clearer in the description of the situation in Rotherham". ...

Children's commissioner for England Maggie Atkinson said cases of abuse similar to those in Rotherham were happening across the country.

She told The World At One: "This is going on across the country and it's not historic, it's still happening now. Vulnerable children deserve our protection."
[Site link]


Crime – Mafia, Camorra
Mafia 'tightens its grip on Aberdeen'
Martyn McLaughlin
The Scotsman, 21 August 2014

Aberdeen is a "mafia stronghold" for a notorious crime syndicate which controls swathes of the city's economy, according to a new report from a leading European think tank.

The Naples-based Camorra crime organisation, which has been linked with a number of killings, is involved in the city's catering, retail and property sectors, the research by the European Union-funded Transcrime centre found.

A former Scottish MEP described the findings as "absolutely staggering" and called for police action and new laws to "stamp out" the mafia's influence.

The study, analysing how major criminal gangs laundered their money in selected countries from 2007, claimed the Camorra group had interests in the city's public works.

However, that allegation was denied by the former leader of Aberdeen City Council, although he admitted that the presence of the criminal element in the city was no secret. ...

The report by Transcrime states: "The Camorra stronghold is Aberdeen, the third most populous city in Scotland, where it controls the catering, public works, food retail and wholesale and property sectors."

The report also found that two other Italian crime gangs had a presence in the UK – the Sicilian Mafia, which is said to run illegal gambling dens in London, and the 'Ndrangheta, which researchers found is involved in the property sector in the UK capital. Police Scotland declined to comment on the report, but former council leader Barney Crockett said the mobsters' presence in Aberdeen came as no surprise.

He said: "I think the attraction of Aberdeen is the fact that they can swap over a lot of money, because it is such a business environment. However, I am totally confident that there is no involvement in public works of any description." ...

Aberdeen has been repeatedly linked with Italian organised crime in the past decade. Undercover Italian journalist Roberto Saviano's 2006 book, Gomorrah: Italy's Other Mafia, claimed that Aberdeen was the focus of the crime clan's British operations.
[Site link]


Crime – deportation
A perversity that discredits true human rights
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 12 August 2014

Foreign nationals living in Britain and convicted of a serious crime should be deported whence they came. Who doesn't agree with that? The law-abiding majority does; four successive prime ministers have reiterated it as government policy; and Parliament wants it to happen. Yet we've failed to get to grips with this problem: figures published yesterday show that the number of foreign criminals avoiding deportation actually went up by 50 per cent last year.

In total, 1,310 overseas convicts considered for removal were not sent home, an increase from 890 in 2012. These included 15 murderers, five people convicted of manslaughter, 15 rapists, 140 robbers and 20 guilty of sex offences against children. One in three foreign convicts who under the law should be considered for deportation is being allowed to stay.

In most of these cases, the barrier to removal is the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and, in particular, Article 8 – the right to a family life. All foreign nationals sentenced to 12 months or more in jail are automatically considered for deportation after they've served their time; but when they are about to be released, many of them appeal. Some manage to avoid being sent home because their nationality cannot be established or because sending them back would put their lives in danger. But Article 8 challenges now appear to provide the most effective legal obstacle to being thrown out of the country. ...

Recent legislation now requires the courts to take into account Parliament's view that the right to a family life is "not to be regarded as absolute and unqualified". But this is not simply the view of Parliament; it is supposed to be inherent in Article 8 itself. It states that "there shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others".

In other words, this is a qualified right, and the judgment of when and how to apply it is a matter for the courts. Yet the decisions are often impossible to fathom. ...

These rulings – and there are dozens of them – defy reason, logic and common sense. Those who champion the ECHR as a force for enlightened behaviour must acknowledge that its post-war architects cannot have envisaged that it would be used to deprive governments of the ability to deport convicted criminals whose presence is clearly not conducive to the public good. Yet our own courts have taken this right to a family life much further than was intended – even beyond its interpretation by the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
[Site link]


Crime – employment of illegal immigrants
The restaurants who haven't paid their tab: businesses rack up £250,000 in unpaid fines for employing illegal immigrants
James McCarthy
Wales Online, 10 August 2014

Hundreds of thousands of pounds in fines have gone unpaid by businesses guilty of employing illegal immigrants – with the two largest tabs hitting £20,000 apiece.

Almost a quarter of a million pounds is owed by scores of firms in Wales for exploiting cheap labour offered by desperate foreigners.

The offending companies, 38 in total, are mostly small-time takeaways. But household names like Costcutter and Lifestyle Express are also on the list.


There 38 businesses are spread all around the country and range from a £2,500 fine imposed on Golden Fry, in Rhymney, to the £20,000 penalties imposed on Natraj Tandoori, in Bridgend, and Red Hot China in Llanharan.
[Site link]


Crime – cost
Criminals owe £85m to UK taxpayer
David Barrett
Sunday Telegraph, 3 August 2014

The British taxpayer is owed more than £85 million by convicted criminals who have been deported, ...

The total raises new questions about the Government's effectiveness at extracting assets from criminals.

Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Service said in an answer to a Freedom of Information request that at the end of March the taxpayer was owed £61.4 million by deported criminals.

Earlier this year it emerged criminals are only forced to pay back 35p in every £100 they "earn" because of flaws in the confiscation schemes.

A report by the National Audit Office found £133 million was collected last year, compared with the £52 billion annual estimated cost of crime.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – human trafficking
Human trafficking activists welcome supreme court ruling on compensation
Owen Bowcott
The Guardian, 31 July 2014

Campaigners against human trafficking have welcomed a supreme court ruling that victims are entitled to compensation for mistreatment even if their entry into the UK was illegal.

The unanimous judgment overturns a decision by the court of appeal that had deprived a young Nigerian woman of an employment tribunal award against her former employer.

The woman, identified by the court only as Miss Hounga, is believed to have been 14 when she arrived in Britain in 2007 under a false identity and was granted a six-month visitor's visa. ...

Paul Heron, a solicitor at Public Interest Lawyers, which represented Anti-Slavery International, said: "We are delighted that the supreme court has held today that the defence of illegality does not bar the appellant's claim against her traffickers. Whilst she did enter the UK illegally, she did so as a result of being trafficked here as a child.

"It is only just, then, that she should not be barred from bringing an action to recover damages against the very people who were responsible for her trafficking."
[Site link]


Crime – sham marriages
Sham weddings increasing at an 'alarming rate' say MPs
BBC, 25 July 2014

Bogus marriages have become an "industry of deceit" that is increasing at an "alarming rate", MPs have warned.

The Commons Home Affairs Select Committee questioned whether the government knew the "scale of the problem".

It called for more powers for registrars to stop suspicious weddings and better training to identify potential shams.

The Home Office said it was taking "ever tougher" action.

Registrars told the committee they were left presiding over what they knew to be a "charade", and one said it was "like being mocked in your own job".

The committee chairman, Labour MP Keith Vaz, said: "There is an industry of deceit in the UK which uses sham marriages to circumvent immigration control.

"The estimated 10,000 sham marriages appears to be increasing at an alarming rate. One sham marriage can provide UK residence rights to an entire extended family who would otherwise have no right to be here."

The number of suspect weddings reported to the Home Office rose from 934 in 2010 to 2,135 last year, the MPs said.

They also recommended:

• More publicity for successful prosecutions

• That the Home Office should write to the embassies of the countries involved, asking them to issue a warning to people not to take part

• If the Home Office enforcement team does not act on a report of a suspicious wedding, a registrar should have the power to cancel it if they are "confident" it is a sham

• Couples should have to prove that a "proxy wedding" carried out abroad in their absence is legal, rather than the burden of proof falling on the Home Office

Sham weddings often involve people from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) marrying EEA residents to secure residence rights.
[Site link]


Crime – deportation
Just 90 fake students out of 50,000 have been deported
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 23 July 2014

Just 90 illegal immigrants out of 50,000 who cheated the student visa system by paying for English language exam certificates have been deported.

Exam company ETS Global is facing a criminal investigation after more than 29,000 of its results were found to be invalid and another 19,000 "questionable" following an undercover investigation by the BBC.

Criminals were seen setting up "systematic cheating" by bribing invigilators, supplying answer sheets or using imposters to sit tests.

Yesterday Immigration Minister James Brokenshire told the Home Affairs Committee that his staff had removed just 90 of the migrants who had paid for certificates to stay in the country.

The minister said that as of June 30, 1,800 of the bogus students had been identified for removal. More than 300 of them are now in detention centres waiting to be flown home.

Home Office licences have been suspended from 57 colleges caught up in the scandal, the committee was told. There have also been "a number of arrests" linked to the ETS investigation Mr Brokenshire said. "If we are able to show there is evidence, immigration enforcement will pursue that," he added.

The tests were designed to gauge which foreign students should be allowed visas.

They were told they were just required to have their picture taken at the exam centre to prove they had attended, while the English tests were taken by a "fake sitter".

A class was also filmed completing a two-hour multiple choice test in just seven minutes after exam invigilators read the answers out loud.
[Site link]


Crime – violence, robbery, burglary, drugs
Teens fleeing warzones are fuelling violent crime in London, youth crime summit warned
Lucy Fisher
New Statesman, 23 July 2014

The risk posed by traumatised asylum seekers was one of many themes identified at Labour's Youth Crime Summit in London today.

Teenage refugees and asylum seekers fleeing warzones are fuelling violent crime across London, a youth crime summit hosted by Labour was warned today.

Gary Kelly, Detective Superintendent in Southwark, said: "The trauma of youngsters fleeing war-torn countries and coming here – I can't overestimate the challenges that Syria and Libya will cause us across London."

... Kelly explained "they are responsible for a wide range of violent crime, including robbery and burglary".

He advised participants, including co-ordinators of gang diversion schemes, NGO workers and councillors, that the key to tackling gangs in the capital is disrupting their drug supply chains, which span as far afield as the south and south west coasts of the UK. "We need cross-border working, good governance and oversight to reduce that threat," he said. ...

Steve Reed, Labour MP for Croydon North and shadow Home Office Minister, called for strong partnerships between local councils, police, probation services, but with "the community in the driving seat". Gang violence and culture is "one of the most difficult problems" facing urban society, he said.
[Site link]


Crime – female genital mutilation
Parents who allow female genital mutilation will be prosecuted
Alexandra Topping, Sandra Laville and Rowena Mason
The Guardian, 22 July 2014

Parents will be prosecuted if they fail to prevent their daughter being cut, and all victims of female genital mutilation (FGM) will get lifelong anonymity, David Cameron will say on Tuesday. ...

The announcement comes the day after it emerged that the number of women living in England and Wales who have been subjected to FGM is twice as high as previously thought. A new study reveals more than 137,000 women in England and Wales are living with the consequences of FGM. The number has significantly increased in the past 10 years as women flee war-torn countries to find safety in Britain, according to the report from City University and the human rights group Equality Now.

To mark the first Girl Summit in the UK, the prime minister will announce a change to the law that will make it parents' responsibility to protect their daughters from FGM or face punishment. Currently it is against the law to cut a child in Britain or take a child out of the country for the purposes of FGM, but this new law will extend sanctions.

Cameron will also launch a £1.4m "prevent programme" to help stop the practice being carried out on girls and to care for survivors, and he is expected to unveil new police guidance on how to handle new cases, and a consultation on civil orders to protect those at risk of FGM.

A new specialist FGM service, which will include social services, will identify those at risk of being cut. ...

The new study reveals that in England and Wales about 103,000 migrant women aged 15 to 49, 10,000 girls under 15 and about 24,000 women aged 50 or above had been subjected to FGM. ...

Measures to protect girls from FGM in the UK have also been announced by police and Border Force agents, who are stepping up operations as the school summer holidays begin. ...

Specially trained Border Force agents will be working with police forces, which are also set to receive new advice stating that officers should put aside cultural sensitivities and fears of being branded racist in order to pursue investigations into FGM. In the first national guidance issued to all police across the country, the College of Policing warns officers not to let fears of being branded a racist stop them investigating FGM.
[Site link]


Crime – asylum seekers, fraud
Home Office 'failing to tackle asylum seeker fraud', says watchdog
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 16 July 2014

The Home Office is failing to combat fraud by asylum seekers, the immigration watchdog has said.

The number of asylum seekers receiving support funded by the taxpayer had also increased, partly because of staff shortages within UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), the agency which deals with asylum claims, it added.

John Vine, the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, called for immediate changes and said "opportunities to identify and deter those wishing to commit fraud were lost".

People claiming asylum in Britain can apply to the Home Office for "asylum support" to pay for living costs, including accommodation and financial assistance. The system had a budget of £155 million in 2013/14 and at the end of September 2013, 26,731 asylum seekers were receiving support.

Officials were having problems finding out whether asylum support applicants were receiving benefits from other government departments, such as the Department for Work and Pensions and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), which runs the tax credit system.

Asylum seekers are also receiving child benefit when they are not entitled to the benefit, the report said. ...

The report highlighted one case where a claimant was paid £18,000 in asylum support over a period when they also received £74,000 in benefits, an NHS bursary and wages from working illegally.

The claimant was given a 12 month suspended jail term in January last year after being found guilty of committing fraud and using false documents.

But Mr Vine's report found there was "no evidence" UKVI tried to reclaim the £18,000 of taxpayers' money, even though the offender had £10,500 in the bank.

The offender even continued to receive asylum support payments after their conviction, the report said.

In another case, a couple received £11,000 in child tax credits and child benefit - to which they were not entitled - while also claiming asylum support.

The couple deposited £10,000 of the payments into their bank.

UKVI calculated they should repay more than £6,000 but the couple were then granted leave to remain in this country.

The Home Office said there were no policies in place to allow money to be reclaimed after an applicant had been granted leave, meaning the couple were repaying £15 a week voluntarily.

It would take eight years for the debt to be repaid, the report said.

In a further problem identified by the chief inspector, money that had been overpaid to asylum seekers was not being clawed back effectively.

"UKVI had not established an effective counter-fraud regime," the report said.

"At a strategic level, it did not have an accessible strategy setting out how it would tackle asylum support fraud, nor had it determined the scale and nature of the risks posed by fraud. ...

It went on: "We found no evidence that UKVI had attempted to determine what its exposure to asylum support fraud was and there were no entries regarding fraud in its general support risk register. ..."
[Site link]


Crime – costs, asylum seekers, fraud
Asylum cheats make £1.2m a year with fake poverty claims
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 16 July 2014

Asylum seekers are conning hundreds of thousands of pounds from the taxpayer every year because Home Office staff are failing to combat fraud, a watchdog says.

An estimated £1.2 million is lost each year to foreign fraudsters, who claim they are destitute while waiting to be told if they can stay in the UK.

But just £5,673 was recovered in 2013 and only six people prosecuted, Borders Inspector John Vine found.

One of the most shocking cases saw a would-be refugee claiming to be destitute handed £18,000 in asylum support while working illegally and receiving £74,000 in other benefit payments and an NHS bursary.

The unnamed claimant received a suspended sentence for fraud but was not asked to repay the cash and even continued getting the handouts.

In a blistering report, Mr Vine demanded changes saying: "Opportunities to identify and deter those wishing to commit fraud were lost." ...

Details of the fraud were revealed in a report on the country's asylum support system, which has an annual budget of £155 million.

People claiming asylum in Britain can apply for support if they can show they are destitute.

They receive free accommodation plus £36 a week. In September last year, 27,000 asylum seekers were receiving the handouts.

Mr Vine uncovered cases where former asylum seekers continued getting benefits after they should have stopped and a shocking inability to recoup stolen cash. ...

In five of the six UK regions, action to recover debt happened in just eight per cent of cases or fewer. But the Midlands and East team pursued fraudsters 82 per cent of the time.

Mr Vine accepted that his estimate of £5,673 recovered was based on a total from just two teams out of six teams so the overall amount recovered would be higher.

'Speed up bogus case decisions'

Home Office staff are failing to remove enough migrants who make spurious asylum claims, the borders watchdog says.

In his report, John Vine demanded officials make greater use of the certifying process to speed up the deportation of foreigners who make "clearly unfounded" applications.

Failing to get rid of the would-be refugees as soon as possible was costing the country huge sums and created the risk that they could go on the run.

Mr Vine said: "A failure to certify an unfounded asylum claim may delay removal and result in unnecessary costs to the taxpayer."

Certifying an application as "clearly unfounded" allows officials to boot out claimants before they can appeal. It can save millions of pounds a year in legal costs and benefit support.

Mr Vine said the system was designed to deter people making bogus claims but "was not used as often as it could have been".

More than 40 per cent of the failed asylum applications cases he looked at could have been certified by the Home Office.
[Site link]


Crime – deportation
Most foreign criminals can't be kicked out because of their right to stay in Britain says Met chief
Chris Greenwood
Daily Mail, 12 July 2014

More than half of all foreign criminals caught in the UK have a right to stay that prevents them being deported, Britain's top police officer said yesterday.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe warned that the criminal justice system is not adapting quickly enough to cope with the impact of immigration.

A third of crimes in London are committed by foreign offenders, the Met chief said. But the majority are EU citizens who may have the freedom to travel between and live in all member states.

Sir Bernard said police must do more to stop those banned from Britain getting in and to kick out those who should no longer be here.

Speaking at a conference on foreign offenders, he said: 'Over the course of 12 months, approximately 80,000 foreign nationals will enter our custody suites.

'A large proportion of them – in fact more than half – are from the European Union and have a right of entry and a right of abode. So any suggestion of deporting foreign nationals who we arrest is more complicated than it appears.'

Police still struggle to obtain fast and accurate information on foreign suspects that have been arrested. They fear dangerous criminals and persistent offenders are slipping through the net as a result, he said. ...

Earlier this year the Government pledged that arrested foreign nationals – including EU citizens – will face deportation even if they are not convicted of any crime.

The crackdown will use a European law that states those wanting to remain here must be exercising their right to work or be self-sufficient. This could be used to tackle groups such as the capital's notorious Park Lane beggars, a group largely from Eastern European countries such as Romania.
[Site link]


Crime – human trafficking
Women are being smuggled into Britain as sex slaves by trafficking rings under the threat of black magic curses
Chris Greenwood
Daily Mail, 12 July 2014

Dozens of women are being smuggled into Britain as sex slaves every year under the threat of black magic curses, it was revealed last night.

Police are increasingly concerned at the threat of international trafficking rings who target vulnerable and poor African women.

They believe that 'close to all' the 160 Nigerian victims rescued last year had been subjected to sinister rituals aimed at terrifying them into submission.

Many were taken to witchdoctors who cut them, rubbed black powder in their wounds and threatened them with death if they ran away from their captors.

In some cases young women were forced to sleep in coffins, drink chicken hearts soaked in alcohol or 'sacrifice' intimate items.

The disturbing reality of the little known crime emerged as three evil human smugglers were jailed for a total of 13 years.

Olusoji Oluwafemi, 44, Johnson Olayinka, 45, and Florence Obadiaru, 48, were the London connection in a global trafficking conspiracy.
[Site link]


Crime – unregistered vehicles
Authorities 'don't have a clue' how many ILLEGAL foreign drivers are on UK roads
John Ingham
Daily Express, 12 July 2014

Foreign drivers pose an incalculable danger to other road users, the RAC claimed yesterday, because the authorities "don't have a clue" how many are illegal.

It is reckoned that 15,000 foreigners fail to register their vehicles – costing £3 million a year in tax – but the RAC says the actual number is far more given that 2.5 million cars each year use Eurotunnel.

Unregistered cars escape MoT tests, avoid speeding and parking fines, go uninsured and are so hard to trace they are used by criminals.

But although the UK Border Force logs cars on entry, the information is not given to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, nor to the police.

Pete Williams, of the RAC, said: "It is beyond belief that in the 21st century Government agencies are not sharing information.

"We don't have a clue about the true number of foreign cars in the UK. This is likely to anger the millions of UK motorists who play by the rules and pay their way to use the roads.

"We are effectively relying on individuals to register their foreign vehicles once they have been here for six months but there is little encouragement to do so."

The DVLA records unlicensed foreign cars only if it is notified of an offence. In the past five years it has had 20,349 such notifications.

The Department for Transport said it was aware of the problem.

A spokesman said: "Discussions are currently on-going... we hope to announce firm plans shortly."
[Site link]


Crime – Ramadam, Islam
Ramadan Rage: How Crime Increases During the Muslim Holy Month
Jeremy Wilson
Breitbart, 7 July 2014

The Holy Month of Ramadan is upon us. Most people know the month-long fast is a time Muslims are expected to demonstrate self-control, humility and submission to the will to Allah. What you might not know is that throughout Ramadan emergency services are overwhelmed by a spike in crime – a phenomenon known as "Ramadan rage," which affects not just Muslim countries, but cities with high concentrations of believers, from Dearborn to Deptford.

The effects of this gruelling annual fast have been widely studied. Researchers say those taking part risk migraines, dehydration, dizziness, tachycardia, nausea, circulatory collapse... and even gout, owing to a build-up of uric acid. ...

But aside from these medical risks, and more pertinent to the emergency services and law and order, is the primary side effect of not eating, drinking or smoking in the daytime: irritability that can spill over into violence.

Short-temperedness doesn't just affect abstainers during the first few days of self-denial; rather, irritability increases continuously throughout the month, leading to shorter and shorter fuses as Eid al-Fitr, the blow-out party to mark the end of the fast, approaches. It is perhaps no surprise then that antisocial behaviour and domestic abuse surge throughout the Muslim world in the Holy Month.

One of the most expansive studies of this annual crime wave in Algeria revealed petty crime increased by a staggering 220 percent during Ramadan. Fights, disputes and assaults rose by 320 percent and instances of women and children being beaten at home increased by 120 percent. In addition, there was a 410 percent increase in accidents of various kinds and an 80 percent increase in deaths.

The findings of the Algerian study are widely corroborated. From Egypt to Indonesia, recorded violent crime increases by incredible percentages throughout the fast. In addition, Ramadan exacerbates other social problems and spawns specific crimes all its own: offenses not generally seen at other times of the year. ...

Non-Muslims are targeted for not observing the fast; church burnings are a given during Ramadan. But it's not just religious minorities in Muslim countries who are attacked: it happens here, too. In 2010, a man was brutally beaten in Tower Hamlets by a gang of young Muslim men for not observing Ramadan. He was battered unconscious and left with serious injuries. No one was charged over the incident, leading to accusations that the police suppressed evidence because they feared being accused of "racism" or "islamophobia."

In Muslim countries, governments prepare for Ramadan by boosting police patrols and carrying out public awareness campaigns about crime and the increase in accidents that is also a regular fixture of the fast. Of course, the emergency services in the U.K., hamstrung by political correctness, are more reticent to publicly acknowledge the challenges posed by Ramadan.
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Crime – marital violence
Marital violence forces Britain to act
Michael Glackin
The Daily Star [Lebanon], 30 June 2014

The last available police figures show there were more than 3,000 so-called honor crimes in the U.K. in a single year, many related to forced marriage and divorce. Last year, the government's Forced Marriage Unit dealt with more than 1,300 cases, although that figure is widely seen as the tip of a very large iceberg. More than 82 percent of cases involved women, and of those more than 15 percent involved children under 15. Most cases involved people from Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds, but many also affect Middle Eastern families.

Diane Nammi, director of the London-based Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organization told me she had noticed a sharp rise in the number of families now hiring bounty hunters to track down women who want to escape a forced marriage or an abusive husband. ...

Nammi said bounty hunters were becoming increasingly sophisticated in tracking down victims. They will often pay women to pose as victims of domestic abuse and infiltrate hostels for abused women so as to find runaways.

There are even instances where bounty hunters have befriended officials in local government housing departments and in the Department for Work and Pensions to obtain National Insurance numbers of runaways in order to trace them. ...

Last week the U.K. introduced new laws that will criminalize anyone involved in organizing a forced marriage. From now on, arranging or compelling someone into marriage against his or her will be a criminal offense punishable by up to seven years in prison. The new law also makes it possible to prosecute perpetrators from other countries where a British national is being coerced into marriage.

The move to legislate follows criticism of successive governments for failing to properly tackle the issue. For most politicians in the U.K., it has been a taboo subject, partly because they fear that criticizing immigrants – particularly those from Pakistan and Bangladesh who are involved in the vast majority of cases – will cost them votes.
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Crime – Romanians, Bulgarians, London
Romanians sleeping rough in London have tripled just months after borders opened... (and 2,000 are arrested in 12 weeks)
Sanchez Manning
Mail on Sunday, 29 June 2014

The number of Romanian immigrants sleeping rough in some of the wealthiest areas of the capital has trebled since EU restrictions on movement were lifted in January.

The rise in vagrants is reported to have sparked a spate of aggressive begging, pickpocketing and prostitution, which is blighting exclusive London addresses such as Park Lane. ...

Bands of up to 20 Romanian beggars were witnessed last week setting up camps to bed down overnight around Marble Arch and Hyde Park.

Those living or working nearby said the Eastern European gangs have been washing in fountains, dumping rubbish, urinating and even defecating in public. ...

Figures from Britain's biggest police force show that almost 2,000 Romanians were arrested in the first three months after immigration restrictions were relaxed.

The Metropolitan Police said 1,906 Romanians were held in London between January 1 and March 31, along with 220 Bulgarians.

These led to 1,069 charges against Romanians and 100 against Bulgarians, from murder to sex offences and shoplifting.

By contrast, in the first three months of 2013 there were 852 charges against Romanians and 76 against Bulgarians.
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Crime – fraud, student visas
Scale of student visa fraud condemned as 'truly shocking'
BBC, 24 June 2014

An estimated 48,000 immigrants may have fraudulently obtained English language certificates despite being unable to speak English, the government has said.

Immigration Minister James Brokenshire told the Commons that an inquiry into abuse of the student visa system had found evidence of criminal activity, which would now be investigated fully.

Of the 48,000 certificates, 29,000 were invalid and 19,000 were "questionable".

Labour said the scale of the abuse was "truly shocking".

Mr Brokenshire continued: "It is likely that the true totals will be higher." ...

Officers uncovered evidence of "serious concern" at some campuses, and the government has downgraded Glyndwr University in north-east Wales from its status as a "highly-trusted sponsor" of student visas.

In addition, 57 private further education colleges had also had their licences for admitting foreign students suspended, Mr Brokenshire said. ...

Immigration enforcement officers had started work to identify migrants who were in the country illegally as a result of the falsified language tests so they could be removed, Mr Brokenshire said.
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Crime – fraud, student visas
45,000 immigrants 'cheated English tests'
Matthew Holehouse
Daily Telegraph, 24 June 2014

Around 45,000 immigrants have fraudulently obtained English language certificates, ministers will admit later today.

James Brokenshire, the Immigration Minister, will make an urgent statement to the Commons on the results of an investigation into allegations that fraudsters were sitting language tests on behalf of migrants.

Around 45,000 people fraudulently obtained language certificates despite being unable to speak English, sources said.

In February the Home Office suspended English language tests used to award student visas run by ETS, a major testing firm. An investigation was launched to establish the scale of any wrong-doing.

It followed secret filming by Panorama that showed candidates for tests set by ETS were being replaced by fake sitters from immigration consultancies in exchange for fees of up to £500 – three times the official cost of the test. ...

Each year, around 100,000 non-EU students get their visa to stay in UK extended. ...

The test was introduced top curb the high numbers of people coming to Britain on student visas, but who went on to take low-skilled jobs.
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Crime – vehicles
We've got your number, ministers tell immigrants using British roads illegally
Tim Ross
Sunday Telegraph, 8 June 2014

Ministers are preparing a crackdown on hundreds of thousands of foreign motorists who are driving illegally in Britain, evading tax, insurance and MOT safety checks.

The current rules state that anyone moving to the UK with their car must register it with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and fit it with British number plates within six months. This enables the authorities to make sure the car is roadworthy, taxed and insured, and enables drivers to be prosecuted for speeding and parking offences.

However, ministers believe that large numbers of foreign motorists are regularly flouting the rules. ...

Authorities believe that there could be up to 350,000 foreign registered cars on Britain's roads illegally, costing the state up to £60 million in lost tax revenue.

There are fears that some of the cars are in poor and potentially dangerous condition because their roadworthiness is not checked in Britain or in their country of origin.
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Crime – voting system
Our voting system is flawed, but politicians don't seem to care
Charles Moore
Daily Telegraph, 31 May 2014

When we voted for the European elections in our village last week, both my wife and I forgot our polling cards. We were not asked to produce them or any other means of identification. No tellers sat outside the polling station. It felt nice that the democratic process could be so relaxed.

It was not like that for the voters of Tower Hamlets in London. Outside many polling stations, it seems – and in some cases, inside them – large numbers of supporters of the Tower Hamlets First party and its mayoral candidate, Lutfur Rahman, gathered to encourage people to vote the "right" way. Such gatherings are against electoral law, and protests were duly made, but although the police were present, they did nothing. Mr Rahman was elected mayor and, after four and a half days of chaotic counting, the council results were finally settled. Tower Hamlets First increased their representation to 18 councillors (only one woman, all Muslim). According to the local Labour MP, Jim Fitzpatrick, the authorities responsible – Tower Hamlets Council and the Electoral Commission – "don't seem to be able to deliver a clean election".

Tower Hamlets has been a problem for many years, but its controversies are not unique. There have been cases of electoral malpractice in Birmingham, Bradford, Slough, Woking, Peterborough. There are also serious problems, particularly in big cities, with the Electoral Register. If you compare the register with the contemporary census, you will find a difference of millions – millions who are at different addresses from those registered, and millions more who are not on the electoral register at all – much higher numbers than in the past.

Richard Mawrey QC is a judge and an Election Commissioner. He is consistently scathing about how badly our voting arrangements work. ... In the Slough case, he said that "to ignore the problem that [fraud] is widespread, particularly in local elections, is a policy even an ostrich would despise". His main point is that our newish law permitting postal voting on demand is "wide open to fraud".

There are two reasons for this – forgery and coercion. The first has now been mitigated by insisting on postal voters giving a signature and a date of birth ... The second flourishes, particularly in minority ethnic communities, where leaders can exploit clan or family ties to "harvest" votes from their juniors and from women.

... Another big problem is "personation" – voting at the polling station as someone else. It is actually illegal to ask a voter to produce proof of identity at the poll, so personation is well-nigh undetectable.

You would have thought politicians would be worried. They are rightly alarmed by public disillusionment with politics. If the nuts and bolts of democracy shake loose, that disillusionment will be complete. Yet the parties seem to be facing the other way. All of them voted for the extension of postal voting. They seem obsessed with the question of "engagement" – getting more people to take part. They neglect the integrity of the process itself.
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Crime – Romanians
I'd rather have a German next door too – and I have the figures to show why
Rod Liddle
The Spectator, 24 May 2014

Should we be worried about the vast numbers of German-born people living covertly in the United Kingdom? The Office for National Statistics estimates that in 2011 some 297,000 Germans were resident here, the fifth largest non-British-born contingent (after Indians, Poles, Pakistanis and the Irish respectively). ... ...

... As immigrants go, the Germans are about as good as it is possible to get; economically productive, favouring small families, unlikely to commit crime and more than happy to integrate.

According to a hugely sententious man called James O'Brien, a presenter for the radio station LBC, merely to say this is to paint oneself as a racist. O'Brien had been interviewing the Ukip leader Nigel Farage, who had made the point that most British people would probably prefer to have a family of Germans move in next door than a family of Romanians. ...

A Freedom of Information request to the Metropolitan Police has revealed just how correct this horrible racist prejudice actually is. The request was for the number of arrests of foreign nationals in London over the period 2008–2012. ...

On the crucial issue – ... – the outcome is very clear. There were a total of 2,437 arrests of people from Germany across those four years. The number for Romanians was 27,725. This latter figure included 1,370 suspected burglaries and 142 alleged rapes, by the way, just to flesh the stats out with a bit of detail.

So now you really do 'know the difference'. And according to the UK census of 2011, there are more German nationals living in London than there are Romanians: 44,976 as against 42,151. So your new next-door neighbour is much, much, much more likely to be criminally inclined if he is Romanian than if he is German. ...

There is another caveat – ... Whenever the alleged criminal proclivities of Romanians are reported in the press, there always follow several anguished and extremely articulate mews of complaint from UK-domiciled lawyers, doctors, lecturers and so on of Romanian descent. 'But you don't understand, these people in the crime figures, the ones waiting balefully by your ATMs, are not Romanian at all!' they explain. 'They are Gypsies, the Roma. They are not us.' It is more than my job's worth to take their word on this matter. Sadly, the Met Police did not distinguish between ethnic Romanians and ethnic Roma; if they were born in Romania, that's good enough for the Old Bill. So it would be unwise to speculate any further, wouldn't it?
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Crime – Romanians
What's the difference between German and Romanian immigrants?
Ed West
Spectator blog, 20 May 2014

Nigel Farage is in the papers again today – unbelievably! – this time with a full-page advert in the Telegraph responding to his remarks about Romanians on LBC radio.

Such was the universal media condemnation over his interview with James O'Brien that on Saturday even the Sun had an editorial on anti-Romanian racism. ...

Farage was stereotyping, and his tone of 'you know what the difference is' hit the wrong note, which lost him the argument over a fairly reasonable point; that is, the typical profile of a German migrant is very different to that of a Romanian migrant. For example, recent figures released showed that more than 600 Romanians and only 83 Germans were residing in UK jails, despite there being more German-born people here. On top of this a third of Romanians in Britain have been arrested, and Romanians do account for a large proportion of cash point crime in particular.

This is not to slight Romanian people. Germany is a very rich country, Romania a relatively poor one. The profile of the typical migrant from a rich to rich country is very different from one moving from a poor to rich one; the former migration attracts very highly-skilled, well-educated people, and the latter a great deal of adventurers and criminals as well as decent, hard-working people. ...

This comes down to the argument about whether 'immigrants' benefit the country. This is as meaningless as asking 'are foreigners better at football than England?' Put that to a football fan and he'd respond 'which team? Brazil? San Marino? Scotland?' If people talking about something as trivial as football ask such necessary questions, shouldn't we be a bit more analytical about something important? Immigrants from the developed world generally benefit the economy, because the very highly-skilled disproportionately travel between rich countries (and British emigrants also benefit the countries they move to).

No immigrant group can therefore serve as a lesson about immigration generally. ...

The term 'immigrant' is essentially meaningless in statistical terms unless we break down the figures, and this involves some degree of profiling. And although Farage was wrong to stereotype, almost everyone in practice does so in his or her private life. No one, however pure of heart, would move into an area where he was told a 'large proportion of the population are foreign-born' without checking out what exactly was meant by this. He might not say it, because of a mixture of social nous, politeness and hypocrisy, but his revealed preference would speak volumes ... ...

Such mild hypocrisy is necessary for people to rub along together, but politics sometimes involves discussing things honestly, even if it offends. Farage's tone may have been all wrong, but the Dowager Lady moral outrage of his media critics is exactly the thing that breeds cynicism in the public.
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Crime – Romanians
FactCheck: is there a Romanian crimewave? [part 2]
Patrick Worrall
Channel 4 FactCheck, 19 May 2014

We can't be precise about this because the next population survey doesn't come out until August next year (recent estimates from the Labour Force Survey suggest there are in the region of 180,000 working age Romanians in the whole of England, but there are big margins of error here).

The latest census data showed there were 579,000 Poles and 73,000 Romanians in England and Wales in 2011. ...

We haven't managed to track down figures for criminal convictions by nationality (we'll update if we do), but the Ministry of Justice gave us stats on the numbers of foreign prisoners in jails in England and Wales.

On March 31 this year there were 588 Romanian nationals in prison here out of a total prison population of 85,265 – so 0.7 per cent were Romanian. ...

While the number and rate has dropped slightly, Romanians remain the fourth most numerous foreign group in the prison system, behind Poland (898 inmates), Ireland (778) and Jamaica (711).

"7 per cent of all crime across the 28 EU member states was caused by 240 Romanian gangs"

This stems from the same Times article mentioned above. Europol director Rob Wainwright was quoted as saying that about 240 organised crime groups from Romania have been identified by Europol, accounting for 6.7 per cent of the total number of criminal networks active in Europe.

Note that this refers to the numbers of criminals, not the amount of crime committed.

It may be a source of concern that Romanian gangs have a lot of manpower, but it's not true to say that 7 per cent of all EU crime is carried out by those gangs.

The verdict

We think Mr Farage has cut a few corners here: police intelligence isn't the same as conviction rates; 28,000 arrests isn't the same as 28,000 people; 7 per cent of criminal networks isn't the same as 7 per cent of crime.

Nevertheless, we ought to say that the Ukip leader is not plucking these claims of criminality out of thin air. They are based on real statements put out by various police forces, some of whom have real concerns about the activities of Romanian wrongdoers.

Met figures show that Romanians are disproportionately more likely to be arrested compared with the citizens of many other countries.

And Ministry of Justice figures similarly show that while the number of Romanians in UK prisons has fallen slightly over the last year, the number still remains large as a percentage of the likely total Romanian population.
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Crime – Romanians
FactCheck: is there a Romanian crimewave? [part 1]
Patrick Worrall
Channel 4 FactCheck, 19 May 2014

In a full-page advert in today's Telegraph, Mr Farage repeats three key claims about supposed Romanian criminality.

"92 per cent of all ATM crime in London is committed by Romanians"

In 2012 Det Chief Insp Paul Barnard, then head of Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit, told an ITV documentary: "The fact is 92 per cent of all ATM fraud we see in this country is committed by Romanian nationals. Very, very tight communities, very tight gangs."

We contacted the unit about this last year and they were unable to share any underlying data with us, but told us the figure was "based on police intelligence".

The 92 per cent figure is very similarly to one attributed to analysts at the EU law enforcement agency Europol by a Times article last year.

The newspaper said: "Crime analysts at Europol estimate that Romanian and Bulgarian gangs are responsible for 90 per cent of all card-skimming crimes across Europe."

Again, hard underlying data is lacking here, and note that we are lumping Bulgarians and Romanians together now, whereas Mr Barnard was only talking about Romanians. But he's obviously not the only policeman linking the country to this type of crime.

Interestingly, when the Metropolitan Police released this interesting Freedom of Information answer covering 2012, they found that only 5.8 per cent of people arrested for fraud in London that year were Romanian.

It's difficult to know what to make of this: "police intelligence" isn't the same as real numbers for arrests or convictions, but equally it could be that low arrest statistics don't reflect the real size of the problem.

Note that these Met figures do suggest that Romanian nationals are disproportionately more likely to be arrested for certain other types of crime in certain locations: almost half the beggars arrested in 2012 were Romanian across London and in one London borough, Westminster, the proportion was 70 per cent.

"28,000 Romanians were arrested in the last five years in the Metropolitan Police area alone"

This number is accurate (it's 27,725, to be precise) and comes from another Met Police Freedom of Information release. This is based on the nationalities people use to describe themselves when arrested, hence the inclusion of a number of "countries" that no longer exist (the Irish Free State, British Central Africa) or indeed have never existed (Yanam).

The data has been very widely misreported and indeed Mr Farage got it slightly wrong again in today's Telegraph ad.

The figure of 28,000 is for the number of arrests made over five years from 2008 to 2012, not the number of people. One shoplifter can be arrested and re-arrested dozens of times and each one of those arrests counts towards this total.

But of course this applies to all countries, and compared to others, Romania does not come out of these arrest figures covered in glory.

Only Poland saw more arrests of its citizens over those five years (nearly 35,000) and there are likely to be many more Poles living in the Met Police area.
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Crime – Romanians, racism, politics, UKIP
Farage racism row grows as he insists: Romanians ARE more likely to commit crime
Brendan Carlin
Mail on Sunday, 18 May 2014

Nigel Farage yesterday stoked the row over his 'racist' attack on Romanians by insisting that they were more likely to commit crime than other immigrants.

The UKIP leader said it was 'perfectly legitimate' to point out 'where there are differential crime rates between nationalities'.

The defiance came 24 hours after an interview in which Mr Farage, whose wife is German, claimed people would rather live next door to Germans than Romanians.

When asked what the difference was, in an interview considered so disastrous that his senior media aide, Patrick O'Flynn, interrupted to try to stop it, Mr Farage said: 'You know what the difference is.'

Yesterday, rather than apologise, the UKIP leader declared: 'Where there are differential crime rates between nationalities, it is perfectly legitimate to point this out and to discuss it in the public sphere.'

He added: 'Police figures are quite clear that there is a high level of criminality within the Romanian community in Britain.

'This is not to say for a moment that all or even most Romanian people living in the UK are criminals.

'But it is to say that any normal and fair-minded person would have a perfect right to be concerned if a group of Romanian people suddenly moved in next door.'
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Crime – language test, residence, citizenship
Cheat your way to a passport: For £500, migrants who speak no English can buy certificate that opens door to UK citizenship
Inderdeep Bains, James Slack and Arthur Martin
Daily Mail, 17 May 2014

A corruption scandal that strikes at the heart of Britain's immigration controls is exposed today by a Mail investigation.

Migrants who can speak no English were able to buy, for just £500, a certificate which says they have passed a language test.

The documents open the door to British citizenship, allowing them access to a full range of benefits.

MPs and campaign groups warned that our revelations could be just the tip of the iceberg at a time when 200,000 passports are being granted to migrants every year.

Home Secretary Theresa May last night ordered an urgent investigation into the Mail's evidence, which could lead to criminal prosecutions.

The scam focuses on exam centres – licensed by the Home Office – which are supposed to test if a person can speak English to at least a basic level.

The test, accredited by exams watchdog Ofqual, must be passed by anybody who wants to remain permanently in the UK or become a British citizen.

But secret filming at one centre – responsible for passing 50,000 candidates – exposes how staff sell pass certificates to migrants who did not even attend. ...

In the wake of the Mail's findings, LPS has been suspended by the examining body, EMD. But with a record number of passports being handed out, there are fears the racket may be far more widespread. ...

Citizenship applications surged in the wake of Labour's open-door immigration policy. Last year, 200,000 requests were rubber-stamped. The main beneficiaries are from India, Pakistan, Nigeria, China and the Philippines.

