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 – Syrian Christians
Christian refugees bypassed by UK, Archbishop Nichols says
BBC, 24 December 2015

Christian refugees fleeing Syria are being bypassed by the UK government, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has said.

Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols said Christians were the most persecuted people, but few of them would receive sanctuary in the UK.

The government has said 20,000 refugees will be brought to Britain directly from refugee camps around Syria.

But Cardinal Nichols said most Christians did not go into the camps.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today, Archbishop Nichols said: "I can see the point in going directly to the refugee camps, but in fact I think its unintended consequence will be that there will be few, if any, Christians coming to this country.

"That is because for the most part Christian refugees do not go into the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) camps. They go to fellow Christian organisations."

He added: "If we are going to deal purely with UNHCR according to their rules, then there can be no preference given to anybody on behalf of their faith and we will simply bypass the Christian refugees, not intentionally but in fact." ...

The refugees being brought to the UK will be drawn from established refugee camps, initially as part of the Vulnerable Persons Relocation (VPR) scheme.

More than 50 local authorities have taken a share of those who have already arrived.

Alongside the VPR scheme, the UK has also granted asylum or other forms of protection to 1,868 Syrians in the year ending September 2015.
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Wish you were here? Refugees are taken on £100,000 jollies to zoos, THEME PARKS and even to the beach to help them 'integrate' into British life... and guess who's paying for it all
Sam Tonkin
MailOnline, 19 December 2015

Asylum-seekers are being taken on 'jollies' paid for by £100,000 of public money to zoos, theme parks and even the beach in an attempt to help them 'integrate' into British life, it has emerged.

Since 2009, a refugee support group part-funded by the National Lottery has been treating dozens of immigrants to days out at Thorpe Park, Whipsnade Zoo, the London Eye and Brighton beach. ...

Among the other jaunts that asylum-seekers enjoyed courtesy of The Hillingdon Refugee Support Group were trips to the British Museum, the Cutty Sark and week-long adventure holidays.

The latter saw 16 to 21-year-olds who arrived 'unaccompanied' to the UK enjoy a week of climbing and canoeing paid for by the charity, which received £399,545 from the Big Lottery Fund in March.

Photos of asylum-seekers on other days out to the Tower of London, which costs an adult £22 to visit, and Surrey's Thorpe Park (up to £49.99) also accompanied the support group's newsletters.

In one, after a visit to the £500-a-night Grenville House Outdoor Education Centre in Brixham, Devon, the charity wrote 'everyone enjoyed the trip... we shall certainly be looking to visit next year.'

The trip to Whipsnade was described as a 'summertime favourite' that migrants 'always enjoy', while 'good fun was had by all' at a day out to an ice rink. ...

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 'Many taxpayers can't afford trips like these for their own families, so it's important that this quango prioritises the cash it doles out on good causes.'

On its website, the Hillingdon Refugee Support Group says the trips are designed to 'build confidence' for asylum-seekers and 'enable their integration into British society'.
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Asylum – Syrian Christians
Christians could be excluded from refugee resettlement plans, says Cardinal
John Bingham
Daily Telegraph, 18 December 2015

The Government's plan to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees in the UK risks "discriminating" against Christians, according to Britain's most senior Roman Catholic cleric.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, said there are fears that few if any Christian families fleeing Isil militants will be offered sanctuary in Britain because the scheme is aimed at refugees registered through the UNHCR, rather than church-run centres where most of the persecuted Christians are concentrated.

He said it was an "unintended consequence" of the plan but a "point of deep concern" for Catholic and Orthodox and other Christian churches with a stake in the region.

Concerns about the potential exclusion of Christians were also raised with the Prince of Wales at a special advent reception, hosted by Cardinal Nichols, for Middle Eastern Christians in Westminster. ...

In an impassioned address, the Prince spoke of the "heart-breaking" threat to the "very existence of Christianity" in its own birthplace amid predictions from the charity Aid to The Church in Need that the faith is now on course to disappear from Iraq within five years. ...

Cardinal Nichols added: /.../

"Naturally the vast majority of people in the official camps are Muslims, and they are administered by Muslims so those two facts together mean that in effect it will be difficult for the Government's extension of the resettlement programme to actually involve Christian families." ...

Richard Harrington, Minister for Syrian Refugees said: "This week we have reached the Prime Minister's target of resettling 1,000 Syrians before Christmas.

"We work closely with the UNHCR to identify the most vulnerable people who are in need of our assistance.

"We will accept people of all religions, including Christians, provided they are registered with UNHCR."
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Asylum – absconders
10,000 asylum seekers dropped off Home Office's radar - report
Belfast Telegraph, 17 December 2015

Thousands of asylum seekers have dropped off the Government's radar, an official report has revealed.

Caseworkers told inspectors there were around 10,000 cases where the main applicant and any dependants, such as children, were not in contact with the Home Office or had absconded.

The number will include those who were awaiting a decision, as well as those who are still in the country after their application has been refused.

While enforcement teams could conduct residential visits to attempt to trace missing claimants they were "reluctant to do so as this work was not a priority and was considered a drain on resources", a report by the borders watchdog said.

It was also disclosed that, as of September last year, there were more than 30,000 failed asylum claims where individuals had not been removed from the country or given leave to stay more than two years after their right of appeal had lapsed or been exhausted.

A report by the chief inspector of borders and immigration David Bolt said: "Failure to deal with asylum cases in a timely manner was inefficient as well as ineffective.

"The more time an asylum case took to resolve, the more likely barriers to removal would arise from the formation of relationships, the birth of children and other community ties.

"It also meant individuals were left not knowing if or when the Home Office might take action to remove them."

Immigrants who are required to report to officials are recorded to have absconded when they fail to attend.

In a sample of 338 cases examined by inspectors, 48 individuals were logged as absconders.

Of these, an attempt to locate the person had been made in only nine instances, including five in which teams visited last known addresses. ...

A second report published today said intelligence about illegal working mostly consisted of "low-level allegations" by members of the public.

Inspectors found this had led immigration enforcement to focus on high street restaurants and takeaways, adding: "Other business sectors and possibly other nationalities had been neglected by comparison."

There are no reliable estimates for the numbers of migrants working illegally in the UK, the watchdog added.
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Asylum – numbers, UK, EU
More than 430,000 refugees reach the EU in summer surge: Figure passes one million for 12 months
Steve Doughty and John Stevens
Daily Mail, 11 December 2015

More than 430,000 asylum seekers crossed into Europe during the summer, the EU revealed yesterday.

The influx took the total over 12 months to more than a million and triggered a surge in asylum claims in Britain.

The EU's statistics agency Eurostat said there were more than 35,000 applications in the UK in the year to the end of September, a figure almost a quarter higher than that given by the Home Office. ...

In the three months to the end of September, Eurostat said more than 12,000 asylum claims were made in the UK, the first time the quarterly number has topped 10,000 since 2003.

The total figure for Europe in the 12 months to the end of September was 1,066,210, with 430,640 of those arriving in the summer months. ...

The Eurostat figures do not include the surge in arrivals in October and November that led Germany to announce it had received almost a million refugees in 2015.

Although the crisis in Syria is a driving force in the rise, asylum seekers are arriving from widespread countries, says Eurostat. There were more than 250,000 Syrian claimants in EU countries over the 12 months, but also more than 110,000 Afghans, around 70,000 Iraqis and 50,000 Albanians.

In the UK, the largest number of arrivals in the summer came from Sudan, Eritrea, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Home Office last month gave a figure of 29,024 for the number of people, not counting their dependants, who applied for asylum in Britain in the 12 months to September. Officials said the higher Eurostat figures are likely to include asylum claims made in Britain that were subsequently withdrawn and were not counted in the Home Office figures.
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Asylum – children
Child asylum seekers pushing British social services to 'breaking point'
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 4 December 2015

The vast number of child asylum seekers arriving at the gateway to Britain has pushed social services to "breaking point," officials have warned.

There are now 980 unaccompanied asylum seeking children on Kent County Council's books - up from nearly 630 at the start of August - and the situation is unsustainable, it said.

Most of the youngsters are 16 and 17-year-old boys smuggled across the English Channel before being dumped so the local authority has to look after them.

By law, the council has to care for under-18s who arrive in the county through the ports of Dover or Folkestone seeking asylum.

Many are traumatised and unable to speak English, adding the cost of treatment and translation services to the bill for housing them. ...

A report from Kent County Council said the "unprecedented" influx of young asylum seekers was impacting on British children already supported by the local authority.

While praising staff, the report said: "It should be stated clearly that services are at breaking point and the current position is not sustainable."
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Asylum – relatives
Immigration minister James Brokenshire says plan to grant relatives of refugees asylum in UK is not 'sustainable'
Charlie Cooper
The Independent, 2 December 2015

Immigration minister James Brokenshire has said allowing elderly relatives and grown-up children of asylum seekers to join their relatives in the UK would not be "practical or sustainable".

He said the plan to extend criteria for refugee "family reunions", backed by Labour, the SNP, the Lib Dems and charities including the Red Cross, would also make the UK more attractive to future refugees.

Conservative MPs were expected last night to vote down an amendment to the Immigration Bill, which would allow the dependent parents, children over 18 and in some cases siblings of successful asylum seekers to join them in the UK. Currently only spouses and children under 18 are allowed under family reunion rules.

"Widening the criteria would be not practical or sustainable," Mr Brokenshire said. "It would be a significant additional factor on how the UK may be viewed in terms of those who may choose different jurisdictions to make their asylum claims," a process he referred to as "asylum shopping".

The rules could still be changed if the House of Lords backs the amendment. If passed, it could lead to thousands more Syrian and other refugees eligible to resettle in the UK.
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Asylum – Afghans, fake threats
Afghans Seeking Asylum Buy Fake Taliban Threat Letters
Humayoon Babur and Lynne O'Donnell
ABC News, 22 November 2015

Threatening letters from the Taliban, once tantamount to a death sentence, are now being forged and sold to Afghans who want to start a new life in Europe.

The handwritten notes on the stationery of the so-called Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan were traditionally sent to those alleged to have worked with Afghan security forces or U.S.-led troops, listing their "crimes" and warning that a "military commission" would decide on their punishment. ...

But nowadays the Taliban say they have mostly ceased the practice, while those selling forged threat letters are doing a brisk business as tens of thousands of Afghans flee to Europe, hoping to claim asylum. ...

"Of the threat letters now being presented to European authorities by Afghans, I'd say only one percent are real and 99 percent are phony," said Mukhamil, 35, who has forged and sold 20 such letters. Like many Afghans, he has only one name. ...

There is no shortage of customers. With unemployment at 24 percent and the insurgency raging across much of the country, the government expects that 160,000 Afghans will have left by the end of the year, four times the number of departures in 2013. ...

An official at Afghanistan's intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security, also dismissed the letters, saying it was clear many people were buying them to strengthen their case for asylum.
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Asylum – fake passports
How easy is it to obtain a Syrian passport on Facebook?
Al Jazeera, 22 November 2015

When a man who blew himself up as part of the attacks in Paris last week was found to be in possession of a fake Syrian passport, it highlighted just how easy it was to come by such a thing.

To get a fake Syrian passport appears not very difficult at all in the Turkish city of Istanbul, for example - a place that many Syrian and Iraqi refugees call home.

Facebook, Twitter and other forums are full of posts and ads offering refugees of any nationality counterfeit Syrian passports, birth certificates, international driving licences - and even college degrees.
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Asylum – public opinion
Refugee crisis: Poll shows support has slumped for Syrians in UK in wake of Paris attacks
Victoria Richards
The Independent, 19 November 2015

A poll has shown a slump in public support for the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Britain in the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks. ...

British people were first quizzed on how they felt about allowing migrants to settle in the country in September, following news of the death of Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old boy who drowned and was found face-down on a beach in Turkey.

Just 27 per cent of people at the time believed Britain should be accepting 'fewer or no refugees', according to the YouGov survey.

But a more recent poll conducted by The Times suggests that figure has risen by 22 points - and now 49 per cent hold those views.

The previous poll also showed 36 per cent of people thought Britain should accept more refugees.

But the more recent poll shows support has fallen to just 20 per cent. ...

David Cameron has vowed to resettle 20,000 Syrians by 2020.

The pledge came after the publication of pictures of the drowned toddler and a campaign by The Independent, which urged the Prime Minister to "no longer turn a blind eye to the refugees' plight".
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Asylum – deception
Asylum seekers pretending to be Syrian in UK applications risking prosecution
Lizzie Dearden
The Independent, 12 November 2015

Asylum seekers are posing as Syrians in the hope it will secure them a place in the UK but are unwittingly risking criminal prosecution.

The Independent met Iraqi and Afghan migrants arriving in Lesbos who said they knew people attempting the deception, believing it would lead to better treatment and an increased chance of being granted the right to stay in Europe.

A Syrian refugee told Sky News the practice was being continued by some fellow asylum seekers he met at a hostel in Croydon. ...

Germany's now-reversed easing of asylum regulations for Syrians and pledges by the UK and other nations to take refugees specifically from that country is driving even migrants with legitimate claims to lie about their nationality.

But Home Office safeguards include language tests, background checks and extensive interviews by specialists.
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Asylum – double standards
DR MAX: Alas, poor Benedict Cumberbatch is guilty of double standards
Dr Max Pemberton
Daily Mail, 7 November 2015

I'd taken Mum to see Hamlet at the Barbican, and we'd been spellbound.

But then Benedict Cumberbatch launched into an on-stage rant about why Britain's offer to take in 20,000 Syrian refugees was – in his view – hopelessly inadequate.

I now know he's been doing this after every performance. ...

Of course, he could get away with this because he's a celeb. ...

But perhaps Cumberbatch is right. Maybe we should take in more refugees. Maybe there is enough slack in the system to accommodate 30,000 or 40,000 Syrians, or even 100,000.

I don't know, because I haven't done an analysis of our resources, the impact it would have on schools, policing, housing and the NHS.

But I rather suspect Cumberbatch hasn't done that, either.

I also suspect he hasn't seen the reality of health care as close up as I have, and witnessed how the poorest and most vulnerable in society are already being failed.

Day in, day out, I see how the NHS is stretched gossamer-thin.

I know the extra pressures that immigration can place on communities, and that it's those people on the lowest rungs who pay the price.

I know the psychological traumas refugees suffer, and the language and cultural problems that make helping them especially time-consuming and costly.

And I don't think it's uncaring to worry if we can cope.

What frustrates me is that whatever we do, it won't affect the gilded life of people like Cumberbatch. ...

About 500 yards away is University College Hospital, ...

But like most of the NHS, it's cruelly overloaded. And it clearly wasn't good enough for Cumberbatch and his wife, Sophie Hunter.

They are perfectly entitled to go private, and I wouldn't mention it if Benedict hadn't decided to start lecturing others.

How can he say we should be doing more for refugees, while dodging the system the rest of us have to use and which open borders would place under ever greater strain?

He and his wife didn't wait in line to see a midwife, did they? They weren't told there was no bed available when her labour started, were they?

That's the thing about liberals who lecture the rest of us: when the chips are down, they forget their rhetoric and nip off to the private sector.

But to be fair to Cumberbatch, he's far from the worst offender.

Some time ago, I received a phone call from a GP who explained he had a 'VIP patient' who would like to see me. My hackles rose because as far as I'm concerned, there aren't VIP patients, just patients.

It turned out this individual was a high-ranking MP. I won't reveal their name, their sex or their party, but they're very well known.

The GP explained that this MP would like to see me privately. I was slightly baffled as I'd seen the politician on BBC Question Time, singing the praises of the NHS.

I explained that I don't see patients privately, but was happy to make an NHS appointment.

'Ah,' came the reply. 'They don't want to wait.'

I nearly burst a blood vessel at the hypocrisy. Especially when this same MP later had the audacity to attack David Cameron when he announced the 20,000 limit for refugees.

Yes, it's easy to be outraged when you won't be the one bumped down the waiting list, isn't it?
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Asylum – foreign aid, Syria
The damning truth about foreign aid: British millions meant for Syrian refugees are squandered by the UN on administration and staff costs
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 3 November 2015

Up to half of British taxpayers' cash meant for Syrian refugees has been wasted on United Nations red tape.

Instead of providing food, medicine and shelter in camps, much of our aid money is going on administration, overheads and staff costs.

And a UK official in the region told investigators the UN relief effort was 'at best mediocre'.

Britain has given £1 billion to help Syrians fleeing the twin menace of Islamic State and dictator Bashar Al-Assad. Dwarfing the donations of other European countries, it is the UK's biggest ever response to a refugee crisis.

Around £600 million has been handed to three UN bodies – the World Food Programme, children's fund Unicef and refugee agency UNHCR.

But much of the cash is not accounted for, with Unicef failing even to give a breakdown. Shockingly, the UNHCR has spent £7 million on its press office. ...

The investigation by Radio 4's File on Four programme found that a lack of financial transparency at the UN made it extremely difficult to discover how much was being spent and on what. ...

The UNHCR received £116 million from the UK and the World Food Programme £227 million.

But the only detailed WFP project budget available was a £16 million breakdown for food vouchers for three months in 2012. ...

Unicef was given £120 million by Britain but there was no breakdown of how it was spent, said investigators.
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Asylum – refugees, economic migrants
Many refugees walking across Europe are 'fit young men looking for work', says Philip Hammond
Matt Chorley
MailOnline, 21 October 2015

Thousands of refugees filmed walking across mainland Europe are actually 'fit young men' trying to find jobs, Philip Hammond claimed today.

The Foreign Secretary said TV pictures showed that many of the people trying to reach wealthy EU countries were economic migrants.

He insisted that Britain wanted to help the most vulnerable people in trapped in camps in war-torn countries and not those simply looking for a better life. ...

Labour MP Stephen Twigg asked how the government would ensure that the 20,000 refugees promised help by Britain 'includes some of the most vulnerable, for example children, disabled people, women who may have faced sexual violence'.

Mr Hammond said it was an 'excellent point'. He added: 'This is exactly the Prime Minister's point that many of the people we see on our television screens walking down railway lines are fit young men coming to Europe to look for work. And that's fine.

'But there are also many extraordinarily vulnerable individuals in displaced persons camps who are simply not able to try to make that difficult and dangerous crossing into Europe.

'We will take those people asking the UN to prioritise the most vulnerable.'

However, Labour MP Mary Creagh criticised the Foreign Secretary for turning his back on victims of the Syrian conflict.

The former shadow international development secretary said: 'Some of those fit young men that he talks about are actually fleeing the conscription of Assad's regime because they don't want to kill their own people.' ...

But Mr Hammond rejected the plea: 'No, we will not reconsider that decision. We judge that the best contribution we can make is to take some of the most vulnerable.

'I'm not saying that the fit young men don't have a reason. What I'm saying is we must focus on the most vulnerable people who do not have that option.'
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Asylum – bishop, Syrian refugees
Church of England bishop who preaches about allowing Syrian refugees into Britain... but won't take any into his six-bedroom house
Steve Doughty
Daily Mail, 19 October 2015

One of the 84 Church of England bishops who publicly pressed David Cameron to allow more Syrian refugees into Britain last night said he would not take any into his own six-bedroom mansion.

The Bishop of Manchester, the Right Rev David Walker, urged ordinary people to welcome asylum seekers from the war-torn country and said it would be 'a sad reflection' on society if they did not.

He claimed, however, that it would be wrong for a refugee family to move into his own recently refurbished house because of the language barrier and their 'alien culture'.
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Asylum – Syrian refugees
Syria refugees: Bishops urge David Cameron to do more
BBC, 18 October 2015

Eighty-four Church of England bishops have revealed that they wrote to David Cameron last month urging him to accept at least 50,000 refugees from Syria.

The UK's decision to accept 20,000 by 2020 was not adequate and most people wanted to offer more help, they said.

The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Rev Paul Butler, said it was "disheartening" they had not had a "substantive reply".

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said "nobody is doing more" than the UK "to help the refugees in their camps".

In addition to offering to accept 20,000 refugees from camps bordering war-torn Syria, the government has provided £1bn in aid to Syria, with an extra £100m given to charities to help thousands of people displaced by the conflict. ...

Downing Street said the government wanted to tackle "the causes and consequences" of the refugee problem and that the UK was the second biggest donor in the world towards helping refugees in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.
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Asylum – bishops, Syrian refugees
Cameron should listen to Syrian bishops, not the Anglican ones
Melanie McDonagh
Spectator blog, 18 October 2015

Well, it's something, I suppose, that the Archbishops of Canterbury and York didn't sign that ill-advised letter last month from 84 CofE bishops to the PM calling for the Government to take in 50,000 more Syrian migrants


Quite the most devastating critique of that letter came, in fact, from a man who was rather grateful for them for their "love and their charity". It was the Archbishop of Aleppo (the Melkite Greek Catholic one), Jean Clement Jeanbart, who is in London for the launch of the annual report from the charity Aid to the Church in Need – which I may say, makes sobering reading.

He was, naturally grateful for the CofE bishops taking an interest. "Love-wise, Christian feelings-wise, it is a good move", he said of the letter on today's Sunday Programme on Radio 4. From the perspective of what actually works, however, he intimated it was pretty well the opposite of what Christians in Syria want. "We suffer that our people would leave the country", he said. So, not so keen on encouraging the exodus.
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Asylum – Scotland
Clark Cross
Daily Telegraph, 13 October 2015
[Letter to the Editor]

SIR – Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, has said that Scotland will take in 2,000 refugees every year.

There are now 4,896 children and their parents living in temporary accommodation across Scotland; yet refugees will get priority over them.
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Asylum – refugees, public opinion
Refugee crisis: Surge of sympathy for refugees in Britain 'likely to be fleeting,' study says
John Rentoul
The Independent on Sunday, 11 October 2015

The surge of sympathy for refugees in Britain is likely to be "fleeting", according to a new study of the response of the public to similar news stories last year.

After the publication of a photo of a dead boy on a Turkish beach, and the welcoming stance towards Syrian refugees taken by the German government, many British people demanded that their government should take a greater share of refugees, and many even offered to take refugees into their own homes.

But the study, by YouGov and academics at the universities of Essex and Exeter, suggests that any increase in support for taking more refugees is influenced by the perceived generosity of other countries and will be short-lived.

The survey, carried out last year, divided people into three groups. They were all told – as was the case at the time – that the EU was asking member states to take a share of 30,000 refugees. The first group was asked, without any further information, how many Britain should take. The most popular answer, apart from "None" (28 per cent), was between 500 and 5,000 (23 per cent).

A second group was told that Germany would be taking 10,000 refugees. The researchers commented that "there was an uptick in the percentage of Britons who wish to take what then was a large number of refugees (5,000 or more)", rising from 14 per cent to 23 per cent. But a third group was told that France would be taking 500 refugees, and those respondents wanted Britain to take the fewest refugees. The percentage that wanted Britain to take 500 or fewer rose from 16 per cent of the control group to 34 per cent.

Tom Scotto, who led the research, said that British attitudes are influenced by the policies of other countries, but are likely to be more strongly influenced towards a less "generous" stance in line with neighbouring states that are less welcoming towards asylum-seekers.

However, any effect on opinion is likely to be temporary. A follow-up question asked later in the survey found no significant difference between the three groups in their attitudes towards the generosity of foreign aid.

After the publication of the photo of the body of Aylan Kurdi last month, David Cameron pledged that the UK would take 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next five years. Jeremy Corbyn joined a "Solidarity with Refugees" march a week later, on the day he was elected Labour leader.

Professor Scotto said: "The overt activism we're seeing on the streets in the form of protests demanding Britain do more are attitudes expressed by an engaged segment of the British population. Views of the rest of the public are generally more sceptical of aid and the desirability of Britain housing more refugees."
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Asylum – Syrian Christian refugees
Let in 2,000 Christian refugees from Syria, urges MigrationWatch cofounder
Caroline Wheeler
Sunday Express, 11 October 2015

A leading campaigner for tougher immigration controls has called for Britain to take at least 2,000 Christian refugees from Syria over the next five years.

MigrationWatch UK chairman Sir Andrew Green claims Britain must "play fair" by the Christians fleeing Syria and help save them from the barbarians of the Islamic State.

Last month the Sunday Express revealed how scores of Christians have already been murdered by IS and thousands forced to leave ancient communities in north-eastern Syria and western Iraq as the extremists demand they either convert to Islam, pay an extortionate rate of tax or face execution.

More than 700,000 of Syria's population of 1.1 million Christians have already had to leave as jihadists moved into the north-west of the country and it is believed there are now no more than 250,000 Christians in Syria.

Now Lord Green has become the latest to add his voice to a powerful lobby, which includes the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey and Jewish peer Lord Weidenfeld, who was saved from the Nazis in Austria in 1938.

Last night Lord Green, who co-founded the MigrationWatch pressure group, said: "We must play fair by the Christians fleeing Syria but the Government seems to be ducking the issue. They are selecting families from the UN refugee camps but many of the Christians have been driven out of the camps so special arrangements must be made.

"Christians comprised about 10 per cent of the population of Syria so they should comprise a similar proportion of the refugees we take – that is 2,000 over the next five years.

"Otherwise the Government's talk about non-discriminating in favour of any group will result in discrimination against Christians. "That would be unacceptable to many people in Britain."

Lord Green has now pledged to take up the plight of the Syrian Christians in the House of Lords.
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Asylum – refugees
Calais is just a side show for the real refugee crisis
Ross Clark
Daily Express, 10 October 2015

But coming from a country which by our standards is very poor and which does not enjoy the full democratic rights that we do does not automatically qualify you for asylum. If it did, the majority of the world's population would have the right to settle in Europe.

The way to help the world's poor is through economic development, with aid targeted at the victims of natural and man-made disasters, not by taking in a lucky few who have managed to make it to Calais. ...

The tragedy of the Calais situation is that it has distracted from the genuine refugee crisis.

While warm-hearted Britons have been driving their transit vans to Calais, the UN Food Programme has been forced, through lack of resources, to cut rations it has been providing for refugees in countries around the Syrian border and for those who have been displaced within Syria itself.

The 5,000 migrants camped in Calais are nothing but a sideshow. The vast majority of Syrian refugees haven't even left Syria. There are 6.5 million who have been forced to flee their homes now living in other parts of the country.

A further three million are living in neighbouring countries. It is a scandal that the UN programmes to help these people are short of money. Resources go so much further when we help refugees close to the problem they are seeking refuge from.

The maximum spent by the World Food Programme is $14 (£9.16) per person per month – a tiny fraction of what it costs to put up asylum-seekers in British hotels. Failing properly to support refugee camps in and around Syria encourages people to try to travel further afield.

Not only that, it helps to dissipate Syria's population and starve it of the talented people it will need to rebuild if the civil war ends. ...

While refugees in and around Syria get basic aid, those who make it to Britain are lavished with benefits.

We could and should be sending any who arrive from Calais back to France and telling them to claim asylum there – the rules on asylum demand that those seeking it do so in the first safe country they reach, not shop around for the one in which they most fancy living.

Many choose to try to make it to Britain because we have a more dynamic economy which makes it easier for them to work illegally, we have a more generous benefits system and because we don't have identity cards.

Britain is the perfect environment, in other words, for economic migrants to disguise themselves as refugees.

And because we don't send them back to France they only have to be lucky once. The most ridiculous headline I have read all year concerned a group of migrants who walked through the Channel Tunnel and, so it was said, "failed" to reach Britain because they were caught a mile short of the coast.

No, they didn't fail. They were picked up by police and brought to Britain. All the police patrol did was to save their legs the last mile's walk.
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Asylum – European Union
Cause of EU migrant crisis is in the EU treaty
Christopher Booker
Sunday Telegraph, 4 October 2015

So visible is the impotence of the EU in knowing what to do about the ever rising flood of refugees that the media are spoiled for choice in knowing what detail to pick on next. That some of those 800,000 asylum-seekers Angela Merkel wants to welcome to Germany are being "housed in the former Dachau concentration camp" was irresistible, although they are not living in the death camp itself but only in an adjacent barracks.

This is not really any more symbolic than that the EU's police agency Europol was originally housed in the former Gestapo headquarters in the Hague – or that the Council of Europe is run from the wartime HQ of the Wehrmacht.

What is really at the heart of this shambles, however, is in the Lisbon Treaty's Charter of Fundamental Rights: "The right to asylum shall be guaranteed with due respect for the rules of the Geneva Convention of July 28 1951 and the Protocol of January 31 1967 relating to the status of refugees and in accordance with the Treaty establishing the European Community."

What this means in plain English is that the EU is issuing an open invitation to anyone claiming to be a refugee from anywhere in the world and that the "member states" must let them in. No one signing up to that in 1951 or even 2008 when it was enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty could have imagined that their numbers might swell to millions.

The inevitable consequences we now witness every day. As the nations erect ever more aggressive fences to keep them out, there is nothing they can really do to solve the problem, so long as that open invitation remains in the Treaty, stemming from a well-meaning UN Convention designed for a very different and long-vanished world.
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Asylum – Sweden
Refugees shouldn't be forced to register: Nordic leaders
Global Times, 4 October 2015

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofvenon said on Saturday that refugees should not be forced to register if they do not want to seek asylum in a country.

"You can not force people to seek asylum in a country if they do not want to," Lofvenon said at a press briefing after a joint Nordic leaders meeting hosted by Denmark.

"Therefore, there are people who have come to Sweden but further proceeded to Finland," Lofvenon added. ...

The Nordic countries have seen a tense situation due to the streaming in of refugees and migrants.
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Asylum – Arab states, Syrian refugees
Why the Arab States won't take in Syrian refugees
Mohammad Ahmad
USA Today, 4 October 2015

However, many people are perplexed that the Arab states, despite their geographical proximity, historical links and shared religion and language with Syrian refugees are not making any significant contribution to the resettlement of those refugees in their lands. ...

... The wealthiest Arab countries have formally taken in no Syrian refugees, arguing that doing so would open them up to the risk of terrorism.

To placate citizens who feel compassion for the Syrian refugees, Arab governments point to the money they have given to help Syrian refugees. Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait have been among the world's largest donors to Syrian refugees, via United Nations agencies and private charities.

While aid through the U.N. and its agencies is verifiable, the portion given through private charities is not. While Kuwait has provided $784 million through the U.N. since 2012 and the UAE more than $350 million, these amounts are still less than the almost $800 million from Britain or the $3 billion the U.S. has provided.

The Arab states' argument about the risk of terrorists entering their lands is a lame one. Any significant movement has been in the reverse direction. The Syrian resistance has had the tactical support of the Arab states, which share the resistance leaders' doctrinal agenda. These pseudo-Islamist leaders have little interest in destabilizing the Arab States that are funding them, especially when their most important immediate goal is a victory in Syria. The threat of state-sponsored terrorism by Syria's Assad government is also far-fetched since Syria's ruler has his hands full fighting for his survival.

The real reason for this inhuman blocking of Syrian refugees is different. The Syrians have lived under secular governments far too long for the comfort of the Arab states. While Syrian rulers may have been undemocratic, they did protect religious freedom for most groups. As a result, many Syrians accept religious plurality and are more inclusive than exclusive. This does not fit in with the doctrinal rigidity of the ruling Arab elite.

That the Syrians share a common language makes them dangerous in the eyes of some Arab rulers. They fear that refugees could dangerously pollute the minds of subjects who are kept under strict religious monitoring although even the Quran says, "Admonish thou then; thou art but an admonisher. Thou art not over them a warden."

Additionally, figures in some of these Arab states have made inflammatory statements about Syrian refugees, many of whom are Alawites, Christians or Druze. Given how things operate in these states, it is difficult to assume that these have been made in contradiction to government policies.

A sermon delivered by the pseudo-Islamist Saudi cleric Sa'ad Ateeq al Ateeq in Doha's state-controlled Grand Mosque called for the destruction of the faithful of other religions: "Allah, strengthen Islam and the Muslims, and destroy your enemies, the enemies of the religion," he said. The preacher went on to say, "Allah, destroy the Jews and whoever made them Jews, and destroy the Christians and Alawites and the Shiites." Not very long ago, Saudi Arabia's highest Islamic authority, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah, called for the destruction of "all the churches in the (Arabian peninsula)."
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Asylum – crime
Bassingbourn Libyan sex-attack soldiers 'seeking asylum'
Sally Chidzoy
BBC, 30 September 2015

Three Libyan soldiers jailed for sexually assaulting women while stationed at an Army base are seeking asylum in the UK, police have said.

Khaled El Azibi, Ibrahim Naji El Maarfi and Mohammed Abdalsalam fled Bassingbourn Barracks and carried out the attacks last October.

Cambridgeshire Police said the men have been released from prison and were at secure immigration units. ...

The cadets, who were among 300 being trained to support the newly-formed Libyan government, stole bicycles and rode into Cambridge city centre on 25 October.

During the early hours of the next day they were involved in attacks on three teenagers near Corn Exchange Street.

They each received sentences of between 10 and 12 months and have since been released from prison.

Two other cadets were convicted of raping a man in the city on the same night and were jailed for 12 years. ...

The attacks led to the UK government cancelling the training and sending the troops back to Libya.
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Asylum – numbers
Six-year high for asylum claims as more than 4,300 refugees reached Britain in a single month
Daily Mail, 26 September 2015

The number of migrants claiming asylum in Britain has hit the highest total for more than six years, an analysis showed yesterday.

There were 4,305 applications in July, more than in any month since figures began to be compiled in 2009.

The total, published by the EU's Eurostat statistics arm, compares with 7,470 asylum claimants over the previous three months.

It points to an increase in asylum claims connected to the European migration crisis that threatens to push numbers towards the record levels recorded in the early 2000s. ...

The figures show that despite pressure on Greece, Croatia and Austria, Britain was still the fourth biggest EU destination for asylum seekers in July. Germany recorded more than 37,500 asylum claims, Hungary 31,285, and Sweden 8,060.
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Asylum – economic migrants, refugees, Syrians
FactCheck: does only one in five migrants come from Syria?
Patrick Worrall
FactCheck, 22 September 2015

It's perfectly true to say that about 20 per cent of the non-EU citizens who migrate to Europe are from Syria.

It's true, but not news: FactCheck "revealed" the figures in a blog post on the migration crisis in Europe earlier this month:

Syrians made up 19 per cent of all non-EU asylum applicants who migrated to 32 European countries in 2014. ...

In the second quarter of 2015, the percentage of Syrian asylum seekers is almost exactly the same – just under 19 per cent (we're looking at first-time applicants only in the 32 countries covered by Eurostat):

For context: Syrians still make up the biggest single nationality among asylum seekers visiting the EU, and their numbers rose by more than any other group between the second quarter of 2015 and the same period this year.

However, the numbers of people coming from other countries like Afghanistan and Albania have risen more sharply in percentage terms: ...

We found that the numbers of refugees in Turkey, Lebanon and elsewhere dwarf the number who have fled to Europe:

It's not accurate to say that most end up in "camps". In some countries, like Lebanon, the large Syrian refugee population is largely dispersed among the normal resident population rather than living in camps.

The question raised by Mr Davies about how many of the migrants are refugees and how many are coming for economic reasons cannot be answered definitively.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR has long warned that it is too simplistic to try to divide people into these two neat groups – for many, the distinction between fleeing some kind of danger or persecution and wanting a better standard of living will be blurred.

We do know what happens to asylum applications. In 2014 just over 60 per cent of people had their claim rejected by the authorities in various European countries:

The rest were either given refugee status or allowed to remain for humanitarian reasons. ...

The EU border agency Frontex, which tracks illegal border crossings, produces figures on how many Syrians are using the main migration routes:

It's a similar story to the asylum stats. Syrians are the single biggest group on the most popular routes, but even without them, we would still be talking about significant numbers of people migrating to Europe.
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Asylum – Europe
Refugee crisis: 'Europe needs to take big numbers. Until then, chaos reigns'
Emma Graham-Harrison
The Guardian, 20 September 2015

Europe's heads of government gather this week for a meeting billed as a last-ditch effort to resolve the refugee crisis sweeping the continent.

But the pace of arrivals has accelerated so fast that the deal some are touting as a solution to the challenge is actually more of a stopgap measure to tackle an emergency.

Politicians in Brussels have been arguing fiercely about where 120,000 refugees should be allowed to settle, even though tens of thousands more have already travelled into the continent. Borders are being sealed with bewildering speed, as columns of desperate people move from country to country in their attempt to find a haven.

And winter is only likely to bring a pause, rather than an end, to the crisis. ...

Countries from the Balkans to Denmark are sealing land borders, setting up a chain of obstacles that may eventually all but block passage for refugees to prosperous western European nations. But the journeys from Turkey to Europe's eastern edge will be almost impossible to stop. ...

Selim Yenel, Turkey's ambassador to the EU, warned last week: "If Aleppo falls to the regime or to Isis, we could have another flood of a million people from one of the biggest cities in Syria."
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Asylum – economic migration, politics
Human migration will be a defining issue of this century. How best to cope? [part 1]
Alexander Betts
The Guardian, 20 September 2015
[Professor Alexander Betts is director of the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford]

This is the first time in its history that the European Union has faced a mass influx of refugees from outside the region. ...

Many are beginning to ask whether the current crisis represents a temporary peak in displacement or presages a new, long-term trend. On what basis can we know? ...

It depends significantly on us, and the policies we, and our leaders, choose to adopt – nationally, regionally, and globally. ...

In general terms, the number of refugees in the world is broadly a function of the number of wars and human-rights-abusing dictatorships at any given time. Today, there are a series of internal and regional armed conflicts around the world. Most of these are in two regions, the Middle East and Africa.

There are humanitarian emergencies in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Somalia, Nigeria and, closer to home, in Ukraine. /.../ If we were able to address the root causes of those conflicts, the number of refugees in the world would decline significantly.

However, there are also grounds to believe that refugees and displacement are likely to become a defining issue of the 21st century. Two global trends in particular suggest this: fragility and mobility. In both cases, the international community is struggling to come up with viable collective responses.

First, a growing number of states are characterised by chronic fragility, with weak governance leading to an inability or unwillingness to ensure the most fundamental human rights of citizens. ... ...

Second, there is greater human mobility than ever before. In 1970, there were 70 million international migrants; today there are well over 200 million. With globalisation, the opportunity and inclination to move is greater than ever. States continue to pursue the politically expedient fiction that they can unilaterally assert sovereign control over immigration but the reality is more complex.

Related to this, a common popular belief is that if, for example, Syrians exercise agency and choice to move onwards they must be "economic migrants" rather than refugees. The reality is different; there is nothing inconsistent about the idea that someone can be a refugee fleeing persecution and still take the opportunity to seek asylum further afield.

Throughout the crisis, a debate has been on whether it is a "migrant" or a "refugee" crisis. ...

However, the stark dichotomy between "refugee" and "economic migrant" masks a growing trend: that many people coming fall between those two extremes.

... The 1951 convention on the status of refugees defines a refugee as someone fleeing "persecution", based on race, religion, nationality, membership of a social group, or political opinion. /.../ Today, the sources of cross-border displacement are increasingly complex, and many fit poorly with the 1951 convention.

Environmental change, food insecurity, and generalised violence, for example, represent emerging sources of human displacement. ... ...
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Asylum – economic migration, politics
Human migration will be a defining issue of this century. How best to cope? [part 2]
Alexander Betts
The Guardian, 20 September 2015

How are people supposed to claim asylum? In Europe, asylum is based on an inherent contradiction; people are expected to arrive spontaneously in Europe, yet border management means the only means to do so is "illegal" entry. It is this paradox that underlies the smuggling industry, the chaos at Europe's border, and the loss of life in the Mediterranean. Europe's current proposals do nothing to address this.

One solution would be a humanitarian visa system that allows asylum seekers to travel legally to a country in which they can claim asylum.

The current refugee regime creates an obligation on states to provide asylum to refugees on their territory. However, it is vague on the obligations states have to support refugees on the territory of other states. This leads to a fundamental inequity, because responsibility is de facto allocated on the basis of proximity. ...

Increasingly, people fleeing fall into a neither/nor category. Many people leaving fragile states fall outside the 1951 convention definition but cannot in any way be described as "voluntary" migrants. If they cannot achieve the basic conditions for life and dignity in their country of origin, then, ethically, they are in an analogous situation to refugees. ...

A major reason for the crisis of legitimacy of asylum around the world is that states have few practical ways to respond to people without a human rights-based or humanitarian claim. Removal and deportation processes are costly, and challenging both diplomatically and often challenging also from a human rights perspective.

In part, we have to accept that the price of asylum is a low level of non-removable people who are not in need of protection.
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Asylum – Christians
Welby concern on anti-Christian refugee policy
Hattie Williams
Church Times, 18 September 2015

The Archbishop of Canterbury has expressed concern over the Government's refugee policy, which, he says, risks discriminating against Christians who are facing persecution in Syria.

In a private meeting with the Prime Minister on Monday, Archbishop Welby warned that Christians were likely to be excluded from the 20,000 refugees who were scheduled to come to the UK in the next five years, because of Mr Cameron's decision to take refugees directly from UN camps in Syria and bordering countries. Many Syrian Christians avoided the camps for fear of religious persecution.

Although EU policy prevents the Government from discriminating in favour of any one religious group, Archbishop Welby said that drawing refugees from these camps would lead to the same offence.

In a speech in the House of Lords on Monday, Archbishop Welby said that the Christian population had been "forced to flee" the camps, out of fear of "intimidation and radicalisation" from rogue Islamist groups.
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Asylum – fake passports
Migrants are buying fake Syrian passports – and it could disrupt an already fragile political climate
Barbara Tasch
Business Insider, 16 September 2015

The preferential treatment given to Syrian refugees has led migrants trying to reach Europe to try and pass as Syrians, precipitating a boom in the traffic of fake passports, The Wall Street Journal reports. ...

The head of Europe's border agency, Fabrice Leggeri, already warned about the emerging fake Syrian passport market a few weeks ago.

"There are people who are in Turkey now who buy fake Syrian passports because they know Syrians get the right to asylum in all the member states of the European Union," Leggeri told radio station Europe 1.

He also mentioned that the people who buy fake Syrian passports often speak Arabic and probably come from North Africa or the Middle East. ...

Authorities have been trying to clamp down on the migrants pretending to be refugees, but the sheer number of people coming into Europe has made strict controls impossible to implement. ...

according to The Journal. ...

The boom in the fake Syrian market was also reported by German authorities, who last week intercepted several packages of real and fake passports.
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Asylum – working class
The refugee crisis will hit the UK's working class areas hardest
Lisa Mckenzie
The Guardian, 16 September 2015

As a researcher focusing for more than a decade on inequality and the stigmatisation of working-class people and communities, particularly connected to council estates, I fear what will follow this summer's refugee crisis. Harrowing images of people being packed into trains, and children's bodies washed up on beaches has led to an almost involuntary reaction to offer help among European people who still live with the legacies of the 1939-45 war. As a result, the government policy U-turn means that Britain can now take in refugees and the chancellor, George Osborne, has announced that some of the £12bn international aid budget can be offered to local councils to help house refugees in the UK. ...

The women I was working with in Nottingham were aware of how accusations of white working-class racism are played with by politicians, the media and the do-gooders, as they called teachers and social workers – the people who, they knew, never had to put up with this. They were careful about what they said, and who they complained to, about those they called the Iraqis. ...

The women in Nottingham and in Bethnal Green are fully aware of the pressures on the limited resources within their neighbourhoods, and they know they are expected to share the very little they have, while others may stand in judgment of their complaints. They see this as something else they have no control over. The dominant narrative in Britain for working-class people is about feeling powerless, having no say, being disrespected, and having accusations of ignorance, small-mindedness and racism thrown at you if you point out that your neighbourhood can't take much more.
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Asylum – Islam, Christianity
Francis is right: we should be concerned about ISIS infiltrators
Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith
Catholic Herald, 16 September 2015

Alexander Lucie-Smith is a Catholic priest, doctor of moral theology and consulting editor of The Catholic Herald

The Pope recently, in a wide ranging radio interview, made reference to the security implications of the current refugee influx into the European Union. The Pope did not simply warn us that some ISIS wolves may be entering dressed as refugee sheep, rather he emphasised that we should receive refugees despite the risks involved. Nevertheless, he did point out the obvious: that with such a large number coming in, and coming in so quickly, it is has proved impossible to vet each arrival.

Yet the idea that ISIS may be flooding Europe with either its sympathizers or its sleepers is a potent one, which has done the rounds on social media. The truth of the matter is that there may well be some ISIS-sympathizers amidst the refugees, and even some ISIS agents, through the numbers might be small, and much smaller than the ISIS sympathizers and agents who are already in Europe, because born there or long resident there. But this is guess work. When there are no border checks, one really has no dependable idea of who is coming in. Indeed, even when there are elaborate border checks, and passports and visas, even then one's control over who enters seems less secure than one might think.

The wolf in sheep's clothing idea is of course one that stands for something else: the deep uneasiness that many feel about unrestricted Muslim immigration into what was Christian Europe. The only leading politician who has given voice to this fear is Victor Orbán, the Prime Minister of Hungary. Mr Orbán's intervention has underlined that a mass movement of people will have consequences, many of them unforeseen; and that Europe's identity is based on Christianity, which must be brought into question by continuing Muslim immigration.

On both these matters Mr Orbán is completely correct, but the never quite expressed riposte goes as follows: we do not care about Europe's Christian identity, and if it is watered down or obscured, so what? As for the consequences of welcoming so many from outside, these people will of course be integrated. The trouble with these answers is that while many might not care about our identity as a Christian continent, some of us still do, and do not like being told that our outlook, rooted in our history and culture, is somehow not important. And the recent history of Europe provides ample proof that integration has not been an unqualified success.

What perhaps defeats the Hungarian Prime Minister's logic (and those of the secularist tendency who think the Christian foundation of Europe unimportant) is the simple fact that to be Christian is to welcome people in, particularly those who need food and shelter and a safe place to live. That is the Christian way. So, Victor Orbán is essentially claiming that we should preserve our Christian identity through anti-Christian behaviour; and those who think our Christian identity does not matter nevertheless think we should act in a Christian manner (not that they would call it that.) Both positions are self-contradictory.
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Asylum – crisis
Dalai Lama: real answer to Europe's refugee crisis lies in Middle East
John Bingham
Daily Telegraph, 15 September 2015

The answer to the refugee crisis must be found in the Middle East because it would be "impossible" for Europe to provide sanctuary to everyone in need, the Dalai Lama has insisted.

The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, who has himself been in exile for 56 years, praised Germany in particular for offering sanctuary to thousands of people fleeing war in Syria and elsewhere as "wonderful" but insisted it was not a "long-term solution". ...

He spoke of the need for the interests of "humanity" to come before those of countries or even continents.

But asked for his impressions on the European response to the refugee crisis, he said: "I think some, especially Germany, [have given] a very good response, and Austria.

"And then this country also now is showing serious consideration about that – wonderful.

"But then you have to think, it is impossible for [everyone outside] Europe [to] come to Europe, impossible.

"They are taking care about these refugees, a small number, but ultimately we have to think how to reduce this killing in their own countries. ...

"So taking care of several thousand refugees [is] wonderful, but [in the] mean time you have to think about long-term solutions, how to bring genuine peace and genuine development, mainly through education, for these Muslim countries," he said.
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Asylum – Syria, Christians refugees
Archbishop warns Cameron over Syrian refugees
Robert Mendick
Sunday Telegraph, 13 September 2015

The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned David Cameron that his Government's refugee policy is discriminating against Christians facing oppression in Syria.

The Most Rev Justin Welby is understood to have met the prime minister last week amid growing concerns that Christians in Syria will be largely excluded from the 20,000 refugees due to come to the UK over the next five years.

Archbishop Welby raised the issue with Mr Cameron at a private meeting last week, according to a well placed source, over concerns that Christians in Syria will not be given the opportunity to come to the UK.

The Government, in line with European Union policy, is committed to taking in refugees from UN camps in Syria and neighbouring countries. It cannot discriminate in favour of any one religious group.

But the Archbishop has raised concerns that Christians have avoided refugee camps because of fears of persecution from rogue Islamist groups operating inside refugee camps.

In a speech in the House of Lords last Monday, Archbishop Welby said that "within the camps there is significant intimidation and radicalisation, and many particularly of the Christian population who have been forced to flee are unable to be in the camps."

He went on: "What is the Government's policy of reaching out to those who are not actually in the camps?"

He then raised the issue with Mr Cameron in a private meeting. A source said: "Justin Welby spoke to David Cameron about this. he raised his concerns."

The Archbishop's intervention follows concern raised by his predecessor Lord Carey, who wrote in the Telegraph of his concern over the plight of Christians.

Lord Carey wrote: "The frustration for those of us who have been calling for compassion for Syrian victims for many months is that the Christian community is yet again left at the bottom of the heap.

"Mr Cameron's policy inadvertently discriminates against the very Christian communities most victimised by the inhuman butchers of the so-called Islamic State.

"Christians are not to be found in the UN camps, because they have been attacked and targeted by Islamists and driven from them. They are seeking refuge in private homes, church buildings and with neighbours and family."

A coalition of faith groups from 14 organisations has issued a statement accusing the US and UK governments of ignoring the plight of Christians and other ethnic minority groups by effectively failing to discriminate positively in their favour.
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Asylum – European Union, Germany
As crisis escalates, Berlin says refugees can not choose where to live
Reuters, 13 September 2015

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said refugees streaming into Europe should not be able to choose where to settle, as authorities said thousands more were on the move across the continent on Sunday. ...

In an interview with German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel, de Maiziere said refugees given protection in Europe should accept that they will be distributed across the bloc.

"We can't allow refugees to freely choose where they want to stay - that's not the case anywhere in the world," he said.

"It also can't be our duty to pay benefits laid out in German law to refugees who have been allocated to one EU country and then come to Germany anyway," he added.

Interior ministers from the EU's 28 member states are meeting in Brussels on Monday to discuss proposals from the EU's executive Commission to redistribute about 160,000 asylum seekers across the bloc. ...

Tensions are rising in Germany, where states have complained about the growing burden of coping with Europe's worst refugee crisis in decades.

German EU Commissioner Guenter Oettinger told newspaper Welt am Sonntag that Germany should reduce benefits for asylum seekers to reduce the numbers coming across its borders. ...

De Maiziere said Germany, which has, since last weekend been temporarily ignoring European rules that state migrants must register for asylum in the first EU country where they arrive, needed to quickly return to "orderly procedures".

But he said Germany needed to prepare itself to deal with "a very high number" of refugees in the long-term. Some are pretending to be Syrian in the hope of getting asylum, he said.
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Asylum – Europe under siege
Our way of life is now under threat
Frederick Forsyth
Daily Express, 12 September 2015

The whole continent of Europe is now under siege and the unspoken truth is that there is no sign of it ending. ...

What we are seeing, about a million human beings on the move from a huge range of failed states towards this continent, is but the tip of the iceberg. /.../ We are told the crisis is the worst since the Second World War. Wrong.

I remember 1945. At VE Day there were 13 million refugees in Western Europe; they were called Displaced Persons or DPs and I recall the camps where they were lodged. But 10 million were Germans who had fled the six vast Teutonic provinces of the east as the Red Army swept towards them.

/.../ It was only a question of Germans absorbing fellow-Germans. The other three million were also Europeans; ... ...

These refugees are different. They are not Europeans and the number who want to come to Europe could be almost limitless. Let us be frank. They are not starving, gaunt, emaciated and in rags. /.../ So what are they fleeing?

The answer is simple: war and the brutality of tyrants. I estimate they derive from about 20 countries, many of them hellholes. Let me name six: Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan. As usual Europeans are being told it is all our fault. Wrong.

True we invaded Iraq but to topple one of the foulest dictators on earth. Think back. The first reaction of the persecuted Shia majority was gratitude – for about 10 days. Then they turned on us, along with the resentful Sunni master group. So we left.

Since then the Iraqis have turned their own country into hell on earth. Syria was once a beautiful land but ruled by a dictator. His people marched peacefully asking for greater representation. He replied with guns and torture. With nearly a million dead or crippled, Syria is a second hell.

Libya was also ruled by a mad tyrant. His people rose against him. We assisted them – but only from the air. The Libyans took their own country back – then turned it into hell. Somalia was once poor but peaceful with an elegant Italianate capital in Mogadishu. Then it got independence – but only to be ruled by local tyrant Siad Barre. He fell and 20 years of civil war left it gutted and ungovernable.

Eritrea (can you even find it on the map) got its freedom from despot-ruled Ethiopia. Now it is another brutal tyranny whose people long to be free. South Sudan was brutally ruled by Khartoum, fought a decadeslong independence war, achieved sovereignty and is now torn to pieces by civil war.

Just six countries out of about 20 but providing about 80 per cent of the refugees you see on your TV screens. Twenty years ago most knew nothing of the world outside their own narrow and brutal confines. Then came the world wide web and they saw another place.

Wealthy, stable, at peace. Benign, democratic government, civil police, disciplined army, food, houses, hospitals, schools, ordered, stable. That is what they seek. If they had it at home they would stay there. David Cameron has been mocked for suggesting Europe may have no choice but to intervene in strength and at source.

The Left produces only a torrent of platitudes. The truth is, ours is a crowded continent and our homeland a group of congested islands. We cannot absorb 10 or even 20 million arriving from Africa and near-Asia, however much we sympathise with those seeking a better life, without destroying our own societies. Benign intervention may be our only way.
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Asylum – cost to UK, European Union
Britain faces £90 MILLION asylum seeker bill from EU – even though we opted out of quotas
Scott Campbell
Daily Express, 10 September 2015

British taxpayers face a £90 million bill from the European Union to fund the relocation of 160,000 asylum seekers.

Yesterday European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker issued compulsory refugee quotas to member states so that they can share the burden.

But even though Britain has opted out of the ruling, the Government will still have to foot the bill, according to a Downing Street spokesman.

The costs will be met by the EU's Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund – which Britain pays in to.

And officials will demand an extra £780 million from governments to fund the relocation.

The countries taking in refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Eritrea will be given £6,000 per person.

Britain's total cost will be £90 million over two years.
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Asylum – Germany
Angela Merkel is making the refugee crisis worse
James Forsyth
Spectator blog, 10 September 2015

There have been plenty of bad decisions taken by European politicians in the last few years. But few will cause as much misery as Angela Merkel's refugee policy. Her decision to rip up the Dublin Convention and announce that any Syrian can claim asylum in Germany will lead to more people putting their hands in the lives of unscrupulous human traffickers as they try desperately to make it to Germany. This will, tragically, lead to more deaths.

In the magazine this week, I argue that Merkel's policy is flawed on several levels. First, she has chosen to prioritise those Syrians who have already made it to Europe. These people are not in imminent fear of their lives unlike the millions of internally displaced people within Syria. It also ignores the plight of those in refugee camps on the Syrian border; the UNHCR say that they have a $795 million funding gap in their Syrian operation. ...

Then, there is the question of the future of Syria itself. By taking in those Syrians who have already Europe, Merkel is, intentionally or not, cherry-picking the more prosperous members of what used to be Syrian society, those who have sufficient resources to pay the traffickers. Without them, their ravaged country is far less likely to make a recovery once the fighting eventually stops.

Far from being an act of enlightened moral leadership, Merkel's refugee policy is short-sighted and not properly thought through. It fails the test of true statesmanship.
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Asylum – BBC, public opinion
Sorry, but the Left can't browbeat the British people into accepting yet more migrants
Stephen Glover
Daily Mail, 10 September 2015

Have most British people suddenly set aside their reservations about immigration, and are they now strongly in favour of accepting tens of thousands of Syrian and other refugees?

To listen to the BBC, along with would-be Labour Party leaders (especially Jeremy Corbyn), you would certainly get the impression that is the case. According to these authorities, the photograph of the dead three-year-old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi on a Turkish beach has brought about a change in public opinion. ...

If the BBC and other media are to be believed, the British people have done a sudden U-turn, and are now positively eager to admit tens of thousands of migrants. ...

The trouble is it's not true. To judge by at least three different polls in recent days, there hasn't been a miraculous shift in public opinion after the publication of that moving photograph.

First, a Survation poll over the weekend suggested that only one-in-four people favoured taking in 10,000 or more refugees. In other words, three-quarters of the population do not believe we should, if this survey is to be believed.

Another poll by ComRes indicated that the picture of Aylan Kurdi has had some effect on people's views, though nearly two-thirds of respondents think that photos of drowned children risk distorting rational debate. Some 57 per cent either think there should be fewer refugees or that the new figure of 20,000 over five years is about right.

A third, even more striking, poll by YouGov found that 45 per cent of people think even 20,000 is too many. In fact, only 15 per cent of respondents in this survey believe that the Government should let in more refugees than it has agreed to.

If anything, the harrowing pictures of Aylan Kurdi appear to have had more of an impact on Mr Cameron, who changed his mind overnight about admitting Syrian refugees, than they have had on public opinion.

The BBC has thrown everything at this story – and remember that the Corporation accounts for around a half of all news disseminated in this country. Star correspondents and cameramen have been despatched to every refugee crisis point from Hungary to Lebanon to Lesbos to Syria itself, and the most disturbing footage has been broadcast from morn to night.

And yet despite the ubiquity of the BBC, and countless manipulative reports, only a small minority of people want to welcome more refugees. ...

This is not because the majority is cold-hearted or lacking in compassion. Almost everyone will have been moved by the pictures of distress. But unlike prospective Labour Party leaders and BBC special correspondents, most people realise that this country is in no position to accept enormous numbers of refugees.

In the first place, people know that over the past 15 years or so, Britain has admitted more immigrants than almost any other European country, with an ever-mounting, and in some cases unendurable, pressure on public services such as schools and hospitals. The recently released figure for net immigration in the 12 months to March was 330,000, an all-time high.

And, in the second place, most people sense that the sheer enormity of the problem – at least six million displaced Syrians, and God knows many millions of unhappy and distressed Africans – is beyond the power of this country, or any country including Germany, to solve.
[Site link]


Asylum – employment, public opinion, UK, European Union
Give refugees the right to work from day one, says Juncker as he reveals power-grab for EU-wide migration policy
Matt Chorley
MailOnline, 9 September 2015

Every country should give refugees the right to work from the moment they reach the European Union, Jean Claude Juncker said today.

In an extraordinary demand to rewrite national laws, the European Commission President said asylum seekers should be able to get a job while their application is still be assessed.

He used his first State of the Union address to set out an ambitious Brussels power grab, demanding an EU-wide migration policy, 'compulsory' relocation of thousands of 160,000 refugees across the continent and a new £1.3 billion fund for Africa. ...

Mr Juncker is calling on member states to agree to an 'emergency relocation mechanism' to deal with asylum seekers currently in Italy, Greece and Hungary.

He also wants a permanent agreement to deal with future crises, which would scrap the rules which mean refugees must seek asylum in the first safe country they reach. ...

In a move likely to anger national governments struggling to win public support for accepting refugees, Mr Juncker called for a 'change to national legislation to allow refugees to work from day one of their arrival'. ...

David Cameron this week bowed to political pressure and announced that Britain would resettle up to 20,000 people in the UK by 2020. ...

However, a new opinion poll suggests the public appetite for accepting more refugees is waning.

The YouGov poll revealed that 45 per cent of adults questioned said the figure was too high, while one in four – a total of 27 per cent – said they backed Mr Cameron's decision.

Just 15 per cent said they opposed the announcement on the grounds that it did not go far enough.
[Site link]


Asylum – Islamic State, France
France says taking all refugees would be victory for Islamic State
Yahoo! News / Reuters, 8 September 2015

France warned on Tuesday that it would be a mistake for Europe to take in all refugees persecuted by Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, and called for a plan of action to ensure the Middle East's diversity remained despite the mounting crisis.

About 60 countries, including ministers from Iraq, Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon, met in Paris on Tuesday to cement measures aimed at easing the return of refugees, encouraging regional governments to bring minorities into the political fold and ensure no impunity for crimes against humanity.

"It's very difficult, but if all these refugees come to Europe or elsewhere, then Daesh has won the game," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told RTL radio, referring to the Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

"The objective (of this conference) is that the Middle East remains the Middle East, that means a region of diversity where there are Christians, Yazidis, etc," he said.
[Site link]


Asylum – European Union
EU to call on member states to relocate a further 120,000 refugees
Alberto Nardelli
The Guardian, 8 September 2015

Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European commission, will on Wednesday present a proposal to relocate 120,000 asylum seekers in clear need of international protection from Italy, Greece and Hungary. ...

This time the quotas are likely to be binding – both German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president François Hollande have called for compulsory and permanent relocations.

The UK, Denmark and Ireland are allowed to opt out from the scheme. However, Ireland is expected to request not to. ...

In the first six months of this year, more than 400,000 asylum applications were lodged across EU member states, according to Eurostat data. Some 43% of these were in Germany.

Just under one in five asylum applicants to EU countries are from Syria. Between July 2014 and June 2015, Germany fielded 59,605 applications from Syrians, compared with the UK's 2,204.

Germany is expecting to receive 800,000 asylum seekers this year – about four times the number it took last year and more than all other EU member states combined received in 2014.

Relative to population size, Sweden received the greatest share of the EU's 626,000 asylum seekers last year.

Under the European commission's proposal, each member state receives €6,000 from the EU for every refugee they take.
[Site link]


Asylum – Syrian refugees, Gulf countries
Why Aren't Gulf Countries Taking in Syrian Refugees?
Jane Kinninmont
Chatham House / The Royal Institute of International Affairs, 8 September 2015

The answer lies in wider fears about recognizing the concept of refugeehood.

As the majority of refugees coming to Europe by sea are from the Arab world, the question is being asked: why don't the richest Arab countries take in refugees?

Most of the people desperate enough to try and enter Europe by boat come from countries in conflict, rather than being purely economic migrants. The incentive to escape must be high for people to take the risky journey: an average of 11 people have drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean every day in 2015 so far. Of the third of a million people who have arrived by sea this year, most are from the Arab world: half are from Syria, while Iraq and Sudan are also among the top 10 countries of refugees' nationality.

The Gulf countries, the wealthiest states among the Arab world, are among the largest donors to Syrian refugees. But they do not take in refugees to their own countries: none of them officially recognize the legal concept of refugeehood. This is not a specific issue of hostility to Syrian refugees: the six Gulf monarchies have never signed the international conventions on refugee rights and statelessness, which began to be established after the Second World War.

... Migrants make up the majority of the workforce in all the Gulf countries; and in Qatar and UAE, more than 85 per cent of the population.

It is this population and resource structure that makes the GCC states such demographic protectionists when it comes to refugees. The vast majority of migrants stay for only a few years, and are assumed to be returning home afterwards. The lack of recognition for refugees has far less to do with attitudes to the Syrian crisis than with the potential claims that could arise from larger migrant populations – many of whom come from unstable or repressive countries – and the general reluctance of Gulf governments to give permanent residency to anyone beyond a small pool of citizens, with few exceptions. Thousands of Syrians fleeing the war have been accommodated in the Gulf, and many provided with benefits not usually available to migrant workers, like free access to healthcare and education. But they are on visitor or work visas because there is no legal category of refugeehood. And there are suggestions these visas are increasingly hard to obtain too.
[Site link]


Asylum – Muslims, Christians
Growing number of EU states say they prefer non-Muslim refugees
The Times of Israel / AFP, 8 September 2015

European Union member Cyprus said Monday it was willing to take in up to 300 Middle East refugees to help ease the crisis facing the EU, but preferred them to be Christians.

It thus joined a growing list of EU nations which have expressed a preference for Christians, rather than Muslims, in their acceptance of asylum seekers. ...

Those other EU members include Bulgaria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Estonia and possibly Poland. All have claimed their policies are not discriminatory but rather an effort to maintain cultural cohesion. ...

Czech President Milos Zeman has also said he does not want to take in immigrants who are not close to Czech culture, Germany's dpa news agency reported.

"Refugees from a completely different cultural background would not be in a good position in the Czech Republic," he said recently.

Poland in July took in 50 Christian Syrian families. But the head of the Polish foundation that arranged the asylum with the government has called Muslim refugees a "huge threat" to Poles, according to the Financial Times. ...

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has said that while "we have nothing against Muslims... if other Muslims come from abroad, that radically changes the country's demography."

Estonia too has balked at the prospect of Muslim immigration, with social affairs minister Margus Tsahkna explaining that "After all, we are a country belonging to Christian culture."
[Site link]


Asylum – crisis
Migrant crisis: David Cameron to set out UK plan for refugees
BBC, 7 September 2015

David Cameron will set out details of government plans to resettle more refugees from Syria when MPs return from the summer recess later.

The prime minister has not yet said how many people the UK will accept but the total is likely to be more than 10,000.

He has said the refugees will come from camps bordering Syria rather than from among those already in Europe. ...

The UK has said it will not participate in a proposed mandatory EU programme to resettle migrants, and Mr Cameron has said more must be done to stabilise their countries of origin instead.

However, calls for the UK to take in more refugees intensified after the publication of a picture of the body of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy, Alan Kurdi, washed up on a Turkish beach.

A petition calling for Britain to take more refugees has received more than 420,000 signatures - although a petition saying no more immigrants should be allowed into the UK has received more than 82,000 signatures.

On Friday Mr Cameron said Britain would take refugees directly from the camps in countries bordering Syria - avoiding the need for them to put themselves in the hands of people traffickers. ...

Although it has not been confirmed, it is expected Mr Cameron's plan involves expanding the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation (VPR) scheme - under which 216 Syrians have been brought to the UK since March 2014.

People brought to Britain under VPR have been granted Humanitarian Protection, a status normally used for people who "don't qualify for asylum" but would be at "real risk of suffering serious harm" in their home country.

They can stay for five years, have the right to work and access public funds. After five years they can apply to settle in the UK.

Ministers are loathe to do anything that makes the UK appear a more attractive destination for migrants - one said to me if the UK sends out a signal it's easy to come "more people will die in the water".

There has been a public outpouring of sympathy in the past few days. But that may well not last, and voters' appetite for large numbers of new arrivals is unlikely to be strong. Particularly when councils are already warning that they'd struggle to cope with the costs.
[Site link]


Asylum – France, Germany
Migrant crisis: Influx will change Germany, says Merkel
BBC, 7 September 2015

Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the "breathtaking" flow of migrants into Germany will "occupy and change" the country in the coming years.

She said Germany would speed up asylum procedures and build extra housing, but called on other EU states to help.

French President Francois Hollande said France would take 24,000 refugees and that quotas for EU states to relocate 120,000 migrants were being planned.

Meanwhile, the flow of migrants across Europe shows no sign of easing.
[Site link]


Asylum – Syria, refugees, responsibility
Where is the 'Ummah' now?
Douglas Murray
Spectator blog, 7 September 2015

But perhaps a reader could enlighten me as to why in recent days Britain and Europe appear to have decided that Syria's refugees are entirely 'our' responsibility. Other than a generalised sense that we are all human beings, Europeans are about as far down the list of those responsible as it is possible to be.

Neither this country nor any of our European allies have made any significant intervention in Syria's civil war. So why should Hungarians and Slovakians, Austrians and Poles be expected to bear such a significant responsibility for this?

Whenever Britain or America or Israel do have any involvement in any Islamic country we hear a very great deal about the 'Ummah'. The OIC and the Arab League, for instance, never miss an opportunity to talk about the brotherhood and unity of the Islamic nation and how much any 'hurt' or offence to any part of this entity hurts and offends the whole.

Well Iran and Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Turkey and almost every other Muslim country in the Middle East have been involving themselves in the Syrian civil war for four years now. Many have sent fully-equipped armies of their own to fight intra-Islamic rivalries in the homeland of the Syrian peoples. And yet it is Europeans who are falling for the idea that because of this, it is our responsibility – not theirs – to pay for the mess they have created.

Well it seems to me that at the very least we should ask these countries 'Where is your "Ummah" now?' Sure, Jordan and Lebanon are grudgingly having to cope with plenty of refugees from Syria. But not one of the Gulf States – not one – has a resettlement programme for a single Syrian refugee.

And while the Iranian President lectures the Hungarians and other Europeans on our 'shortcomings' in this regard, how many Syrians has Iran let in? How many Syrians has Saudi Arabia given Saudi citizenship to? Neither country being uninvolved in Syria's descent into madness...
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Asylum – Syrians, Christians
Lord Carey: Britain has a duty to rescue Syria's Christians
George Carey
Sunday Telegraph, 6 September 2015
[Lord Carey is a former archbishop of Canterbury]

The dramatic and disturbing developments of the past few days have introduced a new, heart-rending dimension to this refugee crisis. ... ...

Isn't it a bit rich for the Germans to criticise other nations, including Britain, for failing to accept refugees? For years, our warm-hearted land has consistently accepted more asylum-seekers than Germany.

Besides, it would be a mistake to give way to bullying calls to immediately open our doors to tens of thousands of refugees. We are a small island and recent immigration figures are highly disturbing. Last year, a net figure of 330,000 people settled among us – more than the population of Sunderland. Imagine this continuing, year after year.

Alas, the signal that Germany is opening its doors to this influx will make Europe into an even more attractive magnet for those who are genuine refugees – but also to floods of economic migrants, most of whom are young men travelling alone. We don't even know how many of these have been combatants in the civil war.

If some of what I say sounds harsh or, heaven forbid, a touch unchristian, let me make it clear that I welcome David Cameron's announcement to allow thousands more to enter Britain through refugee camps in Syria's neighbouring countries. In the long term, this strategy will cut out the traffickers and reduce the risk of the sea and land journeys.

But the frustration for those of us who have been calling for compassion for Syrian victims for many months is that the Christian community is yet again left at the bottom of the heap.

According to the Barnabas Fund, a charity which recently resettled some 50 Syrian Christian families in Poland, Mr Cameron's policy inadvertently discriminates against the very Christian communities most victimised by the inhuman butchers of the so-called Islamic State. Christians are not to be found in the UN camps, because they have been attacked and targeted by Islamists and driven from them. They are seeking refuge in private homes, church buildings and with neighbours and family.

They are the most vulnerable and repeatedly targeted victims of this conflict. Indeed, a hundred years after the Armenian and Assyrian genocide, in which over a million Christians are estimated to have been killed by Ottoman Muslims, the same is happening today in the form of an ethnic cleansing of Christians in the region. Christians have been crucified, beheaded, raped, and subjected to forced conversion. The so-called Islamic State and other radical groups are openly glorifying the slaughter of Christians.

Britain should make Syrian Christians a priority because they are a particularly vulnerable group. Furthermore, we are a Christian nation with an established Church so Syrian Christians will find no challenge to integration. The churches are already well-prepared and eager to offer support and accommodation to those escaping the conflict.

Some will not like me saying this, but in recent years, there has been too much Muslim mass immigration to Europe. This has resulted in ghettos of Muslim communities living parallel lives to mainstream society, following their own customs and even their own laws. Isn't it high-time instead for the oil-rich Gulf States to open their doors to the many Muslims who are fleeing conflict? Surely if they are concerned for fellow Muslims who prefer to live in Muslim-majority countries, then they have a moral responsibility to intervene.
[Site link]


Asylum – Syrians
It's inhumane not to take in Syrian refugees
Simon Heffer
Sunday Telegraph, 6 September 2015

It has long been beyond me why we are not inviting here huge numbers of Syrians who are fleeing the nightmare in their country. Where is our humanity? They are refugees, not immigrants: and, also, many are highly educated professional people who can make a huge contribution to our country. They also need somewhere to re-group and prepare for the day when they go back and rescue Syria – and that day will come.

As for those from elsewhere who are migrants and not refugees, isn't it obvious that the EU should stop being pig-headed and end the Schengen Agreement, designed for an age before mass migration?

If economic migrants had to get though several sets of border controls rather than just one, they would be greatly deterred from coming.
[Site link]


Asylum – Gulf nations
Revealed: How the five wealthiest Gulf Nations have so far refused to take a single Syrian refugee
Jay Akbar
MailOnline, 5 September 2015

More than four million Syrians have been forced to escape the never-ending civil war ravaging their country and the barbaric terror group carving a bloody trail across the Middle East.

The vast majority live in overcrowded refugee camps in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq - all under threat from ISIS - and record numbers are making the perilously long journey to Europe.

Yet, as debate rages between politicians in Europe over how many they should take, nearby super-wealthy Gulf nations of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain have refused to offer sanctuary to a single Syrian refugee.

Amnesty International's Head of Refugee and Migrants' Rights, Sherif Elsayid-Ali, described their inaction as 'shameful'.

He said: 'The records of Gulf countries is absolutely appalling, in terms of actually showing compassion and sharing the responsibility of this crisis... It is a disgrace.' ...

None have been allowed to enter the (relatively) nearby Gulf nations, who all rank in the world's top 50 GDPs and have a combined military budget of more than £65 billion, according to Arab expert Sultan Sooud al-Qassemi.

He said: 'The Gulf must realise that now is the time to change their policy regarding accepting refugees from the Syria crisis. It is the moral, ethical and responsible step to take.'

None of the Gulf countries signed the 1951 Refugee Convention which defines a refugee 'outside the country of his nationality' because of 'fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality'.

Syrians can still apply for 'costly' tourist visas and work permits to enter wealthier Gulf nations but they are rarely granted, according to the BBC.

Gulf nations argue that accepting large numbers of Syrian refugees is a serious threat to the safety of its citizens because terrorists could hide themselves among civilians.

They have donated large sums of money to help homeless refugees. According to ReliefWeb, the UAE has funded an entire refugee camp in Jordan which shelters tens of thousands of Syrians.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have donated funds, food, shelter and clothing to Syrians in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan.

In total, the Gulf states are thought to have given over £589m to the aid effort - but it is four times less than the United States has.

The UK has given £918 million to help deal with the impact of violence in Syria and Prime Minister David Cameron today announced Britain is increasing its aid for refugees to more than £1 billion.

Britain's contribution is more than Saudi Arabia's £387 million, UAE's £359 million and Qatar's £157,000 combined.
[Site link]


Asylum – Syrian refugees
Syrian Refugees
Guido Fawkes, 3 September 2015

The claim that Britain has accepted a mere 216 Syrian refugees has gone viral on social media, being shared thousands and thousands of times by worthy types who retweet without fact-checking. Just one problem: it's nonsense.

Official government figures show that we had 1,688 asylum applications from Syrians in 2014, and a further 2,204 in 2015. The grant rate of 87% suggests some 3,400 Syrian refugees have come to Britain in the last two years, with around another 2,000 being accepted in 2011 and 2012. Whether you think that is enough is another question, but the true figure is more than is being claimed...
[Site link]


Asylum – migrant crisis
Here's the answer to your migrant crisis, Mr Cameron [part 1]
Paul Collier
Spectator blog, 2 September 2015
[This article first appeared in the print edition of The Spectator magazine, dated 8 August 2015]

For all its difficulties, Europe is prosperous and safe: one of the best places on Earth. Many other societies have yet to achieve this happy state: some are murderous and poor. Two of the most troubled zones in the world are near Europe: the Middle East, and the Sahelian belt which spans northern Africa.

Unsurprisingly, many of the people who live in these societies would rather live in Europe. Impeded by immigration controls, a small minority of this group are taking matters into their own hands, trying to enter Europe illegally by boat across the Mediterranean. ...

... If you step outside the usual angry ding-dong, the posturing of those both pro-immigrant and anti-immigrant; if you resist the easy option taken by the chattering classes who claim the moral high ground by insisting on open borders, you can see that European policy is the result of moral confusion.

Let's take the 'duty of rescue', which is official Europe's rationale for fishing people out of the sea. People have a right to dream of a life in Europe, but Europe has a moral obligation to rescue, not to make dreams come true.

What does rescue imply and to whom does it apply? Just being poor does not make someone eligible for being 'rescued' by a life in Europe. Mass poverty has to be tackled, but the only way it can be done is for poor countries to catch up with the rich ones. There are ways in which we can help that process, but encouraging the mass emigration of their most enterprising young people is not one of them. What makes people truly entitled to rescue is if their ordinary lives are made impossible by violent conflict – and in the current crisis, that means focusing on Syria. Yes, there are other legitimate refugees on those boats, but Syrians alone account for around 40 per cent of the boat people crossing the Mediterranean.

And those Syrians waving and drowning in the sea are merely the tip of a vastly larger iceberg of need. Of Syria's 20 million people, around half are now displaced. This ten million are the submerged iceberg: the group to whom we have some duty of rescue. They are displaced through circumstance rather than choice. The tiny minority (about 2 per cent) in the sea and camped on our doorstep are part of our duty of rescue, but they should not be allowed to crowd out the needs of others: for one thing, they tend to be richer and more resourceful.

Of the ten million who are displaced, around half are still in Syria, trapped now that Jordan and Lebanon have closed their borders. It is obviously more difficult for Europe to help the internally displaced within Syria, but there are still ways of doing so. These five million should not be forgotten just because they have not created a problem for other nations.

The other five million are in neighbouring countries: mostly in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. How can Europe help these people? The official international solution to refugee situations is camps, a strategy dating back to 1947. This system is not working and, indeed, it cannot possibly work. Just look at Jordan. Nearly 90 per cent of the refugees in Jordan have chosen not to live in the camps but have instead drifted to the cities. They forgo handouts in favour of scratching a living in illegal employment.
[Site link]


Asylum – migrant crisis
Here's the answer to your migrant crisis, Mr Cameron [part 2]
Paul Collier
Spectator blog, 2 September 2015

So what is wrong with the camps? Having recently visited the largest, Za'atari, I doubt whether it is the standard of living. The UNHCR does a commendable job: people are well-fed and their housing conditions are far superior to the African cities with which I am more familiar. /.../ The problem of the camps is that people have no autonomy: most especially, they are not allowed to work. ...

... It's not surprising that refugees overwhelmingly prefer penurious freedom to the restrictions of the camps.

Why is autonomy in the cities penurious? Because the Jordanian authorities do not let refugees work. Given the scale of the influx, the Jordanians are unsurprisingly worried that letting the Syrians work could destabilise their society and, given the disorder elsewhere in the Middle East, this cannot be lightly dismissed. ...

If the Jordanian authorities will not integrate refugees into their society, what can Europe do for them? Should we invite them to Europe? This has been the defining issue so far in European discussion of the Syrian refugee crisis: 'How many refugees should Europe take?' It's all about us. Unfortunately, while well meaning, this approach is fundamentally irresponsible when judged from the perspective not of the consequences for Europe, but the consequences for Syrians.

Our duty is to provide better futures for as many of the displaced as possible – and their overwhelming hope is not to live permanently in Europe, but to return to a post-conflict Syria. Effective rescue should be about salvaging as much of their disrupted lives as possible. Of course, if they are in the sea, rescue involves pulling them out of it. But any action needs to be set within a larger strategy of making people's return viable.

The key fact to grasp about the Syrian conflict is that it will end; conflicts in middle-income countries seldom last more than a decade and this one has already been running for four years. ...

Europe can do that by fostering a Syria-in-exile economy located in Jordan and other neighbouring countries. Working in this economy would restore some dignity to the daily lives of refugees and offer them credible hope of a return to normality. Providing a skilled minority of Syrians with dream lives in Europe is not the answer: it would be detrimental to recovery because once settled in Europe, with their children in schooling, such people would be unlikely to go back to a post-conflict society. In consequence, it would gut Syria of the very people it will most need. It is an intellectually lazy feel-good policy for the bien-pensant. ...

Job havens would not only assist refugees; indirectly they would help the five million displaced who remain in Syria. ...

... Currently, if a refugee can get a foot on a European beach, or be fished out of the sea by a European rescue vessel, they get privileged access to asylum. That is why they take the risk.

This legal structure is not just foolish, it is deeply immoral. Europe has a duty to fish refugees out of the sea because it is morally responsible for tempting them on to the sea. So whatever else Europe does, it must stop this policy of temptation. Paying a crook thousands of dollars for a place on a boat should not entitle a Syrian refugee to a more privileged entry to Europe. It is profoundly unfair to the other suffering refugees.
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Asylum – Islam, Saudi Arabia
Syrian Refugee Crisis - Is Germany More Islamic than Saudi Arabia?
Nadeem Walayat
The Market Oracle, 2 September 2015

Whilst the influx of Syrians into Europe is being estimated at the rate of 70k per month, or about half the total number of migration under way of approx 140k per month.

But what about the rich muslim nations of the Gulf, whose Syrian muslim brothers and sisters are in dire need of their help, what are they doing?

The blunt answer is sweet FA as Amnesty International points out - ...

• The six Gulf countries - Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain - have offered zero resettlement places to Syrian refugees.

• Other high income countries including Russia, Japan, Singapore and South Korea have also offered zero resettlement places.

• The number of Syrian refugees hosted by Turkey alone, is more than 10 times the number of new Syrian asylum applications received in all 28 EU countries in the past three years.

• Germany has pledged 30,000 places for Syrian refugees through its humanitarian admission programme; nearly half the global total of resettlement and humanitarian admission programme places for Syrian refugees and 82 per cent of the EU total.Germany and Sweden together have received 96,500 new Syrian asylum applications in the last three years, representing 64 per cent of all such applications in the EU.Excluding Germany and Sweden, the remaining 26 EU countries have pledged a mere 5,105 resettlement places, or 0.13 per cent of Syrian refugees in the main host countries.

Whilst Germany has now pledged to take in upto 800,000 refugees THIS YEAR.

This illustrates the fundamental fact that the Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states are just going through the motions of being muslim / Islamic nations as their rhetoric and pious preachings that washes over the broadcast air waves, eagerly lapped up the worlds gullible muslim masses does not reflect the reality of the actions of most Saudi's and gulf arabs.

For in the first instance the gulf arab states have played a large part in bringing about the destruction of Syria through their support of ideologies such as that of ISIS and then secondly have turned a blind eye to the suffering of the Syrian people for the fundamental fact that these muslims are NOT gulf arabs. Which illustrates that RACISM is rife in Arabia, and not that far removed of that of 1930's Germany which shatters the illusion of a global muslim brotherhood when Islam has always been a means of the Arab states gaining influence and control over other gullible muslims across the world who are blinded by the trappings of Islam into assuming that Saudi Arabia is an Islamic nation.

Arab racism probably has its roots in its tribal culture, where the tribe is everything, and since foreigners are not part of any tribe then they are deemed to be worthless, not equal, sub-arab hence why the likes of Saudi Arabia rarely grants citizenship no matter how long a migrant may have worked in Saudi Arabia.
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Asylum – Germany
Feeling strain, Germany set to raise asylum-seeker forecast to 750,000
Tina Bellon
Reuters, 18 August 2015

The German government will sharply raise its forecast for the number of asylum-seekers expected to arrive this year to a record-breaking 750,000, coalition sources said on Tuesday.

The increase, from a previous estimate of 450,000, is the latest sign of how a huge influx of migrants and refugees, many fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East, is straining the European Union's ability to cope.

"The situation is extremely unsatisfying," Chancellor Angela Merkel told ZDF television on Sunday, referring to the disproportionate number of refugees that Germany has taken in compared to many of its EU partners. "We need a common European asylum policy."

After Merkel warned that the number of refugees will be far higher than expected, sources in her coalition told Reuters that the asylum-seeker forecast would probably be formally raised on Wednesday to a range of 650,000-750,000.

Thomas Oppermann, parliamentary leader of the centre-left Social Democrats, the junior coalition partner, said he expects 700,000 to 800,000 arrivals this year. ...

Across Germany, towns and cities have been saying they cannot cope with the surging numbers. Originally, the government predicted 300,000 this year, up from 200,000 in 2014. ...

After Germany, Sweden is the next most generous recipient of asylum-seekers in Europe. In 2014, it recorded 81,200 applications and anti-immigration sentiment is on the rise.
[Site link]


Asylum – politics
Rochdale MP Danczuk slams Cameron's immigration policy as town 'on frontline' of crisis
Kim Reader
Mancunian Matters, 15 August 2015

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk has slammed the government's immigration policy, saying they must 'get their act together', as they have put his constituency 'on the frontline' of the migration crisis.

The Labour MP's strong words come as it was revealed today that his town is housing almost 1,000 asylum seekers.

The statistics, provided by the Home Office, show that Rochdale provided accommodation for 957 asylum seekers in the first three months of this year.

Mr Danczuk said: "The world may be watching the chaos in Calais. But make no mistake, it is Rochdale that is on the front line of the growing migration crisis."

The number of asylum seekers in Rochdale is the highest among the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester, and more than the whole of the South East of England combined.

The town, which has a population of a little over 200,000, was ranked fifth in the country for taking in the greatest number of asylum seekers – just behind major cities Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham and Cardiff.

By contrast, Maidenhead, which lies within the constituency of Home Secretary Theresa May, provides support to just four people seeking asylum.

West Oxfordshire, home to Prime Minister David Cameron's Witney constituency, has not housed a single asylum seeker since 2008.

"Our town is up there with some of the country's biggest cities when it comes to taking in displaced people," the Rochdale MP said.

"This disproportionately high number of asylum seekers puts pressure on public services at a time when Rochdale has been hit by major government cuts.

"It is not reasonable to expect our schools and doctor's surgeries to cope with this increased demand, which also puts a strain on housing and damages community cohesion.

"Meanwhile those areas represented by the Prime Minister and Home Secretary are not doing their fair share to help these vulnerable people."

Therefore Mr Danczuk is calling for the increasing number of migrants fleeing conflict and hardships in the Middle East and Africa to be distributed more evenly throughout the UK.

The Labour MP also urged the government to take a tougher stance on illegal immigration.

He said: "The government needs to get its act together and stop illegal immigrants entering the UK and remove those who should not be here by returning them to their country of origin as soon as possible."
[Site link]


Asylum – failed asylum seekers
What happens to failed asylum seekers?
Camila Ruz
BBC, 13 August 2015

Some of those who manage to get through will remain hidden and stay as illegal workers. But many of the people waiting in Calais will be expecting to be found and then seek refugee status.

Once someone is in the UK, even if they entered it illegally, they have the right to claim asylum. There were 25,020 asylum applications in the UK in the 12 months up to March. Police who find asylum seekers will usually hand them over to immigration officials to submit their claim. Asylum seekers are entitled to stay in the UK while they wait for a decision.

But what happens if they have passed through a safe country on their way to the UK?

There is a general principle observed by many countries that asylum seekers who have passed through a safe third country where they could have claimed asylum can be sent back there in order to make their claim.

All of those waiting in Calais to cross the Channel fit into this category. They are in a safe country but few will have reached France without having crossed another EU border beforehand.

The EU has a specific rule about this to try to work out which country is responsible for handling an asylum claim.

The Dublin Regulation allows some asylum seekers to be sent to other EU nations, including France. It sets out criteria for identifying which country should look at a claim.

Usually, the first EU country someone arrives in is responsible for processing their application. This is meant to stop "asylum shopping", where one person submits multiple asylum applications in different countries.

The Eurodac system can help identify which country was the entry point, explains Alexander Betts, director of the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford. This is a database of fingerprints of asylum seekers across the EU.

A hit on the system would help prove that an asylum seeker had already been registered in a different EU country and could be sent back there.

The Home Office says that it takes "full advantage" of this rule to send people back to European nations such as France. But the UK only carried out 252 Dublin transfers in 2014, compared with 827 in 2013.

And it's complicated because the vast majority of those in France will have passed through at least one other safe country to get there - perhaps Italy or Spain.

Not everyone will have registered with border officials and without documentation it can be hard to prove which countries someone has travelled through. "It's legally and diplomatically complicated," explains Betts, to try moving someone to a place that is not their country of origin.

Some governments have also stopped sending people back to the two of the most likely entry countries for asylum seekers - Greece and Italy, because they are already inundated with asylum applications. In Greece there has been criticism over the treatment of asylum seekers. ...

There were more than 25,000 asylum applications in the UK in the 12 months up to March. Most applications are typically rejected and in 2014, more than 60% of initial decisions on asylum applications were refusals.

But in the same year, only 6,788 asylum seekers and their dependents were removed or departed voluntarily from the UK. ...

The National Audit Office looked at costs of removing failed asylum seekers in 2005 and found that the average cost of supporting someone to leave voluntarily was £1,000 but that an enforced removal cost £11,000.
[Site link]


Asylum – deportation
How 18 Olympic athletes who arrived in Britain for the 2012 Games are STILL in the UK illegally after losing their asylum claims
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 10 August 2015

Foreign nationals welcomed into Britain for the 2012 Olympics are still here illegally three years later despite losing their asylum claims.

Ministers have revealed that 18 of the thousands of athletes and coaches given Olympic visas have dodged being kicked out of the country despite officials rejecting applications for refugee status.

Another 54 were given political asylum after refusing to return home after the London games. Only ten have been kicked out.

The figures were revealed in response to a question in Parliament from Tory MP Philip Davies.

He said: 'We must be a laughing stock around the world when we still haven't kicked out illegal immigrants three years after they chanced their arm with a bogus asylum claim after competing at the London Olympics in 2012.

'There is no wonder the illegal immigrants in Calais are so desperate to get here. We must ensure illegal immigrants are turfed out of the country straight away.' ...

The Home Office blamed lengthy asylum appeals for delays in returning illegal migrants. ...

The Home Office said 82 Olympic asylum claims were made, of which 54 were granted. Another ten were kicked out.

That leaves 18 who either have outstanding appeals or have simply vanished and are being sought by the authorities.
[Site link]


Asylum – our duty to provide asylum
The real crisis in Calais
Bella Sankey
Liberty, 7 August 2015
[Bella Sankey is Liberty's Director of Policy]

They are fleeing war, genocide, tyranny and exploitation in the hope they find a better life for their families. They don't want to take what is yours – they just want somewhere safe for them and their children. For that, they risk their lives climbing on lorries and walking on train tracks, living in 'the jungle' where crime, rape and violence are a daily interruption.

This is the real crisis; vast sums are spent on militarisation and securitisation of borders while asylum seekers die crossing them and a refugee camp develops on the doorsteps of some of the richest nations on earth.

Over the last decade, politicians across our continent have jostled to be the toughest on immigration, legal or otherwise. Refugees and migrants, regardless of why they might be leaving their homeland, are the new pariahs.

The UK has always taken in the desperate – from Huguenots, German Jews, Soviets and East African Asians. Then as now, all the same arguments were made – it was too expensive, we didn't have the room. But we did what was right and our country has been all the better for it.

It is a sad state of affairs that today our Government's response seems to veer from pandering to xenophobia to pitiful denial – rather than honouring our proud tradition of providing sanctuary for those in need. ...

This is only part of a collective failure of courage and compassion in Government – today's politicians have also conspired to whip up distrust, suspicion, division and – incredulously – jealousy of asylum seekers, seeking praise in xenophobic sections of the press and beyond. Feeding lies that those in Calais are all economic migrants or are here because they've heard of our benefits system. The evidence shows this is nonsense. In fact the developing world hosts the vast majority of the world's refugees. And in any event, asylum applications are just a fraction of the net migration figure – which stood at 318 000 in 2014.

It is also true – but not often said – that the number of asylum seekers applying for refuge in Britain is much lower than many other EU countries. In 2014 The UK received 31,400 asylum applications. This was less than Germany (166,800), France (63,100), Italy (56,300) and Sweden (81,300) and well below the UK peak in 2003 of 84,130. The UK receives below the EU average for asylum applications per head of the population. ...

So at home they propose that those in power should decide when and to whom rights protections apply and elsewhere human beings in need are treated like animals, to be contained, controlled and forgotten about.

We will not be part of this ugly ideology, devoid of empathy and basic humanity – and neither should you. We all deserve safe haven, and in Britain, we have a duty to provide it.
[Site link]


Asylum – refugees, rescue
If you really want to help refugees, look beyond the Mediterranean
Paul Collier
The Spectator, 8 August 2015

For all its difficulties, Europe is prosperous and safe: one of the best places on Earth. Many other societies have yet to achieve this happy state: some are murderous and poor. Two of the most troubled zones in the world are near Europe: the Middle East, and the Sahelian belt which spans northern Africa.

Unsurprisingly, many of the people who live in these societies would rather live in Europe. ...

... If you step outside the usual angry ding-dong, the posturing of those both pro-immigrant and anti-immigrant; if you resist the easy option taken by the chattering classes who claim the moral high ground by insisting on open borders, you can see that European policy is the result of moral confusion.

Let's take the 'duty of rescue', which is official Europe's rationale for fishing people out of the sea. People have a right to dream of a life in Europe, but Europe has a moral obligation to rescue, not to make dreams come true.

What does rescue imply and to whom does it apply? Just being poor does not make someone eligible for being 'rescued' by a life in Europe. Mass poverty has to be tackled, but the only way it can be done is for poor countries to catch up with the rich ones. There are ways in which we can help that process, but encouraging the mass emigration of their most enterprising young people is not one of them. ... ...

... Currently, if a refugee can get a foot on a European beach, or be fished out of the sea by a European rescue vessel, they get privileged access to asylum. That is why they take the risk.

This legal structure is not just foolish, it is deeply immoral. Europe has a duty to fish refugees out of the sea because it is morally responsible for tempting them on to the sea. So whatever else Europe does, it must stop this policy of temptation. Paying a crook thousands of dollars for a place on a boat should not entitle a Syrian refugee to a more privileged entry to Europe. It is profoundly unfair to the other suffering refugees.
[Site link]


Asylum – welfare benefits, cost
Migrant scandal: Britain hands out £70 MILLION to failed asylum seekers a year
Tom Parfitt
Daily Express, 5 August 2015

Britain is handing out more than £70 million a year to support failed asylum seekers, shocking new figures have revealed.

Over 15,000 failed asylum seekers and their dependants received taxpayer-funded help – including accommodation and a weekly cash allowance – in March alone.

Migrants are entitled to the handouts from the moment they claim asylum in the UK, but support continues to be given to thousands after their claim has failed.

Around £73 million was spent to support them in 2014-15, with £45 million going to failed asylum seekers with a dependent child.

And £28 million went to 4,900 people who do not have children but "would otherwise be destitute", according to the Home Office.

The Home Office yesterday set out proposed changes to taxpayer support for failed asylum seekers as the Calais migrant crisis deepens.

A spokesman admitted the current measures – introduced 16 years ago – are now being used "in large measure" to fund migrants whose asylum claims have been rejected.

He added: "Failed asylum seekers are illegal migrants and are no more deserving of welfare support than any other migrant in the UK unlawfully."

Under the plans, support for failed asylum seekers who make no effort leave the UK at the point their claim is finally rejected will be closed off.

But help may still be given in cases where there is a "genuine obstacle" preventing return to a home country.

And the Government insisted safeguards for children would be retained under the reforms.

Judith Dennis, of the charity Refugee Council, slammed the new plans.
[Site link]


Asylum – children, cost
Kent pays migrant kids' £150 Dover-to-London cab fare due to lack of local foster homes
Colin Freeman and Luke Heighton
Daily Telegraph, 3 August 2015

Migrants who have smuggled themselves into Dover from Calais are being driven in private taxis to new homes up in London at taxpayer's expense, The Telegraph has learned.

Taxi drivers in the Kent port are being paid to drive the migrants to temporary accommodation 70 miles away in the capital, with fares of £150 'not unusual', the authority confirmed.

Local services are said to have reached 'breaking point', as the number of asylum-seeking children in Kent County Council's has almost doubled from 368 in March to 629 at the end of last week.

The journeys are being paid for by the county's social services department, which has run of out suitable places to house some of the new arrivals within its own district. ...

It is believed that most of the journeys involve migrants under the age of 18, who are normally put into specialist foster care homes when they arrive in the UK to claim asylum.
[Site link]


Asylum – welfare benefits, cost
Thousands of failed asylum seekers claim benefits in UK – but ministers could change rules
Tom Parfitt
Sunday Express, 2 August 2015

Thousands of failed asylum seekers are claiming benefits while living in Britain with their families – but now ministers are planning to change the rules so they do not get taxpayer support.

Migrants are currently handed free accommodation and a £35-a-week support allowance from the moment they claim asylum in the UK.

The support is withdrawn from individuals whose application fails, but those with families continue to receive help.

Now a consultation is being launched to find ways to remove support from failed asylum-seeking families while still protecting children.

Immigration minister James Brokenshire said: "The UK has a proud history of offering sanctuary to those who need it, but failed asylum seekers who refuse to return home are illegal migrants, plain and simple.

"The current system shouldn't offer any perverse incentives for illegal migrants to lodge spurious asylum applications or encourage those without genuine claims for humanitarian protection to prolong their stay in the UK.

"It's unfair to those in genuine need of asylum and migrants who abide by our rules as well as to hard-working British taxpayers."

There are currently just over 10,000 failed asylum seekers in family groups being supported – while a further 4,000 individuals are receiving taxpayer help.

Mr Brokenshire added: "I want to introduce new rules to support those who genuinely need it, but send out a very clear message to those who seek to exploit the system that Britain is not a soft touch on asylum."

The Government will also consult on repealing Section 4(2) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, which allows the asylum seekers to claim, while ensuring that adequate support remains for "those who genuinely need it".
[Site link]


Asylum – welfare benefits, cost
Free hotels for the Calais stowaways in soft touch Britain: Outrage as immigrants illegally entering UK get cooked meals and £35 cash a week within days of arrival
Brendan Carlin
Mail on Sunday, 2 August 2015

Hundreds of migrants who have smuggled themselves into Britain from Calais are being put up in hotels at taxpayers' expense.

Stowaways who have illegally entered the country on lorries or trains through the Channel Tunnel are being transported across England and given their own hotel room, three cooked meals a day and a cash allowance of £35 a week – all within days of entering the UK.

They are being accommodated in hotels boasting pools, gyms and spas even before claiming asylum, because official reception centres cannot cope with the recent surge in illegal arrivals. ...

After a week of chaos in Calais that has seen thousands of migrants trying to sneak into Britain – and hundreds succeeding – critics said the decision to house new arrivals in hotels was further evidence that Ministers have lost control.

The Government pays private companies £150 million to accommodate would-be asylum seekers after they have been caught by the police entering the country illegally.

But private contractor Serco has admitted that 100 recent immigrants are staying in hotels as an emergency measure because the country's six dedicated immigration centres, built to accommodate 1,200 people, are already full.

Tory MP Alec Shelbrooke said: 'It is outrageous that asylum seekers are being put up in hotel rooms at public expense. It's this sort of soft touch that makes this country so attractive to migrants. The message should go out that they will be detained in disused military camps.' ...

Serco said last night that it was housing 100 asylum seekers in hotels but insisted it did not cost taxpayers extra as the money comes out of the general funds it receives from the Home Office.
[Site link]


Asylum – new country
Refugee Nation: A US property mogul's simple solution to the world's migration crisis – create a new country for refugees to live in
Adam Taylor
The Independent on Sunday, 26 July 2015

The world is in the middle of an extraordinary migration crisis. Across the globe, chaos and violence have left nearly 60 million people displaced, largely living in difficult conditions in poor nations.

But there is one man who thinks he can solve this crisis. He isn't a politician or academic, nor does he work directly with refugees at an NGO. He is a US property mogul. His solution is, depending on your position, either strikingly simple or absurdly naive: the world needs to come together to create a new country for refugees to live in.

"It's almost shocking to me that nobody's talking about this as a solution," Jason Buzi said about Refugee Nation, his plan to create a new state to house the world's refugees. "We have a lot of stateless individuals all over the world right now," he explained. "The idea is, if we could give them a state of their own, at least they'd have a place to live in safety and be allowed to live and work like everybody else." ...

"What I love about it is his sense of moral outrage about a problem that could be fixed but no one is fixing," said James Hathaway, director of the refugee and asylum programme at the University of Michigan Law School. ...

... So far, Mr Buzi says he has poured between $10,000 (£6,400) and $15,000 of his own money into setting up a team to help promote his idea, and he plans to put in a sizeable amount more to help the idea gain traction.

His end goal of buying or leasing a large amount of land to create a state will require much more, so he is hoping to get some of the world's richest people or governments involved in his plan.
[Site link]


Asylum – cost
Asylum seekers cost you £786 million: Bill to house and feed migrants soars 46%
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 17 July 2015

Looking after asylum seekers has cost tax payers nearly £450,000 a day, the Express can reveal.

The bill to house, feed and clothe them over the past five years comes to a £786 million.

It has gone up by 46 per cent since 2010. But that does not include the legal and administrative bills, the cost to public services or the price of flying the migrants home if their bid for asylum fails.

The huge strain on the public purse was condemned by campaigners. Alp Mehmet, of MigrationWatch, said: "What is part of the attraction for the people who come here and claim asylum is that once they are in this country they know they will be looked after. These figures bear that out."

Jonathan Isaby, of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "It's clear our asylum system is broken, working neither for those wanting to come here nor for taxpayers." ...

Home Office figures unearthed by the Express highlight the enormous and growing cost of dealing with asylum seekers.

In 2010, the state spent £100 million on Section 95 Support for migrants who were waiting to hear the outcome of their asylum claims.

Last year that figure had risen to £146 million. The total spent over five years was £631 million at an average of £126.2 million a year.

The bill for Section 4 Support – designed to stop failed asylum seekers falling destitute while awaiting removal – was £155 million over the five years at an average of £31 million a year.

Between 2010 and 2011 it dropped from £56 million to £22 million but crept back up to £27 million last year. The combined total, £786 million, works out at roughly £432,000 a day. From next month the amount handed out to asylum seekers is set to be cut, however. They and their dependants will each receive £36.95 a week for "essential living needs".

Under the current system parents receive £52.96 for every child. It means a single parent with one child will get £73.90 instead of £96.90 a week.

A couple with one child will get £110.85 instead of £125.48 while those with two children will get £147.80 instead of £178.44.

A Home Office source said the payments previously on offer under asylum support were "far too generous".

The rising care bill reflects the growing numbers of would-be refugees arriving here. In 2014 there were 32,000 asylum applications in the UK. In 2010 the figure was just over 24,000.
[Site link]


Asylum – refugees, numbers
UK asylum seekers – by the numbers
Tom Hart
Geographical, 17 July 2015

In 2014, the United Kingdom hosted 117,161 refugees, 36,383 pending asylum cases and 16 stateless persons, according to the UNHCR

"A refugee shall be considered to be a person who] owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country"

Article 1, 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees

Under the above definition, refugees make up 0.24 per cent of the UK's population, according to the UN High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR). Asylum seekers are those waiting for a decision on refugee status, while stateless persons are not considered to have nationality in any country.

The UK has the fifth highest asylum application numbers in the EU, according to the Home Office.

Under the Detained Fast Track system, asylum seekers are usually held in immigration detention centres during their application and – if failing the application – appeal. In the year ending March 2015 – the latest statistics available – there were 25,020 asylum applications in the UK. This is a low from 2002 when 84,132 claimed asylum in the UK.

Country by country, 85 per cent of claims from Eritrea and Syria result in grants of stay, while only 22 per cent of Pakistani applicants succeed, according to the Home Office.

Stays in detention are generally short, 63 per cent of the people leaving detention spent less than 29 days in a detention centre. But the Home Office does not discriminate in its statistics between asylum seekers and people detained for seeking immigration illegally. Among these were 121 children, a fall from 203 in 2014. There were 1,986 claims from unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in the year ending March 2015, according to the Home Office.

Once an asylum seeker is granted refugee status, their situation is still precarious. Around four per cent become homeless, according to the Home Office's 2014 Survey of New Refugees.
[Site link]


Asylum – sport
More than 100 asylum claims from Olympics and Commonwealth games
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 11 July 2015

More than 100 foreigners who attended the London Olympics and last year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow have failed to return home and claimed asylum in Britain.

New figures released by James Brokenshire, the immigration minister, revealed 82 asylum claims were made by competitors, spectators or other people who came here for the 2012 Olympics.

Of those, 52 have been granted, he said.

A further 50 people have also failed to leave Britain and have been granted another form of legitimate leave to stay in this country.

Mr Brokenshire also confirmed 21 people had "applied for or been granted asylum" who attended the Commonwealth Games, plus a further six who have been granted another form of leave.

It means that in total the Home Office is aware of 159 cases in total from both sporting events which involved asylum claims or other forms of settlement being granted.

Philip Davies, the Conservative MP who obtained the figures in Parliament, said: "I am very concerned that we are being treated as a soft touch when it comes to asylum.

"I find it quite extraordinary that people could come to this country as athletes representing their country, or as members of their support teams, and then claim they are being persecuted at home.

"I think that in future the Home Office needs to make clear that large sporting events are not a route for asylum seekers to Britain."
[Site link]


Asylum – bail
Detained asylum seekers to be able to apply for bail
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 30 June 2015

Hundreds of failed asylum seekers in immigration detention centres will be able to apply to be freed on bail, the Home Office is expected to confirm shortly.

A ruling by appeal court judges on Friday that a "structurally unfair" fast-track asylum appeals system must be suspended is expected to lead to 300 to 400 asylum seekers, who are currently detained, making a fresh plea to be freed.

The Ministry of Justice undertook, on behalf of the government, not to deport any applicants who lose their fast-track cases while a full appeal brought on behalf of ministers is heard by judges.

One possibility is that the home secretary, Theresa May, orders the immediate release of the 300 to 400 failed asylum seekers who are currently in Yarl's Wood and other detention centres under the suspended fast-track system. But it is thought more likely that they would continue to be detained on the grounds that there is a risk that they might abscond.

They would, however, still have the right to be freed on bail, given the system under which they are detained has been quashed by the judges.

The court of appeal ordered the home secretary, Theresa May, to suspend the fast-track immigration appeals system under which thousands are locked up each year.

The process, under which rejected asylum seekers are detained and given only seven days to appeal, was ruled unlawful by the high court two weeks ago but allowed the system to continue to give the government time to appeal.

However, the charity Detention Action successfully challenged that decision on Friday in the appeal court, which ordered an immediate halt to the system.

The high court ruled the system, which has been in use since 2000, was unfair, with lawyers for the asylum seekers expected to take instructions, prepare statements, translate documents, make bail applications, arrange expert witnesses and make representations to be taken out of the fast track – all within a strict timetable of seven working days.

The use of the "detained fast track", as it is called by the Home Office, has rapidly expanded in recent years. Latest published figures show that 4,286 asylum seekers were locked up in Yarl's Wood, Colnbrook or Harmondsworth detention centres under the scheme in 2013. This figure represented a 73% increase over the number for 2012.

Detention Action said the ruling by the appeal court judges meant that the Home Office could no longer impose the tight fast-track deadlines on asylum seekers making appeals while in detention. "Asylum seekers can no longer be detained throughout the asylum process simply for claiming asylum," their statement added.

Any asylum seekers from any country can be put into the detained fast track if the Home Office consider that their case can be decided quickly. Many of those involved are from countries such as Afghanistan and Sri Lanka and the system is not restricted to those with "manifestly unfounded" asylum claims.
[Site link]


Asylum – Syrians
David Cameron says Britain will accept just 'a few hundred' more Syrian refugees despite 4 million displaced by the war
Matt Dathan
The Independent, 19 June 2015

David Cameron has announced he will "modestly expand" the number of Syrian refugees allowed into the UK by offering "a few hundred more" places, but charities said Britain's commitment to the humanitarian crisis still "pales in comparison" to its European neighbours.

Britain lags embarrassingly behind its European neighbours in efforts to offer asylum to the 3.9 million Syrians who have fled the country since the civil war broke out four years ago, with the UK taking in just 1.5 per cent of the number accepted by Germany. ...

... Germany has offered 30,000 places to resettle Syrians, Sweden has committed to resettling 2,700, Switzerland has offered 3,500 places and Austria 1,500.

However the vast majority of the 3.9 million people who have fled Syria due to the conflict remain in the countries surrounding Syria, which have been overwhelmed by the crisis.

A staggering 98.3 per cent of Syrian refugees are stuck in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and Turkey. ...

Answering criticism of the UK's refusal to sign up to the UNHCR call for Western governments to accept 100,000 of the most vulnerable refugees, the Prime Minister's spokeswoman said:

"We've always been clear that we don't agree with the principle of quotas being set; we think this is for countries to make their own decisions on and so this is a decision we have taken and where we will work with the UNHCR on it."

The UK government has chosen to prioritise its humanitarian efforts on offering aid to the region in the form of food, medical care and water. It has donated a total of £800 million to Syria and its neighbours, with half of the sum going towards Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt to assist with the flood of refugees fleeing Bashar al-Assad's regime.
[Site link]


Asylum – cost
Shocking £140m annual bill to feed and house asylum seekers – and YOU'RE paying for it
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 17 June 2015

The chaos and backlogs in the asylum system have been laid bare by figures showing that more than 30,000 migrants are being supported at the taxpayers' expense while Home Office staff process their claims.

Another 5,000 failed refugees are still in the country living on state handouts while they wait to be removed.

The numbers could double when spouses and children are taken into account.

An average of £140 million is spent every year feeding and housing migrants waiting to hear if they can stay in Britain, the most recently published figures show.

The cost is mounting because of growing backlogs and some claims date back 16 years. ...

Alp Mehmet of Migration Watch said: "The system doesn't really seem to be working as it should and hasn't done for many years. The longer it remains inefficient, the more it will cost the public.

"It clearly hasn't been designed to deal with the numbers of asylum seekers it is having to cope with currently." ...

Figures published by the Home Office showed that at the end of March 2015, 30,476 asylum seekers and their dependants, and 4,941 who had applications rejected but are still in the UK were being supported by the state.

Official statistics showed that migrants spend an average of 18 months living on Section 95 handouts which range from £72.52 for a couple to £36.62 for a single person without children. Parents get an extra £53-a-week for each child. Housing is paid for separately.

The Home Office last year admitted that taxpayers have been forced to pay out £414 million to feed and house foreigners over the previous three years.
[Site link]


Asylum – UN, European Union
EU should welcome one million refugees: UN rights chief
EUbusiness, 15 June 2015

The UN rights chief on Monday called for the European Union to take bolder steps to address its swelling migrant crisis, insisting the bloc could easily take in one million refugees.

"It is well within the EU's means to give refuge, over a number of years, to one million refugees displaced by the conflicts in Syria and elsewhere," said Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.

"This would represent barely 0.2 percent of the EU's population," he told a special debate on migrant rights at the UN Human Rights Council, pointing out that Lebanon has already taken in 26 percent of its population in refugees. ...

Latvian ambassador Raimonds Jansons, speaking on behalf of the EU, insisted the bloc was trying to address the problem.

"The situation that Europe is facing at its southern external borders is unprecedented, not only in terms of the number of migrants and refugees arriving by boat, and the tragic loss of life in the Mediterranean, but also in terms of the response it has triggered" by the EU, he told the council. ...

Zeid commended the EU for its "recent determination to tackle migration in a more comprehensive manner," but insisted a greater shift in approach was needed.

"The resources currently deployed for ineffective border control systems could instead be invested in maximising the benefit of regular migration channels," he insisted.

He said Europeans should recognise the benefits of migrants, and should work harder to counter the "growing bigotry about migrants, which is often suffused with racism and religious hatred and stirred up for political gain." ...

The top UN expert on the human rights of migrants, Francois Crepeau, also insisted that making it easier to migrate legally was a major part of the puzzle.

"Migrants often have very few options, if any," he said, insisting "sealing borders does not work."

He compared today's lawless situation, where traffickers run rampant, with the Prohibition era in the United States, where "the mafia created by the prohibition policies were only defeated when the sale of alcohol was legalised, regulated and taxed."

"States need to reclaim the mobility market by offering better mobility options than what the smugglers are offering," he said.
[Site link]


Asylum – deportation, European Union
Send more migrants home to make room for refugees - EU official
Francesco Guarascio
Reuters, 15 June 2015

The European Commission is urging EU governments to send back migrants who cannot claim asylum, taking a tougher line to convince reluctant countries to receive new refugees fleeing Syria and Eritrea.

Before an EU meeting in Luxembourg, Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European commissioner in charge of migration, wrote to EU ministers to call for the EU's so-called return policy to be stepped up, in a letter seen by Reuters.

Only 39 percent of migrants who were not granted asylum in the EU were returned to their home countries in 2014.

Avramopoulos said sending those home who were simply seeking a better life and did not merit asylum would serve as a deterrent to people trying to cross the Mediterranean. A more effective policy of returning those people would also help maintain public support for protecting people most in need.

Following the deaths of thousands of migrants in the Mediterranean this year, EU governments have promised to act, but at a time of rising anti-immigrant sentiment and government spending cuts, they are divided over their emergency response.

The Commission wants EU governments to agree to resettle 24,000 asylum-seekers from Italy and 16,000 from Greece over the next two years, as well as accepting more migrants overall.

Only refugees from states deemed by the EU to be known to be facing the worst strife will be taken in, meaning to date Syrians and Eritreans.
[Site link]


UK's fast-track asylum system ruled unlawful
The Guardian / Press Association, 12 June 2015

The high court has declared the government's fast-track appeal system for processing asylum applications unlawful.

A judge ruled the system, which has been used for a decade to speed up the processing of asylum seeker claims, was "structurally unfair".

Mr Justice Nicol, sitting in London, said the system must be quashed but put a stay on his order taking effect to give the lord chancellor and home secretary time to appeal.

The ruling is a groundbreaking victory for the charity Detention Action, set up in 1993 to support and campaign on behalf of individuals held in immigration detention.
[Site link]


Asylum – European Union
EU to relocate tens of thousands of refugees
Deutsche Welle, 27 May 2015

The European Commission is set to pave the way for the relocation of around 40,000 refugees within Europe. The bloc is to present details of its refugee policy later on Wednesday.

The European Commission plans to get a bill containing "emergency measures" through parliament by the end of the year. German daily "Süddeutsche Zeitung" and The Associated Press (AP) report that the EU's executive is determined to relocate around 40,000 refugees from Italy and Greece to other countries in the bloc despite fierce opposition from some member states.

The reports claim the Commission wants to introduce a quota system whereby the number of refugees allocated to a particular country would depend on its population size, its economic output and its unemployment rate.

Under the proposed rules, Germany would have to take the largest share, at 18 percent, France would have to welcome 14 percent of those refugees, mainly from Eritrea and Syria, according to the reports. Countries "will receive 6,000 euros ($6,531) for each person relocated on their territories" from EU coffers, according to the document seen by the AP.
[Site link]


Asylum – bogus refugees, Pakistanis, UK, Republic of Ireland
Young Pakistani men flee UK and flood into Ireland
Tom Brady
Sunday Independent, 24 May 2015

A ten-fold surge in asylum applications from Pakistani nationals, mainly single males, has led to urgent talks between the immigration authorities here and the UK Home Office.

A significant number of them are coming here from the UK, where they already have immigration records.

Unpublished figures show that more than 550 applications were received from Pakistanis in the six-month period between last November and last month. This compares with 55 for the corresponding period in 2013 and 2014. As a result, Pakistanis account for over half of all asylum applications received in the past six months.

Under the so-called Dublin Regulation, which determines the EU State responsible for processing an asylum application, this means they are likely to be sent back to the UK.

But immigration officials say that many arriving here from the UK are attempting to "put down some sort of roots" here so that if they return to the UK they might be sent back to this country rather than deported to Pakistan.

Officials said there was high level concern at the influx from the UK of non-genuine Pakistani asylum seekers and confirmed that these cases were being fast-tracked through the system.

Senior Garda officers from the national bureau of immigration are assisting officials in stepping up preparations to deport the bogus applicants.

Immigration officials believe that the increase is largely being driven by a clampdown by UK authorities on "overstayers", those who want to avoid being deported from the UK.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has directed her officials to take all necessary action, including enhanced co-operation with the UK authorities, to combat what officials describe as flagrant abuse of the common travel area between the two jurisdictions.

Officials are also worried that abuses of the system impacts directly on genuine asylum applicants, in terms of accommodation spaces provided and length of time to process their cases.

As part of the measures to reduce immigration abuses, the immigration service placed a requirement on applicants for Irish visas in Pakistan late last year to provide their fingerprints.

The collection of visa biometrics is becoming an increasingly integral part of visa application processes worldwide as a means to combat immigration abuses such as false identities.
[Site link]


Asylum – European Union
EU migrant quota plan in tatters after France and Spain join British opposition
Henry Samuel
Daily Telegraph, 20 May 2015

An EU plan to distribute migrants via a quota system appeared to lie in tatters on Tuesday when France said there was "no question" of enacting the proposal and Spain criticised the plan.

French president François Hollande dismissed the quota plan days after the European Commission unveiled a plan calling for asylum grants for 20,000 refugees in Europe over the coming years.

Under Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker's plan, each EU country should accept their fair share of asylum seekers based on factors such as that country's population, GDP, unemployment rates and history of granting asylum.

Along with Italy, Germany and Austria, France initially appeared to back the proposals, with its interior minister even saying they were "inspired by the propositions made by France".

But in a joint press conference with Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday, Mr Hollande said: "There is no question of having immigrant quotas because we already have rules governing border checks and immigration controls".