Migrationwatch chairman Sir Andrew Green said: 'It is appalling that it should be so easy to purchase a crucial document, especially as to be able to speak reasonable English is of real importance to participating in our society. Not only that but, once granted citizenship, a huge range of rights becomes available.'
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Crime – criminals, deportation
850 foreign offenders in British jails because they can't be deported
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 15 May 2014

Almost 1,000 foreign prisoners are being held in British jails after the end of their sentence because authorities cannot deport them, including 10 who have been able to stay in this country for more than five years.

Many of the foreign offenders, who include rapists, paedophiles and murderers, are using human rights laws to fight against their deportation and remain in Britain at a cost to taxpayers of up to £34 million a year.

The number of foreign offenders awaiting deportation has risen by two thirds under the Coalition, from 491 to 850.

It comes after David Cameron earlier this year refused to support an amendment by a Tory backbenchers to ban foreign prisoners from using article 8 of the human right act, which gives them the right to family life, to remain in the UK. ...

The government is introducing legislation which will mean that criminals are deported first and that their appeals are then heard abroad to end the "never-ending game of snakes and ladders" under the current immigration system.
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Crime – fraud
Birmingham couple ordered to pay back nearly £400,000 in false benefits claims
Jane Tyler
Birmingham Mail, 3 May 2014

A husband and wife team who supplied illegal immigrants with fake documents to help them stay in the UK have been ordered to pay almost £400,000.

The visa fraud operation saw Syed Ahsan Yousuf, 40, and Jabin Bi, 49, jailed for a total of nearly seven years.

Now an investigation by Birmingham City Council has found the couple had also fraudulently claimed benefits and had also submitted false mortgage applications.

Yousuf, and wife Bi, were jailed in March last year after they admitted charging immigrants thousands of pounds in return for forged documents. ...

The scam was uncovered after several applications to remain in the UK were received by the Home Office which were all paid for from the same bank accounts.

The applications were initially for long term residency, based on being in the UK for over 14 years, and were followed by applications for residence cards based on civil partnerships between EU and non-EU nationals.
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Crime – fraud, welfare benefits
Illegal immigrant claimed £26,000 in benefits AFTER being told to leave the UK
Nick McCarthy
Birmingham Mail, 1 May 2014

A Kenyan fraudster living in Birmingham stole more than £26,000 in benefits – after being denied permission to stay in the UK.

Lucy Mbugua had already been ordered to leave the country when she launched the four-year scam.

Then – after being charged over her crimes - she was allowed to stay in the UK.

The 40-year-old mother was convicted of three offences of dishonestly claiming taxpayers' cash while having no right to remain in the UK.

She was found guilty in her absence and also failed to turn up to be sentenced at Birmingham Magistrates' Court.

A warrant was issued for Mbugua's arrest – but the Mail tracked her down to her home in Westminster Road, Selly Oak, before police caught up with her.

She told our reporter that she failed to attend court because of childcare issues, but would not comment further on the case.

Her convictions were welcomed by Birmingham City Council.

But the Home Office refused to explain how Mbugua was allowed to remain in the UK to commit the crimes despite having exhausted all her legal appeal options.

Magistrates heard she fraudulently claimed £24,479.09 in housing benefit and £1,829.48 in council tax benefit between September 17, 2009 and August 13, 2013.

But the court was told she was not granted permission to stay in the country until last December.

She secured the three-year visa on the grounds of having a right to a family life.
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Crime – human trafficking
Modern Slavery 'A Massive' Problem In Britain
Adele Robinson
Sky News, 27 April 2014

The number of people being used as "slaves" in the UK is increasing, according to a charity.

Hope for Justice, which campaigns against human trafficking, says the problem of forced labour, domestic servitude, and sexual exploitation is a "massive" problem in Britain.

Sky News has obtained Freedom of Information figures showing that within the last three years 336 "slavery" offences were investigated by police in the UK.

Allan Doherty, the head of operations for Hope for Justice, says the statistics are not a true representation of the problem.

"On estimate it must be at least 10 times that, and that is just for the number of offences being investigated by law enforcement agencies.

"The actual number of trafficking victims is probably 100 times that again, because at least 90% of victims probably never even come to the attention of authorities or charities such as ours because it's such a hidden crime."

The freedom of information figures show that out of 336 offences, 170 were investigated by the Metropolitan Police in London, and 88 in Scotland -both have dedicated human trafficking units.

One reason given for the low figure released under the Freedom of Information Act is the way in which crimes are recorded. Often the more serious offence, such as rape or assault, is logged instead.
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Violent crime heading for record rise
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 25 April 2014

Violent crime could be on the brink of a record rise in England and Wales after two police forces which adopted "open" and "ethical" crime recording policies showed a 25 per jump in violence last year.

The significant increases in recorded "violence against the person" offences in the two counties - Gwent, in south Wales, and Kent - are expected to foreshadow similar increases in other forces following widespread concern about police "fiddling" the figures.

Across England and Wales last year there was a surprise 1 per cent rise in violent crime recorded by the police to 614,400, or nearly 7,000 extra victims in the year.

The jump was partly attributable to the huge increases in Kent and Gwent, but another 20 forces also showed jumps in violence, including five with double-digit increases.

Because chief constables have come under massive pressure to ensure crime is recorded accurately, the rise is expected to continue in future statistics. ...

Overall, police recorded 3.7 million crimes in England and Wales last year, a fall of 2 per cent year-on-year.

A parallel set of figures based on a large-scale survey of people's experiences of crime also showed a fall in overall crime levels.

The Crime Survey of England and Wales (CSEW) estimated there was a 15 per cent fall in overall crime last year to 7.5 million offences against households.

Adding to the confusion over true crime levels, the CSEW said violent crime fell 22 per cent to 1,537,000 incidents in 2013. ...

However, the figures follow a period of intense criticism of police crime recording methods. ...

The unexpected increase in violent crime raised further confusion about true levels of crime in England and Wales, following a separate report yesterday which suggested the same type of offence had actually fallen.

A survey by academic suggested violent crime fell by 12 per cent last year, based on records from 117 casualty departments and walk-in centres across England and Wales.
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Crime – multiculturalism, female genital mutilation
FGM is a shaming indictment of multiculturalism and mass-immigration
Douglas Murray
Spectator blog, 25 March 2014

I have been slightly involved in the female genital mutilation [FGM] debate over the years. And I have always noticed that whatever their sex, religious affiliation or skin colour, public opponents of FGM have without exception all been subjected to accusations of racism, 'Islamophobia' and more. Lately a high profile campaign against FGM has been waged in the press, spearheaded by the London Evening Standard and others. Boris Johnson has also spoken out. They and many others will be rightly congratulating themselves for their role in putting pressure on the authorities to finally charge anyone with this crime.

But take a step back for a moment. FGM is about the mutilation, with knives, of young girls' genitals. Does opposing anything ever come any easier than that? I very much doubt it.

Now take these other issues – the encroachment of Sharia law into our legal system, the right to express dissenting, even 'blasphemous', opinions within a religious minority in Britain in 2014. These also present a societal challenge. But there can be little doubt that they are less striking. The FGM debate has been going on for how long – 15 or 20 years – without any prosecution. Think how much longer we will have to wait before anything meaningful is done to prevent the other advances of these Islamic revanchists.

The multicultural, mass-immigration movement professes to believe that you can import millions of people into a country without any problems. What challenges do arise can be dealt with and absorbed over time, they claim. So it is worth reminding ourselves that after decades of this experiment we have just got to the point where some people might go to trial for the ritual mutilation of young girls' genitals.

Not a success story, when taken in the round, is it?
[Site link]


Crime – fraud
Crooked businesswomen who mixed with royalty admit part in £200,000 charity fraud
Nick McCarthy
Birmingham Mail, 24 March 2014

Ranjit Uppelle and Kavita Jnagal used an army of "ghost students" to rip off the Government-funded Learndirect charity in a sophisticated scam

They mixed with the great and good as they climbed to the top – and even shook hands with the Queen.

Ranjit Uppelle and Kavita Jnagal, co-founders of Edgbaston-based Simply Recruitment, also rubbed shoulders with Gordon Brown and David Cameron as they were lauded for their commercial expertise.

Chancellor George Osborne, Prince Charles and former Dragons' Den tycoon James Caan were some of the other famous faces they encountered.

But the pair's astonishing rise was built on a £200,000 charity fraud which has now seen them shamed in a London courtroom.

Uppelle and Jnagal used an army of "ghost students" to rip off the Government-funded Learndirect charity in a sophisticated scam. ...

Uppelle, 41, of Bernard Road, Edgbaston, and Jnagal, 37, of Woodheys Lawns, Rugeley, near Lichfield, both admitted conspiracy to defraud.

They were handed suspended jail terms of nine and six months respectively at Southwark Crown Court.

Both were also ordered to pay £1,000 costs.

The sentences marked a seedy conclusion to the pairs' business careers, which climaxed in a meeting with the Queen at an Asian Women of Achievement reception at Buckingham Palace.

Uppelle and Jnagal entered their pleas last August but they can only now be reported after the scam's ringleader, Sandeep Jethwa, admitted the same charge in January.
[Site link]


Crime – fraud
Council worker who fiddled housing list to get homes for illegal immigrants in one of biggest frauds of its kind is jailed
Chris Greenwood
Daily Mail, 21 March 2014

A corrupt town hall official gave sought-after council homes to family members and illegal immigrants in return for tens of thousands of pounds in backhanders.

Ibrahim Bundu, who worked in a council's homelessness unit, pocketed up to £4,000 a time for helping people jump the queue by faking documents and medical records.

He arranged for homes for members of his extended family, including his mother, wife and ex-wife, in a scam which cost taxpayers at least £3.7 million. Bundu himself netted at least £50,000.

Investigators found he was behind 28 bogus applications in Southwark, South London, where more than 20,000 people are on the local authority's waiting list.

Many of those helped by Bundu, 50, were from the war-torn country of Sierra Leone, from where he had travelled to Britain in 1988. ...

Bundu, who worked for Southwark Council, created false identities to ensure his applicants jumped the two-year waiting list.

He forged reams of hospital records, birth certificates, employment papers and tax records to create realistic case files.

In return he pocketed cash bungs from relatives and others, including a large number of people who were in the country illegally.
[Site link]


Crime – cost, mutilation
Almost 4,000 women and girls treated for effects of female genital mutilation in London hospitals since 2009
Cahal Milmo
The Independent, 19 March 2014

Thousands of women and girls have been treated in London hospitals for the effects of female genital mutilation, suggesting that many more have received similar treatment nationwide.

Nearly 4,000 women and girls, some of them born in the UK, were treated for FGM in hospitals across the capital since 2009, according to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Campaigners said the London figures, obtained by BBC News, suggested there were thousands of women across Britain suffering the after-effects of FGM while many girls also live under threat of mutilation.

Despite being classed as torture by the United Nations and a crime in Britain since 1985, there have been no prosecutions against those responsible for the brutal practice which is generally inflicted when victims are babies or young girls. ...

The majority of women who attend hospital will have undergone the procedure a number of years earlier and have become known to medics during antenatal care or because of complications, such as recurrent urinary infections, associated with FGM.

Campaigners said the figures highlighted the need for a comprehensive system to report FGM. It is estimated that at least 66,000 girls and women in the UK are victims of FGM.
[Site link]


Crime – Gypsies, Travellers, prisoners
One in 20 inmates 'from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller backgrounds'
BBC, 12 March 2014

One in 20 prisoners in England and Wales - or 5% - are Gypsy, Romany Gypsy or Irish Travellers, a report has found.

The Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) paper said people from those backgrounds were "significantly" over-represented in jails.

According to current prison population figures, 5% equates to just over 4,200 inmates. ...

The proportion has risen in the year since 2011/12, when 4% of prisoners told HMIP they identified themselves as Gypsy, Romany Gypsy or Irish Traveller.

The HMIP paper said: "Even on the lowest estimates... it is clear that prisoners of Gypsy, Romany and Traveller backgrounds are significantly over-represented in the prison population.

"Our survey findings suggest that the proportion might be as high as 5% - the same proportion as women prisoners - and much higher than this in some establishments, particularly those holding children."

It said the reasons for the over-representation "lie outside the prison service", adding that "more needs to be done to understand and address this".

HMIP said there were "strikingly high" numbers of such inmates in some prisons, according to their surveys.

In 2012/13, 12% of prisoners at HMP Elmley, Kent, 11% at HMP Gloucester and 10% at HMP Winchester told HMIP they identified themselves as being Gypsy, Romany or Traveller.

The proportion of Gypsies was higher in secure training centres (STCs). A total of 12% of inmates in those centres, which hold 12-18 year olds, said they were Gypsy, Romany or Traveller.

However in young offender institutions, the proportion was the same as for adult institutions, at 5%.

A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: "We are committed to ensuring fair and equal treatment for all prisoners, including those with protected characteristics as defined in the Equality Act 2010.

"As part of this, we recently launched a campaign to encourage and support Gypsy, Traveller and Roma prisoners to declare their heritage and address some of the sensitive issues affecting them and their communities.

"Since the start of this, we have seen a 50% increase in declarations."

According to 2011 Census data, 0.1% of the population of England and Wales - 58,000 people - identified themselves as being Gypsy or Irish Traveller.
[Site link]


Crime – illegal immigration
Top judge who was soft on foreign criminals has been sacked after it emerged he was living with an illegal immigrant
Harriet Arkell
Daily Mail, 10 March 2014

A senior immigration judge has been forced to quit after his bosses discovered he was living with an illegal immigrant.

Richard McKee, 65, agreed to step down after admitting he was supporting 39-year-old Nigerian woman, Fatima Umar, who had overstayed her visa to the UK.

The judge, a full-time Tribunal Judge of the Upper Tribunal since 2002, left his job on 4 February after Umar was arrested at his £410,000 flat in Kilburn, north London.

As she was arrested, she assaulted two police officers and caused £5,000 damage, it was reported today.

Umar is now serving two eight-week jail terms for the two assaults and causing the damage, the Sun reports, and is expected to be deported when her sentence ends.

According to police records, she was sentenced to 14 weeks in prison three years ago after assaulting Mr McKee, it was reported.

He was one of three senior immigration judges who allowed 26 foreign criminals to stay in Britain because of their 'right to a family life' in just one year, while ruling that only seven be sent home.

Last year, Mr McKee's ground-floor flat was the subject of a police investigation after it was discovered that his home was being used for 'unlawful activities' which he had not told his bosses about. ...

The former judge is now likely to receive a full pension of at least £50,000.

Today Tory MP Dominic Raab spoke of his anger at the situation.

He said: 'It beggars belief that a judge tasked with defending our borders has been helping someone who has flouted them, only to walk away with a full pension.

'Those who uphold the law should not be above the law.'
[Site link]


Crime – deportation
On the run, the foreign killers and rapists that Britain can't throw out: 750 criminals simply disappear after being set free
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 24 February 2014

More than 750 foreign criminals – including killers, rapists and paedophiles – are walking the streets after jumping bail.

They should have been deported after completing their sentences, but instead have been released from detention under human rights laws and then gone on the run.

Among those at large are serious violent criminals, including 11 rapists, at least two killers and several child abusers and arsonists.

The previously unseen figures show the total also includes six burglars, 26 robbers, dozens of violent thugs and 76 drug dealers.

The Home Office is refusing to identify the criminals by name because to do so would breach their 'right' to privacy.

The figures were released to the Daily Mail after a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

The Home Office revealed that 752 foreign offenders who have committed crimes in Britain have absconded after they were released on bail from prison or immigration detention and have never been found.

Of those, 16 have been on the run for more than ten years, and 158 for between five and ten years.

Another 310 have been on the run for between two and five years, while 191 have been at large for between one and two years, and 77 for less than a year.

Human rights rulings mean foreign criminals who the Home Office is struggling to remove from Britain cannot be kept behind bars indefinitely.

They can only remain in custody as long as there is a reasonable prospect of officials being able to remove them in the near future.

But in many cases, human rights laws block their return. Other barriers can include difficulties in obtaining a passport for offenders who destroyed their travel documents on their arrival. ...

The freedom of information request was made in March last year, but despite a legal requirement to release the information after 21 days, no response was received until last month.

The Home Office refused to say which countries the offenders are from. It claimed releasing that information could undermine its ability to negotiate deportation agreements with foreign governments.

Officials also refused to say exactly how many criminals had committed particular offences – if the total was fewer than five – in case it could aid public identification.

But they said there were fewer than five criminals guilty of manslaughter, and at least one guilty of conspiracy to murder.

They admitted they did not classify the criminals according to how much of a risk they pose to the public.

A Home Office spokesman said: 'We believe foreign nationals who break our rules should be removed from the UK at the earliest opportunity.

'Last year we removed more than 4,500 foreign national offenders. Where individuals abscond from our controls, we work closely with the police and probation services and employ specialist trace teams to return these individuals to prison.

'Absconders are circulated on the Police National Computer and are added to our watch lists in case those who have left the country seek to re-enter.'
[Site link]


Crime – female genital mutilation
A three-point plan to end Female Genital Mutilation
Marina Yannakoudakis MEP
Conservative Home, 19 February 2014

An estimated 65,000 young girls are victims of FGM in the UK, with most of them living in my constituency of London. These young girls, born in the UK, are taken to the country of their parents' or grandparents' origin and horrifically mutilated. To add to the true reality of this picture, the cutting is sometimes done in the UK. The barbaric practice of FGM is nothing short of child abuse. In the past few years this issue has finally begun to appear on people's radars, we have begun to talk about FGM. ...

This problem is now Europe-wide, with an estimated 500,000 young girls affected. ... ...

This issue is gaining increasing world attention, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) issuing demographic and health surveys, specifically targeting those countries with the highest rates. Whilst figures can only be estimates, it is clear that most cases emanate from North-Eastern Africa. With the absence of long term studies however, we have little information on the changing nature of FGM. It has recently become clear that with vast swathes of immigration, Europe now finds itself on the frontline in the fight against FGM.
[Site link]


Crime – sham marriages
A sham marriage 'every hour' in the UK: More than 7,500 fake ceremonies reported but just 90 people thrown out of the country
Daniel Martin
Daily Mail, 19 February 2014

One sham marriage may be happening in the UK every single hour, shocking figures revealed last night.

Official figures show that between January and October last year, a total of 7,606 fake weddings were reported to the Home Office.

Yet despite the huge scale of the problem, just 90 people were deported over the same period for engaging in false marriages to gain entry to the UK.

It means that for every 85 sham marriages, just one person is being thrown out of the country.

Experts said the appalling record sent out the unmistakeable signal to criminals that there will be no comeback if people enter a false partnership.

Labour said the figures showed the Coalition was 'presiding over a broken immigration system'.

The party's immigration spokesman, David Hanson, said: 'This record speaks for itself. More sham marriages and fewer deportations.

'People want the rules to be enforced, and these figures show the Government simply isn't doing that.

'The Tories are stopping half the number of people at our borders, fewer people are being deported, fewer foreign criminals are leaving and fewer employers are being fined for employing illegal workers.

'The gap between David Cameron and Theresa May's rhetoric and reality is stark.' ...

The latest figures, revealed by the Home Office for the first time following a Parliamentary question from Keith Vaz MP, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, show that the problem may indeed be as stark has he warned.

They show all the reports to the authorities about suspected sham marriages, and will therefore only be the tip of the iceberg. ...

David Green, chief executive of the think tank Civitas, said: 'I find it very surprising that the numbers of deportations are so low as this has been a big issue for a number of years.

'If the word gets out that you can get away with sham marriages in England, then you'll get more sham marriages. And this send out the signal that, if you get found out, very little will happen.'

He added: 'What is needed is willpower, pure political will. But the government is squeamish about seeming to be racist.

'A lot of politics these days is not about problem-solving but is about reputation management. If they think it looks bad they don't do anything.'
[Site link]


Crime – tax, insurance, vehicles
Up to 15,000 illegal foreign drivers avoid tax, fines and MoTs
Nick Collins
Daily Telegraph, 4 February 2014

Thousands of foreign motorists may be driving illegally in Britain, allowing them to avoid paying road tax, escape fines and skip safety checks.

Owners of cars with foreign number plates are supposed to register them with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency within six months to ensure that they are taxed, insured and safe to drive.

However, no motorists have been prosecuted for failing to do so in the past year, despite repeated warnings that thousands are flouting the law.

DVLA officials admitted that they do not hold records of cars' entry to the UK so it is impossible to prove how long drivers have continued to use foreign plates.

Ministers said they had no idea how many people are driving illegally, but reports suggest that as many as 15,000 motorists may be exploiting the loophole. The figure came to light after Andrew Percy, the MP for Brigg and Goole, asked how many people had been prosecuted for failing to register a foreign car over the past 12 months.

Stephen Hammond, the transport minister, replied that the DVLA "has not taken forward any prosecutions against owners of foreign-registered vehicles that have remained in the UK beyond the six-month exemption period in the last year".

His admission raised fears that thousands of motorists may be avoiding paying tax on their cars.

Failure to register cars also makes it harder for authorities to issue parking fines and to check that vehicles are undergoing an annual MoT test.

The Government admitted last year that it had prosecuted just four people for the same offence over the preceding 12 months.

Mr Percy told The Daily Telegraph he had learnt of the issue after constituents reported that eastern European immigrants living locally were continuing to drive with foreign plates long after their arrival in the UK.

"It could be many thousands or it could be just a few," he said. "Obviously they are not paying road tax in the UK. Clearly there is an issue with car insurance and avoiding MoTs as well.

"It may be a small problem or it may be huge but nobody has a clue, and the fact nobody knows seems bizarre. We can have foreign vehicles running around on the roads, not paying for them, potentially in breach of the law but nobody is enforcing it." ...

Mr Hammond said: "We are determined to tackle the issue."
[Site link]


Crime – EU migrants
Revealed: Home Office dossier on abuse and fraud by EU migrants
Tim Ross
Sunday Telegraph, 2 February 2014

Migrants from the European Union are defrauding Britain of millions of pounds of taxpayers' money through false welfare claims, sham marriages and organised crime, according to a secret government dossier. ...

Ministers are now planning a five-year campaign to persuade Brussels to take the abuse of the EU's "free movement" migration rights seriously. ...

The dossier was due to have been published at the height of last week's row in Parliament over the government's immigration reforms. ...

Conservative MPs, already furious at No 10's handling of the Immigration Bill, accused the government of trying to suppress crucial evidence which they say should have been available to be discussed in Parliament. ...

The report details the four major routes by which European migrants and others abuse the "free movement" rights given to EU citizens. These are sham marriages, proxy marriages. benefit fraud, and fraudulent documents.

Registrars have raised concerns about 1,891 suspected sham marriages in 2012, up from 934 in 2010. These involve people applying to live in the UK as the spouse of a British citizen or a resident of another EU country. ... ...

Some countries allow marriage registrations to be conducted "by proxy", with one or sometimes both partners absent and represented by another nominated person at the ceremony. In a survey of 200 EU residence card applications during one week in October last year, 16 per cent of all marriage certificates submitted in supporting evidence were from proxy marriages. ...

In one case, more than 1,000 children were trafficked by a Romanian gang into Britain and forced to steal, engage in "organised begging" and commit benefit fraud. The case, which gave rise to the Metropolitan Police's Operation Golf, included a £2.9 million benefit fraud scam in which false claims for British benefits were orchestrated by a Romanian gang.

Other cases saw 230 Polish drug addicts and people with mental health problems "lured" to Britain and "tricked" into opening bank accounts into which fraudulently claimed benefits were paid.

The report concludes: "It is clear that criminal gangs exploit the free movement rights of EU citizens in order to facilitate significant fraud against the UK benefits system.

A "consistently large majority" of all the fraudulent passports and identity documents seized at ports and airports by border officials are faked or stolen European Union documentation, or papers from the wider European Economic Area.

The proportion of false documents from Europe is also rising. The Home Office dossier states that 73 per cent of the 1,770 fraudulent documents seized in 2009 were from the EU or the EEA. By 2012, this had risen to 83 per cent of the 1,652 false papers detected.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, submitted the document, entitled "Evidence of Fraud and Abuse of Free Movement in the UK", to the European Commission ahead of a meeting in December at which ministers discussed the issue.
[Site link]


Crime – criminals, asylum
A foreign criminal applies for asylum in Britain EVERY DAY: More than 800 convicts applied for residency in the past two years despite having offences to their name
Wills Robinson
Mail on Sunday, 2 February 2014

One foreign criminal applies for asylum in Britain every day - raising concern that convicts from overseas are trying to take advantage of the system.

More than 800 crooks applied for residency in this country over the last two years, despite committing offences either in this country or abroad.

The statistics released by the Home Office show how convicts from overseas are looking for refuge in this country by taking advantage of human rights laws.

It comes after it was revealed that foreign prisoners were being released from prison early because officials assumed they would be deported when they were released.

Shadow Minister for Immigration David Hanson MP said: 'We need strong action to ensure that migrants who are here illegally or who break the law are removed from the country, but under this government 13 per cent fewer foreign criminals are being deported showing that the Government simply don't have a grip on this problem.

'The Home Secretary needs to ensure that the asylum system isn't abused, that decisions are made efficiently with strong checks on criminal history when examining applications and when people shouldn't be here they are removed quickly, but despite her empty rhetoric on the issue her record for the past four years shows this is simply not happening.'

Almost 20,000 foreigners have been allowed to stay in the last six years after claiming that deportation would breach their human rights.

Nearly 70,000 applied to stay once they had been detected, but only one in three were successful.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that 100 war criminals had applied for asylum in the UK in the last year, with nearly 800 asking the UK Border Agency to remain in this country over the last eight years.

Human rights laws invariably mean that the worse their crimes in their homeland, the more difficult it is to send them home.
[Site link]


Crime – gangs
London gangs expanding across UK, Met Police warns
BBC, 31 January 2014

Some of London's most dangerous gangs are increasingly expanding their criminal activities across the UK, the Metropolitan Police has warned.

Officers say 54 gangs from the capital now have "tentacles" in other towns and cities, selling drugs and causing violence on a larger scale.

Police liken them to businesses, saying areas are selected depending on demand and whether other gangs operate.

Raids across the UK on Thursday targeted one south London gang.

Twenty-nine people aged 18 to 47 were arrested in the latest phases of an operation said to be focused on the so-called GAS gang, based in Lambeth.

Simultaneous raids took place at 23 properties.

The Met Police searched nine addresses in Lambeth, one in Southwark, one in Hackney and another in Brent.

Seven properties were targeted in the Thames Valley, two in Edinburgh, one in Essex and one in Bedfordshire.

Police said the operation illustrated how gangs were targeting new areas to confuse investigators and generate more profit.

Officers say the 54 London gangs that they believe have made criminal advances around the regions are already behind two-thirds of gang-related crime in the capital.

Det Ch Insp Tim Champion, from the Met's Operation Trident Gang Crime Command, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "What we are noticing is that gangs are spreading their wings, so rather than working in London, they are going into the counties, even Scotland, to deal drugs. ... ..." ...

Scotland Yard said Thursday's raids involved more than 700 officers and targeted what are believed to be "the most senior ranking high harm members" of the London gang. ...

Those arrested are suspected of crimes including conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, money laundering, fraud and immigration offences.
[Site link]


Crime – gangs
Police tighten the net on drugs gangs
Tristan Cork
Western Daily Press, 31 January 2014

Police who raided almost 70 homes in one morning on the biggest drugs operation in the force's history arrested more people yesterday but launched a manhunt for five more.

Wiltshire Police warned the public not to approach the men, three from Swindon, one from nearby Wroughton and a fifth from London, following Wednesday's huge Operation Harness.

That saw 400 police officers raid 55 homes and businesses in Swindon and another 15 in London as they tried to bust the Class A drug rings that are moving down the M4 from the capital to Swindon.

Yesterday, seven more people were arrested, bringing the total number since early on Wednesday to 52, but police said five had slipped through their net. ...

The police raiding the properties also found weapons, stolen goods and cash, and a significant link to the black market trade in revenue-dodging tobacco.

Some £50,000 worth of illegal tobacco was also seized from an address in Melksham as part of the operation, along with £15,000 from the homes in Swindon.

Officers from HMRC went with police on some of the raids, as did staff from the Home Office Immigration Enforcement team (HOIE). Two of the men detained were suspected of being illegal immigrants, from Afghanistan and Nigeria.
[Site link]


Crime – sham marriages
Sham marriage a 'massive loophole' in Britain's border
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 24 January 2014

Sham marriages are a "massive loophole" in Britain's border controls and amount to a "golden ticket" into the country for immigrants, an official report has warned.

John Vine, the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, highlighted serious failings in the way officials are attempting to combat bogus marriages.

He found evidence it could be a "growing problem", but intelligence on the true picture was "lagging behind".

The report said Home Office analysts said the four main non-European nationalities involved in sham marriages were Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Nigerian.

Men made up more than eight out of 10 of the non-European half of the arrangement. They were typically trying to marry someone from the newer eastern European states.

The report described how many of the women arrived in the country only a few days before the ceremony, and were referred to by immigration officials as "awayday brides".

A significant number of sham marriages may be going undetected because register offices are failing to report suspicious couples to immigration officials, the report added. ...

Just 20 register offices reported more suspicious marriages to the Home Office than the other 88 offices put together, the investigation found.

No reports at all were received from some of the country's largest cities - although the inspector declined to reveal which ones.

Mr Vine said: "Many register offices refer few, if any, cases of suspected sham marriage to the Home Office, despite the fact that they have a statutory duty to do so.

"This means that a significant number of sham marriages may be going undetected.

"It also creates a risk that sham marriages will be displaced from areas where they are identified to those where they are not."
[Site link]


Foreign criminal danger 'is increasing', warns police minister as he promises action on offenders from overseas
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 23 January 2014

The number of crimes committed by foreign criminals is 'sizeable and increasing', a minister warned yesterday.

Police Minister Damian Green made the warning as he promised new action to clamp down on offenders from overseas.

He pointed to figures showing more than 74,000 foreign national offenders were arrested in London in a single year.

David Cameron has personally pledged to deport more foreign criminals from Britain.

But human rights laws, foreign countries' refusal to accept their own nationals and delays in getting travel documents mean many dangerous offenders are allowed to stay in the country.

In London, the Metropolitan Police's Operation Nexus has seen immigration officials based in police stations so swift action can be taken when foreign criminals are arrest.

The operation has seen more than 1,000 foreign offenders deported in the past 18 months.

But Mr Green said the scale of offending by foreign nationals outside the capital was 'less well understood'.

In a speech to Police and Crime Commissioners in London on Tuesday, Mr Green said: 'The level of crime in England and Wales committed by foreign nationals is sizeable and increasing.

'In 2011/12 the Metropolitan Police arrested over 74,000 foreign national offenders.

'The scale of the challenge is less well understood outside London. But we are building that evidence for the rest of the country and will share it as soon as we can to help you deal with the problem more effectively.' ...

In coming months, the Met scheme is set to be extended across the country in an effort to throw out more foreign criminals.

Officials will identify and process foreign suspects as soon as they are arrested, checking whether they are wanted abroad or are here illegally.

Computer records of suspected serious offenders will be marked with a 'red flag' to prevent them applying for British nationality while they go through the courts.
[Site link]


Crime – sham marriages
Sham marriages 'go undetected'
Belfast Telegraph, 23 January 2014

A significant number of sham marriages may be going undetected as register offices fail to report suspicions to immigration officials, an inspection has found.

While observing an operation by West London enforcement staff, borders and immigration inspectors were told suspicions about sham marriage are being under-reported by register offices, despite there being a statutory duty on registrars to refer such marriages to the Home Office.

The Home Office should work with the General Register Office to ensure that all suspicions are reported, chief inspector of borders and immigration John Vine said.

In most sham marriages, a national of a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA) marries an EEA national in the UK. If not detected, they allow individuals to obtain residency for five years and then settle permanently in the UK on the basis of relationships that are not genuine.

Mr Vine said: "Many register offices refer few, if any, cases of suspected sham marriage to the Home Office, despite the fact that they have a statutory duty to do so.

"This means that a significant number of sham marriages may be going undetected.

"It also creates a risk that sham marriages will be displaced from areas where they are identified to those where they are not.

"The Home Office must work with the General Register Office to ensure that all such marriages are referred to it by local register offices in order that a true picture of this problem can be painted." ...

Looking at the national picture, Home Office staff and managers told inspectors that sham marriage was a "growing problem" but added that knowledge of the extent of the problem and the intelligence to deal with it was "lagging behind".

Brent Register Office told inspectors that it considered it would have enough sham marriage and immigration offences work for an enforcement officer to be stationed there every day.

But Mr Vine warned that more reports from register offices and the Home Office's increasing focus on tackling sham marriage will pile pressure on the 19 enforcement teams around the country as they will not have enough resources.

He said: "The Home Office should therefore ensure that local enforcement teams are adequately resourced to deal with any increase in referrals of suspected sham marriages."

The Home Office also accepted there were intelligence gaps in relation to setting up sham marriages and other linked criminal activity, the inspector's report said.

There is no requirement for churches to report any suspicions about marriages, but some staff believed sham marriage was a problem in church weddings, he added.
[Site link]


Crime – illegal abortion
The lost girls: Illegal abortion widely used by some UK ethnic groups to avoid daughters 'has reduced female population by between 1,500 and 4,700'
Steve Connor
The Independent, 15 January 2014

The illegal abortion of female foetuses solely to ensure that families have sons is widely practised within some ethnic communities in Britain and has resulted in significant shortfalls in the proportion of girls, according to an investigation by The Independent.

The practice of sex-selective abortion is now so commonplace that it has affected the natural 50:50 balance of boys to girls within some immigrant groups and has led to the "disappearance" of between 1,400 and 4,700 females from the national census records of England and Wales, we can reveal.

A government investigation last year found no evidence that women living in the UK, but born abroad, were preferentially aborting girls. However, our deeper statistical analysis of data from the 2011 National Census has shown widespread discrepancies in the sex ratio of children in some immigrant families, which can only be easily explained by women choosing to abort female foetuses in the hope of becoming quickly pregnant again with a boy. The findings will reignite the debate over whether pregnant women should be legally allowed to know the sex of their babies following ultrasound scans at 13 weeks. ...

About 10 per cent of the 190,000 abortions carried out in England and Wales in 2011 took place after 13 weeks of pregnancy, when the sex organs of the foetus are clearly visible from ultrasound scans – which are available privately – and doctors can predict gender with an accuracy of more than 99 per cent.

Abortions based solely on gender are illegal in Britain and in many other countries, even those where the practice is widespread. ... ...

What the data does not show is whether couples are returning to their home countries to have sex-selective abortions, or getting them done illegally in the UK.
[Site link]


Crime – justice, "respect", Macpherson Report
Mark Duggan inquest: angry relatives are a threat to justice
Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday Telegraph, 12 January 2014

The scenes at the Mark Duggan inquest, in which supporters of the deceased threatened the jurors with violence, were the predictable outcome of a decreasing public appreciation that courts are supposed to dispense impersonal justice, not group psychotherapy by means of the ventilation of feelings. Such feelings are not their own justification. Even when they are justified, we should keep them under control.

The Duggan case was at the extreme end of a continuum that has shifted in the direction of intimidation and violence. ... ...

Not long ago, I gave evidence in a trial in which a man of subnormal intelligence was accused of a sexual assault of a minor kind, possibly the result of genuine incomprehension. As he was led into the dock, the complainant's boyfriend, who himself looked no uncompromising defender of law and order, uttered a threat from the public gallery that was heard by all, including barristers and police (the judge had not yet entered). Nothing was done. In the very temple of justice, a man had issued an illegal threat with total impunity. As if in ironic commentary, at the entrance to the next-door courtroom, police in bulletproof vests patrolled with automatic weapons. That this should now be necessary is hardly surprising.

The observance of a moment's silence for Duggan before the proceedings in the coroners' court was an instance of authority paying "respect", in the sense of fear of thuggery. Authority thus paid the Danegeld and, as a natural consequence, did not get rid of the Dane. Such intimidation, incidentally, explains the absurd and dangerous conclusions of the Macpherson Report, perhaps the most striking instance of moral cowardice and intellectual incompetence in the history of British public inquiries.
[Site link]


Crime – electoral fraud
Election watchdog demands action amid fears of Asian voter fraud
James Kirkup
Daily Telegraph, 8 January 2014

The election watchdog is demanding urgent action over concerns about voting fraud in towns with large Asian communities.

The Electoral Commission is setting up an inquiry into 16 council areas to examine the "vulnerability" of some South Asian communities – specifically some from certain areas of Pakistan and Bangladesh – to electoral fraud.

The commission last year undertook a consultation on such fraud, the results of which are published today. It calls for voters to be required to show photo ID at polling stations in England, Scotland and Wales, as they must in Northern Ireland, although it admits such a system would be hard to put in place for the 2015 general election.

The commission also wants to restrict the use of postal votes. Following repeated claims of abuse, political party activists should no longer be allowed to handle postal votes or applications, it says.

However, its most sensitive conclusion is to tell officials, political parties and the police to do more to prevent election fraud among British Asians. The commission said it had received numerous allegations of electoral fraud among British Asians, though it stressed most claims were not proven.

The "higher risk" areas that will come under investigation are: Birmingham, Blackburn with Darwen, Bradford, Burnley, Calderdale, Coventry, Derby, Hyndburn, Kirklees, Oldham, Pendle, Peterborough, Slough, Tower Hamlets, Walsall and Woking.

The commission said consultation submissions raised questions about "whether individuals within these communities are able effectively to exercise their right to vote".
[Site link]


Crime – crime figures
Lord Stevens admits police have been 'fiddling' crime figures for years
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 8 January 2014

A former Scotland Yard commissioner has admitted the police regularly fiddle crime figures.

Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington, who ran the Metropolitan Police for six years, said officers on the ground had warned him that massaging of crime statistics is the "biggest scandal coming our way".

He called for an urgent investigation into the way every force in Britain records crime figures.

Giving evidence to the Commons' home affairs select committee, Lord Stevens said: "Ever since I've been in police service there has been a fiddling of figures. I remember being a detective constable where we used to write off crimes."

Asked by Keith Vaz MP, the committee chairman, if it was still going on, Lord Stevens replied: "Of course it is. In certain forces.

"I was in a session with police sergeants nine months to a year ago in Cheshire talking about what their feelings were about the police service.

"All of them said the biggest scandal that is coming our way is recording of crime."
[Site link]


Roma already in Britain 'are defecating on people's doorsteps' says top Tory council leader as she warns of burden that Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants will place on public services
Hugo Gye
Daily Mail, 1 January 2014

A leading Conservative has warned that council taxpayers face rising costs from the influx of Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants set to start tomorrow - and claims that Roma are already causing trouble by begging aggressively and defecating in public.

Philippa Roe, leader of Westminster City Council, said that local authorities had 'no idea' how many Eastern Europeans would come to Britain after immigration restrictions are lifted on January 1.

And a police commissioner in the Midlands revealed that more crimes are committed by Romanians than by any other group of foreign nationals in his area even before the rules have changed. ...

Ms Roe said today that some members of the Roma community have already been causing trouble in Central London with their aggressive and unhygienic behaviour.

'You've only got to wander around Marble Arch at 7.30 in the morning to see the camps,' she told The World at One on BBC Radio 4.

'We have people walking out of their front door to find people sleeping on their front doorsteps, people defecating on their front doorstep - it's extremely unpleasant and it goes with the very aggressive begging and pickpocketing and other sorts of crime in the area which affects both residents and tourists.

'It's this minority one is really concerned about, but it is this minority that has this really big impact.'

She added: 'We have been trying hard to make sure we are prepared but one of the issues we face is we just have no idea how many people are going to come to London and draw on our resources.' ...

Staffordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner said that Romanian criminals were more prolific than those from any other foreign country and expressed fears that the problem would only get worse.

Matthew Ellis said that he was seeking talks with Home Secretary Theresa May in a bid to mitigate the impact of a large number of poor immigrants arriving at the same time.

It is understood that 981 Romanians were arrested in Staffordshire between April 2010 and September 2013, followed by 967 Polish nationals and 636 Lithuanians.

In total, 7.5 per cent of all arrests in the county involved foreign nationals.
[Site link]



Disease – HIV
Immigrants, HIV and the true cost to the NHS: Should the 'International Health Service' be treating patients who come here with the killer disease, asks SUE REID
Sue Reid
Daily Mail, 11 October 2014

At St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London, the HIV-testing clinic is always busy and a cacophony of foreign voices sounds out from the waiting room. ...

The remarkably swift and efficient NHS service at this world-famous hospital – and other HIV testing clinics across the country – is free to anyone, wherever they come from in the world.

Those who test positive join the estimated 7,000 or so people in the UK who are newly diagnosed every year as suffering from HIV.

Several hundred are British-born, but more than 60 per cent are migrants from Africa where, tragically, the disease is running rife.

Each HIV patient from overseas – whether here legally or illegally, whether a failed asylum seeker or student on a temporary visa – is entitled to free treatment on the NHS.

This is the result of a decision by the Coalition in 2012 to make HIV treatment free to all non-British visitors after lobbying by Left-leaning politicians and campaign groups. The aim was to stop the spread of the virus.

However, many believe that this change has led to an increase in so-called health tourism as foreigners deliberately come to this country to access free NHS treatment.

The process is simple: Foreigners can get a unique and permanent NHS number, which they are then usually able to use to get free hospital care. They can also book an appointment online or just walk in without a doctor's referral.

Of course, that treatment is not actually free – it's paid for by British taxpayers. The 2012 change in rules means that HIV sufferers can receive £20,000 of antiretroviral drugs every year.

Once HIV treatment is started, patients will probably need to take the medication for the rest of their lives. In total, the cost to the NHS will be up to £1 million per patient if they survive into old age.

Not surprisingly, the policy of treating migrants with HIV has always been highly controversial. A new row was sparked on Thursday when Nigel Farage said that migrants with HIV should not be allowed to enter Britain without private medical insurance.