He added: "The right to asylum does not correspond to a quota".

That would, he said, "make no sense".

"We reject this notion which is contrary to the principles." ...

Spain has now poured cold water over the plan, with foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo saying his country's unemployment rate of almost 24 per cent meant it could not help. "Pledging to take in migrants to whom you cannot provide work would be, in my opinion, providing a bad service," he said. ...

Italy reacted to the development with alarm, warning its European partners against betraying the scheme.
[Site link]


Asylum – European Union
France calls for fairer asylum seeker distribution within EU
Reuters, 17 May 2015

The European Union needs a system of border controls and a way for asylum seekers to be more fairly distributed among EU member states, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Saturday.

Nearly 1,000 migrants, many coming from Africa via Italy, were intercepted in southern France near the Italian border in the past three days, officials said at the weekend.

In response, border police forces and controls on highways, trains and buses and various check points have been beefed up, Valls said as he visited Menton, a Riviera town only a few kilometres from the Italian border.

"We need to create a European system of border controls," Valls said, adding that France was making concrete proposals to Brussels on the matter.

"Asylum seekers need to be distributed among EU states more fairly," he said, calling for a renewed crackdown on criminal networks profiting from the refugees' travels.

Valls said France, Italy, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom had accepted 75 percent of asylum seekers in Europe and that France "had already done a lot," having welcomed already 5,000 from Syria and 4,500 from Iraq since 2012.

This week, the European Commission proposed quotas based on criteria such as states' population, to more fairly distribute the asylum seekers following the strong influx. But Britain's newly re-elected Conservative leaders rejected any quota system imposed from Brussels.

"I am against the introduction of quotas for migrants," said Valls. "Asylum is a right, attributed according to international criteria ... That is why the number of its beneficiaries cannot be subject to quotas, one is an asylum seeker or not."
[Site link]


Asylum – European Union
Central Europeans oppose planned EU refugee quotas
EUbusiness, 16 May 2015

Poland on Friday became the latest European Union member to oppose the bloc's plan for binding quotas on asylum seekers for its 28 member states.

Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz said Friday that while Warsaw opposed the fixed quota proposed by Brussels, it is open to taking in refugees and migrants on a voluntary basis.

"We're not saying that we won't welcome migrants, we're saying that we want to make a credible offer and so like other European colleagues, I'm in favour voluntary decisions on this issue," Kopacz said in Warsaw.

The Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia Lithuania and Slovakia also oppose the controversial fixed quotas proposed by the EU on Wednesday but all say they are open to taking in refugees on a voluntary basis.

The binding quotas proposed by Brussels would require member states to admit refugees as requested by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
[Site link]


Asylum – UK, European Union
Britain could lose power to deport thousands of asylum seekers as EU lashes out at Theresa May
Matthew Holehouse
Daily Telegraph, 14 May 2015

Britain could be prevented from deporting thousands of asylum seekers, it emerged today, as European leaders rebuked Britain's stance over the Mediterranean migration crisis.

Theresa May was accused by Federica Mogherini, the EU's top diplomat, of disregarding the Geneva Convention after the Home Secretary insisted that migrants be sent home if they reach Europe.

Frans Timmermans, the vice president of the European Commission, questioned the Home Secretary's intelligence after she said taking in migrants would act as a "pull factor" that would encourage greater numbers of dangerous crossings.

In a move that presents a fresh headache for David Cameron ahead of his drive to reform the EU, the Commission announced on Wednesday it would review the Dublin system, an EU rule that obliges asylum seekers to remain in the states where they first land.

It wants a "fairer distribution" of migrants throughout the continent.

The Dublin rules have allowed the Home Office to deport 13,000 asylum seekers back to other European states since 2003 – something it could be unable to do if Britain opts out or if the rules were substantially revised.

Mr Timmermans said five southern states are now accommodating 72 per cent of all asylum claims in Europe as a result of the Mediterranean crisis. "That situation is untenable. We are going to have to review the system," he said.

The review is scheduled for 2016, just as David Cameron is attempting to renegotiate Britain's terms of membership with the EU ahead of an in-out vote. Mr Timmermans is regarded as an ally in the process.

The European Commission today set out plans to resettle 20,000 migrants rescued from the Mediterranean across the EU, with quotas set out for each country according to GDP, unemployment rate and population size.

Britain will opt out of the scheme. Under the Commission's formula, Britain would have been allocated 2,309 people.
[Site link]


Asylum – European Union
Britain took in more migrants than 17 other EU countries put together, new data shows
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 13 May 2015

Britain accepted more asylum seekers last year than 17 other European Union countries put together, new data shows. ...

Data compiled by Eurostat, the European Commission's own statistics agency, showed Britain gave asylum protection to 14,065 people in 2014, while other large European states accepted just a few hundred each.

Spain, one of the more populous countries in the EU, with 46 million people, gave asylum to just 1,600 asylum applicants last year, and Poland – with a population of 38 million – took just 740.

Ireland took 495 while Portugal's figure was 40, down from 135 the previous year. ...

In the new data Britain's total number of people granted asylum protection was the fifth largest in the EU.

Germany took the most at more than 47,500, followed by Sweden with 33,000, while France and Italy granted protection to about 20,600 each.

In total the number of applications granted in the EU rose by nearly 50 per cent year-on-year to just under 185,000.

The 17 countries which accepted fewer asylum applicants than the UK combined were Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Poland, Finland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Estonia, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia and Luxembourg.

In total the 17 granted asylum to 12,900 people.

Romania, which has a population of 20 million, granted just 775 people asylum, down from 1,840 in the previous 12 months.
[Site link]


Asylum – European Union
Refugee quotas divide EU: sources
EUbusiness, 12 May 2015

EU plans for binding refugee quotas across the 28-nation bloc could be sunk because Britain, Ireland and Denmark do not have to accept them, European sources said Tuesday.

The European Commission, the EU executive, is due to propose quotas as part of a new migration policy on Wednesday after the worst migrant shipwreck left 750 people dead in the Mediterranean last month.

As the death toll mounts off its southern shores, the European Union is trying to put in place a strategy to deal with both the growing number of arriving refugees and to halt the inflow at source in conflict-torn North Africa and the Middle East.

The final plan is supposed to be put before EU leaders at their June 25-26 summit but immigration is such a sensitive political issue for many member states that agreement could prove elusive, especially when it comes to sharing the burden.

Commission spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud said on Tuesday that Britain and Ireland have "opt-in rights" on certain policy areas under EU treaties, meaning in this case that they had the right to decide whether or not to participate in a quota system.

"Denmark has an opt-out right whereby they do not participate at all" on this issue, Bertaud added.

The exemptions granted to the three countries are making it difficult for the commission to impose binding quotas on the 25 remaining EU member states, European sources told AFP. ...

Hungary is one member state that has faced a huge influx of refugees recently, mainly from Kosovo, but also Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

"The European idea that somebody allows refugees into their own country and then distributes them to other member states is mad and unfair," Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Friday. ...

The EU statistics agency Eurostat said Tuesday that EU member states granted protection to more than 185,000 asylum seekers last year, an increase of nearly 50 percent over 2013. The figure includes those given refugee status.
[Site link]


Asylum – European Union, Czech Republic, Slovakia
Czech and Slovak PMs reject quotas for refugees at Prague meeting
Ian Willoughby
Radio Praha, 12 May 2015

The Czech and Slovak prime ministers, Bohuslav Sobotka and Robert Fico, have reiterated their countries' opposition to the idea of European Union states being required to take in compulsory quotas of asylum seekers. The European Commission is reportedly planning to propose such a system on Wednesday. Speaking after a joint session of the two states' cabinets in Prague, Mr. Fico said the EU's position should be based on a voluntary approach and the decisions of individual countries. For his part, Mr. Sobotka said states knew best what kind of measures they could introduce within the framework of solidarity.
[Site link]


Asylum – European Union
The Guardian view on migration: a radical new start is needed
The Guardian, 12 May 2015
[Leading article]

The flow of migrants from the severely disturbed countries south of the European Union has increased, is increasing, and will, for the foreseeable future, continue to increase. The Syrian civil war grinds on, Libya's internal conflicts are unresolved, and Eritrea is a repressive state which imposes a form of "national service" on its youth amounting to forced labour.

These are just the worst instances of the kind of chronic dysfunction that leads people to take the risky decision to leave their homes. In addition to those fleeing extreme situations, there are many in more stable countries, for example Nigeria or, further afield, Bangladesh, who seek the better prospects they believe Europe affords.

With the erosion of state authority in parts of the Middle East and north Africa and the growth of a region-wide people smuggling industry, the numbers of both kinds of migrants has shot up, putting huge pressure on Europe's inadequate and incoherent system for dealing with them. The physical controls have buckled, with a consequent dreadful loss of life at sea (now somewhat ameliorated), while the legal framework that is supposed to govern migration into the European Union is at breaking point. Above all, the documentation of migrants has been neglected by countries of first arrival because it compels them to take back migrants who move elsewhere. The result is that the burden is being shared, but in a patchy and unplanned way, and with much loss of control: less than half of unsuccessful asylum seekers are being sent back.

Under pressure from Italy and Germany, the European commission is therefore proposing a radical restructuring which would Europeanise migration policy. When migrant numbers peak again in future, a provision of the Lisbon treaty compelling member states to respond when one, in this case Italy, is in an emergency situation, would be invoked. In the longer term, member states would adopt a quota system which would distribute refugees around the union on an agreed basis to do with population, GNP, and employment rates. In addition a forward network of liaison offices across Africa and the Middle East would monitor the sending countries and, by implication, tie European aid more closely to action by regional governments to control migration.

There would be enhanced military measures against smugglers, and intelligence moves to identify and neutralise the big smuggling racket bosses. The net result, if it works, would be to make economic migration more difficult and refugee movement somewhat easier and safer.

This is a big and ambitious package, very much a work in progress, which will require changes to EU agreements. The British government likes none of it except the military element and it is part of the effort at the United Nations to secure backing for the use of force. Britain has an opt out which might allow us to avoid being part of a quota set-up, but we should think twice. The system Europe has in place is close to useless. At the very least we need to be part of the discussions over what should take its place.
[Site link]


Asylum – European Union
Immigration to become more poisonous issue as EU backs quota system
Ian Traynor
The Guardian, 11 May 2015

It is one of the most toxic issues in European politics. And immigration is set to get more poisonous this week when Brussels throws its weight behind a new quota system that would share the load of immigrants more equitably, but bindingly, among the 28 countries.

The commission proposal, obtained by the Guardian and being unveiled on Wednesday, is incendiary for many of the national leaders, not least the freshly re-elected UK prime minister, David Cameron, although it will be welcomed as sensible and long overdue by immigration professionals.

The crisis in the Mediterranean and the prospect of a summer of people drowning in their thousands, virtually live on the television and laptop screens of Europe, has acted as a game changer. Accused of dragging its feet, being in denial, and failing to respond to tragedy on Europe's southern shores, the EU has suddenly become proactive rather than merely reactive, and at an unusual speed by Brussels' standards.

Two big moves are afoot – the attempt to introduce a quota system for spreading refugees across Europe and the quest for a UN mandate empowering the Europeans to launch military action against the migrant trafficking networks that seem to be about the only business flourishing in the failing state of Libya.

Militarily and logistically, the use of force looks immensely problematic. But politically, at least in Europe, the military option is the easy bit. All 28 governments are said in Brussels to be supportive of the plans to hit the smugglers and blow up their vessels.

Immigrant quotas are much more difficult. There is no chance of consensus emerging quickly. The Mediterranean frontline states of Italy, Greece, and Malta are in favour of the refugee-sharing proposals for obvious reasons. Germany, leading the campaign, along with Sweden and Austria are also in favour, for the straightforward reason that they take in much more asylum seekers than the others and a quota system would bring them a net reduction.

Cameron, confident and revitalised, is trying to get the rest of the EU to agree to curbs on migration within the union (freedom of movement) and will not countenance a bigger British quota, especially if it is set by Brussels. Ditto the Danes and the Dutch. The French will be intensely wary given the electoral gains being made by Marine Le Pen's anti-immigrant Front National.

And the eastern Europeans, who take in hardly any asylum seekers, do not want to break that habit.
[Site link]


Asylum – European Union
Germany leader Angela Merkel calls for UK to take even more immigrants in wake of refugee crisis in the Mediterranean
Daniel Martin
Daily Mail, 25 April 2015

Angela Merkel threw down the gauntlet to David Cameron last night and said large countries should be prepared to accept more asylum seekers.

The German Chancellor demanded a new European Union system that distributes asylum-seekers to member states based on their population and economic strength. ...

David Cameron insisted at an emergency EU summit on Thursday that the UK would not take any of the refugees – because it was already doing its part by virtue of having the continent's largest aid and defence budgets. ...

Germany believes it is being made to bear an disproportionate burden of asylum-seekers lured there by its strong economy.

In 2014, Germany received 173,070 asylum applications, more than twice as many as any other EU country. In the same period, the UK received 31,260 applications, according to UN refugee agency. ...

Donald Tusk, the European Council president, said earlier on Thursday that EU leaders must 'sacrifice some national interests for the common good' by taking part in a 'resettlement' programme.
[Site link]


Asylum – Europe, Australia
Europe needs strong will to tackle migrants - Australian minister
Adrian Croft
MailOnline, 25 April 2015

Australia's tough policies have stopped migrants reaching the country by boat and Europe will need strong will to tackle boat migrants in the Mediterranean, Australia's foreign minister said on Friday.

Julie Bishop said NATO ambassadors had discussed the thousands of migrants from Africa and the Middle East taking to dangerous, overcrowded vessels to try to reach Europe, during a meeting in Brussels she took part in on Friday.

The Australian government has been criticised at home and abroad for its tough immigration policies, which include turning back refugee boats and sending asylum seekers to camps in Papua New Guinea and Nauru, where they face long periods of detention.

"There is nothing humanitarian, there is nothing merciful about criminal networks luring people to their deaths by putting them on unseaworthy boats," Bishop told journalists. ...

Australia had refused to consider asylum requests from people who paid smugglers to take them to Australia, Bishop said.

"Under a military commander, we adopted policies and initiatives across government to send the very strong message that we would not accept people who pay people-smugglers," she said.

"The statistics speak for themselves. In 2013, 300 boats sought to make their way to Australia carrying 20,000 people. We are aware that there have been 1,200 deaths at sea with people seeking to come to Australia via the people-smuggling trade.

"Since January 2014, no boats have reached Australia and there have been no deaths at sea," she said.
[Site link]


The Guardian view on the Mediterranean migrants: every life is a precious life
The Guardian, 22 April 2015
[Leading article]

A proud father who is fleeing persecution, a mother who wants to give her family a chance – every migrant who risks their lives in the Mediterranean has a story that any European would recognise. In the blank faces of the stricken survivors being helped from the sea off Rhodes, or shuffling dazed down the gangway into a strange Sicilian port, they can only be imagined. They are easily dwarfed by the scale of the unfolding drama in the Mediterranean, but in any discussion of what should be done, that particularity is the most important single thing to remember.

Politicians deal in policy, and too often, particularly in the middle of an election campaign, they follow rather than lead opinion. ...

Second, while each migrant is facing their own crisis, for Europe their arrival is not one, whatever the inflated language of the political response. It is a problem that needs to be managed. The safety of these refugees, whether they are fleeing a state that has failed politically or economically, is a duty not just for the country in which they make landfall but for the whole of the EU. ... ...

Moving in order to do better is as old as humanity. So is fleeing persecution. The long-term answer for the Mediterranean boat people is to put global stability and economic prosperity at the heart of foreign policy. The short-term answer is a managed resettlement programme so that people do not have to risk their lives at sea. Until then, we have an unbreakable moral obligation to save them.
[Site link]


Asylum – European Union
Why is EU struggling with migrants and asylum?
Laurence Peter
BBC, 20 April 2015

Hundreds of migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean this month, amid a surge in overcrowded boats heading for Europe from Libya.

The flow of desperate migrants from North Africa hoping to reach Europe is already much higher than in the same period last year. ...

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) estimates that more than 21,000 migrants had reached the Italian coast between the start of the year and mid-April, with 900 deaths.

The IOM said most of the migrants appeared to be from Sub-Saharan Africa, Eritrea, Somalia and Syria.

Survivors of the perilous voyage said they had suffered from violence and abuse by people traffickers, as well as the chaos in war-torn Libya. ...

Last year, some 219,000 refugees and other migrants crossed the Mediterranean, and at least 3,500 lives were lost, the UN refugee agency UNHCR reports. In 2013 the total reaching Europe via the Mediterranean was much lower - about 60,000.

So far this year, at least 31,500 people are known to have made crossings to Italy and Greece, the main migrant entry points in Europe. The main pressure point is the Central Mediterranean route. ...

Data from the EU border agency Frontex records detections of illegal entries - it does not include the many migrants who manage to get in undetected.

Mainland Greece remains a major transit point - many migrants travel up through the Balkans, hoping to reach northern Europe. Neighbouring Bulgaria has seen a big increase in Syrian migrants entering from Turkey.

Before the 2011 Arab Spring the Western Mediterranean route was a big challenge for Spain, as many migrant boats arrived off the Canary Islands, carrying poor sub-Saharan Africans. The numbers dropped after Spain tightened co-operation with Morocco and fortified its North African enclaves - Ceuta and Melilla. ...

The number of asylum claims in the EU rose to 626,065 in 2014, up from 435,190 in 2013, the European Commission reports. The 2014 figure is the highest since a peak in 1992, though back then the EU had fewer member states.

In 2014 the number of applicants from Syria more than doubled, compared with 2013, reaching 123,000. That was 20% of the total, and far above the next biggest group - Afghans, who accounted for 7%.

Migrants from Kosovo were in third place, just above Eritreans. Poor, marginalised Roma account for many of the migrants from Kosovo.

In 2014 asylum was granted to 163,000 people in first instance decisions - that is, nearly 45% of such decisions. But most EU countries still have backlogs of asylum claims to process.

The figure for asylum finally granted after appeal was much lower - 25,000 in 2013.

The figures for positive first instance decisions on asylum show Germany top in 2014 - 41,000, followed by Sweden (31,000) and Italy (21,000). The figure for the UK was 10,000.
[Site link]


Asylum – number, West
Asylum seekers in the West highest since Bosnia war - UNHCR
Stephanie Nebehay
Reuters, 26 March 2015

Wars in Syria and Iraq drove the number of people requesting asylum in industrialised countries to a 22-year high last year, the United Nations said on Thursday, appealing for Western nations to open their doors to more refugees.

An estimated 866,000 asylum-seekers lodged claims in 2014, a 45 percent rise from the year before and the highest figure since the start of the war in Bosnia, when the all-time high of nearly 900,000 was recorded, the U.N. refugee agency said.

"Today, the surge in armed conflicts around the world presents us with similar challenges, in particular the dramatic situation in Syria. Our response has to be just as generous now as it was then," said U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres.

Some 3.9 million Syrian refugees taken in by Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq don't figure in the statistics in its "Asylum Trends 2014" report.
[Site link]


Asylum – Europe
Asylum requests in Italy jump 143 percent
The Local [Italy], 21 March 2015

A total of 64,625 people applied for asylum in Italy during 2014, an increase of 143 percent in a year, the EU statistics agency Eurostat said on Friday.

The new figures mark a sharp uptick in applications when compared to 2013, when 26,620 people applied for asylum in Italy, and reflect the broader trend of a growing number of people seeking protection in Europe.

A total of 626,000 people requested asylum across the EU's 28 countries last year, with Italy accounting for 10.3 percent of the region's applications in 2014.

While the figure may appear high for Italy, there were just 1.1 applications per thousand inhabitants last year. This falls just below the European average of 1.2 and far short of Sweden's high ratio of 8.4.

Italy's statistics also show that of more than 170,000 people who arrived by boat in the country last year, less than half requested permission to stay as refugees. As The Local reported earlier this year, Germany receives considerably more asylum applications than Italy.

Last year 202,700 people applied for asylum in Germany, an increase of 32 percent in a year and equivalent to 2.5 per thousands residents. Sweden came in second with 81,200 applicants, a 13 percent increase on 2013.

France had the fourth-highest number of asylum applications last year, behind Italy, although the 62,735 requests mark a five percent fall on the previous year.
[Site link]


Asylum – European Union
EU interior ministers debate asylum influx
Deutsche Welle, 12 March 2015

The idea to set up transit camps in northern Africa for Europe-bound asylum seekers to avert fatal Mediterranean boat drowning is being discussed again in Brussels. Austria is in favor. Germany is hesitant.

Austria's Johanna Mikl-Leitner told fellow EU interior ministers on Thursday that the idea deserved "intensive" discussion. Germany's Thomas de Maizière said it "could be a solution," but needed time for discussion. Other EU nations opposed the proposition.

More than 3,000 migrants drowned or died of hypothermia while trying to cross the Mediterranean and slip into Europe last year, despite the expressions of anguish and promises of change after 360 died off Lampedusa in 2012.

Under the proposal, the UN refugee agency, which has been highly critical of EU inaction on drownings, would run the transit camps, where asylum-seekers would wait while their applications for asylum in Europe were assessed.

For those rejected there would be monetary incentives to return home. ...

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas told the Düsseldorf-based Rheinische Post newspaper that he doubted whether applicants in northern Africa camps would enjoy all the legal rights they were otherwise entitled to applying within the EU.

"When the refugees see these centers not as doors but as a wall then unfortunately they won't let themselves be dissuaded from seeking their way across the sea," Maas said. ...

Alone in Italy, more than 170,000 people arrived in 2014 after being picked up by merchant, navy and coastguard ships.
[Site link]


Asylum – Africans, EU
Italy wants EU to share migrants: Interior minister proposes fast-tracking legitimate asylum-seekers across Europe to ease burden on its borders
Hannah Roberts
Daily Mail, 11 March 2015

Italy is to outline proposals to fast-track African migrants and send them directly to EU countries including Britain.

Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano is set to push for migrant screening and processing centres in Africa, at meetings with his EU counterparts in Brussels tomorrow.

Mr Alfano claims that the migrant crisis should be tackled with refugee camps on African soil, where asylum seekers could be identified and then distributed evenly throughout European states.

The minister's proposals come as the EU border chief warned that there are up to a million migrants in Libya preparing to cross the Mediterranean.

Italy, with its southernmost landfall just a 80km (49 miles) from Africa, is the first port of call for many seeking new lives in Europe.

With Libya descending into ever-worsening chaos and lawlessness, almost 9,000 migrants arrived on Italian shores in January and February, up 43 per cent on last year's record figures.

Fabrice Leggeri director of EU border control Frontex said: 'Our sources tell us there are anywhere between 500,000 to a million people ready to leave from Libya.' 'We have to be ready to address a more difficult situation than last year.' ...

Three of the camps would be based in Niger, Tunisia and Sudan, according to Italian media reports.

Natasha Bertaud, spokesman for the EU executive, said the plans were in an 'orientation phase'.
[Site link]


Asylum – European Union
New migrant flood on way: Outrage after EU warns Britain to prepare for more foreigners
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 7 March 2015

Britain could be forced to accept a new surge of migrants under Brussels plans to set up refugee processing centres in Africa and the Middle East.

Critics fear the centres will open up new routes into the country for illegal immigrants.

The scheme will give hope to bogus refugees who previously would have had to journey thousands of miles to make their claims.

It will also allow Brussels to try and force Britain to accept asylum seeker quotas. ...

Critics warned that EU offices in far-flung countries will be deluged with whole families wanting to escape the grinding poverty of their homelands for a new life in the UK.

Alp Mehmet, of MigrationWatch, said: "This is a half-baked idea that will only add to the problems the UK and other European countries have with illegal immigration.

"All these centres will do is act as a magnet for more people who want to come to Britain."

Ukip MEP Gerard Batten said: "This plan shows the EU wants to take control of immigration policy for every country and impose rules on them so it decides how many refugees we admit.

"Those in charge in Brussels want to set up more legal pathways for migrants to get into the UK.

"We have already been swamped, now we have to prepare for a deluge."

Tory backbench MP Philip Hollobone said: "This is evidence of the EU's further descent into madness.

"The EU's immigration policy is in chaos and is already effectively an open door to illegal migrants from around the world.

"Setting up asylum desks will increase the number of bogus refugees trying to come to the EU.

"It is a recipe for disaster."

Proposals for processing centres in countries such as Libya, Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon and Somalia emerged this week when Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos told reporters he wanted more entry routes into the EU for migrants and to increase the number of "resettlement places" for them.

Asylum processing centres will be added to EU embassies and offices around the world, he pledged. ...

He claimed using the centres would save the lives of thousands of migrants who die every year trying to get to the EU and cut the number of illegal immigrants landing on our shores.

The career diplomat and former mayor of Athens said he had also set up a group to develop a pilot scheme to allocate quotas of asylum seekers around the EU "based on the principle of shared responsibility".

At present, immigration policy rests with national governments and not Brussels. Refugees have to register their claims in the first EU country they enter.

Mr Avramopoulos's project, which is being fast-tracked through the Commission, is expected to be put forward for approval in mid-May.

His plans have won support in countries at the front line of EU migration including Italy, Malta and Greece.

Germany is also said to be backing the idea.

Of the 270,000 migrants who arrived in Europe illegally last year, more than 220,000 of them came through North Africa.
[Site link]


Asylum – bogus asylum seekers
We need tougher policies to tackle bogus asylum seekers
Ross Clark
Daily Express, 3 March 2015

In 2013, 29,875 claimed asylum in Britain, many of them through the Channel ports. A Freedom Of Information request has revealed that providing them with bed and board is costing British taxpayers £726,027 a day – a figure which excludes health care, schooling and legal aid costs. ...

They are people mainly from North Africa and the Middle East who, in accordance with international law, should have applied for asylum in the first safe country in which they landed.

Why would anyone who claims to be fleeing for fear of their lives want to take a completely unnecessary risk, such as clinging to the underside of a lorry, to travel from one safe country to another?

There are only a couple of satisfactory explanations: that they perceive Britain to be a softer touch on granting asylum than France, or that they have heard that Britain is more generous with its benefits.

They are right on the first point: over the past year the UK has accepted 37 per cent of asylum seekers, compared with 20 per cent in France.

As for the second point, I somehow doubt that the luxury hotels in France's Mediterranean resorts are full of asylum seekers.

Of course, Britain should be a generous host to genuine asylum seekers, something for which we have a proud history. Anyone who wants to slam the door on them should stop to consider what would have been the fate of Jewish refugees had they been turned away from Britain in the 1930s.

We can all see the terror being perpetrated in Syria by Islamic State and the Assad regime. We shouldn't begrudge help to ordinary civilians who are trying to escape that.

But it is clear that a lot of those who apply for asylum in Europe are really economic migrants in search of a better life.

Of the 538,990 asylum seekers who applied in EU countries during the past 12 months, 99,795 came from Syria.

But the third largest contingent – 33,665 – came from Afghanistan, a country where we have recently declared victory in our long military campaign against the Taliban. It doesn't say much for the government we helped install in Kabul if there is nowhere in Afghanistan where that country's citizens can feel safe from oppression.

Over 30,000 asylum seekers came from Kosovo and Albania: countries where war and dictatorship ended years ago, but which remain rather poorer than most EU countries.

But far worse than economic migrants are hate preachers and terror suspects who have been granted asylum in Britain. ...

In far too many cases officials making decisions on asylum cases seem to have taken the line that anyone who is being pursued by a Middle Eastern government must be a victim of oppression and therefore eligible for asylum in Britain.

True, most Arab countries are illiberal dictatorships, but that doesn't automatically mean that everyone who is opposed to them must be of good intent. We blinded ourselves to the threat from Islamic terrorists by treating them as if they were freedom fighters on the run.

No-one wants to deprive genuine refugees of help, but we certainly do need to be more sceptical of people who turn up demanding asylum in Britain. ...

First and foremost, all refugee problems should be dealt with as close as possible to the source of the problem. ...

As for asylum seekers who do turn up in Britain from France they should be sent straight back and told to apply for asylum there.
[Site link]


Asylum – cost
Asylum bill hits £726,000 a day: Immigration policy is a 'shambles' say critics
Daily Express, 2 March 2015

Taxpayers are forking out £726,000 a day to house and feed asylum seekers, the Daily Express can reveal.

The astonishing figure shows the Government's immigration policy is a complete shambles, critics said last night.

Officials are dealing with more than three asylum applications an hour because of the strong desire by migrants from around the world to live here.

Since 2010, £1.2 billion has been spent on bed and board for refugees while their claims are processed.

That could have paid for 58,000 extra nurses, 52,000 teachers or 47,500 police officers.

But the true scale of the public liability for the overseas influx is likely to be significantly higher because it does not include health care, school or legal aid costs.

The Home Office data, obtained via a Freedom of Information request, shows the asylum bill for 2013/14 – the most recent available – was £265 million or £726,027 a day. ...

Lavish concessions allow those who have entered the UK illegally somewhere to live, a cash allowance, or both.

Married couples pocket £72.52 a week, lone parents receive £43.94, while those aged 18 and over get £36.62.

Even those whose claims are turned down are entitled to £35.39.

Claimants can also get free NHS treatment while their children will be found school places and have free meals. ...

While the numbers applying for asylum are significantly down on the record 103,081 in 2002, the Home Office statistics show claims have crept up since 2011.

Then the figure was 25,898 – an average of 71 a day. In 2012 the number was 27,978, or 77 a day, but in 2013 it reached 29,875, the equivalent of 82 a day.

The figures do not take into account the fact that since 2012 an estimated 50,000 illegal immigrants have "disappeared" and are at large in the UK.

Alp Mehmet, of Migration Watch, said: "Anyone who merits asylum should be granted it quickly but those who don't should be removed equally quickly.

If they are not, it will inevitably end up costing the British taxpayer a lot of money."
[Site link]


Asylum – European Union
Of all the EU failures, its policy on asylum seekers is the worst
Christopher Booker
Sunday Telegraph, 11 January 2015

Europe is now being besieged by nearly half a million more of these "asylum seekers" every year, desperately craving refuge from appalling conditions in their own countries – mainly from Syria and the Middle East, or from Eritrea, Somalia and other parts of Africa. And even this is only a small part of what has become an immense worldwide tragedy, arising from the chaos that, according to the UN High Commission for Refugees, has displaced more than 50 million people from their homes, causing millions to seek an escape to the developed world, the US, Australia and Europe.

But nowhere is the resulting shambles more obvious than in that surrounding what the EU calls its "Common European Asylum System". So little does the EU know what to do about this crisis that it simply allows its 28 member states to break international and its own law in all directions.

Under the UN's 1951 Refugee Convention, which belongs to a different age, no country is allowed to turn away or turn back any refugees forced to flee their own country. The EU has now reinforced this in a swathe of directives under the Amsterdam treaty, requiring asylum seekers to be fairly treated. But in force since 1997 has also been the notorious "Dublin Regulation", laying down that, since any asylum seekers managing to enter the EU without a visa are illegal immigrants, their right to remain must be "processed" in the country where they first arrived.

In practice, two massive problems have made a nonsense of this law. One is that it imposes such a burden on the "front line" states where most asylum seekers arrive, notably Italy, Malta and Greece, that they do all they can to evade the law, by moving the refugees on to be "processed" in other countries, which are then responsible for them. The other is that most asylum seekers have no wish to remain in southern Europe anyway. They are only too happy not to be "processed" until they reach the richer countries to the north, such as Germany, Sweden or Britain, where they hope to settle.

This is why, in 2013, according to the latest Eurostat figures, by far the largest number of asylum applications was in Germany, 126,705. France took on 64,760 and Sweden 54,270, with Britain a distant fourth on 29,875. But legally this is only the start of the problem because, even though many applicants may be rejected (62 per cent in the UK), the host countries are virtually powerless to send them away again.

In Britain, as the Public Accounts Committee reported in October, the UK Border Agency officials "could not find" 50,000 rejected asylum seekers who had simply vanished off their radar. Another 11,000 had been waiting for at least seven years to be "processed", and 29,000 cases dating back to before 2007 still had not been resolved (this in addition to the agency having wasted up to £1 billion on failed IT systems).

Another reason for this shambles is the army of lawyers, who then use the Council of Europe's Convention on Human Rights to make confusion worse confounded. /.../ Another major contributor to the crisis is the way "people trafficking" – as by the gangs that charge asylum seekers huge sums to board those "death ships" in the Mediterranean – has become a multi-billion-pound criminal industry.

... The EU might begin by giving much more assistance to those refugees and governments in the places where much of this horrendous problem originated in the first place.
[Site link]


Asylum – EU, Bulgaria
Bulgaria 'to take back asylum-seekers' from rest of EU
BBC, 6 January 2015

Bulgaria has agreed to take back more than 3,000 asylum seekers who tried to settle in other EU countries, Bulgarian media report.

In 2013 Bulgaria struggled with a surge of refugees fleeing the Syria war and its reception centres are overcrowded.

Other EU countries have asked Bulgaria to take back nearly 8,000 asylum seekers, Novinite news website reports.

The EU country where migrants first arrive is supposed to handle asylum claims, under controversial EU rules.

Bulgaria and neighbouring Greece have complained that the EU's Dublin II Regulation on asylum claims is unfair. They have urged EU partners to share the burden of asylum claims more equitably, as have Italy and Malta - Mediterranean countries that are also experiencing an influx of migrants.

Novinite reports that Germany, Austria and Hungary are among the countries that want to send migrants back to Bulgaria. So far Bulgaria - the poorest country in the EU - has agreed to the return of at least 3,163.
[Site link]



Benefits and costs – hospital costs
Overseas patients owe more than £500,000 in unpaid bills at Leicester's hospitals
Cathy Buss
Leicester Mercury, 29 December 2015

Overseas patients owe a total of £518,000 in unpaid hospital bills.

Doctors at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust have looked after nearly 600 patients who have not been entitled to NHS treatment since the start of April this year (2015).

The cost of the treatment amounted to more than £709,000 but managers at the trust have been successful in recouping some of this debt.

They have managed to collect payments amounting to just over £191,000.

However, this still leaves a debt of £518,000.

Chris Benham, director of operational finance for Leicester's hospitals, said: "The trust follows the relevant national guidelines in the identification, treatment and management of patients that are classified as overseas visitors. ...

Patients are not changed for treatment in A&E departments or at GP surgeries, irrespective of where they have come from.

People who are considered to be "ordinarily resident" in the country are also entitled to free NHS hospital treatment.

Visitors from most European countries do not have to pay for treatment due to reciprocal arrangements with those countries.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – asylum, children
Councils Spend 200 Million On Refugee Kids, Slammed For Leaving 100,000 British Kids Homeless This Christmas
Liam Deacon
Breitbart, 22 December 2015

It has been revealed that the growing number of lone refugee children in the UK has cost local authorities more than £200 million, just weeks after a leading charity warned such councils are failing British families, and 100,000 British kids face being homeless this Christmas.

New figures suggest that over the past five years ten councils have spent close to £200 million on lone children claiming asylum, with £36.9 million spent in the last year alone on 1,168 unaccompanied children in the UK. ...

Individual councils, who are also responsible for housing British children and families, largely pick up the bill for unaccompanied migrant children, not central government.

At the beginning of this month, the homelessness charity Shelter warned that councils are increasingly being forced to move British families into cramped bed and breakfasts and hostels.

Because of such failings, they estimate that more than 100,000 British children will wake up homeless on Christmas morning this year. That number has been consistently rising, up nearly 25 per cent on Christmas four years ago.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – welfare benefits, Labour Party
Jeremy Corbyn says he opposes making EU migrants wait to receive benefits
Patrick Wintour
The Guardian, 18 December 2015

Jeremy Corbyn has torn up Labour's European policy, saying he opposes EU migrants having to wait to receive benefits when in the UK.

Labour said in its manifesto for the general election in May that there should be a two-year ban on EU migrants receiving tax credits. The policy had been set out by the then shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves.

But Corbyn, who is in Brussels for a meeting of the Party of European Socialists – a grouping of leftwing parties in the European parliament – rejected the policy. He said on Thursday: "If somebody is working, paying taxes, doing a job just like anybody else, then surely they deserve access to exactly the same benefits as anybody else."
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – welfare benefits, European Union
EU referendum: Boris Johnson slapped down by Downing Street over call for Danish-style opt-out for benefit reforms
Matt Dathan
The Independent, 14 December 2015

Downing Street has slapped down Boris Johnson over his suggestion that David Cameron should seek a Danish-style opt-out to push through his plan to block benefits going to EU migrants.

The Mayor of London urged Mr Cameron to stand firm on plans to make EU migrant workers wait four years before they have access to in-work benefits such as tax credits and pointed to the special rules afforded to Denmark over property rules, where only those who have been resident in the country for more than five years can buy a second home.

The Prime Minister's spokeswoman said that although Denmark's "carve-out" was an example of the kind of flexibility in the EU that Britain was seeking, it nonetheless was not ambitious enough to satisfy the scale of change Mr Cameron was demanding.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – welfare benefits, European Union
If Denmark can treat foreigners differently, then so can Britain
Boris Johnson
Daily Telegraph, 14 December 2015

If you want to buy a home in Denmark, you basically need to be Danish – or to have lived in that country for at least five years. ...

... Like the Danes, Britain is a special case. It is not just that we are one of the biggest magnets for immigrants – we share that status with Germany. We are unlike any other EU country (especially Germany) in the current rate of population growth, which has been largely – though by no means entirely – driven by recent immigration.

In London alone, we will need to find another 165,000 school places in the next five years. We will need to build another 80 secondary schools. That is a big expense for the taxpayer. As I have said many times in this space, I am a passionate believer in the benefits of migration. Waves of talent from overseas have helped to make our capital the most dynamic urban economy in Europe. But it should be up to us in this country to decide – as they do in America and Australia – whom to admit and when to admit them. Now our friends in Brussels have given us the bum's rush, and said they won't agree to the four-year cooling-off period that the PM has proposed.

This would have meant you can't come here and immediately clamp your jaws around the teat of the benefits system. I happen to think this idea would have been generally popular with European electorates, but never mind; they won't have it. So my question is: what will they agree to?
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – EU, welfare benefits
Every EU nation privately backs British drive to block migrants claiming benefits, claims Iain Duncan Smith
Ben Riley-Smith
Daily Telegraph, 9 December 2015

Every EU nation privately wants to block migrants from claiming benefits when they first arrive, Iain Duncan Smith has said in a strong rebuttal of the President of the European Council's recent letter on Britain's renegotiation.

The Work and Pensions Secretary said that "behind closed doors" ministers across the Continent agree with the UK that migrants should not be allowed access to the benefits system immediately.

He dismissed Donald Tusk's claim that there is "no consensus" on Britain's demand to lock EU migrants out of in-work benefits for four years and said the letter did not reveal "very much". ...

"When I talk to ministers in Germany and France et cetera I have yet to come across one person ... that doesn't actually agree that there is something fundamentally wrong with this system that means people can arrive in a different country and be eligible for benefits that they have never contributed towards or been involved in," Mr Duncan Smith said.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – welfare benefits, EU migrants
David Cameron's claims of 40 per cent of migrants on benefits based on figures beset by 'uncertainty', Government analysis admits
Charlie Cooper
The Independent, 11 November 2015

David Cameron's claim that "around 40 per cent" of recent EU migrants receive benefits is based on a two-year-old dataset beset by "uncertainty and limitations", the Government's own analysis has said.

The statistic is based on a five per cent sample from March 2013, which indicated that between 37 and 45 per cent of EU migrants were supported by the benefits system. Downing Street briefed journalists ahead of Mr Cameron's speech that 43 per cent of EU migrants received support. The estimate also excludes EU migrants studying in the UK.

In his speech Mr Cameron said: "We now know that, at any one time, around 40 per cent of all recent European Economic Area migrants are supported by the UK benefits system, with each family claiming on average around £6,000 a year of in work benefits alone, and over 10,000 recently-arrived families claiming over £10,000 a year."

The figures were subject to a formal complaint to the UK Statistics Authority, after the charity Full Fact said no independent data had been published to support the claim.

The Department for Work and Pensions later published a "one-off ad hoc analysis in support of the Prime Minister's speech". The analysis said the 37 to 45 per cent range was used "to reflect the uncertainty and limitations" in the datasets.

Official government statistics reveal that EU migrants are in fact less likely to claim out-of-work benefits than UK nationals, and more likely to claim in-work benefits. As of February 2015, according to DWP stats, only 2.2 per cent of those claiming out-of-work benefits were EU migrants, even though they make up six per cent of the total population.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – welfare benefits, Northern Ireland
15,000 benefits claimants in Northern Ireland born outside UK
Adrian Rutherford
Belfast Telegraph, 9 November 2015

Thousands of immigrants in Northern Ireland are drawing state handouts, it has been revealed.

Some 15,000 non-UK citizens are in receipt of benefits, including 2,000 from outside the EU.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – EU migrants, welfare benefits
Cut migrant cash? No chance, says Britain's top civil servant: Sir Jeremy Heywood claims Cameron is 'very unlikely' to get significant welfare reform from Brussels
Daniel Martin
Daily Mail, 4 November 2015

Britain's most senior civil servant has told David Cameron he is very unlikely to get significant welfare reform from Brussels, it was reported last night.

The Prime Minister has said he wants to see a four-year delay before an EU migrant can claim benefits in this country.

But last night, BBC2's Newsnight reported that Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary, has warned him he is unlikely to get much more than a ban on claiming tax credits for a few weeks or - at most - a few months.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – housing
Right-To-Buy Extension Could Hand Cheap Homes To Immigrants, Labour MP Tristram Hunt Warns
Graeme Demianyk
The Huffington Post, 2 November 2015

Homes could be bought with a significant discount by migrants that have been in the UK for just three years under the Government's Right-to-Buy programme, a Labour MP has warned.

Tristram Hunt, formerly the party's Shadow Education Secretary, blogs for The Huffington Post UK that the Conservative election pledge to extend Margaret Thatcher's 1980s flagship policy to 1.2m housing association properties could "exacerbate concern about immigration".

The Housing and Planning Bill will be debated in the House of Commons later today, and if passed will allow tenants to buy their homes at a reduction of up to £100,000.

Mr Hunt says he has been told at least one in ten homes go to people from outside the UK at one housing association in his Stoke-on-Trent constituency.

The MP says against the "ill-considered" plan the Government "must be sensitive to the potential effects" of migrants getting homes amid long housing waiting lists.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – health tourism
Nigel Farage: Foreign HIV patients should pay up or get out
Adam Bienkov, 29 October 2015

The UK should force migrants suffering from life-threatening diseases to pay for their own treatment or be expelled from the country, Nigel Farage insisted today.

Asked if he would "bolt the door" on migrants and refugees suffering from HIV and other illnesses, the Ukip leader replied that he would.

"You either say 'we're sorry we don't want this' or they say 'It's fine. I've got the money and I can pay for the treatment" he told LBC.

Farage said long-term residents should get priority for treatment.

"When it comes to our public services in this country and the feeling that many families have paid in for generations then it's a question of priorities in terms of who you treat," he said.

"The first duty of government is to protect its own citizens and when you increasingly see cancer drugs being withdrawn from people because they're too expensive... my argument is that it is our job to look after the people of our own country first."
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – cost, child benefit
Migrants CAN send child benefit back to their home country, say Euro judges
John Stevens
Daily Mail, 23 October 2015

Migrant workers can claim child benefit even if their children live in a different country, the European Union's top court ruled yesterday.

In a possible set-back to David Cameron's renegotiation of the UK's EU membership, the European Court of Justice confirmed that parents living in one member state are entitled to claim the welfare payments and send them to their children living in another.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – cost, child asylum seekers
No more! says council swamped by child asylum seekers as it reaches breaking point
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 23 October 2015

Besieged council bosses struggling with a huge surge in the number of children seeking asylum are to tell the Home Office they cannot take in any more.

More than 1,000 unaccompanied child refugees are being cared for by Kent social services – a 260 per cent rise since April. The crisis has left the council with an £8 million shortfall in its budget which is putting staff under severe strain. ...

The report said the council had been forced to hire 23 extra social workers on temporary contracts, mostly from agencies.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – Syrian refugees
Syria refugees to cost 'up to £23k each' in first year in UK
Simon Dedman
BBC, 19 October 2015

Each Syrian refugee is set to cost the taxpayer up to £23,420 in the first year of their relocation to the UK, figures seen by BBC News suggest.

The Home Office has confirmed the figures, contained in a briefing document from an Essex local authority, are accurate.

An adult benefit claimant from Syria costs up to £23,420, or £10,720 if they were able to work, the document said.

The government has pledged to take in 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020.

It has also provided £1bn in aid to Syria, with an extra £100m given to charities to help thousands displaced by the conflict. ...

The Home Office document suggests the cost to the taxpayer of taking in Syrian children ranges from £10,720 for under-threes to £16,220 for those between the ages of five and 18.

The cost per Syrian refugee to local councils is estimated to be £8,520 per person, along with costs of £12,700 for benefits and £2,200 for medical care to be funded by central government.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – housing
Dramatic rise in Eastern European social housing
Daily Telegraph, 13 October 2015

The proportion of typical social housing in England being let to Eastern Europeans has trebled over the last eight years, provisional figures have found.

According to figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), councils and housing associations let a total of 9,128 homes in England to tenants from 'EU accession countries' - all of which are in eastern Europe - during 2014/15. In 2007/08, this figure stood at 2,800.

By contrast, the percentage of social housing let to UK nationals fell from 94% to 91% over the same period.

Housing associations are also letting a bigger chunk of their stock to people from these EU accession countries. In the last financial year, more than six in 10 (61%) homes went to nationals from accession countries, up from 54% in 2007/08.

This could reflect the decline in the overall number of lettings by councils in England, which are at their lowest level since records began.

Just over 116,000 homes were let by councils during the 2014/15 financial year, which was 7% lower than the previous 12 months and 20% lower than in 2007.

Accession countries are those which have joined the EU in the last decade.

In 2007 this group comprised the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. Bulgaria and Romania joined the list in 2008/09, while Croatia was added in 2014/15.

These figures do not include supported housing and refer to general needs lettings - the majority of properties made available by councils and housing associations to private tenants.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – economy
The benefits of migration are questionable [part 1]
Martin Wolf
Financial Times, 30 September 2015

I am the child of refugees. My parents came to the UK to escape Hitler. Their arrival saved their lives. More passionate patriots cannot be imagined. It is not surprising that I believe Europe has a moral obligation to protect refugees. But what should one think about immigration more broadly?

Globalisation is not just for goods, services and capital. It is also for people. High-income countries are not only richer, but also less corrupt and more stable, than others. Nothing is less surprising than the desire to emigrate to the west.

Yet little is more contentious. Migration is the touchstone of rightwing populism. Think of Nigel Farage, Marine Le Pen or Donald Trump.

A few argue that gaps in real wages across the world are the biggest of all economic distortions. Movement of people, they say, should be seen as identical to trade; humanity would benefit from the elimination of barriers. The movement of people might be vast and the impact on high-income economies, with only one-seventh of the world's population, correspondingly huge. But it would maximise wealth.

Yet such cosmopolitanism is incompatible with the organisation of our politics into self-governing territorial jurisdictions. It is incompatible, too, with the right of citizens to decide who may share the benefits of living alongside them.

If countries are entitled to control immigration, the criterion for immigration becomes the benefits to existing citizens and their descendants. Benefits to would-be immigrants, which are the bulk of those generated by migration, count for less.

What then are the benefits of immigration to citizens and their descendants? The arguments divide into those relating to the numbers and, more importantly, those relating to the differing characteristics.

Is it important to increase population? The answer surely is no. Merely increasing the population of a prosperous small country, such as Denmark, would not increase the standard of living of its citizens. But it would impose sizeable investment and congestion costs. The argument for size can only be that it makes defence cheaper.

The argument cannot be from the numbers but from the characteristics of immigrants. So proponents of the benefits of large-scale immigration argue that immigrants are younger, cheaper, better motivated and valuably different. Opponents counter that the young also age, while diversity brings disadvantages as well as advantages.

Immigrants are indeed relatively young. Immigration is soon be the only source of population increase for the EU. In the past 10 years, immigrants represented 47 per cent of the increase in the workforce in the US and 70 per cent in Europe, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

This is not surprising, since the rate of natural increase has been falling in high-income countries for decades ...
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – economy
The benefits of migration are questionable [part 2]
Martin Wolf
Financial Times, 30 September 2015

Thus immigrants lower the ratio of the retired to those of working age (the old-age dependency ratio). But the impact on dependency, at least with current levels of immigration, is modest. To lower it substantially requires enormous inflows.

In 2014, there were 29 dependants aged 65 and over for every 100 people of working age. According to the UN, keeping this ratio below a third would require immigration of 154m between 1995 and 2050, with far more thereafter: immigrants age, too, after all.

Consequently, a big reduction in dependency ratios demands huge inflows. One might argue that a continent with so few children must accept such a transformation of its population.

Consider other possible economic impacts. The OECD looked at the fiscal impact of cumulative waves of migration in the past 50 years in member countries, and concluded it was on average roughly zero. The precise impact depends on the skill and other characteristics of immigrants and the flexibility of labour markets. Much the same is true of immigrants' other impacts: are they complementary to current workers or substitutes; and, if substitutes, for whom?

What, then, can one say about the economic impact? First, the immigration needed to have big effects, notably on dependency burdens, would be huge. Second, immigration has significant impacts on investment needs (in housing and other infrastructure) and congestion, particularly in already densely populated countries – though these are similar to those caused by natural increase.

Finally, the main beneficiaries are always the immigrants themselves.

Yet migration is not just about economics. Immigrants are people. They bring in families, for example. Over time, large-scale immigration will transform the cultures of recipient countries in complex ways.

Immigrants bring diversity and cultural dynamism. At the same time, as Nobel laureate Thomas Schelling notes, substantial segregation might naturally emerge. People might then live quite separately, without many shared loyalties.

Immigration has economic effects. But it also affects the current and future values of a country, including its concern for foreigners. People may legitimately differ on the correct policies.

Our countries will end up neither closed nor totally open. Striking the balance is hard. In doing so, it is perfectly reasonable for countries to argue that their own citizens always come first.
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Benefits and costs – European Union
Britain faces £150m cost for EU migrant crisis
Matthew Holehouse and Matthew Day
Daily Telegraph, 24 September 2015

Britain faces paying tens of millions more to the European Union to fund a controversial new scheme to deal with the migrant crisis on the continent, it emerged on Wednesday night.

Jean-Claude Juncker demanded that countries including Britain "put their money where your mouth is" as he announced the EU will spend an extra €1.7 billion (£1.25 billion) on emergency support to European countries, EU police officers and humanitarian aid.

Britain faces having to pay as much as £150 million to the EU despite repeatedly making it clear it does not wish to take part in common schemes to address the migrant crisis, according to an analysis by Open Europe, the think-tank. ...

The warning that Britain would have to pay extra was issued by Kristalina Georgieva, the EU budget commissioner, who said she would increase overall spending to its limit, "budgeting up to the margin and using emergency aid reserves to the maximum".
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Benefits and costs – economy, wages
UK wage growth stifled by tepid investment and low-skilled migration
Larry Elliott
The Guardian, 24 September 2015

Low-skilled migration and a reluctance to invest have been cited by a leading Bank of England official as possible factors depressing wage growth and harming Britain's productivity since the deep recession of 2008-09.

Ben Broadbent, one of Threadneedle Street's four deputy governors, said the skewing of employment growth towards the lower-paid and lower-skilled helped explain why pay pressures were so weak. ...

"During 2014, for example, it's the fact that new jobs went to people with below-average qualifications and experience, and in lower-paid occupations, that depressed average pay growth." ...

Speaking in London, Broadbent said the marked change in the makeup of the labour market had been a factor in reducing productivity growth, reflecting a slower rate of improvement in the average "quality" of the workforce. ...

"In the past two to three years in particular, the extent of the skew towards low-skilled employment helps to explain some of the weakness of average productivity and pay.
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Benefits and costs – Germany, UK
Why Germany needs migrants more than UK
Robert Peston
BBC, 7 September 2015

There is an economic and demographic backdrop to the differential policies towards asylum-seekers of Germany and the UK - to Germany's relatively open door, that compares with the UK's heavily fortified portal (which will be opened just a bit by David Cameron later today).

The two relevant points (leaving aside moral ones) are that:

the UK's population is rising fast, whereas Germany's is falling fast;

the dependency ratio (the proportion of expensive older people in the population relative to able-bodied, tax-generating workers) is rising much quicker in Germany than in the UK.

So to put it another way, it is arguably particularly useful to Germany to have an influx of young grateful families from Syria or elsewhere, who may well be keen to toil and strive to rebuild their lives and prove to their hosts that they are not a burden - in the way that successive immigrant waves have done all over the world (including Jews like my family in London's East End).

Here are the European Commission's projections from its Ageing Report that was published earlier this year.

It projects that Germany's population will shrink from 81.3 million in 2013 to 70.8 million in 2060, whereas the UK's will rise from 64.1 million to 80.1 million.

As you can see, what is striking is that the UK is set to become the EU's most populous country, ahead of Germany and France, as a result of a relatively high fertility rate and greater projected rates of net migration.

It is probably relevant that the Commission forecasts that the proportion of the German population in 2060 represented by migrants arriving after 2013 would be 9%, compared with 14% in the UK. So Germany would be a lot less multicultural than the UK.
[Site link]


Benefits and costs – health tourism
Nigerian mother let off £145,000 NHS bill after birth of quins
Patrick Sawer
Daily Telegraph, 29 August 2015

A NHS hospital failed to chase up a bill of £145,000 it should have charged a Nigerian woman who had quintuplets after travelling to Britain.

Bimbo Ayelabola, 37, underwent a complex caesarean section in 2011 but did not pay any of the cost of the operation and neo-natal care for her five babies.

But it has now emerged that Homerton University Hospital, in east London, will not pursue her for the outstanding bill.

The hospital involved has admitted it sent only one request for payment, more than six months after Miss Ayelabola left the hospital – and had failed to take any further action when it was returned unpaid.

Miss Ayelabola has since returned to her home city of Lagos, where she is a successful make-up artist.

She said: "I have never received my bill. If I had it, I would pay it."

It follows claims by NHS whistleblowers that managers are instructing them to turn a blind eye to health tourists because it is 'too much trouble' to chase them for money.

According to NHS estimates, only around 16 per cent of the cost of treating foreigners who travel to Britain to receive treatment is ever recouped.

Miss Ayelabola obtained a visitor's visa soon after discovering she was pregnant in 2010, travelling to the UK to stay with her younger sister, Stella, early in her pregnancy.

She gave birth to two boys and three identical girls at Homerton Hospital in Hackney, in April 2011 – seven weeks premature. She had a complex caesarean and remained in hospital for almost two weeks after the birth at a cost of £145,000 to UK taxpayers.

Although her visa expired, Miss Ayelabola continued living in her sister's flat in Poplar, east London, after the births and did not return home until February 2013. ...

In the UK hospitals try to claw back the cost of treating foreign patients after they are discharged.

In France, Germany and Scandinavia, patients must pay in advance.

Official estimates of the cost to the NHS range up to £2 billion but some commentators say the true figure is likely to be far higher because there is no proper recording system in place.

Homerton Hospital said it would not be contacting Miss Ayelabola for the payment, despite her assertion that she would pay up if she received a bill.

A spokesman said: "If she wishes to contact us, we would urge her to do so.... But we will not be contacting her."
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Benefits and costs – student loans
Foreign students who lied to get loans owe us £2 MILLION (but we've only got £185k back)
Scott Campbell
Sunday Express, 23 August 2015

Millions of pounds of taxpayers' money has still not been recovered from foreign students who were wrongly handed loans and grants because of inadequate checks.

But although officials discovered the problem two years ago, just £280,000 of the money has been clawed back.

They had relied solely on the word of students that they had lived in the UK for the required three years before getting a student loan.

The Student Loans Company said it was still "actively tracking down" the funds and had not written off any debt.

Over three years from 2010, loans and grants paid to students at "alternative providers" - which get no direct state funding - rocketed from £50 million to £675 million.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills suspended payments and ordered 23 colleges to halt recruitment amid fears the system was being abused. ...

Of the £5.4m thought to have been wrongly paid, £1.8m has since been deemed to be legitimate claims - the number of ineligible students falling from 992 to 766, SLC said.

Around £1.11m of £1.15 million in tuition fee loans has been clawed back directly from 136 alternative colleges, which receive indirect public funding through the payments.

But of the £2.45m in the hands of individual students - in 23 countries including a large number from Romania - SLC said it had so far been able to recover £278,427.

Some 98 have handed back the full amount of their grants and just eight have repaid all the money loaned to them. ...

A push to increase diversity in higher education - including increasing the maximum tuition loan fee available from £3,375 to £6,000 - were announced in 2011 and helped fuel a rapid expansion of places concentrated across a relatively small number of colleges.

It was supposed to benefit English students but claims for support from other EU nationals soared from 7,000 in 2010/11 to 53,000 in 2013/14.
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Benefits and costs – welfare benfits
Crackdown on migrant benefits 'would also hit 50,000 young Britons': Four-year wait will have to apply to UK claimants too
James Slack and Tom McTague
MailOnline, 12 August 2015

David Cameron's clampdown on migrant benefits was in chaos last night as it emerged thousands of Britons could also lose out in a bid to keep Brussels happy.

Making EU migrants wait four years to get tax credits and housing benefits was a red line in the Prime Minister's referendum negotiations.

But Whitehall lawyers say that to satisfy Brussels' anti-discrimination edicts the rules must apply to people born in the UK too.

The 50,000 Britons aged 18 to 22 receiving tax credits – mostly single mothers being helped back into work – would be clobbered as a result.

Critics said the idea was 'simply wrong' and amounted to Mr Cameron 'running up the white flag' in his referendum battle.

Mr Cameron's intention is to renegotiate EU treaties so it becomes lawful to stop migrants receiving handouts immediately.

But the change requires the unanimous agreement of member states, and Poland and other Eastern European states insist they would block the move.

Now it has emerged that Whitehall officials have been working on a compromise plan to introduce a four-year residency test for migrants before they could get state support. But Britons would have to pass the test too in order to meet rules requiring all EU citizens to be treated the same.

As a result, Britons would also have to be resident in the UK for four years from the age of 18 before they could get tax credits, meaning those under 22 would not be eligible. ...

Ministers had considered starting the residency rule from childhood, but were told that would also be discriminatory. In May, the Prime Minister said restricting EU-migrant access to welfare would be 'an absolute requirement' in renegotiation.
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Benefits and costs – health services
The great health tourist cover up: Bosses ignored whistleblowers who exposed foreigners' abuse of NHS while Ministers knew for two years but did NOTHING
Sophie Borland, Katherine Faulkner and Paul Bentley
Daily Mail, 11 August 2015

The 'vast' scale of health tourism in the NHS is being covered up by hospital bosses, whistleblowers have told the Mail.

The managers say they are told to disguise the true number abusing the health service by bosses who 'don't want to know' – and are branded racist if they speak out.

Foreign patients can use NHS-issued cards to obtain treatment abroad, funded by UK taxpayers, the Mail revealed yesterday.

But it emerged last night that the Government has known about 'concerns' over EHIC card fraud for months – yet failed to act and still issues more than five million a year.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt was warned 18 months ago about a loophole allowing foreign nationals to charge the NHS for medical treatment in their home countries.

A report published in October 2013 warned migrants were using EHIC cards after applying for them under false pretences. The health tourism report revealed NHS staff tasked with rooting out abuse were warning about the 'system and application process' being misused by foreign nationals. ...

Labour's shadow health minister Andrew Gwynne said: 'Ministers need to come clean about when they were first aware of this problem, and how widespread it is. Any evidence of people abusing the NHS must be tackled and taken seriously. There can be no room for complacency.'

Today, managers charged with cracking down on health tourism, overseas visitor officers, reveal they are being 'treated as a nuisance' by bosses. Six of them bravely agreed to be interviewed – despite fearing they could lose their jobs as a result. They told how:

. Some foreign kidney patients have used NHS dialysis machines for more than five years without paying – costing more than £200,000 each

. A woman from West Africa flew to the UK five times to have each of her babies on an NHS ward before staff realised she was a health tourist

. British patients are missing out on life-saving organ transplants because health tourists are coming here to get them

. Bosses would rather 'turn a blind eye' as retrieving the money owed is 'too difficult'

. Even some doctors are complicit, flying foreign relatives from abroad to have expensive operations for free on the NHS.

The managers, speaking on condition of anonymity, said bosses would rather not know how many health tourists were using hospitals because these patients have to be chased for money. Such patients rarely pay, leaving the trust with a debt.

One whistleblower said: 'If we declare them to be health tourists, we can't claim the full amount of money from the Government for their treatment ... Vast numbers of people abusing the NHS are never identified because of this.'

Another officer working in a different part of England said her hospital bosses ignored health tourists to avoid costly legal battles with them. ...

Two of the whistleblowers said they were branded 'racist' for raising concerns about health tourism. All of them told of abuse of NHS resources on an astonishing scale. One said she had been bullied by a consultant wanting his father from overseas to have an operation on the NHS.

Cancer surgeon Meirion Thomas said the accounts were 'profoundly disturbing', adding: 'It is clear they are being asked to turn a blind eye to the abuse of NHS resources in a way that is completely unacceptable.'
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Benefits and costs
Philip Hammond speaks the truth about migration says Ross Clark
Ross Clark
Daily Express, 11 August 2015

Like anyone who dares to state the obvious on migration, Philip Hammond must have known what to expect.

Twitter immediately exploded into rage. Jeremy Corbyn accused the Foreign Secretary of whipping up "prejudice and hostility", Yvette Cooper called his comments "alarmist and unhelpful".

Others described it as "shameful" and "embarrassing pandering to a racist group of Brits".

It is all very well throwing around insults but the Twitter mob didn't bother to address Hammond's central point: that it will be impossible for Europe to maintain the living standards of its existing population if it has to absorb migrants at the rate with which they are currently arriving from North Africa and the Middle East.

You don't have to be callous or even anti-immigration to see that there is something unhealthy about mass movements of people on the scale which they are now happening – unhealthy, that is, not just for European nations but for the troubled countries from which they are coming. ...

While we do, of course, have a moral duty to support those who are destitute or who are running away from despotic regimes it does not follow that the best way to achieve this is by physically taking them in.

Britain, with its housing shortage and high cost of living, is a prohibitively expensive place to try to deal with a refugee problem.
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Benefits and costs – NHS, health tourism
Foreigners charge NHS for care in their OWN country: Health tourism loophole lets thousands of Eastern Europeans get free treatment with cards designed for Brits
Paul Bentley, Katherine Faulkner and Sophie Borland
Daily Mail, 10 August 2015

Foreigners are billing the NHS for expensive healthcare they receive in their own countries, a Daily Mail investigation can reveal.

Under an extraordinary legal loophole, migrants are able to charge the full cost of medical treatment in their home countries to the UK, even if they have never paid a penny of tax in Britain.

They do this by obtaining European Health Insurance Cards from the NHS. The cards were intended for British people to use in cases of emergency while on holiday and entitle them to charge the NHS for the cost of any medical treatment they might urgently need while overseas within Europe.

But the NHS is handing out more than five million of these EHIC cards for free every year – and keeping no record of how many are being given to foreigners.

The cards are given out freely to any EU citizens who says they are living in the UK, even if they haven't actually worked or paid any tax here.

As a result, Eastern Europeans can obtain the cards, then return to their home countries and use them to have medical treatment they would usually have to pay for funded by the NHS.

And because the cards last for five years, they are worth a fortune to migrants with ongoing conditions, or who have multiple pregnancies and births.

In an undercover investigation, an Eastern European woman working for the Mail – who has never lived or paid taxes in Britain – was able to get one of the cards after visiting the UK for less than a day.

Hungarian journalist Ani Horvath took it to clinics and hospitals in her native Hungary which confirmed she could use it to get maternity care and even skin treatments paid for by the UK taxpayer.

When she asked maternity clinic staff how many Hungarian women had registered for appointments covered by the NHS, she was told: 'A lot of people. More and more.' ...

British ministers last night vowed to urgently review the use of EHIC cards. ...

The NHS has spent more than £721 million reimbursing other European countries for treating people with EHIC cards over the past five years.

But the Department of Health admitted last night it had no idea how much of that money had been claimed by foreigners using UK EHIC cards to get treatments in their own country. ...

Joyce Robins, from campaign group Patient Concern, said patients who were being refused routine treatments on the NHS because of lack of money would be appalled.

'People who have paid into the system all their lives are being told they cannot access treatments,' she said.

'Meanwhile those from abroad who haven't paid into the system can make free use of the NHS's money. It is disgraceful and it has got to be stopped.' ...

The true cost of health tourism to the NHS is unknown but a Government-commissioned report in 2013 put it as high as £2 billion a year.

Experts say even this is an underestimate as the vast majority of overseas patients are never identified by hospitals, let alone made to pay for their treatment.
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Benefits and costs – employment, benefit claims
Immigrants more likely to claim benefits, be jobless or on low wages, says report
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 21 July 2015

Foreigners are more likely to be claiming benefits, be jobless or in low-wage work, according to "ground-breaking" research which contradicts rival claims that immigration is good for Britain's economy.

MigrationWatch, the pressure group which campaigns for tougher immigration rules, said five million foreigners have "weaker" economic performance than UK-born residents.

Those who are either not working, lower-paid or claiming hand-outs outnumber by two to one the foreign nationals whose economic contribution is higher than the average for UK-born people.

Immigrants from eastern European nations which have joined the EU since 2004 are more likely to be in work than native Britons but are more likely to be claiming benefits or be on low pay, the report said.

Also faring badly were people from African states, excluding South Africa, who were more likely to claim benefits, the report said.

The "Pakistan and Bangladesh" group performed worst, with below-average performance in all three categories – employment rate, wages and rate of benefits claim.

MigrationWatch said its research undermined previous studies, mainly from the Left, which assumed all migrants had similar economic characteristics, when in fact there was wide variation depending on where in the world immigrants come from.

It said the 44-page report was a "ground-breaking" analysis of the true economic implications of immigration to Britain.

Lord Green of Deddington, the MigrationWatch chairman, said: "This analysis clearly demonstrates that sweeping claims implying that all immigration to the UK is beneficial cannot possibly be right.

"Any sensible policy should take account of the real differences in economic characteristics between migrants from different parts of the world.

"If immigration policy has been intended to attract only 'the brightest and the best' it has clearly failed, with a very large number of migrants earning less or claiming more than the British born.

"The clear message of this research is that immigration can be reduced substantially while permitting entry to those migrants that our economy really needs."
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Benefits and costs – international aid
Britain sends £300 million to Africa and the Middle East to stop the 'ever growing flow' of migrants wanting to travel to Europe
Tom McTague
MailOnline, 2 July 2015

Britain will send more than £300 million to countries in Africa and the Middle East in an effort to reduce the number of migrants fleeing to Europe, the Government announced today.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said the growing migrant crisis in Calais was proof that 'the world's problems touch our lives here in Britain'.

She said the alternative to spending international aid was 'ever-growing migrant flows' into Europe and Britain.

Ms Greening announced aid programmes worth £217 million in Africa would help 2.5 million refugees in the countries that the majority of migrants are travelling though.

This aid will be spent in South Sudan, Kenya, Sudan, Central African Republic and Nigeria.

An extra £100 million will be spent to help Syrian refugees in Lebanon. This includes £20 million to help Syrian children go to school this September.

Ms Greening said Britain needed to spend money in Africa making it more attractive for people to stay – 'using international development to reduce the numbers seeking a better life in Europe'. ...

The new support for Africa includes £30 million in support for over 580,000 South Sudanese refugees - providing emergency assistance to stop them making the journey north to Libya and across the Mediterranean to Italy and Greece.

An extra £18 million will be spent on people fleeing the conflict in Central African Republic, including 170,000 refugees living in Cameroon, helping them to meet their basic needs and build their own livelihoods.

Some £4 million will be spent helping 75,000 displaced people in north east Nigeria and £38.7 million to support vulnerable people in Sudan.

An extra £15 million will be sent to Kenya for the 533,000 refugees living in camps - helping to provide food, water and sanitation.

The new support for Syria includes £20 million to help vaccinate nearly 430,000 children.

Aid will also be used to give 'cash transfers' and vouchers to 60,000 refugees in Lebanon and Jordan so they can directly purchase the goods they most need.
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Benefits and costs – child tax credit
12,000 living outside UK on child tax credit: Soaring numbers in continental Europe supported with money being sent home after their parents worked in Britain
Jack Doyle
MailOnline, 22 June 2015

Soaring numbers of children living in continental Europe are being supported with generous tax credits sent home from the UK.

There are now 12,000 children living outside the UK whose parents receive child tax credit while working in Britain.

That is a rise of 75 per cent in just two years and means 182 children are being added to the rolls every month.

The figures will heap pressure on David Cameron to secure curbs on migrant workers' access to tax credits from other EU member states.

The PM has said he wants migrants to be forced to work for four years before they can access generous benefit payments such as tax credits and child benefits.

Chancellor George Osborne is widely expected to target child benefit in his Budget on July 8 as part of cuts to Britain's bloated welfare budget.

But any changes would have to apply both to Britons and migrant workers from Europe to comply with EU non-discrimination rules.

Child tax credit can add more than £100 a week to workers' take home pay. Its level depends on how much a person earns and how many children they have.

Treasury figures uncovered by the Mail show that in December 2012 a total of 4,011 EU workers were receiving the tax credit for 6,838 children living outside the UK.

By March of this year that figure increased to 7,026 awards for a total of 11,762 children.

The rise of three quarters in just two years means the tax credit is being paid for an additional 4,924 children.

The figures also revealed that a total of 19,579 parents were receiving child benefit for 32,408 children living in another EU state.

HMRC says it cannot say how much is paid in total in child benefit and tax credits for children living in other EU countries.
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Benefits and costs – money sent abroad
Forget foreign aid: British migrants send £11 BILLION back to other countries in a YEAR
Marco Giannangeli
Sunday Express, 21 June 2015

British migrants sent £11bn back to foreign nations last year – the same amount as our entire Foreign Aid budget.

A new report shows that the UK topped the list of EU nations in terms of how much migrant cash is sent to home countries rather than being spent to boost the economy where it is earned.

Germany, which has 17 million more people than Britain, sent back £9bn during the same period while in France the figure was £6.6bn.

Last night one Conservative MP warned that the astounding figure "drained away from our economy" showed that increasing migration is a "net cost and not an asset" to Britain.

In total, migrants from across Europe transferred £69bn in remittances last year, said the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

A third, £23bn, was sent back to Eastern Europe while the balance, £46bn, went to more than 50 developing countries outside Europe.

In Britain, around £2bn went to Eastern Europe while the rest was sent mainly to Asia and Africa.

Last night IFAD, a UN agency based in Rome, conceded that the British figures could have included money derived from child credits and benefits.

Almost 20,000 economic migrants are sending child benefits back to their own countries and 7,026 are currently transferring child credit payments, Treasury minister Damien Hinds disclosed last week. ...

The figures, provided by the World Bank, were based solely on money's sent through official remittance agencies, and do not include other types of bank transfer.

UKIP migration spokesman Steven Woolfe said: "The total amount of money UK immigrants send back to their home countries is now equivalent to the total UK aid budget which we believe should be cut in order to finance home grown infrastructure projects.

"These remittance numbers rarely feature in the assessments by those who favour mass immigration and too often claim that it has a positive economic effect on Britain's economy. In fact, once this money leaves these shores it's often gone for good or used to attract even more migrants."
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Benefits and costs – courts, interpreting
£17 million lost in translation: Taxpayers landed with huge bill for migrants up in court
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 18 June 2015

The UK taxpayer was forced to foot a £17 million bill for hiring interpreters and translators for foreigners involved in court cases last year, according to official statistics.

The bill for helping non-English speakers appearing at magistrates or crown courts for criminal cases soared 42 per cent in two years.

Figures published by the Ministry of Justice show the sums spent rose from just over £12 million in 2012/13 to £16 million a year later and £17.2 million in 2014/15.

The £45 million paid to under-fire government contract giant Capita over the past three years covers the cost of face-to-face interpreting in court, translating legal documents and telephone interpretation. ...

Tory MP, David Davies, who uncovered the figures said: "We are constantly being told that the large-scale immigration that is going on has economic benefits. But is also has economic costs. These court interpreting figures are one more example.

"I would like to see immigration cut and a proper cost and benefit analysis of migration which would take into account these type of costs." ...

Figures published in response to a parliamentary question showed that the overwhelming majority of the cost for each of the past three years goes in face-to-face interpreting.

Just £50,000 of the multi-million pound annual bills goes on document translation and telephone interpreting in each of the last three years on average.

Farcical episodes revealing the abuse of the free interpreter system include the case last year of three Romanian cash machine crooks. They insisted on £60-an-hour translator for their five-day trial, claiming they could not follow proceedings without her.

But when the judge tried to delay their sentencing because the interpreter had failed to show up on the final day, the trio admitted they spoke better English than her.
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Benefits and costs – Northern Ireland, health services
Asylum seekers to get free primary healthcare in Northern Ireland
Peter Coulter
BBC, 16 June 2015

Asylum seekers in a legal limbo over their applications in Northern Ireland will now be able to receive primary health care.

Until recently those who were refused asylum, but were appealing, could only get emergency medical treatment.

The Department of Health said the change ensures access to healthcare at the most appropriate setting.

It brings the policy in Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the UK.

Previously people who had been refused refugee status were not allowed to see a GP, a dentist or get prescriptions.

The asylum seekers were still able to seek treatment at an emergency department.

The health committee approved the change earlier this year.

A destitute asylum seeker is someone who has had their refugee status refused and is either appealing the decision or the Home Office has decided it is not safe to return to that person to their home country. ...

Previously only people who were termed "ordinarily resident" were entitled to free healthcare.
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Benefits and costs – welfare benefits
Britain sends millions in benefits abroad – even to foreign CRIMINALS we've deported
Scott Campbell
Daily Express, 4 June 2015

Britain is sending millions of pounds in benefits abroad to criminals who have been kicked out of the country.

A whistleblower claimed that foreign offenders including rapists and murderers are being paid thousands of pounds after being deported from the UK.

The Department for Work and Pensions has reportedly paid millions of pounds in benefits that they owe to foreigners who have since left the UK in the past two years.

The source said: "They include convicted criminals. This is a disgrace and it's about time the public are told where their money is going."

But the department admitted it doesn't know how much in arrears have been sent abroad amid claims that some individuals have received tens of thousands of pounds.

It is feared that hate preacher Abu Qatada could be among those receiving the payments.

He was reported from the UK two years ago but his family had been receiving benefits of around £800 a week before being kicked out. ...

The DWP said in response to a Freedom of Information request: "A deportee may be eligible for benefit if they had legal entitlement to it before they were deported.

"Arrears for benefit may therefore be paid after deportation. The department does not hold data on benefit payments made in these circumstances."

Refusing to deny the claims, a department spokesman said: "There is no evidence such payments are being made.

"A person who has been deported has no ongoing entitlement to benefits and if people are deported and are fraudulently claiming benefits we can stop payments."
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Benefits and costs – NHS, healthcare
Show passport to use the NHS: Clampdown to stop migrants and tourists abusing the Health Service, which costs £2bn-a-year
Sophie Borland
Daily Mail, 13 April 2015

Patients will have to take their passport to hospital as part of a clampdown on health tourism.

For the first time, hospitals are being told to ensure everyone proves they are entitled to free NHS treatment.

Those at outpatients clinics and in A&E will have to fill in forms stating their passport number and expiry date, and say how much time they have spent abroad, if they are to be admitted on to a ward.

The measures are part of a Government drive to stop migrants and tourists abusing the Health Service, which costs up to £2 billion a year.

Hospitals have been issued with guidelines from the Department of Health telling them they have a 'legal obligation' to ensure they identify anyone not entitled to free treatment.

Trusts which fail to charge so-called health tourists will be hit with financial penalties worth thousands of pounds depending on the costs of their care.

By law, only those who have been living in the UK for at least six months are eligible for hospital treatment on the NHS.

But receptionists, doctors and nurses often assume that all patients referred in by a GP are entitled to their procedures on the Health Service and do not bother to ask for documents.

Senior doctors say the system is being widely abused by health tourists flying in every week specifically for free care, with some racking up bills in the hundreds of thousands.

Under the new system, those attending outpatients clinics for their first appointment leading up to an operation or course of treatment will be asked to fill in a two-page form.

This tells them to give their passport number and date of expiry, nationality, address, GP name and NHS number.

Your unique NHS number is allocated to you when you register with a GP practice and is sent to you in writing.

The form also asks patients to state how many months they have spent outside the UK in the past year. This is because expats who spend most of their time living abroad are not entitled to NHS-funded care.

Patients who do not have a passport or have lost it will be able to provide other identification such as a driving licence, bank statement or a utilities bill – and if necessary, send it in at a later date. ...

Roger Goss, of Patient Concern, said: 'It's a worthwhile price to pay to attempt to recover the tens of millions owed by health tourists.

'If it is successful, the money recouped could be invested in better care for those patients who are entitled to it for free.' ...

The measures would bring the NHS more closely in line with the healthcare systems of France, Germany and Scandinavia, which require patients to present an identity card before having treatment.

The Department of Health said the NHS was aiming to reclaim at least £500 million a year by 2017/18. It would be up to individual hospitals to decide exactly how to police the rules.
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Benefits and costs – economy, national identity
Is immigration really good for our economy?
Roger Bootle
Daily Telegraph, 11 April 2015

Take the question of immigration. A major part of what concerns people here is national identity. This is frequently sneered at by the bien pensant Left. Yet these self-same people contend that in today's society, "the community" is insufficiently valued against the pursuit of profit. Of all the communities that people identify with, however, the nation is pre-eminent. Of course, national identity can change – as our national story attests. But a society, and its sense of identity and cohesion, cannot withstand just any rate of change.

These are deep waters. Because of this, those arguing over immigration readily turn to economics to settle the dispute "objectively". In fact, the economics speak with forked tongue.

Admittedly, the free movement of labour has a clear economic justification. Employers can choose from a deeper labour pool, and employees can choose from a wider variety of jobs. Given all the usual simplifying assumptions, the result is increased production and happier people.

Over the last 10 years, the UK has accepted 1 million immigrants from the former Eastern Europe, especially Poland. But hardly any British citizens have chosen to move there. Unless something changes drastically, this is likely to be the pattern for the future. Accordingly, the size of our population is at the mercy of mass migration.

There is one sense, though, in which immigration is "good for the economy". Demographic experts predict that the UK's population will exceed Germany's at some point in the next 20-40 years, thanks in part to immigration. Even if this does nothing to boost per capita GDP, a higher population is likely to mean that the UK surpasses Germany in total GDP, thereby making us Europe's largest economy. If, like me, you believe that a more powerful and influential UK is a "good thing", whether inside or outside the EU, then this matters. Even so, shouldn't we have a view, or even a policy, about the desirable size of our population, rather than watching passively as it is determined by mass migration? ...

It is often argued, that mass immigration has been necessary because "the immigrants do jobs that indigenous people don't want to do". Yet if immigration had not happened then the real incomes to be earned in particular activities would have risen and that would have incentivised some indigenous workers to do these jobs. Of course, there are sometimes specialist areas where it would make sense to import skilled labour from abroad. But if we weren't in the EU, we could still choose to admit some newcomers, as we do now with non-EU immigrants.

Of course, indigenous workers care most about the effect on their living standards. Immigration may reduce these by competing average real pay down and through "congestion" effects, encompassing everything from road traffic to access to public services.
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Benefits and costs – health tourism
Migrants who plunder Britain's free healthcare cost the NHS up to £300million a year
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 8 April 2015

Migrants who flock to Britain to plunder free healthcare cost the NHS up to £300 million a year, it was revealed last night.

Surgeries and hospitals have become a magnet for "health tourists" arriving to access world-class treatment.

Official figures show "frequent" foreign visitors who receive GP appointments, prescriptions and routine dental work leave the NHS with a bill of up to £200 million a year.

It is estimated that others arriving for high-cost treatment such as maternity care and major surgery leave the health service a further £100 million out of pocket.

The true cost of those who abuse the system is likely to be substantially higher as the actual number of overseas visitors and migrants using the NHS is unknown.

Millions owed by EU countries for the treatment of their citizens while in the UK has already been written off. ...

Friends and relatives of those living here have been free to use the system for years by registering with a GP.

More worrying is the growing number of people who seek high-cost urgent care immediately on arrival.

In one case a pregnant woman from Nigeria flew thousands of miles to give birth in Britain.

She is understood to have made the journey because she thought she would be in safer hands here.

But she required midwives, two urology consultants, a radiology consultant, two obstetric consultants and two anaesthetists in the delivery room, costing taxpayers an estimated £10,000.

The figures, obtained by the Daily Express using Freedom of Information requests, were based on analysis commissioned in 2013 for the Health Department.

The flagrant abuse has prompted it to introduce new rules to save £500 million a year by 2017. Most of those living or working in the European Economic Area will continue to get free care. But some foreign patients will be charged 150 per cent of the cost of their treatment. Hospitals have also been told to employ an overseas visitor manager.
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Benefits and costs – economy
How the Guardian got it wrong on immigration
Lord Green
ConservativeHome, 27 March 2015
[Lord Green is Chairman of MigrationWatch UK]

The Guardian's splash headline a week ago today was the number 298,000 in the colours of the union jack. Below this in large bold type we were told that "This is the number now fuelling UK growth. But you won't hear this story from politicians. That's because it is the M word. Migrants."

As might be expected, the story was wildly misleading. It was very loosely based on the OBR's latest report which forecast 13.7 per cent growth in GDP over the period to 2020. Only 0.6 per cent of this was attributed to a higher assumption about immigration. It is impossible to see how this could justifiably be described as a key factor in fuelling UK growth.

Even that small increase depends on the assumption that migrants have the same economic characteristics as the working age population as a whole. No consideration seems to have been given to the fact that many migrants are on very low wages and that many also have high birth rates.

More important still, the rapid increase in our population means that GDP per capita increases by a trivial 0.1 per cent over the whole five year period. Put another way, this accounts for less than 10p per head per week for the resident population.

This sum, which the OBR themselves describe as "fractional", has to be set against the pressures on public services and the loss of amenity resulting from further hundreds of thousands of migrants. Indeed, the OBR themselves forecast "a sharp acceleration" in cuts to day-to-day spending on public services".

Then there is the vital question of productivity. ...

The OBR simply assume that productivity will improve, noting that it "remains the most important and uncertain judgement in our forecast". They do not, however, appear to give any weight at all to the possible connection between increasing numbers of migrants in employment and continued lack of growth in productivity and earnings. This is despite a succession of monthly reports from the Bank of England which have noted that the availability of migrant workers continues to make for both easy recruitment and lack of pressure on wages.

The Guardian story is clearly absurd. It is, however, unfortunate that, not for the first time, the OBR have covered the immigration aspects of the economy in a way that seems to fall short of the balance and objectivity on which their reputation depends.
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Benefits and costs – NHS, medical treatment
NHS 'health tourism' crackdown making destitute migrant mothers pay thousands for care
Charlie Cooper
The Independent, 27 March 2015

The NHS crackdown on so-called "health tourism" is having a devastating impact on vulnerable, pregnant migrant women and their babies, The Independent can reveal. A new report compiled by doctors working at a charitable clinic in London has revealed disturbing details of often destitute women charged thousands of pounds by the NHS for essential care during pregnancy.

In two cases, women were pursued for four-figure sums even after their babies died in hospital.

The study, which was carried out by the international charity Doctors of the World, raises serious concerns that pregnant women are being put off gaining access to healthcare because of charges, which the law states should be extracted from undocumented migrants – even after urgent maternity care.

Many of the women surveyed by Doctors of the World had not sought medical advice until late in their pregnancy, often because of fear of charges or of the NHS challenging their immigration status. Women who do not see a doctor until late in pregnancy are at a much higher risk of complications.

Out of 35 women surveyed for the report, two lost their babies, compared with a national UK neonatal mortality rate of seven in 1,000. ...

The Coalition Government has emphasised that the NHS is a "national, not an international, health service", and has introduced new charges for some overseas visitors and migrants, in order to recoup £500m a year by 2017.

Undocumented migrants – otherwise known as illegal immigrants – of whom there are estimated to be hundreds of thousands living in the UK, are not entitled to free NHS care save for a few exceptions. They may see a GP for free, and can receive free care if they have been a victim of rape or female genital mutilation.

According to law, they cannot be denied emergency or maternity services, but hospitals are encouraged to pursue payment after care is given. ...

A Department of Health spokesperson said: "International visitors are welcome to use the NHS, provided they pay for it – just as UK families do through taxes.

"With the NHS busier than ever, our plans to recoup these costs better will help keep services sustainable."
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Benefits and costs – EU migrants, welfare benefits
Migrant job-seekers can be denied benefits, EU lawyer says
Jan Strupczewski and Robin Emmott
Yahoo! News / Reuters, 26 March 2015

European Union nations can deny benefits to EU migrants unless they have previously worked in their host country, the EU's top lawyer said on Thursday, in a case brought by Germany and keenly watched in Britain.

Even actively seeking work is not enough of a justification to claim benefits at the same time, European Court of Justice Advocate General Melchior Wathelet said.

His opinion, which judges must consider in their final ruling, was likely to be welcomed by Eurosceptic parties in the 28-nation EU which argue that governments must do more to stop "benefit tourism" by EU migrants. ...

"This confirms that the right to live and work elsewhere in the EU is not the same as the right to claim benefits," said Catherine Bearder, a British liberal in the European Parliament.
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Benefits and costs – economy, inequality, wages
Open borders or fair wages: the left needs to make up its mind
Paul Ormerod
The Guardian, 24 March 2015

Mass immigration increases inequality. This is the unpalatable fact the liberal left in Britain refuses to accept. Markets are imperfect instruments. But it is not necessary to subscribe to free market economic theory to believe that large increases in supply tend to drive down the price. And the price of labour is the wage.

Last Friday, the Guardian front page carried a report from the Office for Budget Responsibility, claiming that higher net immigration increased the UK's economic growth rate. According to the mainstream theory of economic growth, this is undoubtedly true. Higher growth can be created by sustained increases of either capital or labour.

But underlying the theory is the assumption that supply and demand balance in these markets, that the prices of the inputs are set at levels such that all available capital or labour is in fact employed and does not remain idle. So this "flourishing modern economy" with high immigration celebrated by the Guardian is based on persistent large wage inequalities.

A powerful force in the global economy is driving the increase in inequality that has been seen in western economies over the past few decades. In essence, there has been a massive increase in the effective supply of labour. Over the past three decades or so, China and India have gradually been absorbed into the network of international trade.

This puts pressure on European labour markets. ...

Closer to home, the opening up of eastern Europe in the early 1990s has had a strong effect, especially on countries that are their immediate neighbours, such as Germany. ...

The impact on wage rates of this increase in competition was dramatic. ... ...

It is against this background that New Labour opened up Britain's borders in the late 1990s. It was a major betrayal of the very people the party purported to represent.

In addition to the global competition from countries such as China, in addition to competition closer to home from the economies of eastern Europe, New Labour allowed direct competition to enter the UK labour market on a scale unprecedented in our history.

Not surprisingly, the distribution of wage rates has evolved in very similar ways to those of West Germany. It is the relatively unskilled in the bottom half of the distribution who have lost out. The liberal elite do not suffer.

Indeed, they benefit because many of the services they consume are provided at lower prices than would have been the case without mass immigration. It is sometimes argued that immigrants do jobs that native British workers are unwilling to take.

Very well then, without mass immigration, employers would be obliged to raise the real wage rate to induce these people to take the jobs.

The effects of this extend to benefit levels. ...

In the so-called neoclassical growth theory of economics, whether of the pre- or post-endogenous variety, by far the most important source of sustained growth is innovation. The age structure of immigration means that it does make a change to per capita economic growth, but one that is barely perceptible. Moreover, immigrants themselves age eventually, so eventually even this tiny benefit disappears.
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Benefits and costs – economy
The migration fuelling George Osborne's 'comeback country'
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 20 March 2015

George Osborne's sunny economic forecast and much of his claim that Britain is a "comeback country" have more to do with higher than expected levels of net inward migration than his stewardship as chancellor or the falling oil price.

That is not a verdict that you are likely to hear from the Conservatives or from Labour for that matter, both of which like to appear as parties opposed to mass migration, but the Office for Budget Responsibility makes clear that it is one key factor fuelling Britain's economic recovery.

The OBR says the unexpected rise in net migration to 298,000 in the last year – three times higher than the Conservatives' 100,000 target – has been a factor in its decision to upgrade its forecasts for Britain's economic growth.

In fact, it calculates that net migration will add 0.6% to the potential output of the British economy and increase net tax receipts rather than be a burden, as most migrants are of working age rather than retired or children. That means that, without continuing high levels of net migration, even deeper spending cuts and higher taxes would be needed before Britain reaches Osborne's sunshine-filled economic pastures. ...

It is all very well, some argue, pointing out that net inward migration fuels the growth in the economy at the national level, but what matters is the impact on the ordinary voter. But the OBR adds that the "GDP per capita" rate – how much it costs or benefits the individual – is also positive due to the higher employment rate.

On top of this, the latest labour market survey figures show that the latest rise in net inward migration does not appear to have led to widespread displacement of existing workers. They show while an extra 239,000 non-UK nationals are in jobs in Britain compared with a year ago, the number of UK nationals in work rose by even more – 375,000. ...

After nearly 20 years of continuous mass inward migration to Britain, it is time the politicians stopped pretending that you can have a flourishing modern economy and deep cuts in mass migration. Perhaps it is time they faced up to this new reality and started tackling rather more quickly some of the social problems, including increased pressures on public services, that are also here to stay.
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Benefits and costs – police, language translation
Scotland Yard spent £25 million translating for 70,000 foreign nationals in four years
Daily Express, 18 March 2015

Scotland Yard spent £25 million translating for 70,000 foreign nationals over the past four years.

Official figures reveal Britain's biggest police force paid an average £6.3 million a year for suspects arrested in London, plus witnesses and victims, since 2011.

Campaigners have criticised the bill – which is enough to pay for an extra 286 officers.

Across the UK, the figure is likely to top £100 million. London MEP Gerard Batten said: "Open-door immigration encourages Europe's criminals to come to the UK.

"The translation and interpretation bill is a fraction of the cost of crime on society, which would be avoidable if we were able to exclude foreign criminals.

"We can't because of the EU's freedom-ofmovement rules." Around one in five people in London do not speak English as their first language. ...

The Met said it was legally obliged to proved interpretation services.
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Benefits and costs – public opinion
How does immigration affect public services?
Jamie McIvor
BBC, 12 March 2015

The majority of Scots believe migrants should have to wait some time before they can use public services, according to a BBC Scotland poll.

The survey suggests 55% think migrants should have to wait a year or more before they are allowed to use them.

Just 15% thought they should be allowed to use them as soon as they settled.

The findings suggest Scots are only slightly more supportive of the right of immigrants to use public services than people across the UK as a whole.

A similar poll carried out across the whole of Britain last year - using the same question - suggested 59% thought migrants should have to wait a year to use services.
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Benefits and costs – healthcare charges
Health tourism: Survey suggests GP support for upfront charges
Sofia Lind
Pulse, 27 February 2015

More than three-quarters of GPs are in favour of charging foreign visitors for accessing primary care, a Pulse survey has found.

The findings come as the Department of Health prepares to launch consultations to explore ways to claw back money from overseas visitors who use GP services – although it has not yet confirmed whether it will include charging migrants directly.

Practices with high populations of EU migrants will be asked to check whether patients are eligible for free NHS care under pilots due to launch later this year.

The pilots will involve GP practices in 10 areas asking all new patients if they have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which entitles them to access primary care and certain secondary care treatment without an up-front charge. Practices will also be asked to collect data from UK state pensioners resident elsewhere in the EEA under the pilot scheme.

At the moment, there are no mechanisms for charging foreign patients for accessing primary care. However, this might change. Under new legislation – the Immigration Act 2014 – only UK residents with 'indefinite leave to remain' will be entitled to free healthcare, including primary care. This has given the DH the green light to explore the potential of covering the costs of overseas visitors and temporary residents accessing primary care. ...

The Pulse survey reveals GPs are behind efforts to bring in more money from 'health tourism'. Of the 640 respondents, 494 (77%) said they supported up-front charges for foreign visitors wanting to access primary care, with only 14% coming out against it.
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Benefits and costs – health services
Webinar: Sir Keith Pearson on how much overseas migrants cost the NHS
Health Service Journal, 26 February 2015

Sir Keith Pearson, chair of Health Education England, has been confirmed as a speaker at HSJ's free webinar on understanding the true costs of treating visitors and migrants not entitled to free NHS care.

Sir Keith, who is also an adviser to the Department of Health's visitor and migrant cost recovery programme, will join a distinguished panel exploring this charged issue and why there is more to it than health tourism.

The webinar, "What is the true cost of overseas nationals using the NHS?", is free to watch.

It will be streamed live or you can catch up at a later date.
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Benefits and costs – translation, interpreting
Pickles fury at council's £700,000 bill for translations: Communities Secretary says money should have been spent on frontline services and keeping council tax down
Daily Mail, 19 February 2015

Eric Pickles has attacked a council for spending nearly £700,000 on translation services for immigrants.

The Communities Secretary said the money should have been spent on frontline services and keeping the council tax down in Sheffield.

The council spent £555,331 on face-to-face and phone translation from 2011 to 2014, and £131,785 on documents.

Some of the 44 languages translated include little-used Dari, Karen, Lingala, Oromo and Tigrinya.

In 2013, Mr Pickles told all councils to stop translating documents as it was rarely needed and discouraged migrants from learning English. ...

Sheffield Council said the costs mostly relate to services it has to legally provide, like child protection and housing, and translating leaflets was not standard practice.

A council spokesman said the bulk of its costs are linked to providing services that it has to provide by law.

'Whilst we have reduced the costs of providing interpretation significantly in recent years under law we are required to ensure that children are safeguarded and where interpretation is needed to do this we have to provide it to ensure we have met our obligations.

'We restrict translation and interpretation services to essential matters such as signs up and serving legal notices. We always review how we can reduce our costs and this is something we have been doing for some time.

'We do not print leaflets in different languages as standard practice.'
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Benefits and costs – healthcare
GPs to conduct nationality checks in all new patients under health tourism crackdown
Sofia Lind
Pulse, 5 February 2015

GP practices with high populations of EU migrants will be asked to check whether patients are eligible for free NHS care under Government pilots due to launch later this year, Pulse has learnt.

The pilots will be rolled out in 10 areas, and will involve GP practices asking all new patients if they have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which entitles them to access primary care and certain secondary care treatment without an upfront charge.

Practices will also be asked to collect information on so-called S1 forms from UK state pensioners resident elsewhere in EEA.

Under the EHIC pilots, no patient will be charged for accessing primary care. However, the DH said they were designed to test the feasibility of practices routinely asking patients for documents to enable the NHS to recover the costs of primary care from their home countries.

The pilots come as the Department of Health prepares to launch a consultation on new ways of recovering the costs of primary care from overseas residents. But a spokesperson refused to confirm if this would include any upfront patient charges for primary care.

Under the Immigration Act 2014 only UK residents with 'indefinite leave to remain' are entitled to free healthcare, but there is an estimated £2bn cost from 'health tourism' to the UK every year. ...

Last year, the Government shelved a suggestion for charging non-EEA migrants a £200-500 levy upon entry to the UK, or when they went to renew their visa, after admitting it would probably cost more in administration costs than it would recover in charges.

When asked if this position had changed, a DH spokesperson said any plans to extend direct charging for primary care for migrants 'will require further consultation'.
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Benefits and costs – welfare benefits
Britain 'wide open to abuse by freeloading migrants', says Foreign Secretary
Peter Dominiczak
Daily Telegraph, 20 January 2015

Britain is "wide open to abuse" by "freeloading" European Union migrants who are exploiting the welfare state, the Foreign Secretary has said.

Philip Hammond said that the Government is "determined" to reform Britain's relationship with Brussels so that there is a "sufficient impact on migration numbers to satisfy the public".

His reference to "freeloading" represents one of the most outspoken comments by a Cabinet minister about the EU and will infuriate senior figures in Brussels.
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Benefits and costs – unemployment benefits
Revealed: thousands of Britons on benefits across EU
Alberto Nardelli, Ian Traynor and Leila Haddou
The Guardian, 19 January 2015

Unemployed Britons in Europe are drawing much more in benefits and allowances in the wealthier EU countries than their nationals are claiming in the UK, despite the British government's arguments about migrants flocking in to the country to secure better welfare payments.

At least 30,000 British nationals are claiming unemployment benefit in countries around the EU, research by the Guardian has found, based on responses from 23 of the 27 other EU countries.

The research shows more than four times as many Britons obtain unemployment benefits in Germany as Germans do in the UK, while the number of jobless Britons receiving benefits in Ireland exceeds their Irish counterparts in the UK by a rate of five to one.

There are not only far more Britons drawing benefits in these countries than vice versa, but frequently the benefits elsewhere in Europe are much more generous than in the UK. A Briton in France receives more than three times as much as a jobless French person in the UK. ...

In Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, France and Ireland the number of Britons banking unemployment cheques is almost three times as high as the nationals of those countries receiving parallel UK benefits – 23,011 Britons to 8,720 nationals of those nine countries in the UK. ...

About 2.5% of Britons in other EU countries are claiming unemployment benefits – the same level as the roughly 65,000 EU nationals claiming jobseeker's allowance in the UK. ...

The data shows an east-west split in the pattern of Britons benefiting from often more generous unemployment payments, as well as a north-south divide.

The picture is quite different for the poorer east European countries which have joined the EU over the past decade, with hardly any Britons drawing unemployment benefits in those countries.

The figures for nationals of those 10 east European countries drawing jobseeker's allowance in the UK remain modest, despite the periodical outcries about "benefits tourism". There are only about 1,000 Romanians and 500 Bulgarians, for example, drawing jobseeker's allowance in Britain, according to the Department for Work and Pensions. Of the almost 30,000 Britons on unemployment benefits in other EU countries, only 62 are in the 10 countries that have joined since 2004.

The pattern of Britons being treated generously in Scandinavia and northern Europe goes into reverse around the poorer south, with Italians, Spanish and Portuguese out of work in the UK outnumbering the unemployed Britons in those countries by 13,580 to 5,670.

But, with the number of Britons in Spain three times that of Spaniards in Britain, and given the demographic differences between these two groups of migrants, the pressure on Spain's finances is most likely to be on its health service. ...

The data on those receiving unemployment benefit across the EU is just one small snapshot of the immigration and free movement issue. The different countries' welfare systems vary hugely, complicating efforts at comparison. The payouts offer an approximate equivalent enabling rough comparisons.

According to government figures, there are 2.7 million EU nationals in Britain and 1.3 million UK citizens living elsewhere in the EU.
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Benefits and costs – unemployment benefits
Twice as many EU immigrants claiming unemployment benefits in UK than vice versa, new research shows
Ben Riley-Smith
Daily Telegraph, 19 January 2015

More than twice as many European Union immigrants are claiming unemployment benefits in Britain than vice versa, new figures have revealed.

Almost 65,000 EU nationals are getting Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) in the UK compared to around 30,000 Britons claiming unemployment benefits elsewhere in the EU.

Research by the Guardian found that while 14,880 Poles living in the UK are receiving JSA there are just two Britons claiming the equivalent in Poland.

The findings come after David Cameron said he wanted to ban foreign jobseekers claiming benefits and deport them from the UK if they do not find work within six months.

However the research suggests that under such a policy tens of thousands of unemployed Britains living overseas would also be forced to return to the UK. ...

The Guardian asked other EU nations to reveal how many unemployed Britons are living abroad and claiming benefits to put the concerns into perspective.

Around 30,000 Britons are claiming unemployment benefits elsewhere in the EU, according to responses from 23 nations, with Ireland and Germany seeing the highest numbers.

However the totals are far less than the number of EU nationals claiming unemployment benefit here in Britain, with Eastern European countries particularly prominent.

More than 30,000 people from Slovakia, Latvia, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania and Romania are claiming unemployment benefits in the UK, the research revealed. Less than 30 Britons claim the equivalent benefits in those countries.
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Benefits and costs – translation, interpreting
How you pay £100m a year to aid immigrants who can't speak English: Shock figures reveal huge sums spent on translators by police, councils and hospitals
Martin Beckford and Stephen Adams
Mail on Sunday, 11 January 2015

Taxpayers are spending £100 million every year on interpreters to help immigrants who cannot speak English, a Mail on Sunday investigation has found.

Police, town halls, hospitals and courts are all spending huge sums on translating documents and providing professional interpreters to assist people with poor English. ...

It can be revealed today that:

• A hospital trust in the North West uses interpreters 74 times each day.

• Britain's biggest police force spends nearly £7 million a year on interpreters for crime suspects – mostly Romanian – and victims.

• One council helps people who speak a total of 61 different languages, including the little-spoken Fulani, Karen, Kinyarwanda, Shona, Tagalog and Visayan.

• Polish is by far the most commonly translated language by courts, police and councils.

• A US firm makes more than £10 million a year from the interpreting 'industry'. ...

Under the Freedom of Information Act, The Mail on Sunday asked public bodies across England to detail their costs for written translation of documents and face-to-face or telephone interpreting.

Responses from 585 organisations, about two-thirds of those contacted, revealed they had spent £79 million in 2013-14, indicating that the total figure is well over £100 million. Most goes on face-to-face interpreters rather than document translation, which can be done free online.

In the NHS, the sum spent on foreign language services has risen by 41 per cent over the past four years to reach at least £33 million. Dozens of hospitals failed to respond to our data requests. ...

NHS organisations claim that offering translation and interpretation services to those with poor English is a 'mandatory requirement'.

In its FOI response, Cannock Chase Clinical Commissioning Group stated: 'This is a mandatory requirement within the standard NHS contract that we use. The standard contract states, 'The Provider must provide appropriate assistance and make reasonable adjustments for Service Users, Carers and Legal Guardians who do not speak, read or write English or who have communication difficulties.' '

But some experts say that, in the vast majority of cases, providing this service is unnecessary.

Julia Manning, chief executive of the think-tank 2020Health, said: 'I cannot imagine someone with zero English being in this country without having a relative who does speak the language, who could help them. It really should be the responsibility of family or friends to assist with understanding.'

Latest figures show the Department for Work and Pensions spent £5 million on language services in a year, most on face-to-face and telephone help for jobseekers and benefits claimants.

Meanwhile, councils in England spent £11 million on language services in the most recent financial year, despite 2013 guidance from the Government telling them translation and interpreting should be used in emergency cases only, for instance child protection.
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Benefits and costs – child benefit
Britain is STILL paying child benefit for 34,000 children across the EU: All parties agree it is mad but a deal on ending handouts is years off
Matt Chorley
MailOnline, 6 January 2015

Britain is still paying child benefit for 34,000 children who live elsewhere in the European Union, despite every major political party wanting to stop the handouts.

David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg have repeatedly called for end to money being sent abroad by EU migrants working in the UK who leave their children in their home country.

But with any deal on scrapping the rules which force Britain to export benefits far from certain, it will continue to cost taxpayers up to £30 million every year until an agreement can be reached with all of the 27 other EU member states. ...

Under EU rules, the benefit has to be paid to European nationals who are working in Britain and paying National Insurance – even if their families are based abroad.

Latest figures obtained by MailOnline reveals that child benefit is paid to 20,660 families with 34,199 children living outside Britain.

Child benefit is paid at £20.30 a week for the first child and £13.40 for every other child, regardless of parental income.

It means the total bill for children living overseas could be up to £30 million-a-year, although under the EU rules not all awards are made at the full UK rates. ...

Amazingly, two-thirds of all claims are made for children in Poland.

Claims from Romania and Bulgaria have risen sharply in the past four years, as work curbs were lifted at the start of 2014.
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Benefits and costs – economy
Revealed: The migrants who cost us £8m EACH DAY
Daily Express, 1 January 2015

The tiny economic benefit gained from Eastern European workers in the UK over the past decade is being lost in less than a fortnight to non-EU migrants, figures show.

The estimated £105 million added to the economy by EU migrants since 2001 is drained away at a rate of £8.1 million a day in support to the 355,000 non-Europeans who landed here last year.

The huge public sector bill run up by the new arrivals means the so-called 'benefits' of the EU's open door migration policy will be cancelled out by January 14.

Alp Mehmet of Migration Watch UK said: "The Daily Express's figures clearly show that the overall cost of immigration over the past 15 years totally outweighs the, at best, small contribution of recent EU immigration." ...

Details of the impact of mass migration on Britain were revealed by close analysis of recent figures. A study published by University College London in November claimed migrants from countries that joined the EU since 2004, including Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Slovenia, paid £5 billion more in taxes than they took out of the British economy between 2001 and 2011.

But a review of that found the suggested financial benefits were overestimated and based on "incredible, optimistic assumptions".

Alternative calculations in the same report, which strip out £4.8 billion that it is assumed migrants paid in corporate taxes on shares in UK-listed companies, showed that sum may be as low as £105 million.

Some critics have said that when the cost of congestion and other factors caused by mass migration is taken into account, the figure could become negative. Home Office experts put the cost to the public in healthcare, education and benefits for each immigrant at £23 a day.
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Bias – European Union
EU Funded Group Calls Donald Trump A 'Hate Preacher', Urges UK Ban... Says Nothing Of Terror Migrants
Donna Rachel Edmunds
Breitbart, 8 December 2015

A pro mass-migration, EU-funded pressure group has called on the British government to ban Donald Trump from the United Kingdom over his comments regarding Muslim immigration. British Future – which has a history of targeting people with anti mass migraiton views – accused Mr Trump of being a "hate preacher", insisting that British laws against hate preaching should be used against him.

Their comments have been labelled "sinister" by mainstream journalists who also dislike Mr. Trump. The group has made no statements about the number of Islamist-sympathising migrants being caught across Europe.

On Monday Mr Trump, the front-runner in the race to become the Republican presidential candidate, called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."

'British Future' masquerades as a think tank, though lists as its donors the European Commission, the pro-migration Barrow Cadbury Trust, the hedge-fund run Unbound Philanthropy group which also funds almost all pro-migration groups in the United Kingdom, and the notorious George Soros's "Open Society Foundations" which call for an end to national borders.
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Bias – children, BBC
ANALYSIS: BBC Pictures Show 53% Migrant Kids, Just 36% Men – Hugely Out Of Step With Official Stats
Raheem Kassam
Breitbart, 21 September 2015

An analysis of photographs the BBC uses to illustrate Europe's migrant crisis has revealed the publicly funded organisation is using mostly pictures of children, despite the actual number of children making the trip being suspiciously low.

The United Nations Refugee Agency reported last week there were 72 per cent men, 13 per cent women, and just 15 per cent children making the trip to Europe by sea. This was out of a total of 381,412 people, meaning that 274,616 of those making the trip were men, with just 49,583 women, and 57,211 children.

The numbers, updated for this week, claim there are now nearly 80,000 children arriving, and over 305,000 men, and just over 57,000 women.

But a Breitbart London analysis of over 200 images used by the BBC on its website shows a staggering 53 per cent of children as the focal points of images, with 36 per cent focused on the men, and just 10 per cent focused on women. ...

The BBC also presents an underestimated image of how many men are making the trip, with its images implying just 160,000 of the migrants are men, an underestimation of around 145,000 people.

The skewed results will raise questions over the BBC's coverage of the migrant crisis, alongside its obligation for neutrality, accuracy, and balance as set out in the BBC Trust's Charter.

The news comes as it was revealed that four in five of migrants logged by the European Union are not Syrian refugees, but rather, migrants from places as far apart as Afghanistan, Bangladesh and South Sudan. ...

German authorities last week admitted at least 25 per cent of the migrants it has processed have lied about being Syrian citizens fleeing war.

Interior Minister for Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lorenz Caffier, said: "At least a quarter of those refugees allegedly coming from Syria are not from Syria, but from other Arab or African countries."

Rainer Wendt, head of the German Police Union: "Almost without exception, every refugee pretends to be a Syrian when in fact, many come from other countries, even from sub-Saharan Africa".
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Bias – migrant crisis, BBC
BBC coverage of the migrant crisis is the gospel of the liberal left
David Keighley
Conservative Woman, 7 September 2015
[David Keighley is a former BBC news producer, BBC PR executive and head of corporate relations for TV-am]

One of the key points of the BBC's style guide is the need for terminological exactitude.

But that's exactly what we are not getting in the BBC's coverage about the huge tide of humanity currently surging into Europe.

The chances of hearing concern about this on the BBC are virtually zero. The incursion is being projected one-dimensionally as a humanitarian crisis. Jonathan Munro, the Corporation head of newsgathering has laid down coverage guidelines on that basis. At the same time, in many reports, those who oppose the influx are cast as xenophobic and possibly racist.

Typical is that Newsnight on Wednesday night gave liberal luvvie Emma Thompson an open goal to spell out her "racist" chant. And, of course, for her to declare her undying love for Jeremy Corbyn. In these pressing times, those are the issues that count to Guardianista Ian Katz and his Newsnight team.

Despite what the Left say, the reality is that Britain has a long and compassionate tradition of being a safe home for thousands of unfortunate people of myriad nationalities who have genuinely been forced to flee war or tyrannical regimes. In doing so, the authorities honour far beyond the letter of the law the UN, the EU and Geneva Convention requirements to accommodate such souls.

Many of those who have arrived here in such dire straits have contributed richly to the economy and culture of their adoptive country. Others, of course, have not, taking long-term advantage of our generous benefits and our housing welfare system.

It's plain that many if not most now camped out in Budapest and Kos and Calais are not 'refugees' or 'asylum seekers'. Because of the EU's open borders, no one seems to have a clue about their point of origin or their reasons for being here.

The suspicion is that a high proportion are economic migrants; pictures suggest they are mostly male and they are desperately trying to queue jump in order to get what they want.

This is potentially worrying because it suggests the beginnings of the complete disintegration of border controls. The EU's 'free movement' principle has seemingly transmuted into a total free-for-all.

The BBC could and should be investigating issues like these in parallel with the hardship stories. But it chooses not to do so, instead assuming simplistically that everyone coming here is a victim of oppression. They have developed into a fine art the ways of expressing their plight. News-watch found in an investigation for Migration Watch that this has been an historical characteristic of the BBC's coverage of 'immigration'. It seems that nothing has changed.

Ethically, it may be difficult to reject or to resist these people because they are clearly desperate and many are suffering hardship. Our heartstrings urge us to act.

Yet whatever is actually happening, the scale is unprecedented. Richard Littlejohn adroitly pointed this out in this Daily Mail article. And the brutal horrors of 7/7 and the Charlie Hebdo massacre are clear evidence of the dangers of alienated immigrant communities. Should we ignore these warning signals in a headlong rush for compassion? ...

On Friday night, elements of coverage were actually accompanied by epic movie music. This was not news reporting. You could call it instead what it actually was: propaganda.
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Bias – BBC
Left wing media wallow in migrant crisis sob stories says Ross Clark
Ross Clark
Daily Express, 26 August 2015

Since the decision to broadcast an edition of Songs of Praise from a makeshift canvas church in the migrant camp at Calais two weeks ago, the BBC has persisted in promoting only positive images of migration.

Every morning sees another story from the Mediterranean trying to sell us the idea that migrants bring only good.

One morning, it carried an interview with a remarkably healthy looking Syrian refugee claiming not to have eaten for 16 days and who said he was going to be a European table tennis champion.

Yesterday morning, it was a family who had arrived in Athens and were planning to walk to Germany. ...

The BBC seems to be propagating an organised campaign to present Britain as a mean spirited country which tries to fence out the world's straggling poor – people who, if we could only see it, would be a tremendous asset.

Last week, the BBC carried a report by Graham Satchell from a Swedish town north of Stockholm, opening with film of some migrants playing volleyball in the evening sun.

"The Swedish approach to immigration couldn't be more different to the UK," asserted Satchell. "If Syrians can get here they can stay".

The film then cut to an interview with the town's mayor, who was invited to agree that it was "morally right" to take in any migrant who wanted to come to Sweden.

"So Sweden has the moral high ground," continued the reporter, "but is it working?"

Needless to say, everything was fine and dandy, with just a mention of "tension" – which manifested itself in an interview with a a Right wing politician who complained that migrants were not learning to speak to Swedish.

A Syrian couple was then hauled before the cameras to speak a few words of Swedish and make the nasty Right wing politician look deluded.

The message couldn't be clearer: Britain should tear down the fences and welcome the Calais migrants along with anyone else who fancies coming to Britain.

Yet the reality of immigration in Sweden is miles away from the soft-focus BBC report.

The result of mass migration – 100,000 arrived last year in a country of nine million people – has been violence, rioting and racism far worse than anything witnessed in Britain at least since the 2011 riots.

The Malmo suburb of Rosengard, where 80 per cent of residents are migrants, has become a flashpoint for gang violence. Two schools have been forced to close.

At one stage the fire service refused to set foot in the area because it was so dangerous. ...

Of course there are many touching stories regarding refugees who have escaped oppression.

But the BBC has a duty to report a balanced view not to drown us with Left-liberal propaganda making out that Britain's approach is failing while countries with an open border policy are succeeding. ...

Moreover, the Government has a duty to protect us from terrorists coming to Britain under the guise of asylum-seekers. ...

It is about time the BBC and the liberal media covered these issues in all their complexity rather than seeming to act as a campaigning mouthpiece for open door migration.
[Site link]


Bias – BBC
Ex-BBC editorial director accuses corporation of liberal 'groupthink'
Jasper Jackson
The Guardian, 22 June 2015

The former BBC executive who oversaw coverage of the London Olympics has accused the corporation of liberal "groupthink" and a failure to reflect diverse views on issues such as immigration.

Former BBC editorial director Roger Mosey – who left in 2013 – said the corporation sometimes suffered from "a default groupthink – a set of assumptions that seem reasonable to everyone they know".

In memoirs serialised in the Times, he said debates about immigration at the corporation sounded like "a pure liberal-defensive response rather than a quest for range and diversity in journalism".

He cited a Ten O'Clock News package on immigration which included only one interview with a white person because the views of other non-ethnic minority people a reporter spoke to were too negative.
[Site link]


Bias – political correctness, BBC
Sometimes it feels as if the world has gone quite mad says Stephen Pollard
Stephen Pollard
Daily Express, 30 May 2015

You've no doubt heard the story of the latest BBC recruitment drive: they're advertising to find a weather forecaster who knows nothing about how to forecast the weather.

The BBC has decided there aren't enough disabled weather forecasters on our screens and so – according to the advert – it is "actively seeking to improve on-screen diversity".

The ideal candidate won't only know nothing about the weather; he or she will also be disabled. I'm surprised by this.

Is this all they're insisting on? Has no one noticed how few forecasters come from Leicester?

And I don't think there's been a single Goth forecaster. Nor am I aware of any blind forecasters.

The whole thing is bonkers. Specifying a list of pre-requisites for TV presenters that have nothing to do with competence and everything to do with a checklist of politically correct targets is the sign of an organisation entirely removed from reality.

But being bonkers is rarely a bar on an idea being adopted in places like the BBC.

When the story emerged this week, critics pointed out the similarity to an episode of BBC2's own spoof of itself, W1A, in which a Muslim forecaster is hired because he has a beard, to meet diversity targets – and the bosses then go into panic when they think he's going to shave it off.

It's easy to have a laugh at an idea that's self-evidently idiotic (to everyone bar BBC bigwigs).

But this is the same BBC that is the leading news provider in the country – and it's the same mindset that prevails in its news agenda.

So, as Andrew Marr once put it: "The BBC is not impartial or neutral...It has a liberal bias not so much a party-political bias.

It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias".

Which is why its coverage of crime, the EU, immigration and many other key issues is so hostile to the majority of people's views.
[Site link]


Bias – politics, Church of England
A monstrous slur against my friend: The allegations against Enoch Powell are lies beyond contempt, writes SIMON HEFFER
Simon Heffer
Daily Mail, 30 March 2015

Four years before he died in 1998, Enoch Powell did me the honour of asking me to write his biography. I spoke to almost everyone alive who knew him. When he died, I had unique access to a vast collection of private papers, including numerous intimate letters. If there is anyone alive other than Enoch's widow and daughters who knows more about him than I do, I'd like to meet him.

I never detected the slightest whiff of scandal about Powell. His probity in personal and financial matters was rock solid. When on Saturday evening a fellow journalist told me of the allegations made by the Church of England, my first instinct was to laugh: but that soon changed into utter outrage when I realised he was serious.