Although denounced by many, he won the support of Digby Jones, the former trade minister.

Lord Jones, an ex-head of the CBI who served in Gordon Brown's government, said Mr Farage was 'tapping into something important that people are beginning to say throughout Britain'.

'We should be saying, "I don't want you to come into this country with a communicable disease".

But the row threatened to embarrass Douglas Carswell, Ukip's new MP, whose father Wilson, an eminent doctor, helped diagnose some of the first cases of HIV in Uganda in the 1980s.

Earlier this year, 20 Tory backbenchers unsuccessfully tried to amend the Government's Immigration Bill to make it law that before new immigrants enter the country, they must prove they are not HIV-positive and not suffering Hepatitis B – an equally devastating illness that is costly to treat. ...

Britain's open-door, free-treatment policy is very different to that operated by many other countries. According to the United Nations, almost 60 countries refuse entry to people who are HIV-positive.
[Site link]


Disease – HIV, TB, cancer
Are foreign patients really to blame for NHS squeeze?
Denis Campbell
The Guardian, 11 October 2014

The NHS is certainly a service under serious pressure – on its finances and on its ability to meet waiting time targets as it grapples with the growing burden of illness caused by an ageing and growing population increasingly displaying lifestyle-related illness.

But is it under pressure because of foreign-born patients with life-threatening illnesses such as TB, cancer and HIV/Aids, as Nigel Farage claims? Do senior doctors see this as a big burden on the NHS, as the Ukip leader says they do?

Firstly, there are no hard patient or cost numbers to back up Farage's claim that "tuberculosis [and] many, many diseases" are causing "the pressure [being] put on the National Health Service by foreign patients".

While the NHS collects vast amounts of data, it does not know exactly which people – British-born, or living here, or on a visa, or a visitor – receive which treatment for which illness. Dr Sarah Steele, a lecturer at Queen Mary University of London, said: "It's really, really hard to quantify any of the costs to the NHS of treating 'life-threatening diseases' because we don't require everyone to show ID when they use hospital or other services. So to get any [reliable] figures on this is near impossible." ...

Secondly, it's unclear exactly who Farage means by "foreign patients". Everyone not born in the UK? Legal or illegal? Including or excluding those from European Economic Area countries, with which the UK has reciprocal agreements to charge or recover the costs of each other's nationals' healthcare? Those on visas? Or just health tourists, those deliberately abusing NHS services?

The available evidence suggests that non-permanent residents and visitors to England consumed just under £2bn of NHS services in 2012-13, or about 1.8% of its budget of which £328m was recoverable. However, the authors of the Department of Health-funded study that produced those figures urged caution about their own findings as they were based on incomplete data and assumptions.

Prof John Appleby, chief economist at the King's Fund thinktank, said the same research concluded that "deliberate health tourism accounts for just £60m to £80m, and what the research terms 'taking advantage' (eg overseas relatives of British citizens using mainly primary care while visiting) could amount to between £50m and £200m". Taken together, these are far smaller amounts – £280m at the most – than the almost £2bn figure. Given the Department of Health's (DH) budget this year is £113bn, even recovering all £280m would not pay for many more nurses, scanners or appointments.

One big health charity said the DH's own estimate of the annual cost of "people who are deliberately misusing the NHS or taking advantage of the relatively easy access" – between £100m and £300m, or 0.09-0.27% of NHS net expenditure in England in 2013/14 – suggested that the sort of scenarios that so rankle Farage were not very common.

However, those figures did not include migrants settled in the UK or non-permanent residents eligible for free healthcare – EEA nationals residing to work, refugees and asylum seekers – so Ukip's leader may argue that much larger sums could be stopped or raised.
[Site link]


Human schistosomiasis: an emerging threat for Europe
Franck de Laval, Hélène Savini, Elodie Biance-Valero and Fabrice Simon
The Lancet, 20 September 2014

The emergence of urinary schistosomiasis in Corsica (France), with a decade of native cases around Europe, might mean that schistosomiasis is now a cause for concern in Europe. Also, many travellers (migrants or tourists) come back from endemic areas after being contaminated through contact with water. Among travellers, the European armed forces have many cases of schistosomiasis because of their deployments in Africa (especially Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, and Central African Republic). Clinical examination has low sensibility and specificity (one of three people are asymptomatic).

European physicians have to manage this new situation. Medical education enhancement would improve their clinical sensibility. Nowadays, unexplained chronic urinary or digestive symptoms should evoke suspicion of schistosomiasis.
[Site link]


Disease – tuberculosis
Give children smaller plates to help them lose weight
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 23 August 2014

Duncan Selbie, the head of Public Health England, said ... ...

Mr Selbie also highlighted the rise in the number of cases of tuberculosis in Britain, which has been attributed to immigration.

He said that the number of cases of tuberculosis will soon exceed the number in the US for the first time, and take on an increasingly antibiotic-resistant form.

"We're just about to cross over with the United States in having more cases of TB as a nation than the whole of the US. This is to do with Britain being the most open nation in the world. There has been a rise in resistant strains which take two years rather than six months to treat."
[Site link]


Disease – illegal immigration, children, USA
Medical staff warned: Keep your mouths shut about illegal immigrants or face arrest
Todd Starnes
Fox News, 2 July 2014

A government-contracted security force threatened to arrest doctors and nurses if they divulged any information about the contagion threat at a refugee camp housing illegal alien children at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, sources say.

In spite of the threat, several former camp workers broke their confidentiality agreements and shared exclusive details with me about the dangerous conditions at the camp. They said taxpayers deserve to know about the contagious diseases and the risks the children pose to Americans. I have agreed to not to disclose their identities because they fear retaliation and prosecution. ...

The sources said workers were guarded by a security force from the BCFS, which the Department of Health and Human Services hired to run the Lackland Camp. ...

She said the workers were stripped of their cellphones and other communication devices. Anyone caught with a phone was immediately fired.

"Everyone was paranoid," she said. "The children had more rights than the workers."

She said children in the camp had measles, scabies, chicken pox and strep throat as well as mental and emotional issues.

"It was not a good atmosphere in terms of health," she said. "I would be talking to children and lice would just be climbing down their hair."

A former nurse at the camp told me she was horrified by what she saw. ...

Both the counselor and the nurse said their superiors tried to cover up the extent of the illnesses. ...

The nurse told me she became especially alarmed because their files indicated the children had been transported to Lackland on domestic charter buses and airplanes. ...

The counselor kept a detailed journal about what happened during her tenure at the facility.

"When people read that journal they are going to be astonished," she said. 'I don't think they will believe what is going on in America."

So it was not a great surprise, she said, when she received a call from federal agents demanding that she return to the military base and hand over her journal.

She said she declined to do so.
[Site link]


Disease – antibiotic resistance
Antibiotics: 'national threat' from steep rise in patients who are resistant to drugs
Laura Donnelly
Daily Telegraph, 7 March 2014

A steep rise in the number of patients who do not respond to antibiotic treatment risks causing a "national health threat", NHS officials have warned.

Experts say the explosion in the use of antibiotics in the Western world to treat common ailments could become a "catastrophic threat" because increasingly bacteria have become resistant to the drugs, so they do not work when they are really needed.

Officials said the scale of such infections had become a matter of "national concern" with 600 cases reported last year, compared with just five in 2006.

Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer for England has previously warned that the threat hanging over the country is equal to that of terrorism. ...

The report says medical staff need to be trained so they are more aware of the risks of prescribing unnecessary antibiotics, ...

It also says that staff need to be alert to the increased risk of infection from patients from high-risk overseas countries, which include Bangladesh, China, Cyprus, Greece, India, Italy, Malta, Pakistan, Taiwan, Turkey, the United States and all countries in North Africa and the Middle East.
[Site link]


Disease – tuberculosis
Antibiotics have transformed human health and saved millions of lives
Joe Shute
Daily Telegraph, 3 February 2014

In 2011, there were almost 35,000 cases of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis recorded in Europe – a six-fold increase in as many years. London is now known as the TB capital of the western world. During the past year around 3,500 residents were diagnosed with the disease (out of around 9,000 across the UK) with boroughs like Newham and Ealing experiencing rates of infection comparable with the developing world. Treatment of multi-drug resistant TB is vastly expensive, costing between £50,000 to £100,000 per patient over two years, and putting a huge strain on hospitals and budgets.

Necessity negates political correctness. Only last month, Professor Ajit Lalvani, from the National Heart and Lung Institute, called for more screening tests to identify latent symptoms of TB that could be brought into the country by immigrants. For it is from distant shores where much of this bacteria comes from.

About 75 per cent of the cases nationwide occur among people born in countries where TB is more common, mostly South Asia (60 per cent of cases) and sub-Saharan Africa (22 per cent). Multi-drug resistant cases are also increasing in Eastern Europe. The complicated therapies required to treat the disease are more difficult to impose over language barriers and with vulnerable patients, resulting in unfinished courses of antibiotics; another major factor that increases resistance.
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HIV Positive Immigrants Should Be Banned From Entering UK, Tory MPs Say
Jessica Elgot
The Huffington Post, 30 January 2014

A group of Tory MPs are backing a proposed ban on HIV positive immigrants to Britain, in a move that has been labelled "the most draconian policy enforced on people with the virus" by campaigners.

The debate over the Immigration Bill in the Commons has seen dozens of amendments tabled by backbenchers, one of which includes a ban on immigrants with Hepatitis B or HIV, tabled by Conservative MP Dr Phillip Lee.

The MP for Bracknell has tweeted about the amendment, but did not mention it included HIV, only mentioning his concern about Hepatitis B:

The amendment is supported by 17 other Conservative MPs, most with interest and experience in public health, including Stephen Barclay, Tracey Crouch and Dr Sarah Wollaston. ...

Amendment NC21 is unlikely to pass, or even be debated because of time restrictions, but AIDS campaigners have criticised those who signed their names in support. ...

Nearly 60 countries, areas and territories worldwide deny the entry, stay or residence of HIV-positive people because of their status, according to the United Nations.

UNAIDS advises that "HIV-related restrictions on entry, stay and residence do not protect the public health" and that the restrictions "violate other human rights".

In fact, the UN advises that these kind of restrictions "can impede effective responses to HIV".
[Site link]



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Diversity – arts
Are theatre audiences too white?
Dominic Cavendish
Daily Telegraph, 10 December 2014

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


Diversity – arts
Arts in England told to make progress with diversity or have funding axed
Mark Brown
The Guardian, 8 December 2014

Arts organisations in England face having their public funding axed unless they show better progress in making audiences, programmes and their workforce more diverse.

The stark warning will come from the chairman of Arts Council England (ACE), Sir Peter Bazalgette, on Monday in what he describes as "one of the most important speeches I'll make".

Bazalgette will announce a fundamental shift in ACE's approach to diversity. It will publish data for the first time showing how diverse the workforces are of the 670 theatres, dance companies, orchestras and arts venues to which it gives regular funding.

Each one will also have to implement plans to make their workforce, audience and productions more diverse. ACE will then make a judgment on success.

"There has to be a reckoning," Bazalgette will say. "The progress our funded organisations make with the diversity of their programmes, their audiences, their artists and their workforce will inform the decisions we take on their membership of the next national portfolio after 2018."

Bazalgette said he preferred to see that as encouragement rather than a threat. He told the Guardian: "I call it a carrot because it is a way of making it work better – I don't call it a stick."

In his speech Bazalgette will say much good work has already been done and figures indicate that 13% of people employed in the ACE portfolio are from black and ethnic minority (BME) groups, close to the national average of 15%.

New separate research by Drama UK last week showed that the live sector was more diverse than television in terms of performer ethnicity. On TV and radio, 96% of actors were white while in musical theatre the figure was 70% and at the National Theatre it was 85%.

Bazalgette will say much more needs to be done – especially to get more black and minority people in to management jobs. He also believes that much of the work to make the arts more diverse has been abandoned to a few companies that specifically champion the work of BME artists.

"Focusing on these organisations has diverted our attention from promoting change across the whole arts sector," he will say. "From now on the responsibility for promoting diversity within the leadership, workforce, programming and audiences must belong to all our funded arts organisations." ...

The big change is that all applicants for arts council funding will now have to make a creative case for diversity, with each setting out how they will produce more diverse work and encourage more diverse audiences. The success of the plans will help to dictate future funding.
[Site link]


Diversity – football
Black and ethnic coaches not getting top jobs, new study shows
Richard Conway
BBC, 10 November 2014

There are only 19 black and ethnic minority (BME) coaches in the 552 'top' coaching positions at professional English clubs, a report has found.

BME coaches take up 3.4% of those positions despite at least 25% of players coming from BME backgrounds.

Findings of the study, carried out by the Sports Person's Think Tank, will be revealed at Westminster on Monday but have already been seen by BBC Sport.

Sports Minister Helen Grant said the findings are "appalling and worrying".

She added: "It's going to take a concerted effort by everyone in football to get the sea change that we need."

The think tank will announce its recommendations at Monday's meeting with MPs and the sports minister in London.

The report was carried out by Dr Stephen Bradbury at Loughborough University, and examined what it took to be the top six coaching and management positions at all 92 professional football clubs in the English leagues.

The study, funded by Football Against Racism in Europe (Fare), says that "institutional discrimination" is present within the English leagues. ...

The study acknowledges that a very small number of BME coaches are also working in supporting roles, often on a part-time basis, while the research also suggests there is an over-reliance within professional clubs of "network-based" methods of recruitment.

The Football League, under the guidance of chairman Greg Clarke, is conducting a review into how it can increase the numbers of BME coaches and managers among its member clubs. ...

The Football Association has also set itself a new target to boost diversity within all levels of the game, while the Premier League recently said it wanted to see "more and better" coaches "who can progress to the highest levels of the game on merit and regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or background". ...

BBC Sport understands the FA is not aware of any complaints of discrimination and has previously stated it would encourage anyone with a complaint to come forward and report them.

FA Learning and full-time coach educators are already required to undergo equality and diversity training, as part of the FA's inclusion plan.

Additionally, the report contends that a lack of BME role models together with "conscious and unconscious racial bias" and stereotyping play a part in the low figures.
[Site link]


Diversity – illegal immigration
LORD BILIMORIA INTERVIEW: Cobra boss says he's so at home in Britain... 'but we have got it all wrong on immigration'
Vicki Owen
Mail on Sunday, 9 November 2014

Lord Bilimoria, founder of the Cobra beer business, is an icon for Britain's Asian business community and so he might be expected to be an unequivocal supporter of targets for ethnic minorities in UK boardrooms. In fact, he is wary that overeager Ministers could set the targets too high.

Business Secretary Vince Cable is set to announce a target to have 20 per cent of FTSE 100 directors from ethnic minorities – similar to the ones for women in the boardroom outlined in 2011. Lord Bilimoria, 52, is unsure for the simple reason that this is out of proportion to ethnic minorities in the population.

'I think for Vince Cable to say 20 per cent may be pushing it, because the number in ethnic minorities in this country is about 14 per cent. So 20 per cent would mean you want more than the proportion of the population. I think that's not necessary.'

But while wary of targets being set too high, Lord Bilimoria is supportive of the principle. 'The message he is sending is boards should try to attract as many ethnic minority members as they can and I agree with that.' ...

But on the subject of students Lord Bilimoria is far from happy with the Government's policies, believing that its clampdown on immigration is hitting the wrong people. 'The number of international students to Britain fell for the first time last year. And the number of students from India has collapsed by over 20 per cent. Why? Because the Government has an immigration policy that is sending out very damaging signals.

'An immigration target was one of the biggest mistakes David Cameron has made, because it's completely unattainable.

'What we've got to clamp down on is this illegal immigration. I challenge Theresa May, how many illegal immigrants are there? She hasn't got a clue. Her department hasn't got a clue, because they've lost control of illegal immigration.

'I speak out against the Government's immigration policy. It is harming our universities. There's good immigration that is of benefit to this country, but it is tarred with the same brush as illegal immigrants.

'What we should be doing is actually setting targets to increase the number of international students. Countries like France have got a target of doubling the number of Indian students by 2020. We should have a target like that.'
[Site link]


I want to see a British Asian Prime Minister, says David Cameron
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 6 November 2014

David Cameron has said he wants to see a British Asian Prime Minister in his lifetime.

Mr Cameron made the remarks at an awards dinner in central London where Sajid Javid, the Culture secretary who is widely tipped as his successor, topped a power list of the most influential Asians in the UK.

Mr Cameron told the GG2 Leadership Awards: "Let us think big about what Britons of all backgrounds can achieve.

"When I hear 'sir', 'your honour' or 'right honourable', I want them to be followed by a British Asian name."

To cheers he added: "One day I want to hear that title 'Prime Minister' followed by a British Asian name."

Earlier Mr Cameron had described Mr Javid, who was in the audience, as "brilliant" during his 10 minute speech, which celebrates achievement among Britain's Asian community. ...

The annual power list, now in its fourth year, named Labour MPs Keith Vaz and Sadiq Khan at number three and seven respectively and Tory MPs Priti Patel and Shailesh Vara at numbers six and nine.

One Direction singer Zayn Malik, recognisable to millions of young music fans across the world, made it to number 10.

The list features 19 women, including BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty and BBC Radio One presenter Jameela Jamil as well as the director of Liberty Shami Chakrabarti.
[Site link]


Diversity – legal profession
Diversity quotas in the law – the issues
Monidipa Fouzder
Law Society Gazette, 6 November 2014

The imbalance of ethnic minority partners needs to be addressed. But how?

Diversity in the legal profession, judging by two separate calls for quotas, is still an issue that needs to be addressed.

A report published today from Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC and Karon Monaghan QC, recommends introducing a quota system to address the under-representation of women and people from ethnic minorities in the senior judiciary, including the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile Cordella Bart-Stewart, a founder of the Black Solicitors Network (BSN), has called for legal regulators to consider introducing quotas, following the publication of the 2014 BSN Diversity League Table.

One notable finding was that only 5.7% of law firm partners are from an ethnic minority background. Almost half of these (3.1% overall) are from an Asian background, with the proportion of black solicitors just 0.5%.

The result was based on a sample of only 41 firms. But had each one of the top 150 UK firms and 30 leading international firms with UK bases that the BSN approached responded to the survey, would the results have been significantly different?

Bart-Stewart's comments sparked a heated debate among Gazette commenters. 'Patronising' said one, 'primitive' exclaimed another.

One commenter declared: 'I couldn't give two hoots what colour, creed, sexual bias etc my employees are, all I care about is that they work hard... .' ...

Having quotas in place is legal in the UK, whether it be for people from an ethnic minority background at partner level, for women on the management board, or for any other protected characteristic such as age, religion or sexual orientation.

The real challenge, says Karen Baxter, partner in the employment, rewards and immigration team at Lewis Silkin, is how you go about filling that quota.

'From a legal perspective, positive discrimination is not permitted under the UK's Equality Act, so firms cannot choose a candidate for a role or a promotion simply because they are a woman or from an ethnic minority background,' she says.

'To do so would give a discrimination claim to the unsuccessful candidate who was turned down because they were a man or white.'

'Positive action', Baxter says, is as far as firms are permitted to go. 'This permits a firm to take proportionate action to address specific obstacles that an under-represented protected group might encounter. For example, a law firm might offer specialist coaching to help members of an under-represented group progress through their career.'

When two equally qualified candidates are eligible for a position - a 'tie break' scenario - firms are allowed to choose a candidate from an under-represented group in preference over the other candidate – a move made possible by the Equality Act 2010.
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Diversity – business
Ethnic boards target 'too ambitious'
Roland Gribben
Daily Telegraph, 3 November 2014

Vince Cable is expected to be told by business leaders that he is being too ambitious in launching a campaign to give ethnic minorities one in five boardroom places in Britain's top 100 companies.

The Business Secretary is finalising proposals aiming for 20pc of directors on the boards of FTSE 100 companies to be drawn from ethic minorities by 2020.

The campaign, coming hard on the heels of the drive to increase the number of women in boardrooms, poses awkward questions for business leaders.

There is no concerted opposition to diversifying board representation but many believe Mr Cable is going too far too fast and ignoring the principle of directors being appointed on ability.
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Diversity – churches, Christianity, Islam
Border controls are a basic human right – is it un-Christian to oppose mass immigration?
Ed West
Spectator blog, 28 October 2014

Is it sinful to be not so keen on the whole immigration thing? I suppose Justin Welby thinks so, according to his recent comments. ...

... Our tradition of tolerance stems from the fact that, as an island and a fairly homogenous one at that, we were secure and stable and therefore able to develop liberal institutions.

From 1997 to 2004 almost no one dared say anything about this influx for fear of being shot down; on the BBC archives you can see how even very modest criticism by the Tories – comments that would be pretty vanilla by today's standards – were presented by the BBC as 'racism rows', while government claims about the need for opening the borders were presented as unarguable economic facts. Most people opposed this change, and yet during that period not a single bishop, Anglican or Catholic, had anything to say about this situation, which rather reduces the impact their words might have today.

The Church hierarchy are so pro-immigration partly because the open-borders diversity cult is a Christian heresy. As I wrote in The Diversity Illusion (now in second edition):

'The moralisation of diversity is reflected in the fact that almost across the board churches in the West are pro-immigration, even though their congregations are not (in the US self-described Christians are more hostile to immigration than non-believers). In a sense secular universalism has grown on and replaced Christianity, which is also universalist and stresses sacrifice for the sake of humanity, although in Christianity altruism is voluntary, and comes with heavenly rewards (and religions have their own out-groups, of non-believers). Because diversity is framed in such morally polar ways, it is very hard to argue against it from a Christian standpoint, and few do. While churches have often spoken on behalf of individual asylum seekers, they have gone further in promoting the diversity agenda. The Catholic Church in England has even put its weight behind asylum amnesties that would have resulted in half a million people being legalised, even though similar schemes in Spain have encouraged further illegal immigration (and resulted in many deaths, of Africans drowned trying to reach Europe).'

It's easy to quote scripture to support secular universalism; but Christian leaders could also argue that open borders strip the developing world of its brightest (including medical staff), that it widens social inequality, that – contrary to the libertarian argument – people are not simply numbers that can be moved around to increase temporary efficiency, that we have the needs of community and family. Most of all, that there is nothing unchristian or immoral about wanting to live in a neighbourhood that it isn't totally alien, and to not have one's labour undercut by the exploitation of desperately poor immigrants. Border controls are a basic human right. ...

The one exception to this secularisation is Islam, a religion that acts as an anchor of identity and which in the second and third generations remains strong, and often stronger, than in the first. Church leaders promoting an immigration policy that strengthens the power of Islam in their country is not Christianity, it's pathological altruism.
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Diversity – multiculturalism
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Jane Merrick
The Independent on Sunday, 19 October 2014

Councils should offer their local residents cash to hold street parties with their new immigrant neighbours to foster friendship and integration, a new report will propose this week.

Money collected from citizenship fees should also be diverted to local authorities facing the greatest pressure from immigration to ease tension between communities and respond to increasingly heated rhetoric from Ukip on the issue.

The report by the IPPR think tank suggests that the £906 citizenship fee could be halved for migrants who carry out voluntary work in their new community. It also calls on councils to copy Newham in east London, which has responded to high levels of immigration by offering £200 to local people to hold street parties with their new neighbours. The report says councils should be given more powers to create "shared ground" within communities.

Citizenship fees paid by migrants could put into a new £400m Settlement Support Fund, boosted by an increased levy of £75 on visa fees, where there is a high degree of population churn. Immigrants who have carried out voluntary work could see their £906 citizenship application fee cut to £406.

IPPR argues that people seeking British citizenship should be given a strong incentive to share in, and make a contribution to, their neighbourhood. In 2012, 194,344 foreign citizens naturalised as British citizens, up from 177,878 in 2011 and from a five-year average of 169,373 from 2006-10. The Settlement Support Fund would be managed by central government but passed on to the local areas affected the most by immigration.

The report says that the Government, besides introducing tough measures to reduce the number of migrants to the UK, needs to adapt to high immigration by devolving power to local authorities.

In a further measure, local authorities should have the power to collect data on British citizens and migrants through council tax forms, which would make town halls better prepared for population churn. ...

Alice Sachrajda, senior research fellow at IPPR, said: "Overcrowded houses, fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour are scourges in some local communities, and can often arise as a result of high immigration. Ukip's prominent interventions in public debates offer a simple solution: fewer migrants equals fewer problems of this sort. This facile response resonates with the many people who are concerned about immigration (the second most important issue after the NHS, according to a recent ICM poll). But, given that we have already had high inflows of immigration into the UK, this empty promise speaks of locking the stable door after the proverbial horse has bolted."
[Site link]


Diversity – children's books
Children's books are too white, says Laureate
Chris Green
The Independent on Sunday, 13 July 2014

Books aimed at children and young adults are still too white and should include more characters from ethnic minorities, according to the Children's Laureate.

Malorie Blackman said the landscape of children's literature did not reflect the cultural diversity of young people in the UK, an imbalance that may discourage ethnic minority children from reading, and from writing books themselves. Her comments gained immediate support from other authors.

"Very, very few picture books are published in this country that feature children of colour," she told Reuters news agency. "We might have dogs, cats, rabbits, puppies, but when it comes to children, very few [featuring different ethnicities] are published."

Ms Blackman, the author of the Noughts and Crosses series for young adults, said that when she began her writing career she was told white children would not want to read books featuring black characters.

She said there was still not enough ethnic diversity among Britain's writers. "I can reel off 10 or 15 black and minority ethnic authors in the UK, but I should be able to reel off a hell of a lot more," she said.

Quentin Blake, celebrated as the illustrator of Roald Dahl's books, said that Ms Blackman was "probably right", adding that he often included characters from ethnic minorities in his illustrations even when he wasn't prompted.

"If I have a group of children I generally do some kind of mix," he said. ...

Anthony Horowitz, the author and screenwriter who wrote the Alex Rider series of teenage spy novels, said the Children's Laureate was right to raise the issue, adding that she was a "brilliant champion for young adult fiction and for black readers and black writers".

But he added: "Can writers like me help? I'm not sure. If I try to write a character from an ethnic background I will not be writing from my own experience and I may lay myself open to all sorts of accusations – tokenism, for example. Am I being patronising? And is it my job to tell a story or to help shape society?

"We simply need to create more Malories – and I'm optimistic. Look at Steve McQueen, Idris Elba, Lennie James, Ben Okri. Ozwald Boateng and many others. In every area of culture and the media, there are black people making their mark."

Last year, a study by the Cooperative Children's Book Center at the University of Wisconsin found that of the 3,200 children's books published in the US in 2013, only 93 were about black people.
[Site link]


Diversity – films
BFI obligates and supports Lottery funding recipients to reflect diversity in the UK
BFI, 7 July 2014

The BFI today renews its commitment to diversity across the film industry, with new requirements introduced to ensure film productions supported with Lottery funding through the BFI Film Fund reflect and represent the diversity of the UK.

The BFI's new 'three ticks' approach, which is backed by UK producers' association Pact and ethnic minority recruitment and training charity Creative Access, will be implemented for all productions supported through the BFI Film Fund from 1 September 2014, and will be adapted and rolled out across all BFI Lottery funding for film by July 2015. The BFI is recruiting a Diversity Expert to support the introduction and implementation of the new guidelines and provide guidance to BFI-backed productions and the wider industry. ...

From 1 September 2014, using a new 'three ticks' approach developed by the BFI and designed to address diversity in relation to ethnicity, disability, gender, sexual orientation and socio-economic status, all BFI Film Fund supported projects must demonstrate commitment to encouraging diverse representation across their workforces and in the portrayal of under-represented stories and groups on screen in order to be eligible for production funding.

The BFI Film Fund is the largest public film fund in the UK, investing over £27m into film development, production, international sales and distribution, and supporting around 30 new film productions each year. Recent BFI Film Fund-backed productions telling diverse stories include Amma Asante's Belle, currently on general release through Fox Searchlight, Gone Too Far from director Destiny Ekaragha and writer Bola Agbaje, and Pride from director Matthew Warchus and writer Stephen Beresford, which will be released in the UK by Pathe on 12 September. However, the BFI is committed to ensuring all Lottery supported films reflect the diversity of the UK.

The three ticks assessment requires applicants to demonstrate commitment to diversity across three areas of their production, ranging from the make up of the workforce to the stories and characters on screen, with at least one tick needed in a minimum of two areas for a project to be eligible for BFI production funding:

1. On-screen diversity: diverse subject matter, at least one lead character positively reflecting diversity, at least 30% of supporting and background characters positively reflecting diversity;

2. Off-screen diversity: diverse key creatives (director, screenwriter, composer, cinematographer), at least two Heads of Department from diverse backgrounds, production crew and production company staff (both with a range of targets across different diverse groups);

3. Creating opportunities and promoting social mobility: paid internships and employment opportunities for new entrants from diverse backgrounds, training placements for people from diverse backgrounds, demonstrable opportunities for former trainees or interns to progress within their careers. ...

... With a minimum of two ticks required to be eligible for support, film projects receiving three ticks will be promoted using a BFI diversity logo, will be profiled as good practice case studies, and their producers will be promoted on the BFI website.
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Diversity – multiculturalism, politics, Parliament
MPs are too white, says David Cameron
Christopher Hope
Sunday Telegraph, 29 June 2014

MPs do not represent the people of Britain properly because they are too white, David Cameron has said.

The Prime Minister said there is "much more to be done" to encourage more people from ethnic minority backgrounds to enter Parliament.

Mr Cameron made the comments in a preface to a book, "Rainbow over Westminster", which charts the increasing number of MPs who are black or from ethnic minority backgrounds.

In the preface, Mr Cameron said that the book "serves as a reminder – that there is much more to be done. ...

Mr Cameron said that he hoped the book – which is edited by the Labour MP Keith Vaz, who became the first British Indian to sit in the Commons for over 60 years when he was elected in 1987 – would help "to open up politics further".

Since the first MP was elected 172 years ago, there have been 38 ethnic minority MPs in the Commons. Today 26 out of 650 MPs are from BME backgrounds.

In the 2010 election 16 men and women from black and ethnic minority backgrounds were elected – a quintupling on the three who were elected in 1987.

In an introduction, John Bercow, the Commons' Speaker, said: "We need to ensure that we continue to benefit from the greater diversity of elected representatives." ...

Mr Cameron's remarks come after research published last month from the Policy Exchange thinktank, which said that non-white people will make up between 20 and 30 per cent of the population by 2050. The current share is around 14 per cent. ...

The coming growth in Britain's non-white population is largely explained by a higher birth-rate among ethnic minority Britons.

A quarter of all children under 10 in the UK are from ethnic minorities. By contrast, 95 per cent of people aged over 60 are white.

The Conservative Party is doing more to reach out to black and ethnic minority groups, although it refuses to make such moves public.

In April, Michael Gove, the Education secretary and a Tory moderniser, issued the said the Tories should reclaim the term "multi-culturalism".


He said: "The answer to how we make our country strong in the future is that we welcome talent from whenever it comes and we celebrate the fact that we are stronger together as a United Kingdom, as a multi-cultural nation than we could ever be if we looked back to the past."
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Diversity – BBC
EastEnders 'is too white to be authentic warns head of BBC watchdog'
Sam Adams
Mirror, 24 June 2014

EastEnders has too many white cast members to be authentic, the head of the BBC's watchdog has warned.

The popular BBC soap opera, which is set in the fictional east London neighbourhood of Walford, also has too many young actors to be properly representative, said Diane Coyle, acting chairman of the BBC Trust.

In a speech at the London School of Economics, Coyle reportedly reflected on findings from Audience Council England which found that there were "nearly twice as many white people living in fictional E20 as in real life E17."

E17 is the postcode for Walthamstow, one of the multicultural east London neighbourhoods on which the soap is based.

More than a third of people living in the London Borough of Waltham Forest - of which Walthamstow is part - were born abroad.

Coyle said that although EastEnders is not a documentary it is important to "ask whether the BBC can do more in its popular output to provide an authentic portrayal of life in modern Britain," the Daily Mail reports.


A spokesman for the BBC said: "We agree with The Trust that EastEnders has one of the most diverse casts on British television and that it would be daft to suggest that the programme needs to be a perfect replica of a particular postcode. As announced by Tony Hall last week, the BBC has plans to lead the industry on diversity, both on and off screen."
[Site link]


Diversity – schools, New York, Chicago, USA
Elite, Separate, Unequal: New York City's Top Public Schools Need Diversity
Richard D. Kahlenberg
New York Times, 22 June 2014
[Richard D. Kahlenberg is the author of "The Remedy: Class, Race, and Affirmative Action"]

New York City's elite public high schools were always meant to provide a quintessentially American blend of academic excellence and democratic accessibility. ...

"You pass the test, you get the highest score, you get into the school – no matter what your ethnicity, no matter what your economic background is," Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said in 2012. But this year, only 5 percent of seats at those eight schools were offered to black students and 7 percent to Latinos, in a city where the public schools are 70 percent black and Latino. ... ...

In his campaign for mayor, Bill de Blasio called for diversifying these schools. His administration recently endorsed proposed state legislation that would broaden the criteria for admissions to the city's three original specialized high schools – Stuyvesant, the Bronx High School of Science, and Brooklyn Technical High School – where the use of the test is mandated by state law, to also include factors such as a student's grade point average, state exam scores and attendance. At the five other selective schools, Mr. de Blasio has the power to change the criteria without legislation. ...

Five years ago I worked with Chicago public school officials to create a program for their selective and magnet schools. ...

Under the policy we developed, 30 percent of students are admitted to Chicago's highly selective high schools (such as Walter Payton College Prep) based strictly on the traditional criteria of grades and test scores. The remaining seats are allocated to the highest-scoring students from four different socioeconomic tiers, under the premise that students in the poorest parts of the city who score modestly lower on standardized tests have a lot to offer, given the obstacles they've had to overcome. ...

The policy has resulted in far more racial and ethnic diversity than in New York City's elite public schools. At Walter Payton, 21 percent of students are black and 25 percent are Latino. Some critics worry that these numbers are still inadequate in a public school system where 41 percent of students are black and 45 percent Latino. But compared with Stuyvesant, Payton is a multicultural paradise.
[Site link]


Diversity – BBC
One in seven BBC presenters and actors to be black, Asian or ethnic minority under new Lord Hall pledge
Hannah Furness
Daily Telegraph, 21 June 2014

One in seven BBC presenters and actors is to be black, Asian or minority ethnic within the next three years, it has been announced, as Lord Hall pledges to improve diversity.

Lord Hall, the director-general, has promised 15 per cent of on-air BBC staff will be black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) by 2017, along with one in ten managers.

Critics have already condemned the policy as "absolutely ridiculous", claiming recruitment should be conducted irrespective of race and without the "PC tokenism that makes people's blood boil".

Speaking at the BBC's Elstree Studios, Lord Hall promised the corporation aimed to be "beyond reproach" on diversity issues, as he announces a new group of advisors including comedian Lenny Henry, athlete Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, and broadcaster Baroness Floella Benjamin.

He has now confirmed a set of targets for the BBC, to be fulfilled over the next three years. ...

British broadcasters including the BBC have previously been accused of failing to represent BAME talent fully, with Lenny Henry along those calling for positive action.

But the new proposals have been criticised as "political correctness", with Conservative MP Philip Davies accusing Lord Hall of imposing a "completely racist policy".

Mr Davies, a member of the DCMS select committee, argued it was wrong to judge people on "simply by the colour of their skin", with even successful applicants at risk of being "quite unfairly" assumed to have only got their jobs because of quotas.

"I think it's absolutely ridiculous," he said. "It think it's political correctness. This is the sort of PC tokenism that makes people's blood boil.

"Tony Hall should be colourblind when it comes to recruitment. The only people who are racist are people like Tony Hall who see other people in terms of race.

"All recruitment should be irrespective of race, religion and sexuality - none of these things are relevant. It should all be done on ability.

"If that means every single person is black, then so be it. It's the best people for the job."

Ed Vaizey, culture minister, said he as "pleased" to hear of the targets, which he considers "very much needed".

Among the measures to be introduced is a new "leadership development programme" for six BAME members of staff, to give them additional training and experience "right at the very top of the BBC".

The corporation will also establish a £2.1 million "Diversity Creative Talent Fund", which will be "reprioritised from other budgets" to help change the portrayal of ethnic minorities in its programmes.

A further six "commissioners of the future" will be trained specifically to work in comedy, drama, factual, daytime and children's programming, while 20 BAME graduate trainee interns will be taken on by the BBC. ...

An "Independent Diversity Action Group", chaired by Lord Hall, will help to oversee the changes, and will include Lenny Henry, Nihal, the Asian Network presenter, Tanya Motie, the BBC executive, Daniel Oudkerk QC, writer George Mpanga, and footballer Jason Roberts.
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Diversity – education
So when will being 'white British' become a crime?
Richard Littlejohn
Daily Mail, 10 June 2014

Amid all the furore about Islamist infiltration of schools in Birmingham, another story involving the education watchdog Ofsted has received rather less attention.

Inspectors have criticised a rural school in Devon for being insufficiently 'diverse'. Although they concede that Payhembury Primary is a 'happy place', it has been denied an 'outstanding' rating because all 68 pupils are of 'white British heritage'. ...

Parents have been told that they must pay £35 to send their children on a 'sleep-over' at a school in Isleworth, West London, where three-quarters of pupils are from ethnic minority backgrounds. ...

Let me make it absolutely clear before the usual excitable suspects start bouncing up and down screaming 'racism' that it's commendable for kids to learn about different cultures. ...

No, what bothers me about all this is the language being used and the element of compulsion – as well as the frankly sinister revelation that a school can be marked down by Ofsted not because of the standard of education it provides but because there are too few black and brown faces in the playground.

Why should a school be penalised because its pupils are from a 'white British heritage' background? ...

In some schools in London, the roll call is similarly mono-cultural, but 100 per cent Muslim rather than exclusively C of E. Are devout Islamic parents in Tower Hamlets going to be told they must fork out £35 for their children to be sent on a sleep-over in Devon so they can meet people of a 'white British heritage' and learn all about the Anglican faith? ...

If country folk wish to visit the inner city, they are free to do so – and vice versa. But the State is obsessed with 'celebrating diversity', our new officially-enforced religion. ...

Millions of pounds are frittered away each year nagging, cajoling and compelling us to embrace different cultures. Great effort goes into persuading people from an immigrant background to make more use of the British countryside.

For instance, a few years ago the Environment Agency announced that fishing was horribly white, male and middle-aged. It decided to splash out £100,000 to attract more women and ethnic minorities to the riverbank.
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Diversity – London, English
Local elections: The capital fails to see the heartache and pain beyond
Charles Moore
Daily Telegraph, 24 May 2014

"These results show London as an open, tolerant and diverse city," tweeted Tessa Jowell. Dame Tessa, Labour MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, Minister for the Olympics under the last Labour government, is a liked and respected figure. Nevertheless, her tweet could have been precisely calculated to turn the stomach of anyone living more than 10 miles from Hyde Park Corner.

London, in her implication, is an open, tolerant and diverse city because so few of its voters went for Ukip in Thursday's local elections, whereas so many did so in the rest of England. Not only is she saying how wonderful London is: she is also saying how frightful the rest of the English are. Unintentionally, she expressed the metropolitan sense of moral superiority of which the electorate has now had more than enough.
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Diversity – racism, UKIP
Ukip To Launch Campaign To Tackle 'Racist' Label Says Nigel Farage
The Huffington Post, 4 May 2014

Ukip will adopt a different approach to tackling claims it is racist with a new election campaign strategy featuring black and ethnic minority candidates this week, Nigel Farage said.

The Ukip leader insisted his party would get on the front foot as it fights against claims of racism, as a poll showed some 35% of people felt while the party is not racist, it "does seem to attract some candidates or supporters with racist, extreme or odd views".

More than a quarter of those polled by YouGov said Ukip was a party with "racist views" and "many racist members".

Addressing the claims, Farage said: "Not only am I adamant we are a non-racist party, this week I am going to fight back against it. You will see our election address for the local elections this year and you will see a lot of black, ethnic minority candidates who are proudly standing for Ukip.

"I am going to approach this differently in future."

He added: "I have never believed in the past in positive discrimination, I have believed in treating everybody equally. I have never gone for all female shortlists or whatever.

"But to see what is written every day, describing my party as being racist and homophobic, we will deal with that head-on this week."

Challenged on his views on Romania, Farage said: "If a whole load of Romanian men moved in next door to you, would you be concerned about it? Perhaps you would, yes.

"Because you know, that what has actually happened is we have opened up the doors to countries that have not recovered from communism and I'm afraid it has become a gateway for organised crime - everybody knows that, no-one dares say it."

Farage said he wanted a points-based system for immigration to judge on quality as well as quantity. ...

But 27% of those surveyed thought Ukip is a party with "racist views" and "many racist members", while 35% thought that, while the party is not racist, it "does seem to attract some candidates or supporters with racist, extreme or odd views".

Some 26% said Ukip is not racist and their "more controversial candidates are just saying the things ordinary people actually think".
[Site link]


Diversity – television
Labour MP Gareth Thomas calls for more East Asian communities in soaps!
Anna Howell
Unreality TV, 11 April 2014

A Labour MP has called for soaps to feature more East Asian communities in our soaps, claiming that the likes of EastEnders and Coronation Street have "disappointing" records.

Gareth Thomas, who is the MP for Harrow West, has made the appeal to new Culture Secretary Sajid Javid to make sure the Arts Council and Ofcom try harder to make the soaps show a wider range of diversity. ...

It isn't just the soaps, however, as Thomas went on to name and shame hospital drama's such as Casualty, Holby City and Doctors for the same reason.

According to Thomas these show's portrayal of East Asian characters is unrealistic given the amount of East Asian employees the NHS actually has, adding:

"So actors who have spoken to me worry too that any East Asian actor who is unable or unwilling to embody a stereotype will simply be unable to build any kind of career given the lack of opportunities to play appropriate and non-stereotypical roles."