The Church has publicly accused Enoch of being involved in ritual satanic abuse on hearsay, without the slightest evidence. They might as well accuse him of having been a war criminal or an armed robber, for there would be as much truth in either allegation. ...

For decades, Enoch Powell has long been a bug-bear of the liberal Establishment.

He has been demonised not least because to attack his memory is a quick and effective way for them to score points by setting out their own political correctness. ...

In 1998, just after Enoch died, the BBC broadcast a programme in which they railed at Enoch for his hypocrisy. They said this scourge of mass immigration had visited the West Indies in 1953 to recruit black labour for the NHS. I was told of the story before the programme was broadcast and informed its researcher that Enoch had never been to the West Indies in his life. I was told, effectively, that I was lying, and it was broadcast.

A black clergywoman, then resident in London, talked at length of Enoch having recruited her as a nurse. The story was rubbish.

Detailed investigation by the BBC complaints department found that the woman had been recruited after a visit to her island by Jack Profumo, not Enoch Powell at all, and the Corporation was forced to make a grovelling on-air apology in peak time.

I have long dreamt of the day when ignorant politicians and Establishment figures would stop manipulating Enoch's memory for their own advantage. But I never thought I would hear of bishops of the Church of England doing it.

The allegations are a monstrous lie. That the lie appears to have been retailed by a priest is beyond contempt.

There must be an investigation and, for all the distress this outrage has caused, there must be a reckoning.
[Site link]


Bias – charity
Why I don't feel charitable about the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust
Rod Liddle
The Spectator, 7 March 2015

I had hoped to write an article this week demonising immigrants, but was sadly overtaken by events. Demonising immigrants is the charge levelled by charitable foundations such as the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust whenever anybody states how many people are coming into the country (and does so without a cheerful expression, arms aloft in triumph). But the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust is itself in the news, so I would like to spend a little time demonising them instead.

You might recall that the trust has taken a bit of flak for having subsidised, with a grant, the organisation Cage, which was set up by the former Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg to campaign for freedom for other Islamists. At a press conference, one of Cage's spokespersons, Asim Qureshi – a middle-aged Asian man with a pious beard – announced that the famous Jihadi John, who spends his time decapitating people in Syria, was actually 'extremely gentle and kind' and 'a beautiful young man'. Jihadi John, real name Mohammed Emwazi, had hung around the Cage offices, occasionally bringing the likes of Asim delicate and fragrant Middle Eastern pastries. There was some consternation as to why the Rowntree trust would support an organisation which appears to campaign for convicted terrorists and defend the likes of Boko Haram and Abu Qatada The answer seems obvious to me – because they are stupid middle-class white liberal dupes. But if you think that Cage is the worst of it, here are a couple of other organisations to which the trust bungs its money.

How about the Irish National Liberation Army? Come on, you remember them. Murdered an estimated 120 people during the Troubles, including Airey Neave. Opposed to the Good Friday Agreement, opposed to the Northern Ireland peace process. So extreme that even the Provos think they're mental. The INLA is the armed wing of the Irish Republican Socialist Party and in November last year the Rowntree monkeys bunged the IRSP £150,000 via the party's prisoner release organisation, Teach na Fáilte. ...

So there's them. And then there's JawaabUK, which was set up by a chap called Rizwan Hussain. The job of Jawaab – to judge from its semi-literate tweets – is much the same as that of Cage: to convince ordinary young Muslims that they are a persecuted minority, that the likes of the Islamic State have nothing to do with Islam and nobody should apologise for them, and that Islamophobia is a far greater threat to mankind than, uh, Islam. 'The state has always been a racist colonial state' was one of Jawaab's more recent tweets. Kerching: sixty thousand quid from the Rowntree trust last November. ...

Meanwhile, its brother in arms, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, seems to spend most of its time commissioning dubious social research to – um – prove that British people really, really like immigration and would be happy to see more of it, and that multiculturalism is the only way forward, none of this antediluvian stuff about coalescing behind 'British values', whatever they might be. The highpoint in its pro-immigration activities came between 1998 and 2007 – when its research was swallowed whole, and hungrily, by the then Labour government.
[Site link]


Bias – politics, BBC
BBC 'bias' hinders immigration crackdown, says report
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 12 February 2015

The BBC's bias in favour of immigration has been a key block on the Government's ability to tighten control on Britain's borders, a report has claimed.

MigrationWatch UK, which campaigns for tougher migration rules, said the Corporation was guilty of a "strong bias" and even a reluctance to address issues raised by immigration.

A report also warned there was pro-immigration in parts of the Civil Service including the Treasury, "irrespective of the impact of immigration on population growth and on the lower paid".

The study, which analysed the Conservatives' performance in the area since 2010, said the Government was spending just 0.25 per cent of its total budget on immigration control this year.

A lack of funding was one of the main reasons why the Home Office had been unable to seriously tackle the backlog of more than 368,000 immigration cases.

"The total budget for immigration control in 2014/15 was £1.8 billion. This is around 0.25 per cent of the total government expenditure of £700 billion," it said.

"This is clearly inadequate given the scale of the problem and the depth of public concern.

"Underfunding is one of the primary reasons why the Home Office has been unable to address the very large backlog of cases that it inherited from the previous government."

It added: "There are also some wider matters which will continue to pose difficulties for an effective immigration policy.

"They include ... a strong bias in the BBC in favour of immigration, combined with a reluctance even to address the case for reducing immigration."

A coalition government since 2010 had been a "brake on effective action" and "might well arise again", it added.

Another problem had been "pro-immigration bias of parts of the civil service (notably the Treasury), perhaps linked to a reluctance tackle a sensitive subject".

The views of "economic liberals, reinforced by pressure from some companies" had also led to pressure for more migrant labour "without always having a proper appreciation of the pressures placed on social services".

But it added that the Government had made important progress, despite the target to reduce net migration to "tens of thousands" being blown off course by growing numbers arriving from within the European Union.

Lord Green of Deddington, MigrationWatch chairman, said: "The battle for public opinion has been decisively won in the face of a powerful immigration lobby.

"This is the first time that a government has made a serious effort to get numbers down.

"They have undeniably made valuable progress but continued strong efforts, led from the top, are essential.

"These efforts must succeed if the public are not to lose faith in our political system."

A BBC spokesman insisted there were no problems with its coverage.

"We believe our coverage of immigration is in the right place and we cover this complex issue in depth," he said.
[Site link]



Border controls – France
Britain could pay to fence off EVERY port in northern France as migrant crisis worsens
Nick Gutteridge
Sunday Express, 27 December 2015

Britain could be forced to pay for a huge wall of security fencing across northern France because police across the Channel have "lost control" of migrants, an MEP has told

UKIP's Mike Hookem said the entire coastline of Normandy will need to be turned into a "fortress" to defend our borders as migrant smugglers increasingly target smaller ports with less security.

He claimed that mile upon mile of protective fencing will need to be built to protect vital trade routes from the huge influx of migrants heading towards Britain from southern Europe.

France has been reticent about shouldering the financial burden of securing its northern ports, with Britain shelling out £7 million towards state-of-the-art fencing around the port of Calais earlier this year.

Now similar measures could be required at nearby Dunkirk and Dieppe, with some Britain-bound migrants travelling as far down the coastline as Le Havre to take advantage of laxer security arrangements.
[Site link]


Border controls – Calais, France
Prepare for more chaos in Calais with every passing day
Stephen Pollard
Daily Express, 23 December 2015

It is an astonishing figure: so far this year more than a million migrants have entered the EU by what are technically known as "irregular means". ...

It's no wonder that the situation in the so-called Jungle camp in Calais is also getting worse.

Clearly the numbers on the other side of the Channel are only a small proportion of the total number of migrants who have arrived in the EU.

But as more arrive in the EU so more arrive in Calais – determined to do anything possible (and sometimes impossible) to smuggle themselves into Britain.

The horrific scenes from Calais that were a nightly presence on TV over the summer may no longer be on our screens as often but that's not because things are easing off.

On the contrary there are now more migrants than ever: standing at 7,000-plus, with the number growing by the day.

Many are extremely violent in their determination to enter the UK.

According to the lorry drivers who have to run the gauntlet through the port, attacks on them and their vehicles are almost out of control. ...

Richard Burnett, chief executive of the Road Haulage Association, says: "Migrants are throwing boulders, bricks, even a 10-foot spear from a bridge which went through a cab window.

"There's a massive risk a driver is going to get killed. The problem is it's not being contained." ...

Rather than dealing with the problem itself – rising migration – the French authorities' response has been to build more homes for the growing number of new incomers. ...

And for all the hot air from the Government the situation in Calais worsens with every passing day.
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Border controls – Calais, France
French border guards 'colluding' with gangs smuggling migrants into Britain, MEP claims
Nick Gutteridge
Daily Express, 22 December 2015

French border guards are "colluding" with people traffickers smuggling migrants through northern France and into Britain, an MEP has told Theresa May in an explosive letter.

UKIP's Mike Hookem says he is convinced that some officers within the French border force "cannot be relied on" to stop illegal immigrants from crossing the channel.

The senior European politician is so concerned by what he has seen that he has urged the Home Secretary to urgently investigate claims of "collusion" between border officials and migrant smugglers.

He also revealed that a senior police chief told him there are just 60 officers dedicated to investigating illegal immigration across his entire prefecture, which covers some 20,000 square miles between France's northern coast and Paris.

The top officer admitted the gaping holes in his force's coverage mean that "five to six people get through to Britain every night", with many slipping through in vehicles with UK registration plates, according to Mr Hookem.
[Site link]


Border controls – European Union
EU adviser unveils flawless plan to beat the evil people traffickers - let EVERYONE in
Nick Gutteridge
Daily Express, 21 December 2015

An EU adviser today effectively admitted defeat in its battle against people smugglers as it unveiled its grand plan to beat the criminal gangs profiting from people's misery - let EVERYONE in.

Brussels bureaucrats were told that they cannot beat the human traffickers and that the only way to stop their vile trade is to open the floodgates to an unlimited number of migrants.

In a stunning admission of incompetence Brussels pen-pushers said opportunistic rabbles of migrant traffickers operating out of Middle Eastern hideouts have outwitted their own £200,000-a-year borders boss.

They also risked angering citizens of nations across Europe by revealing that border officials "haven't been looking very hard" to close down new routes which criminal gangs could use to smuggle migrants into the continent.

Critics said the shocking admissions prove the EU is "one step behind" the migrant smugglers despite employing some of the best paid security experts in the world.

They were made by senior security analyst Roderick Parkes, who told a stunned meeting of the EU parliament's Security and Defence sub-committee that the only way to tackle people smuggling was for Europe to more openly welcome in migrants.

He told MEPs that the only way to reduce demand for people traffickers is to make sure migrants arriving in Greece and Italy "trust" the authorities to "get them to the right member state". ...

Mr Parkes, whose position has an advertised £65,000-a-year-salary, also openly admitted that gangs of petty criminals had proved "smarter" than his own colleagues.

He told the meeting that the Black Sea could become the next major smuggling route for migrants, adding that there have been "one or two ships coming in via that route", but then admitting: "We haven't been looking very hard."
[Site link]


Border controls – Calais, France
Calais Migrants Launch 'Unprecedented' Attack On Lorry Drivers, British Officials Claim
The Huffington Post, 18 December 2015

Trouble flared in Calais as lorry drivers came under attack from migrants in an "unprecedented" and "organised" disturbance, British officials said.

Truckers forced to slow on motorways near the cross-Channel port had their lorries attacked, with locks broken and roofs slashed as migrants tried to climb inside, witnesses said.

One said that French police used tear gas to try to disperse the crowds but appeared to be "overwhelmed" by the large numbers of migrants. ...

Chris Yarsley, of the Freight Transport Association (FTA), witnessed the scenes and said he was "flabbergasted" by the trouble, which was described as "unprecedented". ...

British freight chiefs believe such trouble impacts heavily on the £89 billion worth of UK trade which passes through Calais annually.
[Site link]


Border controls – e-borders
E-borders delivered most of its aims, Lin Homer tells MPs
Brian Wheeler
BBC, 17 December 2015

The Home Office's £1bn e-borders scheme - seen by many as a costly disaster - has in fact delivered most of its aims, the woman who ran it told MPs.

Lin Homer said it had provided "12 years of continuous improvements" to border security even if progress had been "slower" than she had wanted.

She denied claims by MPs that 80% of the money spent on it was wasted.

Ms Homer, who is now boss of HM Revenue and Customs, was giving evidence to the public accounts committee.

The National Audit Office this week published a highly critical report into e-borders, which was meant to collect and analyse data on everyone travelling to and from the UK before they arrive at ports and airports.

The spending watchdog said checks at Britain's borders remained "highly manual and inefficient", and relied on outdated IT systems.
[Site link]


Border controls – Calais, France
Calais migrants 'armed with iron bars and hammers' launch mass bid to reach UK
Nick Gutteridge
Daily Express, 17 December 2015

Hundreds of Calais migrants "armed with iron bars and hammers" have stormed an area around the Channel Tunnel in a bid to reach Britain, according to reports on social media.

Locals in the lawless port town went online this afternoon to report that a number of migrants brought traffic to a standstill and are storming the entrance to the tunnel.

Squadrons of French riot police, known as the CRS, are apparently at the scene and there were reports of violent clashes in the streets.
[Site link]


Border controls – European Union
Brussels plans to strip Schengen nations of authority over borders
Ian Traynor
The Guardian, 12 December 2015

Brussels is to unveil radical plans to strip national governments of authority over their borders in an emergency and to create a border guards force to police the EU's frontiers, supervise asylum claims, and detain and deport failed asylum seekers.

The controversial response to the immigration crisis is to be launched on Tuesday by the European commission, which is calling for a 2,000-strong European border and coastguard force that could be deployed in an emergency without the approval of the country concerned.

The plan will prove highly divisive among national governments, most of which jealously guard their sovereign powers over border control. But the proposal is backed by Germany and France, giving it a head start in what is likely to be two years of tough bargaining before it could become a reality.

In theory, the new regime and the powers ceded to Brussels over its operation apply to all 26 countries in Europe's free-travel Schengen area, which does not include the UK and Ireland but takes in non-EU countries such as Norway and Switzerland.

In practice, the regime would apply to the external borders of the Schengen area, so would not greatly affect countries such as Germany that are surrounded by other Schengen nations. With more than 1 million asylum seekers arriving in Europe this year and a further 1.5 million predicted for next year, the commission's proposals are directed mainly at Greece and Italy, the main entry points from Turkey across the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas.

Both frontline countries are bitterly opposed to the plan, despite being fed up with bearing the brunt of the influx while also being berated for failing to properly register refugees. ...

The immigration crisis has placed the survival of the 20-year-old Schengen zone into question as never before, with member states engaging in beggar-thy-neighbour policies and ignoring the rules to re-erect national border controls. Last week the first wire fences went up between two Schengen states, Austria and Slovenia.

The EU's "handling of the arrivals of migrants and asylum seekers has been simply disastrous", said the Council of Europe, the Strasbourg-based human rights body that is quite separate from the EU.
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Border controls – terrorism, European Union
EU border agency not looking for terrorists among refugees
Colin Clapson, 5 December 2015

Dirk Vande Rijse, the Belgian who heads the nerve centre of the European border agency in Warsaw, says Frontex does not have any indications that IS terrorists are entering the EU together with refugees.

Frontex, the European border agency, was set up in 2014 as a pan-European border control umbrella. ... ...

Are IS terrorists mingling with refugees? Dirk Vande Ryse says his agency has little knowledge about this situation: "It's not something Frontex is concentrating on. We do not exchange personal information with the judicial authorities."

Frontex has no direct links with investigators looking into terrorism: "I believe we should keep this issue and the issue of refugees separate. It is up to the judicial authorities to clear up this matter."
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Border controls – cost, inefficiency
Home Office borders security scheme is '£1bn waste of money'
Rajeev Syal
The Guardian, 3 December 2015

A security database used to identify potential terrorists entering the UK is breaking down twice a week forcing frontline staff to rely on incomplete intelligence, an official report has revealed.

Independent auditors found that the warnings index system, which was supposed to be dismantled more than 12 years ago, is so unstable that it regularly collapses. The e-borders system which was supposed to replace it in 2011 will not be implemented before 2019 at a cost of more than £1bn, the National Audit Office report has concluded.

The flaws and delays have been disclosed in a scathing inquiry into the e-borders project which was implemented to enhance checks on those entering and leaving the country through ports and airports. Instead, the report has found that details of more than 16 million people a year are not being checked before they reach the border.

Keith Vaz, chair of the home affairs select committee, said the findings showed that the current system was not "fit for purpose" while its replacement had been a "£1bn waste of money".

He said: "The real concern is the warnings index, which with two priority incidents a week is still clearly unfit for purpose. With the terrorism threat level currently at severe, a failure to properly cover millions of people entering the country without having passenger information in advance gives a green light to people who wish to come to the UK for illegal or dangerous activity."
[Site link]


Border controls – shambles
We need to know how migrants get across our border
Stephen Pollard
Daily Express, 2 December 2015

Here's a fact that you might think worthy of discussion: between July and September, 10,156 people claimed asylum in the UK – the highest figure for 12 years and a 64 per cent increase from the 6,203 between April and June.

Let's ignore for now the way any discussion of immigration and asylum is automatically condemned as racist and beyond the pale by the Leftwing thought police.

Focus instead simply on the numbers. Whether having 10,156 people claim asylum is good or bad and whether they are legitimate or false claimants, it goes without saying that the border agencies would have a proper record of how and where people entering the country have arrived and what proportion of them are asylum claimants. So you'd think. But you'd be wrong because that is based on the assumption that the UK Border Agency is fit for purpose.

On Monday it emerged that border officials have absolutely no idea how many people have arrived here from Calais and claimed asylum or how they got here and the port at which they arrived. Not even a clue. According to the Home Office, information on the ports and routes used by migrants to arrive in the UK "is not centrally held".

In other words, at a time when there is ever-worsening chaos in Calais with would-be migrants attempting to find ways into the UK, the Home Office has not the slightest idea how or where those who do arrive on our shores get in, or if they claim asylum when they do make it here. ...

It makes you wonder why we even bother with the pretence that we have borders when no one has any worthwhile information on the most vulnerable and overused ports and points of entry.

Indeed, had it not been for the Daily Express asking the Home Office how many people had entered Britain from Calais and then claimed asylum we wouldn't even know that we didn't know. ...

There are more than 7,000 people in Calais who have only one goal, which is to get here using almost any conceivable method such as climbing on top of, inside and underneath lorries bound for Britain. Were the UK Border Agency not a byword for chaotic inefficiency it would be shocking to discover such a basic failure.

But it is all too predictable. Speaking last year, as he stepped down as chief inspector of borders and immigration, John Vine continued the theme that marked almost all of his 50 reports lambasting the agency for poor management.

In his six years as inspector he revealed the incompetence that enabled half a million people to enter the UK entirely unchecked, meaning that 150,000 migrants who had been refused permission to stay in the UK were still able to remain, having been "lost" by the authorities. ...

... This is not border control, it is a shambles. And it's a shambles that no one in Government or the Border Agency seems to be interested in dealing with.

That has been the story for years and it isn't changing. Which means it is only going to get worse.
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Border controls – lack of statistics
Border shambles: Officials admit they have NO IDEA how many asylum seekers are in Britain
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 1 December 2015

Bungling border officials have no idea how many people have crept into Britain to claim asylum, it was revealed last night.

The Home Office said it could not disclose the ports or routes migrants used to get here because the information "is not centrally held".

Despite the UK being under threat from a wave of illegal immigration, the data is only kept in thousands of hand-written notes.

It means security experts have no firm leads on what parts of our borders are vulnerable to those who will stop at nothing to get here.

The revelation came after the Daily Express demanded to know how many illegal immigrants had made it to Britain via Calais and claimed asylum since the start of the year. ...

Ukip MEP Steven Woolfe said: "The confession that ports of entry data is not available centrally to government ministers who are supposed to make our borders safe is shocking and yet one more example of how we live in borderless Britain. If you can't measure a problem then you can't fix it.

"If the Home Office doesn't ask its immigration officers about ports through which illegal immigrants admit they entered the UK, how can we know which of them are leaky? Which of the ports is a danger to national security? Which need more resources? It's time for the Government to get a grip." ...

A Home Office spokesman said: "We are unable to confirm the port of entry or route an individual has used to enter the UK, as this information is not centrally recorded.

"This information would be held in case notes when an individual makes an initial claim for asylum. In order to produce accurate data on the route of entry that you have specified we would need to manually review the written records taken at an initial asylum interview for every individual who had made an asylum claim during the period you have requested to determine the exact port of entry. Therefore we are unable to comply with your request."
[Site link]


Border controls – terrorism, European Union
Paris attacks 'exploited' by immigration critics, claims Juncker
Matthew Holehouse
Daily Telegraph, 23 November 2015

Opponent[s] of immigration are "exploiting" the Paris terrorist atrocity, Jean-Claude Juncker claimed today, amid mounting evidence that the refugee crisis is being used by Isis to traffic terrorists into Europe.

Days after France announced an indefinite reintroduction of border controls, the president of the European Commission vowed to "fight" to keep the Schengen zone alive and lashed out at "cynics" who had linked the migration crisis to the Paris attacks.

At least two of the Paris suicide bombers, as well as the plots' mastermind Abdelhamid Abaaoud, are believed to have taken the migrant trail from Syria via Greece to Belgium and Paris. Intelligence officials fear "dozens if not hundreds" have slipped through, it was claimed yesterday.

However, writing in a Maltese newspaper, Mr Juncker said he did not accept any connection between the refugee crisis and the risk of terrorism.

"I cannot bear and will not accept an amalgamation of the topics of refugees and terrorism in the wake of the atrocious attacks in Paris. The cynics who exploit the suffering of Paris have not understood that those who perpetrated the attacks are precisely those whom the refugees are trying to flee."

"We will only save Schengen by applying Schengen. I will fight for this. I could not bear that my generation be the one to put up walls again in Europe – we have only just taken them down," Mr Juncker added.

Member states backed France's demand on Friday for every person entering Europe, including irregular migrants and EU-passport holders, to be subject to a full background check on the Schengen counter-terrorism database. The plan had been resisted by the European Commission, which is now tasked with revising the bloc's border code.

The Sunday Telegraph revealed yesterday how the European Commission had appeared to ignore warnings from Frontex, the EU borders agency, that the crisis which has seen hundreds of thousands of migrants cross into Europe was ripe for exploitation by Isil. ...

In a rare admission, Mr Juncker said that measures to crackdown on illegal people smuggling and speed up the registration of migrants should have happened "years ago".
[Site link]


Border controls – European Union
Schengen at risk as France imposes indefinite border controls
Matthew Holehouse
Daily Telegraph, 21 November 2015

The future of Europe's Schengen free travel zone was cast into doubt again on Friday after France declared that it would impose border controls indefinitely in the wake of the Paris massacre.

Bernard Cazeneuve, the interior minister, said France would keep the emergency measures "for as long as the terror threat requires us to do so".

Since last Friday's attacks, checkpoints have been established on major routes between France and Belgium with drivers and passengers subject to passport checks. Passengers have been searched on some cross-border trains, with armed guards patrolling the carriages.

While complying with the letter of the Schengen code which allows emergency border controls, the move is another blow for the free travel zone after Germany, Austria, Denmark and other states resurrected long-abandoned border controls in a bid to control the influx of hundreds of thousands of migrants this summer.

It came as the European Commission bowed to French fury and agreed to rewrite the Schengen code to ensure the systematic security screening of every EU traveller before they can enter the continent – a further erosion of the principle of free movement but something Mr Cazeneuve said was "crucial" to defend against terrorism. ...

Under plans agreed at a meeting of interior ministers, by the end of the year every EU passport holder will be scanned against the Schengen Information System, a computer database used by Britain and other EU states that contains alerts for wanted criminals, terrorists and stolen passports.

At present, EU passport holders are subject to only a cursory visual inspection of a passport, with on average just one in 10 subject to a security check.

All migrants flooding into Europe will be subject to a full SIS and criminal records check, and extra border guards will be deployed to screen them. At present, they are only logged on an asylum database that has no security function. ...

Leaders also agreed to the introduction of Passenger Name Records, a database listing flights taken into and throughout Europe.
[Site link]


Border controls – risk, terrorism
Europe's 'porous borders' increase terror risk, head of Metropolitan Police says
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 17 November 2015

Europe's "porous" borders mean that terrorists could be able to "hide" among migrants coming from Syria, the head of the Metropolitan Police has warned as he criticised the Schengen agreement.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said that in the wake of the Paris terror attacks Europe has a significant "problem" because it has "millions of people wandering through" but only "limited control over the borders".

Asked if he is a fan of the Schengen agreement on open borders, he wants "good strong borders" to ensure that the police and security services can properly assess the risk people pose.
[Site link]


Border controls – European Union
Migration is pushing the EU towards a new crisis
Roger Bootle
Daily Telegraph, 16 November 2015

The European Union is now closer to an existential crisis than at any time in its history.

For once, the issue is not directly economic. Although the financial problems of Greece are still bubbling away, the major threat to the EU is from the mass migration of people, an issue that is likely to come under even greater scrutiny following the attacks in Paris on Friday.

The 1957 Treaty of Rome laid down the freedom of movement of people between member states as one of its central tenets.

The Schengen agreement, allowing passport-free travel among member countries, uniting the workforces of 22 EU member states (not including the UK) plus Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, subsequently took this to its logical conclusion. ...

This has left countries' population levels at the mercy of these flows, thereby having major consequences for their labour markets, welfare systems, public services – and social cohesion.

The recent flood of refugees into the EU poses different problems, but they are nevertheless related. Each member state's own borders are only as secure as those of the member with the most porous borders. ...

While European officials and politicians have been worrying about "completing the single market" or forging a banking union, along has come an issue so overwhelming that it threatens to sweep all this aside. Europe is set to be deluged by an influx of migrants.

Germany is set to admit a million migrants this year alone. But this is nothing compared to the potential flows in the future. According to the UN, over the next 15 years, the population of sub-Saharan Africa is set to rise by almost 50pc – over 400m people – and that of North Africa and the Middle East by 25pc, or 125m people. If even a small fraction of these decide to move to Europe, Europeans have a serious problem. ...

In being outside the Schengen agreement, the UK is shielded from some of the effects of mass immigration. But once new migrants to any other EU country have a European passport, they will be free to move anywhere in the EU.

At the moment, this is not relevant because new migrants are not being given passports. But can European countries contemplate keeping millions of people in a second-tier status for an extended period?

And if a particular EU country finds itself deluged with migrants, the best way it has to relieve the problem may be to issue them with EU passports, allowing them to move freely.

If we are still a country in the proper sense of the word, rather than the Benelux West of an integrated Europe, in a world of mass migration it does seem odd to have relinquished control over our borders. As with so much in our history, we have done this without willing it.
[Site link]


Border controls – European Union
Will Europe prove Angela Merkel's downfall too?
Charles Moore
Daily Telegraph, 14 November 2015

Schengen is a small village in Luxembourg near where its border meets France and Germany. Thirty years ago, most leaders of what was then the European Economic Community gathered there and agreed a plan for a borderless Europe. In 1995, this was implemented. Today, 26 member states of the EU are either members of "Schengen" or committed to becoming so. Only Britain and Ireland opted out. ...

This week, the two most important national leaders in the EU confront what the migration problem means for the future of Europe. Back in September, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, stood up like a sturdy, Teutonic Statue of Liberty and declared that her country would take pretty much the lot, then estimated at 800,000 in the year. Refugees are now entering Germany at an average rate of 10,000 a day. The German people are not pleased. ...

After all, if what will surely amount to more than a million non-European people can come and live in Germany and thereby acquire EU-wide rights, Mrs Merkel is exporting the problem as well as importing the people. Far more of those on the move seem to speak English than German. A significant percentage will probably end up with us in Britain, though we have not been consulted.
[Site link]


Border controls – violence, Calais, France
Someone will be killed in 'lawless' Calais, UK hauliers warn
BT, 13 November 2015

British hauliers fear someone will be killed amid escalating unrest in Calais as migrants grow frustrated at their inability to reach the UK.

Riot police and migrants camped near the northern French port city have clashed this week, resulting in 27 officers suffering minor injuries.

British lorry drivers have been caught up in the unrest and violence, with one haulage boss saying Calais has descended into lawlessness.

Toby Ovens, director of Broughton Transport Solutions, said: "I have no doubt that soon someone will get killed.

"Calais is a lawless place. The police in Calais were just watching immigrants attack vehicles." ...

As winter gets under way, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) said migrants were becoming "increasingly frustrated" at their failed efforts to board UK-bound trucks.

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said ...

He said: "This has become an absolutely untenable situation. We are now getting reports of extreme violent migrant activity on a daily basis."
[Site link]


Border controls – cost, Calais, France
UK taxpayers pay £550,000 a YEAR to help turn Calais migrant camp into mini town
Nick Gutteridge
Daily Express, 4 November 2015

British taxpayers are forking out a staggering £550,000 a year on improvements to a notorious migrant camp in Calais - and could be about to be hit with a bill for MILLIONS more, can reveal today.

The Government has spent the colossal sum on giving migrants at the violence-ridden Jungle II camp "advice and support" as part of a deal struck with French officials.

Huge amounts of cash have been spent on trying to improve the lives of some 6,000 migrants living in Calais despite the fact that almost all of them are making nightly bids to reach Britain.

And the burden on the taxpayer is set to get even worse after a judge ordered the French government to overhaul conditions at the squalid camp, where violence and rape are said to be rife.

Britain could be expected to contribute up to half of the cost of the improvements under a cross-Channel deal signed between Theresa May and her French counterpart Bernard Cazeneuve.

Charities had launched legal action against French president Francois Hollande asking him embark on a huge project of improvements which would include providing hot meals for all of the Jungle Camp's inhabitants.

They also wanted to see 24 water points, 50 toilets and showers, 15 dumpsters and increased access to medical care at nearby Calais hospital for migrants.

Today a judge in Lille ruled in favour of the campaigners, agreeing that the French government is acting illegally with its "permanent violation of fundamental freedoms". ...

It also emerged today that taxpayers have already splurged £550,000 on humanitarian aid to the Calais migrants in the last year alone.

The shocking figure was revealed by immigration minister James Brokenshire, who also said that Britain is signed up to a further £7.2 million of spending over the next two years. ...

"The 2015 Joint Declaration also commits the UK to a further financial contribution of £3.6 million per year for two years to support the French Government in a range of activities to reduce the numbers of migrants in Calais and the incentives for them to stay there." ...

The Government has spend just under £12 million on security improvements at Calais in the last 12 months.

But despite the extra measures the lawless port town is enduring one of its most violent ever periods, with thousands of migrants making nightly bids to reach Britain.

Lorry drivers have spoken how they live in constant fear of being attacked and are now arming themselves with tasers and pepper spray to fend off increasingly violent migrants.
[Site link]


Border controls – entrepreneurs' visas
Call for visa system for entrepreneurs to be overhauled
John McDermott and Kalendra Withanaarachchi
Financial Times, 30 October 2015

Theresa May's immigration advisers have called on the home secretary to overhaul the visa system for entrepreneurs, in the latest criticism of the government's policies towards skilled people seeking work in Britain.

The independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) on Thursday said it had "found substantial evidence of low-quality businesses" established by entrants under the UK's Tier 1 (entrepreneur) visa programme.

The committee said that industry experts rather than civil servants should help select the entrepreneurs admitted to Britain, adding that Ms May should also consider a specific visa for those wanting to establish a start-up. ...

Sir David Metcalf, MAC chairman, said this month that the dedicated Tier 1 route for investors who bought at least £2m of British assets was "absolutely not fit for purpose", and now he has turned his fire on the entry route for entrepreneurs.

That route is open to non-European Economic Area nationals who can prove that they have a total of £200,000 to invest in a UK business, although this can be lowered to £50,000 under certain circumstances.

Since 2008, 13,746 individuals have been granted Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) or Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visas, but according to the MAC report, only 1,580 active companies have been set up by those granted visas.

The MAC found that the route for "graduate entrepreneurs" – those just out of university who want to set up a business – works well.

"By contrast, the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route has a long tail of low-quality projects which contribute little or nothing to UK plc", said Prof Metcalf.

"There is considerable scope to reform the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route," he said, arguing that government should be more selective about which entrepreneurs to admit under the scheme.

A Home Office spokesperson said: "We have taken steps to clamp down on abuse in the Tier 1 routes, but we note that the report shows that there is more to do.

"We will consider the MAC's recommendations carefully and will respond fully in due course."
[Site link]


Border controls – EU, Schengen area
From fingerprints to facial scans: Why the French want biometrics on all EU travellers
Liam Tung
ZDNet, 13 October 2015

France has proposed requiring biometric data from all travellers as they enter the EU's Schengen area.

The French proposal could mean that everyone, including EU citizens, will need to supply fingerprint or facial biometric data to support Europe's Smart Borders systems.

EU civil liberties watchdog Statewatch published the French proposal, which outlines a call to the EC to broaden "the scope of the Smart Borders package for all travellers, also including European nationals".

The letter dated 25 September was sent to the EU's Working Party on Frontiers and was, according to EUobserver, discussed at an interior ministers meeting in Luxembourg on October 8.

The EC proposed the Smart Borders package in 2013 to improve control at the external borders of Schengen member states, which includes most EU states, some non-EU states such as Norway and Switzerland, but not the UK.

As the EC outlines, Smart Borders in conjunction with an entry-exit system and registered traveller programme, would aim to stifle irregular immigration and help flag overstayers and facilitate border-crossing for pre-vetted frequent non-EU nationals travelling to the region. ...

According to France, expanding the biometric program to include EU nationals would improve the return on investment on control systems already in place, since non-EU citizens only account for 43 percent of border crossings.

But the main motivation is the threat from terrorists in the Schengen area and nervousness about the influx of refugees to the EU - as well as about EU nationals who join terror groups such as IS.
[Site link]


Border controls – adoption
Judges rule UK immigration laws can be BYPASSED by Britons ADOPTING foreign kids
Nick Gutteridge
Daily Express, 6 October 2015

Britain's border controls were thrown into farcical mayhem today after top judges ruled people can simply bypass immigration law by ADOPTING people from other countries.

The Government's ability to control immigration from outside the European Union was dealt a hammer blow by the ruling, which effectively means ministers now have no say over how many children enter the UK.

It also means no youngster under the age of 18 can be deported from Britain - even after they become an adult - if it would not be in their best interests to leave. ...

A panel of top judges admitted Home Secretary Theresa May would be "concerned" by their decision, but said the only way to reverse it would be for parliament to change the law. ...

The ruling came when a panel of top judges were deciding a verdict of the case of an 18-year-old Pakistani youth who the Government had been trying to deport.

The youngster arrived in Britain for what was billed as a family visit in 2012 after his parents split up.

He went to live with his 44-year-old aunt and her two sons, but in a "flagrant breach" of immigration controls he outstayed his visitor's visa and refused to return to Pakistan.

When border police tried to deport the boy his aunt applied to adopt him so that he would become a British citizen.

Her application was refused by a senior judge, who ruled the child's father had brought him to Britain under the false pretence of a family visit specifically "for the purposes of adoption".

The youngster lost his appeal against that decision today, but judges made it clear this was only because he had turned 18 by the time his case got to court and was therefore no longer a minor.

And in a ruling set to strike fear into the hearts of Home Office staff they made it clear that, had the boy still been 17, he would have been granted adoption and indefinite leave to remain in Britain.

Lord Justice Sales agreed the boy's continued presence in Britain was a "flagrant breach of immigration controls" but said the law requires family judges to focus exclusively on the welfare of children throughout their lives.

That means legal teams could successfully argue that a youngster facing deportation should not denied adoption because they may face hardship in their country of origin at any point over the course of their life.

Pointing to the "practical benefits" of British citizenship, the judge said acquiring it automatically on adoption would clearly "promote the welfare" of many immigrant children.

He ruled: "It will not be appropriate for a court to refuse to make the (adoption) order as some sort of indirect means of reinforcing immigration controls.

"I can readily see that the Secretary of State for the Home Department might be concerned by this result.

"But if she wishes the courts to have the ability to give greater weight to considerations of immigration policy in the context of deciding whether an adoption order should be made, she will need to persuade Parliament to change (the law) to allow that to happen."
[Site link]


Border controls – Channel Tunnel
Migrants try to enter Channel Tunnel, disrupt cross-channel trains
Reuters, 3 October 2015

Around 200 migrants tried to get into the Channel Tunnel in France overnight, clashing with staff and police and forcing the suspension of rail services, a spokesman for Eurotunnel said.

The disruption was the latest in a series of incidents involving migrants who are camped around the northern French port of Calais in the hope of reaching Britain.

A spokesman for Eurotunnel said around 200 migrants broke into its French terminal and got onto the tracks. Their effort was coordinated and highly organised, forcing the company to call for police reinforcements, he said.
[Site link]


Border controls – Europe
How many are genuine? As Europe locks down its borders, eye witnesses claim fewer than a third of refugees who have made it to Germany are Syrian – and some are even ISIS infiltrators
Sue Reid
MailOnline, 16 September 2015

The scenes followed Chancellor Angela Merkel's declaration that all arriving Syrians should be treated as war refugees, offered asylum and – turning a blind eye to EU rules – not be returned for fingerprinting and registration to the country where they first entered Europe.

Now, the Merkel dream is unravelling: the relentless flow of migrants has overwhelmed the EU mainland. On Sunday afternoon, Germany temporarily shut its borders with Austria, later introducing tougher vetting of migrants. ...

Joachim Hermann, the interior minister of Germany's Bavaria (coping with enormous arrivals from Austria), said stricter rules were needed. 'We have established in the past few days that many en route here are not really refugees,' he said.

'It has got about . . . that you are successful [in claiming asylum] if you pretend to be Syrian.'

Along the well-trodden route from Turkey across the Aegean Sea to Greece, Macedonia to Serbia, into Hungary, Austria and, finally, Germany, there are rising fears that thousands of migrants are blagging their way into Europe as Syrians. ...

'We first realised back in Turkey, when we waited to get a boat to Lesbos in Greece, migrants from other Arab-speaking countries were claiming to be Syrian,' he adds.

'The traffickers were selling them identity cards, either stolen from us Syrians, or faked, ready to show the Germans.'

Trade in these documents – produced by trafficking gangs in forgery factories – is booming. ...

As Fabrice Leggeri, head of the European border agency Frontex, last week told French radio: 'Trafficking in Syrian passports is an extremely lucrative trade for smugglers. People who use them mostly speak Arabic, they may come from Africa or the Middle East, but they have the profile of economic migrants, not refugees.'

He added: 'A lot have fake Syrian papers because they know they'll get asylum in the EU more easily.'

Just this week, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees estimated that only half of the 381,000 people who have landed this year in Italy and Greece – the two main entry points for migrants – are Syrian. Others come from all over the Middle East and Africa.

The proportion of genuine Syrians among the migrants drops further as they make their way northwards towards Europe and more pretenders join in.

By the EU border into Hungary, there are Macedonians, Albanians and Bosnians posing as Syrians, too. ...

On Monday, Ivo Kotevski, of the Macedonia Interior Ministry, said: 'There are so many people travelling through our country that we don't have the capacity to investigate those with fake documents.

'Of the 75,000 who have arrived so far, only 50 have asked for asylum here. They don't want to stay, but to travel into the EU.'

In Serbia, almost 90 per cent of the 3,000 migrants entering their country from Macedonia each day claim to be Syrian, although most have no documents to prove it. ...

And German customs authorities have intercepted packages posted from Bulgaria containing 10,000 fake and stolen Syrian passports, destined to be sold for £1,200 each.
[Site link]


Border controls – Hungary, European Union
Criticising Hungary over its border fence is missing the point
Daily Telegraph, 16 September 2015
[Leading article]

The paralysis in the European Union over how to deal with the migrant crisis is the direct result of an utterly incoherent policy on border controls. Only last week, Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the Commission, said Europe needed stronger efforts to secure its external boundaries. Indeed, the Schengen agreement dispensing with internal frontiers only made sense provided strict controls were imposed on who could come into the EU.

But as the Union expanded to the east and the south, patrolling this lengthening perimeter became almost impossible. One member state - Hungary – has taken Mr Juncker at his word and erected a fence to prevent illegal immigrants entering the EU from Serbia. Yet the Hungarian government is now being denounced by other EU leaders for having done so. If they object to fences, they are surely obliged to explain what securing the EU's external frontiers entails and how they propose to achieve it.

The EU failed to orchestrate any attempt to resolve the causes of the migration, either in Syria or Africa. Moreover, instead of following Britain's lead and helping to improve the lives of the refugees in the camps, the EU has encouraged a mass migration. In particular, Angela Merkel's unilateral decision to invite all-comers to Germany was a catastrophic mistake.

Internal borders are now being reinstated across Europe even as the Hungarians are castigated for putting up an external one. But blaming the Hungarians - or even the British for refusing to participate in a mandatory quota system from which we have an opt-out - is merely displacement activity for an institutional failure of historic proportions.
[Site link]


Border controls – politics
Britain must retake control of borders, urges Tory MP Andrew Rosindell
Herald Scotland, 15 September 2015

Britain needs to retake full control of its borders otherwise it will become "powerless to determine its own destiny", ministers have been warned.

Former shadow Home Office minister Andrew Rosindell has proposed legislation which will repeal all laws that prevent the UK from asserting authority over its borders, in a direct challenge to the European Union.

The Conservative MP for Romford said voters have never given the go-ahead for "open borders" as he insisted they want the Government to be responsible for guarding "land, sea, air and the Channel Tunnel" frontiers.

Mr Rosindell added immigration can be a "good thing for Britain" but only if controlled properly through a managed system which aims to "serve our national interest" and ensure security.

Moving his Borders (Control and Sovereignty) Bill, which received cross-party support, Mr Rosindell said: "I have to tell the House that the clamour of the British people for such an approach is greater now than at any time before and no Government can ignore it."

He went on: "A nation that does not retain sovereignty over its national borders will ultimately be powerless to determine its own destiny."

Mr Rosindell said his proposals would allow the government of the day to implement its policy on immigration. ...

He asked for his Bill to be given a second reading on January 22, 2016, although it is unlikely to become law due to a lack of parliamentary time.
[Site link]


Border controls – Europe, Germany
Germany border crackdown deals blow to Schengen system
Ian Traynor
The Guardian, 14 September 2015

Germany's decision to re-establish national border controls on its southern frontier with Austria deals a telling blow to two decades of open travel in the 26-nation bloc known as the Schengen area.

The abrupt move to suspend Schengen arrangements along the 500-mile border with Austria will shock the rest of the EU and may spur it towards a more coherent strategy to deal with its migration crisis. ... ...

It was the second unilateral decision by the German government in a fortnight. Previously, without telling Brussels, Budapest or Vienna in advance, Berlin announced that given the concentration of refugees in Hungary it was waiving European rules known as the Dublin regulations, which stipulate that people must be registered and lodge their asylum applications in the first EU country they enter.

The decision prompted a sudden surge into German of Syrians looking for safe haven. It elicited huge praise for Germany's humane approach, but ultimately it has proven unmanageable. Sunday's decision to suspend the open borders reverses that move. ...

The system, however, is under strain as never before. About 63,000 asylum seekers have entered Bavaria from Hungary and Austria this month, more than the total for all of last year. More than 12,000 arrived on Saturday and thousands more on Sunday. ...

De Maiziere said the border controls would stop people entering Germany without valid travel documents, putting the onus on transit countries to process them more consistently and piling the pressure on other EU countries before Monday's meeting.
[Site link]


Border controls – European Union
EU backs German border controls, urges backing of migrant plan
Alastair Macdonald
Reuters, 13 September 2015

The European Commission said Germany appeared legally justified in reimposing border controls with Austria on Sunday, saying the move showed the need for EU states to back the executive's proposed plans for refugees.

"The temporary reintroduction of border controls between member states is an exceptional possibility explicitly foreseen in and regulated by the Schengen Borders Code, in case of a crisis situation," the Commission said in a statement.

"The current situation in Germany, prima facie, appears to be a situation covered by the rules."

It added that the executive would keep the situation under review and said the aim would be to return to the normal situation of no border checks between member states of the Schengen zone "as soon as feasible".
[Site link]


Border controls – European Union
German border control plans raise hopes for EU reform
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 21 August 2015

David Cameron's plans to reform the European Union have been boosted after Germany said for the first time that it is prepared to reintroduce border controls to deal with the migrant crisis.

Germany warned that the Schengen zone, which allows passport-free travel across mainland Europe, "cannot exist" if other EU states continue to fail to take their share of asylum seekers.

The prospect of border controls could benefit Mr Cameron's attempts to reform the European Union as it would require major treaty change. ...

Stephen Booth, co-director of Open Europe think tank, said: "The mounting migration crisis inside and outside the EU's borders has the potential to trigger a major rethink about not only asylum policy but policies on free movement within the EU itself.

"While this is all speculative at this stage, after months of the UK being told that EU free movement is not up for discussion, we could see growing political pressure elsewhere in the EU for change on this front.

"This could provide the Government with a more fluid environment in which to make its demands for stricter rules on EU migrants' access to welfare, which would seem pale in comparison."
[Site link]


Border controls – Calais, France
Who, What, Why: What exactly is the UK's National Barrier Asset?
BBC, 30 June 2015

UK Immigration Minister James Brokenshire has said the "National Barrier Asset" will be deployed to the French end of the Eurotunnel to prevent illegal immigration. What is the "asset"?

The National Barrier Asset (NBA) is a collection of temporary security barriers established in 2004 to provide police with the ability "to protect high profile locations or temporary events, such as party political conferences, from vehicle borne suicide attacks". It has since been used for everything from Nato summits to the London Olympics.

In short, it's a large modular fence - about 9ft high (2.7m) - that can be assembled quickly.

Now it is being sent to Calais to try to quell attempts by migrants to cross the English Channel, often in the back of lorries. ...

A Home Office spokesperson said that around 4km of fencing - not the whole length, which is unknown - would be sent to Coquelles.
[Site link]


Border controls – Calais, France
Britain to set up two-mile steel fence to control illegal immigration from Calais
Jeff Farrell
Daily Star, 28 June 2015

Britain is sending a two-mile security fence to France to stop desperate immigrants sneaking over from Calais.

Secretary Theresa May said the move sent a "very clear message" to stowaways that they won't reach our shores.

The metal barrier is designed to help the French stop illegals breaking into lorries bound for the UK.

Workers will erect the fence at the Channel Tunnel terminal at Coquelles and the ferry port of Calais. It comes after hordes of migrants tried to break through border controls last week during a ferry staff strike.

But Mrs May ruled out searches of all vehicles arriving in the UK.

She said: "The vehicles going through at Calais and Coquelles are searched by French authorities and there will be vehicles searched by UK authorities too. We need to send a clear message that people will not be able to get through to the UK."
[Site link]


Border controls
Border Force 'unable to cope' with the influx of migrants, says former immigration chief
Patrick Sawer
Sunday Telegraph, 7 June 2015

The former chief inspector of immigration has warned that a shortage of experienced border staff is leaving Britain exposed to growing numbers of illegal migrants.

John Vine said the Border Force is losing a generation of its most experienced officers as they reach retirement age, robbing the country of their expertise in spotting lorries being used by stowaway migrants.

He spoke after Border Force officers found 53 adults and 15 children during a search of four lorries at Harwich port – one of the biggest groups of illegal migrants to be stopped in recent years. ...

Mr Vine predicted similar incidents would only become more common as the Border Force found itself increasingly unable to cope with the influx of migrants being smuggled across from the Continent by human traffickers.

More than 40,000 suspected illegal migrants were stopped at UK ports and border crossings in the year to April.

Mr Vine said it was not enough to rely on spot checks of the hundreds of vehicles passing through Britain's ports each day, but that at the same the Border Force was losing experienced staff able to spot those lorries which might contain illegal migrants.

He said: "The sheer volume of traffic coming through these ports is such that only a small portion of traffic can be checked without the ports being clogged up. It has to rely on good intelligence."

But Mr Vine added: "When I examined this in 2013 I found a lot of the older, experienced staff were leaving and they weren't being replaced. Experienced staff on the front line will watch and see suspicious behaviour and that's as valuable as the proper use of intelligence.

"There needs to be maintained a good level of experienced staff at ports and borders to deal with this growing problem."

Mr Vine predicted that most of the 68 suspected illegal migrants stopped at Harwich would immediately seek asylum status and spend years in Britain while they applications are dealt with.

"Their claims will be assessed and that could take a long time," he said.

Bernard Jenkins, the Conservative MP for Harwich and North Essex, has called for ferry companies to be held liable for checking whether migrants have smuggled themselves on board, as lorry operators are required to.
[Site link]


Border controls – Calais, France
Calais migrants: More than 18,000 migrants trying to reach Dover detained in Calais this year
Phil Hayes
Dover Express, 3 June 2015

More than 18,000 migrants desperate to reach Dover have been detained in Calais this year, according to French police.

This is more than double last year's rate and a fourfold increase on 2013, The Times reports.

About 3,000 migrants, who have fled war-torn countries such as Syria and Eritrea, are gathered in Calais as they attempt to smuggle themselves into Britain.

More often than not they try to stowaway in lorries bound for cross-Channel ferries to Dover.

Some 2,500 migrants are currently in the so-called New Jungle, which opened in the French port town this year.

Yesterday, as anger mounted in the town, police knocked down migrant tents and squats and moved them to the New Jungle, which is one the fringes of Calais.

It comes after migrants in Calais fought with iron bars on Monday after a tent was set on fire.

The week before one migrant received a gunshot wound when caught in the crossfire of a fight between people smugglers.

Lorry drivers have warned that Calais has become like a "war zone" and the Freight Transport Association says the UK's supply chain could soon be in "serious danger".

Police evicted nearly 400 illegal African migrants from a camp in Paris yesterday. Many said they wanted to reach Britain.

One migrant in Calais told the Times that the UK was "paradise".
[Site link]


Border controls – exit checks
Passport exit checks begin at UK ports and borders
BBC, 8 April 2015

Data on all passengers leaving the UK is being collected and handed to the Home Office under a scheme being phased in at ports and border crossings.

Transport staff are recording details of all travellers leaving by commercial air, sea and rail transport.

The exit checks were set to particularly affect cross-channel ferry and Channel Tunnel travellers.

The government said they were needed to combat illegal immigration and would cause the "least possible disruption". ...

For the first month all passports will be scanned but only 25% of the passport holders will have their details verified to ensure they are genuine, in a bid to minimise disruption.

After a month, there will be a move to 50% verification and by the middle of June 100% verification will be introduced.

Data is being collected on all passengers as they leave the UK on scheduled commercial international air, sea and rail routes.

The government says exit checks are "predominately an immigration and data tool", giving a "comprehensive picture" of whether people leave the UK when they are supposed to.

It says the data - gathered by airline, rail or ferry operator staff - will "improve our ability to identify and further tighten the immigration routes and visas that are most vulnerable to abuse".

It will also help security services "track the movements of known or suspected criminals and terrorists".

School coach parties of European Economic Area children under the age of 16 will be exempt from checks. ...

John Vine, former independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, told BBC Breakfast: "It will enable the government, for the first time in a long time, to have an idea of who's left in Britain, because up until recently it's not been possible for the government to know who's overstayed their visa and who's remained in the country, and they've not known who's here and who's left." ...

The new rules were brought in under the Immigration Act 2014.

The Advance Passenger Information system, introduced in 2004, gives the government information on passengers flying in and out of the UK. The exit checks mean information will now be gathered on people leaving by any commercial transport.
[Site link]


Border controls – immigration, emigration, numbers
Why don't we know how many migrants are entering and leaving the UK? [part 1]
Joseph O'Leary
Full Fact, 8 April 2015

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 298,000 last year. So last year there were 298,000 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 about 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. ...

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.

E-borders was a project first conceived in 2003 aimed at gathering passenger and travel information electronically and using it to help strengthen the UK's border records and security – similar to a system used in Australia.

Starting in 2008, it was expected to gather an increasing proportion of passenger data, culminating in 95% coverage by the end of 2010 /.../ and 100% coverage by 2014. In fact, by 2010 only about 60% of passengers were being recorded and as of November last year about 80% were. ...

... By scanning passports at check-in and departure and making use of other travel information, details such as people's name, age and nationality can be combined with flight number, times and port of departure or arrival.

A survey of a few thousand migrants versus actual passport data on people entering and leaving the country doesn't sound like much of a contest.

Except it is, because while counting everyone in and out is relatively straightforward (though no simple task, as has been found), counting migrants and filtering out everyone else is hard.
[Site link]


Border controls – immigration, emigration, numbers
Why don't we know how many migrants are entering and leaving the UK? [part 2]
Joseph O'Leary
Full Fact, 8 April 2015

Passports provide names and numbers, but they don't tell stories. Your passport doesn't know why you're travelling, how long you're intending to stay, or whereabouts exactly you're planning to stay. So neither do the authorities – unless you happen to be interviewed on your way in or out.

Visas are another potential source of information, and integrating that into an electronic counting system was recommended by MPs last year. That would, of course, be limited to non-EU nationals because EU citizens don't need a visa to enter the UK.

Using the Census every 10 years to help identify migration flows to local areas is another option, but those figures become obsolete very quickly, and the estimates for local areas produced in between are not without accuracy problems of their own.

Because of these limitations, and other problems with implementation, the government has backtracked from its original business case, ... ...

A similar view has since been expressed by the UK Statistics Authority and – after feasibility testing the data itself – the Office for National Statistics. The Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration questioned why the government hasn't realised this sooner: "It was not clear why the language of counting in and counting out had survived in each of the business cases."

As things now stand, the e-borders' project has been terminated. The systems are still there, but they're now referred to as 'Semaphore data' and there are separate systems for enforcement purposes. Still, the coverage isn't comprehensive, and as of last month, rail routes into and out of the UK still weren't being counted at all.

The future for counting is uncertain, but it's not necessarily confined to electronic measurement. One recommendation from MPs last year was the possible creation of a new "routine migrant survey", an option the Home Office investigated back in 2011. That could provide more detailed information on migrants' reasons for coming and what they're contributing to the UK.

For now, though, the government thinks a new survey would be bad value for money, and continues to indicate its commitment towards bringing back full exit checks at the border.

At a February 2015 hearing of the Home Affairs Select Committee the immigration minister, James Brokenshire, confirmed the government's plan to introduce "100% exit checks" before the election. He told the Committee that exit checks for flights were "currently at around 96%" while other checks at other exit points (such as the Eurotunnel) were still to be introduced. ...

However the scope of the programme has recently been clarified by the government. The scope of the exit check programme does not include certain routes, such as the Common Travel Area with the Republic of Ireland and those leaving on private boats and flights.

Achieving full monitoring of both incoming and outgoing passenger traffic has also been complicated by the fact that some transportation companies' IT systems do not facilitate data collection, as well as disagreements with some EU countries about whether they should be mandated to collect and share the information.

It's also been confirmed coachloads of under-16s from school won't be included in the checks.

So even if the remainder of exit checks are introduced on 8 April, they might not have as wide a scope as anticipated.
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Border controls – illegal immigration, France, Calais
Thousands of migrants DUMPED on Britain as French wriggle out of border promise
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 30 March 2015

Thousands of migrants could be dumped on Britain's doorstep if France tears up a historic border agreement, it was claimed last night.

Officials have vowed to do "everything in their power" to wriggle out of a treaty moving the UK border to Calais.

The besieged town's mayor Natacha Bouchart is prepared to spark a major diplomatic row by opening the frontier to a fresh wave of refugees who want to start a new life here.

In an exclusive interview, her deputy told the Daily Express she was redoubling efforts to quit the Le Touquet Treaty, stationing British border security at French ferry terminals. And he said he wished penniless migrants "luck" in getting to Britain.

If the treaty, signed in 2003, is scrapped, they would be free to cross the 21-mile English Channel, raising the spectre of scores of squalid camps along the South Coast.

Deputy Mayor Philippe Mignonet said: "If we have to force the British to transfer to Dover and Folkestone we will.

"Natacha will do everything she can to move the border back. You could put thousands of police around Calais and build a wall around England but it won't change anything.

"Migrants don't fall from the sky – they arrive in Calais to get to England. They've nothing to lose. They want to go to England – whose fault is that?

"They have left everything behind, travelled so many miles and known so many difficulties. It's their dream, so I wish them luck. It is useless to say England doesn't want immigration because still they come."

The treaty sees cross-Channel route checks done before passengers board trains or ferries rather than on arrival. Ms Bouchart claims this has given Calais a global reputation as a waiting room for migrants desperate to reach the UK. ...

Officials seized 19,003 stowaways trying to smuggle themselves into Britain on the back of lorries during the last year - an average of 52 a day.

Experts claim 1.1 million migrants are already in the UK illegally.
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Border controls – France, Calais
UK to face rush of migrants as France opens migrant camp 'Sangatte 2'
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 26 March 2015

Britain has been warned to expect a fresh wave of immigrants after women and children moved to a French refugee camp known as "Sangatte 2".

The decision to turn a holiday camp in Calais into a migrant shelter will cost £6 million a year.

Half is funded by Europe, meaning UK taxpayers are contributing towards the extravagant operation.

Last night, the first jubilant arrivals, who may one day risk their lives to sneak into Britain, slept in purpose-built accommodation.

They will be provided with hot showers and fed by a Michelin-starred chef.

The site next to the ferry terminal is the first permanent shelter to open since the notorious Sangatte camp was shut in 2002 amid rioting and bloodshed.

Although the new camp is initially for women and children, men are allowed to use its facilities which include mobile phone charging stations.

Town hall officials have boasted of offering a "more complete service" than Sangatte, which was run by the Red Cross, including medical and social care.

The Jules Ferry Centre has opened on the orders of Calais mayor Natacha Bouchart who told the Council of Europe the lawlessness blighting her town was Britain's fault.

She said: "We are at the end of our tether and we are suffering the consequences of the custodial role that Britain imposed upon us to guard their frontiers on our territory.

"The English have not evolved concerning the treatment of immigrants in their country."

But last night critics said it would encourage thousands more migrants to flock to the port town to try their luck as stowaways bound for Dover.

At the start of this year around 3,000 migrants had made their way to Calais from war-ravaged countries including Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia and Afghanistan.

Sources say "large numbers" managed to reach the UK.
[Site link]


Border controls – Europe
Germany backs plan to allow EU migrants to travel passport free-through Europe
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 11 March 2015

Britain could be hit with a fresh wave of migrants after Germany said it was ready to allow Romania and Bulgaria to join Europe's passport-free travel area.

The two eastern European countries are on the cusp of becoming members of the Schengen zone.

After that, anyone slipping across the two countries' borders with, for example, Turkey and Ukraine could travel across the Continent unchallenged.

They would not have to show any documents until they reached the English Channel.

The move could open up a passport-free path for illegal immigrants and criminals to move from eastern Europe to the French coast. ...

The Schengen agreement imposes border controls on people entering and leaving the zone, but none once inside the bloc.

It has already been signed by 26 countries, 22 of them EU members. The UK is not a part.

Other members have voiced concerns about Romania and Bulgaria being allowed to join.

Holland insists both countries must tighten their border controls and cut corruption.

France fears such a move could lead to thousands more migrants flocking to its Channel ports.

Nearly 51,000 illegal migrants came into the EU across Turkey's border with Greece, part of the zone.

Criminal gangs from Russia, Turkey and Asia are known to use Romania as a hub.
[Site link]


Border controls – EU migration, employment
Britain has no hope of stopping free movement of migrants, says Foreign Secretary
Daily Express, 9 March 2015

Britain has no hope of stopping free movement of migrants in Europe but can win reform limiting their ability to claim benefits and use facilities such as the NHS, the Foreign Secretary said yesterday.

Philip Hammond said other European Union countries were willing to help meet British concerns - spurred on by their desire for the UK to stay in the bloc.

But he will disappoint hardline eurosceptics by apparently surrendering hope of overhauling the basic principle that EU citizens can travel and work anywhere in Europe.

Mr Hammond, who is seen as one of the Cabinet's most eurosceptic members, also said yesterday he would "not be comfortable" leaving the EU but stressed Britain could stay in only if sufficient reforms were made. ...

Mr Hammond spoke ahead of new regulations being tabled today to stop EU migrants claiming any means-tested British benefits until they have worked here - the latest in a series of government crackdowns on "benefit tourism" by claimants who have not contributed to the welfare system.

Mr Hammond has now visited 25 of Europe's 27 other capitals for talks about EU reforms the Tories will seek if re-elected in May ahead of an in-out referendum by the end of 2017.

The principle of freedom of movement was "very deeply enshrined in the psyche of many of our European partners" and he indicated he did not expect them to drop it.

"But within that principle there is a significant willingness on the part of our partners to work with us to address what they acknowledge is a real problem that Britain faces," he added.

Solutions included making Britain's welfare less accessible and public services less "exposed to abuse", and ensuring the freedom was used as originally meant, to work.
[Site link]


Border controls – Calais, France
Number of migrants sleeping rough in Calais plummets as unprecedented amount make it to UK - including 300 in just one day
Tim Finan
MailOnline, 3 March 2015

The number of UK-bound African and Asian migrants in Calais has dropped by two thirds this winter as unprecedented numbers have succeeded in dodging border police and sneaking into Britain.

On one day alone, Saturday January 17, 300 managed to gain entrance to the Channel Tunnel when chaos ensued after a truck caught fire, it emerged at the weekend.

Hundreds more have succeeded in stowing away on trucks which board ferries linking Calais to the Kent coast. Many more opt for soft touch French Channel ports like Ouistreham and Cherbourg where border controls are less stringent.

The homeless migrants pay Albanian people-smugglers hundreds of pounds to be ferried south of Calais and loaded into lorries at motorway rest areas.

Scores of migrants gained access to the ferry terminal in large numbers this winter when a winter storm blew down security fences and hundreds invaded truck car parks.

Less than 1000 Africans and Asians are now estimated to be sleeping rough in squats and at three open air camps including the notorious 'Jungle 2' close to the ferry terminal.
[Site link]


Border controls – exit checks
New passport checks could bring new queues at the border
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 11 February 2015

Holidaymakers could face queues at Eurotunnel and ferry ports when passport checks on passengers leaving Britain are introduced in early April, MPs have warned. ...

Sir Charles Montgomery, the director general of the Border Force, also told MPs immigration officers have detained 6,000 illegal immigrants in Britain from April to December last year.

Sir Charles confirmed the technology being used to carry out exit checks has yet to be finalised with just eight weeks to go. ...

The checks will involve operators recording passport information on all travellers and passing the details on to the Home Office, which will use the details to identify immigration offenders.
[Site link]


Border controls – EU database
Blighty quietly signs deal to read giant EU border control database
Jennifer Baker
The Register, 11 February 2015

The UK is to gain access to the EU's massive border control database under a new agreement signed in Brussels on Tuesday.

According to the Home Office, "more foreign terrorists, murderers and paedophiles will be kept out of the country" thanks to the deal agreed at the General Affairs Council, a meeting of interior ministers from across the EU.

The Schengen Information System (SIS II) database is a record of "persons of interest" including wanted criminals, suspected terrorists, missing people and third-country nationals who are not entitled to enter or stay in the Schengen Area, and "persons sought to assist with a judicial procedure" (in other words, witnesses). ...

The database includes information on 37,000 European Arrest Warrants and 60,000 missing children and vulnerable adults. Warnings from other countries will automatically appear on Blighty's Police National Computer and on border watch lists. ...

The database also includes 40 million alerts on identity documents, three million on vehicles, and eight million on other lost or stolen items.

The UK will officially join the system on 13 April.
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Border controls – Calais, France
Calais mayor to open yet ANOTHER camp for migrants amid fears the new site will cause more problems for drivers bound for Britain
Christian Gysin
Daily Mail, 7 February 2015

The Mayor of Calais has demanded that hundreds of migrants in a squalid camp are moved to a comfortable new tented area.

Natacha Bouchart has previously warned that migrants in the town are 'prepared to die' to reach Britain and its generous benefits.

But there are fears the new campsite – close to the port where many try and board lorries heading for Kent – will cause more problems for drivers and British border staff. ...

Labour's immigration spokesman David Hanson MP, who last year spoke of seeing 'tents on roundabouts' and 'bedspreads in bus shelters' in Calais, said migrants should be stopped from entering France.

He added: 'It is important the French authorities take action to identify who it is who comes to Calais and then determine whether or not they have a legitimate claim for asylum or refugee status or whether they are illegal immigrants ... This problem won't go away till France takes this responsibility seriously and whatever they are doing in providing accommodation is a sticking plaster for a clear French failure.'
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Border controls – Calais, France
Calais migrants use Facebook to sneak into UK
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 30 January 2015

Hundreds of smartphone-savvy refugees are using online forums to outwit security protecting the port.

They are invited to charge their phones at a newly opened EU-funded camp dubbed Sangatte II and have bragged of accessing wi-fi codes.

The internet lets them create interactive maps reporting the location of police patrols and where best to stow away on trucks bound for Dover.

They can also communicate with those who have smuggled themselves across the Channel already.

Evidence the army of migrants is more organised than thought comes after officials at the camp boasted they were offering "a more complete service" than the original Sangatte that closed amid riots in 2002.

Syrian migrant Ahmad, 30, said Facebook was an invaluable tool, adding: "How to get from one place to another, which train to take, the number of someone locally who can help, or even to borrow money... information changes hands quickly.

"I have myself helped many people who I've never seen.

"From Italy onwards, if you haven't got a precise plan, you start to research with the Syrian communities of France, Germany, England, or anywhere else.

"What's most important is the internet – you can talk to the whole world.

"When I arrived at Calais other Syrians gave me two wi-fi codes."

The 3,000 migrants in Calais are so adept at social networking that they communicate using Skype, Facebook, WhatsApp and Viber.

Last year 19,003 stowaways were seized trying to get to Britain.

The Government has pledged £12 million to the French and donated miles of security fencing used at last year's Nato summit in South Wales.

Last night Ukip MEP Janice Atkinson said: "We warned if you build it they will come and they arrive increasingly in their thousands.

"The French government is doing nothing to reverse the tide but the very opposite, providing ever more practical support for people trying to enter Britain illegally.

"Now we have the dangerous farce of migrants using sophisticated technology."
[Site link]


Border controls – Calais, France
French farce over immigration is no laughing matter
Stephen Pollard
Daily Express, 16 January 2015

I've just come back from a few days in a popular upmarket holiday camp.

It cost me an arm and leg, but the kids loved it and I figured it was money well spent. Until, that is, I learned of a new camp development in France.

It's a multimillion pound project, costing £3 million to update a former children's summer camp with brand new beds, showers and modern kitchens, and £4.3 million a year to run.

It's set in 12 acres of parkland and has three football pitches and a tennis court.

It will soon be able to house up to 500 people but at mealtimes can already cope with 1500. It sounds great, doesn't it?

And it's just a short hop across the Channel to get to Calais. And best of all: it's free. You might have read about it in yesterday's Daily Express.

Not in the travel pages, as you might expect, but in the news pages. You see it's not a camp designed for the likes of you and me to visit.

And although it's free for those who do use it, it's certainly not free for the rest of us.

I'm talking, of course, about the new Jules Ferry migrant camp that's been built outside Calais - paid for with a £3 million grant from the EU, which means money from British taxpayers. And the EU will be covering half the annual running costs. Here we go again.

You might have thought that the French had learned their lesson from the Sangatte camp, which was a magnet for thousands of migrants before it was closed down in 2002. Clearly not.

Jules Ferry is built slap bang next to the port in Calais, where there are already hundreds of illegal immigrants who try every day to hop on to lorries crossing the Channel to Britain.

Obviously the French think their own migrant problems near the Channel aren't bad enough - so they've built a camp to attract even more to the area.

And they're doing their level best, it seems, to make our illegal immigrant problems even worse.

It's beyond satire - and a repeat of the past.

Instead of clamping down on the illegals, they've been built a camp where they can rest and entertain themselves in between attempts to cross the Channel into Britain. ...

As things stand, there are already around 2,500 migrants in Calais. But that number is certain to increase as word of the camp spreads.

We know exactly what's going to happen, because it's happened before and will happen again.

When the French built Sangatte, not a day passed without asylum seekers and illegal immigrants stowing away and crossing the channel via the tunnel.

Originally designed to hold 500, the number soon rose to over 1,200, with about 400 attempting to stow away each night. Between its opening in October 1999 and closure in December 2002, over 67,000 people passed through Sangatte.

And all under the blind eye of the French government, which refused to exercise proper control. Deliberately.

Because once the refugees escaped they became a British problem. That's what will happen again. That's what is meant to happen again. It's how the French government works.
[Site link]


Border controls
Guns and drugs smuggled into Britain by post
Tim Ross
Sunday Telegraph, 4 January 2015

Guns, ammunition and drugs are being smuggled into Britain by air freight, sea ferries, and even parcel delivery services, a major government report has warned.

The study, ordered by the Prime Minister, warned that key aspects of border security are struggling to cope with the "significant" threats to the UK from criminal gangs, illegal immigrants, and terrorists.

MPs described the findings as "extremely worrying" and evidence of "chaos" in Britain's border defences.

The report on the National Security Strategy and the Strategic Defence and Security Review was released quietly as parliament broke up for Christmas.

It gives the government's most up to date assessment of progress made in combating a wide spectrum of threats to national security.

Some of the most alarming details concerned the range of illicit goods being smuggled across the border by international criminal networks. ...

"Immigration crime still poses a significant threat to the UK. Organised criminals continue to facilitate illegal immigration into the UK by air, land and sea.

"Cross-border human trafficking persists as a threat for the UK. Organised criminals smuggle varied illicit commodities across UK borders using fast parcel delivery, air freight, container traffic and roll-on/roll-off ferry services."

The report concluded with a scorecard rating the government's overall performance against eight key national security and defence "tasks". It found that the UK's border security system had one the worst records during the past 12 months. ...

Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons, said: "The report is extremely worrying. It raises more questions than it answers about the extent of border security.

"Given the types of crimes and criminal activity that has been mentioned and the numbers involved, it is essential that the government takes action to close what appear to be a number of loopholes.

"The Committee will certainly want further information from the government about those areas that deal with the border and we will be expecting fuller details as to where these problems lie."

Mr Vaz criticised the way the report was released, amid an avalanche of government documents on the final day before the Commons broke up for Christmas.

"We have got an interest in this and I have not received a copy of this report," he said.

"Because of the public's concern about migration and the need for a secure border, releasing information in this way does not help with the need for greater transparency and openness."
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Britain is home to one in five new European citizens
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 2 July 2015

One in five foreigners granted citizenship in Europe in 2013 live in Britain, new figures have shown.

More than 207,000 foreign nationals successfully applied to become naturalised British citizens in 2013 – more than 560 a day – at a level second only to the 225,000 who won citizenship in Spain.

Eurostat, the EU's official statistics agency, showed a total of 985,000 foreigners were given citizenship across Europe in the year.

It means the UK accounted for a fifth of the European total, intensifying concerns that Britain is too generous to foreign applicants when compared with other EU states.

Lord Green of Deddington, the chairman of MigrationWatch which campaigns for tougher immigration rules, said the figures were a "clear outcome of mass immigration" to Britain over more than a decade.

It is the first time an international comparison has been published showing just how many people were granted citizenship during the year, which recorded the highest number of new British citizenships since records began in 1962.

The Government has since tightened up requirements for settlement in Britain – the precursor to fully-fledged citizenship – leading to citizenship numbers falling by 40 per cent to just under 126,000 last year.

The new report comes after a watchdog raised serious concerns about the Government's checks on citizenship applications in this country.

John Vine, the former Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, said last December that violent foreign thugs have been granted British citizenship on a "no questions asked" basis due to errors by borders bureaucrats.

One immigrant was given British citizenship even though he admitted stabbing someone to death in his home country, after an official neglected to read his notes.

Only three per cent of applications for citizenship were refused in 2013.

Under current legislation, applicants must show that they are of good character, speak English, meet the residence requirements and not have breached immigration rules. ...

In comparison to Britain's 207,500, France granted citizenship to just over 97,000 while in Germany the figure was 115,000.

Eight per cent of the British total were nationals from other EU states who had opted to become UK citizens, mainly eastern Europeans.
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Citizenship – numbers
Sharp fall in number of foreigners winning British passports
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 1 April 2015

The number of foreigners winning British citizenship has plummeted to the lowest level since 2002, new figures have disclosed.

Analysis of official data by Oxford University showed just under 126,000 foreign nationals were awarded citizenship - thus entitling them to a British passport – in 2014, a fall of 40 per cent year-on-year.

The previous peak was 208,000 following many years of large increases under Labour.

The university's Migration Observatory think-tank said the recent fall was partly due to the "pool" of potential applicants being smaller than in previous years.

Although the study provides no analysis of the effect of Government policy on the numbers, it is likely to mean the Coalition's immigration policies have begun to have a noticeable impact on citizenship figures.

"In 2014, 125,800 foreign citizens naturalised as British citizens," said the study by Dr Scott Blinder.

"This was a 40 per cent decline from 2013, when citizenship grants reached almost 208,000, the largest annual number since records began in 1962.

"According to the Home Office the 2013 peak in citizenship grants followed an increase in applications in advance of changes to language requirements.

"Lower numbers of citizenship applications are also consistent with recent decreases in grants of settlement ... which will have reduced the pool of people newly eligible to apply for citizenship."

The largest group was Indian nationals, who made up 17 per cent of new British citizens last year or more than 36,000.

The second largest group was Pakistanis (10 per cent, or 22,0000).

British nationality handed to Poles and other eastern Europeans whose nations joined the EU in 2004 jumped 855 per cent from 2009 to 2013, the report said.

In all, 8,300 became British in 2013 compared with just 869 in 2009.

Half of naturalisations as British citizens were by migrants who have lived here for the required five years plus one additional year as a "settled resident".

The other half is divided between spouses or civil partners of British citizens, and children.
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Citizenship – Poles
General election 2015: The growing impact of the Polish vote
Sanchia Berg
BBC, 14 February 2015

Growing numbers of Polish residents in the UK are applying for British citizenship, allowing them to vote in the upcoming general election. In some marginal constituencies, their votes could make a difference.

In the 2010 general election, Labour held their seat in the constituency of Southampton Itchen by just 192 votes, with the Conservatives second.

When the UK votes again this May, only the slightest swing would see a Tory victory - meaning the area's Polish-born residents, numbering 2,292 in the 2011 census, could be a deciding factor in the outcome.

And while official figures suggest the number of Poles getting British citizenship across the UK remains relatively low - with 6,066 applying in 2013, compared to more than 800,000 residents - anecdotally this is changing.

Many in the Polish community say the numbers have risen sharply. Fuelled by worries about an EU referendum and its potential consequences for them, growing numbers want to vote.

This certainly seems to be the case in Southampton Itchen. Every Polish person I meet says they have applied for British citizenship themselves, or know friends who have put in an application. ...

A survey of Poles in the UK last year, conducted by Ipsos Mori and the Polish City Club, found that 40% of Polish migrants would like to gain UK citizenship - with 72% saying they wish to stay "permanently" in the UK.

If more Poles are seeking citizenship and the right to vote this could affect constituencies around the country, and in particular across the capital. According to the 2011 census, the constituencies with the biggest Polish populations are the London seats of Ealing North, with 8.5%, and Ealing Central, with 6.5%.

Elsewhere, 6% of the population in the Slough constituency are Polish, with 5.5% in Luton South.
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Crime – deportation
Outrage as Government fails to deport nearly HALF of foreign criminals
David Maddox
Daily Express, 24 December 2015

Thousands of foreign criminals the Government wants to deport have been allowed to stay in Britain.

In another blow to their immigration policy, ministers have been forced to admit that, since April 2013, of 26,509 convicted foreigners referred for deportation, only 13,250 were actually kicked out of Britain.

The latest Home Office figures coincide with the introduction of a new system in May 2013 which aimed to increase the deportation of foreigners in UK jails.

Each inmate costs the taxpayer around £40,000 a year. ...

According to a written answer to Tory MP Adam Afriyie, the UK tried to deport 10,786 foreign criminals – including rapists and murderers – but only succeeded in sending home 5,118 in 2013/14.

In 2014/15, only 5,277 out of 10,461 were deported and this year, up to September, only 2,855 out of 5,262. ...

But immigration minister James Brokenshire said many criminals did not meet deportation requirements.

He said: "While we aim to deport foreign offenders at the earliest opportunity, not all of those referred to the Home Office will meet the deportation threshold, some may later be confirmed as British or exempt from immigration control and some will be successful at appeal."

He said the changed system from 2013 recorded all referrals for deportation, even criminals who did not meet the requirements, and therefore reflected in increase in numbers.
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Hundreds arrested in police crackdown on suspected foreign criminals
Brett Gibbons
Birmingham Mail, 22 December 2015

More than 700 people were arrested and 550 vehicles seized during a West Midlands Police-led national crackdown on suspected foreign offenders across the UK.

Operation Trivium was launched from a command centre in Birmingham and linked to European forces and associated agencies.

The operation, which ran from November 23-27, resulted in 97 arrests, 206 vehicles seized and 1,267 vehicles stopped in the West Midlands.
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Crime – sham marriages
Exposed: The £6k-a-time sham marriage fixers enabling Asian men to stay illegally in Britain
Simon Wright and Ed Wight
Sunday Mirror, 20 December 2015

Greedy Marta Musial beams with joy as she arranges another sham marriage enabling Asian men to stay illegally in Britain.

Housewife Musial, 35, sat opposite an undercover Sunday Mirror investigator believing she was set for another hefty payday by offering up a bride from her native Poland.

She is the Mrs Big behind a scam which has netted her and other fixers tens of thousands of pounds.

Musial, who was paid to marry someone herself, pairs foreign men living here on temporary visas with Polish women paid £6,000 a time to dupe the authorities into believing the marriage is genuine.

Because Poland is inside the EU, the men are then able to work here, claim benefits and use the NHS.

And there is no shortage of men from India and Pakistan prepared to fork out for the fixer's services.

In a month-long investigation, reporters posing as friends of potential Polish brides were told by Musial that would-be husbands would pay for plane tickets to the UK, clothes, cosmetics, even cigarettes.

The women, many of whom speak no English, are told they must masquerade as a genuine wife for just three months "in case the Home Office checks up on you".

They have to live with their husband, post pictures on social media and lie to the authorities that they are in love. ...

Dozens of fixers are thought to be involved in the bridal trade, conducted via online adverts.
[Site link]


Crime – police, "no-go" areas
'Trump's not wrong – we can't wear uniform in our OWN cars': Five police officers claim Donald Trump is RIGHT about parts of London being so 'radicalised' they are no-go areas
Martin Robinson
MailOnline, 10 December 2015

Serving police officers today backed Donald Trump's claim that some Muslim communities in the UK are no-go areas because of extremism.

Several Met officers have said the 'Islamification' of some parts of the capital requires 'extra vigilance' and they can't wear uniforms for safety reasons - despite Scotland Yard claiming the tycoon 'couldn't be more wrong'.

Home Secretary Theresa May tonight rejected Mr Trump's claims, insisting: 'The police in London are not afraid to go out and police the streets.'

The US presidential contender caused worldwide consternation yesterday after a string of incendiary remarks about Muslims, including in Britain, and said: 'We have places in London and other places that are so radicalised that police are afraid for their own lives.'

But one serving officer said today Trump had 'pointed out something plainly obvious, something which I think we aren't as a nation willing to own up to'. ...

But one serving officer in west London said: 'Islamification has and is occurring', adding: 'You have to have extra vigilance in certain parts when you are working'. ...

A Lancashire Police officer told MailOnline: 'There are Muslim areas of Preston that, if we wish to patrol, we have to contact local Muslim community leaders to get their permission'. ...

One officer from Yorkshire said on the online forum Police.Community: 'I'm not allowed to travel in half blues to work anymore IN MY OWN CAR as we're 'All at risk of attack' - yet as soon as someone points out the obvious it's 'divisive.'

He added: 'In this instance he (Trump) isn't wrong. Our political leaders are best either ill-informed or simply being disingenuous.

'He's pointed out something that is plainly obvious, something which I think we aren't as a nation willing to own up to /.../'
[Site link]


Crime – police
Police failing to protect victims of 'honour-based' violence, finds study
Damien Gayle
The Guardian, 8 December 2015

Police are not doing enough to protect victims of "honour-based" violence (HBV), forced marriage and female genital mutilation, according to a report by the police watchdog.

The first report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) on forces' responses to the set of crimes, which disproportionately affect women from ethnic minorities, found that only three of the 43 forces in England and Wales were adequately prepared in all areas to respond to the needs of victims and take cases through to prosecution. ...

HMIC's report raised concerns about the identification, recording and flagging of cases on police computer systems. Some forces had very limited or no capability at all to flag cases. "Without accurate data, the scale of the problem and the effectiveness of the police response to it cannot be properly assessed," the report said. "More importantly, victims may be placed at risk if the context of their records is not clear." ...

In separate research conducted by academics from the University of Bristol and published alongside the HMIC report, victims of HBV said police often found it difficult to understand their situations. One said that it seemed that officers were afraid of appearing as though they were racist.
[Site link]


Crime – electoral fraud
Nuttall: Asians Importing Alien Voting Practices
LBC, 6 December 2015

UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall says that he feels South Asian communities are "importing alien voting practices" into this country.

"I have never in my life, let's not forget that I have been at the centre of over 20 by-elections and I have never seen anything like in Oldham when it came to postal voting," he told LBC's Stig Abell.

UKIP failed to take Oldham from Labour in Wednesday's by-election. They have expressed concerns over some of the postal voting. ...

"When you have got boxes coming out of a particular community that are 95-100% Labour you've got to say something is wrong."

"Let's not forget that the election commission last year listed 16 areas which were susceptible to electoral fraud and Oldham was one of those areas."

"In fact every single one of those areas has a high south Asian population. I think we have got to do something with a form of representation that allows postal voting on demand, [and] has lead to Tower Hamlets has lead to Birmingham has lead to fraudulent practices."
[Site link]


Crime – female genital mutilation
Rise in FGM linked to migration: thousands of 'cut' teenage girls are 'tip of the iceberg'
Tom Batchelor
Daily Express, 3 December 2015

Thousands of cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) are being recorded across the UK every year, shocking new figures show.

In the three months to September, 1,385 newly recorded cases of FGM were reported. ...

The figures suggest there could be more than 5,000 NEW cases of FGM in the UK every year. ...

A separate study found nearly 10,000 girls under the age of 14 living in England and Wales have undergone FGM.

Figures compiled by City University London and Equality Now found that the number of women with FGM have increased substantially since 2001, especially due to migration from countries in conflict.
[Site link]


Crime – bogus marriages
Immigration officers raiding SEVEN sham weddings a day
Matthew Davis
Sunday Express, 29 November 2015

Immigration officers are raiding almost seven "sham weddings" a day as the number of people arrested over bogus ceremonies has doubled for the second year in a row.

Statistics reveal that despite raiding more and more ceremonies officials are in danger of being swamped by a huge rise in bogus unions.

Last year there were a total of 3,210 reports from registrars concerned they were being asked to preside over a marriage of convenience.

The number of these suspicious marriages reported by officials is almost double the number it was just three years ago.

Critics of the current system say criminal immigrants are making a mockery of our legal system by tying the knot in fake marriages so they can legally live and work in the UK.

A non-EU citizen who gets married to an EU resident not only has the right to stay in Britain, but it also extends to their children, grandchildren, parents and grandparents, piling huge extra pressure on public services.

Often the bride and groom are brought together by criminal gangs who charge hundreds of pounds to set up the deal, often using so-called "away day" brides brought in from Eastern Europe who are paid to marry a non-EU migrant.

Latest figures from the Home Office show there were a record 2,486 enforcement visits at weddings last year, up 96 per cent from 2013 and more than three times the 735 visits that were made in 2012.

The numbers arrested have also spiralled from 310 in 2012, to 721 in 2013 to last year's figure of 1,541.

Sham marriages are increasingly popular among immigrants because anyone who enters a bogus relationship successfully can use it to stay in Britain for five years and eventually obtain citizenship.

Under EU rules, they can then apply for permission to bring in their extended family.

In a report published last year Labour MP Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee said the situation was "spiralling out of control".
[Site link]


Crime – fish
Britain's rivers becoming hotbed of crime as organised gangs steal fish on a huge scale
Tom Bawden
The Independent, 28 November 2015

Britain's rivers are becoming a hotbed of crime as organised gangs are stealing fish on a huge scale and eastern European migrants catch pike to feed their families, a leading "fish policeman" has said.

The Angling Trust's chief investigator Dilip Sarkar said the crime was hurting businesses, fuelling racial tension and increasing the pressure on Britain's dwindling stocks.

"Organised crime has been having it away for years undetected and under the radar, happily getting on with it," said Mr Sarkar, a retired policeman and lifelong angler.

But in recent years the homegrown crime syndicates, which focus on smuggling giant carp from France into the UK and selling them for a fortune, have been joined by fishing lawbreakers from eastern European countries such as Poland and Lithuania.
[Site link]


Crime – benefit fraud, phantom voters
Rise in 'phantom voters' leading to benefits fraud
Sunday Telegraph, 25 October 2015

Slack rules on registering to vote are being exploited by criminals and fraudsters, a Government review has found. Sir Eric Pickles, the anti-corruption champion, said there was "growing evidence" that people who falsely join the electoral register go on to commit benefit fraud.

The former cabinet minister said: "Taxpayers are being ripped off. The crime by phantom voters may be invisible but everyone is paying for it."

He called for reforms so that people register to vote by providing proof of identity. However, new laws introducing individual registration are opposed in the House of Lords by Labour and the Liberal Democrats.
[Newspaper link]


Crime – deportation
Exclusive: UK kicked out 1,800 foreign offenders last year - but some were allowed to stay
Tom Batchelor
Sunday Express, 18 October 2015

Almost 2,000 foreign rapists, murderers and paedophiles have been booted out of the UK over a 12 month period - but HUNDREDS of those have launched eleventh-hour legals challenges to reverse their deportation at a huge potential cost to the taxpayer.

The audacious bid by more than 400 dangerous crooks to remain in the UK, despite having carried out heinous crimes on British soil, could have cost the public purse thousands of pounds in administration and legal fees.

Shockingly, more than a dozen foreign national offenders have still been granted to the right to stay in the UK on human rights grounds, despite committing despicable crimes. ...

Home Office figures quietly released this week and seen by show a total of 1,780 foreign-born criminals were deported between July 2014 and August this year.

Of those, 426 appealed against their deportation, while 13 were successful.

The figures cast a spotlight onto the new 'deport first, appeal later' rules that came into force last summer.

Once a decision has been taken to deport a foreign criminal, the offender must lodge any appeal from outside the country.

The Home Office says the rules are intended to stop the delaying tactics employed by some foreign criminals.

Ministers said previously it was "commonplace for criminals to submit to the court reams of new, unconsidered 'evidence' creating legal delays while government lawyers studied the new paperwork".

Home Office minister James Brokenshire hailed the new figures showing just 0.7 per cent of appeals were successful, saying the new rules allowed officials to kick out foreign offenders "more quickly and more efficiently than ever before". ...

Yet still, as many as 12,000 foreign criminals are still thought to be living in the UK.

Figures published for the first time in 2014 showed there were more than 700 murderers and 500 rapists living in the country, with the top home nation being Jamaica.

Close to 1,000 Nigerians and more than 600 Poles are also living in Britain on a criminal record.

In January, a report from MPs on the Committee of Public Accounts warned that more than 150 violent foreign offenders were allowed to continue living in Britain, despite the tough new rules.

It also found more than 700 foreign criminals were on the run in the UK, with MPs branding the "dysfunctional" system a "complete failure".
[Site link]


Crime – migrant trafficking
Europe's police see new migrant trafficking links in established crime networks
Lori Hinnant
The Republic, 15 October 2015

Organized crime networks are making new connections as they jump into the lucrative business of smuggling migrants, the operations chief for Europe's top law enforcement agency said Thursday.

Fighting them has become a major preoccupation for European investigators, said Wil van Gemert, Europol's deputy director for operations.

"In trying to transport people from one place in southern Europe to the north of Europe ... organized crime groups are linking to each other. Part of them are responsible for the first transfer into, let's say, Germany, and then onwards to Sweden," van Gemert told The Associated Press. ... ...

Advertising on social networks and web links, the networks promise safe passage to Austria, Germany, Sweden and Norway, said Gerald Tatzgern, head of Austria's federal unit combatting human trafficking. ...

The syndicates from throughout Europe, with backgrounds in drugs, money laundering or other illicit trade, cooperate in moving people northward. And, with no political agreement in Europe on how to cope with the human tide, the refugees see few options.

"They are so many that the human smugglers just open doors of cars for example, or lorries, and say 'If you don't pay me enough, go away. I have hundreds of thousands willing to be smuggled,'" Tatzgern told AP.
[Site link]


Crime – sex crimes, Islam, Germany, Sweden
More horrible than rape
David P. Goldman
Asia Times, 14 October 2015

The body of a 20-year-old Syrian woman, "Rokstan M.," was unearthed from a shallow grave in the small Saxon town of Dessau last week. Her father and brothers stabbed her to death on her mother's orders, after she was gang-raped by three men. The rape left her "unclean" and the mother allegedly demanded the killing to restore the family's honor. German police are seeking the father and brothers. That by itself is not newsworthy; what is newsworthy is the news itself, which appeared in not one of Germany's major daily newspapers or websites. ...

... Her story deserves a line or two in the quality press. But it's one of many that German leaders want to ignore.

Political leaders in Germany – which may absorb 1.5 million migrants this year – are struggling to respond to reports of a sex crime epidemic among newly-arrived Muslims. ...

Germany's elite knows perfectly well that the migrants bring social pathologies, because they have already seen the world's worst sex crime epidemic unfold in Scandinavia. ...

Even in liberated, feminist, gender-neutral Sweden, there is something more horrible than rape, something horrible enough to persuade the political elite to sacrifice the physical and mental health of tens of thousands of Swedish women. That is the horror of social disintegration in the Muslim world. ... ...

The incidence of rape in Sweden has tripled in the past ten years as the country became Europe's premier destination for Muslim immigrants. Writing for the Gatestone Institute, Ingrid Carlqvist and Lars Hedegaard observe,

Since 2000, there has only been one research report on immigrant crime. It was done in 2006 by Ann-Christine Hjelm from Karlstads University. It emerged that in 2002, 85% of those sentenced to at least two years in prison for rape in 2002 were foreign born or second-generation immigrants.

A 1996 report by the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention reached the conclusion that immigrants from North Africa (Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia) were 23 times as likely to commit rape as Swedish men. The figures for men from Iraq, Bulgaria and Romania were, respectively, 20, 18 and 18. Men from the rest of Africa were 16 times more prone to commit rape; and men from Iran, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia, 10 times as prone as Swedish men.

A new trend reached Sweden with full force over the past few decades: gang rape – virtually unknown before in Swedish criminal history. The number of gang rapes increased spectacularly between 1995 and 2006. Since then no studies of them have been undertaken.

Sweden not only stands by while large number of its women are raped, but outlaws public discussion of the causes. ...

Why should Sweden inflict such damage upon itself and criminalize dissent against the policies which caused it? Ideology can't be the whole explanation. Sweden is committed to a postmodern multicultural ideology, to be sure, but other ideologies have a voice, feminism. Yet the feminists are mute on the subject of Sweden's rape epidemic. That is not because feminists condone rape, but because they believe that there is something even more horrible than rape.
[Site link]


Crime – corruption, electoral fraud
Dominic Grieve claims electoral fraud growing in immigrant areas
Randeep Ramesh
The Guardian, 7 October 2015

Dominic Grieve, the former attorney general, has said fraud at elections is a "growing phenomenon" in Britain that is taking place in communities "in which there is a tradition of electoral corruption and fraud in their home countries".

Speaking at a fringe meeting at the Conservative party's annual conference, the senior Tory warned that although it had affected Labour mainly, as his party became more successful it too would be blighted. Grieve said electoral fraud is found "where there are high levels of inhabitants from a community in which there is a tradition of electoral corruption in their home countries". ...

Grieve wants Northern Ireland-style checks to be brought in to combat fraud – which would mean voters having to produce identification papers to register their intention to vote by post and having to justify their decision to the authorities.

He said: "I am puzzled why there is so much resistance in the political class for these changes. I know we want to maximise the number of people who vote. I am all in favour of that. But there is no point in creating a fake participation that masquerades as the real thing."

Although in the past he apologised for singling out the British Pakistani community, Grieve said it was not about any one group. He cited evidence from the electoral commission earlier this year that said all the main political parties had been accused of exploiting networks within British Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities to harvest votes. ...

Grieve said a victim culture was at the root of the problem, where communities felt they could overcome society's "disadvantage" to get political power.

This, he said, was at the "very root of electoral corruption. It is the belief that you can only by using a 'favours culture' and manipulating the system get the outcome which reflects your status as a group within a community. That is why it is so important that, as politicians in a democratic society, we should speak out against it because it is insidiously corrupting. Once you get into the habit of this then another group will say they are disadvantaged unless they start behaving in a similar manner."
[Site link]


Crime – people smugglers
Migrant crisis fuelled by 1,000 British people smugglers orchestrating operations
Martin Bagot
Mirror, 29 September 2015

Around 1,000 Brits are involved in the people smuggling networks that are fuelling the migrant crisis.

The chief of staff at Europe's joint police force revealed the figures involved after London gangsters were seen driving in a Dunkirk migrant camp last month.

The Brits involved range from low-level fixers to masterminds orchestrating operations from London. ...

Mr Donald's intervention reveals for the first time the number Brits thought to be in smuggling gangs raking in hundreds of thousands of pounds a week.

He said: "We have 30,000 nominals on our database relating to facilitating illegal immigration who have had questions asked of Europol because of suspicions they are involved.

"There are somewhere around 1,000 from the UK (involved in people trafficking)."

Between April and June 213,000 people claimed asylum in EU countries and tens of thousands are currently marching across the continent to northern Europe. ...

"There's a lot of work being done on the 10,000 estimated EU nationals who have either gone to fight or left in circumstances that suggests they have gone to fight.

"Everyone is doing checks to see if they can pick up returning fighters. This is not a problem that will go away any time soon."
[Site link]


Crime – smuggling people
Migration crisis creating 'wave of criminality' as gangs turn to people-smuggling
Colin Freeman
Sunday Telegraph, 20 September 2015

Europe's migration crisis is creating an "unprecedented wave of criminality" as gangs across the continent converge around the "honeypot" of people-smuggling, the head of Europol has warned.

Rob Wainwright, a former MI5 officer who now directs Europe's cross-border policing body, told The Telegraph that opportunists who previously dealt in drugs or racketeering were now reaping the rewards of smuggling migrants.

Such was the scale of the threat that a new unit set up by Europol to gather intelligence on the trafficking gangs was already "swamped" by its caseload.

"As the wave of migrants has taken hold across Europe, we are also seeing an unprecedented wave of criminality by people who are turning to this trade likes bees to a honeypot," said Mr Wainwright. "They are trying to exploit it as much as they can."

His remarks provided a glimpse of the hidden underside of Europe's migration crisis. Every group of desperate people trying to escape war in the Middle East provides an opportunity for criminals.

New figures released last week provided a more detailed picture of the origins of those on the move. More than 213,000 people claimed asylum in EU countries between April and June, according to Eurostat. Of these, only 44,000 – or 21 per cent – were from Syria. Afghans provided the second biggest contingent – 13 per cent – but Albanians were next on eight per cent.

Some 15 per cent came from three peaceful European nations outside the EU: Kosovo, Albania and Serbia. Meanwhile, Eritrea – a poor and repressive but peaceful country in the Horn of Africa – provided four per cent of all asylum applications.

The situation has escalated since the Eurostat figures were compiled, and today's inflow is on a far greater scale.
[Site link]


Crime – illegal immigration
Smuggling gangs 'want to sneak Calais migrants into Britain to commit crimes HERE'
Levi Winchester
Daily Express, 21 August 2015

Migrants trying to get into Britain from Calais are turning to smuggling gangs who want them to commit crimes on UK SOIL, a Border Force boss has warned.

Instead of risking their lives by climbing onto lorries and trains, migrants are being tempted into more organised tactics by criminal gangs, which officials fear include UK nationals.

Philip Duffy, chief operating officer of the Border Force, warned there is a "continuous beat" of more arranged attempts to sneak into Britain - and said the gang are plotting to use migrants to commit crimes once they get here.

He said: "There are people who are trying opportunistically. They are seeing a lorry that's not secured or a train that's parked up and they are just getting on and having a go.

"There are others who take advantage of less scrupulous hauliers and drivers who will take a fee.

"At the very higher end you've got more organised attempts where you've got some of the organised crime gangs, some of whom are bringing people in to traffic them for criminal activity in the UK.

"They are not just migrants, they are bringing them to the UK for crime."
[Site link]


Crime – electoral fraud
We are ignoring electoral fraud just as we ignored child sex abuse in Rotherham
Eric Pickles
Daily Telegraph, 13 August 2015
[Sir Eric Pickles is the Government's Anti-Corruption Champion and former Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government]

In April this year, a court disqualified Lutfur Rahman, the mayor of Tower Hamlets, for eight separate counts of corrupt and illegal practices in his "ruthless" and "dishonest" election. The ruling by the judge, the indefatigable Richard Mawrey QC, came 10 years after he presided over a similar case of widespread fraud in Birmingham; in that case, he noted practices that would disgrace "a banana republic" and warned that election fraud would "continue unabated" unless the law was tightened.

A decade on, we have yet fully to implement in Great Britain the system of individual electoral registration which has operated successfully in Northern Ireland for 14 years: no longer in the Province do the dead turn out to vote. ...

In Tower Hamlets, police and council staff failed to tackle intimidation – often in foreign languages – both inside and outside polling stations. Just as we have seen with child sexual exploitation in places such as Rochdale and Rotherham, institutionalised political correctness can lead to the state turning a blind eye to criminal conduct. But the law must be applied equally and fairly to everyone. Integration and good community relations are undermined by the failure to do so.

The problems go deep – despite years of warnings of misconduct in Tower Hamlets, the state watchdogs gave the borough's electoral system a gold-star rating for integrity in inspection reports. ...

As a minister, I found within Whitehall a complete reluctance by officials to take action on the warnings from local councillors and journalists of systematic corruption in the Tower Hamlets mayoral administration. Yet when I subsequently sent forensic investigators into Tower Hamlets, they quickly found shocking financial irregularities. ...

I believe electoral malpractice is far more common than just one isolated London borough. But there is a collective state of denial: if you don't bother to lift the rock, you won't see what's crawling underneath. The respected anti-corruption expert, Dr Michael Pinto-Duschinsky, last year estimated that there were 6.5 million "ghost voters" on our electoral registers – those who have moved, died, or were mistakenly or fraudulently entered on to the register. Insufficient checks are made to ensure voters are genuine. If a town hall can demand identification to borrow a library book, it's not beyond the wit of officialdom for the same body to check when someone casts a vote at a polling station.

Despite the fact that there are London elections next year, a sizeable minority of those voters signed up in Tower Hamlets remain unverified and could be fakes. In Hackney, the situation is even worse, with almost a quarter of the electorate unverified and potentially non-existent. We urgently need to clean up these registers. Across the country, electors from abroad are not properly checked to ensure that they qualify to vote when they register. Fraudulent registration is frequently tied to illegal immigration, as illegal migrants sign up to make it easier to get credit or a mobile phone. Such illegality feeds through to further crimes, such as benefit and housing fraud. ...

... It is time to awake from our state of denial and take action against the electoral crooks who threaten our elections.
[Site link]


Crime – house prices, money laundering
Foreign criminals 'driving up UK house prices'
BBC, 25 July 2015

Foreign criminals are laundering billions of pounds through the purchase of expensive properties, which is pushing up house prices in the UK, the National Crime Agency has said.

Its economic crime command director, Donald Toon, told the Times that London prices had been "skewed" as a result.

He said prices were being artificially driven up by criminals "who want to sequester their assets here in the UK".

Mr Toon urged estate agents to report any suspicious activity.

The newspaper reported that Mr Toon said he was "alarmed" by the number of homes registered to complex offshore corporations - some of which will have been bought with laundered money. ...

Hundreds of billions of pounds are laundered in the City every year, according to the NCA, and it said investigations were intensifying.
[Site link]


Crime – sexual abuse of children
Aylesbury child sex gang: Barnardos claim local authorities knew about victims years before perpetrators' arrests
Rose Troup Buchanan
The Independent, 25 July 2015

A charity raised concerns about a girl horrifically abused by the now-notorious Aylesbury sex gang several years before the perpetrators were arrested, it has emerged.

Barnardos told the BBC it had worked with two of the victims in 2008, but despite referring the case to a local authority and other relevant agencies the charity claimed that "insufficient" action was taken.

A total of six men were jailed on Friday after being found guilty of abusing two schoolgirls on a "massive scale" as part of a child sex ring, mostly operating in Aylesbury.

The Old Bailey court heard the abuse occurred from 2006 to 2012, involving rape, child prostitution and the use of drugs in order to "stupefy" a victim to make them engage sexually.
[Site link]


Crime – sexual abuse of children
Aylesbury child sex abuse case: Six men found guilty of child abuse on a 'massive scale' at Old Bailey
Doug Bolton
The Independent, 24 July 2015

Six men have been found guilty of abusing two schoolgirls on a "massive scale" in a child sex ring which mostly operated in Aylesbury.

Vikram Singh, Akbari Khan, Asif Hussain, Mohammed Imran, Taimoor Khan and Arshad Jani were all found guilty at the Old Bailey.

The court heard how the abuse had gone on for years, and had involved rape, child prostitution and the use of drugs to "stupefy" a girl in order to engage in sexual activity.

The offences, which were denied by all the defendants, took place in vehicles, flats, and sometimes in the girls' homes in Aylesbury. ...

Some of the men used the services of Urdu, Hindi, Pashto and Punjabi interpreters, and gave no reaction as the guilty verdicts were delivered. ...

When she was 12 or 13, one of the girls was passed between 60 mainly Asian men for sex, having been conditioned to think it was normal.
[Site link]


Crime – criminals, visas
Foreign criminals face new crackdown as new visa rules demand police checks
Tim Ross
Sunday Telegraph, 19 July 2015

Immigrants will be forced to prove they have had police background checks or be banned from entering the UK, under plans for a sweeping crackdown on foreign criminals.

From September, anyone applying for a visa to set up a business or invest in the UK will be required to show proof of criminal records checks for every country they have lived in during the previous 10 years.

Family members travelling with them will also have to show the same evidence. Anyone found to have lied about their criminal records will be banned from Britain for 10 years.

Ministers want to extend the tougher rules to other visa routes next year, once the first "trial" phase of the scheme has been evaluated.

The crackdown follows concerns over rising immigration levels and the government's inability to deport hundreds of foreign criminals each year, often on "human rights" grounds. ...

The initial phase of the scheme will apply to "Tier 1" visa applicants who are seeking entry as investors or entrepreneurs, and their dependants. These are migrants from outside Europe who want to set up a business, in the case of entrepreneurs, or to invest at least £2 million in the UK, in the case of those using the investor route.

Anyone unable to provide proof of criminal records checks for the past decade will be refused a visa. Records for minor offences, committed a long time ago, will not automatically lead to a visa application being rejected.

However, migrants will be banned for more serious crimes that resulted in lengthy custodial sentences.

The initiative is likely to be extended to other visa routes in 2016/17 but will not be introduced for short-term visas as this would be a "disproportionate requirement" for millions of visitors to the UK.

Last year, Home Office data showed that 602 appeals against deportations for foreign offenders were successful at immigration courts in 2012-13. These cases included 324 criminals who won the right to stay in Britain under the controversial "right to private and family life" set out in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
[Site link]


Crime – visitors
Foreign criminals using budget airlines to come to Britain for two-week 'crime holidays'
Peter Henn
Daily Express, 13 July 2015

Foreign criminals are using budget airlines to fly to Britain for fortnight-long 'crime holidays', a senior European Union police boss has claimed.

Europol's chief of staff Brian Donald said gangs of thieves are pickpocketing, breaking into houses and stealing cars in Britain before flying home to avoid capture.

He said foreign crime bosses gave criminals plane tickets to Britain and told them to carry out as many crimes as possible in a short spell.

He added: "We have seen this phenomenon of mobile organised crime groups who are nationals of one country but operate across multiple countries.

"They just do volume crime - they steal wallets, cars, break into houses, you name it and then they are plucked out of the area they're in and sent home, before they are shipped out to another country.

"There is whole infrastructure behind them that takes the stolen property and moves it on so they are free to fly in and out and just do the crime.

"So you have a crime wave in one area, it lasts two weeks and then it's gone.

"If the team that are doing it are from six or seven countries away from say the village you are in, what chance does the village cop have on his own?

"That is where we come in."
[Site link]


Crime – marriage, sharia, Islam
Sharia marriages
Neil Addison
Daily Telegraph, 7 July 2015
[Letter to the Editor]

SIR – ...

The real trouble is that Muslim marriages are not being registered. Carrying out an unregistered marriage is a criminal offence under section 75 of the Marriage Act, but this section is not being enforced. The police should start prosecuting those who carry out unregistered marriages.

[Site link]


Crime – racism, sham marriages
Caught on camera: Sham marriage fixers who say they get away with it because authorities are too scared of being labelled racist to intervene
James Slack
Daily Mail, 2 July 2015

Sham marriage fixers have been caught on camera saying they get away with it because authorities are too scared of being labelled racist to intervene.

Hidden cameras captured a 'fixer' arranging a ceremony between a man from Pakistan seeking a passport and a would-be British bride.

The man, who was actually an undercover reporter, asked the fixer if the relationship will 'stand out' because they are from different cultures - making the Home Office more likely to investigate.

But the alleged fixer replies: 'As far as ethnicity, religion, that is very, so touchy they are scared to bring it up. It's not PC. It's not something they'll bring up, for fear of being called racist.'

The investigation, screened on Thursday, includes two cases of undercover filming of sham marriage 'fixers', with one couple offering to provide a girl or 'puppet' to take part in a ceremony for £10,000.

It shows one fixer, called Chris, revealing tips on the best cover story to provide to the Home Office. ...

One pair of fixers admitted 'sham marriage is a big crime' but went on to discuss arrangements for the undercover reporter to marry a British woman.

They were also filmed criticising the British system, saying it was 'unbelievably soft'.

Investigators for ITV's Exposure found that – despite repeated Government crackdowns on sham marriage – it remains a multi-million pound industry.

Former Crown Prosecution chief Nazir Afzal said officials were worried about being accused of 'racism 'or 'religious discrimination' so might not challenge fake couples.

He said: 'People these days are less likely to ask those kinds of questions because they don't want to be accused of being racist or religiously discriminatory.

'The saddest thing is that we the British taxpayer the public lose out, and that can't be right.'

The undercover team also found that criminal gangs are increasingly fixing same-sex marriages, as they think they will arouse less suspicions.

Government figures suggest 10,000 sham marriages take place each year but there are no figures for those involving same sex couples.

In March, the Home Office tightened the rules. Everybody getting wed now has to wait for a month between giving notice and getting married.
[Site link]


Tens of thousands of foreign criminals arrested in UK have police records in their own country
Nick Dorman and Lee Sorrell
Sunday Mirror, 28 June 2015

Nearly 30,000 foreigners arrested in Britain over the past year turned out to have police records in their own country.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the growing influx of criminals – including murderers and rapists – crossing our borders with ease.

Because a Sunday Mirror investigation can reveal that out of a shocking total of 190,000 foreign nationals arrested here in the last 12 months fewer than HALF had their homeland backgrounds checked by our police forces.

The frightening figures from criminal records office ACRO emerge in the wake of a series of terrifying crimes carried out by migrant offenders who have hidden their past from British authorities. ...

And Labour's Shadow Immigration Minister David Hanson vowed to raise the ACRO figures with Home Secretary Theresa May.

He said: "It's vital for public safety that the Government can stop the entry into the UK of foreign nationals who have serious criminal convictions."

And leading UK criminal justice expert Harry Fletcher, former boss of probation officers' union NAPO, warned: "The checks at the moment are woefully inadequate.

"The only way we even know a convicted foreign criminal has entered this country is if they are picked up for another offence that has taken place here. That can't be allowed to continue."

The data from ACRO, part of the National Police Chiefs' Council, shows a total of 86,667 requests for overseas criminal records checks were made by UK forces.

The records office estimates in a THIRD of these cases the check came back with a criminal conviction – meaning 28,600 of the suspects had already been convicted abroad.

But the true figure will be higher as forces only bothered to check 46 per cent of the 190,000 foreigners held in the UK in 2014.

That total was 12,000 higher than the number of foreigners arrested in 2013 – which means over the past two years 368,000 foreign suspects have been held over crimes in Britain.

We can also reveal more than 10,500 of the 86,000 people behind bars in the UK are offenders from overseas.

And the National Audit Office says the overall cost of dealing with foreign national criminals and suspects is around £850 million a year. ...

More than 2,500 banged up here are from old Eastern Bloc nations now part of the EU.

Meanwhile, concerns remain high over the lack of criminal checks on EU nationals BEFORE they enter Britain.

Two months ago the UK joined a £360 million EU-wide database but it is already under review. The Schengen Information System – known as SIS II – raises alerts about suspects wanted on European Arrest Warrants.

But it fails to provide warnings on violent offenders released from jail and heading to the UK, because of a lack of information supplied by some countries.
[Site link]


Crime – child sexual exploitation
Police withheld bombshell report revealing how gangs of Muslim men were grooming more than 100 schoolgirls as young as 13 in case it inflamed racial tensions ahead of General Election
Martin Robinson
MailOnline, 26 June 2015

Britain's second largest police force withheld a report about gangs of Muslim men grooming children in case it inflamed racial tensions ahead of a General Election, it was revealed today.

West Midlands Police were warned more than 100 predominantly white children - some as young as 13 - were at serious risk of child exploitation five years ago.

A document entitled 'Problem Profile, Operation Protection' from March 2010 reveals Asian gangs targeted schools and children's homes across the force area.

The report, written for senior officers, also reveals how white girls were used to recruit other vulnerable victims on behalf of the gangs.

But there were fears over a row ahead of the May 2010 General Election and an English Defence League rally in April leading to a 'backlash against law abiding citizens from Asian/Pakistani communities'.

Despite the warnings police did not warn the public or appeal for information about the men responsible and the report was only published this week under the Freedom of Information Act. ...

The report said police had identified a potential 139 victims, 78 per cent of whom were white while more than half were aged 13 to 15.

Half of all victims, who were from Birmingham, Dudley and Walsall, lived with their parents, while 41 per cent were in care.

Police pin-pointed 75 grooming suspects - most with a history of sexual violence - with most being from a Muslim background from Birmingham.

The report stated: 'The vast majority of identified suspects (79 per cent) are Asian (59 of 75), 12 per cent are white and five per cent are African Caribbean. 62 per cent of Asian suspects are of Pakistani origin.

'Pakistani males account for half of all identified suspects in the force (37 of 75).

'Offenders are likely to have a history of previous sexual offences, as well as a wide range of other offences and convictions.

'A high level of organised criminality has now been evidenced both across the force area and regionally, with multiple offenders working together to identify, groom and abuse victims.

'In a number of organised groups victims are forced into prostitution and high levels of intimidation and force are used to keep the victims compliant.'

The shocking document also highlighted fears of 'community tensions' if the police made the report's findings public.

It stated: 'The predominant offender profile of Pakistani Muslim males... combined with the predominant victim profile of white females has the potential to cause significant community tensions.

'There is a potential for a backlash against the vast majority of law abiding citizens from Asian/Pakistani communities from other members of the community believing their children have been exploited.

'These factors, combined with an EDL protest in Dudley in April and a General Election in May could notably increase community tension.

'Police will be criticised if it appears we have not safeguarded vulnerable children, investigated offences and prosecuted offenders.' ...

West Midlands Police's decision to withhold details of alleged child abuse amid fears of increasing racial tensions has shades of the scandal in Rotherham.

Police and social workers in the South Yorkshire town were accused of being too concerned about being labelled racist to speak out about the crimes involving 1,400 children.
[Site link]


Crime – Romanians
Romanian gangs climb onto cars to steal thousands from moving lorries
Tom Parfitt
Daily Express, 26 June 2015

Gangs of Romanian criminals are risking death to steal thousands of pounds of goods from moving lorries, it has been revealed.

The technique – known as the 'Romanian rollover' – sees the criminals climb onto car bonnets and use crowbars or knives to break into the lorries.

In many cases a decoy drives in front of the lorry to slow it down, leading to fears that more truckers will be caught out.

Superintendent Paul Keasey, who is leading a crackdown on foreign offenders, said he was shocked by gangs committing crimes "where the risk appears to me to outweigh the gain".

He said: "I mean, would you climb on to the front of a moving vehicle for as little as £150?"

Last year 11 Romanian men were each sentenced to two years in prison after plotting to use a Citreon Relay van in such a heist.

And the same technique was used to steal £71,000 worth of cigarettes in March, according to Irish police.

According to Keasey, Romanian gangs are "capable of stealing £30,000 of goods a day".

He added: "That's the sort of thing you didn't have to tackle maybe 10 years ago.

"We have had that influx of people coming into the UK."

In February reported that Romanians are eight times more likely to be jailed in the UK than Britons.

And last year documents revealed that Romanian gangs are behind half of all pickpocketings on public transport.
[Site link]


Crime – child sexual exploitation
Rotherham child exploitation inquiry: councillors among possible suspects
Helen Pidd
The Guardian, 25 June 2015

Two current or former Rotherham councillors are among up to 300 men suspected of grooming and sexually exploiting girls as young as 12 in the South Yorkshire town, according to the National Crime Agency (NCA).

The NCA, Britain's answer to the FBI, began investigating child sexual exploitation in Rotherham following harrowing allegations of non-familial abuse in the town uncovered in a report by Prof Alexis Jay, which was prompted by an investigation by the Times.

Investigators said the majority of suspects appeared to be of Asian appearance, but would not give a firm number while research was still being done on further potential suspects.

Detectives believe there are at least 1,400 victims, largely vulnerable white girls; this tallies with the conservative estimate given by Jay, the former chief social work adviser for Scotland, in August last year.

In the sixth months since the NCA began Operation Stovewood, 32 officers have collected 92 boxes of files relating to abuse believed to have been suffered by girls in the town between 1997 and 2013, the period covered by the Jay report.

Forty-seven crates came from Risky Business, a specialist service in Rotherham set up to monitor children at risk of prostitution, which was shut down by the council in 2011. Workers at the unit complained that they were belittled by other agencies and their files were tampered with. The NCA said it could not yet be confident it had recovered all the Risky Business files. ...

Trevor Pearce, the NCA officer in overall command of Operation Stovewood, said the figure of 300 potential suspects should be treated with caution. ... ...

The NCA officers warned that the inquiry could easily take three years and would cost £3m to £5m each year.

Many victims in Rotherham are concerned at how slowly the inquiry appears to be progressing and fear their abusers may flee the country before they ever reach court. Last month a key suspect in a child exploitation case in Rotherham skipped bail and was reported to have fled to Pakistan.
[Site link]


Crime – knife crime, stop and search
Met police to step up targeted stop and search amid surge in knife-crime
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 22 June 2015

The Metropolitan police are to step up their use of targeted stop-and-search operations in high knife-crime areas of London due to a recent rise in stabbings in the capital.

The Met commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, said that although knife crime in London had dropped by 30% overall, with 3,645 fewer victims over recent years, there had been a 21% rise in the last 12 months – or 286 more stabbing victims aged under 25.

The fall in knife crime over the past three years has coincided with a massive scaling back of the use of stop and search by the police as a result of a campaign led by the home secretary, Theresa May, who has argued that they are a waste of police time, unfair to young black men and undermine trust in the police.

In London the use of stop and search has fallen by 40%, but the use of a more intelligence-led, targeted approach has resulted in 2,000 more arrests. ...

He said stop and search was a reasonable tactic when used in the right way. "We don't want to see a return to a million stop and searches, but there is an argument for more use of stop and search focused on high knife crime areas and targeting gangs," he said. "Our 1,200 Trident gang crime officers have a big part to play in this.

"If we know people are violent and carry knives, then we have the power to prevent them hurting people and we should stop and search them every day," he said.
[Site link]


Crime – criminals freed, deportations
Surge in foreign criminals freed to live openly in Britain
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 27 May 2015

The number of foreign criminals freed from jail to live freely in Britain has topped 5,000 for the first time, it can be disclosed.