Meanwhile Deputy Commons Leader, Tom Brake, has hit back at the claims, stating:

"I think we would all support the idea that people who appear on our screens or airwaves should be fully representative of the population as a whole and in roles that do not stereotype."
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Diversity – Islam, education
Plan for 'Sharia-compliant' student loans to get more Muslims into university
Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 4 April 2014

A new system of "Sharia-compliant" student loans is to be launched to allow more Muslim students to go to university, it has been announced.

David Willetts, the Universities Minister, said an alternative financial model was being created to satisfy Islamic law that forbids Muslims taking out loans that make interest.

Under the system, students would apply for taxpayer-backed loans but repay them into a mutual-style fund that would be ring-fenced to provide future finance to other students with the same religious beliefs.

The move will raise concerns over a two-tier system in which Muslim students pay less than other undergraduates.

But the Government insisted it would be set up in a way that ensured repayments were made at the same rate as students who take out traditional student loans. ...

Around 115,000 Muslim students currently attend universities in the UK but it is claimed that many have been put off a degree by the Coalition's new loans system – introduced in 2012 – that carry a real rate of interest above inflation. ... ...

The announcement was made as part of a wide-ranging strategy designed to boost access to degree courses for under-represented groups. This included a new responsibility for universities to help boost post-graduation employment rates for poor students.
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Diversity – racism, minorities, equality, European Union
60 million minority Europeans: how many lines in electoral manifestos?
Martin Demirovski
EurActiv, 25 March 2014

Martin Demirovski is an advocacy expert at the "European network against Racism" (ENAR)

The European Network Against Racism (ENAR) recently launched its seven key demands to the next European Parliament on how to advance equality in the European Union. Indeed, the new European Parliament to be elected in May 2014 has a crucial role to play when it comes to reducing the entrenched inequalities faced by its citizens and residents. Among these are ethnic minorities and migrants who often face discrimination on multiple grounds: ethnic origin, nationality, religion, social status, income, gender or age.

In this light, how do European political parties fare in terms of mainstreaming the fight for equality in their programmes?

Most of the manifestos of the mainstream European political parties refer to more respect of human rights, especially those of minorities, in the European Union. There are differences, however, in the way that they do this. ...

... Most of the manifestos of European political parties refer to integration of different minorities. This, in fact, is a condescending approach and, especially among younger voters who are so-called 2nd, 3rd or even 4th generation migrants or new Europeans, does not mean anything and brings frustrations. The word "integration" must be replaced by a new, more meaningful word which has a connotation of active citizenship and equal participation in the European Union. "Inclusion" would be far more appropriate. Incorporating the inclusion of minorities into political narratives would be a new way of building confidence and developing a dialogue in order to reach minorities' trust/votes in the future. Speaking the language of minorities is not a communication tool but could become a value of a modern inclusive European political party.

But the real follow up to manifesto narratives should be the mobilisation of so-called 'minority votes'. Political parties and candidates need to start taking this pivotal cluster of the electorate into account, as they could be the last bastion against hard-core anti-EU nationalists as well as the king makers in many constituencies. In addition, we need a more diverse European Parliament. Hiring professionals from minority background in the next European Parliament must be a priority.
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Diversity – BBC, multiculturalism
Is the BBC still "hideously white"? [part 1]
Farrukh Dhondy
New Statesman, 19 March 2014
[Farrukh Dhondy is a novelist, screenwriter and the former commissioning editor for multicultural programming at Channel Four]

When Greg Dyke was appointed Director-General of the BBC and was received by the staff of the great Kafkaesque edifice, he was reported as saying that it was "hideously white". The liberal elite, especially those who have had a job in Britain's late twentieth century race relations industry, wear their badges of courage and conviction right out there – as proud as the designer labels and vulgar slogans on the T-shirts of the hoi polloi. ...

Mr Dyke (or is he Sir Greg now?) was making a political head-counting statement, one that reflects the concern that in a society whose population is four per cent black and brown there ought to be four black and brown people out of every hundred employed by a Corporation which is, perhaps after parliament, the showcase of the nation.

A phrase which adds a severe description to "white", using the word in a racial sense, is a contention and that contention has a history. Neglecting the fact that there were runaway slaves and adventurers of several sorts from all over the globe in Elizabethan times and that Nehru, Gandhi and others sojourned in Britain as scholars in the era when Western education was deemed the most valuable and progressive in India, mass immigration established itself in Britain several decades after broadcasting.

There are at the time of writing this several BBC programmes featuring black and Asian people. ...

The movement of labour from the ex-colonies to Britain began in earnest in the late Fifties and early Sixties. ...

The first liberal impulse of the broadcasters was directed towards the Asian peasantry, the Indians and Pakistanis who came in the largest numbers from the Punjab, from Mirpur in what is now Pakistani Kashmir and from Bangladesh, then East Pakistan. The BBC's first instinct was "integration" – teaching the newcomers to accommodate to British ways and British society – how to get about using the language, how not to bargain at supermarket counters but pay the price that the till rang up and elementary rules of etiquette. They ran programmes with well-intentioned, patronising titles such as Apnaa Hi Ghar Samajhye which means Consider It Your Home – "it" meaning Britain. ... ...

Settlement gave rise to dissatisfactions, tensions, political formations and demands. There was the paramount question of how temporary was this influx of ex-colonials. Were they here to stay? Was the dream of some of them to live frugally, work hard and earn enough money to return home as relatively rich citizens, capable of buying property and setting themselves up in business in the Punjab or Jamaica defeated by the hand to mouth of immigrant employment and pay? It soon became clear that the road back was paved with yellow bricks – it was a fantasy.

... Campaigning groups, some in imitation of the rise of the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Panther Party of the USA, began to demand equality in housing, schooling, and employment, in treatment from the police and the courts and in access to public facilities. There was manifest if not universal discrimination towards the new "coloured" populations in all these fields and the agitation took notice of and opposed them.
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Diversity – BBC, multiculturalism
Is the BBC still "hideously white"? [part 2]
Farrukh Dhondy
New Statesman, 19 March 2014

There was polite begging for relief but there was also bumptious militancy. The post-colonial era was also the post-war era and while Britain's population looked forward to an acceleration in meritocracy, it also underwent the trauma of revisionist history in which the white man, conqueror, colonialist, imperialist, racist, slave-dealer and owner, composer of nasty nursery rhymes etc was often portrayed as the natural villain. ... ...

Television was firmly established as a universal demotic medium. Its conscience prompted it to be as inclusive as it dared – "diversity" was born. ...

The battalions of political correctness had not yet laid siege to the public conscience and the writers and producers of these series certainly saw themselves as liberal pioneers of broadcasting. ...

Probably the true breakthrough in television's dramatic presentation of the new communities came with BBC Pebble Mill's Empire Road series, written by Guyanese playwright Michael Abensetts and produced by the team of David Rose and Peter Ansorge. It was "comedy" only in the sense that the word applies to Shakespeare's work, an exploration of stances and attitudes rather than a gag-fest. The drama kept itself refreshingly free of burning race issues. Not so the programmes that were at the same time, with classically liberal intent invading ITV. There was London Television Weekend's (prop. John Birt) Skin which featured in each episode a problem occasioned by race: housing, education, employment, public services, police attitudes etc. This "etc" is statistically circular. Once they had done housing, education, employment, police attitudes, public services, they had to start again and do housing, education.... the "mission to complain" became "race" TV's mainstay. ...

The pressures of British liberalism brought about the conception and reality of Channel 4. ...

Ideologically Channel 4 was, by parliamentary remit, the representative of minority interests. Jeremy Isaacs, its first supremo, appointed Sue Woodford, a Trinidadian Brit and an experienced programme producer as the channel's first multicultural commissioning editor. Woodford's programming was revolutionary. She ditched the mission to complain and ran on the channel, among a diversity of offerings, one West Indian and one Asian magazine show, a black arts showcase programme and then a situation comedy called No Problem, co-written by veteran Trinidadian playwright Mustafa Matura and myself. ...
[Site link]


Diversity – BBC, multiculturalism
Is the BBC still "hideously white"? [part 3]
Farrukh Dhondy
New Statesman, 19 March 2014

In the wake of the series' success I was invited by a Mr Sivanandan, who was the boss the Institute of Race Relations, to speak to an audience about my TV comedy. I went. ... I quickly gathered it was a set up. I was the golden-calf-worshipper of triviality in a Mosaic congregation of anti-racist righteousness. It was a parting of many ways. The sub-text of some of the protest and anti-racist movements of the sixties and seventies was a sort of revolutionary wishful thinking. The Black Panthers in America professed that the demand for rights for black people was tantamount to a demand for a revolution in the United States and black people were the vanguard of that revolution. It was the British counterpart of that argument that led Mr Sivanandan to reject the idea of a black situation comedy on TV. There was no time for frivolity. My own experience, beginning perhaps with the same premise of radical and revolutionary thinking, had brought me to a contrary persuasion. ...

In 1982, a year after the series was broadcast Channel 4 was born. What was its first multicultural editor determined to do? If the Reithian formula of educating and entertaining was generally true for broadcasting then it was true for this specialist programming. Under Sue Woodford the mission to complain was subverted. There were two clear strategic objectives which emerged from Channel 4. More people from the ethnic communities should be making programmes, serving an apprenticeship if necessary. There were, inevitably headcounts of the number of ethnic faces appeared on-screen as newsreaders, reporters, presenters or actors. ...

The recruitment of writers, directors, producers and actors from the ethnic minorities assured not only the attrition of hideous whiteness, but perhaps more importantly a familiarity with the culture, the communities and the issues which brought authority and authenticity to the programmes. The problem remains that the word (adjective of "white", adverb qualifying "appears"?) "hideously" is not amenable to statistical exactitude. If the new black and brown communities of Britain constitute four per cent of the population, does it mean that there should be only one ethnic newscaster out of every 25? Or one black hero or heroine in 25 series of detective or hospital stories? Wouldn't a strictly statistically representative approach lead to a mass cull of "diverse" persons from the BBC's output? And one could ask why aren't the successive director-generals crying out for more Polish representation on screen now that there is a considerable Polish working population in the UK? ...

... The idea that the lives or culture of the new communities should be portrayed by television in "positive images" is another untenable tenet of liberal thought. It is undoubtedly the first idea that occurs to BBC heads of this or that when they make decisions about "diversity". The proposition is untenable because television is not an advertising agency for blacks and any attempt to make it so demeans the intelligence of viewers. There may be a case for the presentation of role models, but there is also a case for inculcating a respect for reality.

A snapshot of contemporary BBC programmes demonstrates a determination to remedy the hideousness of white reportage. There are "diversity" (I like being called "a diverse" rather than an Indian person) news presenters and reporters all over the screen.
[Site link]


Diversity – USA
The War on Truth
David Gelernter
The Weekly Standard, 24 February 2014

News from academia! "President Salovey and I," writes Yale's provost, "have invited a distinguished group of academic leaders to a diversity summit at Yale on February 11-12, 2014. Their visit will include a series of discussions with faculty and administrators about the challenges of diversifying our faculty." ...

How can we explain intelligent, articulate, intellectually vigorous people stuck in time, repeating themselves endlessly like robots? Even if the diversity crusade hadn't become an embarrassment and a sham, the sheer mindless obsession of it suggests a seriously neurotic institution. Yale doesn't lack diversity, just rationality. Of course it lacks intellectual diversity, but that problem has been solved by shipping "diversity" off to redefinition camp. ...

The provost's proud announcement could have been made ten years ago, twenty, thirty. Yes: thirty. ...

The good thing about the "diversity" problem is that you can obsess over it forever with no risk of solving it, because it is insoluble – based as it is on a wholly implausible lie. The diversity kingpins aim for group representation in all academic fields based on a group's numbers in the student population, and in America (eventually the world) at large. But why would anyone suspect that both sexes and all races and nationalities have approximately the same skills at everything? And the same interests in everything? And the same physical qualifications for everything? Doesn't diversity imply (for lack of a better term) diversity?

No! – and that's the best thing about the diversity crusade. It is actually an anti-diversity crusade, waged by people who detest diversity. Its goal is to suppress diversity of every sort. Yale women must behave just like Yale men: must major in the same things at the same rates, go out for sports in the same numbers, get the same jobs, make the same money, care to the same extent in the same way about children, family, money, power, sex, and everything else. So why are there "Women's Studies" departments? Because (dammit!) women and men are totally different! So why is there a diversity campaign? Because women and men are exactly the same!

The United States accomplished the amazing feat of virtually extinguishing race prejudice in a single generation, between the late 1950s and the early '80s. It was a superb accomplishment, on the order of the Moon landings. But young Americans get no chance to take pride in it: We don't just suppress the facts, we lie about them. We teach our children from kindergarten up that America still struggles with prejudice against approved minorities and women, when they can see with their own eyes that prejudice in favor of approved minorities and women is everywhere – in education, industry, and government. How are they supposed to learn that it is important to tell the truth? How will they learn what the truth means?
[Site link]


Diversity – diversity's drawbacks
The downside of diversity
The Economist, 22 January 2014
["Schumpeter's notebook"]

The closest thing the business world has to a universally acknowledged truth is that diversity is a good thing: the more companies hire people from different backgrounds the more competitive they will become. Diversity helps companies to overcome talent shortages by enlarging their talent pools. It helps them to cope with globalisation by expanding their cultural horizon. It stimulates innovation by bringing together different sorts of people. And so on.

But what about the downside of diversity? It does not pay to ask this question. Many countries have equal-opportunity laws on their books. American universities (and many others as well) are institutionally committed to the idea that diversity promotes learning and creativity. Most important perhaps, nobody wants to come across as unsympathetic to minorities or unappreciative of cultural variety.

Yet a glance beyond the corporate-diversity statements suggests a more complicated picture. ...

It is far too easy to present "diversity" in one-sided terms: as a triumph of enlightenment over bigotry and creativity over closed-mindedness. But the subject is too important to be left to the cliché-mongers. Diversity can bring risks as well as benefits and perils as well as perks. There are trade-offs to be made, for example between the trust that comes from sharing a common background and the cultural sensitivity that comes from employing people from different parts of the world.

Roy Y.J. Chua, of Harvard Business School, is one of the few academics to produce serious studies of this subject. Mr Chua agrees that in a world of multinational corporations and global product markets success depends more than ever on your ability to foster multicultural thinking and cross-border collaboration. But in a paper in the current issue of the Academy of Management Journal ("The Costs of Ambient Cultural Disharmony: Indirect Intercultural Conflict in Social Environment Undermine Creativity") he goes on to note that getting people from different nationalities and cultural backgrounds to co-operate is fraught with difficulties. At best differences in world-view and cultural styles can produce "intercultural anxiety", at worst outright conflict. The very thing that can produce added creativity – the collision of different cultures – can also produce friction. The question is whether the creativity is worth the conflict.

Mr Chua argues that creativity in multicultural settings is highly vulnerable to what he calls "ambient cultural disharmony". ...

Mr Chua also says that "ambient cultural disharmony" has its strongest impact on people who regard themselves as open-minded. ...

He tested this thesis in three studies. ...

In all three studies, subjects who had a greater experience of ambient cultural disharmony fell short on one or another of Mr Chua's measures of creativity. Mr Chua says that he is not certain how much of a problem this is because his is the first study to identify it. But his results are important partly because many companies have such an optimistic view of cross-cultural pollination and partly because the second-order effects of cultural conflict (particularly among people who regard themselves as open-minded) are so hard to manage.
[Site link]


Diversity – police, positive discrimination
David Cameron wants black or ethnic minority head of the Met
Daily Telegraph, 17 January 2014

David Cameron wants to see a black or ethnic minority head of the Metropolitan Police, Downing Street has indicated.

Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, yesterday said a Labour government would place a legal requirement on police forces to recruit officers from more diverse backgrounds to make them more representative of the communities they serve.

New figures reveal that there are fewer black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds than there were three years ago, and that they represent just 5 per cent of officers compared to 14 per cent of the population as a whole.

Mr Cameron's spokesman yesterday refused to be drawn on whether the police should be required to introduce positive discrimination, but added: "It is important that there is greater BME representation across a range of professions and services.

"He [David Cameron] wants to see greater BME at every level in all professions, including the most senior levels."

Miss Cooper says Labour will consult police leaders on changing the law to introduce more affirmative action.

Sir Peter Fahy, the chief constable of Greater Manchester, has already called for a change in the law to allow 50/50 recruitment meaning a white officer can only be recruited if a BME officer is hired at the same time.

Senior Metropolitan Police officers have repeatedly said that the "overwhelmingly white" profile of police officers has damaged their ability to tackle crime and counter terrorism.
[Site link]



Emigration – Poles
Astonishing new figures show immigration numbers up nearly 50% in just 10 years... as it emerges one MILLION more Poles want to come to UK
Martin Delgado
Mail on Sunday, 30 November 2014

Up to one million more Poles are considering moving to the UK to look for work during the next 12 months.

The vast majority are young men aged under 35 who are dissatisfied with wage rates in their homeland, according to a new survey.

There are thought to be at least 500,000 Polish-born people already living in the UK, and the survey suggests that number will continue to rise since relatively few of them are returning home.

Nearly a quarter of those questioned named Britain as the country where they would most like to settle – up from 13 per cent at the beginning of the year.

Germany is favourite, with 26 per cent naming it, and the Netherlands is in third place on 23 per cent. ...

The survey, carried out by international market research company Millward Brown, indicates that one in every five Poles of working age is considering emigrating by the end of 2015 to improve their standard of living.

Many are well educated and already have jobs in Poland, yet are drawn abroad by opportunity to increase their earnings.

The survey was commissioned by Poland's biggest recruitment company, Work Service.
[Site link]


Emigration – adoption, children, Kenya
Kenyan Government bans adoption of children by foreigners
Thiong'o Mathenge and Rawlings Otieno
Standard Digital, 29 November 2014

The Cabinet has approved "an indefinite moratorium on inter-country adoption of Kenyan children by foreigners. The decision was informed by Kenya's current ranking by the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2014, United Nations Office on drugs and crime, citing Kenya as a source, transit and destination country in human trafficking. The move is a response to concerns about increased cases of child trafficking through abuse of Kenya's adoption processes by foreigners. It also follows a damning story published in The Standard on Saturday on November 8, on international adoptions. ...

The ban also comes in the wake of a damning report by experts saying financial gain, as opposed to rights and needs of children, was a key driver in the international adoption processes. A report by the Experts' Group of the Hague Adoption Convention, published in June, says though 'reasonable and lawful' fees for services rendered was allowed, profiteering had become rampant despite prohibition by the Convention enacted in 1993. Members of the Expert's Group included UNICEF, the EuroAdopt, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, the International Social Service among others.
[Site link]


Emigration – Latin America, Caribbean
Around 28.5 Million Latin American and Caribbean People Live Outside their Native Countries
ECLAC / United Nations, 11 November 2014
[Press release]

About 28.5 million Latin American and Caribbean people live outside the countries where they were born, 70 % of them in the United States, while a majority of the immigrant population of 7.6 million people originated from other countries in the region, according to a new study by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

The document Trends and Patterns in Latin American and Caribbean Migration in 2010 and Challenges for a Regional Agenda (only available in Spanish), published today, concludes that emigration to destinations outside the region declined between 2000 and 2010 (based on census data) while intraregional migration flows have grown.

The 28.5 million Latin American and Caribbean emigrants represent 4 % of the region's total population, exceeding the 26 million emigrants registered in censuses from the year 2000. With regard to their native countries, 11.8 million come from Mexico (40 % of the total), with Colombia lagging far behind with 2 million emigrants and El Salvador with 1.3 million.

In terms of destination countries, the United States ranks first as home to 20.8 million Latin American and Caribbean emigrants (70 % of the total), which includes nearly all of the 12 million Mexicans who live outside their country. Spain is the second most-common destination with 2.4 million people (8 % of the total).

Meanwhile, the immigrant population living in Latin America and the Caribbean is estimated at 7.6 million people, which is the equivalent of just 1.1 % of the region's total. Of those, a majority were born in other countries of the region (intraregional migration).

The study emphasizes that migratory flows within the region rose at an annual rate of nearly 3.5 % between 2000 and 2010, marking an acceleration from the previous 20 years when they grew at a pace of roughly 1%. Argentina, Venezuela, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic concentrated the greatest number of these people. ...

In light of the dynamism that continues to be seen in migration in Latin America and the Caribbean, the report signals that intergovernmental forums – both in and outside the region – are including in their agendas a common stance to defend migrants' human rights and reject the restrictive, unilateral measures used by some developed countries that are destinations for Latin American and Caribbean emigrants.

In this context, ECLAC proposes building an agenda on this issue that fully includes migration in post-2015 development strategies and drafting regional plans to take advantage of the benefits of migration.
[Site link]


Emigration – climate change
If you're worried about immigration, then you should be terrified about climate change
Assaad W Razzouk
The Independent, 3 November 2014

On Sunday, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest report, reiterating, for those who haven't yet noticed, that we are on the brink of epochal changes driven by climate change, and that we must act now to avoid the worst impacts.

The IPCC report is a welcome distraction from the recent hysterical series of immigration-related news headlines. However, the reality is that both climate change and immigration are inextricably linked.

The truth is that if you are worried about migration then you ought to be terrified of what is happening to the global climate. In addition to increasing the devastation caused by extreme weather events including storms, floods, droughts and fires, climate change will affect water supplies, crops and livestock, ultimately affecting food security. For many, the only solution is to move.

Pentagon and NATO military analysts identify climate change as a "threat multiplier" that increases the chances of conflict and will result in large-scale migration. Just how many climate refugees will be banging on the doors of Europe and the United States is difficult to calculate although estimates range from 25 million to 1 billion by 2050. ...

... Unless urgent action is taken now our world is heading for a global average temperature increase over pre-industrial level of up to 4 or 5 degrees centigrade. As climate change bites even harder, the tide of refugees will swell inexorably as heat waves and droughts, sea level rise and food shortages get worse. This will drive more and worse conflict and fragile economies will collapse under the weight of having to cope with more severe weather events. ...

We need to invest ten times more money worldwide, in clean decentralised energy systems, in adaptable or climate-smart agriculture, and in resilient infrastructure and in education. ...

There is no alternative unless Europeans and Americans want to welcome potentially hundreds of millions of climate refugees to a home near them.
[Site link]


Emigration – Scotland
Ten of thousands will still leave Scotland forever
Jock Morrison
Herald Scotland, 6 October 2014

It's estimated that the number of people of Scottish descent living outside Scotland - the 'ancestral diaspora' - is between 25 and 40 millions.

Seven million Americans self-identify as having solely Scottish ancestry, another 21 million as having Scottish ancestry in combination with another nationality. Nearer home, there are 800,000 Scots-born people living in England. London, they say, is the third biggest Scottish city in the world.

The skills, hard work and ingenuity of these Scots have been a tremendous boon to the USA, England and all the other places they have gone to. But at what cost to Scotland? So much talent lost. So many ties broken.

The figures themselves are scary.

In the 19th century, Scotland lost to emigration between 10% and 50% of its natural population increase every decade. The drain of humanity diminished Scotland's standing in the Union. In 1801, the Scottish population made up one in six of the UK population. Today, it's one in twelve. ...

During the age of mass emigration, 1841-1931, over two million Scots emigrated abroad and another 750,000 moved to other parts of the UK. Even as late as the 1960s, 300 Scots emigrated every day.

Things seem to improve in the final decades of the last century. Much has been made of the fact that Scotland's population reached a historic peak of 5,295,000 in 2011. But let's not get too carried away.

Between 1960 and 2011, Scotland's population increased by just 2.6%. ... Tellingly, Scotland's slightly improved demographic position this century has only been achieved through immigration.

In 2010-11 alone, about 42,300 people came to Scotland from overseas. Around 16,900 Scots left to go overseas, giving a net migration gain from overseas of around 25,400. Over the decade 2001-11, Scotland's foreign-born population almost doubled, from 191,600 to 369,300. There are now more native speakers of Polish in Scotland than Gaelic. ...

While these young immigrants arrive in Scotland, it's estimated that 30,000 young Scots leave every year for England or abroad. ...

Most of the 30,000 probably intend to return to Scotland. Few of them will.
[Site link]


Emigration – Filipinos, Philippines
Q&A with Robyn Rodriguez: 'Migrants for Export'
Jim Stevenson
Voice of America, 2 September 2014

Migrant workers from the Philippines seem to be employed everywhere in a variety of jobs, with eight million Filipinos working in almost two hundred countries. Robyn Rodriguez, an Associate Professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Davis, discussed her book Migrants for Export with VOA's Jim Stevenson. In these excerpts from their conversation, she talks about investigating how and why the Philippine government actively prepares, mobilizes, and regulates its citizens for migrant work abroad.

STEVENSON: You mention in your book nearly 10 percent of the population is employed in almost 200 countries. How does that relate to other nations?


RODRIGUEZ: That was my quest, right, partly to understand that exactly. There are several explanations for it, and this is what the book is all about. The Philippine government is primarily responsible for the global export of the Philippine workers. The Philippine government, actually in the 1970s, formally instituted a policy of labor export. That was done by then-President Ferdinand Marcos, and once he instituted the policy, that gave rise to a bunch of institutions that are tasked in what I call the export of Philippine workers. I sometimes refer to it as a kind of bureaucratic assembly line.

It's through this apparatus that Filipinos learn about job prospects because part of what this assembly line does is try to locate markets for Philippine workers, and all of that market information actually mobilizes people so that it facilitates migration.
[Site link]


Emigration – Armenia
40% Of Armenia's Population Is Potential Migrants, Expert Says, 31 July 2014

Some 750,000 inhabitants will remain in Armenia at the end of the century, according to the UN humanitarian fund. The percentage of Armenians among these inhabitants is unknown, sociologist Aharon Aghabekian told media at a meeting on July 31, website reported.

He was presenting the poll results on "Geography of migration".

"Kotayk region ranks first on the number of potential migrants," he said. "The reason is that Kotayk is an urbanized area. Earlier, there were dozens of plants. At present, they do not work. This is not a very favorable region in terms of agriculture. There is the only hope for migration."

"The residents of Vayots Dzor, Armavir and Aragatsotn want to leave Armenia," he said.

"Some 40 percent of Armenia's population is potential migrants," the sociologist added.
[Site link]


Emigration – African refugees
Western countries 'to blame' for African refugee outflow
Dragana Mrkaja and Kassahun Negewo
SBS, 30 July 2014

Ethiopian Prince Asfa-Wossen Asserate says in large part, Western democracies have themselves to blame for the huge numbers of Africans who are leaving the continent seeking a better life - usually in Europe.

As a member of the last Ethiopian imperial family, Prince Asfa-Wossen Asserate was studying in Germany when the Ethiopian Revolution in the 1970s made his return to the country impossible. ...

Since then, Prince Asserate has become a human rights advocate, fighting for the rights of asylum seekers from Ethiopia and other African countries.

According to recent United Nations figures, almost 50,000 Ethiopians had fled their country to seek asylum elsewhere.

At the same time, Ethiopia was said to be hosting about 400,000 refugees from other countries.

In an interview with SBS Radio's Amharic program, Prince Asserate says the real reason behind Africa's massive refugee numbers is being overlooked.

"Unfortunately, the Europeans and most of the Western countries believe that migrants grow from the earth like flowers and trees. They never ask themselves, who are the greatest producers of migrants in this world? The answer to that, as far as we are concerned, is African tyrants who do not allow their people to be able to lead a normal life in their own country." ...

Prince Asserate says for economic reasons, Western countries have been ignoring the misdeeds of African tyrants for years.

And he says it's future generations of Africans who are paying the price.

"It means nothing more, that you can be the greatest criminal on God's earth, as long as you are in power, we Western democrats will come crawling on our knees to worship you. And God help you if you lose the power."

Prince Asserate says Western countries shouldn't act surprised when large numbers of African asylum seekers and migrants arrive, fleeing from tyrannical rulers.

"Western countries should not be amazed to find that today, thousands, tomorrow ten-thousand and the day after, hundreds of thousands of African migrants will go all over this world in search of a place where they can live in peace, where they can get a job and where they can live as human beings with dignity."

Prince Asserate suggests Western countries should simply be withholding aid from African leaders who suppress the rights of their people.

He says this is more likely to lead to the downfall of brutal leaders - and in turn reduce the numbers of people seeking refuge outside their countries.
[Site link]


Emigration – migration, world
Rising tide of migration is a myth, say global stats
Jon White
New Scientist, 28 March 2014

If you want proof that the modern world is a melting pot, look no further. Streams of migrants moving around the globe have been quantified for the first time and strikingly displayed (see ...) using visualisation techniques more associated with genomics.

But the figures may surprise many. The overall rate of migration has remained pretty steady, at around 6 people per thousand changing their country of residence in each of the three five-year periods between 1995 and 2010. Levels were slightly higher in 1990 to 1995, probably due to conflicts.

Reliable statistics on migration have been hard to come by because of mismatched data, with countries using different methods to compile their figures. But last year the UN harmonised its data on foreign-born populations in nations worldwide, making it possible at last to reliably estimate recent migrant flows.

Jon White asked Nikola Sander of the Vienna Institute of Demography in Austria, who compiled the new figures as part of a study carried out with colleague Guy Abel, to explain their new take on migration.

What's unique about the study?

We've produce the first estimates of global migration flows showing movement of people over fixed time periods from one country to another. We've done this for 196 countries. In the past we've chiefly just had a static measure of people living outside their country of birth. ...

How would you sum up your main finding?

Contrary to conventional wisdom, our estimate suggests a rather stable intensity of global migration since the early 1990s. We basically measured migration over five-year periods since then, and found that 6 out of 1000 people in the world change their country of residence over each five-year period. It may suggest that globalisation has perhaps a more subtle effect on migration than previously thought. ...

Do your results cover illegal migration and the movement of refugees?

Refugee movements are included in our estimates when they are taken into account in the UN data. But the coverage of refugees in the UN data is uneven. However, we believe that at the global scale, illegal migration is playing a minor role.
[Site link]


Emigration – World
Migration: Today 232 million people are living in a foreign country – Who benefits?
Bettina Rutschi
Baltic Review, 18 March 2014

Never before have so many people lived outside their home countries. Today 232 million people are living in a foreign country; in 1990, that figure was only 150 million. What is it that makes people migrate? And who benefits?

Most cross-border migration involves relatively few countries: Roughly half of all migrants live in only 10 nations. The United States is home to the largest number of immigrants (over 45 million), followed by Russia (11 million), Germany (10 million), Saudi Arabia (9 million), and the United Arab Emirates and the UK (8 million each). Topping the list of source countries are India, Mexico and Russia, with approximately 11 million emigrants each. There are a number of economic reasons why people choose to emigrate, which can be classified as push and pull factors. Push factors drive people to leave their countries, while pull factors attract them to another country. It is impossible to draw a precise distinction between them; indeed, both always play some role in an individual's decision to emigrate.
[Site link]


Emigration – Armenia
Sargsyan lives in opposite of Armenia's reality
Jamila Babayeva
Trend News Agency, 19 February 2014

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan admitted in his recent remarks that the migration is one of the painful and critical problems for the country, but was not shy to lie that the migration outflow slowed in 2013.

Boosting migration and mass outflows from the country remains a challenge for Armenia, which has turned out face to face to demographic problems amid poor living conditions.

"The migration process has slowed and gradually turn to a process of return of citizens back to their homeland," he said bringing no statistics.

On the contrary, Former Prime Minister and MP Grant Bagratyan slammed Sargsyan's statement on the migration outflow. He said 230,000 people left the country with a population of nearly 3 million people for the last six years.

Sargsyan, whose government is almost unable to tackle the country's most painful problem, seems not to reconcile with Armenia's reality, which confirms that the migration outflow has reached the catastrophic level.

Armenian migration program "People in need" indicates that five percent (around 105,000 people) of Armenian people have left the country during the first nine months of 2013. The program sounds the alarm that migration is a catastrophe for Armenia, a notion that the Armenian authorities apparently have not fully understood yet.

Furthermore, the Armenian State Migration Service recently alarmed with the rising percent of citizens leaving the homeland with families.

If some years ago the share of citizens leaving the homeland with family was 40 percent of the total migration outflow, now this indicator has risen to 60 percent. ...

Growing discontent with the government is on rise in society and this is a reality of today's Armenia, no matter Sargsyan admits it or not. High migration well mirrors serious social problems in the country, unfortunately the authorities are not in a hurry to solve them.
[Site link]


Emigration – migrants, World
Number of international migrants reaches 232 million or 3.2% of world population - UN report, 17 February 2014

There are 232 million international migrants worldwide or 3.2% of the world's total population of 7.2 billion, this was written in a new report launched by the United Nations on impact of young migrants on origin, transit and destination countries and communities, the UN News Center reported on February 14.

There are 35 million global migrants under the age of 20, up from 31 million in 2000, and another 40 million between the ages of 20 and 29. Together, they account for more than 30 per cent of all migrants. Females account for approximately half of all global youth migrants.
[Site link]


Emigration – Poland
Half a million leave Poland in 2013
Polish Radio, 11 February 2014

A leading demographer has estimated that up to 500,000 Poles emmigrated in 2013, as Poland's population shrinks still further since it joined the EU in 2004.

"Official statistics point towards what has been another huge wave of immigration," affirmed Professor Krystyna Iglicka from Warsaw's Lazarski University.

"According to German data, some 200,000 Poles moved there last year. A similar number of our compatriots also went to the UK.

"Large groups have also started to seek their fortune in Norway and the Netherlands," she added.

Professor Iglicka noted that a significant proportion of the immigrants are those joining family members who have already settled abroad.

If Iglicka's estimates are correct, it would mean that about 2.6 million Polish citizens currently live abroad, with the first major wave of immigration occurring after Poland joined the EU in 2004.

In 2013, about 2.1 people in Poland were registered as unemployed.

Agnieszka Zerek, who runs the Legalis legal advice office for Poles in the UK, says her clients generally find life easier in the UK than in Poland.

"It's easier to get a job, it's easier to maintain a family, it's easier to put money aside and save something," she said.
[Site link]


Emigration – UK, EU
Two million British people emigrated to EU, figures show
Andrew Rettman
EUObserver, 10 February 2014

British figures indicate that just as many UK citizens live in the EU as vice-versa, despite popular perceptions.

The numbers, covering 2010, were put forward last week in a government response to a parliamentary question by Matthew Oakeshott, a Liberal member of the House of Lords.

Compared to the 2.3 million EU citizens in the UK, which includes people who came after Poland and nine other states joined the Union in 2004, British consular authorities estimate that 2.2 million Britons live in the other 26 EU countries, excluding Croatia, which joined in 2013.

A previous response to an Oakeshott question in January said another 900 Britons live in Croatia, putting the net immigration-emigration ratio even closer to par, however.

The country breakdown says just over 1 million British people live in Spain.

Other popular destinations are: France (330,000); Ireland (329,000); Germany (107,000); Cyprus (65,000); the Netherlands (48,000); Greece (45,000); Portugal (39,000); and Italy (37,000).

The government reply indicates the real numbers could be higher, due to "a high evidence of non-registration" in France, Portugal and Spain.

Of the total, some 400,000 are British pensioners.

Meanwhile, relatively few have gone to former Communist or former Soviet EU countries, with just 6,000 UK passport holders in Poland, for instance.

The statistics come amid a shrill debate on EU immigration ahead of the European elections in May.

The main British eurosceptic party, Ukip, last year predicted that many economic migrants will come from Bulgaria and Romania when labour restrictions expire on 1 January 2014.

The prediction proved false.
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Emigration – doctors, Romania
Romanian health service in crisis as doctors leave for UK and other states
Kit Gillet and Matthew Taylor
The Guardian, 8 February 2014

The Romanian health service is facing a crisis as thousands of highly skilled doctors leave to work in the UK and other European countries, according to the president of the Romanian College of Physicians.

In Britain, the debate for the past 18 months has focused on the predicted influx of "beggars and benefits cheats" that has so far failed to materialise following the lifting of working restrictions for Romanians and Bulgarians on 1 January.

But Professor Vasile Astarastoae says it is Romania that is facing the real crisis, because the number of doctors going to work abroad has rocketed since 2007.

"There is a major crisis in Romania when it comes to having enough doctors. In 2011 there were 21,400 doctors working in Romanian hospitals. On 1 November 2013 there were only 14,400," he said.

Earlier this month new figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) showed that 26% of NHS doctors were foreign nationals. And according to the latest General Medical Council figures, 2,140 doctors who qualified in Romania currently hold positions in the UK – a higher number than those coming from Australia, Poland or Spain.

Astarastoae said immigration was hitting specialists in key areas particularly hard as these doctors can earn several times the Romanian wage working overseas.

"In Romania, with a population of 19 million, there are only 48 doctors specialising in radiotherapy, despite having high rates of cancer in the country. We have an ageing population, yet there are only 54 doctors specialising in geriatrics. Across the country, in intensive care units there should be 1,800 doctors employed but there are only 624. There are only 70 cardiovascular specialists in all of the country." ...

Astarastoae said Romania was losing out twice by paying to train thousands of doctors only for other countries, including the UK, to reap the benefits.

"Romania spends €3.5bn (£2.9bn) educating doctors; we are basically spending it on solving problems in the UK, Germany and France. You can earn €4,000 [a month] as a doctor overseas rather than €400 in Romania. For some specialities, like anaesthesiologists or cardiovascular surgeons, they can earn 30 times more."
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NZ - a dream home for millions of would-be migrants: poll
Lincoln Tan
The New Zealand Herald, 1 February 2014

New Zealand is a dream migration destination for millions around the globe, and our population could rise by 134 per cent if everyone could choose to live where they wanted, a survey has found.

Gallup's Potential Net Migration Index found people's desire to migrate permanently to other countries had cooled to 13 per cent, but scores of people wanting to move to New Zealand are "still positive and high".

The survey involved about 520,000 interviews in 154 countries, and the net migration index value is obtained by subtracting the number of people who would want to leave each country from the number who want to move there. ...

New Zealand's population of 4,242,048 would swell to 9,926,393 if everyone who wanted to move here made the shift.

Professor Paul Spoonley, a Massey University sociologist, believed "cooling of the job market" in New Zealand over 2010 to 2012 - the period when the survey was conducted - was the reason for the decline in interest from potential migrants. ...

In previous surveys, New Zealand was by far a more desired destination, scoring 184 points in 2009 against Australia's 148.

About 630 million people or 13 per cent of the world's adults wish they lived somewhere other than their home country.

But Professor Spoonley said New Zealand's limited infrastructure would make it "near impossible" to support a population of 10 million.

Saudi Arabia, at 218 per cent, and Kuwait, on 198 per cent, were the top two most desired destinations for would-be migrants.

The Abu Dhabi Gallup Centre, which conducted a study on potential migrants to high-income countries, said more were becoming aware of Saudi Arabia as a possible destination "to seek economic opportunities and employment".

About 53 per cent of those who would like to move to the Gulf nation are from Asia, 24 per cent from sub-Saharan Africa and 23 per cent from the Middle East and North Africa.

Europeans were less than 1 per cent of all potential migrants to Saudi Arabia, the centre found.

In absolute number terms, the United States was the most desired destination, with about 138 million stating they would like to move to America. Nearly 19 million from China, 13 million from Nigeria and 10 million from India wanted to live in the US permanently. ...

The United Kingdom, Canada and France also ranked among the top choices.
[Site link]


Emigration – Chinese
More than 9 million Chinese emigrated in 2013
People's Daily, 23 January 2014

More than 9 million Chinese had emigrated as of 2013, making China the fourth-largest migrant-exporting country in the world.

According to a blue book published by the Center for China and Globalization and the Social Sciences Academic Press, 9.343 million Chinese migrated abroad, increasing 128.6 percentage points in the last 23 years and upgrading China from seventh in providing migrants in 1990 to fourth in 2013.

The United States topped the destination countries for Chinese migrants.


China is second only to Mexico in the number of migrants it provides to the US, and is the biggest national provider of migrants to Canada. ...

Chinese migrants to Australia have also been on the rise for 10 years. About 60 percent of foreigners who receive permanent resident visas to the country are Chinese. Data from Australia's population census in 2011 shows Chinese will soon comprise the biggest migrant nationality, surpassing the British. ... ...

As Chinese migration keeps increasing, China's sixth nationwide census also showed 593,832 foreigners are living in China.
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Employment – EU rules
British job ads for British workers: Ministers tear up rules forcing all Jobcentre vacancies to be advertised across the EU
Matt Chorley
MailOnline, 18 December 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

However, EU rules meant that any of the adverts uploaded by 500,000 employers were replicated on an EU-wide jobs portal called 'EURES'.
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Employment – NHS
Letters: Scotland may have room for millions of immigrants, but at what cost?
Luke Stanley
Daily Telegraph, 12 December 2014
[Letter to the Editor]

SIR – Stephen Nickell is reported as saying that 35 per cent of health professionals are migrants. A Freedom of Information request that Get Britain Out placed with the Health and Social Care Information Centre showed migrants make up only 11 per cent of the NHS work force, with migrants from EU countries making up just 4 per cent.
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EU immigration limits 'not a priority for managers'
ITV, 10 December 2014

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

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

A survey by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) found that many pledges from political parties were not in line with managers' priorities.
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Employment – remote-controlled robots
Will remote-controlled robots clean you out of a job?
New Scientist, 4 December 2014

Faced with the difficulty of developing genuinely smart robots, people are exploring the idea of having humans guide relatively dumb machines. Trials are under way with cleaning robots, but it is not hard to see how the same technology could be used to outsource all sorts of jobs, from receptionists to care workers.

Robotics thus has the potential to help countries that are short of labour by, in effect, importing virtual workers – if it can win public acceptance.

That will be challenging. Outsourcing has already caused economic and political upheaval; farming out yet more blue-collar work to "digital immigrants" who undercut the natives is likely to be no less disruptive.

Many of the jobs that are in the roboticists' sights are already done by immigrants. In the UK, that largely means people from poorer parts of the European Union, whose increased presence in the country is stoking anti-immigration hysteria. How digital immigrants will be received is impossible to predict.