Official figures showed the number - including criminals who have gone on the run - soared by a fifth in just a year from 4,247 in the first quarter of 2014 to 5,053 in the same period this year.

It means just over two foreign offenders a day were let loose on average over the last 12 months – some of whom went on to abscond from the authorities and are still at large.

The data will further harm the Government's record on immigration following shock figures last week which showed net migration levels at 318,000 last year, triple David Cameron's earlier pledge to cut levels to below 100,000.

Critics said the figures exposed serious failings in the Home Office's attempts to get on top of immigration.

Data from the Home Office showed the number of foreign national criminals living openly in Britain has increased by a third since the beginning of 2011, when the figure stood at 3,800.

It means there is now a record number of foreign criminals living among the general population.

While many will be in touch with probation officers and the Home Office, hundreds are feared to have fled without trace.

Last year a report by watchdogs the National Audit Office revealed at least 58 serious foreign criminals who posed a high risk to the public had absconded in Britain after being released from prison to await deportation.

The experts estimated that one in six foreign criminals released from jail had gone on the run.

Applied to the new figures it would mean about 840 criminals have vanished without trace.

In another new development revealed in the figures, the number of foreigners being removed by the Home Office has collapsed still further.

In 2014, 12,460 people were removed from this country – a 17 per cent fall on 2011 when more than 15,000 were sent back including 4,000 failed asylum seekers.

It also represented a fall of more than 40 per cent on levels a decade ago, when the figure stood at more than 21,000.
[Site link]


Crime – nurses, bogus qualifications
For just £43, I bought the bogus papers that 'qualified' me as a nurse: Reporter uncovers rampant trade in counterfeit certificates as questions are raised over killer nurse's credentials
Stephen Wright
Daily Mail, 19 May 2015

Nursing diplomas can be bought for as little as £43 in the Philippines, I can reveal today.

Doubts about Victorino Chua's qualifications emerged after this newspaper alerted police to suspicions over his credentials back in 2012.

And – helped by my photographer colleague Jamie Wiseman - I have found there is a rampant trade in bogus exam certificates in Manila, with fixers and forgers always on hand to fabricate any document.

The Mail's revelations are a major embarrassment to ministers, hospital chiefs and officials at the Nursing and Midwifery Council, which regulates nursing.

In March 2013, the council imposed a temporary recruitment freeze on foreign nurses amid fears that workers could have faked documents to get jobs here. Yet hundreds of nurses are still being recruited from the Philippines by NHS trusts, because of a massive shortfall of staff.

The 'passport' to a nursing job in the UK is provided by organised crime networks who employ some of the world's best forgers.

On Recto Avenue in downtown Manila are stalls openly offering fake nursing degrees, education records, diploma pictures, police clearance to work overseas, passports, driving licences and birth and marriage certificates. Police turn a blind eye in return for bribes.

When I visited Recto Avenue, dubbed 'Xerox Alley', a fixer for the forgers went through a list of documents I would require to become qualified, including a degree certificate, police clearance to work overseas and employment certificates and references.

All these were supplied for a total of £43. The fixer even helpfully suggested which date I should graduate from Manila's respected nursing college at Our Lady of Fatima University.

Of course, the vast majority of Filipino nurses are qualified and have the correct credentials to work in the UK.

But many in this impoverished nation struggle to find the money to finish their degree courses and are tempted to buy their qualifications they need to obtain work in the UK where salaries are vastly higher.

In the run-up to yesterday's court verdicts, NMC chief executive Jackie Smith told the Mail its vetting system was now 'robust' and that her staff insisted on seeing original education documents from prospective foreign nurses.

But a source close to the Stepping Hill case said: 'Vetting of nurses in the Philippines is very, very poor. A lot is done on the word of the Philippines regulatory authorities.

'They rely on stamped documents as proof of proper qualifications. This is why police can't be certain that Chua's qualifications are genuine.'

Another said: 'We can't be certain that the Philippines' Professional Regulation Commission has exercised due diligence with regard to the NHS. Once you have a PRC stamp, you are more or less guaranteed a job in the UK.'
[Site link]


Crime – nurses, bogus qualifications
Stepping Hill: The scandal of foreign nurses with bogus papers
Martin Evans
Daily Telegraph, 19 May 2015

Thousands of foreign nurses could be working in Britain with bogus qualifications it has emerged, after police warned that the medic who killed two patients at Stockport's Stepping Hill hospital used forged photocopies to secure his job.

Victorino Chua, 49, a father of two from the Philippines, faces life in prison today when he is sentenced for murdering two patients and poisoning 20 others during a 2011 killing spree.

The case has raised serious concerns over the way overseas nursing staff are monitored and assessed when applying for jobs in the NHS.

Investigators working on the Chua case became so concerned about loopholes in the system of checking the veracity of medical qualifications that they contacted the Department for Health and the Home Office to urgently raise the matter.

Since Chua's arrest new checks have been brought in to ensure any foreign nurse applying for work is subject to more stringent checks.

Further changes from October will ensure every nurse is required to prove their qualifications every three years, but critics claim with more than half a million nursing staff in the UK such checks are impractical and will take too long to implement.

It is feared that thousands of registered nurses, who arrived in the UK a decade ago or before, may have below par, or even bogus, medical qualifications. More than 90,000 nurses who are registered to work in the UK trained overseas. ...

Chua, who came to the UK in 2002 on a two-year working visa, managed to land a job as a staff nurse at Stepping Hill by presenting photocopies of his medical certificates.

Detectives who travelled to Manila to look into his background now suspect that even those documents may have been forged. ...

After concern was raised over the widespread implications of the case, the Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC), which registers all half a million nurses working in Britain, launched a major review of overseas NHS staff.

They looked into the background of more than 14,000 non-EU nurses working in the UK, including 11,500 from the Philippines.

While the NMC claimed they found no similar cases of forgery and no nurses were struck off as a result of the review, the clear gaps in the monitoring system have prompted a major overhaul.

In October last year the rules were tightened up for overseas applicants who must now pass a series of competency tests before coming to the UK. The new system, similar to the one already operated by the General Medical Council (GMC), will come into force this October, but critics say it may be little more than a "box ticking exercise".

Roger Goss, co-director of Patient Concern, said: "The NMC has a huge brief beyond its capabilities. With more than half a million nurses registered this will inevitably take a long time to carry out and if, like with the GMC system, it finds that 99.3 per cent of those tested are sound then you have to wonder if it will be anything more than a bureaucratic ritual."
[Site link]


Crime – rape, Sweden
Sweden: Rape Capital of the West [part 1]
Ingrid Carlqvist and Lars Hedegaard
Gatestone Institute, 14 May 2015

In 1975, the Swedish parliament unanimously decided to change the former homogeneous Sweden into a multicultural country. Forty years later the dramatic consequences of this experiment emerge: violent crime has increased by 300%.

If one looks at the number of rapes, however, the increase is even worse. In 1975, 421 rapes were reported to the police; in 2014, it was 6,620. That is an increase of 1,472%.

Sweden is now number two on the global list of rape countries. According to a survey from 2010, Sweden, with 53.2 rapes per 100,000 inhabitants, is surpassed only by tiny Lesotho in Southern Africa, with 91.6 rapes per 100,000 inhabitants.

According to figures published by The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brottsförebyggande rådet; known as Brå) – an agency under the Ministry of Justice – 29,000 Swedish women, during 2011, reported that they had been raped (which seems to indicate that less than 25% of the rapes are reported to the police).

Rather than doing something about the problem of violence and rape, Swedish politicians, public authorities and media do their best to explain away the facts. ... ...

Back in 1975, the year when politicians decided that Sweden was to become multicultural, the Swedish population stood at 8,208,442. By 2014 it had grown to 9,743,087 – an increase of 18.7%. This growth is entirely due to immigration, as Swedish women on average give birth to 1.92 children compared to the 2.24 average of immigrant women. One should, however, keep in mind that in the statistics, second-generation immigrants are counted as Swedes.

Sweden's recent population growth is without parallel. Never before in the country's history has the number of inhabitants increased so fast. Sweden is now the fastest growing country in Europe.

Over the past 10-15 years, immigrants have mainly come from Muslim countries such as Iraq, Syria and Somalia. Might this mass influx explain Sweden's rape explosion? It is difficult to give a precise answer, because Swedish law forbids registration based on people's ancestry or religion. One possible explanation is that, on average, people from the Middle East have a vastly different view of women and sex than Scandinavians have. And despite the attempts by the Swedish establishment to convince the population that everyone setting foot on Swedish soil becomes exactly like those who have lived here for dozens of generations, facts point in an altogether different direction.

The latest statistical survey of immigrant criminality compared to that of Swedes was done in 2005. The results are practically never mentioned. Not only that; anyone who dares refer to them, for example on social media, is viciously attacked.

Michael Hess, a local politician from Sweden Democrat Party, encouraged Swedish journalists to get acquainted with Islam's view of women, in connection with the many rapes that took place in Cairo's Tahrir Square during the "Arab Spring". Hess wrote, "When will you journalists realize that it is deeply rooted in Islam's culture to rape and brutalize women who refuse to comply with Islamic teachings. There is a strong connection between rapes in Sweden and the number of immigrants from MENA-countries [Middle East and North Africa]."
[Site link]


Crime – rape, Sweden
Sweden: Rape Capital of the West [part 2]
Ingrid Carlqvist and Lars Hedegaard
Gatestone Institute, 14 May 2015

This remark led to Michael Hess being charged with "denigration of ethnic groups" [hets mot folkgrupp], a crime in Sweden. In May last year, he was handed a suspended jail sentence and a fine – the suspension was due to the fact that he had no prior convictions. The verdict has been appealed to a higher court.

For many years, Michael Hess lived in Muslim countries, and he is well acquainted with Islam and its view of women. During his trial, he provided evidence of how sharia law deals with rape, and statistics to indicate that Muslims are vastly overrepresented among perpetrators of rape in Sweden. However, the court decided that facts were irrelevant: ...

What may one conclude from the available statistics?

As part of the evidence Michael Hess presented in court, he made use of whatever statistics existed on immigrant criminality in Sweden before the statistical authorities stopped measuring. Michael Hess tried to find answers to two questions:

1. Is there a correspondence between the incidence of rape and the number of people with a foreign background in Sweden?

2. Is there a correspondence between the incidence of rape and some specific group of immigrants in Sweden?

The answer to both questions was an unequivocal Yes. Twenty-one research reports from the 1960s until today are unanimous in their conclusions: Whether or not they measured by the number of convicted rapists or men suspected of rape, men of foreign extraction were represented far more than Swedes. And this greater representation of persons with a foreign background keeps increasing: ...

Even when adjusted for variables such as age, sex, class and place of residence, the huge discrepancy between immigrants and Swedes remains.

Research reports on crime in Sweden have become a rarity, but among the eighteen that were done during the 1990s and the 2000s, eleven dealt with rape. Two of these reports dealt with the connection between rape and immigration, and they both confirmed that there is a link.

These figures are available to the authorities, the politicians and the press, yet they insist that these numbers do not mirror reality. ...

Since 2000, there has only been one research report on immigrant crime. It was done in 2006 by Ann-Christine Hjelm from Karlstads University.

It emerged that in 2002, 85% of those sentenced to at least two years in prison for rape in Svea Hovrätt, a court of appeals, were foreign born or second-generation immigrants.

A 1996 report by the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention reached the conclusion that immigrants from North Africa (Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia) were 23 times as likely to commit rape as Swedish men. The figures for men from Iraq, Bulgaria and Romania were, respectively, 20, 18 and 18. Men from the rest of Africa were 16 times more prone to commit rape; and men from Iran, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia, 10 times as prone as Swedish men.

A new trend reached Sweden with full force over the past few decades: gang rape – virtually unknown before in Swedish criminal history. The number of gang rapes increased spectacularly between 1995 and 2006. Since then no studies of them have been undertaken.
[Site link]


Crime – fraud, NHS
Exposed: The foreign doctors milking the NHS for drugs... to send to their families back home
Stephen Adams
Mail on Sunday, 10 May 2015

NHS doctors are ripping off the health service by fraudulently obtaining thousands of pounds worth of drugs and hospital treatment for overseas friends and family, a Mail on Sunday investigation has found.

Medics are brazenly helping loved ones get medicines and care to which they are not entitled and Ministers have no idea about the scale of the problem because officials have 'buried their heads in the sand', insiders say.

But there are fears the fraudulently obtained medicines and treatment could be significantly contributing to the £2 billion a year the NHS spends on migrants and overseas visitors.

Our enquiries have discovered that:

• Doctors have been writing false prescriptions for NHS medicines worth thousands of pounds, which they send to countries such as India and Iraq

• In some cases, they have supplied members of their families for years

• Others use their influence to help 'health tourist' relatives get expensive cancer treatments, dialysis and even transplants while visiting Britain

• In one extraordinary case, a British doctor personally jetted in a critically ill burns victim from Nigeria, 'dishonestly' claimed the man lived here, and obtained NHS treatment costing more than £45,000

• The man was then found to be carrying a deadly superbug infection, resulting in the temporary closure of part of an NHS hospital ward because of the potential risk to other patients.

Jeremy Hunt – expected to be reappointed to his role as Health Secretary this week – and other Ministers have been warned about British and foreign-born medics defrauding the NHS for at least 18 months, since it was raised in a Government-commissioned report into use of the NHS by migrants and overseas visitors.

The report found some patients were 'brought in by NHS staff members' to receive free hospital care they were not entitled to as they lived overseas.

And immigration officers told the report's authors they 'find a lot' of cases where elderly relatives from outside Europe admit that sons or daughters working for the NHS help them obtain medication on short-stay visits.

A handful of cases have come before medical tribunals in the last year – but well-placed sources say these are 'just the tip of the iceberg'. ...

While most cases that have come to tribunal involve fraudulent prescribing, one insider said: 'That's not the big money. The five and six- figure sums are from doctors helping loved-ones acquire hospital operations and regular treatments like dialysis, cancer therapy, even transplants. You name it.'

These cases rarely make it to tribunal because hospital doctors hold such sway, the source said, and chief executives are scared of litigation.

Another insider said: 'The Department of Health have buried their heads in the sand about this for many years so they don't have a clue about the scale of the problem.'
[Site link]


Crime – deportation
Foreign criminal can stay in Britain because he is an alcoholic
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 28 April 2015

A foreign criminal who has been convicted of more than 70 offences has been allowed to remain in Britain because he is an alcoholic.

In what is believed to be the first case of its kind, the Libyan man successfully argued that he would face physical punishment and imprisonment in his homeland, where alcohol consumption is illegal.

The man, who was granted anonymity by the courts and can only be identified by the initials 'HU', was said by the upper immigration tribunal to have "behaved disgracefully".

It means the 53-year-old will be free to continue his alcohol-fuelled crime wave in Britain because the punishment he would face in Libya would be too severe, and because he has a "right to family life" in this country.

The judge recognised that the appeal – which was vigorously opposed by the Home Office - was an "unusual case".

But he added that it was not possible to simply "take the high moral ground" and suggest that HU should give up drinking.

HU first came to Britain to study aeronautical engineering in 1981 and has been here ever since, apart from a short period in Libya from August 1993 to October 1994, the court heard.

He was convicted of 78 different offences on 52 different occasions, the court added, although it failed to provide any details of the types of crime he committed.

The offences were committed "largely and possibly exclusively as a consequence of his alcoholism".

The Home Office sent HU five letters warning him that his behaviour put him at risk of deportation.

He was finally served with notification of a deportation order in July 2008, which he appealed against and won on the grounds that it would breach his human rights.

He continued to offend and in a new deportation order was issued in January 2013.

HU applied to quash the order on the grounds that it breached Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights which protects against torture and ill-treatment and Article 8, the right to private and family life.
[Site link]


Crime – election fraud
Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman is sacked for 'corrupt practices'
Andrew Gilligan
Daily Telegraph, 24 April 2015

Police are facing criticism for failing to investigate allegations of widespread election fraud as the judge who sacked Britain's first Muslim mayor warned of "postal voting factories" and thousands of ballots being sold across Britain.

Lutfur Rahman was removed as mayor of Tower Hamlets in east London and banned from standing again after an electoral court found him guilty of a string of "corrupt and illegal practices" including ballot rigging, buying votes and lying about his opponents.

Rahman was said to have "cynically perverted" the religious feeling of his Muslim community, before silencing his critics with "accusations of racism and Islamophobia".

The Metropolitan Police has also come under fire for failing to do anything to address concerns about Rahman's behaviour since he became leader of the council in 2008 and then the elected mayor two years later.

Instead it was left to four ordinary voters who picked up the case after it was dropped by the police to convince the courts of Rahman's corruption.

On Thursday night senior Met commanders were locked in an urgent meeting to decide whether the findings of the Electoral Court warranted a full criminal investigation.

And with less than two weeks to go before Britain goes to the polls in the general election, the spectre of voting fraud was also raised when the Election Commissioner warned of "postal voting factories" where thousands of fake votes were being cast. ...

In a damning ruling handed down by election judge Richard Mawrey QC, the court heard that such was the level of corruption that the 2014 mayoral election in Tower Hamlets was void and would have to be run again. The former mayor, who was not in court for the judgment, was ordered to pay £250,000 costs, with possible liability for far more.

Rahman's demise came only after four ordinary Tower Hamlets voters risked personal ruin to bring the case.

Andy Erlam, the leader of the petitioners, said that police and the Electoral Commission had been "useless" and had "done nothing" to bring Rahman to justice.

"Electoral fraud cases were brought to the attention of the police before the petition started but they didn't take it seriously," he said.

"They were far too close to the mayor. It is quite wrong that individuals should have to risk bankruptcy. If we'd have lost, the costs would have been about £1 million, we would have lost everything."

Mr Erlam said that police took bogus complaints by Rahman's supporters against him seriously and at one point threatened him with being interviewed under caution.

Meanwhile, he said, they did nothing to tackle the core allegations or the "serious intimidation" conducted against anti-Rahman witnesses in the case.

Some such witnesses withdrew or changed their evidence as a result, he said.

Rahman was narrowly re-elected as an independent in May last year, even though he had been expelled from the Labour Party for his links with an Islamic extremist group and his council was under Government investigation for misuse of funds.
[Site link]


Crime – human trafficking
Gangmasters blighting Britain: Shocking report reveals how EU's border rules leave UK wide open to people traffickers and benefits scams
James Slack
Daily Mail, 23 April 2015

Crime gangs from Eastern Europe are operating here with 'impunity' due to EU free movement rules, a disturbing report warns today.

Human traffickers run huge benefit frauds in the UK, including one that was used to fund a housing development in Slovakia.

The vile trade also includes the sale of young girls for prostitution and sham marriages. In some cases, 'customers' from outside the EU are requesting women with EU passports so they can make them pregnant. The migrants – desperate for a foothold in Britain – then claim they have a human right to a family life in the UK to raise the child.

The Centre for Social Justice report, written by a former senior aide to Home Secretary Theresa May, is based on interviews with senior police and officials in Britain and overseas. It offers a deeply disturbing insight into how, since the EU expanded to include former Eastern Bloc members in 2004, a huge market has opened up in what it calls the 'modern slave trade'.

In the past, trafficking gangs had to bring in migrants from outside the EU – which meant they would need to pass through border controls.

But they are now able to target people in impoverished communities in Slovakia, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria with open access to Britain.

Migrants are duped into believing they are travelling to the UK for work and enter the country legally under the EU's Free Movement Directive.

The traffickers then seize control of their bank accounts and travel documents, and force them to work in often gruesome conditions.

The report, written by former Home Office special adviser Fiona Cunningham, says: 'One of the most serious unintended consequences of free movement in the EU is that it has made it much easier for organised criminal gangs to operate their cross-border business models with impunity and without fear of being detected and therefore pursued.'

Significantly, the report has the backing of Mrs May, who has written the foreword.

She has been one of the Cabinet ministers pushing for curbs on EU free movement – including restrictions on countries whose level of wealth is far below that of Britain.

The report also warns of Eastern European girls – aged 15 to 25 – being brought to Britain and forced into prostitution, benefit fraud or sham weddings to Asian men seeking a right to remain in the UK. Manchester, Birmingham and Gretna are identified as hotspots – with Scotland targeted so the victims can marry at a younger age.

Shockingly, the report found girls were sold to 'customers' for pregnancy so the buyer could claim he had an article 8 right to a family life in the UK.

Europol, the EU's crime fighting agency, has identified particular problems with children being brought into the UK from Slovakia.

They are kept under the influence of drink and drugs, to make them easier to control, then sold for sex.

Police in Kent said that, in a single day, 16 such children were taken into care. The report adds: 'Pregnant women are sometimes recruited and forced to sell their babies.'

Romania and Hungry were also identified as countries from which criminal gangs are trafficking women for sex. ...

The Home Office has estimated that, in any given year, there are between 10,000 and 13,000 victims of human trafficking in the UK.
[Site link]


Crime – electoral corruption
Britain's first Muslim mayor found guilty of corruption - election declared VOID
Rob Virtue and Rebecca Perring
Daily Express, 23 April 2015

Britain's first Muslim mayor has been found guilty of corrupt and illegal election practice, in an astonishing ruling by the High Court today.

A judge decided last year's poll will be void and banned Lutfur Rahman from standing in an upcoming election.

Rahman, who became the UK's first Muslim mayor when elected in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in 2010, was ruled to have used "undue spiritual influence" to religiously blackmail the Bangladeshi community to vote for him.

He was also found to have unfairly smeared his opponent in the election, Labour's John Biggs, a racist.

Judge Richard Mawrey, who also found Rahman had given money to Muslim groups to help secure re-election - even giving cash to those who had not applied for grants - said: "Mr Rahman will remark this decision is about racism and Islamophobia but this is nothing of the sort.

"He has carved a successful career of ignoring and flouting laws and silencing critics with claims of Islamophobia. But they have not been silenced and neither will this court.

"This is the result of the ruthless ambition of one man and the real losers here are the citizens of Tower Hamlets and especially the Bangladeshi community.

"The result of this has been to isolate that community and create resentment from other communities.

"He has accused his opponents of dividing the community but if anyone was it was him.

"The benefits were small and temporary for the Muslim community but the effects will be long lasting. It was fools' gold."

Rahman was first elected as mayor in 2010 after breaking away from the Labour Party in Tower Hamlets to stand as an independent.

Before the vote last year he had set up the Tower Hamlets First party.

He won the mayoral election on May 22 and also saw 18 of his candidates, all Bangladeshi, voted into council. ...

The four voters who brought the election petition to court were praised by the judge for their courage.

However, Rahman was blasted as a "evasive, discourteous and very demonstrably elusive" witness by the judge.

The court decided Rahman had received support from the areas' mosques, who used spiritual influence to encourage the Muslim Bangladeshi community, making up 32 per cent of the borough's voters, to vote for Rahman.

As well as in mosques, they were even told at doorsteps and in the street that it was their "religious duty" to vote for Rahman and Tower Hamlets First.

The judge stopped short of agreeing there was harassment on polling day but said he made the decision "with considerable misgivings" as it only just failed to reach the required burden of proof.

However, Rahman will now be removed from his post as mayor of the council and will be unable to stand in the upcoming elction, which will be held in the summer after next month's General Election.

His deputy Alibor Choudhury has also been removed from his post in the council, with Judge Mawrey saying he had "his fingerprints all over" press releases smearing Mr Biggs.

The judge also said Choudhury was heavily involved in an election campaign "organised relentlessly and dishonestly".
[Site link]


Crime – refugees
Loophole can let foreign convicts drive minicabs
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 6 April 2015

Murderers and rapists from abroad may be getting minicab licences because authorities are barred from checking their criminal records, the Daily Express can reveal.

Asylum seekers and refugees wanting to become cab drivers do not have to reveal if they have committed any crimes before arriving in the UK.

Licensing authorities cannot carry out background checks on those claiming sanctuary in case it puts them at risk if they are sent home. The legal loophole is spelled out in a Transport for London document on "private hire driver licensing" applications.

The form states: "With regards to overseas criminal records checks, no such checks will be made in respect of those applicants who declare that they are in possession of or who have applied for refugee or asylum status."

The TfL form also appears to be offering a licence to "asylum seekers" – in breach of rules banning them from working until their asylum claim has been approved. ...

Campaigners yesterday called for the loophole to be plugged.

Lawrence Webb, Ukip candidate in Hornchurch and Upminster in Essex, said: "No one should be issued with a minicab licence unless they have first undergone a criminal records check. If that prevents foreign nationals from driving a cab so be it."

Tory MP Nick de Bois said: "They should not be offering licences to those they can't check on. They could be putting vulnerable members of the public in the hands of thieves, murderers and rapists. It beggars belief."
[Site link]


Crime – Scotland
Police uncover 30 foreign criminals a day: Shocking Scottish figures eclipse UK rate
Richard Elias
Daily Express, 28 March 2015

Thirty foreign criminals were identified by Police Scotland every single day for six months, a shocking new report has revealed.

Paedophiles, rapists and violent offenders were among the thugs found on our streets in yet another example of how open-ended immigration policies have left the country vulnerable to offenders from abroad.

The report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) found that between May and December last year, 5,425 foreign national offenders were reported by Police Scotland's custody division. ...

In recent years foreigners have been responsible for horrific crimes in Scotland, including several high-profile murders.

Police Scotland has created a single National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) to analyse the movement and actions of foreign offenders.

It forms part of Operation Nexus, instigated by the Metropolitan Police in 2012 to combat the rising number of serious offences conducted by foreigners.

According to HMICS, its bureau has helped identify a large number of previously unknown offenders.
[Site link]


Crime – underage marriage
Eastern European immigrants 'illegally marrying underage girls' in Rotherham
Scott Campbell
Daily Express, 13 March 2015

Eastern European immigrants are illegally marrying underage girls in scandal-hit Rotherham, a councillor has claimed.

The latest shocking revelation came in the town where government appointed commissioners have taken over the council.

Former deputy leader Emma Hoddinott admitted there are illegal brides in the town's large Roma immigrant community.

The Labour councillor admitted that underage marriage is an "issue" in Rotherham and added: "We have to work with police to tackle that and we have to work with the commissioners to make sure there are actions in place to tackle these issues.

"We need to get it right - we can't write off those girls because they are in that community."

But she was unable to say how many children in the town might be married to men already.

It is believed there are currently more than 200,000 Roma immigrants in Britain.

The marriage of girls under 16 is common in Roma communities where families follow the Gypsy code called Pachiv which encourages girls to wed soon after reaching puberty.

The code dictates that the head of the usually large family group is always obeyed and in some cases large sums of money can be involved when matchmakers seek out a suitable young girl for marriage.
[Site link]


Crime – Muslims, Islam
Why the surge in Muslim prisoners?
Danny Shaw
BBC, 11 March 2015

It's a crime mystery.

Why has there been a surge in the number of Muslim prisoners?

In 2002, 5,502 prisoners in England and Wales said they were Muslim.

Three years later, the number had risen to 7,246 and almost a decade on, by December 2014, it had reached 12,225.

OK, I hear you say, the overall prison population has also increased, so what's the big deal?

Indeed, prisoner numbers have risen from an average of 70,778 in 2002 to 84,691 last December.

But that 20% increase in the jail population has been outstripped by the rise in Muslim inmates - up 122%.

One possible explanation for the rise is that there are now more Muslims in the general population.

In the 2001 census, 3% of people in England and Wales said they were Muslim - 1.55 million.

By 2011, that had gone up to 4.8 % - 2.7 million people - so you'd expect the numbers in prison to go up too.

But the percentage rise in Muslim prisoner numbers has been far greater than the Muslim population increase: Muslim inmates now account for 14.4% of those behind bars, compared with 7.7 % in 2002.

The media focus on terrorism might lead some to think that the Muslim prisoner population increase is linked to convictions of Islamist extremists.

But the figures don't bear that out either.

Ministry of Justice data shows that between October 2012 and January 2015, there were 104 Muslims out of 178 prisoners who'd been jailed for "terrorism-related offences where the motivation stemmed from extreme ideology" - less than 1% of the total Muslim prisoner population.

Another factor that's cited is the increasing number of foreign national prisoners: there were about 10,500 last year - one in eight of the total prisoner population.

A Ministry of Justice analysis in 2013 suggested that a significant minority, 30%, of Muslim prisoners weren't British - last year the top 10 overseas nationalities included inmates from two predominantly Muslim countries: 522 from Pakistan, 417 from Somalia.

It does lend some support to the theory that as the UK's ethnic and population mix has changed, driven by rising levels of immigration, travel from abroad and births to foreign-born mothers, so the prison population has become more diverse, with greater numbers of Muslims.

But there appear to be underlying reasons too.

In 2010, the then Chief Inspector of Prisons, Dame Anne Owers, published a report on Muslims in jail, in which she linked the growth in numbers to the age and socio-economic profiles of the Muslim population in general.

"Both are powerful predictors of involvement in the criminal justice system," she wrote, "and Muslims in Britain have a notably younger age profile than non-Muslims and are more likely to come from lower socio-economic groups."

Last year, 58% of Muslim prisoners were aged 30 or under, compared with 45% of the overall population, and in what's termed the "secure youth estate" - institutions which hold 10- to 17-year-olds - almost one in five prisoners was Muslim.
[Site link]


Crime – deportation
Revealed: Nearly 5,000 convicted foreign criminals are still at large in Britain despite government attempts to kick them out
Martin Beckford
Mail on Sunday, 8 March 2015

The number of foreign criminals on Britain's streets has risen by almost 20 per cent, despite repeated Government attempts to kick more of them out.

Official figures show there are now close to 5,000 immigrants at large after being released from jail, a record high.

Dozens are continuing to avoid deportation by claiming they have the human right to a family life in Britain. ... ...

The rise comes despite a series of crackdowns by Home Secretary Theresa May, who has ordered judges to take less notice of human rights sob stories and introduced a 'deport now, appeal later' rule. ...

Home Office data shows that the number of foreign national offenders who are currently still in Britain, having served their time in jail, stood at 4,903 at the end of last year.

That represents an 18 per cent rise from the 4,153 recorded a year earlier.

Of those 4,903, 1,634 have been at large for more than five years.

In the last three months of 2014, 312 new foreign criminals who were eligible for deportation were 'released into the community'.

Only five were deported immediately, with a further 196 still being 'caseworked' and 62 suffering 'legal issues' while 32 had 'removal issues'.

The data shows that, overall, there were 570 foreign criminals fighting removal at the end of last year.

Of these, 43 were claiming asylum, 201 were appealing against their deportation in courts and tribunals, and nine had children or family members living in the UK, meaning they could not be removed.

Another six escaped being deported because of fears they would suffer torture or persecution back in their homeland.

Five had medical conditions that kept them in the UK and – incredibly – nine could not be deported simply because officials do not know to which country they should be returned.

More than 200 were being held up because the offenders did not have a passport and needed an emergency travel document from their home country's embassy before they could fly out.

A staggering 151 foreign criminals have been waiting for more than a year for such a document, while 294 offenders were involved in 'failed removals' – often because they refused to board planes or went on the run.

But 653 foreign criminals were sent home under controversial schemes that allow prisoners to leave before their sentence finishes.

Some even received up to £1,500 for co-operating.

The average time to deport a foreign offender now stands at 152 days, according to the Home Office figures, up sharply from 111 days when the previous figures were published three months earlier.

Although thousands of criminals roam the streets, another 1,387 remain in immigration detention after serving their sentences – at an average cost of £96 a day.

Foreign criminals make up about one in eight – or 11,000 – of all those behind bars in England and Wales.

The Home Office said it was getting to grips with the problem and had removed almost 5,100 foreign national offenders in the past year.
[Site link]


Crime – London
One in three arrested by Met Police is a migrant
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 3 March 2015

Foreigners in Britain are being arrested at a rate of nearly 200 every day, police have revealed.

More than 426,000 suspects from overseas have been held for serious offences including rape and murder in London alone over the past six years.

Poles and Romanians top the list with a total of 83,000 – the equivalent of 38 a day.

The Metropolitan Police makes an average of 233,000 arrests a year and one in three is a migrant.

The figures have caused concern among campaigners because EU criminals have virtually unlimited access to the UK under Brussels freedom of movement rules.

Ian Readhead, of the Association of Chief Police Officers, told MPs last week that statistics showed European criminals were using the rules to avoid arrest by coming to the UK to carry on their lives of crime.
[Site link]


Gypsies given £1m grant 'turned camp into cannabis factory'
Daily Telegraph, 27 February 2015

A gypsy community given more than £1 million in public money to improve their caravan site turned it into a giant cannabis factory.

Police raided the camp and found a well-organised operation capable of producing cannabis with a street value of £250,000 a year.

The site received a government grant of £1.3 million in 2011 to refurbish the site and build a community centre for its 120 residents.

But officials were tipped off that the caravan dwellers were seen buying large amounts of compost and gardening equipment from a local garden centre.

Cannabis was found growing in 12 of the 24 caravan plots on the three-acre Glynmill Gypsy and Traveller Site in Merthyr Tyfdil, south Wales.

The street value of the illegal crop is estimated at between £60,000 and £70,000.

With an average three-month growth cycle, it means the site was capable of generating over a quarter of a million pounds worth of cannabis per year.

The site was given £1,343,203 by the Welsh Government after a plea by the traveller community that it needed upgrading. ...

The money was used to build a community hall, three toilet blocks and to landscape the grounds. ...

Sixteen people living on the site were arrested in connection with the production of cannabis and three others in connection with separate offences.
[Site link]


'EU migrant risks' Romanians are EIGHT times more likely to be jailed as Britons
Daily Express, 23 February 2015

Romanian immigrants are eight times more likely to be jailed in the UK than Britons, official figures have revealed.

Of the 126,000 Romanians living in Britain, 760 are in prison, according to the Ministry of Justice.

By contrast of the 617,000 Poles living in the UK, only 573 are in jail. One prisoner in eight is a foreign national – a proportion that has doubled in the 10 years since mass immigration from eastern Europe.

The latest statistics cover the period from October 2013 to March 2014, during which restrictions were lifted on Romanian and Bulgarian migrants.

A breakdown of the figures for jails in England and Wales show that Romanians, Albanians and Lithuanians are all proportionately more likely to be jailed than native Britons. Tory MP Philip Davies, who obtained the figures, called them "staggering and unacceptable".

He said: "This lays bare that free movement in the EU also means free movement of criminals. We are unnecessarily opening our borders to lots of people to commit crimes, who create unnecessary victims of crime in the UK. That is why we would be better off outside the EU."

Lord Green, the chairman of Migration Watch, added: "These statistics strengthen the case for tightening the arrangements within the EU for the removal of convicted criminals to their country of origin."

The majority of prisoners are British – 34,168 out of a jail population of 39,773. The most likely foreigners to be jailed were Vietnamese or Albanians with more than one per cent of their populations in prison. Separate data from police forces shows that 11,000 Romanians are arrested each year, most for shoplifting.

The figure represents two percent of all arrests even though Romanians make up only 0.2 per cent of the population.
[Site link]


Crime – rioters
London rioters in new crime wave as figures reveal 6,000 offences including rape, murder and robbery have been committed by them in three years
Chris Greenwood and Emma Glanfield
Daily Mail, 11 February 2015

One in three rioters who brought terror and destruction to the streets of London went on to commit crimes including murder, rape and robbery, figures revealed yesterday.

Some 1,593 of the 3,914 thugs charged or cautioned following the disturbances of August 2011 have reoffended.

Among the near-6,000 fresh crimes they notched up in the three years since the riots were 12 killings, 180 serious assaults such as wounding and 151 crimes involving a weapon.

But although some rioters are still in jail for offences committed during the lawlessness, the vast majority have either been freed or given non-custodial sentences.

The statistics sparked fresh calls for the authorities to get a better 'grip' on young men entrenched in a life of violent crime and warnings that failing to keep career criminals under control is putting people in danger.

The figures are also likely to be echoed in other cities struck by rioting that spread from the capital, including Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester.

A breakdown of figures released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal a total of 5,878 new crimes committed by the London rioters. Of these, 1,172 were violent offences – including 314 'assault with injury' crimes, 171 common assaults and 265 cases of harassment.

Along with 21 rapes, there were also 719 burglaries, 451 robberies and 1,075 thefts. Some 1,819 drug offences included 221 trafficking charges, and there were 36 frauds and 213 cases of vandalism. Incredibly, one rioter went on to commit 72 new crimes.

The data also reveals how 168 of the 1,593 reoffenders in London belonged to gangs. Some 107 people – 17 of them gangsters – committed ten or more new offences.

A total of 261 rioters, including 49 gang members, carried out between five and ten more crimes.
[Site link]


Crime – fraud, marriage, deportation
More than 1,000 fraudsters wed British women to get visas - not ONE is deported due to Home Office 'shambles'
Michael Powell
Mail on Sunday, 8 February 2015

The Home Office has been accused of failing to deport hundreds of foreign fraudsters who con Britons into marriage, to get a UK visa and to plunder their finances.

Victims of immigration marriage fraud have told The Mail on Sunday that Theresa May's department is a 'shambles' and is not doing enough to tackle the problem.

Not one alleged scammer has been deported or prosecuted despite an estimated 1,000 cases of marriage fraud being reported in the past year alone.

A new Home Office intelligence unit has been launched to combat the growing problem, but angry victims want the Government to 'wake up' and start investigating cases.

'We are seeing about 20 cases a week but no one is being prosecuted, no one deported,' said Kim Sow, of victim support group Immigration Marriage Fraud UK.

'These are long cons. The authorities need to realise it's not just about getting British citizenship, it's also about getting as many material assets as they can.'

Mrs Sow, 58, has been calling for action since her Senegalese husband Laye walked out on her in 2013 after obtaining his British citizenship, leaving her £50,000 out of pocket. ...

After three years he won British citizenship. But then a shocked Mrs Sow found out that his wife was still alive, and found Facebook messages from Laye to scores of other women he was targeting on dating websites.

He was also expecting a child with a British woman he'd been seeing behind her back. It later emerged he was wanted by immigration police in The Netherlands over an alleged marriage to a Dutch woman in 2002. ...

Following the break-up, Mrs Sow started Immigration Marriage Fraud UK with another woman, Delene Alouane, who lost £150,000 to her Tunisian ex-husband.

They have since been contacted by 600 people (70 per cent women and 30 per cent men) who say they have been targeted and duped into marriage by immigrants seeking a visa.

After marriage, they apply to settle in Britain with their UK spouse, before dumping them when they are granted the right to remain here indefinitely, or acquire citizenship.

It is common for the fraudster to claim half of their UK partner's home by having their name added to the property by the Land Registry without their spouse's knowledge.

In many cases, they also rack up five-figure credit card bills and loans secured against their unsuspecting partner's property.

Immigration Minister James Brokenshire last night insisted the Home Office was tightening the rules on marrying foreign partners.
[Site link]


Crime – racism, political correctness
Rotherham council ignored child abuse by Asian gangs because of 'misplaced political correctness', report concludes
Martin Evans and Gordon Rayner
Daily Telegraph, 5 February 2015

Misplaced political correctness by Rotherham's Labour led council combined with a staggering culture of denial allowed more than 1,400 vulnerable girls to be routinely abused by gangs of Asian men, a withering report has concluded.

Children as young as nine were groomed, trafficked and raped by members of the town's Pakistani community, but a desperation to avoid being labelled as racist meant councillors turned a blind eye to the appalling abuse for 16 years.

A damning report, written by former Victims' Commissioner, Louise Casey, has laid bare the true extent of the council's failings and accused those in charge of deliberately trying to cover up scandal and silence whistle-blowers.

Just minutes after the report's findings were published the entire Labour Cabinet of Rotherham Council resigned and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced he was sending in Government Commissioners to run things until new elections could be held next year.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) also announced it was extending its investigation into child sexual exploitation in the town to cover a number of "potentially criminal matters" that had been uncovered by the report. ...

Ms Casey's team of inspectors was ordered into Rotherham Council last year after Professor Alexis Jay's shocking report revealed the extent of child sexual exploitation that had existed in Rotherham since the late 1990s.

Her report, published in August revealed how the victims were routinely let down by those who were charged with safeguarding their welfare.

Despite the appalling revelations and victim testimonies contained in the Jay report, Ms Casey said she had been greeted by a council that was still in complete denial about the extent of the problem.

Describing the reaction she received when interviewing council members, she said: "They denied that there had been a problem, or if there had been, that it was as big as was said.

"If there was a problem they certainly were not told – it was someone else's job. They were no worse than anyone else. They had won awards. The media were out to get them."

Inspectors also found there had been a widespread reluctance among officials to address the problem for fear of being labelled racist, something which the report said had helped fuel the rise of the far-right in the area. ...

Ms Casey praised the bravery of whistle-blowers in exposing the truth about the scandal but accused council officials of failing to listen to them.

The report said that the council went to "considerable lengths" to cover up information adding: "It has created an unhealthy climate where people fear to speak out".
[Site link]


Crime – racism, political correctness
Rotherham scandal: The catalogue of council failings
Martin Evans and Gordon Rayner
Daily Telegraph, 5 February 2015

Rotherham Council is an organisation still "in denial" about its total failure to protect 1,400 girls from child sexual exploitation, a devastating government report said.

Louise Casey, who was asked to carry out an inspection of the council by the Department for Communities and Local Government, found that staff did not accept the findings of an independent inquiry carried out by Professor Alexis Jay last year.

Council workers believed there had not been a problem and that "the media were out to get them".

In truth, said Ms Casey, a culture of bullying, political correctness, incompetence and cover-up had allowed gangs of Asian men to get away with child abuse for years. ...

When the issue was highlighted in media reports in 2012, councillors dismissed the coverage as politically motivated attacks by the right-wing media.

But the inspectors said they were in no doubt that the "numbers of victims and the type and extent of the CSE problem was clear to the council".

Miss Casey said throughout the scandal, the council had been more concerned with the potential for reputational damage, rather than with the plight of the victims of CSE.

Rotherham's Labour-run council was portrayed in the report as an authority where political correctness persistently blighted its approach to CSE.

The South Yorkshire town has a small Pakistani community, accounting for around three per cent of the local population.

But the report found that when the council was presented with information that men from this community were involved in the grooming and abuse of young white girls, there was a reluctance to address the issue for fear of being labelled racist. ...

Political correctness protected abusers because council officers were reluctant to revoke their taxi licences when they were accused of sexual abuse.

"Some officers and Members felt they could not raise matters relating to Pakistani heritage taxi drivers and perpetrators because of community cohesion implications," the report says.

The council knew of reports of children being used for sex in exchange for free rides, vodka, cigarettes or food from taxi drivers, and of drivers picking up girls outside their school so they could perform sex acts on them during their lunchbreak.

But the Director of Housing and Neighbourhood Services, responsible for taxi licensing, said that four revocations of licences in 2009 to 2012 represented the "full extent of taxi driver child sexual abuse in Rotherham".

The council's former deputy leader, Jahangir Akhtar, was a former taxi driver who "made representations on behalf of taxi drivers to speed up the issue of licences in advance of Criminal Record Bureau checks", the report said.
[Site link]


Crime – cost
Taxpayers foot £110 million jail bill for EU migrant criminals
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 2 February 2015

Record numbers of Eastern European criminals are clogging up the country's already overcrowded jails leaving hard-pressed taxpayers to foot an annual bill of £110 million.

The eye-watering cost comes amid fury and frustration that nine out of 28 of our EU counterparts have failed to sign deals to take their criminals back.

New figures show the number of EU inmates and suspects on remand from former Soviet bloc states has surged 61 per cent in the last four years to nearly 3,000. With an average prison place costing more than £36,000 a year, the bill comes in at just under £110 million. ...

Ministry of Justice figures seen by the Daily Express revealed that in September last year there were 2,963 prisoners from 16 Eastern European countries which are either in the EU or preparing to join in the near future.

More than two out of every three are from just four countries – Poland, Lithuania, Romania and Albania. ...

Last night a Ministry of Justice spokesman said:

"We believe foreign national offenders who have no right to remain in the UK should be removed at the earliest opportunity. That is why this Government has toughened the system.

"We have cut the grounds on which criminals can appeal deportation, and have removed 22,000 foreign offenders since 2010."
[Site link]


Crime – deportation
Fury at Home Office's 'complete failure' over foreign criminals with killers and rapists among 760 on the run despite extra staff
James Slack And Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 20 January 2015

MPs last night accused the Home Office of 'complete failure' as it emerged killers, rapists and sex attackers are among 760 foreign criminals allowed to go on the run.

The 'dysfunctional' department had still not managed to get a grip on the shambolic system for deporting overseas convicts, Westminster's public accounts committee said.

In addition to the criminals who have simply vanished, 151 inmates were freed without even being considered for removal.

Meanwhile, £6.2 million in compensation was paid to 229 foreign national offenders because of Home Office delays in dealing with their cases – an average of £27,000 each.

MPs were scathing about the lack of progress since 2006 when then Home Secretary Charles Clarke was forced to resign over the failure to boot out 1,000 foreign criminals.

Since then, the number of officials working on deportations has increased by 800, from 100 to 900. But, incredibly, the number of overseas convicts clogging Britain's packed jails remains stuck at 10,000.

The annual cost of managing and removing foreign criminals is estimated at £850 million. In a joint statement, committee chairman Margaret Hodge, a Labour MP, and Tory Richard Bacon made a blistering attack on the Home Office.

They said: 'There has been a complete failure to improve the management and removal of foreign national offenders. Despite firm commitments to improve and a massive ten-fold increase in resources, the system still appears dysfunctional.'

The MPs add: 'Processing foreign national offender cases for removal starts too late, takes too long and costs too much. At the most basic, it takes on average 32 days to send out the 50-question paper form to start the process and almost half of these forms are ignored or not returned.

'The approach to case working is grossly inefficient, often featuring avoidable processing delays and administrative errors.' Of the many failures highlighted in the report, arguably the most serious is the loss of contact with 760 ex-inmates.

They were released pending deportation, with strict instructions to stay in contact with the Home Office.

However, they have since vanished and cannot be traced. They include as many as 12 killers, 11 rapists, 152 drug dealers, at least 23 other sex offenders – including five paedophiles – 33 robbers and 46 violent thugs.

Overall, there are 4,200 foreign criminals walking Britain's streets who are subject to deportation proceedings. ...

Currently, there are over 5,600 foreign national offenders still in prison, immigration removal centres or living in the community after the end of their sentence while the Home Office continues to try to deport them.

To MPs' fury, the Home Office has not been deciding whether to deport foreign national offenders until 18 months before their earliest removal date. Inmates then submit countless appeals to further delay the process. ...

Immigration minister James Brokenshire said 22,000 foreign criminals had been removed since 2010 despite an almost 30 per cent surge in appeals.

He said last year's Immigration Act, which cuts appeal routes for foreign criminals from 17 to four, and other measures 'will help us identify, remove and ban more foreign criminals than ever before'.
[Site link]


Crime – deportation
Our £300m bill for flying foreign criminals home: Huge bill over past five years as officials struggle to clear backlog of convicts and over-stayers
James Slack
Daily Mail, 15 January 2015

Taxpayers have forked out more than £300 million on flights and 'bribes' to persuade foreign criminals and illegal immigrants to go home.

The bill has been racked up over the past five years as officials struggle to clear a huge backlog of overseas convicts, visa over-stayers and people who sneaked into the UK in the back of lorries.

In some cases, the migrants could only be convinced to leave with the help of so-called 'assistance' packages worth up to £1,500 each.

They are free to spend the cash on education, medical bills, housing and even setting up a business back home.

The highest sums were £68 million spent in the year ending April 2010 and £71.8 million the following year. Last night Tory MPs said much of the blame rested with Labour, which handed the current Government a border system in chaos.

The bill only includes flights, assistance grants and, for violent offenders, guards on the journey. If the cost of prison sentences and the time taken by Home Office staff to process the paperwork are included, the total would be far higher. ...

The figures were revealed to Labour MP Frank Field, a member of the Balanced Migration campaign group, in a Parliamentary written answer.

It gives a total bill of £306 million between 2009-10 and 2013-14 – including £55.3 million in the last year alone.

Migrationwatch chairman Lord Green of Deddington said: 'The removal of immigration offenders is absolutely fundamental to the credibility of the entire system. This figure illustrates the huge cost of each case.' ...

There are 12,250 foreign offenders in the UK and the Government spends around £850 million a year on managing them.
[Site link]


Crime – fake identity documents
Master forgers made thousands of fake identity documents to order
Wired Gov, 13 January 2015

Two men who made and sold thousands of counterfeit identity documents to criminals and illegal immigrants across London have been jailed, following an investigation by the National Crime Agency.

Medi Krasniqi, 47, and Arsen Meci, 26, were arrested by NCA officers in a street near Turnpike Lane tube station on 9 October 2014. ...

Examination of the computers revealed they contained more than eight thousand images and templates for driving licences, identity cards for numerous EU countries including Italy, Romania and Lithuania, fake Greek, Spanish and Portuguese passports, and cards entitling the bearer to work in the construction and security industries.

Both men pleaded guilty to conspiring to produce false identity documents, possession of false ID and money laundering charges. ...

Carl Eade, senior investigating officer from the NCA, said:

"Krasniqi and Meci were prolific forgers and could supply almost any form of ID – from passports and national identity cards through to construction or security industry certification.

"These documents were designed to be used to help people obtain work or services they weren't qualified for or entitled to. Their clients would typically include criminals and people in the UK illegally.

"They are the final two members of a wider north-London based criminal network to be jailed.

"Our three-year investigation into this series of Albanian-led forgery cells has now led to 17 convictions and a total of 68 years of jail sentences being handed out."
[Site link]


Crime – deportation
Killers among those who escape deportation
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 7 January 2015

The Home Office was forced to admit yesterday that it had lost track of hundreds of dangerous foreign criminals awaiting deportation.

Instead of being locked up until they are thrown out of the UK, 758 offenders from overseas, including murderers, rapists, robbers and paedophiles, have vanished after being let out of prison.

For the first time, the Mail can reveal the crimes committed by those who have absconded after completing their sentences – meaning they could still pose a serious threat.

There are 4,247 overseas criminals living in Britain due for deportation and among the 758 – or one in six – who have gone missing are 'high harm' individuals at risk of committing the gravest crimes.

In a snapshot of those let out of prison by March last year, those who had absconded included up to 12 killers, 11 rapists, 46 violent thugs, 152 drug dealers, 33 robbers and 23 other sex offenders.

At least 115 had been jailed for at least four years – an indication of the seriousness of their crimes.

The figures were obtained from the Home Office by the Commons' Public Accounts Committee after ministers previously refused to publish them.

Foreign criminals who commit serious offences are automatically considered for deportation, but once offenders are released from jail they are rarely put on a plane home.

They can only be placed in a detention centre if there are realistic prospects they will be removed swiftly because judges would otherwise order them to be released.

It means that thousands of criminals are placed back in the community with a request to keep in touch with immigration officials. But many simply slip off the radar.

Peter Cuthbertson, of the Centre for Crime Prevention think-tank, said: 'It is a disgrace that on top of letting the wrong people into the country, we cannot even reliably get rid of them at the end of their sentences.

'We need a simple process for ensuring all foreign criminals are deported at the end of their sentences.

'We also must look at controlling our borders better so that those who come here are not likely to commit crimes in the first place.'

Lord Green, chairman of MigrationWatch, said: 'It is shocking that so many serious offenders should have been able to abscond.

'We need to change the law so that it permits serious criminals to be detained until arrangements can be made to deport them, however long that takes.'

There are hopes the deportation process can be speeded up. The Mail reported yesterday how judges have backed the new 'deport first, appeal later' regime that means criminals can be kicked out, forcing them to fight appeals in their home country.
[Site link]


Crime – asylum
Asylum seekers not checked for criminal past in home country in policy loophole branded 'nonsense on stilts'
Matt Chorley
MailOnline, 4 January 2015

Checks are not being carried out on asylum seekers to see if they are murderers, rapists or child abusers, minister have admitted.

Criminal records are not examined when someone makes a claim to reside in the UK in case it causes problems for them in their home country, in a policy branded 'nonsense on stilts'.

Last month it emerged border 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.

Home Office minister Lord Bates told peers in a debate that it was the 'intention' to carry out checks on the background of asylum applicants.

But in a letter sent a month later, he admitted that while names are checked against UK and EU police databases, information is not sought from the country individuals are fleeing from.

During the debate Labour peer Lord Martin, the former Commons Speaker, raised concerns about the ease with which individuals became asylum seekers.

He said: 'My Lords, when I served as a Member of Parliament, I had a large proportion of asylum seekers in my constituency of Glasgow Springburn.

'What would happen was that the asylum seeker would say, 'I seek asylum' and therefore they were looked at.

'Can I get the assurance that when asylum seekers are seeking asylum, they are checked to see whether they have been serious offenders in their previous country?'

Lord Bates replied: 'That is certainly the intention and the process.' He added that he would check on the details.

In a letter to peers he admitted: 'Upon claiming asylum, the Home Office conducts a series of checks against databases including our immigration fingerpint database, Eurodac (a European wide database) and the Police National Computer (PNC) in order to identify any known criminal or security issues.

'We do not currently check overseas criminal records in asylum cases because, in some instances, by disclosing an application has been made could put an applicant at risk or jeopardise the liberty and security of family members still living in the country of origin, potentially strengthening their claim for asylum.'

The loophole means someone convicted or wanted for a serious offence outside Europe would not be picked up, and could be granted the right to stay in the UK.

The admission has sparked calls for an urgent review of the policy. ...

Labour MP Frank Field told The Sunday Times the policy of not looking at the criminal past of asylum seekers was 'shocking' and 'nonsense on stilts'.

He added: 'People have been murdered by asylum seekers.

'A slightly late new year's resolution for the home secretary should be to ensure everyone seeking asylum has their criminal record checked.'
[Site link]


Crime – slavery
South Lincolnshire slavery cases just the 'tip of the iceberg'
Boston Standard, 2 January 2015

An expert on the issue of slavery and worker exploitation says the nine cases under investigation in our region are merely the 'tip of the iceberg'.

Prof Gary Craig said he 'wasn't surprised' to hear police and the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) are investigating nine cases of slavery and sexual exploitation in the Boston and South Holland area.

"I suspect this is just the tip of the iceberg," he said. ...

Prof Craig, of Hull University, was called upon in 2012 to speak at a hearing for Boston Borough Council's inquiry into the impact of immigration on the borough.

He told The Standard there are currently 4-5,000 people in Britain who are victims of slavery and exploitation – adding 'so I estimate there to be hundreds in the area around The Wash'.

"It's about time more investigations took place," he said.

However, he emphasised that due to funding cuts to the GLA – the number of cases being investigated has 'dropped off significantly'. ...

Prof Craig added: "There's a modern slavery bill going through parliament now – but if the GLA doesn't get any more resources it's just going to be a pointless paper exercise."

A GLA spokesman said migrant workers are 'easy pickings for ruthless, organised and unscrupulous criminals'.
[Site link]



Disease – cholera, scarlet fever
'Victorian' Disease Epidemic in England Blamed on Rising Poverty
Ed Jones
Modern Readers, 26 December 2015

A worrying rise in the number of people living in poverty in the United Kingdom has been blamed for the resurgence of diseases most would have thought long-since eradicated. Cholera and scarlet fever in particular have exploded in prevalence over recent years, alongside a sharp increase in confirmed cases of whooping cough. ...

According to the UK's National Health Service (NHS), cases of cholera have increased 300% over the last five years, scurvy diagnoses are up 38% and scarlet fever cases have spiked 136%. By contrast, overall tuberculosis rates have declined over the same period of time, though are said to remain disproportionately high. Though down, TB rates across England are said to be higher than would be expected in Guatemala, Iraq, Rwanda and other developing nations. ...

Experts have suggested that the root cause of the resurgence could be a combination of immigration, malnutrition, poverty and inadequate access to health/social care.
[Site link]


Disease – HIV
Rachel is composed, confident – and unable to tell anyone she is HIV-positive
Verity Sullivan
The Guardian, 2 September 2015

I work as an HIV specialist in south-east London, an area with the highest prevalence of HIV in the UK, and the accounts above are from patients who demonstrate the ongoing misconceptions, stigma and fear that can accompany a HIV diagnosis in the black minority and ethnic (BME) community.

Of the approximate 110,000 people diagnosed with HIV in the UK in 2013, an estimated 59,500 acquired their infection through heterosexual contact. Black Africans constituted two-thirds of this group and while progress is being made in increasing public HIV awareness and support for HIV-positive people, needs remain unmet for the BME community.

In July 2014 the National Aids trust issued a report stating that insufficient resources are going into HIV prevention and testing in BME groups. Currently, an estimated 25,000 people are living in the UK with undiagnosed HIV, many from BME communities, who are unwittingly passing on the infection to others. They are also more likely to be diagnosed later, with already advanced HIV disease that requires intensive and expensive medical management for survival. ...

Wider issues of immigration remain, with significant, uncalculated numbers of BME people living in the UK with uncertain residency status, unable to work or access a GP. Many live in poverty and isolation, factors intrinsically linked with HIV acquisition and reduced testing uptake. ...

The task is challenging. /.../ The staffing and time required to integrate BME groups in an appropriate and culturally acceptable way cannot currently be provided.
[Site link]


Disease – tuberculosis, cost
Migrants and asylum seekers blamed for tuberculosis outbreak at British schools
Oli Smith
Daily Express, 3 August 2015

Council health bosses have blamed dangerous outbreaks of deadly tuberculosis in Britain's schools on migrants.

Several outbreaks of TB in schools across Bolton have been linked to the rising population of migrants in the city.

The council's annual Health Protection Report found migrants were far more likely to be infected with TB.

Bolton Council's health bosses claim nearly three quarters of all Bolton's TB cases were found in people who were born abroad. ... ...

Roger Williams, professor of hepatology at University College London, said: "The potential cost of treating migrants to the NHS is enormous in both financial and staff terms.

"It is absolutely essential firm action be taken to prevent any further increase in this growing pool of potential infection."

Professor Meirion Thomas, an eminent consultant who has worked in the NHS for 44 years, believes the cost to the taxpayer to be billions of pounds annually.
[Site link]


Disease – Pakistanis
First cousin marriages in Pakistani communities leading to 'appalling' disabilities among children
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 8 July 2015

Baroness Flather, a former Tory who now sits as a cross-bencher, said in the House of Lords that it is "absolutely appalling" that first cousin marriages in Pakistani communities are leading to "so much disability among children".