Those whose jobs are on the line, meanwhile, will be hostile: a report from the University of Oxford last year suggested that as many as half of all jobs in the US could be at risk from automation and computerisation.

We are likely to see cultural difficulties arise, too. Anyone who has been shuttled from one operator to another on a helpline will understand why: the lack of a human bond engenders mistrust, and differences in etiquette can quickly foster discontent and even xenophobia. This has already begun to manifest in telerobotics tests, when early users of a cleaning service reported being "creeped out" by the idea that an anonymous stranger might be viewing them and their property through the eyes of a robot.

So researchers are now working on ways to make telerobotics more customer-friendly ...
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Employment – National Health Service
Would the NHS Really Collapse?
Steven Woolfe
The Huffington Post, 25 November 2014
[Steven Woolfe is UKIP migration and financial affairs spokesman & MEP for the North West]

A line often used by opponents of Ukip's policy on managed migration is that without immigrants the NHS would collapse, often welcomed with rapturous cheer from left-leaning audiences during debates. ... ...

... The NHS is more about good news for Labour than good healthcare and a toxic attitude to the professions drips from its politicians. If people genuinely believe the NHS would collapse without immigration is there not one honest person on the left that asks why? This is never said of firefighters, or solicitors or of police officers; in fact until 2001 no one could be a policeman without British citizenship.

Immigration like many things is good in moderation but the spasmodic recruitment of nurses from overseas is anything but. Instead we have a decades old culture of binge immigration, mass recruitment from the third world to make up for self-imposed shortfalls at home. ...

What is almost never discussed is the number of British nurses who leave the UK, and they leave in their thousands. The supply of nurses in developing countries is vast, and can be relied upon to manage down the expectations of nurses here. Better wages? Better training? No. You take what you're given or you go to Australia or the Middle East. A health service run on targets needs a compliant workforce: nothing makes you complaint quite like student debt and job insecurity and this threatens to undermine the professionalism we all rely on as potential patients.

The NHS is unique in Western Europe not so for having foreign nurses but for recruiting so many from poorer countries, a sort of negative foreign aid. Where Switzerland has 22% of its nurses from overseas, 85% of these are from other developed countries; in England the figure is 16% but 80% of these are from third world countries. Finland, with so few non-native Finnish speakers to choose from, yet with a similar living standard to Britain, has less than 2% of its nurses from overseas. It is similar for doctors too: 15% of Sweden's doctors are from abroad, in Finland 7%, and in the UK its closer to 50%, again most immigrant doctors are from the third world.

Whether one sees immigration as universally wonderful, sensible in moderation and quality or as something harmful the facts are undeniable: a European country can rely on foreign workers to man its health service as much or as little as it wishes to. No one seems to want to discuss the impacts of emigration on healthcare, both the loss of UK-trained nurses or the asset stripping of poorer countries as happened under Labour, leaving fewer healthcare workers in countries with greatest need.

Ukip are not anti-immigration but we are abolitionists. We want to abolish asset stripping of the third world to man our public services. We want to abolish the idea that the NHS is to be seen as a Cinderella service, important of course to the country but too often viewed as a necessary evil to be manned as cheaply as possible, to be managed like a good news plantation.
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Employment – politics
Cheap immigrant labour has cost blue-collar Britain dear
Simon Danczuk, MP
Sunday Telegraph, 2 November 2014

Many labourers complain to me about how Eastern European workers have driven down their wages to the point where they haven't had a pay rise in over 10 years. And if you go into a city bar, more often than not your order will be taken by foreign accents.

Is this a bad thing? Or merely a sign that Britain's a modern country with a flexible labour market that's open to the world? Most of the political classes would argue the latter, but I'm not so sure.

Blue collar Britain is a powerful engine of prosperity that builds communities everywhere. It's also a strong force of social mobility and many working class people who learn the value of work early on and put in the hours are able to get on and climb the career ladder as a result of hard graft. But this world is under threat now in many parts of the country like never before as a key rung of the labour ladder has been removed.

That many of these job opportunities have all but disappeared to some working class Britons in parts of the country worries me greatly. As a Labour MP, I strongly believe my party should be forever beating a loud drum about the value of work, about instilling a strong work ethic into people and about how character and achievement comes from hard work. My fear is that an increased reliance on cheap migrant labour to drive some sectors in our economy is chipping away at a bedrock of working class pride, allowing a once strong work ethic to drain away and it's being done with a comfortable and badly misinformed political consensus.

There's been a cosy agreement among the main political parties around immigration and Britain's labour market for too long. The thinking is that we cannot survive without a record injection of cheap migrant labour. You hear it everywhere. Shirley Williams says we need immigrants to do bar jobs because British workers won't do them. Boris Johnson is constantly talking up the benefits of immigration and even wanted a one-off amnesty for illegal immigrants, which let's not forget includes violent criminals. And even though it's seven years since he left office now, Tony Blair is still making headlines religiously championing the immigrant.

We all know the benefits of immigration. Our country has been enriched greatly by migrants. But there's been far too little said about the consequences that uncontrolled immigration has on poorer, working class communities. And when a note of caution is heard, a near evangelical chorus that believes nothing bad ever comes from record immigration always drowns it out. ...

On both sides of the political spectrum there's a dogmatic belief that the free movement of cheap migrant labour can only bring bountiful returns. The right is in thrall to big business and slavishly continues to feed its addiction to cheap migrant labour. While the left constantly argue that without record immigration the National Health Service would collapse. Both arguments are bogus and demonstrate a classic Metropolitan tin ear for the mood of insecurity and fear sweeping across the country.
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EU migrants registering to work in Britain soared by 55% since 2010 but Cameron is warned imposing a cap is 'illegal'
Matt Chorley
Daily Mail, 21 October 2014

The number of EU migrants registering to work in Britain has soared by 55 per cent since 2010, but David Cameron has been warned a plan to cap the numbers would be illegal.

In the last year, National Insurance numbers (NINOs) have been handed out to more than 420,000 people from the EU, up from 285,000 in the year before the coalition was formed. ...

Latest figures show that since 2010 the number of EU workers registering for a National Insurance number (NINO) has risen by 55 per cent, while for those outside the EU the figure has fallen by 48 per cent to 420,000.

The biggest increases in the last four years are from Romania (up 272 per cent), Greece (244 per cent), Spain (172 per cent), Italy (151 per cent), Portugal (137 per cent) and Cyprus (112 per cent).
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Employment – London
London beats New York as most popular destination for workers: survey
Kate Holton
Yahoo / Reuters, 6 October 2014

London is the most popular city in the world to work in, an international survey of more than 200,000 people found, with nearly one in six of those questioned wanting to move to the British capital to secure employment.

The study by The Boston Consulting Group and found respondents from 189 countries ranked London above New York and Paris, while Britain was second behind the United States as the most appealing country for international jobseekers.

While the survey - described by its compilers as the most expansive study conducted on worker mobility - found that almost two thirds of jobseekers were willing to move abroad to work, within Britain only 44 percent of people want to move overseas for work.

"This report cements London's reputation as a truly global city," said Mike Booker, of "Not only does it offer a wealth of job opportunities in a range of industries, but it boasts some of the world's top cultural attractions, so it's no surprise that people across the globe want to come and work here."
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Employment – emigration, Romanians
Immigration to Britain 'cuts Romanian unemployment'
Matthew Holehouse
Daily Telegraph, 5 September 2014

Immigration to Britain is good for Romania because it reduces the country's unemployment rate, the country's president has suggested.

Traian Basescu said the exodus of Romanian nationals to the UK had improved his country's balance of payments as they sent money back home.

"The reality that a part of Romanian peoples decide to find more work outside of Romania is something helping us very much – maintaining the unemployment at a reasonable rate."

He said the money sent back by Romanian workers had supported the economy, saying: "During the crisis period the remittances for Romania practically kept our foreign trade balance calibrated." ...

"I'd like it to be understood, as soon as the Romanian economic conditions allow we will be ready to invite them back. Romania needs these people," he told BBC Radio 4. ...

The number of people in Britain from the two former Communist states now stands at 177,000 – more than five times the level seven years ago.
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Employment – nurses
Fears over new system of checks on overseas nurses
Laura Donnelly
Daily Telegraph, 27 August 2014

NHS watchdogs have been accused of taking "alarming" measures to relax checks on the standards of overseas nurses as new figures showed a doubling in workers from the EU.

Official statistics disclose more than 20,000 nurses from EU countries are now registered to work in the UK – more than twice the 9,000 here five years ago.

Patients' groups have repeatedly expressed fears that under European rules, regulators are not allowed to test the language skills of such nurses before they register them as fit to work in this country.

Last night they expressed alarm at plans by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to speed up recruitment of overseas workers.

The regulator said the changes – which will mean nurses undergo a multiple choice test, and a practical examination, instead of up to one year's supervision would mean hospitals could recruit staff more quickly.

But Patient Concern said the changes were "a major step backwards for safety," and would mean increasing numbers of patients being treated by staff who were unfamiliar with NHS medical practices, or poor grasp of the language. ...

Earlier this year, the NMC said it was frustrated that it does not have powers to test language proficiency of nurses who come to work here from elsewhere in the EU, meaning that checks only happen if employers insist on them. ...

Official figures disclose that since 2010, there have been 10,000 fewer training places for nurses in England.

Andrew Gwynne, Labour's Shadow Health Minister, said: "With youth unemployment so high, the Government should be bringing on the next generation of nurses. Instead, Ministers are cutting trainee nurse places at home and relaxing rules on overseas recruitment."
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David Cameron should do some homework before sounding off about immigration and jobs
Ben Chu
The Independent, 21 August 2014

A little learning is a dangerous thing. Anyone in any doubt over the truth of Alexander Pope's dictum might want to peruse politicians' careless use of official statistics. It's a malady that has infected even Downing Street. Last month, David Cameron wrote a newspaper article in which he attempted to shoot Ukip's fox by claiming foreign workers were no longer displacing natives in the jobs market.

The Prime Minister quoted national statistics as evidence: "While most new jobs used to go to foreign workers, in the past year more than three-quarters have gone to British workers".

That prompted Jonathan Portes, the director of the National Institute of Economics and Social Research, to complain to the UK Statistics Authority watchdog, arguing that the Prime Minister's words misrepresented official data. The watchdog's head, Sir Andrew Dilnot, wrote a response this week which explains why Mr Portes' concerns were warranted and why Mr Cameron's claim was incorrect.

Here are the essential facts. The Office for National Statistics each month publishes the estimated number of people in employment in the UK. The change in the level of this series represents the growth, or contraction, in the number of jobs across the entire economy. But the ONS also publishes estimates of the number of UK nationals and non-UK nationals in employment each month.

What the Prime Minister (or more likely his advisers) did was to note the annual changes in the number of UK nationals and non-UK nationals in employment in recent years and then to translate these figures into a share of the total change in the number of jobs across the economy in each year.

... In 2013-14 it would appear that, of the 741,000 increase in jobs across the economy, some 563,000 (or 76 per cent) were accounted for by UK nationals. That's apparently up from 2010-11, when UK nationals accounted for 187,000 (or just 44 per cent) of the additional 421,000 jobs across the economy over that year.

From this table, the Prime Minister evidently drew the conclusion that the proportion of "new jobs" going to non-UK nationals used to be significant but has since fallen back.

But this is based on a misunderstanding of the statistics. As Mr Dilnot carefully pointed out in his response, the change in the headline figures represents not "new jobs", as the Prime Minister put it, but the net change in the number of jobs in the economy. The distinction might sound tediously academic but it is actually vital.

The change in the number of jobs in the economy does not merely reflect, as one might naively assume, the number of people who move into employment from unemployment over a given period. It also reflects the people who move from inactivity to employment. And there are also flows in the other direction that feed into the headline figure: people moving from employment to unemployment and people moving from employment to inactivity. ... In the three months to March, more than 1 million people entered employment, while 779,000 people left employment. That left a quarterly change in the employment stock of 259,000. The net new jobs figure, then, is the difference between two very large numbers.
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'Crazy' statistic reveals migrants get 4 out of 5 jobs in the UK
Sam Christie
Daily Star, 15 August 2014

Fury erupted last night as it was revealed that immigrants get four jobs for every one that goes to a Brit.

Critics blasted our open borders as the "crazy" figures were uncovered in migration statistics.

It comes as the number of Eastern European immigrants now living in the UK smashed the million mark.

And since last autumn foreign-born workers have been snapping up jobs faster than Brits. Philip Davies, Tory MP for Shipley, West Yorks, blasted: "We are crazy to allow people to come from the EU to do jobs that unemployed people in this country could do."
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Employment – EU, job advertisements
Turning a blind eye to Brit workers: 780,000 UK jobs touted to Europeans
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 2 August 2014

A third of the 2.4 million jobs being advertised on a European Commission website are based in Britain.

Last night there were 778,804 British situations vacant on the "Eures" site – more than in any other country in the European Economic Area.

It sparked fears of a fresh invasion of migrant workers, despite unemployment in the UK standing at more than two million.

Eures has become the go-to site for British employers looking for cheap hired help and for jobless migrants seeking to come to the UK.

Germany, the leading economy in Europe, is advertising only 400,000 opportunities.

Countries from where many migrants have come to Britain are advertising only a fraction. There were fewer than 5,000 vacancies in Romania, 3,000 in Bulgaria and just two in Croatia. ...

The Department for Work and Pensions said last night that next year vacancies will only be advertised on Eures where employers "explicitly request" a job to be offered across Europe.

He added: "We'll give British businesses the choice of advertising their jobs only to British residents."
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EU migrants more likely to be in work than Britons
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 31 July 2014

A greater proportion of European Union migrants have jobs in Britain than native citizens, new figures have shown, prompting new concerns about the number of jobs going to the immigrant workforce.

Data from the EU said 75.4 per cent of British citizens aged 20 to 64 were in work last year compared with 79.2 per cent of EU nationals living here.

The figures from Eurostat, the EU's official statistics unit, will stoke fears that immigrants from the Europe are taking jobs that might otherwise go to British applicants. ...

Only eight out of the 27 other EU countries had a similar pattern to Britain, with a higher employment rate among EU migrants compared with their indigenous population. ...

However, the data also disclosed that foreigners from outside the EU are less likely to be in work than British citizens, with an employment rate of just under 62 per cent compared with 75 per cent for Britons.

Earlier this month a major report by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), the Government's official advisers, said that between 1997 and 2013 the number of Britons in low-skilled jobs fell by 1.1 million, while the number of foreigners in such roles increased by the same amount.

However, the MAC concluded this did not necessarily mean Britons had been displaced by foreign workers because in the same period there had been a two million increase in Britons in higher skilled roles.

But the experts did say that there was evidence that immigration had caused wages to fall, particularly as regulations such as the national minimum wage are not being rigorously enforced.
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Employment – working longer
Working longer will make you live longer and be happier
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 14 July 2014

Elderly people will live longer and be happier if they choose to continue working instead of retiring at 65, the new government "champion" for older workers has said.

Dr Ros Altmann, a former director-general of Saga, said that too many people "write themselves off" when they are still fit and healthy, wasting their talent and experience. ...

Her comments came after the Office for Budget Responsibility, the independent financial watchdog, last week warned that people will have to work longer to pay off the national debt. ...

Dr Altmann believes in the value of staying in the labour market, but preferably part-time in later life and sees this as an all-round positive development for society. ...

Dr Altmann told The Sunday Times that persuading more over-50s to return to work could reduce the need to recruit immigrants.

She said: "The over-50s could dwarf the impact of immigrants and a rise in the workforce of people aged above 50 does not bring the problems of immigration.

"If everyone worked one year longer it would bring an extra £16 billion or add 1 per cent to the economy. It's a phenomenal increase."
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Migrants DO take our jobs: Britons losing out to foreign workers, says official study
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 9 July 2014

Britons are losing out to foreign workers with one in six low-skilled jobs now held by an immigrant.

The number of British-born people in lowly-paid jobs has fallen by more than a million since 1997 – while migrants doing similar work rose by the same amount, official figures show.

A Home Office study published yesterday showed the jobs boom for migrants was fuelled by expansion of the European Union in 2004.

More than half of the new job-holders in Britain are eastern Europeans using freedom of movement rules to seek out better wages.

Of the UK's 13 million low-skilled jobs, in areas such as horticulture and food manufacturing, about 2.1 million are now held by migrants, the report found. Nearly half of them, 840,000, are EU citizens.

Advisers on the Home Office's Migration Advisory Committee who produced the research have now urged the Government to limit the impact of migration on local communities. And they warned ministers to "think carefully" about how they handle more EU expansion. ...

The report said the rise in immigration over the past 15 to 20 years was "heavily influenced" by Labour's policy of dishing out more work permits, student and family visas.

It found that 75 per cent of the 2.9 million rise in the foreign-born population in the past 10 years was concentrated in just a quarter of towns, leaving them struggling to cope with the pressure on housing and services. ...

The UK-born share of low-skilled jobs fell from 93 per cent to 84 per cent.

Some experts say a shift by two million Britons into high-skilled work explains this change. But the UK-born share of top-level jobs also fell six per cent to 86 per cent.

The committee raised concerns that migrants from five countries, including Turkey, that are currently negotiating to join the EU would once again find work in low-skilled occupations.
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Firms forced to take on migrants because school leavers don't even have basic skills
James Slack
Daily Mail, 9 July 2014

The failure of Britain's school system is putting huge strain on society by forcing businesses to turn to millions of foreign workers to fill low-skilled jobs.

Too many school leavers lack even the most basic skills to 'look people in the eye and get out of bed', according to immigration experts.

They are also given little incentive to work by the benefits system, the government-appointed Migration Advisory Committee claimed.

As a result, businesses have had to turn to workers from overseas who are better qualified, more reliable, confident and – unlike young Britons – have the good 'manners' needed to work in shops.

However, MAC said there were significant downsides of adding so many foreign workers to the population since 1997, with schools, hospitals and roads 'struggling to cope'.

In a 350-page report, MAC said foreign-born workers now fill 16 per cent of low-skill jobs, compared with 7 per cent in 1997. At the same time, the number of British-born workers in low-skilled jobs has fallen by around one million. ...

The panel also confirmed the wages of the low-paid Britons who do have jobs have been driven down, and cohesion and national 'wellbeing' are suffering.

There is also evidence that, in areas where there has been a large influx of migrants, house prices are falling as British people choose to move out.


The MAC report said it had found no significant evidence of migrants forcing Britons out of the jobs market or leading to a rise in crime.

But it concluded that the winners of mass immigration were the migrants themselves, who earn higher wages than are available at home. Their impact on GDP per head, productivity and prices – the crucial battleground between the two sides in the immigration debate – was 'very modest'.

In response, Sir Andrew Green of Migrationwatch said: 'This is a remarkably comprehensive report. It finds that the impact of low-skilled immigration on both GDP per head and productivity is "tiny".

'It also acknowledges additional pressures on housing, health and education. So one has to ask why some people are so keen to promote mass immigration in the teeth of public opinion.'
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Employment – wages
The lower classes have serious – and justifiable – concerns about mass immigration
Frank Field
Spectator blog, 9 July 2014
[Frank Field is the Labour MP for Birkenhead]

The light is at last beginning to dawn on the immigration debate. Today's Migration Advisory Committee report on the impact of low-skilled migration to this country sheds a small amount of light on what has been blindingly obvious for a long time to people at the bottom.

In total there were almost three quarters of a million Eastern Europeans working here last year. The number of citizens from Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia living in this country grew from an estimated 167,000 in 2004 to just over one million in 2012.

Working- and lower middle-class voters have serious and justified concerns about the impact of this mass immigration on their lives and on our society. They are the ones bearing the costs of fierce competition for school places, pressure on maternity units, creaking transport services and longer waiting lists for housing. In London alone, where more than one million immigrants have arrived since 1997, there are over 350,000 households on local authority waiting lists.

The Government would be wise to recognise these disproportionate local impacts of immigration on poorer communities. It should begin by, for example, making the allocation of social housing more transparent by requiring local authorities to collect and publish information on who is getting housing in their area and under what criteria.

We need radical proposals also to address the negative impact of mass immigration on the wages of the low paid. The MAC report describes employers' attraction to a more 'obedient source of low-wage labour', and it sets out the downward pressure – and the lack of resistance to this – on wages at the bottom resulting from low-skilled immigration.

Each of the main political parties has outlined proposals to improve compliance and enforcement of the minimum wage. But none has been forthcoming with bolder action. ...

But while employers think they are able to get away with paying poverty wages, and they have such a vast pool of cheap labour to choose from, they will continue to do so.
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Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Nigel Morris
The Independent, 8 July 2014

Sustained immigration over the last 20 years has not harmed British workers' chances of finding a job and has only had a minimal impact on wage levels, according to government advisers.

They also concluded that immigration had made little difference to crime, housing, hospitals, schools or welfare payments.

However, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) said the rapid influx of eastern and central European workers over the last decade had left some councils struggling to cope with rapid population changes.

It said immigration had caused the "composition of many local area populations to alter rapidly" and said such rapid change could provoke friction.

The MAC concluded there had been a "small negative impact on the wages of the low-paid" in some parts of the country with large numbers of foreign workers.

But overall it judged that the arrival of migrants had not had a "major impact" on Britons' pay or prospects of finding a job.

It calculated that migrants each made a net annual contribution to the public finances of £162, with EU migration contributing £2,732 per person.

Migrants were filling posts in food processing, agriculture and restaurants where employers often found it difficult to recruit British-born staff, it added.

However, the MAC said any future expansion of the Union could put strain on the British economy and jobs market. Eight candidate countries which have applied to join the bloc are home to 90m people earning between one third and a half of average EU salaries.
[Site link]


Why we prefer our immigrants to be invisible
Nick Cohen
The Observer, 22 June 2014

Anyone who hopes for a stronger labour movement knows that trade unions must start recruiting the cleaners, shop workers, security guards, carers, maids, nannies and cooks who make up the new working class. By necessity, they must appeal to women and tackle the admittedly formidable task of organising new immigrants. Yet Unison turned on the cleaners.

It found technicalities that allowed it to declare an election in which immigrants ran for union positions invalid. When cleaners protested outside Unison headquarters, its officials locked the doors and called the police. If you want to understand why the British trade union movement is dying faster than grass in a heat wave, the vignette of Unison demanding that the cops control its members tells you all you need to know. ...

But even if they lose a tribunal case, the Home Office will not be able to drive them out of Britain. Like so many of the Latin Americans here, they originally moved to Spain. The Spaniards gave them citizenship that allows them to work in any European country. They fled north to avoid the depression the euro crisis brought. As long as Britain stays in the EU, they are safe. They will find other work, too, if they abandon any thought of campaigning for decent treatment. Employers want compliant labour, whether immigrant or native. As immigrants are the easiest to exploit, they will always be popular. ...

The richer parts of London have become creepy places. The streets are deserted and the houses dark. Foreign oligarchs have bought up homes as an investment, thus fuelling the Osborne housing bubble, which provides us with what growth we have, but they don't live in them. What a metaphor for how Cameron's Britain wants its immigrants. If they are poor, it wants them to be invisible, flitting uncomplainingly from one menial job to the next. If they are rich, it wants them to hand over their money and leave. Either way, it doesn't want to see them.
[Site link]


Employment – nurses
UK has 'a lot of people who want to be nurses'
ITV, 16 June 2014

NHS managers need to rely less on foreign nurses to help curb the shortage of trained staff as there are "a lot of people in this country who want to be nurses", the head of the Royal College of Nursing warned.

Dr Peter Carter denied the call to move away from overseas labour was "an anti-immigration thing", ...
[Site link]


Plymouth MP calls for an end to 'cheap foreign labour' undercutting local wages
Plymouth Herald, 12 June 2014

A Plymouth MP has called on the Government to stop businesses "harvesting" cheap foreign labour that is fuelling resentment among workers who see their wages being "undercut".

Alison Seabeck, Labour MP for Plymouth Moor View, said immigrants "contribute significantly" but criticised agents who "dishonestly" tempt overseas workers to Britain.

Ms Seabeck, speaking in a debate on the Queen's Speech that she claimed failed to address immigration fears, cited an unnamed South West taxi firm "harvesting people from overseas" when there were local drivers to fill the posts.

She demanded Government action to tackle cheap imported labour that is the "root of the problem that many people see with immigration". ...

Ms Seabeck also wants more stringent controls when visas expire so workers can be "properly counted in and out".
[Site link]


Employment – Romanians, Bulgarians
The TRUTH revealed about Romanian and Bulgarian migrants: Nearly 50,000 applied to work in Britain in first three months of year
Steve Doughty
Daily Mail, 23 May 2014

Nearly 50,000 Romanians and Bulgarians applied to work in Britain in the first three months of this year, dramatic new official figures showed yesterday.

A total of 34,904 Romanians and 10,445 Bulgarians registered for National Insurance numbers in January, February and March – the first three months after the lifting of employment restrictions on migrant workers from the two countries.

The new statistics severely undermine claims made last week that the number of Romanians and Bulgarian workers in the country actually fell in the first months of this year.

In the run-up to the European elections, the BBC claimed there were 4,000 fewer Romanian and Bulgarian workers in Britain in March than in January, and its political editor scoffed: 'So much for those predictions of a flood of immigrants coming from Romania and Bulgaria once the door to the UK was opened.'

However the evidence used by the BBC and others was drawn from Office for National Statistics (ONS) surveys widely regarded as being flawed.

The National Insurance number record – which provides an accurate count of exactly who has applied to work in this country – told an entirely different story when published yesterday, the day of the elections.

In the year to March, 46,890 Romanians applied for the National Insurance qualification, up by 163 per cent on the 17,820 who applied in the previous 12 months.

Bulgarian applications went up by 71 per cent over the 12 months to 17,750. National Insurance registrations by Romanians in the first three months of this year are nearly double those for the whole of 2013.

The ONS said 30 per cent of those registering in 2014 had been in Britain for more than a year and 22 per cent had registered within three months of arriving in Britain.

'This indicates that the January to March registration figures are actually reflecting migration over an extended period,' it said.

However it may also indicate that Romanians and Bulgarians who had been working illegally in Britain seized the chance to become lawfully employed in January.

The MigrationWatch think-tank, which projected that 50,000 Romanians and Bulgarians would arrive each year now that their citizens were free to work in this country, said the National Insurance figures backed up its analysis.

The ONS figures claimed that a total of 140,000 people born in Romania and Bulgaria were employed in Britain in the first three months of the year and Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, said its findings 'give the lie to Ukip's scaremongering on immigration'.

However, the National Insurance figures show that between the spring of 2002 and the spring of 2014, there were nearly 300,000 numbers issued to citizens of Romania and Bulgaria.
[Site link]


Employment – politics, UKIP, Labour Party
'Dodgy Employers' To Blame For Growth Of Ukip, Says Yvette Cooper
Jessica Elgot
The Huffington Post, 19 May 2014

"Dodgy employers" exploit the EU's freedom of movement for citizens, and the government needs to address the impact to stop the growth of Ukip, Yvette Cooper has said.

The shadow home secretary warned Nigel Farage's eurosceptics will continue "playing on people's fears" if the Government fails to deal with the impact of immigration.

She called for reforms to stop agencies and employers using cheap overseas labour to halt UK wages and jobs being undercut.

Last week, HuffPost UK revealed that British companies are offering tens of thousands of jobs directly to Romanians, with jobs offered outnumbering applicants by about 55%. The UK offers double the number of the second biggest recruiter, Germany.

Ukip has dedicated much of its European election campaign to the idea that Europeans are actively seeking to take jobs from British people. One poster says "26 million people in Europe are looking for work. And who's jobs are they after?" with a finger pointing at the viewer.

But statistics from Romania's, the country's biggest jobs website, show that British employers are fuelling the demand. In fact, Romanians are being bombarded by British recruiters, with offers in the first three months of this year up nearly 70% compared to the same period in 2013.

"The Government needs to address the impact of immigration or Ukip will be able to keep playing on people's fears," Cooper said.

"We need practical solutions to the concerns people have about their jobs and wages. And we need to challenge Ukip's nasty and divisive approach because they don't have the answers Britain needs," she continued.

"It's time to reform the rules in Europe and in Britain. Right now the system isn't fair, and it is too easy for dodgy employers or agencies to exploit immigration to undercut local wages and jobs.

"We need reform in Britain and in Europe. Exploiting migrant labour to undercut local wages and jobs should be stopped. So Labour would halt abuse of zero hours contracts, outlaw agencies recruiting only overseas, and make serious exploitation a crime."

"We need practical answers instead of parties like Ukip preying on people's fears, or pushing divisive, unpleasant views about who they will and won't live next door to. We will keep challenging Ukip hostility and extremism."
[Site link]


Employment – politics, numbers
Tories missing migrants target admits minister: Surge of 300,000 foreign workers blamed
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 15 May 2014

A Tory minister has admitted the Government is likely to miss its target to slash immigration after a huge surge in the number of foreign workers.

Anna Soubry said the Coalition was not on course to meet a pledge to cut annual arrivals below 100,000 by next year.

Figures showed an extra 292,000 people born overseas found jobs in Britain in the 12 months to March this year.

It included a huge number from Poland and other ex-Eastern Bloc countries that joined the EU in May 2004.

The total employed from those countries was 802,000 – an increase of 115,000 compared to a year ago.

An extra 29,000 Romanians and Bulgarians were also at work here, while more than 20,000 of the 292,000 total came from western European countries such as Italy.

And there were an extra 124,000 born outside the EU who found jobs in the UK in the last 12 months, taking that total to 2.8 million.

The Office for National Statistics figures made a massive dent in David Cameron's 2010 election promise to reduce the number of newcomers.

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister conceded to senior MPs he had not brought immigration down as much as he would have liked despite it being a key concern among voters.

Yesterday Miss Soubry, a defence minister, said: 'At the moment we don't seem to be on course.'

But she insisted on Radio 4's World At One programme that Number 10's pledge had been aimed at illegal immigrants rather than those with the right to travel to the UK to work.

She said: 'It was actually about a large number of people who were here who definitely should not be here.'

Her stance was attacked by opponents. Labour immigration spokesman David Hanson said: 'The Prime Minister promised no ifs, no buts, that he would get net migration down, yet under his government he has missed his own self-selected target.'

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the Government had to do more 'to address people's legitimate concerns'.

She said: 'Ministers aren't doing enough to stop employers and agencies exploiting cheap migrant labour, particularly from Eastern Europe, to undercut wages and jobs.'
[Site link]


Employment – nurses
Number of foreign nurses up 50pc in a year
Laura Donnelly and Peter Dominiczak
Daily Telegraph, 14 May 2014

The number of foreign nurses coming to work in the UK from elsewhere in Europe has risen by 50 per cent in one year, following cuts in the numbers of nurses trained here, new figures show.

Nurse leaders and patients groups said "short-sighted" attempts to cut NHS spending had left desperate shortages on wards, leaving increasing numbers of hospitals to spend thousands of pounds recruiting staff from abroad.

New figures disclosed in response to a parliamentary question show that last year 5,217 nurses from EU countries outside the UK registered to work here - a rise of 51 per cent from the previous year, and the largest rise for more than a decade.

The surge follows cuts to NHS programmes to train nurses in this country, with 10,000 training places cut since 2010. ...

Under rules on freedom of labour, staff from the EU are able to register to work in this country without checks on their language or competence.

Regulators are not allowed to set tests, and research has found most hospitals do not carry out checks, despite Department of Health (DoH) advice that they should.
[Site link]


Employment – incompetence, doctors
Doctors from India more likely to be struck off
Laura Donnelly and Sarah Knapton
Daily Telegraph, 6 May 2014

Doctors from India are four times as likely to be struck off the UK medical register than those who are trained in this country, according to new figures.

The disclosures last night triggered concern about the scrutiny of those who receive their training abroad, and follow a recent decision to relax rules governing overseas medical recruitment.

Statistics from the General Medical Council (GMC) disclose that in the past five years, 117 doctors trained in India and Pakistan have been barred from working here. Over the same period, 142 British doctors have been struck off.

The figures show that over the last five years, around 1 in 1,000 doctors who trained in Britain has been struck off. This compares with around 1 in 250 of those trained in India, and 1 in 350 of those who came here from Pakistan.

Doctors from overseas now make up one in three medics working in the UK.

But the GMC figures show that in 2013, 75 per cent of doctors who were struck off came here from abroad - a rise from 61 per cent in 2009.

In total, 458 doctors have been barred from working in the UK in the past five years.

The country with the largest number of doctors removed from the UK register is India, followed by Pakistan, Egypt and Nigeria. ...

Last month The Telegraph revealed that the national programme, which held interviews via Skype last week, has suspended the competency tests which are normally required for doctors who come from outside the EU.

The tests themselves under increasing scrutiny. Two weeks ago, research by University College London disclosed that half of foreign doctors working here would fail the exams which allow them to work here, if they were held to the same standard as their British colleagues. ...

Around 30,000 doctors from India and Pakistan are currently licensed to work in Britain, along with 150,000 doctors who trained in this country, and 50,000 from other countries.
[Site link]


Employment – incompetence, doctors
Half of foreign doctors are below British standards
Sarah Knapton
Daily Telegraph, 18 April 2014

Half of all foreign doctors in Britain do not have the necessary skills to work here but can practise because the competency exam is too easy, a major study finds.

The majority of the 88,000 foreign doctors in the health service would fail exams if they were held to the same standard as their British colleagues, according to the research.

The disclosure will add to concerns over the reliance of the NHS on foreign doctors. The language ability of some has been questioned in recent years. The research potentially shows more wide-ranging inadequacies. Around 1,300 foreign physicians are licensed each year by the General Medical Council after passing an exam which assesses clinical and language skills.

But the study, commissioned by the GMC and carried out by University College London, found that around half would fail to reach the standards expected of British doctors. Its authors have called for the pass rate of the competency exam to be raised from 63 to 76 per cent to "ensure patient safety".

Chris McManus, professor of psychology and medical education at UCL, said: "There is no real mechanism for checking that doctors coming from outside Britain have been trained to the same level as British doctors. We wanted to find out what level overseas doctors would have to reach if they were to be as competent as British graduates. I think it's inevitable that the bar will need to be set higher.

"The fact that you already have overseas doctors being over-represented at GMC hearings is indicative of the problem. Many are simply not trained to the same standards."

More than 88,000 foreign-trained doctors are registered to work in Britain, including 22,758 from Europe. They make up almost a third of all NHS doctors but account for approximately two thirds of those struck off each year. The Professional and Linguistics Assessments Board, the exam they must pass to practise in Britain, is designed to ensure the same skill level as a British graduate a year after completing medical school.

But UCL discovered there was "no formal mechanism" to ensure the exam was as tough as assessments taken by British doctors. When researchers compared results they found that foreign doctors were consistently performing less well.

Around half of doctors trained abroad would not pass the most comparable British test, the report authors said.

"It may be that some overseas doctors have had poor training and when they come to Britain they will catch up quickly and thrive in a better environment," said Prof McManus.

"But alternatively some may feel completely overwhelmed, particularly with new technology that they have not yet come across. And that is of concern."

Figures from 2012 showed that of 669 doctors who were struck off or suspended in the previous five years, 420 had trained abroad.

The country with the largest number of doctors removed or suspended from the medical register is India, followed by Nigeria and Egypt.
[Site link]


Employment – earnings
[Immigrants' earnings]
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 9 April 2014

Most immigrants earn roughly the same as similarly skilled British workers,


Non-white immigrants earned, on average, between 16.5 per cent and 21.8 per cent less than native British people, but white immigrants could earn up to 26.5 per cent more than Britons, the research by Sara Lemos, of the University of Leicester, found.
[Newspaper link]


Employment – Romanians
There are now double the amount of Romanian job applicants ... and it's driving wages down
Daily Express, 1 April 2014
[Leading article]

When the entire population of Romania failed to enter Britain on January 1 many were scornful of those who had warned that a massive influx was inevitable. The impoverished state joined the EU in 2007 but their nationals' rights to work across Europe were restricted until the start of this year.

But since then the number of Romanians seeking employment in this country has doubled. There have been an estimated 42,562 applications for British jobs through just one Romanian recruitment website.

While unemployment is falling under this Government there are still 2.4 million people in Britain who do not have a job and youth unemployment is a huge problem. That is not to mention the destructive effects of wage depression caused by the arrival of foreign workers willing to undercut British workers.

It is difficult to understand how anybody can believe that the intense competition for jobs from so many new immigrants will help.
[Site link]


Iain Duncan Smith: hire unemployed Britons rather than foreigners
Rowena Mason
The Guardian, 21 March 2014

Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, has called on firms to give the British unemployed a try rather than hiring a foreign worker.

The Tory cabinet minister also defended the comments of home office minister James Brokenshire, who blamed a "wealthy metropolitan elite" for benefiting from cheap labour such as cleaners and nannies at the expense of "ordinary, hard-working people".

Speaking to the House magazine, Duncan Smith aligned him with those who believe that foreign workers are depressing wages and taking up low-paid jobs that could be done by Britons. ...

He also said that Brokenshire was merely making the point that richer people tend to benefit more from immigration than low earners.

"He was saying the benefits of this, such as they are, tended to be in this group but not down at the bottom end, where they've tended to see the problem," he said.

"He's right in that by the way. That is the issue. People that I deal with every day, they feel very squeezed by people who come in, undercut them in price."
[Site link]


Danny Alexander admission causes Government fresh embarrassment over immigration
Robert Mendick and Matthew Holehouse
Sunday Telegraph, 9 March 2014

The Coalition is facing fresh embarrassment over the issue of immigration after a senior Cabinet minister was forced to admit he employed a Portuguese cleaner.

Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, began to stutter and stumble during a live radio interview on Saturday after being asked if he employed immigrants. At first Mr Alexander, a Liberal Democrat, avoided the question.

Asked by Mishal Husain, the presenter of Radio 4's Today programme, "Do you employ anyone from another country?" Mr Alexander replied: "Er, er, urm, er, erm ... in the Treasury there are people from all around the world working in the, er, Treasury."

Miss Husain then explained her question referred to Mr Alexander's own household, not the large Government department where he works.

Pressed on whether he employed any foreigners, Mr Alexander finally responded: "Er, ar, er, er ... we use a brilliant British, er ... child minder and a, er... Portuguese lady occasionally comes in to clean our home."

The employment of foreign domestic help by senior ministers has come under scrutiny after the apparent criticism of the practice by James Brokenshire, the new immigration minister. Mr Brokenshire, a Conservative, condemned a "wealthy metropolitan elite" for benefiting from the cheap services offered by immigrants. Their gain, he said last week in his first speech in the job, had been at the expense of "ordinary, hard-working people in this country".

The speech has caused embarrassment for the Government, with ministers being questioned on whether they benefit from immigrant workers. It has emerged - as a result - that Samantha Cameron was involved in the family's foreign-born nanny securing British citizenship in 2010 while she was working for Mrs Cameron and her husband. Mrs Cameron's name was entered on an application form for British citizenship for her long-term nanny, Gita Lima, who is from Nepal.

Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, has admitted having a "lady who has a Belgian passport who helps us", while Theresa May, Mr Brokenshire's boss, conceded she uses a Brazilian-born cleaner.

A spokesman for Mrs May said: "Theresa May's cleaner is a British citizen but she was born in Brazil. Theresa had no role at all in her cleaner's application for citizenship." ...

In his interview on Saturday, Mr Alexander went on to defend his employment of a Portuguese cleaner. "As a country, our reputation for tolerance, our reputation for being open-minded, is incredibly important to us and when you get to a position where people and businesses who employ people from other countries are criticised just for that, I think that is getting to a pretty poisonous position."

He added: "It is a sorry position where we have got to be asking those sorts of questions because it is based on an assumption that somehow a business or an individual who is employing someone from another European country is doing something wrong."


Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Business Secretary, waded further into the row, accusing Conservatives of "fanning the flames of prejudice".
[Site link]


Employment – domestic staff
David Cameron and Nick Clegg brush off questions about foreign nannies
Rowena Mason
The Guardian, 7 March 2014

David Cameron and Nick Clegg have brushed off questions about their employment of foreign nannies after a Tory immigration minister suggested the "wealthy metropolitan elite" have been fuelling high immigration by demanding cheap labour.

Downing Street suggested the nationality of Cameron's domestic staff was not relevant after James Brokenshire, a new Home Office minister, gave a speech arguing that well-off families and big business are the main beneficiaries of "cheap tradesmen" and other domestic labour.

In his speech, Brokenshire said immigration was too high and suggested those who employ foreign labour have done well out of the situation "for too long". Attention has turned to whether this argument implies people, including government ministers, are wrong to employ people from abroad.

Cameron has employed Nepalese and Australian nannies to look after his children. Asked whether he still employs domestic staff from overseas, the prime minister's official spokesperson said: "I'm going to keep talking about government policy".

Brokenshire's predecessor as immigration minister, Mark Harper, also employed a cleaner from Colombia for years, which only led to his resignation when it emerged she did not have a legal right to work in the UK.

Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, was also asked on his weekly LBC radio phone-in show about whether he employs a foreign nanny, gardener or cleaner and initially said: "I'm not going to go into that."

However, he subsequently said he employed a staff member with a Belgian passport.
[Site link]


Migrants DO cost UK jobs says 'buried' report: BBC attacked after claiming document was suppressed by No 10
James Slack
Daily Mail, 6 March 2014

The first was published in 2012 by the independent Migration Advisory Committee, which was established by the last Labour government and is run by the respected economist Sir David Metcalf. The second, unpublished, report was commissioned by the Government two years ago as part of William Hague's EU 'balance of competences' review.

Despite being focused on Brussels, the Whitehall study also deals more broadly with the impact of migration on the jobs market.

The MAC report found that for every 100 extra foreign-born working-age migrants in the UK, there was a reduction of 23 in the number of Britons in employment.

The report added that, between 2005 and 2010, 160,000 people in the UK had been 'displaced', or left jobless, by the influx of foreign workers. In a broadcast on Tuesday evening, BBC Newsnight reporter Chris Cook said of this research: 'There's just one problem: it's wrong.'

He said the Government's own unpublished report would contradict MAC's findings, and that it was being suppressed as a result.

But as the Corporation's own political editor Nick Robinson conceded yesterday, the Government's study deals with a different time period to MAC and the two are 'not directly comparable'.

MAC's report covers the period to 2010. Whitehall's report brings the subject up to date. Since 2010, restrictions on non-EU migration introduced by the Government have led to an increase in the number of British workers getting jobs.

UK nationals accounted for 92 per cent of the total rise in employment in the year to July-September 2013. Under Labour, the lion's share went to foreign-born workers.
[Site link]


Low-skilled Brits were squeezed out of jobs during the recession, report finds as Clegg slams 'absurd' Tory immigration target
Matt Chorley
Daily Mail, 6 March 2014

The impact of immigration on British workers left the coalition bitterly divided today.

A major government report finally released today found low-skilled Britons were squeezed out of jobs by migrants during the recession, but overall there was 'relatively little evidence' of workers being displaced. ...

Ministers, including Tory Home Secretary Theresa May, have repeatedly cited research by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published in 2012 and covering the period from 1995 to 2010 that found 23 British workers were left unemployed for every 100 new arrivals from outside the EU.

But the new analysis released today stated that 'when data from part of the period of economic downturn (2009 and 2010) were omitted, the impact of non-EU migration was not found to be statistically significant'.

It added that the MAC was careful to highlight a 'tentative association' identified in the data rather than a 'causal interpretation' and 'this should be emphasised in any interpretation of this report's results'. ...

The evidence suggests that the labour market can adjust to increased net migration when the economy is strong, but during a recession and when net migration remains high as in recent years, there is a slower adjustment and 'some short-term impacts are observed'.

The analysis added: 'To date there has been little evidence in the literature of a statistically significant impact from EU migration on native employment outcomes, although significant EU migration is still a relatively recent phenomenon and this does not imply that impacts do not occur in some circumstances.

'The evidence also suggests that where there has been a displacement effect from a particular cohort of migrants, this dissipates over time - that is any displacement impacts from one set of new arrivals gradually decline as the labour market adjusts.'
[Site link]


Secret immigration report which shows impact on jobs is much lower than Theresa May claimed is being 'suppressed' by No 10
Daniel Martin and Matt Chorley
Daily Mail, 5 March 2014

Theresa May's claims about the effects of immigration have been called into question by secret government research, it was reported last night.

David Cameron is said to have prevented the publication of an internal report, completed in November, which suggests that the impact of migration on British jobs is 'virtually nil'.

The BBC's Newsnight programme claimed it had not been published because the effect of immigration on unemployment was much smaller than Mrs May has previously claimed.

The Home Secretary has in the past cited research by the Migration Advisory Committee, a group of independent academics, as a basis for saying that 'for every additional 100 immigrants... 23 British workers would not be employed'.

But the new analysis by civil servants is understood to show that the impact of so-called 'displacement' is much less stark.

Internal emails seen by Newsnight showed that one civil servant described the MAC research used by Mrs May was 'not robust enough given the wider evidence'. ...

Last night Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert said: 'It's obvious that this report should be published as quickly as possible.

'The best available data shows we benefit very substantially from immigration. The real question is why David Cameron is trying to block this.

'We have to have the right figures to make the right decisions.'
[Site link]


Employment – enterprises
Migrants set up one in seven companies in the UK, with people born abroad almost twice as likely to start a business
Matt Chorley
Daily Mail, 5 March 2014

One in every seven companies in the UK has been set up by migrant entrepreneurs, a new report revealed today.

Nearly half a million people from 155 countries have settled in the UK and launched businesses.

The Centre for Entrepreneurs think tank said the contribution of foreign-owned companies to Britain was 'breath-taking'.

Overall, 14 per cent of jobs are created by companies founded by migrants to the UK.

Researchers said the report, by Centre for Entrepreneurs and financial technology company DueDil, cast light on the positive impact migrants made on the UK's economy.

DueDil founder Damian Kimmelman, himself an American serial 'migrant entrepreneur', said: 'Immigration is one of Britain's most emotive topics for debate. Sadly, opinions are rarely informed by evidence.

'This game-changing research proves that migrant entrepreneurs are hyper-productive, net contributors to the UK economy.

'History tells us that the most productive states always encourage intellectual and technological ferment; that's what we're seeing in Britain right now, and we must celebrate it.'

While just 10.4 per cent of people born in the UK start a business here, 17.2 per cent of migrants in Britain have started their own company.

They are also younger, the report found, with migrant entrepreneurs 44.3 years-old on average compared to 52.1 for those born in the UK. ...

The report found the UK's migrant entrepreneurs are from almost every country, although there are significant representations from Ireland, India, the US, Germany and China, as well as African countries. ...

YouGov polling undertaken for the report reveals that a significant proportion of the general public believe migrant entrepreneurs make a positive contribution to the UK (44 per cent) and a majority support the government's efforts to attract new migrant entrepreneurs (50 per cent) compared with 28 per cent who disagree.

This is despite the fact the public view immigration in a generally negative light and support a reduction in net immigration (68 per cent).
[Site link]


Employment – BBC bias
The BBC's immigration scare story
Sir Andrew Green
Spectator blog, 5 March 2014

The BBC's enthusiasm for anything that might undermine the Government's immigration policy was demonstrated yet again by the excitable tone of last night's Newsnight report ... The thrust of the item was that a key element of the government's case for restricting immigration had been undermined by a report written by Home Office officials but allegedly suppressed by Number 10.

As usual, the context was entirely absent. The original report quoted by the Home Secretary was by the Migration Advisory Committee who have a very high reputation in these matters. They were the first to put a number on the extent of displacement but, like all other researchers, they faced a fundamental difficulty in getting results that are statistically significant given that new immigrants are a small part of our workforce. Evidence to the House of Lords report on the economics of migration pointed out (pdf, para 83) that the absence of statistically significant evidence was not evidence that the effect was small. It simply meant that there was too much "noise" in the system to estimate the effects accurately.

More generally, Newsnight rather implied that this new report undermined the government's case for restricting immigration. In fact, this is only one aspect of a much wider case concerning the impact of mass immigration on public services, housing and transport - not to speak of the social impact. The best thing the government can now do is publish the report so that the public can see its limited scope.

By this morning, the BBC was waking up literally and metaphorically. The tone of the Today programme was considerably more measured. In substantive terms this is a storm in a teacup. In presentational terms it demonstrates the BBC's habitual lack of impartiality on the subject of immigration. ...

PS Leaving aside the fuss over displacement, it is interesting to note that foreign nationals accounted for much of the growth in employment in the UK over the last ten years – particularly during the period following the EU8 accession in 2004.

Between the first quarter of 2004 (the last quarter before the accession) and the first quarter of 2008 (the last quarter before the onset of recession) foreign nationals accounted for 78 per cent of the 1.1 million total rise in employment. There appears to have been a shift in 2012/13, with UK nationals accounting for 92 per cent of the total rise in employment in the year to July-September 2013. This is the sixth consecutive quarter in which UK nationals have accounted for the majority of annual employment growth.
[Site link]


Employment – United Nations
Governments urged to facilitate regular migration
Derrick Mbatha
United Nations Radio, 4 March 2014

Governments around the world have been urged to facilitate regular migration of workers in order to stop the empowerment of what has been called "smuggling mafias".

The appeal was made by the UN independent expert on the Human Rights of Migrants, Francois Crépeau who spoke to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday.

He said irregular migration is largely a response to unrecognized needs in the labour market of host countries as migrants are often willing to do the dirty, difficult and dangerous jobs offered by unscrupulous employers.

Mr. Crépeau outlined measures that States must take to deal with fewer irregular border crossings, less smuggling of migrants, less loss of life at borders and fewer violations of the human rights of migrants.

"States must recognize their real labour needs, including for low skilled work, open up more regular migration channels, including for blue collar workers, regulate and sanction employers who exploit migrants in order to reduce the underground labour markets that attract migrants and move away from the criminalization of irregular migration that has mostly empowered smuggling mafias."

Mr. Crépeau appealed for harm reduction policies that must replace what he called "the securitization of migration, based on criminalization, detention and expulsion."
[Site link]


Employment – social cohesion, UKIP
Nigel Farage: Immigration has 'jollified' Britain and improved the food – but time to stop changing our communities
Adam Withnall
The Independent on Sunday, 2 March 2014

The Ukip leader Nigel Farage has admitted that immigration has "jollified" Britain and improved the food – while at the same time hitting out at an influx of foreign workers for "changing our communities".

Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, he also dismissed comments from former Tory defence minister Liam Fox about the threat of Ukip, calling them "baloney".

Mr Farage said it was "nonsense" to try and impose a cap on migration as a member of the EU, and said that if he was a Romanian worker he would move to Britain for the higher wagers being offered.

"The question here, it isn't just about money, it isn't about whether the GDP is expanding," Mr Farage said. "I think it's about community, it's a sense of who we are as a people and what we belong to.

"I toured the whole of England last year in the run-up to the English county elections and I met people everywhere who said: 'Nigel, we've never had a problem with immigration – it jollifies the place and the food's better and that's great – but how many people can we actually take? What chance have our kids got of getting jobs?'"

He said: "We've got a massive oversupply of people earning minimum wage, qualifying almost immediately for in-work benefits and changing our communities. In many cases people are saying: 'Goodness me, is this the town that I know, is this where I grew up?'"
[Site link]


Employment – Romanians, Bulgarians, self-employment
Six out of 10 Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants claimed self-employed status
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 21 February 2014

Nearly six out of 10 Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants living in Britain last year claimed they were self-employed, allowing them full access to the welfare state, a new report has found.

The University of Oxford's Migration Observatory said its analysis showed 59.1 per cent of workers from the two former eastern European states said they were freelance, compared with just 14 per cent of the native UK population.

The figure was also far higher than the 15 per cent of self-employed people from the eight former Communist states - such as Poland - which joined the EU in 2004.

"Regardless of motivation, this status did provide access to the benefits system," said the report.

The 59.1 per cent figure equated to 69,000 Romanian and Bulgarian workers, it added, although the figures were calculated before data released earlier this week showed a further rise in the number of migrants from the two countries in Britain.

Commentators said the figure showed how determined Romanian and Bulgarian migrants had been to come to Britain even before restrictions on their access to the job market were lifted on January 1.

A declaration of self-employment allowed citizens of the two countries to circumvent strict rules which limited them mainly to specific low-skilled roles.
[Site link]


Employment – East Europeans
Number of Romanian and Bulgarian migrant workers reaches record high
David Barrett and Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 20 February 2014

Romanians and Bulgarians have taken one in 10 new jobs in the past year as the number working in Britain has risen by 40 per cent.

In the final three months of last year, shortly before immigration restrictions were lifted, 144,000 people born in the two countries were working in Britain – and they took 41,670 of the 424,503 jobs which were created last year. ...

The ONS figures also showed that the number of migrant workers from eastern Europe reached 728,000 at the end of last year. The total number of EU workers was 1,712,000, up 8 per cent year-on-year.
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British workers filling majority of low-skilled job openings
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 20 February 2014

The number of British workers in low-skilled jobs is now rising at a much faster rate than the employment levels of foreign nationals in similar roles, reversing a decade-long trend, according to a Home Office study.

The latest labour market survey figures show that British nationals accounted for 367,000 of the 425,000 extra people in work in the UK over the past year.

This compares with 54,000 extra foreign or non-UK nationals filling jobs created between December 2012 and December 2013, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The quarterly figures also show that the number of Romanians and Bulgarians working in Britain rose last year by a third, from 90,000 in the final three months of 2012 to 125,000 in the same period last year. ...

A Home Office spokesperson said the ONS figures were estimates for the number of people in employment and should not be used as a proxy for flows of foreign migrants into Britain. They added that the number of Romanians and Bulgarians in work accounted for 0.4% of all people employed in Britain.
[Site link]


Employment – Romanians, Bulgarians
Are Romanians and Bulgarians taking 1 in 10 new jobs?
Joseph O'Leary
Full Fact, 20 February 2014

"One in ten new roles created in a year went to people born in Romania and Bulgaria", Daily Mail, 20 February 2014

"Romanians and Bulgarians have taken one in 10 new jobs in the past year as the number working in Britain has risen by 40 per cent." Daily Telegraph, 20 February 2014

Employment figures routinely make headlines when they're released. In the last few months, however, misunderstandings about them have happened repeatedly.

Employment trends which consider nationality or country of birth cannot tell us anything about 'new jobs' or whether one group has gained more new jobs than another.

Guidance published in every release of the figures says as much.

However, the latest case, which focuses on Romanian- and Bulgarian-born workers, overlooks the advice.

Of the 30 million people in work in this country, 144,000 were born in Romania or Bulgaria. 25.8 million were born in the UK.

Compared to last year, there are 42,000 more Romanian- and Bulgarian-born workers working in the UK. Overall, employment went up by 425,000. So these workers account for about 10% of the increase in employment.

But, the number of people in work is not the same as the number of jobs that exist. One person can have more than one job: that's why there are 30 million people in employment but as many as 32.5 million workforce jobs. So these figures can't show the number of new jobs.

Using a proportion can cause problems as well. Between the start of 2011 and 2012, total employment rose by 44,000 while employment for Romanian- and Bulgarian-born workers fell by 13,000. Using the logic of the papers today, this would mean that -30% of new jobs went to these workers, which doesn't make a lot of sense.
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Frank Field: The young arrivals who now form the new working class
Frank Field
Evening Standard (London), 19 February 2014
[Frank Field is MP for Birkenhead]

Today's unemployment figures contain one particularly disturbing element – the stubbornly high number of young people who are still out of work – 917,000 of them. It's time to put those figures in context, and to ask the hard and uncomfortable question – whether the numbers of people coming to work here from abroad has a bearing on the numbers of young people out of work here.

Of course, to ask the question isn't to take away from what the newcomers have to offer. The eagerness to work of many immigrants puts some of us to shame. ... ...

Let's put all this in context. Since 1997 more than a million people have come from overseas to live in London. This should have made us face up to some crucial realities.

One is that compared with many of the countries from where London's new arrivals have come, our poverty wages seem like the jackpot. Likewise, given the welfare state they're not used to, our own welfare state looks extraordinarily generous. Advanced Western countries cannot prosper if they have open borders – which we did for a time – or if we pay out welfare to anyone who can prove need, even if they haven't been in the country that long.

The other hard truth is that London has had its immigrants on the cheap. They've been a useful force to push down wages.

As I say, there's no denying that vast numbers of these new arrivals coming here love to work. But the biggest gainers in this massive increase in the numbers of people wanting to work have been the upper classes, our elite. ...

Where are the new roads or railways to go about in their daily lives and earn a living? We've had some fine new hospital buildings – thanks to the last Labour government – but this hasn't increased capacity.

Likewise, where has been the school-building programme to match a population increase on this scale?

There's been no house-building programme to accommodate the sheer numbers coming here, either. So this huge increase in population has had to be fitted into existing homes. No wonder rents have rocketed and we have an increasing number of vulnerable people at the bottom being pushed into homelessness. ... ...

The population of London will continue to become even more out of control – according to most estimates by 2021 it will grow by 750,000, the equivalent of the population of Leeds. Something's going to give at some stage and I know who will be hurt. It won't be those who've pushed this immigration line as being good for us. They are safely tucked away in their smart areas. ...

It's no use for the immigration lobby to say that all these issues would be solved if we spent more money on our public services. There simply isn't going to be the money to provide public services on a scale that's needed to take account of the ever-increasing numbers coming here. The losers have been, and will continue to be, poor Brits.
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Employment – skilled migrants
Only skilled migration can keep Britain ahead
Alistair Cox
Evening Standard (London), 17 February 2014
[Alistair Cox is chief executive of recruiter Hays plc]

We live and work in the best city in the world. That position has been built over decades by attracting world-class companies and talent. However, just as the economy shows more signs of recovering, we are running the risk of losing that talent to other cities and countries by getting trapped in a catch-all debate about immigration.

What the UK must do is define different strategies for highly skilled migration versus unskilled immigration, because the two are very different issues. I can't recall the last time I heard a senior politician differentiate between the two. However, the reality is they have enormously different consequences for people seeking jobs in the UK.

The headline problems often associated with immigration are closely linked to levels of unskilled migration. These problems are real and should be addressed. Skilled migrants, however, make a very real contribution to the UK economy. They are net contributors to the Treasury and they fill roles that would otherwise remain vacant. As a result they enable their employers to grow faster and their work often leads to the creation of more jobs for the local labour force. ...

You might think that if the UK can already attract leading multinational companies, little needs to change on skilled migration. In reality, our research shows that this country has one of the worst talent mismatches in Europe and skills shortages are becoming more acute as the economy starts to grow again. Despite the fact there are more than two million people out of work, companies looking for people with skills in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) cannot find enough talent to fulfil their ambitions. These roles either go unfilled or the business establishes them overseas, at which point the UK may lose them for ever.

The solution to Britain's talent gap is to educate and train more people in the skills our industries need so that we become more self-sufficient. ...

But even if we start now, it will be at least 10 years before we produce sufficient numbers of the qualified and experienced talent that our businesses require. In the meantime, skilled migration is the only real option to fill the roles industry is already creating.
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Employment – Romanians
Romanians bombard recruitment website in search of UK jobs
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 8 February 2014

Tens of thousands of Romanians see Britain as a land of opportunity and the number wanting to move here has increased by 600 per cent in a month.

Figures obtained by the Daily Express today expose the folly of an open-door border policy which lets limitless numbers of migrants enter the country.

The sobering statistics show 700 Romanians used the world's biggest recruitment website to search for jobs in the UK every month last year.

But last month – after working restrictions were lifted for Romanians – the website received 5,550 inquiries.

Experts say the true number of Romanians – and Bulgarians who also saw restrictions lifted – looking to start a new life in Britain is likely to be "significantly higher".

The website was bombarded with applications for IT, finance and accounting, engineering, manufacturing, sales and clerical jobs.
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Employment – apprenticeships
Romanians offered Prime Minister's paid apprenticeships
Georgia Graham
Daily Telegraph, 27 January 2014

Romanians coming to Britain without a job are being offered apprenticeships under a government scheme designed to get unemployed young Britons into a job.

Agencies in Romania are targeting would be migrants wishing to take advantage of recent lifting of the immigration controls and advertising the apprenticeships which pay up to £1000 and on the job training.

One Romanian job agency is offering apprenticeships, which are subsidised by the UK Government, at Gordon Ramsay's restaurants and Chelsea football club.

According to The Sunday Times the Extern job agency in the Romanian town of Cluj is offering a range of apprenticeships paying between £650 and £1000 a month.

European freedom of movement laws mean the UK is powerless to stop EU migrants taking up coveted apprenticeship spots ahead of British people who are also looking for work. ...

The government has admitted that it does not know how many non-British nationals have taken up taxpayer-funded apprenticeships because it does not record their nationality.
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Employment – NHS, health services
Figures show extent of NHS reliance on foreign nationals
Haroon Siddique
The Guardian, 27 January 2014

The statistics, produced by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), show that 11% of all staff for whom data was available and who work for the NHS and in community health services are not British.

The proportion of foreign nationals increases for professionally qualified clinical staff (14%) and even more so for doctors (26%), prompting the British Medical Association (BMA) to observe that without the contribution of non-British staff, "many NHS services would struggle to provide effective care to their patients". ...

EU countries, English-speaking countries, those with ties to Britain through the Commonwealth, countries targeted by the NHS for employees and those that have experienced wars all figure prominently in the list of those supplying the most employees.

India provided the highest number after Britain, with 18,424 out of a total of 1,052,404 workers whose identity was known.

India also provided the highest number of professionally qualified clinical staff, doctors and consultants, after Britain. The number of Indian consultants was 2,708, 7% of the total whose nationality was known.

GPs are not included in the HSCIC figures because they are not employed by the NHS.

The Philippines provided the highest number of qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff after Britain, with 8,094 out of a total of 309,529 for whom data was available, reflecting the fact that there was a recruitment drive in the country under Tony Blair's government to attract people to such posts.

The Philippines also provides the third highest number of NHS staff overall with 12,744.

Ireland had the fourth highest number of staff in the NHS, followed by Poland, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Portugal, Pakistan, Spain and Germany. ...

A BMA spokeswoman said: "Overseas doctors have for many years made a valuable and important contribution to the NHS, especially in key services where there has been a historic shortage of UK-trained doctors.

"This includes consultant posts in emergency care, haematology and old-age psychiatry. Without the support of these doctors many NHS services would struggle to provide effective care to their patients."

She said the figures reflected the fact that for many years the NHS actively encouraged overseas doctors to move to the UK. ...

While the figures help illustrate the contribution of migrants, they do not paint the whole picture, as many will have taken British nationality since arriving.

Nationality statistics of NHS staff have never been published but figures on where doctors qualified are made available by the General Medical Council, which include GPs in its data.

Mirroring the HSCIC statistics, India is the second most common country of qualification after Britain, according to the council, which says 25,122 doctors registered in the UK were trained in the world's second most populous nation.

The HSCIC figures are provisional as of September last year. The nationalities of 136,624 staff were not recorded and, due to use of different staff record systems, data was not available from two NHS trusts, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS foundation trust and Chesterfield Royal Hospital foundation trust.
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Employment – EU
EU to promote more UK job vacancies in high unemployment European countries
Bruno Waterfield
Daily Telegraph, 18 January 2014

Laszlo Andor, Europe's social affairs commissioner, has unveiled new plans to extend the Eures scheme that advertises British job centre vacancies, along with those from other countries, across the whole of the European Union.

He admitted that high unemployment rates in the eurozone, currently running at record highs of over 12 per cent, would lead to increased numbers of jobless seeking work in higher growth countries, such as Britain, with a joblessness rate of only 7.4pc.

"With unacceptably high levels of unemployment in the EU, more people are looking at this possibility," he said.

"The unemployment rate in the UK is significantly lower than the EU average. This is a very significant development. We have to assume that people will be more interested than in the past to look for a job in an EU country if the vacancies exist."

Mr Andor also said that he expected agreement on new legislation requiring Britain, and other EU countries, "to take measures to raise awareness about the right for people from other member States to work without facing any discrimination" in the coming weeks.

"Member states would also be obliged to put in place ways for people to obtain redress if they did encounter discrimination," he said.

British economic growth is expected to be twice that of the eurozone average this year meaning that many more job vacancies will be created in Britain than most other EU countries.

The Eures "job mobility portal" is currently advertising 484,149 British vacancies, offering 1.2 million posts, to EU jobseekers, more than any other country.

In comparison, Germany, the eurozone's largest economy is offering just 308,174 vacancies, while Spain has only 1,626 jobs on offer.

In 2012, 190,000 Spaniards left their country - over one hundred times more than the 15,000 who left the year before - to flee an unemployment rate that was running at 58 per cent for young people at the start of this year.

"We are seeing a huge movement of people who are eurozone refugees from the job destroying single currency area and who are seeking work elsewhere," said Douglas Carswell, the Conservative MP for Clacton.

On Friday, Mr Andor announced new measures that will extend the Eures scheme "by publishing vacancies that until now have only been available at local or regional level" across the EU.

The Eures network of 850 job advisers helps with 150,000 placements every year. Its budget is £16.5 million, with a contribution by British taxpayers of around £2.5 million.
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Employment – economy
We can't build a recovery on the backs of migrant workers
Grant Woodward
Yorkshire Post, 17 January 2014

A man you are unlikely to have ever heard of, Robert Chote, has warned David Cameron that pressing ahead with his plan to cap the number of people moving to Britain from EU countries would risk wrecking the fragile recovery.

Chote is the boss of the Office for Budget Responsibility, the department whose job it is to run the rule over the Government's finances. And he insists that we need immigrants coming here because their taxes will help pay down the budget deficit.

According to him, this is because the net benefits outweigh the costs. Migrants are more likely to be of working age, which means we don't foot the bill for their education, and "some" (that was the word he used) leave before they start getting expensive in terms of pension and healthcare costs.

Having finally recognised that immigration is a key issue for voters, Cameron has pledged to limit numbers to "tens of thousands" a year. At the same time, he's promising to get the public finances back to health.

Now that the Prime Minister has been told these twin targets are incompatible, it places him in a tricky position. Or does it? ...

..., the fact remains that there are British people who are unable to secure full-time jobs which pay a living wage.

How can it possibly be in their best interests to allow this flood of cheap, unregulated labour to continue unchecked? ...

But there are others, of course, who also have a vested interest in ensuring access to Britain from the EU remains unrestricted.

Dodgy recruitment agencies have been found to be cashing in on foreign workers through a variety of unscrupulous means. One company has been raking it in by claiming tax rebates on employees' expenses, then keeping most of it for themselves.

When the workers concerned don't have a decent command of English and aren't up to speed with UK employment law, such ruses are that much easier to pull off.

There's an entire industry feeding off immigration – and it's money that largely isn't finding its way into the exchequer's coffers.

And what of the other factors that Robert Chote and his team of number crunchers don't seem to have bothered to consider?

Chief among them are the social pressures that go hand in hand with large numbers of new people coming to an island that is already full to bursting point. ... ...

A year ago, Chote found himself in front of the Treasury Select Committee defending himself against charges that the Office for Budget Responsibility was just making it up.

"We've done quite a good job at demonstrating the limitations of economic forecasting," he joked, when challenged over growth forecasts that were so far wide of the mark as to be ludicrous.

Yet the word in Whitehall is that if it comes down to a straight choice between accelerating growth and cutting immigration, growth will win and plans to curb migrant numbers will be shelved. In other words, the PM will plump for short-term gain over potential long-term pain.

But if David Cameron is genuine about wanting to protect the interests of British workers and address the public's real concerns about the impact of unfettered immigration, he's in danger of backing the wrong horse.
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Employment – EU
Top EU official: 'UK Government immigration myths destroying the future of young people'
Tomas Jivanda
The Independent, 10 January 2014

The UK government's anti EU migration rhetoric is "destroying the future of young people", a top Brussels official has claimed.

Viviane Reding, the vice president of the European Commission, said that details about the European Union presented to the British public was based on "myths" that "have nothing to do with reality".

Ms Reding, who has previously called for a United States of Europe, argued that it was "simply not true" that there was an "invasion of foreigners" who were stealing jobs and draining the UK's welfare and health resources.

Government ministers appear to be flaming fears over immigrants in order to deflect attention from real problems faced by the UK, she added.
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Employment – wages, politics
Immigration suppresses wages, says Margaret Thatcher's former adviser
Matthew Holehouse
Daily Telegraph, 9 January 2014

Immigration is in part to blame for low wages, Margaret Thatcher's former policy chief has said.

John Redwood, the former Cabinet minister, said the "unprecedented expansion of labour supply" had contributed to stagnant wages.

Immigration will be "front and centre" of the European Parliament elections in May, Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister said earlier.

Wages have been falling behind prices since 2009, meaning families have felt hundreds of pounds a year worse off.

Mr Redwood, the MP for Wokingham who was Mrs Thatcher's Chief Policy Adviser in the 1980s, said low wages were in part due to banks moving to low-tax regimes such as Switzerland, and low business productivity following the economic crisis.

But writing on his blog he said the influx of five million people under the Labour government "must have had some impact" on the jobs market.

"The issue is one of balance. Allow too little migration, and business might find it difficult to set up or continue here without access to the affordable skills they need.

"Let in too many new people, and you must depress wages and make it more difficult for unemployed people legally settled here to find a job. Part of the issue of wages is tied up in the potential supply of labour. Over the last decade the UK has had an unprecedented expansion of its labour supply, which is part of the background to stagnant wages."

Mr Clegg said it was "very liberal" to end the payment of child benefit to the overseas children of migrants in Britain, a scenario he described as "perverse".

He said there is "complete unity" in the Coalition on tightening up benefit rules for European migrants. "I like the Prime Minister and a lot of people in this country don't quite understand why it is possible under the current rules for someone to claim child benefit for child who aren't even in this country. That does seem to me to be perverse."

"It is very liberal to say to people who haven't contributed through their taxes in the past, in the way our welfare system works, there are certain restrictions about what you can access."

Britain spends £55m a year on benefit to 55,000 children who live elsewhere in the EU. Half of those live in Poland.

"It is not a free for all when it comes to benefits," he said.

He said proposals to curb the number of migrants from the European Union were not Government policy and could trigger "tit for tat" bans on two million Britons who live and work elsewhere in the bloc.

Mr Clegg said there had been a failure to discuss immigration which was a "very bad thing".

"For far too long there's a real sense people were feeling anxious about levels of immigration, but the media and the political classes – not all of them – were not engaging with it."

He said the failure to introduce controls on the number of Eastern European migrants coming to Britain had resulted in far more people coming than had been predicted, which dealt a "body-blow to public trust and confidence in the way the immigration system works".
[Site link]


Employment – low wages, agency staff
Exclusive: Ed Miliband will block cheap foreign staff loophole
Jane Merrick
The Independent on Sunday, 5 January 2014

A Labour government will clamp down on British businesses using cheap foreign labour, Ed Miliband will pledge today, as he gives a warning that the arrival of migrant workers from Romania and Bulgaria could make the cost of living crisis worse for Britons.

If Labour wins in 2015, the Government would work with businesses to close a European Union loophole which allows companies to undercut staff legally by paying agency workers lower wages. The loophole has allowed major firms in the food, packaging and call-centre sectors to employ workers, often from abroad, on lower rates. While the loophole is legal, companies who use it have been accused of acting unscrupulously by failing to protect the job security of their staff.

Writing in The Independent on Sunday, the Labour leader says it is right to address "understandable" fears about immigration, while maintaining Britain's position as a country that "reaches outwards to the world". Addressing "anxiety" about immigration means changing a British economy "hard-wired into a cycle of low wages, low skills, insecure jobs and high prices that is tearing into the living standards of ordinary families", he says, rather than erecting a "fortress" around Britain.

In 2011, the EU Agency Workers Directive was introduced granting rights for equal pay and conditions for agency staff across Europe. But under a loophole known as the "Swedish derogation", negotiated by the Stockholm government because Sweden relies heavily on agency staff, companies anywhere in the EU have been able to employ agency workers on cheaper rates.

Mr Miliband promises that a Labour government would end the practice by amending the way the directive and its clauses are interpreted in the UK. Figures show that about 300,000 workers in Britain, many of whom are from overseas, are paid below the minimum wage. ...

Labour sources said that closing the loophole would not require a change in any EU treaties but could be done by changing the way the UK interprets the Agency Workers Directive.
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Employment – wages
British workers left unprotected says Labour as immigration row deepens
Rajeev Syal and agencies
The Guardian, 2 January 2014

The government has failed to introduce measures to protect the rights of low-skilled British workers whose jobs may be threatened by new migrants from eastern Europe, a Labour shadow minister has claimed.

As Britain opened its borders to Bulgarian and Romanian workers on New Year's Day, David Hanson, the shadow immigration minister, said the government has ignored calls to strengthen existing legislation that could stop employers from undercutting British employees' wages by recruiting from overseas. ...

Hanson, interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on Wednesday, said the government had failed to introduce a series of measures to slow the recruitment of low-skilled workers from eastern Europe.

"We have been arguing for the past year that [the government] should be looking at other measures such as enforcement of the minimum wage, such as extending gangmaster legislation to areas such as catering and tourism, and particularly focusing on recruitment agencies which are recruiting solely from eastern Europe. Those are other measures we could be doing to focus on low-skilled immigration," he said.
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Residents' anger after group of immigrants build 'filthy shanty town' in north London park
Anna Dubuis
Evening Standard (London), 2 October 2014

East European immigrants facing eviction from a "shanty town" on the banks of a canal in north London today said: "We've got to live somewhere."

The group of around 50 men, mostly from Romania, have been served with a possession order by landowners TFL which will be heard at the High Court on Friday.

If approved, police will have powers to move the group - who have been accused by locals of turning the leafy stretch of the Lee Valley Park in Edmonton into a "filthy slum" - off the land. ...

Most of the men are unemployed and spend their days waiting at a nearby retail park in the hope of being picked up for construction work before returning to cook on open fires and share a bare mattress with up to six other men. ...

Police have visited the camp regularly in the past few weeks, serving Asbos on some of the men, and the High Court documents allege that stolen car number plates and beer kegs have been found at the site. ...

Enfield Police Detective Chief Inspector Paul Healy said anti-social behaviour was a "significant and persistent problem" on the site.
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Extremism – Islam
Why Islamist extremism perplexes our security services
Charles Moore
Daily Telegraph, 29 November 2014

Throughout our battle with radical Islamism, we have had great difficulty in understanding the rules of the game. In his official history of MI5, Christopher Andrew quotes the service's message to the heads of its special branches in December 1995: "Suggestions in the press of a world-wide Islamic extremist network poised to launch terrorist attacks against the West are greatly exaggerated". Contact between extremists were "largely opportunistic", it went on, and so "seems unlikely to result in the emergence of a potent trans-national force".

Even today, this mindset persists. To a body such as MI5, whose mentality is fundamentally like that of policemen, the idea that something could be simultaneously global and "opportunistic" is hard to comprehend. Yet this, surely, is exactly what we are dealing with, and exactly why it is so hard to handle.

Islamist extremism combines something very new – the power of internet technology – with something very old – the power of belief. It is a social movement – in the modern, web-world sense – but it is not monitored and analysed as such. It could have been (indeed, it is) designed to perplex conventional policing and intelligence. It needs no permanent command structure or government backing. It does not have to win a big war, or even a formal terror campaign, to make its presence felt. ... ...

... MI5, for example, has a "behavioural" unit, which looks into questions like the mental health of potential terrorists. What it does not have is an ideological unit. It does not study the genealogy, theology and politics of jihadism, and so it constantly misunderstands what it is dealing with. It is rather as if we were trying to combat Communism without knowing the theories of Marxist-Leninism.

Indeed, the comparison with the Cold War should be suggestive to MI5. An important reason that the West won it is that our intelligence agencies got inside the Communist Party and traced its agents and sympathisers through the trade union movement, students, academics and so on. The prevention of "subversion" was a specific aim of MI5. Today, it is stated on its website that is not. There are important differences between Soviet Communism and Islamist extremism. The first was mainly state-run and entirely secular. The second is much less formal and dresses what are often political ideas in the turban of faith. But Islamist subversion is, if anything, greater than that of Communism, because it can touch the heart of almost any Muslim in the world. It can persuade someone in North Kensington to go to fight in Syria, and vice versa.

Time after time, it is non-violent subversion that has prepared the ground for serious trouble. The Trojan Horse affair in Birmingham schools need never have reached such a dangerous point if it had been clearly recognised earlier. The new work of the Charity Commission, now rigorously investigating charities that claim to be doing good works but often promote struggle in the Middle East, is making up for years of ideological slackness.

Today, if an Islamist wants to kill the next Fusilier Rigby, he will be faced by more formidable security measures than in the past, but little has been done to stop him wanting to do such a deed. We run round trying to catch the bad fruit, instead of taking an axe to the tree.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
Anger over university's decision to cancel Islamic extremism report launch
Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 12 November 2014

A university has been accused of censorship after scrapping the launch of a report into alleged Islamic extremism in schools and campuses across the UK.

The University of West London was criticised following the decision to cancel the event staged by Sharia Watch UK – set up to monitor the radicalisation of young British Muslims – on safety and procedural grounds. ...

The report was due to be launched at one of West London's lecture theatres on Wednesday, detailing the number of speeches given by hard-line Islamists in schools, universities and even Scout groups.

The study highlights 15 individuals it claims hold extremist views who were permitted to give public lectures at more than 20 separate institutions over a six-month period. ...

Anne Marie Waters, the group's spokesman, said: "The lecture theatre has been booked for weeks so it is absurd to suddenly object on the basis that we didn't book the room properly. The real reason is one of censorship which is deeply ironic given that we're criticising university censorship of any form of criticism of Islam."
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Extremism – corruption, fraud
The full story of the 'medieval monarch' of Tower Hamlets
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 9 November 2014

A high court recount of thousands of votes cast for the extremist-linked mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, in May's election has uncovered "significant irregularities" that may, if reflected in the whole sample, be sufficient to overturn the result.

The official "scrutiny", in the presence of a judge, took place in strict secrecy last week as part of a legal challenge to the election, which was marred by widespread claims of intimidation and fraud.

It is the latest and potentially most serious blow to Mr Rahman, many of whose functions were last week taken over by government commissioners, after an official report found he had presided over serious abuses of public money and property.

Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, described Tower Hamlets as a "rotten borough" infected by a "culture of cronyism", and said Mr Rahman was like a "medieval monarch" who had "misused" his "unchecked" personal power to favour ethnic and political allies. ...

The election petition, by a cross-party group of six Tower Hamlets voters, also alleges that some polling stations were besieged by crowds of "hostile and threatening" supporters of Mr Rahman, with Bengali voters, especially women, intercepted outside polling stations, then "accompanied" into the polling booths and "directed how to vote".

It says that some people arrived at the polling station to find that their votes had already been cast. Others who applied for postal votes never received them or had their ballot papers taken from them by Mr Rahman's supporters. Numerous "ghost voters" were registered to, and voted from, addresses where they did not live. Rahman supporters smeared Mr Biggs as a racist and told Bengali voters that anyone who voted for him was "not a good Muslim". ...

Mr Rahman was expelled from the Labour Party in 2010 after The Sunday Telegraph disclosed his close links with an Islamic extremist group, the IFE, but he won re-election this year as an independent. ... ...

The two allegations formed the centrepiece of last week's government report, commissioned by Mr Pickles, which found that hundreds of thousands of pounds had been handed out without any clear rationale or paperwork, grant-giving was skewed towards Bangladeshi organisations and officer recommendations on grants had been overruled in 81 per cent of cases. ...

Mr Rahman has also spent hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money on promoting his re-election, with council staff employed at taxpayers' expense to run his campaign, and the chief reporter of a local Bengali television station paid more than £1,000 a week from council funds. A newspaper promoting the mayor is distributed weekly to all households in the borough, thousands of items of direct mail are sent to voters at public expense, illegal television adverts were run on local Bengali stations and large pictures of Mr Rahman were erected throughout the borough. ...

Peter Golds, the leader of the Conservative group in Tower Hamlets, said: "Lutfur Rahman has for many years used allegations of racism to avoid scrutiny. The reason affairs in Tower Hamlets have been allowed to fall into this terrible state is that until now, the authorities have displayed the same sort of reluctance to investigate wrongdoing that we saw in Rotherham [regarding grooming of girls]."
[Site link]


Extremism – Islamophobia, Islam
Anti-Semitism Denial
Richard L. Cravatts
FrontPage Mag, 23 October 2014

Just this month, in a breathtaking act of moral incoherence, Britain's National Union of Students (NUS) voted against condemning ISIS after the Black Students Officer, Malia Bouattia, opposed the motion, not because students did not have sincere concern for Syrians and Kurds being slaughtered, but because "condemnation of ISIS appears to have become a justification for . . . blatant Islamophobia."
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
Downing Street set to crack down on the Muslim Brotherhood
Robert Mendick and Robert Verkaik
Sunday Telegraph, 19 October 2014

Downing Street is to order a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and a network of Islamist groups accused of fuelling extremism in Britain and across the Arab world. ...

Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, who is an adviser to the review, is reported to have described it as "at heart a terrorist organisation". The Brotherhood insists it is non-violent and seeks to impose Islamic rule only through democratic change. It has condemned Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil) and al-Qaeda.

A senior source close to the inquiry said its report – compiled but not yet published – had identified "an incredibly complex web" of up to 60 organisations in Britain, including charities, think tanks and even television channels, with links to the Muslim Brotherhood, which will all now come under scrutiny.

The inquiry, aided by the security services, has also investigated its network abroad. One expert said that the Brotherhood was now operating from three major bases – London, Istanbul and Doha, the capital of Qatar. ...

Dr Lorenzo Vidino, who is understood to have worked on the Cabinet Office report, presided over by Sir John Jenkins, Britain's ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said: "It is clear that the Brotherhood has many dark spots, ranging from its ambiguous relationship with violence to its questionable impact on social cohesion in Britain." ...

The source said: "We cannot ban the organisation, but that was never the intention of the review. We can go after single individuals, not for terrorist-related activity, but through the Al Capone method of law-enforcement. We cannot get them for terrorism but I bet you they don't pay their taxes.

"One of the big things is piling pressure on the charitable missions. Until now it has been very hard to monitor all the groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood."
[Site link]


Extremism – women, Islam
Female British Muslims as vulnerable to radicalisation as men, study shows
Karen McVeigh
The Guardian, 16 October 2014

British Muslim women and girls are just as vulnerable to becoming radicalised as their male peers, according to the author of a study into the early stages of the process.

The news comes amid reports of girls as young as 14 travelling to Syria from the west, to marry Islamist fighters, bear their children and join their communities.

A study from the Queen Mary University of London has found that suffering from depression, being financially comfortable, well-educated and socially isolated were common factors among those sympathetic to acts of terrorism, identified by researchers as the first of two stages of early radicalisation. The second, it said, was contact with radical, unorthodox beliefs.

Those whose families had lived in the UK for generations were more vulnerable than migrants, the report found.

As many as 500 British fighters have travelled to Syria and Iraq, it has emerged, while academics say as many as 10% of them could be women.

Professor Kamaldeep Bhui, professor of cultural psychology and epidemiology at Queen Mary University, said that gender did not play a significant role in the risk of radicalisation: "Women are no less likely in our analysis to have sympathies" with terrorism, Bhui said. If anything, they were more likely to show such sympathy, but "not significantly so" he said. "There is an increasing epidemic of girls" he added.

Academics said as many as 60 British females have fled to Syria to join Islamic State (Isis), mainly between the ages of 16 and 24. ... ...

Interestingly, Bhui said that migrants were less likely to become radicalised because they are poorer, busier with the need to earn money and they remembered the problems of their homeland. "Those who are having a hard life, who are migrants, are too busy to have fantastic thoughts about attacks," he said.

The numbers of those who had sympathy with terrorism were small, he said, with 2.5% showing sympathy and 1.5% having sympathy for the most extreme acts of violence and terrorism.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islamophobia
'Islamophobia' strikes again – national students' union refuses to condemn Isis
Douglas Murray
Spectator blog, 16 October 2014

In a world often devoid of good news, there has been a fine development on the farthest-flung shores of insanity. The British National Union of Students aspires to represent students, though traditionally tends only to represent those students who are politically ambitious and possess left wing views. In any case, its latest idiocy is that it has tied itself in knots over the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria – Isis.

A condemnation of the ebullient Islamic group was tabled by a student of Kurdish descent. The Kurds, some people will recall, have not been treated well by Isis of late. Of course such a motion would be fairly pointless. It is unlikely that even one Isis fighter will be persuaded to put down their meat-cleaver because the British NUS has passed a motion against them, however strongly-worded.

But sometimes the symbolism of things matters. It would have been nice if the NUS – which has done so much in recent years to smear and otherwise attack the critics of Islamic extremism – could have found it within itself to condemn Isis. But they didn't manage it. Specifically, they didn't manage it because, as student officer reported on his blog, the Black Students officer Malia Bouattia declared that the condemnation of Isis consisted of 'blatant Islamophobia', and was a shill for 'pro USA intervention' to boot.

In fact the motion – which you can read in full here – is absurdly weakly worded, and rather typically over-heavy on its anti-Americanism. But not enough so for Ms Bouattia and the Black Students section of the NUS, who have now succeeded in stopping any condemnation of the most racist, sectarian group of our time.

As I have often said, the word and charge of 'Islamophobia' really is deadly. Today it is deadliest of all for the Kurds, the Christians, the Shia and the Yazidis of Iraq and Syria.
[Site link]


Extremism – schools, infiltration, Islam
Trojan Horse 'just the tip of the iceberg'
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 12 October 2014

The "Trojan Horse" affair in Birmingham was merely the "tip of the iceberg" of Islamist infiltration in British schools, according to the man appointed by the Government to investigate the scandal.

Peter Clarke spoke amid indications that the plot, where hard-line Muslims hounded out secular head teachers in order to "Islamise" state schools. is flaring up again and broadening its reach.

Mr Clarke, a former police counterterror chief, said that parts of Whitehall attempted to "intimidate" him out of taking on the inquiry but succeeded only in convincing him that there must be something worth investigating. ...

"What I put in my report was the tip of the iceberg. There is a huge amount of material which I didn't put in. I deliberately focused on what appeared to be the epicentre. ...

"You've got to look at the roles of Birmingham city council and the unions and you've got to see where else Tahir Alam [the alleged ringleader] had influence."

Mr Clarke described the council's behaviour as "extraordinary". He disclosed that even after his inquiry was set up, officials and senior politicians had denied all knowledge of the plot, both in public, and to their own investigator, Ian Kershaw. "Then, very late in my inquiry, my team found an email buried in a mass of documentation submitted by the council which showed that they had known about it all along.

"Despite all the interviews that both I and Ian Kershaw had with officials, none of them at any time made reference to that earlier correspondence," he said. ...

Meanwhile, some head teachers and officials in neighbouring Dudley fear they have become the next target of a Birmingham-style Trojan Horse plot. Heads and school improvement officers in the town met last week to discuss the problem. ... ...

The two key teachers in the plot, Mohammed "Mozz" Hussain, head of Park View school, and Razwan Faraz, deputy head at Nansen, have been suspended. But many other extremist teachers remain in their posts. ...

... Mr Clarke's report, commissioned in April and delivered in July, found clear evidence of "coordinated" action by Islamist hard-liners to impose an "intolerant and aggressive Islamist ethos" on pupils.

"What I hope the report has achieved is that it is no longer possible, if anyone raises serious questions about what's happening, to immediately accuse them of being Islamophobic and racist," Mr Clarke said. "But there needs to be follow-up. You can't just draw a line after a very brief investigation and say it's job done. The proof will be in what action is taken."
[Newspaper link]


Extremism – anti-fascism
Slaying Ever Smaller Dragons [part 1]
Douglas Murray
Gatestone Institute, 28 September 2014

Cases such as the gang-rape of 1400 girls in Rotherham, England often cause a media fuss for a week or so, then the fuss tends to die down. But it ought not to. Otherwise those responsible are never held to account and few of the lessons that should to be learned ever are.

Police Commissioner Shaun Wright, who presided over much of that disgrace, has done an amazing thing and actually resigned. ... But welcome as it is, one resignation does not address a systemic and indeed societal, failure.

In all the recriminations and brief national soul-searching over Rotherham, there is one thing that has hardly been focused on at all: the role of radical, "far-left" organizations.

This is not meant lightly. There remains, of course, an important place in any society for genuine anti-fascist organizations. But it is possible, as noted before, for "anti-fascist" organizations to go badly wrong – indeed, to become deeply "fascistic" themselves.

There are several reasons for that. Being an anti-fascist in the 1930s, like being an anti-communist, was a noble and sometimes brave thing to be. People risked injury and worse when it came to taking on the people who wanted to take over the country. But today, while some of the older types involved in groups in the whole "anti-fascist" area, such as Searchlight Magazine, have seen some genuinely nasty stuff, such as Britain's National Front stoking anti-black and anti-Jewish racism in its comparative heyday, the younger ones tend, thank goodness, to be running out of enemies. They suffer from what the late conservative thinker Ken Minogue once identified as the "St. George-in-Retirement Syndrome."

Having slayed, or at least helped to slay, a dragon, they spend their days stalking the land and looking for ever more glorious fights – but with a diminishing supply of dragons. With fewer such targets in existence, they find themselves fighting and slaying ever smaller dragons. Eventually they may be caught either swiping at thin air, identifying friends as foes – or mistaking foes for friends.

This is precisely the situation in which many in Britain's "anti-fascist" movement find themselves. Not just waving their sword at gnats while burnishing the aura of dragon-slayer, but also spending years looking in the wrong direction. Often literally.

So while "anti-fascist" groups, such as Unite Against Fascism and Hope Not Hate were busily trying to decide whether to campaign against the UK Independence Party (which campaigns for Britain to withdraw from the European Union), one UAF rally found itself addressed by the man who would soon decapitate British soldier Lee Rigby.

If you wanted a postcard image of where the "anti-fascist" movement has gone wrong, you could not get much better than the video where you can see a person carrying one of the UAF's "Smash the BNP" banners, while beside them, the soon-to-be murderer, Michael Adebolajo cries, "Brothers, remain in your ranks. And do not be afraid of these filthy kuffar [infidels]." There has been little or no soul-searching on this disgrace. UAF and allied organizations simply do what they criticize their enemies for doing: claim that he is just a "fringe element" and that "fringe elements" do not represent an entire movement.
[Site link]


Extremism – anti-fascism
Slaying Ever Smaller Dragons [part 2]
Douglas Murray
Gatestone Institute, 28 September 2014

If Adebolajo did not cause any soul-searching among the "anti-fascist" movement, however, the case of Rotherham should. A reader recently sent a video of a BBC Newsnight discussion in which I was involved about six or seven years ago, in which we discuss the latest "grooming gang" case back then, relating to the town of Derby, which recalled the case of the "Edge of the City."

That Channel 4 documentary, by Anna Hall, which had been due to air in 2004, looked into the occurrence – already whispered about – of young men of Pakistani origin grooming white girls as young as 11 for sex in the Bradford and Keighley. The film's footage included interviews with parents whose children had been abused and who hoped that their public appeals could help stop these grooming gangs.

"Edge of the City" tried to bring the issue of grooming to the fore ten years ago. But there was a problem. Among the people talking about this issue in 2004 were the British National Party [BNP]. Indeed, the party boasted, ahead of the screening, that the documentary would be a recruiting sergeant for them. A counterforce was mustered. As the Guardian newspaper wrote at the time:

"Groups such as Unite Against Fascism, the 1990 Trust, and the National Assembly Against Racism began to flood Channel 4 with requests to delay transmission. The Chief Constable of West Yorkshire, Colin Cramphorn, joined the call, and Channel 4 complied."

The broadcast of the documentary was postponed because of – among other things – the pressure put on Channel 4 by "anti-fascist"' groups.

There is good reason to blame the BNP for its part in making this issue harder to address. It would be hard to find anyone who holds the BNP in any kind of esteem. There are, however, plenty of people who – partly simply because of the name – believe that groups such as "Unite Against Fascism" do what they say in their names. "Anti-fascist" groups were so completely focussed on not allowing anything – including facts – to work as any kind of "recruiting sergeant" of the BNP that they used their energies to suppress a film that would have brought the first-hand testimonies of raped children and their families to wide public attention at the first possible moment. ...

After all these years, the UAF and their colleagues need to issue a public apology. They got it wrong. They did nothing to highlight the problem of the gang rape of perhaps thousands of children. So fixated were they on trying to stop the BNP getting any electoral support that they were even willing to allow facts to be suppressed. This is a story that in microcosm represents one of the greatest challenges for Britain, Europe and the United States in the years ahead. We may rightly attempt to repress nativist and racist sentiments in our midst and be as kind, accepting and decent as we can be to newcomers. But we may also hope to tackle the severe misogyny, racism and sectarianism, which can come along as part of large-scale Muslim immigration. How to deal with both – rather than favoring one – will be one of the challenges of 21st century Europe. These early signs suggest it is a challenge we could yet fail.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
Radicalised Muslims in UK more likely to be born in Britain, rich and depressed
Emily Dugan
The Independent, 24 September 2014

Young British Muslims whose families have lived in the UK for generations are more at risk of radicalisation than recent migrants to Britain, according to new research which reveals the common characteristics of those most vulnerable to recruitment by terrorists.

Suffering from depression, being financially comfortable and being socially isolated were also common factors amongst those sympathising with terrorism, the University of London study found.

More than 600 Muslim men and women living in Britain aged 18 to 45 were asked detailed questions about their lives and views. Their risk of radicalisation was calculated according to a score of sympathy or condemnation they gave towards 16 terrorist actions, such as the use of suicide bombs to fight injustice.

Those showing the strongest condemnation towards violent protest and terrorism appeared to be frequently in touch with more friends and family. Recent migrants to Britain in poor physical health were also amongst the most likely to be critical.

Kamaldeep Bhui, lead author of the study and professor of cultural psychiatry and epidemiology at Queen Mary University of London, said: "Migrant groups are much stronger in condemning terrorism. I think the most compelling argument for this is that recent migrants are dealing with a hard struggle and they've invested in coming here.

"They've got adversity to deal with and are not in a position where they can indulge some of the ideas of grievance. Whereas people born and brought up here probably take for granted the security and safety where they live and the education and support."

Those surveyed were of Muslim heritage living in East London and Bradford. Those in the Bangladeshi community were most likely to condemn acts of terrorism strongly.

Being comfortably off was also a factor in sympathy for terrorist acts but not in the way researchers expected. Those who were least happy with their local area, feared their neighbourhood and saw violence in the community were actually more resistant to radicalisation.

Mild depressive symptoms were more common among those showing the most sympathy towards violent protest and terrorism. As well as causing a sense of hopelessness and a more pessimistic outlook on life, depression is also linked to social isolation – which can exacerbate extreme views.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
If ISIS Is Not Islamic, then the Inquisition Was Not Catholic
Jerry A. Coyne
New Republic, 13 September 2014
[Jerry A. Coyne is a professor of Ecology and Evolution at The University of Chicago]

As ISIS slaughters its way though Syria and Iraq, it became inevitable that we'd hear from apologists who claim that ISIS is not in fact "true Islam," and that its depredations are due to something other than religious motivation. Those motivations, say the apologists, are political (usually Western colonialism that engenders resentment), cultural (societal tradition), or anything other than religion. ...

The apologists are also motivated by another form of denial. Yes, they say, jihadis may be motivated by Islam, but it's not "true" Islam. True Islam is peaceful, and its adherents would never slaughter apostates, behead journalists, or forcibly convert non-Muslims. ... ...

Well, if ISIS is not Islamic, then the Inquisition was not Catholic. The fact is that there are no defensible criteria for whether a faith is "true," since all faiths are man-made and accrete doctrine – said to come from God, but itself man-made – that becomes integral to those faiths. Whatever "true faith" means, it doesn't mean "the right religion: the one whose God exists and whose doctrines are correct." If that were so, we wouldn't see Westerners trying to tell us what "true Islam" is.

No, if "true" means anything, it must mean "true to some principles." As far as I can see, there are only two such principles: true to scripture or true to some code of conduct that the writer approves. But these definitions often contradict each other, so no "true" religion can be specified.

First, the truest religion could be that which sticks the closest to scripture. In that case the "truest" Christianity and Judaism would be literalist and fundamentalist. They would adhere to the creationism set out in Genesis, as well as to the immoral behaviors sanctioned by God in the Old Testament. These include killing those children who curse their parents, as well as adulterers and those who work on the Sabbath. Although these are clear moral dictates of God, no modern Christians or Jews obey them, for the rules are reprehensible. Nevertheless, there is a case to be made that a fundamentalist Southern Baptist is a "truer Christian" than a liberal Unitarian, and a misogynist Orthodox Jew a truer believer than a modern reform Jew.

You can cherry-pick the Qur'an as easily as you can the Bible, for both are filled with calls for violence and genocide that distress us. While Volksky and Jenkins quote one conciliatory verse from the Qur'an, there are a far greater number of verses calling for violence, characterizing Jews as "apes and swine," dictating the killing of infidels and apostates, and dooming nonbelievers to hell. Why shouldn't adherents to those views be considered "true" Muslims?

Actually, what people like Obama, Paul, Volsky, and Jenkins consider "true" faith is this: "faith that promotes the kind of behavior that I like." ...

By all means let us say that ISIS is a strain of Islam that is barbaric and dysfunctional, but let us not hear any nonsense that it's a "false religion."
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
The Islamic State Has Nothing to Do With Islam?
Robert Spencer
FrontPage Mag, 27 August 2014

Whatever they may disagree about, Western leaders are in complete agreement about one thing: the new self-styled caliphate, the Islamic State, has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam. It's a comforting, reassuring vision for Western non-Muslims facing a massive influx of Muslim immigrants and jittery about the prospect of Islamic terrorism, except for just one problem: it's entirely false.

Barack Obama has made it clear: "ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents." David Cameron intoned: "What we are witnessing is actually a battle between Islam on the one hand and extremists who want to abuse Islam on the other. These extremists, often funded by fanatics living far away from the battlefields, pervert the Islamic faith as a way of justifying their warped and barbaric ideology – and they do so not just in Iraq and Syria but right across the world, from Boko Haram and al-Shabaab to the Taliban and al-Qaeda."

State Department spokesperson Marie Harf emphasized that Obama meant what he said: "ISIL does not operate in the name of any religion. The president has been very clear about that, and the more we can underscore that, the better." British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond declared: "[ISIL]'s so-called caliphate has no moral legitimacy; it is a regime of torture, arbitrary punishment and murder that goes against the most basic beliefs of Islam." The British opposition agrees: Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said that Islamic State "extremists are beheading people and parading their heads on spikes, subjugating women and girls, killing Muslims, Christians and anyone who gets in their way. This is no liberation movement – only a perverted, oppressive ideology that bears no relation to Islam."

Cooper's statement was a bit more specific than most others of its kind, and shows up the weakness of all of them. For every Islamic State atrocity she enumerated, there is Qur'anic sanction:

Beheading people: "When you meet the unbelievers, strike the necks..." (Qur'an 47:4).

Subjugating women and girls: "Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because Allah has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them" (Qur'an 4:34). ...

Killing Christians: "Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by God and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued" (Qur'an 9:29).

Even if the Islamic State is misinterpreting or misunderstanding these verses, it is doing so in a way that accords with their obvious literal meaning. ... ...

One problem with this is that it prevents authorities from calling upon Muslim communities to teach against the doctrines that the Islamic State acts upon, and to work for genuine reform.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
Muslim Council says Prevent anti-terror scheme has 'failed'
BBC, 26 August 2014

A senior figure in the Muslim Council of Britain says a key government anti-terrorism strategy has "failed".

Deputy secretary general Harun Khan told BBC Radio 5 live the Prevent scheme was having a "negative impact".

The scheme seeks to lessen the influence of extremism - but Mr Khan said it alienated young Muslims and pushed them towards radical groups.

The government said it was supporting the vast majority of UK Muslims in combating extremism.

Prevent, which is part of the government's broader counter-terrorism strategy, aims to "stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism".

Work carried out as part of Prevent includes stopping "apologists for terrorism" coming to the UK, supporting community campaigns which oppose extremism and mentoring for individuals who are "at risk of being drawn into terrorist activity".

The strategy covers "all forms" of terrorism, including far-right extremism.

Mr Khan said Prevent had "really failed" when it came to Muslim communities, and said many young Muslims were "not interested in engaging for anything to do with Prevent".

"Most young people are seeing this [as] a target on them and the institutions they associate with," he said. He said many felt they would be viewed by authorities as potential terrorists if they went to mosques or joined other organised Muslim groups.

Mr Khan said this left some people "lost and disenfranchised" and vulnerable to radicalisation.

"They will be picked up by the smaller groups, fringe elements, on the street and targeted specifically," he said.

He said the "bigger problem" was that many young Muslims were "disillusioned" but felt they could not express their views.

Mr Khan said people needed a "safe space" where they could "speak freely without being labelled as extremists".

"One of those views, as an example, is how do they respond to seeing continuous oppression of Muslims on the media, on the news, on the internet," he said.

He said the government only wanted to engage with people whose views matched their own.

Immigration and security minister James Brokenshire said the government was supporting "the vast majority of British Muslims in condemning those who advocate violence, intolerance and division".
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
Richard Bean: 'I suppose I might get stabbed one day'
Dominic Cavendish
Daily Telegraph, 26 August 2014

In the past few years particularly, the Hull-born dramatist, 58, who describes himself as a "liberal hawk", has been boldly going where few of his playwriting peers appear willing to tread. He broached the vexed subject of immigration in England People Very Nice at the National, controversially flagging up sections of the Muslim community's refusal to integrate. ... ...

... England People Very Nice is the play that has caused most fuss – there were Islamists standing outside Whitechapel Tube handing out leaflets saying I had a dog in a play of mine called Mohammed. Rubbish! They were trying to get someone excited enough to come round to my house and blow me up or something. ...

"Fortunately we still live in a nation with free speech," he continues. "You can say pretty much anything. But it's more difficult when you start involving other people. I've got one play that has never been produced, a version of [Aristophanes'] Lysistrata in which 72 virgins go on sex strike in Muslim heaven. We just couldn't get any theatre to do it. There were all those arguments which I understand but are disappointing – like, the box-office staff might get stabbed.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
Hardliners being paid thousands to advise young, at-risk Muslims
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 24 August 2014

Radicals with links to an extremist mosque are being employed by the Government to advise young Muslims at risk of travelling to Syria and Iraq, The Telegraph can disclose.

The Home Office's "deradicalisation" scheme, Channel, has used at least three staff who are closely connected to hard-line Salafi groups – including a mosque whose main preacher backed key aims of the Islamic State (Isil) terror group and described Christians and Jews as "enemies".

Tens of thousands of pounds has been paid to the radicals.

Khalid Mahmood, the Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, said: "This is like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse."

About 800 individuals assessed as at risk of terrorism have been dealt with by Channel. Programme workers, mostly freelance, meet and talk to them, often one-to-one, to dissuade them from radicalisation. ...

No one involved in Channel supports Isil or violence and some in Whitehall believe that non-violent extremists are uniquely placed to divert young Muslims from violent extremism. However, this view has been explicitly rejected by the Government, which stated in a 2011 review that Prevent, the policy area of which Channel is part, "will not fund interventions providers who promote extremist ideas or beliefs".
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
British jihadists: How Britain became the Yemen of the West
Andrew Gilligan
Daily Telegraph, 23 August 2014

The Afghan war, which has cost so many lives, was supposed to deny Islamist terrorism an operational base. Now the jihadists have a much better one – in Iraq and Syria, separated from us by a road journey and a short easyJet flight. It has been visited by up to 2,800 Westerners since February 2011 (the start of the Arab Spring) – "more than in all previous combat zones combined", according to the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) at King's College London.

About 500 of these, a disproportionate number, are British (and a further 1,500 are EU citizens with travel rights to the UK). ...

How did Britain become such a wellspring of extremism, a Yemen of the West? And what can we do about the hundreds of radicalised, brutalised and combat-trained fellow citizens heading back to our shores?

Britain's key failing is that it was tough where it should have been liberal, and liberal where it should have been tough. It extended detention without trial and stop-and-search: sweeping measures that affected everyone and left Muslims, most of whom are completely blameless, feeling under attack. At the same time, it was ridiculously tolerant and indulgent towards a small minority of Muslim radicals.

The vast majority of ordinary British Muslims are not extremists, as every poll shows. But extremists do control, or heavily influence, many of the most important institutions of Muslim Britain: key mosques, large Muslim charities, influential TV stations, university Islamic societies and schools. Until recently, this was done with at best the acquiescence, at worst the support, of the British state. It was acting partly in the naive (and surely now disproved) belief that it could anoint "good" radicals and use them against the "bad" ones, and partly through the loss of moral perspective that seems to overtake some liberals whenever race is involved.

In the most bizarre example, Ed Balls, when education secretary in the last government, actively defended the payment of public money – which continues to this day – to schools run by supporters of the racist, separatist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, whose key aim, the creation of an Islamic state, has now been achieved in Iraq and Syria.
[Site link]


Extremism – multiculturalism, national identity, Islam
The political class has created this terror in our midst
Leo McKinstry
Daily Express, 22 August 2014

The cold-blooded murder of American journalist James Foley has once more exposed the pitiless barbarity of Islamic extremism.

What makes this atrocity all the more shocking is that it was apparently perpetrated by one of our own citizens, probably a fanatic from London. ...


Politicians from all sides have fiercely condemned the murder of James Foley, attacking the ideology of extremism that fuels such lethal savagery. Yet our political and civic leaders also bear a terrible responsibility for the phenomenon of British jihadism. Their dangerously misguided, destructive policies have helped create this monster.

The fact is that extremism has flourished in a climate formed by the twin strategies of mass immigration and multiculturalism. Open borders have led to a phenomenal expansion in Britain's Muslim population to almost three million, many of the new arrivals hailing from parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia where Islamic sectarianism is rife.

At the same time the dogma of cultural diversity has become one of the central obsessions of the state. We are constantly told that we must celebrate the vibrant enrichment of our society. But, by its emphasis on cultural differences and its loathing for traditional British values the doctrine of diversity has been a catastrophe for Britain.

In place of integration it has promoted division and separatism. We are a land increasingly without a mutual sense of belonging or shared national identity. It is little wonder that, according to one recent survey, 26 per cent of Muslims here said they feel no loyalty to Britain.

Enthusiasts for multi-culturalism love to blather about tolerance, yet it is richly ironic that their pernicious creed has promoted intolerance, misogyny and reactionary oppression. In predominantly Muslim areas diversity means the triumph of the burka, sharia law, fundamentalism in state schools and a reluctance to speak English.

This disturbing trend has been reinforced by the cowardice of the authorities, so afraid of accusations of racial prejudice that they even fail to uphold the basic standards of our Western civilisation.

They have long turned a blind eye towards alien practices such as female genital mutilation, forced marriages and polygamy, which is meant to be a serious offence in Britain though there are an estimated 20,000 polygamous Muslim marriages in the UK.

It is the same story with extremism. ...

A key element of multiculturalism has been institutionalised self-loathing, whereby our public bodies have refused to demand from migrants any allegiance to Britain or any understanding of our heritage. In contrast to the USA no organised attempt has been made to instil any pride in Britain among newcomers. The opposite is true.

In official circles our island story has been treated as an embarrassment. In 2000 the Government's own Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain argued that "British history needs to be revised, rethought and jettisoned" and that we should no longer be considered a nation but rather "a community of communities". ...

The fact that more than half of all Muslims in Britain are economically inactive is seen as the fault not of their culture but of the Government.
[Site link]


Extremism – hypocrisy, Christianity, Islam
Islamic extremism and the hypocrisy of the Church of England
Damian Thompson
Spectator blog, 18 August 2014

The Church of England has written to David Cameron accusing him of lacking 'a coherent or comprehensive approach to Islamic extremism as it is developing across the globe'. The letter, signed by the Bishop of Leeds, Nick Baines, and approved by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, also reportedly accuses the PM of turning his back on Christians slaughtered or made homeless in northern Iraq – and wonders why Cameron has chosen to concentrate on the plight of the Yazidis instead.

These criticisms are spot on. But I'm surprised that the C of E has had the brass neck to make them.

For decades, the Anglican and Catholic Churches have ignored the growth of the domestic Islamic extremism that has seen British Muslims travel to Syria and Iraq to fight for Isis. They have warned us (rightly) against Islamophobia without considering the possibility that many Muslims hate the Churches with unwavering intensity. Archbishop Rowan Williams supported the extension of Sharia in this country. His attitude was one factor in persuading the only C of E bishop who did draw attention to the Islamist threat, Michael Nazir-Ali, to resign the see of Rochester and work full-time to protect Christians abroad. ...

But where is the Church of England's apology for failing to acknowledge the existence of a worldwide Islamist campaign against Christianity until virtually the other day? And will it ever acknowledge that its 'meaningful dialogue' with Muslim hardliners has been interpreted by them as a sign of Christian weakness?

Of course not. The C of E is quick to say sorry for colonialism, sexism, homophobia etc. Not once has it apologised for a naïve liberalism that has endangered the lives of Christians in Muslim countries.
[Site link]


Extremism – shared culture, multiculturalism
Why the surprise at Birmingham's Trojan Horse plot? We saw it coming 20 years ago
Norman Tebbit
Telegraph blog, 25 July 2014

Peter Clarke's report to Parliament on the allegations concerning Birmingham schools and the "Trojan Horse" letter was published last Tuesday.

It makes clear that, regardless of who wrote the letter, it was broadly accurate. It cannot be summarised within the limitations of this blog, but its thrust is clear from these words taken from p14:

There has been coordinated, deliberate and sustained action carried out by a number of associated individuals, to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos into a few schools in Birmingham.

The report also makes it clear that the police saw a copy of the letter, but decided not to investigate its origins or truth. An internal council briefing note was sent to the Leader of the Council. It concluded that the letter was an attempt to raise community tensions and suggested that defusing that threat was more important than speculation on its origins.

So nothing was done by any of the authorities. ...

For over 20 years I have been warning of the dangers of the poisonous cocktail of multiculturalism, political correctness and unlimited, uncontrolled immigration from countries which do not share our British culture and standards. It has not been a comfortable time. I have been under constant attack for doing so.

Some 17 years ago I was widely criticised for saying that: "Unless we share standards, moral values, language and national heritage, we will constitute neither a society, nor a nation, but just a population living under the same jurisdiction ... One cannot uphold two sets of ethics, nor be loyal to two nations any more than a man can have two masters ... nationality is in the long term more about culture than ethnicity."

It was not long afterwards that Trevor Phillips bravely warned of those dangers too.

Nor did I pretend that we were free of blame for the problems which I predicted. A decade ago I noted that "It is hard to beat something with nothing, and Islam is certainly something", and "Until we change and our society regains faith in its own values almost any faith or movement with faith in its own culture will challenge that of 21st-century Britain. Certainly Islam will."

Why was anyone surprised at what has been happening in Birmingham? Not only could it have been foreseen. It was foreseen.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam, schools
Hardline Muslims tried to impose Islam in British city's schools - government report
William James
Reuters, 23 July 2014

A British government inquiry has found that hardline Muslims tried to impose an "intolerant and aggressive" Islamic agenda on some schools in the city of Birmingham, including separation of boys and girls in lessons and banning Christmas celebrations.

Some of the majority-Moslem schools invited speakers with known extremist views to assemblies and promoted organisations that would be categorised as 'extremist' under government classifications, according to the report by Peter Clarke, former head of London Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command.

Hardline Muslims also tried to force schools to install governors and teachers who would support a conservative Islamic religious agenda.

"There has been co-ordinated, deliberate and sustained action, carried out by a number of associated individuals, to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos into a few schools in Birmingham," Clarke said.

He said he had not looked for evidence of terrorism, radicalisation or violent extremism, and he had not found any during the course of his investigation.

But he found "a number of people, associated with each other and in positions of influence in schools and governing bodies, who espouse, endorse or fail to challenge extremist views."

Birmingham, in the English Midlands and the country's second largest city, has a substantial Muslim population due to immigration from Pakistan, Bangladesh and India.

The report, released on Tuesday, cited instances where pupils were banned from singing and listening to music, and forbidden to draw faces in art classes.

It also gave evidence of lessons being segregated by sex and discrimination against non-Muslims. Some schools had cancelled Christmas celebrations.
[Site link]


Extremism – racism, race card, Islam
Trojan Horse apologists fall silent in wake of new report
Andrew Gilligan
Daily Telegraph, 23 July 2014

Ever since "Trojan Horse" broke, the apologists have been claiming it's all a racist fabrication.

The assistant head of Park View, the school at the centre of the plot, said the story was "plain old Islamophobia." The leader of Birmingham council called the allegations "defamatory," and attacked The Telegraph for revealing many of the key developments. ...

Those voices have fallen silent now. As Peter Clarke's horrifying report reveals, the real bigotry, bullying and lies were from several of the staff and governors of the Trojan Horse schools. The private messages of Razwan Faraz, deputy head at Nansen and one of the key plot ringleaders, attacking gay people as "satanic animals," make clear that the media's only failing was to understate the depth and virulence of the forces involved.

It was said of Park View, Nansen and the others that they were good schools. But no school run by someone who believes, as Mr Faraz believes, that women's "perpetual role" is "serving men" can be a good school. ... ...

... For years, wrongdoers who happen not to be white have cried racism to avoid being held to account. Now, as Clarke's report makes clear, the race card is bankrupt, no longer recognised. That will be a wider gain from Trojan Horse, of profound importance for Britain's progress to a non-racial society.
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Extremism – Islam, schools, fear of racism
Christians lie and wives must have sex or go to hell, Trojan Horse pupils told
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 19 July 2014

Children were taught that all Christians are liars and attempts were made to introduce Sharia law in classrooms as part of an alleged 'Trojan Horse' takeover plot of Birmingham schools, an inquiry has found.

The inquiry commissioned by Birmingham City Council found evidence of religious extremism in 13 schools as school governors and teachers tried to promote and enforce radical Islamic values.

Schools put up posters warning children that if they didn't pray they would "go to hell", Christmas was cancelled and girls were taught that women who refused to have sex with their husbands would be "punished" by angels "from dusk to dawn".

The report found that the extremism went unchecked because the council "disastrously" prioritised community cohesion over "doing what is right".

It concluded that there was a "determined effort" by "manipulative" governors to introduce "unacceptable" practices, "undermine" head teachers and deny students a broad and balanced education.

Sir Albert Bore, Birmingham's leader, apologised for the council's handling of the scandal.

He said: "The actions of a few, including some within the council, have undermined the reputation of our great city.

"We have previously shied away from tackling this problem out of a misguided fear of being accused of racism."

A separate review by Peter Clarke, the former counter-terrorism chief, found evidence of "co-ordinated, deliberate and sustained" attempts to introduce an "intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos" in schools.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
British Muslims Flock to ISIS
Shoebat / The Times, 24 June 2014

Two British jihadists who appeared in a terrorism recruitment video urging Muslims to fight in Syria were followers of an austere sect which is the fastest growing branch of Islam in Britain, it emerged last night.

Nasser Muthana and Reyaad Khan, both 20, went to the Al-Manar Centre in Cardiff, which is aligned to the ultra-conservative Salafi wing of Islam.

Jailed and banned radical preachers, including the convicted terrorist Abu Hamza and the terror suspect Abu Qatada, are also followers. The Salafis, who are hostile to music, television and even birthdays, are poised to control half of mosques within a generation, a study of the sects comprising British Islam found.

Its followers, whose faith teaches them to impose severe restrictions on the lives of women, have seen their places of worship in Britain increase by 50 per cent in four years. ...

The study of the sects shows that the most conservative and isolationist elements are dominant and growing.

Only two out of nearly 1,700 mosques are controlled by modernists. By contrast, the latest survey in the United States shows that 56 per cent of mosque leaders there have a modern outlook. The growth in Britain's Somali population has altered the picture since "a lot of them were turning to Salafism", Innes Bowen, the author of the study Medina in Birmingham, Najaf in Brent, said.

Salafis, sometimes known as Wahhabis after their 18th-century founder, aspire to return to the earliest practices of Islam. The simplicity of their message is attractive to converts. ...

Nearly 100 mosques in the UK are Salafi-controlled and half of all mosques could be within a generation if trends continue, according to the study. Salafis have already taken control of some university Islamic societies. ... ...

The Salafis, however, also have a pious wing opposed to al-Qaeda and extremists. One Salafi imam became a founder of the anti-Islamist Quilliam Foundation.

The leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a group later blamed for the 2008 Mumbai bombings, raised funds and recruited among large crowds of British Salafis which sent 50 Mujahidin volunteers to fight the civil war in Bosnia.
[Site link]


Extremism – multiculturalism, Islam
Multi-culturalism is responsible for terror in our midst
Leo McKinstry
Daily Express, 23 June 2014

Britain is now paying a terrible price for the self-destructive policies of multi-culturalism and mass immigration.

Due to these twin ideologies we are now confronted by the deadly menace of militant Islam within the heart of our society. In the name of diversity and tolerance, the state has allowed barbaric intolerance to flourish in our midst.

The lethal danger from jihadism has been graphically highlighted by the growing number of Muslims from Britain now fighting in Syria and Iraq. The police have estimated that more than 500 young radicals from our shores have travelled to the Middle East to join extremist groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), a notoriously savage organisation that wants to create a despotic medieval caliphate.

In addition, around 300 jihadists are thought to have returned to Britain after involvement in terrorist campaigns in Syria and Iraq, posing a lethal threat to the fabric of our civilisation. According to Richard Barrett, the former head of counter-terrorism at MI6, the sheer number of these returning zealots means that it would be "a completely impossible task" for our security forces to keep track of all of them. ...

The mounting evidence of home-grown jihadism has led to a predictable bout of hand-wringing and self-flagellation from left-wing commentators.

"Why do these young men feel so alienated from British society?" they ask in bewildered tones. But there is nothing incomprehensible about the actions of the British jihadists. They are just doing the same as Muslim extremists all over the world, following a vile political ideology. ... ...

Another great fallacy of the progressive interventionists is that the flames of extremism can be extinguished by westernised education. But that is more wishful thinking. ...

But by far the worst error has been the state's addiction to immigration and multiculturalism. Domestic jihadism is the direct creation of a political class obsessed with open borders and the transformation of our society's structure. Thanks to these two strategies, the Muslim population of Britain has now reached almost three million, while one in 10 British children under the age of four is Muslim. The pro-immigration brigade tells us that this is no problem, since the "vast majority" of Muslims are moderate. But that is more self-deceit at odds with the evidence. One independent survey showed that 40 per cent of Muslims here want to live under Sharia law; another revealed that 32 per cent of Muslim students at university felt killing in the name of religion is justified.

Such attitudes have been reinforced by the state's fixation with cultural diversity which, instead of promoting integration, encourages migrant groups to cling to their traditional customs, practices, even languages. That is how we have ended up with Muslim enclaves dominated by the burkha, sharia tribunals, forced marriages, and ballot box fraud. Nor do the mosques do much to promote social cohesion. A recent study found that, out of Britain's 1,700 mosques, just two follow a modernist interpretation of the Koran, while a quarter do not even allow women on the premises.

And the truth is that Islamic extremists have contempt for our society. Their allegiance is entirely to their hardline doctrine, not to this country.
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Extremism – Islam
How Tony Blair made bedfellows of Deirdre Spart and Col Blimp
Charles Moore
Daily Telegraph, 21 June 2014

But consider the core of Mr Blair's argument. He says that the Middle East suffers from "bad systems of politics mixed with a bad abuse of religion". Muslim extremism is the enemy. At the end of his memoirs, A Journey, Mr Blair notes Barack Obama's 2009 speech in Cairo, about the West's relation with Islam. He applauds the president's declaration of respect for the religion, but suggests he was not precise enough about what should be respected and what shouldn't. Blair defines the problem thus: "The extremists are small in number, but their narrative – which sees Islam as the victim of a scornful West externally, and an insufficiently religious leadership internally – has a far bigger hold."

So we could not ignore the problem even if we never needed another barrel of oil out of the whole region. The Islamist narrative spreads networks of hatred which inspire murder and can undermine whole Muslim countries. They can threaten even ours. Islamism is a thriving import-export business, with bustling sales activity in many British cities. At present, about 400 British jihadis are thought to be active in Syria and Iraq. The West needs to do and say more than "We'll be nice to you, so please be nice to us."
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Extremism – Islam
More Brits signing up to fight with jihadist militants in Iraq and Syria than for the UK Army Reserve
Tom Mctague
Daily Mail, 17 June 2014

More British citizens signed up to fight in Iraq and Syria than joined the Army Reserve last year, it can be revealed.

Just 170 extra reservists enlisted over the past year - despite a Government target to boost the stand-by force by 11,000 by 2018.

But at the same time the brutal al-Qaeda inspired ISIS forces tearing through Iraq have been boosted by 'several hundred' Brits, ministers told MailOnline.

Terror experts believe there could be as many as 500 Brits fighting alongside the jihadists in the Middle East for ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria).
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Extremism – demography, Islam
Britain must not become a clean slate for Islamists to write on [part 2]
Barry Worrall
Sunday Telegraph, 15 June 2014
[Letter to the Editor]

SIR – Alasdair Palmer's article on Islamic extremism eloquently sums up many of the factors that may determine the future of our country as it is affected by mass immigration. But he misses one important factor in the debate: the demographic implications of some immigrant communities having large families.

While the present Government may be able to limit the "Islamist threat", future governments may not, given that they could be composed mainly of immigrants or their descendants. They will be able to impose whatever culture they wish, leaving those with "British values" as an isolated minority culture. Perhaps this is a "taboo" subject, but it is crucial nevertheless.
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Extremism – schools, social cohesion, Islam
Trojan Horse: how we revealed the truth behind the plot
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 15 June 2014

And last Monday, ..., the wider lies and denials at Oldknow and the other Birmingham schools involved in the "Trojan Horse" plot were finally blown out of the water.

Even as the schools and their supporters continued to claim that there was "no evidence" of any plot, Sir Michael Wilshaw, the head of Ofsted, delivered a devastating judgment. There had indeed been an "organised campaign" targeting schools in Birmingham to impose a "narrow, faith-based ideology", with the same people "highly influential across several of the schools".

A "culture of fear and intimidation" had developed in several of the schools, with "headteachers, including those with a proud record of raising standards... marginalised or forced out of their jobs". ...

But the leading institutions of Muslim Britain are disproportionately dominated by people who take a much harder line. Sometimes publicly, sometimes only when they think no one's looking, key mosques, charities, TV stations, university Islamic societies and private schools promote a separatist, grievance-led agenda, in which Islam is the only identity that matters, in which Muslims stand against corrupt Western values and are victimised for doing so.

And thanks to their work, the views of Muslims and non-Muslims are starting to diverge. As Britain's non-Muslims become more secular and socially liberal, Muslims are gradually becoming more religious and socially conservative. Unless this trend can be reversed, it bodes badly for social cohesion. ...

Perhaps because it has been too brazenly deployed on this occasion, the race card, which has got Islamist radicals out of trouble so often in the past, appears at least for now to have lost its former power.
[Site link]


Extremism – multiculturalism, Islam
Britain must not become a clean slate for Islamists to write on [part 1]
William Pender
Sunday Telegraph, 15 June 2014
[Letter to the Editor]

SIR – ... the growing threat to Britain's internal security from radicalised British nationals, and the Government's reluctance to do anything about it for fear of being accused of xenophobia. This astonishing situation has come about for three reasons.

First, Britain retreated from the principle that immigration should serve the interests of the host country first.

Successive governments did not anticipate that when groups of distant cultural and political traditions arrive in significant numbers, more than merely expressing their ethnic diversity (through festivals or restaurants, for example), they are likely to choose to establish their communities as separate cultural-political entities.

Secondly, the government tried to turn this liability into an asset by promoting multiculturalism. It stopped ascribing any value to integration and assimilation, and began flirting with the notion that host countries are only political frameworks for various co-existing cultures.

Finally, rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and unto God what is God's, is an alien concept in fundamentalist Islam. It considers everything to belong to God and does not allow a person's citizenship to command a higher loyalty than his faith.

When Britain no longer regards itself as a distinct culture with its own history and traditions but as a clean slate for anyone to write on, there will be those ready with their own texts, including some that are ominous.
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Extremism – Christianity, Islam
It's not a Muslim issue. In our modern nation you're an extremist, too
Peter Hitchens
Mail on Sunday, 15 June 2014

I think we would be a happier country if we had never encouraged mass immigration in the post-war era. The fact that it is almost taboo to say this simple thing is an example of the problems it has caused.

But I also grasp that the immigration has happened, that we have new neighbours, and that it is our absolute duty to get on with them and befriend them as best as we can.

And this is why I am so scornful of the windbags and panic-spreaders who now seek to make an issue out of the supposed takeover of some state schools by Muslims.

What twaddle this is. The Government quite rightly allows Christian schools in the state system – not least because it was the churches who took on the job of educating poor children when politicians couldn't be bothered to do so.

Well, now we have a large number of Muslim parents, how can we reasonably deny them the same?

I have a lot of quarrels with Islam, but I, and many traditional British Christians like me, have a lot in common with Muslims.

We dislike the pressure on teenage girls to dress as sluts and get drunk, and the pressure on teenage boys to be oafish copies of football stars. We think it's time the old were respected and cared for, not dumped and abandoned.

We'd much rather our children went on religious pilgrimages than to a Britney Spears concert.

We see nothing shocking in the idea of boys and girls being taught separately – many people pay good money for single-sex education because they think it better, and because state schools mostly refuse to provide it any more.

We don't especially want schoolteachers to undermine our views on marriage and child-rearing in politically radical 'sex-education' classes. Not everyone shares the liberal elite's views of these matters.

We believe – because we're British and we've heard of Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights and Habeas Corpus – in freedom of speech and religion. So when we're told that this is 'extremism', then we tend to think that in that case we, too, are 'extremists'. The word means nothing except 'person holding unfashionable views'. It means even less than the foggy, squelchy 'British values' Michael Gove says we must espouse.

Both Mr Gove and the Home Secretary, Theresa May, have in practice supported the transformation of this country into a borderless, multicultural, multi-faith zone. Much of what was left of Christian teaching in state schools was stripped out of them years ago by secular radicals, so that our national faith is now taught as a sort of eccentric tribal cult, practised by other people, especially old people, if it is mentioned at all.

The 'Conservative' party, true to its long record of cowardice and retreat, never did anything to stop this. Now it seeks to appear concerned by blurring the border between religious fervour and terrorist crime.
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Extremism – Islam
While we turn a blind eye to Islamists, our children suffer
Charles Moore
Daily Telegraph, 7 June 2014

How big is the problem with Islamist extremism, and why is dealing with it so contentious that it splits all the parties? ...

... I do not agree with the growing numbers in the West who see Islam itself as inherently violent. All great religions contain so much of the human story that nasty bits can always be extracted by nasty people. (There was a time, remember, when many Christian adherents were more bloodthirsty than the Muslims, let alone the Jews, whom they persecuted.) What is happening, rather, is that the "ownership" of Islam is in contention.

The loudest voices in this struggle, unfortunately, are of those who turn their faith against the free, Western world. In their story, an amazing Muslim civilisation has been trashed by Christians, Jews, white men in general. No blame for misgovernment and economic failure attaches to Muslim countries themselves, except to those leaders ("hypocrites") who sell out to the West.

The solution, in this simplistic narrative, is political Islam – it demands sharia, the rule of Allah's law, with no tolerance of democracy or of wider civil society. ...

One Western response to this threat – still the dominant one in officialdom – is to look for "credible partners" among Muslims to neutralise it. ... ...

... Tens of thousands of British Muslims are infected by doctrines that teach them to hate the country of which they are citizens.

It is absurdly narrow to see this as a problem only of actual violence. If you are taught to see Britain as a conspirator in the persecution of Muslims, to hate Jews, to try to keep your women away from participation in wider society, to emphasise difference, there will be little to stop you approving of violence committed in the name of Islam. If you are young and male, you may want to be violent yourself. "Slowly the poison the whole bloodstream fills."

Part of the poison is a relentless effort to deny or conceal the problem. After 9/11, I recall, and even after 7/7, those of us who publicly linked the word "Muslim" with the word "extremism" were censured. The Muslim Council of Britain seriously suggested that making such a link should be forbidden. A similar argument today hampers every effort to check what is happening in the public sector. It would be "alienating", we are told, to point out Islamist extremism: much better to show how "inclusive" you are. ...

We have now become accustomed, unfortunately, to the painful discovery that children were abused in the state system – in some schools, hospitals, children's homes. When these things are exposed, we all agree how disgraceful it was that the authorities turned a blind eye. The danger from Islamist extremism is comparable. It too is an abuse of children, and yet we still dare not face it.
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Extremism – Islam, corruption, crime, racism, politics
'Stolen election' in the heart of London
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 1 June 2014

For more than four years, The Telegraph has been following the extraordinary career of Mr Rahman, a man thrown out of the Labour Party after this newspaper exposed his close links to a Muslim extremist group, the Islamic Forum of Europe.

Yet Mr Rahman has gone on to win two mayoral elections as an independent, his latest, last week, even though his council is under a police investigation for corruption and a government investigation for misuse of funds. How did he manage it? Khales Uddin Ahmed, another Labour councillor, claims he knows part of the answer. "There are so many fake voters," he says. "I keep finding houses where there are people registered for postal votes who do not live there." ...

In reality, though, the campaign was only the last phase. For several years, with the untrammelled power of a directly-elected mayor, Mr Rahman has been buying votes with public money. Almost uniquely, his council publishes a weekly newspaper, delivered to every house, each issue containing as many as a dozen pictures and articles praising the mayor. Thousands of pieces of direct mail have been sent to voters at public expense.

Mr Rahman pays tens of thousands of pounds to Channel S, a London-based Bengali television station influential with his Bangladeshi base. It gives him fawning coverage. He pays £50,000 a year from council funds into the personal bank account of Channel S's chief reporter.

But it is the mayor's politics of racial and faith favouritism which are doing most to poison the atmosphere. Tower Hamlets is a genuinely mixed borough, 45 per cent white and 32 per cent Bangladeshi, and no part of it is a ghetto.

Yet of Mr Rahman's 18 councillors elected last week, all are Bangladeshi (and 17 are men). He has never appointed a non-Bangladeshi to his council cabinet, though he says that is because none will join.

For the cabinet post of finance, he chose Alibor Choudhury, a former employee of an IFE front organisation with a long track record of encounters with the police.

Under the two men, there has been a clear diversion of council funding away from secular groups serving the whole community towards race and faith-based bodies serving largely the Muslim community, including millions of pounds to front groups for the extremist IFE. Political allies and vote-getters have been rewarded not just with money, but with valuable council property sold at below-market rates.

Officially, Mr Rahman is an apostle of "One Tower Hamlets," champion of East End tolerance. In practice, his supporters vilify all those who oppose him as racists. ...

For years, the authorities have essentially looked on too. Ofcom regularly censures Channel S, but it appears to make no difference.

The Electoral Commission refuses to act on suspect voting, despite its own report admitting it happened in 2012. The police broke their promise to stop crowds outside polling stations. The race card has worked its usual magic; many officials are afraid of being branded racist for criticising Mr Rahman.
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Extremism – prisoners, Islam
Islamic radicalisation a 'significant threat in prisons'
The Guardian, 12 May 2014

The head of the prison and probation service has said there is a significant threat of Islamic radicalisation behind bars. Michael Spurr, the chief executive of the National Offender Management Service of England and Wales (Noms), told BBC1's Panorama: "There is a significant risk, given the fact that we manage some very dangerous people. Our job is to minimise that risk becoming a reality – that somebody in prison becomes radicalised and commits a terrorist offence."

He warned there could be a "whole range of different potential scenarios [where] people could be hurt" if Noms failed in its job to protect the public from extremists.

Over the past 10 years, the number of Muslims in prisons in England and Wales has doubled, reaching 11,729 in 2013. There are about 100 al-Qaida-inspired Islamist terrorists behind bars.

Jordan Horner, who has taken the Islamic name Jamaal Uddin, claims in the programme that he has converted other prisoners during his time in prison. ...

Panorama also captured the moment that prisoner and Muslim convert Michael Coe was met on his release from jail by two convicted Islamic extremists. Coe said he converted to Islam while in jail after deciding it was "the way forward".
[Site link]


Extremism – schools, Islam
Head teachers raise 'serious concerns' over Islamic school take-over
Graeme Paton and Andrew Gilligan
Daily Telegraph, 3 May 2014

Schools across Britain are likely to have been targeted in an alleged Islamist plot to take over classrooms, head teachers have warned.

The National Association of Head Teachers said it had found "concerted efforts" to infiltrate at least six schools in Birmingham.

But the union also said that the scandal had "connections" to other large cities.

The Telegraph understands that there are growing concerns about the possible infiltration of schools in Bradford, Manchester and parts of east London. ...

In a statement, the head teachers' association said attempts had been made to "alter their character in line with the Islamic faith", including sidelining parts of the curriculum and attempting to influence the appointment of Muslim staff.

Russell Hobby, its general secretary, warned that the action was unlikely to be "limited to Birmingham", adding: "I think it is connected into the large cities around the country."

It is the first time a major teachers' organisation has confirmed that such concerns exist. The plot involves the alleged takeover of secular state schools and the removal of secular head teachers by radical Muslim staff and governors. ...

Last week it emerged that Tahir Alam, the alleged ringleader of the plot and chairman of governors at Park View, wrote a detailed blueprint for the "Islamisation" of state schools in 2007. ...

Mr Hobby will cover the issue in a keynote speech to the conference on Saturday.

He will say: "Schools should not be places for indoctrination in any creed or ideology, political or religious."
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Extremism – charities, Islam
Charity Commission warns of Islamic extremism threat
BBC, 20 April 2014

Islamic extremism is the "most deadly" threat to charities in England and Wales, the Charity Commission has said.

Chairman William Shawcross warned that while the issue is not currently widespread, it is growing.

Mr Shawcross told the Sunday Times the regulator is taking action against charities sending money to various groups in Syria.

He has asked the prime minister for measures to stop those with terrorism convictions from setting up charities.

Currently, those convicted of money laundering or terrorism are not automatically barred from doing so, or from becoming a trustee. ...

Mr Shawcross advised that agencies had to be vigilant.

"I'm sure that in places like Syria and Somalia it is very, very difficult for charities always to know what the end use of their aid is, but they've got to be particularly vigilant," he said.

"The problem of Islamist extremism and charities... is not the most widespread problem we face in terms of abuse of charities, but is potentially the most deadly.

"And it is, alas, growing."
[Site link]


Extremism – charities, BBC
The Islamic extremist threat to charities
Is the BBC biased?, 20 April 2014
["Posted by Craig"]

The head of the Charity Commission, William Shawcross, has told his old newspaper The Sunday Times that Islamic extremism is becoming the deadliest problem faced by charities:

I'm sure that in places like Syria and Somalia it is very, very difficult for charities always to know what the end use of their aid is, but they've got to be particularly vigilant," he says. "The problem of Islamist extremism . . . is not the most widespread problem we face in terms of abuse of charities, but is potentially the most deadly. And it is, alas, growing.


The BBC News website article, however, gets it slightly wrong, saying

Islamic extremism is the "most deadly" threat to charities in England and Wales, the Charity Commission has said.

Chairman William Shawcross warned that while the issue is not currently widespread, it is growing.

Mr Shawcross didn't, in fact, say that it's the "most deadly" threat; he said it's "potentially the most deadly", which is something quite different.

Moreover, he didn't say the problem "is not currently widespread"; he said it "is not the most widespread problem we face", which, again, is something rather different, isn't it?
[Site link]


Extremism – subversion, Islam
A weak establishment is letting Islamists threaten British freedoms
Charles Moore
Daily Telegraph, 19 April 2014

The answer lies in the word "community". It is pleasingly vague, and constantly deployed wherever issues of race or religion are raised. The "community" will resent this, we are told; the "community" will feel threatened by that. "Community" is always cited as a reason for not enforcing the laws of the land. Two key questions are not asked. The first is: "Is it right that public policy in matters like schools or policing should be built round particular religious or ethnic groups, rather than the rights of all citizens?" The second is: "When you speak of the community here, do you know what you are talking about?"

In the Birmingham case, it seems we are dealing with a war within Islam, between the more articulate, extreme and mysteriously well-funded Salafists (or Wahhabis) and the quieter, more traditional and numerous Barelvis. ... ...

... It is really information that matters the most. Everything to do with Islamism is a web of obscurity, designedly so. People who believe that the Western way of life is a lie which should be overthrown have no scruples about concealing their actions and motives. ...

There is, of course, a relation between what you think and what you do. It is this that the British authorities are still so bad at identifying when they deal with Islamists. On its website, MI5 says that the concept of "subversion" "focuses on hostility to democratic processes". It goes on to say that the threat of subversion was a big issue during the Cold War but "is now considered to be negligible". MI5 "do not currently investigate subversion".

All Islamist schools of thought are hostile to democratic processes, many explicitly so. They strive to create a global society in thrall to their version of Islamic law. As we learnt when Islamists educated in British comprehensive schools blew themselves up and killed 52 – mainly their fellow citizens – in July 2005, some use violence to try to bring this about. Most don't, but they do work to subvert – that is the right word – the institutions that we all need. They are organised in schools and universities. They infiltrate local government and public administration. They are expert at getting public money under false pretences. They are not "negligible", but still we neglect the threat they pose.
[Site link]


Extremism – discrimination, schools, Islam
State schools isolate non-Muslims
Andrew Gilligan
Daily Telegraph, 19 April 2014

Schools in Birmingham are illegally segregating pupils, discriminating against non-Muslim students and restricting the GCSE syllabus to "comply with conservative Islamic teaching", an official report leaked to The Telegraph discloses.

Department for Education inspectors said that girls in a school at the centre of the so-called "Trojan Horse" plot were forced to sit at the back of the class, some Christian pupils were left to "teach themselves" and an extremist preacher was invited to speak to children.

The report, into three schools in the city, follows weeks of controversy over the alleged plot to "Islamise" secular schools in Birmingham and will lead to calls for intervention. The report focuses on Park View School and its sister schools, Golden Hillock and Nansen, the only primary of the three. Inspectors found that Park View practised forced and discriminatory sex segregation and has "restricted" GCSE subjects "to comply with conservative Islamic teaching".

Core elements of the GCSE syllabus were missed out as "un-Islamic" and an extremist preacher with known al-Qaeda sympathies and anti-Semitic views was invited to speak with children. At Golden Hillock, there was discrimination against non-Muslims, the report found. Its handful of Christian students "have to teach themselves" in one GCSE subject after the teacher "concentrated on the students who were doing the Islamic course".

At Nansen, Year 6 children, aged 10 and 11, received no teaching at all in the arts, humanities or music.

The document, classified "official-sensitive", describes the results of inspections of the schools last month by officials from the DfE. All three are supposedly non-faith schools run by the Park View Educational Trust. ...

However, the leaked report substantiates many of the claims made against the school. It accuses Park View of 20 separate breaches of the law, the schools' funding agreement with the DfE, and the Academy Schools Handbook.

The inspectors found that, contrary to its denials, Park View did practise forced and discriminatory gender segregation, with "boys sitting towards the front of the class and girls at the back or around the sides". ...

The core curriculum at the two secondary schools had been Islamised, with GCSE subjects "restricted to comply with conservative Islamic teaching". ...

The report added that the respected non-Muslim headteacher was marginalised, and female staff at one of the schools were treated in a "rude and dismissive" way.

Teaching standards and children's safety were placed at risk after the schools' management recruited close relatives, without adequate teaching experience or proper background checks, to key leadership posts. ...

At Nansen, there were "no lessons in the humanities, arts or music" for one entire year, Year 6, and only "limited" teaching in Year 5. Arabic, however, was compulsory for all students – almost unheard of at a primary school.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
'Extremist' working as psychiatrist for NHS
Patrick Sawer and Ben Lazarus
Daily Telegraph, 7 April 2014

A British doctor responsible for the care of some of the country's most vulnerable people can today be exposed as a senior leader of a radical Islamist party banned in several countries.

Dr Imran Waheed is a consultant psychiatrist at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Trust (BSMHT), one of the largest of its kind in the country. ...

But it can now be revealed that Dr Waheed is also a leading member Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), which campaigns for an Islamic caliphate ruled by hard-line Sharia law.

Dr Waheed is named in the organisation's current Media Information Pack, posted online, as its chief media adviser and one of its six leading members in Britain.

Under a HT ruled caliphate men and women would be segregated in public places, women and non-Muslims would be banned from holding positions of power and women would be required to wear the jilbab headscarf in public.

Alcohol would be also banned, along with same-sex relationships. ...

In his capacity as media adviser Dr Waheed has previously advocated the setting up of an Islamic caliphate and claimed that Muslims in Britain are routinely treated as "terrorists" discriminated against by the courts, police and media. ...

Following the July 7 bombings in London, which killed 56 people, Tony Blair announced his intention to ban the group, but abandoned the plan after police and the security services advised that such a ban would drive it underground and make it harder to monitor its members' activities.

However, HT is considered to be responsible for radicalising thousands of young British Muslims. It is estimated to have more than 8,000 members in the UK and is particularly influential on university campuses around the country. ... ...

Hizb ut-Tahrir said Dr Waheed was no longer its chief media adviser and that it media pack is out of date, but admits he is still a member.
[Site link]


Extremism – schools, Islam
Islamic schools condemned by David Cameron receive state funding
Edward Malnick and Graeme Paton
Daily Telegraph, 19 March 2014

A charity once described by David Cameron as a "front" for an extremist Islamist group is receiving tens of thousands of pounds each year in state funding, research shows.

The group is being given annual grants to fund places for children at nurseries it runs in London and Berkshire.

The funding was criticised by campaigners who called for the Department for Education to "urgently" review its "appropriateness".

The department said it was "looking into" concerns over the Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation, which is being awarded grants worth more than £70,000 each year to fund free school places for toddlers. The funding, distributed by local authorities, is part of the Government's "free early education" scheme which provides all three and four-year-olds, and some two-year-olds, with 15 hours of free teaching each week.

However, while in opposition Mr Cameron and Michael Gove, now the Education Secretary, criticised the Labour Government for funding Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation despite its "extremist" links.
[Site link]


Extremism – schools, Islam
Forced out by fanatics: Head teachers reveal how they've been bullied, smeared and driven from their jobs for resisting Islamic extremists
Sue Reid and Lucy Osborne
Daily Mail, 19 March 2014

Erica Connor's eyes widen as she reads the four-page letter purportedly outlining a plot by Muslim fundamentalists to take over state education.

It brings back terrible memories for the former headmistress who won £400,000 in compensation after religious zealots forced her out of the primary school she loved in the English Home Counties. ...

Erica has added her own concerns about the Islamisation of state schools in Britain to those of dozens of teachers, classroom assistants and school staff to whom we have talked following widespread reports of the letter in the media.

The document – entitled Operation Trojan Horse – originates in Birmingham and was leaked anonymously to a Sunday newspaper.

It purports to outline a strategy of identifying schools in Muslim neighbourhoods, ridding them of non-Muslim heads and parachuting in strictly Islamic teachers and removing those who are not, as well as frightening Muslim parents into believing Western education is dangerous for their children.

The letter says that Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester – cities with fast-growing Muslim populations – should lead the strategy: 'We have an obligation to our children to fulfil our roles and ensure these schools are run on Islamic principles.' ...

The provenance of the document is unknown and it is impossible to say if it is authentic. Nevertheless, Birmingham City Council and the Department for Education are taking it sufficiently seriously to have launched an investigation and have passed on the contents to West Midlands Police.

The letter has been dismissed as a hoax by Tahir Alam – a Birmingham school governor, and prominent member of the Muslim Council Of Britain, named in it – who sees it as a 'dirty trick to feed anti-Muslim sentiment'.

Others have suggested that the document was written by worried teachers opposed to Islamisation as 'a cry for help to get the council's attention' – believing it was the only way to have legitimate fears taken seriously.

Whatever the truth, the leaked document crystallised genuine concern within the teaching profession that Islamic hardliners are targeting schools.

It must be stressed that the overwhelming majority of Muslims want schools that offer their children the best chance possible to advance as valued members of British society.

But the teachers we have spoken to say radicals are routinely infiltrating governing bodies and senior posts in multi-faith or non-denominational schools in order to take control of them. ...

What is remarkable is that the teachers each told us very similar stories. Many provided recent evidence of power battles in schools between Islamist extremists and moderate Muslims or teachers of other faiths.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
Muslim extremists, and a worrying lesson for us all
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 16 March 2014

... there is indeed an organised group of Muslim teachers, education consultants, school governors and activists dedicated to furthering what one of them describes as an "Islamising agenda" in Birmingham's schools.


They convene, among other places, on WhatsApp, a messaging service, where they have a closed discussion group called "Educational Activists". In their messages, all of which have been leaked to this newspaper, the activists describe their goals and tactics. As one put it: "Let the schooling babysitters, the Department of Education and [schools inspectorate] Ofsted be factors of [merely] incidental importance in the Prophetic endeavour to raise and educate our young people."

In one typical entry, for February 5, this year, one member, Nasim Awan, an Islamic bookshop owner, political activist and former chair of the city's Springfield Neighbourhood Forum, boasts: "A battle was fought and won tonight at a large inner city primary school where the governors voted by 8-7 in favour of collective worship that is wholly or mainly of an Islamic character, thereby overturning five years of 'children pray in their own way and language'! The governing body is now polarised on faith grounds."

Other messages from different members have an unpleasant Islamic supremacist or anti-Semitic note to them. "JEWS have intentionally developed some websites to spread wrong information about the Quran," says one. Another message, sent from the mobile number of the deputy head of Carlton Bolling school in Bradford, Akhmed Hussain, says: "Al-Islam will prevail over all other ways of life. Look at how [the] Muslim population is increasing in the UK."
[Site link]


Extremism – multiculturalism, Islam
Muslim Prof. Says Islamic Immigration 'Threatens West' [part 1]
Dalit Halevi and Tova Dvorin
The Muslim Issue, 11 March 2014

Debate over Muslim immigration in Canada takes unique turn as Canadian non-Muslim columnist defends Islamization.

The MacDonald-Laurier Institute and the Globe and Mail held a public conference recently on the phenomenon of Muslim immigration to the West, which debated whether or not the influx is bringing a culture of violence to Canada and other Western countries.

The debate was conducted between Doug Saunders, journalist for Foreign Affairs for the Globe and Mail, and Salim Mansur, a Political Science professor at the University of Western Ontario, reports Shalom Toronto.

The two addressed the following questions: Are immigrants from Muslim countries bringing violence and values that are inconsistent with Western values? Are Muslim immigrants integrating into Western society in the same ways that other ethnic minorities do? And, is Muslim immigration a threat to Canada or West?

Interestingly, it was the political science professor – who is, himself, Muslim – who maintained that Islam remains a threat to Canadian society.

Jihadist Terrorism: Not a Religious Movement, but a Political One

Saunders maintained throughout the debate that Muslim immigration presents no threat to Canadian society whatsoever, and stated that claims that the influx had led to a rise in extremism and violence were misleading.

To prove this, Saunders cited a study by British intelligence agencies on criminals and terrorists, which demonstrated that personal trauma, criminal activity, jail time, and especially political beliefs, are more likely to cause crime than Muslim religious beliefs in and of themselves. The study also concluded that religious education protected against – rather than fueled – violent tendencies.

"Jihadist terrorism is a violent political movement, based on territorial claims and religious separatism – a 'clash of civilizations' belief based on political extremism, not religious faith," Saunders noted. "Islam does not draw people into extremism; rather, political extremism draws its members into Islam."

Thus, according to Saunders, "eliminating Muslim immigration wouldn't eliminate Islamic extremism from the West or even reduce it significantly."

The Globe and Mail columnist also addressed concerns that Muslim immigrants will eventually attempt to impose Sharia law in Canada, enacting edicts that oppose secular values, oppress women's rights, and discriminate against homosexuals. In response, Saunders noted that the possibility of the Muslim community in Canada gaining enough ground to become a political power was unlikely; demographically, he argued the birthrate among Muslim immigrants shrinks after several generations.

"This narrative is built on a basic fallacy," Saunders stated. "Why would any family endure the trouble and expense of immigrating to a faraway country because they hate its ways? People generally immigrate to places whose values and institutions they find agreeable." He added that 94% of Muslim immigrants hold they are "proud to be Canadian" and 81% are satisfied with Canada's political leadership – compared to just 61% of the native Canadian population.
[Site link]


Extremism – multiculturalism, Islam
Muslim Prof. Says Islamic Immigration 'Threatens West' [part 2]
Dalit Halevi and Tova Dvorin
The Muslim Issue, 11 March 2014

Muslim Immigration: A Threat to the West

Professor Salim Mansur begged to differ.

"Canadians' mistaken notion that all cultures are equal has disarmed this nation in the confrontation with the illiberal demands of radical Islam," he fired, noting he was "drawing upon – as an immigrant, as a person of color and as a Muslim – inside knowledge of and lived experience in the cultures of both liberal democracy and Islam."

"A liberal-democratic society based on individual rights, freedom, and the rule of law cannot indefinitely accommodate non-liberal or illiberal demands from immigrant groups without subverting its own culture," Mansur noted. He then identified three risk factors: the rise in birthrates among the Muslim community, the nature of Muslim culture and its relationship to non-Muslim cultures, and the West's multiculturalism.

Statistics cited by the professor include proof that the foreign-born population in Canada has become predominantly non-Western since 1967, especially in major city centers, and that the Muslim immigrant population is growing four times faster than other immigrant populations.

As a culture, Mansur stressed, Islam became a "rigid, closed system" during the 14th century, as a result of a heavy Bedouin influence. Mansur maintains that early Islam found Bedouin culture "savage" – but it nonetheless prevailed.

"The full face of this Bedouin-ized Islamic culture that has wrecked the diversity of the Muslim world from within is to be seen in the bigotry, violence, vulgarity and misogyny of Al Qaeda, the Taliban, the Khomeini followers," Mansur noted. "It is the nature of mainstream contemporary Muslim politics – or Islamism – to conform to the Bedouin disposition."

This disposition, Mansur claimed, characterizes contemporary Islamic values – even in immigrant communities. The things heard in Canadian mosques are "intractably opposed to liberal democracy," and aim to "ruin from within" Canadian and Western values, according to the Professor.

Multiculturalism, meanwhile, threatens to allow this attitude to rear its ugly head in the political sphere, according to Mansur.

"In having swallowed the toxin of official multiculturalism, Canada has disarmed itself of the ability to discriminate between immigrant groups which are importing cultural baggage that is harmless, and those that are toxic to the values of liberal democracy," Mansur concludes.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
Joining Syrian ranks of al-Qaeda 'in vogue' for young British Muslims
Holly Watt and Claire Newell
Daily Telegraph, 3 March 2014

Travelling to Syria to fight for al-Qaeda is "in vogue" among young British Muslims, the director of the European Union's crime intelligence agency said.

Rob Wainwright, who heads Europol, warned that "multiple thousands" of young Muslim men may have travelled to Syria to fight for al-Qaeda-linked groups.

He said many were using the internet to research their visits to the war zone and then to boast about their exploits.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Mr Wainwright said European Muslim men were being radicalised in Syria by terrorist groups including al-Qaeda-linked fighters.

He said the issue was a "top priority" for police forces across Europe.

One concern is that returning fighters, trained in the use of weapons and explosives, could carry out attacks in Britain.

"Syria is just the latest of a number of sort of areas of conflict zones that have acted in this way to radicalise people in the West, but it's certainly the number one pull factor at the moment," said Mr Wainwright.

"These are people that are coming from many countries in Europe. The UK is obviously part of the problem."
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
Boris Johnson: Islamists' children should be taken into care
Georgia Graham
Daily Telegraph, 3 March 2014

Muslim children who are radicalised by their parents should be considered abused and taken into care, Boris Johnson has said.

The Mayor of London warned that hundreds of children were at risk of radicalisation but that authorities were not taking them into care because of "absurd" political correctness.

He warned that young people were increasingly being "radicalised at their home" and "taught crazy stuff" like the views espoused by the killers of Drummer Lee Rigby.

He said a lack of clarity about the law was making police and social services reluctant to intervene even if the children were being brought up with a "nihilistic view of the world" that could turn them into murderers.

Writing in The Telegraph, Mr Johnson said: "At present, there is a reluctance by the social services to intervene, even when they and the police have clear evidence of what is going on, because it is not clear that the 'safeguarding law' would support such action.

"A child may be taken into care if he or she is being exposed to pornography, or is being abused – but not if the child is being habituated to this utterly bleak and nihilistic view of the world that could lead them to become murderers."
[Site link]


Extremism – Syria, Islam
EXCLUSIVE: Syria extremism is unlike any threat UK has seen since 9/11, security chief warns
Martin Bentham
Evening Standard (London), 25 February 2014

The terrorist threat caused by the war in Syria is unlike any Britain has faced since the 9/11 attacks, Whitehall's top security official warned today.

Charles Farr, head of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism, said the size of extremist groups in Syria and the number of Britons joining them had become "the biggest challenge" facing the police and intelligence agencies. Ministers are now considering whether new laws might be needed to combat the problem. ...

His comments follow warnings by Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism chief and Home Office ministers about the impact of the Syrian conflict on national security. Hundreds of Britons have travelled to Syria to take part in the fighting with significant numbers joining al Qaeda-linked rebels or other extremist groups battling to topple the regime of president Bashar Assad.

One fear is that returning fighters, trained in the use of weapons and explosives, could decide to carry out attacks here. There are also concerns about the radicalising impact of the conflict on others and its potential to inspire new generations of extremists and attacks on Western interests.

Police have responded with a wave of counter-terror arrests in recent weeks and Mr Farr today spelled out the Government's concerns in one of the most forthright warnings so far.

He told the Evening Standard: "Syria is different from any other counter-terrorism challenge that we have faced since 9/11 – because of the number of terrorist groups now engaged in the fighting, their size and scale, the number of people from this country who are joining them, ease of travel, availability of weapons and the intensity of the conflict.

"The agencies and many others involved here in counter terrorist work will be occupied with this for the forseeable future." ... ...

Mr Farr emphasised that while the law prohibited Britons from engaging in terrorist activities overseas, the authorities would exercise judgment and did not want to target those with humanitarian aims.

Safeguards, including the provision that prosecutions must be in the "public interest" also existed to protect those with peaceful intent from the risk of criminal charges.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam, politics, UKIP
Nigel Farage distances himself from MEP over 'Muslim code of conduct'
Rowena Mason
The Guardian, 6 February 2014

The Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, has distanced himself from the views of his own immigration spokesman, Gerard Batten, after the London MEP proposed a special code of conduct for Muslims.

Ukip stressed that asking Muslims to sign such a document had never been one of its policies, even though the launch of Batten's "proposed charter of Muslim understanding" used to be promoted on the party's website.

Batten, who was on Wednesday campaigning for Ukip in the Wythenshawe and Sale East byelection, told the Guardian this week that he could not see how any "reasonable, normal person" could object to signing the charter, which calls on Muslims to accept equality, reject violence and accept the need to modify the Qur'an. ...

Mohammed Shafiq, the chief executive of Muslim thinktank the Ramadhan Foundation, said asking one particular community to sign a "loyalty pledge" against violence was "offensive and an insult to all decent people".

In response to Batten's comments, Farage said in a statement: "This was a private publication from Gerard Batten in 2006 and its contents are not and never have been Ukip policy. No such policy proposals would have been accepted by Ukip in any case. Ukip believes in treating people equally." ...

Batten told the Guardian he had written the charter in 2006 with a friend, who is an Islamic scholar. ...

In a press release from the time, published on Ukip's website, Batten calls on Muslims to sign a five-point affirmation, in which they would promise to accept equality, reject violence in the name of religion, and accept a need to "re-examine and address the meaning and application of certain Islamic texts and doctrines".
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam, politics, UKIP
Ukip MEP calls for Muslim code of conduct: Fresh controversy after senior figure says members of religion should be made to sign document saying they reject violence
Daniel Martin
Daily Mail, 5 February 2014

A senior Ukip politician plunged his party into fresh controversy last night after calling on Muslims to sign a special code of conduct to prove they reject violence.

Gerard Batten, a London MEP and the party's spokesman on immigration, said it was a big mistake for Europe to allow 'an explosion of mosques across their land'. ...

Last night critics attacked the latest comments from Mr Batten, a member of the party's executive, saying they represented the 'ugliest side of Ukip' and 'overlap with the far-Right'.

The MEP told The Guardian that he stood by his call for a 'charter of Muslim understanding', which he first suggested in 2006.

The document asks Muslims to sign a declaration rejecting violence and says that certain parts of the Koran that promote 'violent physical Jihad' should be regarded as 'inapplicable, invalid and non-Islamic'.

Asked on Tuesday about the charter, Mr Batten said he had written it with a friend, who is an Islamic scholar, and could not see why 'any reasonable, normal person' would object to signing it.

He also repeated his view that some Muslim texts need updating, claiming some say 'kill Jews wherever you find them and various things like that'.

'If that represents the thinking of modern people, there's something wrong, in which case maybe they need to revise their thinking,' he said.

'If they say they cannot revise their thinking on those issues, then who's got the problem - us or them?'

Asked why Muslims have been singled out, rather than followers of other faiths like Christians or Jews, Mr Batten said: 'Christians aren't blowing people up at the moment, are they? Are there any bombs going off round the world which are claimed by Christian organisations? I don't think so.'
[Site link]



Fraud and corruption – proxy marriage
Immigration inspector warns of rise in proxy marriage misuse
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 20 June 2014

The chief inspector of borders has warned of increasing abuse of overseas "proxy marriages", at which neither party is present at the ceremony, as a way to subvert British immigration rules.

John Vine said more than 80% of 29 sample proxy marriages – in which the couple remained in Britain but were represented by others at their overseas wedding ceremony, often on a different continent – that involved a European Union national marrying a non-European spouse proved to be invalid.

But the chief inspector warned that the Home Office had not yet established the actual extent of sham marriage immigration abuse in Britain despite recent work to set up a new intelligence system.

In a report on the rights of European citizens and their spouses to come to Britain published on Thursday, Vine, a former chief constable, also voiced concerns that the individuals involved in sham marriages were generally not prosecuted unless organised criminal gangs were found to be involved.

He also warned that his inspection found increasing attempts to exploit the European Union's free movement rules, with partners in one third of a sample of marriages having been born outside Europe but having gained another European nationality before coming to Britain.

"The European route is becoming an increasingly important way into the UK for those whose origins lie outside the European Economic Association area, particularly now that the immigration rules have been tightened. I found that many of the non-EEA spouses refused residence cards were overstayers," said Vine.

His report showed that by last October nearly 20% of people applying for residence in Britain on marriage grounds had been involved in proxy ceremonies. The refusal rate for proxy marriages is now running at twice the rate for marriages of convenience.

"Most proxy marriages in our sample occurred in Nigeria or Ghana, although caseworkers mentioned seeing many Brazilian cases as well," said Vine. One immigration manager described them as a "complete nightmare" as it was difficult to verify the documents involved as genuine or legally valid.

Vine described a proxy marriage in his inspection report as one in which "one or both parties are not present at a proxy ceremony, but are represented by others (usually family members). In our sample, the parties to the marriage were usually in the UK and the proxy ceremony itself was on a different continent.

"Proxy marriages are not permitted in many countries (including the UK). In countries which permit them, they tend to represent more traditional or 'customary' practices, existing alongside formal marriage arrangements. Case law has established that the UK must accept a proxy marriage if such a marriage is valid in the country where it took place." ...

"If the Home Office does not act decisively to identify and tackle these abuses, many of the individuals involved may go on to obtain settlement in the UK on the basis of relationships that are not genuine," said Vine.
[Site link]


Fraud and corruption – postal votes
Scrap 'on demand' postal voting to curb fraud, says judge
BBC, 11 March 2014
[The full story will be broadcast on File on 4 on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday, 11 March, at 20:00 GMT]

Postal voting is open to fraud on an "industrial scale" and is "unviable" in its current form, a top judge has said.

Richard Mawrey QC, who tries cases of electoral fraud, told the BBC that people should not be able to apply for postal votes as a matter of course.

"On demand" postal voting had not boosted turnout or simplified the process for the vulnerable, he said.

But the Electoral Commission said it would not be "proportionate" to end postal voting altogether.

The government also said it had no plans to abolish the current system, saying it had made it easier for many people to vote.

Since 2001, anyone on the electoral roll has been able to apply for a postal ballot.

In January, the Electoral Commission said it was particularly concerned about 16 council areas in England.

In some of those areas, the BBC has heard allegations that political activists are pressuring families into voting for their candidate, or taking ballot papers away to fill them in, which is illegal. ...

Mr Mawrey, a deputy High Court judge and election commissioner, said in one case last year he had come across 14 different ways that postal ballots could be manipulated.

"Postal voting on demand, however many safeguards you build into it, is wide open to fraud," he told Radio 4's Today.

"And it's open to fraud on a scale that will make election rigging a possibility and indeed in some areas a probability."

Furthermore, he suggested postal voting had not achieved its other stated objectives, such as increasing turnout or helping particularly vulnerable groups who might find voting difficult to do it more easily.

"All it actually does is create a convenience for members of the public who would rather fill in something in their own home."

Turnout has increased in each of the past two general elections, rising from 59.4% in 2001 to 65.1% in 2010.

But returning officer Ray Morgan, who is also the chief executive of Woking Borough Council, said: "I don't think any election that I've personally officiated over since 2006 has been totally fair and honest."

The government is introducing individual electoral registration from June this year, which ministers say will help stamp out some abuses.

It will mean that anyone who wants a postal vote will have to apply individually and prove their identity.
[Site link]


Fraud and corruption – religious workers
Police raids over suspected religious worker fraud
BBC, 21 January 2014

Police investigating suspected immigration fraud linked to religious workers have raided 16 addresses.

The Home Office said the operations were part of an ongoing investigation into the Manchester-based Khalsa Missionary Society.

It is claimed immigrants are brought to England from India to live as religious workers but then disappear.

Raids were carried out in Birmingham, Hounslow, Leicester, Luton, Slough, Southall and Southampton.

The Khalsa Missionary Society describes itself as a "non-political, non-profit making, independent body which acts as an umbrella organisation helping to develop, assist and support [the] Sikh community in United Kingdom".

Nobody was available for comment at the society's Cheetham Hill Road base.

A Home Office spokesman said: "This is a large-scale operation linked to suspected immigration crime targeting several locations across the UK."

In September, 17 people were arrested as part of the same operation when properties were searched in Manchester, Glasgow, Huddersfield, Middlesex, Pangbourne and Wolverhampton.
[Site link]



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A spokesman said: 'If you say 'illegal immigrants' there is a presumption and connotations that they have done something wrong. There are other reasons people come to this country by illegal methods, for instance because they are trafficked or organised crime groups.'
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Illegal immigration – border security
3,000 migrants a month caught trying to enter Britain
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 19 December 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"It can be both frustrating and disappointing, when I encounter the same issues over and over again."
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Illegal immigration – repatriation
Files on missing migrants were left to rot in boxes: More than 260,000 foreigners thought to have overstayed visas
James Slack
Daily Mail, 18 December 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The inspection also found there were 'significant inaccuracies' in Capita's records – with the number of departures it claimed credit for overstated by more than 1,140 in 2013/14. This represents more than a quarter of Capita's 4,080 'successes'.
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Illegal immigration – administrative failure
Fury as Home Office 'loses' 174,000 illegal immigrants: Scathing dossier to reveal three quarters of foreigners who were refused permission to stay in the UK have vanished
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 17 December 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is understood there are an additional 3,000 illegal immigrants who need to be removed every week, a figure that does not include foreign offenders or refugees whose request for asylum has been rejected.
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Illegal immigration
Why illegal migrants can laugh at the law
Daily Mail, 17 December 2014
[Leading article]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Belatedly, politicians have begun competing to suggest tougher rules on migration. But until they devise cheap and effective ways to enforce existing laws, their words will be mere hot air.
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Illegal immigration – border security
18,000 illegal immigration attempts stopped at English Channel border in one year
Mirror, 13 December 2014

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

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

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

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

Border Force employs 8,100 full-time staff, 600 more than last year.
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Illegal immigration – border security
'Tip of iceberg' fear as 18,000 migrants are seized in a year
Border guards caught around 350 illegal immigrants a week trying to sneak
Daily Telegraph, 13 December 2014

into Britain last year.

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

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

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

There has been a recent spate of high-profile incidents featuring migrants who have managed to beat security at Calais and sneak into the UK in lorries, cars and caravans.
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Illegal immigration – Ukrainians
Fleeing war and crumbling economy, Ukrainians flock to Europe
Liisa Tuhkanen and Guy Faulconbridge
Reuters, 4 December 2014

Andriy left his home town in western Ukraine earlier this year on a journey that brought him through the hands of shady traders in Poland to one of the world's booming markets for illegal immigrants - London.

Fleeing the strife of war with Russian-backed fighters and a shattered economy, Andriy is following a path similar to one taken by thousands of his fellow Ukrainians who have travelled either eastwards to Russia or westwards to the European Union. ...

More than 4,300 combatants and civilians have been killed in eastern Ukraine since pro-Russian rebels seized border regions in April. Nearly a million people have fled the area, with a surge in the past two months.

Most have fled to other areas of Ukraine but some have gone further afield, with thousands seeking a new life in Russia and, increasingly, Europe.

According to several legal and illegal migrants who spoke to Reuters, many are coming via gangs in Poland, the Baltics and Ukraine that offer fake or doctored EU documents for several thousand dollars, plus the option of transport to Western Europe where spot document checks are extremely rare.

The nature of illegal immigration means it yields little data but legal flows show Ukrainians were the biggest single group of non-EU citizens granted residency permits by EU members in 2013.

According to Eurostat, 236,700 Ukrainians were granted residency permits by EU states last year, and 171,800 of those permits were granted in Poland, one of the main routes for Ukrainians to travel to Western Europe. ...

The migrants thrive in a taxless underworld that is flush with demand and cash: Andriy has no intention of returning to Ukraine because demand for his decorating and repair services is high in London's booming property market.
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Illegal immigration
Home Office needs to get tough on illegal immigrants
Daily Express, 7 November 2014
[Leading article]

The Home Office last year tracked down 30 per cent fewer illegal immigrants in the UK than it did in 2005.

This proves that not only is the Government failing to deal with the scale of illegal immigration, the situation is actually getting worse.

With the hordes gathered in Calais clamouring to come here it is clear that as Ukip migration spokesman Steven Woolfe rightly said: "The Government's approach to tackling illegal immigration is shambolic if not negligent."

Catching and promptly removing illegal immigrants is vital to deterring more from trying to come here. If, as is the situation at present, they know that there is only a slim chance of this happening they will keep coming knowing that if they can just get over the border they will be given almost free rein to stay.

And if they do get here they fuel the illegal economy. At the very least this is cash in hand work that robs the Treasury of tax revenue but it can extend to serious and organised crime.

All illegal immigrants are breaking the law. They have to be tracked down and deported.