She said: "There are a lot of first-cousin marriages in certain communities, particularly among Pakistanis who come from the Pakistani Kashmir area. We know so much about DNA now, but there is so much disability among the children, which is absolutely appalling.

"You go to any such family and there will be four or five children, at least one or two of whom will have some disability. That is absolutely unacceptable, and if we cannot do anything about it, is it fair to the children?"

Baroness Flather, a former barrister who was born in the Pakistani city of Lahore when it was part of India, said: "Never mind the parents – it is not fair to the children that they should be allowed to become disabled because of a social practice. It is a social practice which does not belong in today's age, when we know so much about DNA. There should at least be some rule which says that you must have a DNA examination before your marriage can be registered."

First-cousin marriages, which are are legal in the UK, are practised within Britain's Pakistani community, as well as among some Arab and African families. Medical data previously suggested that while British Pakistanis were responsible for 3 per cent of all births, they accounted for 30 per cent of British children born with a genetic illness.
[Site link]


Disease – UK, Italy
Officials BAN migrants with diseases over outbreak fears – as campaigners say it's RACIST
Scott Campbell
Daily Express, 8 July 2015

Officials are to ban migrants who have diseases over fears that whole towns could be wiped out by exotic illness outbreaks.

Six European mayors have signed the agreement amid a surge of migrants arriving in their towns.

The Italians fear that migrants could spread dangerous illnesses after scabies and tuberculosis outbreaks were recorded among some of the 68,000 who have arrived in the country since January.

One of the concerned officials said: "We are a small town with 300 inhabitants, if someone with a strange disease arrives will we have to quarantine the town?"

And Casanova mayor Micheal Volpati warned that his town could not cope with the constant flood of migrants after budget cuts.

He said: "I need to protect my citizens and I say no to refugees here.

"It's not racism. Once there is a clear and co-ordinated plan in place we will look at doing our bit to help." ...

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has previously warned of immigration's impact on "public health in Europe".

It said in a 2009 report: "Many migrants from outside the EU come from countries where prevention and control of infectious diseases such as TB, HIV and hepatitis is inadequate and the risk of exposure to these diseases is higher than in most EU countries."

Researchers from the EU agency found that in some countries as many as 79 per cent of tuberculosis cases were foreigners. ...

Migrants account for about 70 per cent of HIV cases in Britain, according to the ECDC – and almost all of them got the highly infectious disease before coming to the UK.
[Site link]


Disease – HIV, politics, UKIP
The Real Problem with what Farage said about HIV
Alex Rantwell
The News Hub, 16 June 2015

One of the supposed controversies of the recent general election campaign was Nigel Farage's suggestion that new migrants to the UK should be required to test negative for HIV before being issued with a visa. This generated the predictable howls of indignation from many such as The Terrence Higgins Trust who said it showed "an outrageous lack of understanding" while Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood accused him of "stigmatising" people with the disease. ...

Farage's point was that we should block new migrants who are already infected with HIV. It sounds, on the face of it fairly sensible. We already screen for Tuberculosis, a less serious - though admittedly more contagious - disease, suggesting that we don't have a problem in principle with "discriminating" against carriers of contagious diseases. There are arguments about the practicalities of it, and about the actual cost and prevalence of this sort of long term health tourism, but so far as I can tell no-one has campaigned against "stigmatising" those with tuberculosis. "Discriminating" against them is a long standing part of our immigration policy. Extending this to cover HIV seems like a sensible move for the UK, whose National Health Service is already stretched.

So why the big fuss about this particular statement? Was Farage saying that HIV sufferers are bad people? Was he saying we should paint a red cross on their door and burn their clothes? Or could it be because HIV and AIDS have become a cause célèbre for a certain group of people? And, quite insanely, they are treating "discrimination" against people with a highly infection disease with the same sort of horror as they would treat discrimination along racial or gender lines. Why on earth would you even approach the question in those terms? ...

It's important to understand, though not always widely known, that AIDS disproportionately affects certain groups - homosexuals and those who inject drugs, and that it's especially prevalent amongst blacks. And no, this isn't the propaganda of some far right American religious group; this is from National AIDS Trust here. This demographic appears to have given it a sort of cachet amongst a certain part of the media and political establishment. In the 80s such figures as Freddie Mercury had AIDS. In the fictional town of Walford that is home to Eastenders an improbably high proportion of heterosexual white people were struck down with the disease, and just up the road the disease featured in Grange Hill far more often than I remember it featuring in my own school at the same time. ...

What Farage said about restricting the immigration of HIV positive people was simply sensible policy as used by Australia and until recently the United States amongst others. The reaction was the shrill fury of what amounts to a fundamentalist sect who believe on some level that HIV is a badge of honour and a passage into the rarified kingdom of liberal righteousness. This is an absolutely ludicrous basis on which to set policy on immigration or anything else.
[Site link]


Disease – HIV, cost, UKIP
Farage right on 'HIV immigrants' says HIV positive Brit with just 14 days meds left
Helen Barnett
Daily Express, 30 April 2015

A mixed-race, gay, HIV sufferer, who says he has only 14 days worth of life-saving medicine left has penned an emotional letter to Nigel Farage claiming HIV positive health tourists arriving from abroad are crippling the NHS.

The unlikely Ukip supporter said over the years he has seen the NHS' HIV services stretched 'to the point of failure' because of migrants arriving in Britain demanding costly medicines.

The number of British HIV sufferers requiring costly advanced procedures is falling dramatically thanks to early successful treatment.

However, according to the man, who wishes to remain anonymous, waiting rooms are packed, medicines are scarce and numbers are still high because of sick men arriving from overseas.

The man now struggles to get medication in time and has to wait three weeks just to get a blood test.

The letter seems to validate Mr Farage's claim on the recent TV leaders' election debate that migrants coming to the UK to use NHS HIV treatment were costing the taxpayer up to £25,000 a year each.

Latest figures from Public Health England show the proportion of men who have sex with other men (both gay and bisexual) who were born abroad has increased from 28 per cent in 2004 to 40 per cent in 2013.

Mr Farage was barracked for his claim during the debate and he was even told he should be "ashamed" of his "scaremongering" comments. ...

Public Health England figures also show there were 6,000 people newly diagnosed with HIV in the UK in 2013, a slight decrease on the 6,250 diagnoses in 2012. ...

Nigel Farage said today the letter, which has been verified, was proof his comments at the television debate were of substance.

He said: "This proves the validity of what I was saying about a very serious issue that the other parties just refuse to engage with. And shows the very human impact of uncontrolled migration and un-costed health tourism."
[Site link]


Disease – HIV
Half of Britons back Farage over HIV: Poll finds 50% agree that immigrants should not immediately receive free treatment when they arrive in the UK
Tamara Cohen
Daily Mail, 6 April 2015

Half of voters agree with Ukip that immigrants should not immediately receive free HIV treatment, a poll suggests.

Nigel Farage caused controversy at the televised leaders' debate last week by attacking the high cost of giving anti-retroviral drugs to sufferers not born in Britain.

Ed Miliband said his comments were 'disgusting', Nick Clegg said they were 'politics of the lowest form' and chancellor George Osborne, when asked, said he was 'not going to dignify that with a response.'

The Ukip leader insisted afterwards that he had the 'overwhelming support' of the British public for saying that foreign nationals with HIV – whom he said accounted for 60 per cent of the 7,000 cases a year – 'can come into Britain from anywhere in the world and get diagnosed with HIV and get the retroviral drugs that cost up to £25,000 per patient'.

He added: 'I know there are some horrible things happening in many parts of the world, but what we need to do is put the National Health Service there for British people and families who in many cases have paid into the system for decades.'

A YouGov poll of 1,906 adults found that 50 per cent would support 'people coming to live in the UK being banned from receiving treatment on the NHS for a period of five years'. Another 34 per cent opposed such a ban.

A second question saw voters asked which statement best reflected their view. In this, 52 per cent thought Mr Farage was 'right to raise this issue - immigrants with serious conditions like HIV are costing the health service a large amount of money'.

This compared with 37 per cent who picked: 'Nigel Farage was just scaremongering - compared to the total cost of the NHS this is a drop in the ocean', and 11 per cent did not know. ...

It later emerged that Mr Farage's figures were a bit out – there are 6,000 diagnoses of HIV every year according to Public Health England.

Just over half (54 per cent) are foreign born, but most of them are thought to have been infected whilst living in the UK.

The cost of anti-retroviral drugs per year gas been put at up to £16,000 depending on the stage of infection.

The Ukip leader, speaking on the campaign trail yesterday defended his remarks saying he wanted people to 'think and understand why their grandmother who is 85 finds it very difficult to get drugs for breast cancer but anybody can get on a plane from anywhere in the world, be HIV tested in London and receive antiretroviral drugs. Something, it seems to me, isn't right here.'
[Site link]


Disease – cost, health service
Ukip MEP defends Farage HIV comments
ITV, 3 April 2015

Nigel Farage's comments on HIV patients have been defended by a Ukip MEP.

The Ukip leader prompted controversy while discussing so-called "health tourism", claiming that 60% of people diagnosed with HIV on the NHS were not British nationals.

The statement prompted criticism from other leaders, including Plaid Cymru's Leanne Wood, who told Farage he "should be ashamed" of himself.

However, Steven Woolfe, MEP for the north-west, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Nigel is not saying that those people should not be treated now."

He said Farage was making the point that the NHS should not be "an international health service", and argued Barack Obama was not criticised despite the United States having provisions in place to stop foreign people accessing healthcare for free.

"It is a question of whether we should be having an insurance policy for those people who are travellers, visitors, coming here as students, as happens in over a hundred countries across the world, including places like the United States or Canada." – Steven Woolfe MEP
[Site link]



Diversity – Church of England
C of E to fast-track minority ethnic clergy into senior roles
Harriet Sherwood
The Guardian, 26 December 2015

The Church of England is to fast-track black and ethnic minority clergy into senior positions amid accusations of institutional racism.

A "talent pool" of specifically black, Asian and minority ethnic (Bame) potential leaders will be identified in 2016 for training and mentoring with the aim of increasing representation among bishops, deans and archdeacons.

The church selected its first talent pool this year, but fewer than 7% of those chosen were from ethnic minorities. A second round is currently being selected. The church is to devote a third group specifically to Bame clergy.

However, only 2.8% of C of E clergy are from ethnic minorities, which limits the numbers available for fast-tracking. ...

Although the church established its Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns more than 30 years ago, it has recently stepped up efforts to improve Bame representation. ...

The church has begun offering those responsible for making appointments training in "unconscious bias", starting with senior officials in the diocese of Chelmsford. ...

At the United Pentecostal Faith church in Lambeth, there is no need to fast-track black and ethnic minority ethnic congregants into senior positions.

The church is led by Bishop Ervin Smith, who came to the UK from Jamaica 60 years ago, and he is supported by four black pastors. Most of his congregation are black, too, though "sometimes three or four white people come along", he says. ...

Pentecostal services are louder and longer, he says, with music, singing, dancing and preaching. "We can go on for two or three hours," he says.
[Site link]


Diversity – museums
ACE announces £2.6m fund to tackle lack of diversity
Patrick Steel
Museums Asssociation, 7 December 2015

Arts Council England (ACE) today announced Change Makers, a £2.6m fund designed to develop a cohort of black and minority ethnic (BAME) and disabled leaders through a programme of targeted leadership training hosted by a National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) or Major Partner Museum (MPM).

Awards of between £100,000 and £150,000 are available for applications that include match-funding of 20% of the total project budget from other sources. ...

The announcement follows the release of diversity figures for MPMs from 2012-15, which shows that museums are some way behind arts establishments, and a long way behind the national average, in becoming more diverse.

There are no BAME-led MPMs, as compared with the 52 BAME-led NPOs. ...

Unlike NPOs, MPMs are not required to meet ACE's "Creative Case ratings", a mechanism for monitoring diversity targets, as part of their funding agreements.

The published figures indicate a lack of diversity across the board, but give only a partial picture due to a lack of data. According to ACE's figures, 44% of museum staff did not declare their ethnicity, while ACE's figures on the sexual orientation of its own staff show that 16.6% preferred not to disclose this information.
[Site link]


Diversity – European Union
EU's Pro-'Diversity' Forum Cancelled Due to Security Situation Caused By Pro-'Diversity' Policies
Oliver Lane
Breitbart, 26 November 2015

A major European Union (EU) diversity conference has been cancelled at the last minute, after host-city Brussels' 'diverse' population were judged as a terror threat, rather than something that needed celebrating.

Home of the European Parliament and a number of associated European Commission and Council buildings, Brussels has also hosted since 2007 the "landmark" biennial European Culture Forum. ...

Conceived as a means for the European Union to promote "cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue", the events have brought together "stakeholders" from across the Union to discuss how "culture can be positioned" to further the goals of the EU. ...

Enacting policies to force diversity on member states, this celebration of diversity has fallen foul of the unintended, yet clearly foreseeable consequences as mass migration destabilises Belgium. ...

The capital city has been on the highest alert since the Paris massacre, which was revealed to have been launched from Belgium, a so-called "sleeper country" where radical Islamists can hide and plot without disturbance from the security services.
[Site link]


Diversity – company directors
Ethnic minority board members stuck at 1998 levels of gender equality
Lauren Davidson
Daily Telegraph, 17 November 2015

Ethnic diversity in British board rooms lags almost two decades behind female representation at the top level, a new report has found.

Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) representation on boards today is stuck at the level female directorships had reached by 1998, according to the Spencer Stuart 2015 UK Board Index.

The annual review from the headhunting firm found that 78 directors of FTSE 150 companies, or 5pc of the total, have a BAME background.

When companies based in emerging markets are excluded, that number drops to 58 directors, or 3.9pc. Just 17 British directors, or 1.9pc of those with UK nationality, are black, Asian or minority ethnic. ...

Lord Davies' final Women on Boards review, published in October, found that the percentage of women on FTSE 100 boards has more than doubled since 2011 to 26.1pc but added that more needs be done to diversify board rooms away from white, male executives.

Chuka Umunna, the Labour MP and former shadow business secretary, used the report to urge ministers to "set a target for ethnic minority representation on FTSE 100 boards to be met by 2020".

Mr Umunna called for "no all-white boards by 2020" and for companies to be mandated to divulge the ethnic breakdown of their board rooms in the way they have been required to do for the gender makeup of their staff since 2013.
[Site link]


Diversity – demographic change
The opportunities and risks of a more diverse Britain
Chris Murray
Left Foot Forward, 6 November 2015
[Chris Murray is a research fellow at IPPR]

Waves of immigration over the past twenty years have brought people from almost every corner of the world to Britain, from economic migrants from Europe to those fleeing conflict in the Middle East and Africa.

The number of local authorities with no ethnic majority is growing fast: by 2031 more than 45 local authorities England, Scotland and Wales will no longer be majority white British.

Despite the government's focus on bringing the net migration figure down, this process is not going to stop. Even without immigration, the face of Britain will keep changing: over a quarter of births in 2013 were to mothers born outside the UK. Communities with their origins in the Caribbean, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are now well into their third and fourth generations.

Given our birth rate and migration patterns, Britain is in the midst of a period of significant demographic change that looks sure to continue for decades into the future.

As Britain diversifies, so too do experiences of diversity. Historically ethnic mixing was confined to the inner cities. That has changed. Some local authorities, particularly in London, have a long history of migration and are now 'super-diverse', home to huge varieties of ethnic groups. Other parts of the UK have retained their ethnic homogeneity and still see very low levels of migration.

In between, different areas are changing at different speeds: some have seen very rapid immigration from one country, others like Slough and Luton have become more plural, while towns like Bedford have experienced successive waves of migration.

Everyone knows that immigration and diversity can pose challenges as well as bring benefits. So we should look to those areas where change is already underway to learn the lessons.

A report by IPPR and Coventry University published this week looks at the different models of diversity springing up across Britain. It finds that in towns that have experienced high levels of migration over several decades, diversity becomes 'normalised' over the years. Focus groups with residents show that people come to feel at ease with diversity and see immigration as a fact of life.

The development of infrastructure that caters for a diverse population, along with greater contact between residents as communities put down roots, leads people to see diversity more as an asset than a liability. ...

This tells us that immigration is a process, and one that people can adapt to. That becomes harder when the pace of change is rapid and public services do not keep up. ... ...

The trend of diversity is one of Britain's greatest opportunities. Not only because it can enrich our culture and bring new talent and energy to our towns and cities. ... ...

Immigration and growing diversity bring huge opportunities for Britain. But the social change we are experiencing – which is not going to stop – brings risks too. We need to face up to the reality of greater ethnic diversity and higher rates of migration and respond to the challenges and tensions it can pose.

Get it right, and Britain can minimise the challenges a changing population can bring while exploiting the opportunities. Get it wrong, and communities will feel powerless and angry.
[Site link]


Diversity – crime, police
Theresa May: police forces are 'too white'
Vikram Dodd
The Guardian, 22 October 2015

Theresa May will publicly criticise claims made by Britain's most senior police officer that a rise in knife crime is linked to falls in stop and search, branding them as a "kneejerk reaction" and "false".

In a combative speech on Thursday May will also criticise the race record of the police in England and Wales, saying they are too white, with not one of the 43 forces looking like the communities they serve.

Her remarks on stop and search are a direct challenge to Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, commissioner of the Metropolitan police. He said a rise in knife crime in London can be connected to large reductions in stops and searches from his officers.

Addressing the conference of the National Black Police Association, the home secretary will say: "Properly targeted, stop and search will actually help reduce knife crime. It will save police time to focus on prevention and work with gangs, and it will improve the relationship between the police and the public on which all of your work rests.

"We must not jettison all that good work for the sake of a kneejerk reaction on the back of a false link." ...

The issue is wrapped up in race, with ethnic minorities more likely to be stopped than whites and very few leading to detection of a crime – meaning tens of thousands of innocent people every year, especially ethnic minorities, were being targeted. An official report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary found in 2013 that one in four of stops may be unlawful.

The home secretary believes the disproportionate use of the power against ethnic minorities can poison community relations. ... ...

May's speech will also say that four forces have no black officers and 11 have no ethnic minorities above the rank of chief inspector. Despite forces agreeing in 1999 after the Macpherson report to look like the communities they serve, May will say not one force has the same proportion of ethnic minority officers in their ranks as the area they police. The four forces referred to by May are Cheshire, North Yorkshire, Dyfed-Powys and Durham.

In London, one in ten officers is from an ethnic minority, in a city where 40% of the population are. Some senior officers have privately wondered about a gap in "legitimacy" as a result.
[Site link]


Diversity – culture, ethnicity, religion
Migration group says world must be ready for more diversity
Associated Press, 22 October 2015

The head of the International Organization for Migration says leaders must prepare the world for more diversity as aging societies in the developed world and endemic youth unemployment in the developing world drive demographic trends.

Speaking at a meeting on migration in Cairo on Wednesday, IOM Director-General William Lacy Swing says northern societies need workers while "we have a youthful, largely unemployed global south, with young people needing jobs."

He says the world is bound to become more diverse in terms of culture, ethnicity and religion.

He says, "Leaders who are not preparing their people for this, through public education, public information, and awareness-raising campaigns, just may not be doing their job."
[Site link]


Diversity – multiculturalism, Hungary, Europe
Hungary to EU: migrant quotas will repeat Western Europe's 'failed' attempts at multiculturalism
Colin Freeman
Sunday Telegraph, 27 September 2015

Hungary has defended its opposition to Brussels' plans for compulsory migrant quotas, saying it did not wish to repeat the West's "failed experiments" in multiculturalism.

In a defiant rejection of diktats from Europe's high command, the country's right-wing government said it was not interested in "lectures" from the European Union about taking in Middle Eastern refugees.

The comments were a direct challenge to remarks last week by one of the EU's most senior figures, who criticised Hungary's prime minister, Viktor Orban, for opposing the quotas plan and for fencing off its borders to migrants trying to reach Europe.

Frans Timmermans, the Dutch vice-president of the European Commission, said that "diversity was the future of the world," and that Eastern European nations would just have to "get used to that."

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Orban's spokesman, Zoltán Kovács, responded by saying that integration in much of Western Europe had been at best a limited success. Hungary, he said, felt neither the wish nor the obligation to follow suit.

"Contrary to Mr Timmerman's vision, we can't see into the future," Mr Kovács said. "But we are aware of the past, and multi-culturalism in Western Europe has not been a success in our view. We want to avoid making the same mistakes ourselves." ...

While critics accuse Mr Orban of racism over his comments that "Christian Europe" is now under threat, Budapest insists that ex-Communist states have neither the money nor the cultural history to host large numbers of non-European migrants. The prescriptions from Brussels bureaucrats on what constitutes the make-up of an ideal society has also revived memories of Soviet rule from Moscow.

"Mr Timmermans is right that we have not had the same experience as Western Europe, where countries like Holland, Britain and France have had mass immigration as a result of their colonial legacies," added Mr Kovács. "But we would like to deal with our problems in a way that suits us.

"And we especially don't like it when people who have never lived in Hungary try to give us lectures on how we should cope with our own problems. Calling us racists or xenophobes is the cheapest argument. It's used just to dodge the issues." ...

Mr Orban, who has accused Germany of "moral imperialism" over its insistence that Hungary should take its share of migrants, does not appear to have paid a domestic political price for his stance. A poll conducted earlier this month showed that some 82 [per cent] of Hungarians favoured tighter immigration controls, reflecting how for many Hungarians, being a "monocultural society" is seen as a source of pride rather than concern.

"Homogeneity is seen as a value, and this is difficult to understand in the West," said Konstanty Gebert, an expert with the European Council on Foreign Relations think-tank.
[Site link]


Diversity – free speech
University to mark down students who say 'illegal immigrants' in class
Alexandra Sims
The Independent on Sunday, 30 August 2015

Professors at a US university have told students that they risk failing their assignments and even their semester if they use offensive or hateful language in class or submissions.

Two programmes taught at Washington State University have set out clear restrictions upon the language students can use, banning terms such as "The Man", "Coloured People" and "Illegals/ Illegal Aliens".

The terms have been forbidden by certain professors on the basis that they are "oppressive and hateful", according to one of the syllabuses reported by Campus Reform.

The "Course Notes and Policies" of the university's "Women & Popular Culture" course taught by Professor Selena Lester Breikss specifies that "Gross generalisations, stereotypes, and derogatory/oppressive language are not acceptable".

"Use of racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, classist, or generally offensive language in class or submission of such material will not be tolerated," it adds.

Breikss also bans the use of the words "male and female" in the course.

A further course entitled "Introduction to Comparative Ethics Studies" taught by Professor Rebecca Fowler also states that the use of "inappropriate terminology" will impact on students' grades, "with the deduction of one point per incident".

Terms included in the language sanctions include "coloured", "the white man" and "illegals".
[Site link]


Diversity – theatre
Trevor Nunn defends all-white Shakespeare histories
Jonathan Owen
The Independent on Sunday, 16 August 2015

One of Britain's most celebrated theatre directors, Sir Trevor Nunn, is embroiled in a furious row over the all-white cast chosen for his latest Shakespearean production, The Wars of the Roses. The distillation of four history plays, which opens at the Rose Theatre in Kingston next month, will be performed by a 22-strong cast led by Joely Richardson and Rufus Hound.

The casting has been condemned by the actors' union Equity and drawn criticism from Arts Council England and diversity campaigners who are angry at what they describe as a "whitewashing" of history. ...

And in a statement, Equity's minority ethnic members committee said: "To present this benchmark of British heritage in a way that effectively locks minorities out of the cultural picture [literally] flies in the face of the huge conversation taking place in British media at present, of the very real progress made in recent years to increase diversity in our industry."

Responding to the criticisms, Sir Trevor told The Independent on Sunday said he was a longstanding member of the movement to "cast, whenever possible, according to the principle of diversity", but in this case of The War of The Roses he had made an "artistic decision" to cast according to "historical verisimilitude".

He added: "The connections between the characters, and hence the narrative of the plays, are extremely complex, and so everything possible must be done to clarify for an audience who is related by birth to whom. Hence, I decided that, in this instance, these considerations should take precedence over my usual diversity inclination."

That explanation was confirmed by a spokesperson for the Rose Theatre, who said: "A creative decision was taken by the director that a naturalistic historical approach in casting was required." ...

Simon Mellor, executive director of arts and culture, Arts Council England said: "This production seems out of step with most of British theatre where casting that ignores an actor's race is increasingly the norm."

He added: "Whilst we do not fund the Rose Theatre, we expect organisations we fund to actively ensure their programme, and the artists that create it, reflect the people of contemporary England."

And actor Danny Lee Wynter, founder of Act For Change, which campaigns for greater diversity in the arts, said: "The Wars of the Roses caused us concerns, particularly the justification of historical accuracy which displayed a lack of awareness of the debate ... It's very hard in this day and age to have a company that size which is all white." ..."

Ms Schiller, who cast the play, told The Independent on Sunday: "On this occasion Trevor Nunn – a director with a proven commitment to diverse casting – decided that because of the complex family tree and conflicting claims to the throne through direct lineage to Edward III, a naturalistic 'colour aware' approach was required." She added: "All the supporting actors will play many parts, and at some point in the trilogy take on roles who are related to the Houses of York and Lancaster by blood. This is why even those roles with no genealogical link to the families were also cast white." ...

Diversity is one of the biggest challenges facing the arts today, says Equity, and the union recently issued its first ever policy on 'inclusive casting' to tackle what is calls "discrimination across the industry."
[Site link]


Diversity – education, USA
Microaggression, Macro-Crazy [part 1]
Heather Mac Donald
City Journal, Summer 2015

Early this year, the University of California's president, Janet Napolitano, asked all deans and department chairs in the university's ten campuses to undergo training in overcoming their "implicit biases" toward women and minorities. The department heads also needed training, according to the UC president, in how to avoid committing microaggressions, those acts of alleged racism that are invisible to the naked eye. A more insulting and mindless exercise would be hard to imagine. ...

The "Fostering Inclusive Excellence: Strategies and Tools for Department Chairs and Deans" seminar presumes that University of California faculty are so bigoted that they will refuse to hire the most qualified candidate for a professorship if that candidate happens to be female or an "underrepresented minority" – i.e., black or Hispanic. Attendees at the seminar were subjected to an "interactive theater scenario" called "Ready to Vote?" that showed white male computer-science professors on a fictional hiring committee belittling females and failing to "value diversity." The author of the scenario, a professor of performance studies and ethnic studies at the University of California, San Diego, seems never to have attended a faculty-hiring committee meeting in her life. Nor, it would seem, has Janet Napolitano. How otherwise could they not know that every faculty search in the sciences, far from shunning females and URMs, is a desperate exercise in tracking down even remotely qualified female and non-Asian minority candidates who haven't already been snapped up by more well-endowed competitors? Females in the sciences are hired and promoted nationwide at rates far above their representation in applicant pools. ...

The "Fostering Inclusive Excellence" seminar supplemented the patent fictions in "Ready to Vote?" with an equally specious handout, "Identifying Implicit Bias," which claims that females and URMs are required to meet higher academic standards than white males and that their work is scrutinized more closely by hiring committees. This conceit was preposterous 30 years ago when it first became widespread and is even more so today. True, there is a double standard in hiring, but it redounds to the benefit of females and URMs, as anyone with the remotest exposure to academic culture should know. ...
[Site link]


Diversity – education, USA
Microaggression, Macro-Crazy [part 2]
Heather Mac Donald
City Journal, Summer 2015

To voice these realities, however, is to commit a microaggression, according to University of California diversity enforcers. /.../ The "Myth of Meritocracy" "theme" includes such statements as: "Of course he'll get tenure, even though he hasn't published much – he's Black!" The "message" conveyed by this particular microaggression, according to UC's "Recognizing Microaggressions Tool," is that "people of color are given extra unfair benefits because of their race." Now where would anyone get that idea? Well, you might ask any high school senior, steeped in his class's SAT rankings, if it's true that "people of color" are given "extra benefits" in college admissions. He will laugh at your naïveté. A 2004 study of three top-tier universities, published in Social Science Quarterly, found that blacks were favored over whites by a factor of 5.5 and that being black got students an extra 230 SAT points on a 1,600-point scale. Such massive preferences for URMs are found at every selective college and graduate school. Every student knows this, and yet diversity protocol requires pretending that preferences don't exist. ...

Other alleged microaggressions include uttering such hurtful words as "I believe the most qualified person should get the job" or "America is the land of opportunity" on a UC campus. Someone who has been through the "Fostering Inclusive Excellence" seminar may call you out for giving voice to such ideas. Why exactly saying that the most qualified person should get the job is a microaggression is a puzzle. Either such a statement is regarded simply as code for alleged antiblack sentiment, or the diversocrats are secretly aware that meritocracy is incompatible with "diversity." ...

Many purported microaggressions arise from the contradictions in diversity ideology. Authorities in a diversity regime are supposed to categorize people by race and ethnicity – until that unpredictable moment when they are not supposed to. Assigning a black graduate student to escort a black visiting professor, for example, is a microaggression, per the "Tool." But wasn't the alleged need for role models and a critical mass of "persons of color" a key justification for "diversity"? Describing a colleague as a "good Black scientist" is another microaggression. But such a categorization merely reflects the race-consciousness and bean-counting that the campus diversity enforcers insist upon.

Color-blindness constitutes an entire microaggression "Theme" in the "Tool," pace Martin Luther King, Jr. Beware of saying, "When I look at you, I don't see color" or "There is only one race, the human race." Doing so, according to the "Tool," denies "the individual as a racial/cultural being." Never mind that diversity ideologues reject the genetic basis of racial categories and proclaim that race is merely a "social construct." The non-diverse world is under orders both to deny that race exists and to "acknowledge race," in Tool-parlance, regarding Persons of Color. ...

The ultimate question raised by the seminar is: Are there any adults left on campus, at least in administrative offices? And the answer is: no. An adult administrator would realize that he is presiding over the most tolerant, well-meaning, and opportunity-filled community in human history. He would understand that the claim that females and minorities are the victims of discrimination on campuses is sheer fiction.
[Site link]


Diversity – police
Police need to recruit 17,000 more black officers to reflect society
Martin Evans
Daily Telegraph, 30 June 2015

The police will need to recruit 17,000 black and ethnic minority officers over the next decade if the service is to accurately reflect the community it serves, a report has concluded.

While many Chief Constables have acknowledged the need for a more diverse pool of staff, figures released by the College of Policing suggest they remain a long way off achieving equality.

With estimates suggesting the black and ethnic minority population of England and Wales will be 14 per cent by 2026, the service would need to recruit 17,000 officers from those communities in order to achieve a more representative profile.

Recent figures showed that out of almost 130,000 full time police officers in England and Wales, just 6,500 came from an ethnic minority, representing just five per cent.

As well as recruiting more black and ethnic minority officers, forces face an ongoing issue of retaining them and getting them into the senior ranks.

One possible solution that has been suggested is to pension off older white officers in order to allow young ethnic recruits to climb the ladder more quickly.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) spent £200 million offering early retirement to long serving officers in order to increase the number of Roman Catholics in the force.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the country's most senior police officer, recently said he would support such an initiative for the Metropolitan Police, which is even less reflective than other forces because of the diverse make-up of the capital.

But the College of Policing has ruled out embracing that initiative for the time being.

A review published by the College of Policing stated: "The scale of the BME representation challenge facing policing is huge.

"It is estimated the BME population of England and Wales will be 16 per cent of the total population by 2026.

"The police service would need to recruit approximately 17,000 BME officers over the next decade to achieve a more representative profile."
[Site link]


Diversity – segregation, integration
From infusion to diffusion
The Economist, 6 June 2015

Fifteen years ago Luton's residents were clearly split along ethnic lines: Pakistani and Bengali Britons lived in Bury Park; whites in High Town. Now it is much more mixed.

Britain is becoming less segregated. The 2011 census showed that ethnic minorities were moving out of big cities, making smaller towns and suburbs less white. Beyond the hyper-diverse capital there are now three "plural cities" – Luton, Leicester and Slough – where no single ethnic group makes up more than half the population. A new analysis of the census by Stephen Jivraj and Ludi Simpson at Manchester University shows that across the country, ethnic groups are starting to mix more evenly.

In the ten years from 2001, the authors found, all but one of the 407 local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales became more ethnically diverse, according to an index they constructed to measure the local representation of each of the 13 main ethnic groups that are recorded in the census. One reason is that London, once the main landing pad for new immigrants, has become unaffordable. Migrants used to congregate in London boroughs where housing was cheap, such as Croydon, Southwark and Newham. But now even the poorest London neighbourhoods are pricey. In 1995 houses in Newham cost 17% more than the national average; now they cost 33% more.

Another cause of the mixing is that non-white Britons have spread out. Black people of African (as opposed to Caribbean) origin have dispersed the most, swapping London for well-connected suburban towns like Milton Keynes and Salford. British-Chinese, who were already widely scattered, have dispersed the least. ...

New groups are appearing, too, varying the mix and straining the categories on the census. The number describing their ethnicity as "other" doubled between 2001 and 2011, partly a result of migrants arriving from a wider range of places. There is also a much larger mixed-race population, which grew from 661,000 to 1.2m. Mixed-race Britons are better integrated than other non-whites: whereas South Asians, for instance, are still fairly concentrated in large cities like Manchester, mixed white-Asians, whose parents are typically richer, are spread throughout the suburbs.

If current trends continue, Mr Simpson and Mr Jivraj predict, by 2031 48 local authorities will be "plural", with no group making up a majority. In half of them the largest group will be white British. In 20 of the rest, mostly in London, those ticking "other" will be the largest.

All this diffusion means new faces have appeared in sleepy areas used mainly to white British people. In last month's general election the anti-immigration UK Independence Party (UKIP) performed best in seaside towns and places in the Midlands where immigrants are new, rather than plentiful. ...

Meanwhile in places such as Luton, where different ethnic groups have lived next-door to each other for some time, views on immigration are becoming more relaxed. The English Defence League, a thuggish far-right outfit born in Luton, is now widely despised, residents say. Last month UKIP won only 12% of the vote in the city. As Britain becomes more diverse, it may become more tolerant, too.
[Site link]


Diversity – social trust
Ethnic Diversity and Social Trust: Evidence from the Micro-Context
Peter Thisted Dinesen, Kim Mannemar Sønderskov and Peter Thisted Dinesen
American Sociological Review, 21 April 2015

We argue that residential exposure to ethnic diversity reduces social trust. Previous within-country analyses of the relationship between contextual ethnic diversity and trust have been conducted at higher levels of aggregation, thus ignoring substantial variation in actual exposure to ethnic diversity. In contrast, we analyze how ethnic diversity of the immediate micro-context – where interethnic exposure is inevitable – affects trust. We do this using Danish survey data linked with register-based data, which enables us to obtain precise measures of the ethnic diversity of each individual's residential surroundings. We focus on contextual diversity within a radius of 80 meters of a given individual, but we also compare the effect in the micro-context to the impact of diversity in more aggregate contexts. Our results show that ethnic diversity in the micro-context affects trust negatively, whereas the effect vanishes in larger contextual units. This supports the conjecture that interethnic exposure underlies the negative relationship between ethnic diversity in residential contexts and social trust.
[Site link]


Diversity – identity politics, political correctness, multiculturalism
The Guardian view on Trevor Phillips and political correctness: right question, wrong answer
The Guardian, 17 March 2015
[Leading article]

The matter of identity, of how we describe who we are, has become an important – perhaps the most important – conversation to be had not just in Britain but across Europe and much of the rest of the world at the moment. So it is sad that Mr Phillips has allowed his argument to be hijacked and slotted into the kind of unthinking narrative – of political correctness and white victimhood – so beloved of Ukip and its ilk.

Citing, for example, the sexual exploitation of young girls in British cities such as Rotherham, he rightly has harsh words for the type of slack thinking that accepts a fear of appearing racist as an excuse for tolerating intolerable behaviour. But he risks slack thinking of his own. A failure to acknowledge and investigate difference is not necessarily the result of a nervous desire to avoid being shamed as a racist. Ignorance, stupidity and laziness all play their part too.

... Still, it's clearly true that some people do fear saying what they really think. Sometimes that may be a handy excuse for inaction, as it was in Rotherham. But sometimes people are genuinely wary. They fear practical repercussions in the community or the workplace. Others may simply be reluctant to appear discourteous in a world where they feel norms are still being negotiated. They may see the discomfiting of Benedict Cumberbatch last month – after he regretted the lack of opportunity for what he called "coloured" rather than the more acceptable "black" actors – as a reminder of the reputational hazard they fear themselves.

But if it's undeniable that identity politics has become perhaps the most bitter and fraught area of our public conversation, Mr Phillips is wrong to suggest that there is a single cause and a single solution. He claims that a blind belief in multiculturalism has fostered a climate of fear and allowed political correctness to run mad. The truth is much more complicated.

In Britain, as in most societies in Europe and far beyond, we have still not fully come to terms with our own diversity. Europe as a continent of homogenous nation states was created almost within living memory out of the multi-ethnic empires of the Europe of the Hapsburgs and the Hohenzollerns. Only since the 1970s has inward migration become significant. Globalisation is even more recent, and the social strains of stalled economic growth more recent still. Yet to navigate through this new landscape, we are stuck with the old Windrush-era model, which sees this country as a house where a family has lived for a long time but which has lately received a few guests who are different. In this place, there is an imagined, pre-existing "us" and a new "them", around whom it is only courteous to be tiptoeingly respectful.

We need a different model. One that says this house belongs to everyone in it, that we are the sum of all of us. A society that is diverse in its marrow, with no "us" who've been here for ever and no new "them". In that kind of society we would speak as robustly and openly as any family speak to each other. Such candour would be the fruit of a society that had embraced diversity as its 21st-century norm. But it's absurd to demand the fruit immediately. First we have to plant the tree.
[Site link]


Diversity – free speech, race, multiculturalism
Trevor Phillips says the unsayable about race and multiculturalism
Michael White
The Guardian, 17 March 2015

Phillips rejects the bland "no need for race laws now" analysis of Nigel Farage, who appears in his programme and generated last week's media ripples for the show, and says that, as a black Guyanese by birth, he has experienced his share of racial abuse and worse during his turbulent years as chair of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE).

However, as many readers know, he has also come to the conclusion that multiculturalism is a better doctrine in theory than in practice because it can, in some circumstances, allow public funds to be used to entrench the power of community leaders – always a potentially loaded word – by isolating them from mainstream society: thus "sleepwalking" into the segregation we rightly deplore in French ethnic ghettoes (French theory speaks of republican equality) rather than steady integration.

When Phillips first spoke of sleepwalking 10 years ago, even David Miliband tut-tutted, calling his concerns "fatuous". It all makes it harder to discuss racial or religious differences, except, I would argue, in safe contexts like the varying susceptibility to medical conditions that we all know exist between different racial groups. Higher than average rates of cystic fibrosis among northern Europeans (apparently linked to cholera survival rates) is one I have recently encountered.

Yet petty crime patterns, high exam performance and levels of affluence are usually taboo if they threaten to carry a racial dimension: stereotyping is the usual complaint and, of course, it has some merit. Only some. Even a word of out place – think Benedict Cumberbatch's well-meant remarks about the shortage of "coloured" actors – can raise a media mini-storm, though colour is again being used in the US to embrace all sorts of non-white ethnic groups.

Phillips cited familiar negative consequences such as the misplaced respect for others' child-rearing habits which allowed social services to abandon Victoria Climbié, eight, to her grim fate and hundreds of Rotherham schoolgirls to the horrors of sexual grooming by men who were mostly of Pakistani origin. Grooming is not confined to ethnic minorities, replied the critics, when the Times reporter Andrew Norfolk helped expose a string of such scandals. No it isn't. Nobody said it was, but it was in Rotherham.

Ann Cryer, the former Labour MP for Keighley and a doughty leftwinger (also a widow and mother of leftwing MPs), got in trouble for raising these concerns and those about the genetic consequences for families and the NHS of marriage between cousins. Jack Straw, the MP for very diverse Blackburn, did too for saying veil-wearing can impede understanding. ...

It seems to me that motive is crucial here. ...

On the other hand, we have all had experience of the you can't say that brigade – well-meaning liberals whose fear of causing offence or desire for an easy life prompts behaviour which is stifling in a different way.


In asserting that Chinese kids perform conspicuously well in school (that's enough to make people nervous) Phillips is offering a think positive alternative to negative generalisations about black-on-black street violence or the propensity of a few teenagers from Pakistani homes to head for jihad instead of medical school as their doting parents planned.
[Site link]


Diversity – race, free speech, multiculturalism
Trevor Phillips: Politicians are 'too scared' of speaking their minds about race
Matt Dathan
The Independent, 16 March 2015

Politicians are too scared of talking openly about race issues and multiculturalism has become a "racket", a former equalities chief has said.

Trevor Phillips, the former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said too many people were afraid of speaking their minds in fear of being branded a racist and attacked Tony Blair for pursuing a mass immigration policy.

Speaking ahead of his Channel 4 documentary, Things We Won't Say About Race That Are True, which is due to be aired on Thursday, Mr Philips suggested some ethnic groups had become "isolated".

The unwillingness to address the issue had led to the rise of "angry, nativist political movements", he said. ...

Writing in the Daily Mail, Mr Phillips said the failure of politicians to speak openly about race had led to a number of institutional failures.

Authorities turning a "blind eye" to racial issues had contributed to child grooming scandals in cities such as Rotherham and Rochdale, he said.

Other instances where Mr Phillips said silence over race had done harm was when a film warning young people against the dangers of grooming was blocked because it included an Asian perpetrator abusing white girls.

And the fear over causing offence had also contributed to the failure to save Victoria Climbie, an eight-year-old Ivorian girl who was tortured and murdered by her guardians in 2000, Mr Phillips suggested.

Mr Phillips wrote: "The perverse and unintended consequences of our drive to instil respect for diversity is that our political and media classes have become terrified of discussing racial or religious differences. Our desperation to avoid offence is itself beginning to stand in the way of progress. And all too often the losers are minority Britons.

"Preventing anyone from saying what's on their minds won't ever remove it from their hearts. People need to feel free to say what they want to without the fear of being accused of racism or bigotry."

Attacking Mr Blair's policy towards multiculturalism, Mr Phillips wrote: "While beautiful in theory, in practice multiculturalism had become a racket, in which self-styled community leaders bargained for control over local authority funds that would prop up their own status and authority.

"Far from encouraging integration, it had become in their interest to preserve the isolation of their ethnic groups." ...

Mr Phillips, a Labour London Assembly Member, also admitted he felt he bore some responsibility for the July 7 bombings in 2005 because, as then head of the Commission for Racial Equality, he failed "to see what was coming".

He said: "Because I had made it my business to spend part of each week in a community outside London, I already knew some groups were becoming so isolated that values and ideas which most people would find alien were tolerated and even encouraged. ..."

Right-wing political movements which have surged in support across Europe, such as the National Front in France, were fuelled by political correctness, Mr Phillips added.
[Site link]


Diversity – race, political correctness
At last! A man who dares to tell the truth about race
Daniel Martin
MailOnline, 16 March 2015

Britain is silencing debate on race issues by 'intimidating' those who dare to ask questions, according to the former equalities watchdog.

In a devastating critique of a culture of misguided political correctness, Trevor Phillips said far too many people felt unable to speak their minds because they feared being branded racist.

The former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission said that people would have to become 'more ready to offend each other' as the price of free speech. ...

Last night MPs welcomed the comments from Trevor Phillips, a man who was once at the pinnacle of the politically-correct establishment

Philip Hollobone, Conservative MP for Kettering, said: 'For once, Trevor Phillips is right. Political correctness has acted as a huge deterrent to people speaking their mind on the important issues of the day.

'The vast majority of people in Britain are not racist, but they are concerned about immigration and about crimes committed by certain sections of the community.'

Philip Davies, the Tory MP for Shipley, said: 'I'm always grateful when a sinner repents. Some of us have been castigated for years for speaking out, and I hope the tide is turning even among those who upheld political correctness in the past.'

In his article, Mr Phillips listed a range of areas where he suggested political correct ideas and multiculturalism had made things worse.

He put the failure of people to speak out down to fact that the 'modern secular sin of being a racist, or its religious cousin an anti-semite or Islamophobe, is by far the worst crime of which you can be accused'.

Mr Phillips is a former television executive who became a Labour politician and then a front man for Tony Blair's government as it tried to deal with ethnic and religious tensions. ...

He was a central figure in the retreat from multiculturalism – the left-wing doctrine which encouraged migrants to keep their own culture rather than integrate into British ways.

After the 2005 London bombings he warned the country was 'sleepwalking towards segregation'.
[Site link]


Diversity – race, political correctness
Explosive truths about race we're not allowed to talk about [part 1]
Trevor Phillips
MailOnline, 16 March 2015

When I took over as chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) in March 2003, I was braced for trouble. Race and religion are the most divisive and potent flashpoints in Western societies.

I was pretty well prepared for the job of race relations tsar. I had been a journalist for 25 years; I had run several public bodies; and I had been elected to chair the London Assembly. ...

It had been central to the New Labour project led by Tony Blair that Britain's attitude to a multi-ethnic society would be transformed. We thought that if the government tackled discrimination with enough vigour then we didn't need to worry too much about racial and religious divisions, which would just melt away in time because, after all, we were the same under the skin.

When it was announced on July 6, 2005, that London had won the 2012 Olympics with a pitch based on Britain's ease with ethnic diversity, it seemed as though the whole world had bought our philosophy.

But the very next day it became clear that not everyone shared our enthusiasm for multiculturalism. On July 7, 52 people were murdered and more than 700 injured by four explosions on the London transport system.

When it emerged that the bombers were all young British Muslim men, we were faced with a single devastating question: if our multiculturalist dream was working so well, why had this happened?

For me the shock was compounded by a dawning realisation that I might have to bear some personal responsibility for failing to see what was coming. Because I had made it my business to spend part of each week in a community outside London, I already knew some groups were becoming so isolated that values and ideas which most people would find alien were tolerated and even encouraged.

But we had said little about it and done even less. After 12 months at the CRE I had come to the conclusion that, while beautiful in theory, in practice multiculturalism had become a racket, in which self-styled community leaders bargained for control over local authority funds that would prop up their own status and authority. Far from encouraging integration, it had become in their interest to preserve the isolation of their ethnic groups.

In some, practices such as female genital mutilation – a topic I'd made films about as a TV journalist – were regarded as the private domain of the community. In others, local politicians and community bosses had clearly struck a Faustian bargain: grants for votes.

And I saw a looming danger that these communities were steadily shrinking in on themselves, trapping young people behind walls of tradition and deference to elders.

Of course none of this was secret. But anyone who pointed the finger could expect to be denounced for not respecting diversity.

I myself had been quick to criticise others; in the autumn of 2005 I found myself the object of exactly this kind of witch-hunt. When I spoke publicly about my concern that Britain could be 'sleepwalking to segregation', I expected some mild debate. I didn't anticipate the political fire-storm that would break.

On the evening of my speech, both the present Home Secretary, Theresa May, and the Liberal Democrat Schools Minister, David Laws – who were then in opposition – argued on the BBC1's Question Time programme that I had gone too far.
[Site link]


Diversity – race, political correctness
Explosive truths about race we're not allowed to talk about [part 2]
Trevor Phillips
MailOnline, 16 March 2015

Worse still, one of my Labour colleagues, David Miliband, who was Minister for Communities, dismissed my concerns as 'fatuous'. Today, ten years later, we know better. On the face of it we should be a nation completely at ease with our growing diversity. But we are not.

In 2015, non-white school-leavers are more likely than their white peers to head for university.

Yet while many clever young Muslim women head for the top medical schools, a handful are boarding planes to become the brides of Isis fighters. We learn from his former headteacher that Jihadi John had attended a school where more than 70 per cent of the pupils were, like him, Muslims.

It is not Islamophobic to wonder if such a closed community might have nurtured a fatally narrow world-view. No one in France now doubts that the sickening violence that left a dozen dead in the Charlie Hebdo shootings was at least in part a consequence of the disastrous segregation of the French banlieues, the ghettos to which many Muslims have been consigned.

Yet simply pointing out these facts is thought to be so sensitive that they have become virtually unsayable. In a world that rightly venerates the memory of Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, the modern secular sin of being a racist (or an anti-Semite or an Islamophobe, its religious cousins) is by far the worst crime of which you can be accused.

The perverse and unintended consequences of our drive to instil respect for diversity is that our political and media classes have become terrified of discussing racial or religious differences.

Our desperation to avoid offence is itself beginning to stand in the way of progress. And all too often the losers are minority Britons.

If African Caribbeans are statistically more likely to commit some kinds of crime than other people, as indeed they are – we are especially proficient at murdering other African Caribbeans, for example – it might make some sense to understand why, so we can stop it happening.

Not all Jewish people are wealthy; in fact, some are extremely deprived. But if – as is true – Jewish households in Britain are on average twice as wealthy as the rest, might it not pay to work out what makes these families more likely to do well? Is there something that the rest can learn from their traditions and behaviour?

We all know why these things cannot be said. The long shadow of slavery and the Holocaust rightly makes us anxious about the kind of slack thinking that led to the dehumanising of entire populations.

Yet should history prevent us from understanding the differences between us – especially if those insights might improve life for everyone? ...

The instinct to avoid offence is understandable. But its outcomes have been shown in practice to be disastrous. Victoria Climbie, an Ivorian eight-year-old, was tortured and murdered in 2000.

The subsequent inquiry by Lord Laming showed that doctors and social workers, desperate to avoid charges of racial insensitivity towards a black family, ignored or misinterpreted signs that should have led to her rescue.

Latterly, the unfolding tragedy of the street grooming of children by largely Pakistani Muslim gangs in several British cities has exposed a culture in which public authorities would do almost anything to avoid being accused of stigmatising an ethnic group – including turning a blind eye to abuse.
[Site link]


Diversity – politics, parties
Greens have fewer ethnic minority candidates than any other party, including Ukip
Joe Murphy
Evening Standard (London), 13 March 2015

Natalie Bennett's Green Party came under fire today after research found that it has fewer black and ethnic minority candidates than any other major party - including Ukip.

Only four per cent of the party's general election hopefuls are from minority communities, according to a study by the Constitution Unit at University College London. Of 357 Green candidates selected so far, 15 have BME backgrounds and the other 342 are white.

The proportion of selected candidates with BME backgrounds was nine per cent for Labour, 11 per cent for the Conservatives and 10 per cent for the Liberal Democrats.

Even Nigel Farage's Ukip, which calls for stronger immigration controls, has 24 BME candidates, which is six per cent of its total. However, neither Ukip nor the Greens has picked a BME candidate for a winnable seat.

Cross-party group Operation Black Vote said voters would find the Green Party record surprising and urged them to do more to promote BME talent. ...

Jennifer Hudson, co-author of the study called Parliamentary Candidates UK, said: "Few would have guessed the Greens to trail Ukip. The lack of diversity amongst Green candidates is particularly noteworthy given the election of Shahrar Ali – one of the party's two deputy leaders – and the first BME deputy of a UK parliamentary party."

Mr Ali is standing in Brent Central.

Benali Hamdache, the Green Party's equalities spokesman, said it was still announcing candidates and collecting data about them. "Once we have this data we can better reflect on how much more we have to do on increasing the diversity of our candidates," he said.

"What we do know is that one in seven candidates in London is from a BME background – and we have people from all walks of life standing for the Greens up and down the country."

He added: "The Green Party is committed to standing up for the rights and concerns of BME communities and we need to ensure we're doing that not only through our policies but in the way we do politics as well.

"That's why we have quotas for BME candidates in European Elections, a BME network to recruit candidates and support their candidacy, and it's why we launched a group dedicated to representing BME members of our party at our recent spring conference."
[Site link]


Diversity – churches, USA
Do we need to integrate our churches?
Naomi Schaefer Riley
New York Post, 24 February 2015

'When it comes to race, our churches must reflect the united kingdom of Christ more than the divided states of America."

That's the mission of a Southern Baptist Convention-hosted conference in Nashville next month. In the wake of "recent events in Ferguson and with Eric Garner," the Baptist leaders think it's their duty to change their flocks. Many leaders of other denominations agree.

But is more diversity in their pews really all that feasible – or even that worthy a goal?

To start with, the people in the pews now don't seem to be on board for this exercise in social engineering. In a new poll from LifeWay Research, just 40 percent of churchgoers said they think their congregations need to become more ethnically diverse.

Which disappointed the poll-takers. "Surprisingly, most churchgoers are content with the ethnic status quo in their churches," Ed Stetzer, LifeWay's executive director, told Christianity Today.

"In a world where our culture is increasingly diverse, and many pastors are talking about diversity, it appears most people are happy where they are – and with whom they are. . . Yet it's hard for Christians to say they are united in Christ when they are congregating separately."

But is it so hard? ...

Another recent LifeWay survey found that 86 percent of US Protestant congregations have one predominant ethnic group.

And, according to the National Congregations Survey, a few more majority-white congregations had some black attendees in 2007 than in 1998, but no greater share of black churches reported having any white attendees.

It's not much different here in hyperdiverse New York City. A 2011 study sponsored by the Web site A Journey Through NYC Religions found 130 ethnicities represented in the city's evangelical churches.

But 44 percent are mono-ethnic churches (at least 90 percent of attendees are from one ethnic group) and 89 percent are majority-ethnic churches (more than half of attendees from a single ethnic group). ...

One overlooked factor here is that a church usually reflects the neighborhood it's in – and people tend to self-segregate.

Yes, many white people might like to live in diverse neighborhoods – but surveys show that most blacks prefer to live in majority-black neighborhoods. Since blacks make up only 8 percent of the US population, that's a serious limit on how many diverse neighborhoods the country can have.

Then, too, many in other minority groups say they want to go to churches where they are in the majority.

Aram Bae directs family ministries at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, one of the few truly multicultural congregations in the city. She appreciates that factor, but also says, "People should understand the need for ethnic churches." ...

Bae is skeptical of any special obligation for churches to bring people together from different backgrounds. She's certainly not opposed to more diverse congregations, but she wonders why people just can't work to improve race relations at work or among their friends.

The advantage of neighborhood ethnic churches, she says, "is that they feel more like a family."
[Site link]


Diversity – television
EastEnders: 'No diversity quota' says boss
BBC, 3 February 2015

EastEnders boss Dominic Treadwell-Collins has said he will not bring minority characters into the BBC soap just to fulfil diversity quotas.

He told the Radio Times defining such characters with plots around ethnicity, sexuality or disability would turn the soap into "a blancmange".

"The day I start box-ticking is the day I leave," he said.

Last year, the BBC Trust said the show "isn't a documentary and has to appeal to audiences throughout the UK".

Speaking last summer, Diane Coyle - the former acting head of the Trust - said "there are almost twice as many white people living in [EastEnders'] fictional E20 as in real life E17", adding that the corporation needed to step up its efforts to reflect contemporary Britain.

BBC director general Tony Hall announced plans last year to increase the BBC's diversity, pledging that 15% of on-air staff would be black, Asian, minority or ethnic (BAME) by 2017 - increasing it from the current 10.4%.

Although EastEnders has not been told it must meet any target, Mr Treadwell-Collins said he would not adhere to one if asked.

"As soon as someone starts imposing editorial decisions, we fight back, because we know what we're doing," he said. ...

Michael Buffong, a former director of EastEnders, and now artistic director of black theatre company Talawa, said that reflecting the diversity of an area didn't have to be a "box-ticking exercise".

"You can just do it because that's what it looks like," he told the BBC.

"This argument about diversity and representation has been going on so long - we've tried everything else, we've tried waiting - why not have quotas? At least there will be a change."

He said he would like to see greater representation on TV and across the entertainment industry as a whole. "The answer is make programmes more diverse. Give black actors roles - it's not an incredibly difficult formula."

Last month, Channel 4 announced its new diversity charter. As well as setting employment targets, it also includes guidelines to ensure "every new Channel 4 commissioned programme in every genre works towards increasing diverse participation on and off-screen".

Sky also announced last summer its commitment to 20% BAME representation in all new non-returning programmes and 20% BAME writers on all team-written shows.
[Site link]


Diversity – teachers, schools
Ofsted 'positive discrimination' call
Sean Coughlan
BBC, 8 January 2015

Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw has said head teachers faced with equal candidates for a teaching post should consider "positive discrimination".

The head of the education watchdog told LBC Radio that the teaching staff of schools should reflect the ethnic diversity of their pupils.

"There needs to be a fair representation," said Sir Michael.

But the government said positive discrimination was "not permitted" under equality legislation.

Sir Michael said if the "ethnic mix" of pupils is very diverse, "it's important to have a staff which reflects that". ...

But the Department for Education said that schools had to abide by equality legislation when appointing new members of staff.

This meant that "positive discrimination is not permitted".

"However, schools, like any other employer, may take positive action to address under-representation of any particular group of persons who share a protected characteristic."

According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, "positive action" means an employer can encourage people from under-represented groups to apply for jobs.

But it also says that it can be used in "tie-break" decisions when an employer has "a choice between two candidates who are as qualified as each other".
[Site link]



Emigration – Africa
Bashi's journey from Africa to Europe may signal a bigger refugee crisis to come
Mohamed Yahya
The Guardian, 7 September 2015
[Mohamed Yahya is Africa regional programme coordinator for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)]

As Africa's population continues to grow, the number of people crossing deserts and seas will continue to rise. Responses have focused primarily on enforcement, but it is clear barriers and barbed wire will not deter people who are prepared to risk their lives.

In the short term, there is no escaping the tough decisions required to absorb and integrate a significant number of the people who have already arrived in Europe, and who cannot be repatriated to countries in conflict.

Contrary to some popular narratives, the Bashis of this world are not motivated by the European welfare state; they are attracted by peace, opportunities for development, employment and a legal system that promises equality and protection.

African countries must break their silence and ask why their young people feel compelled to leave. Making the continent politically and economically attractive for young people must be a priority response. ...

Another positive move could be to ease restrictions for asylum seekers and economic migrants within African borders. Africa already hosts the largest proportion of African migrants, but often they struggle to gain citizenship or the right to work legally.

The international community must act in unison and redouble efforts to address the root drivers of migration: poverty, conflict, and lack of opportunity.

In an increasingly unequal and unpredictable world, the dispossessed refuse to suffer quietly. If their actions do not elicit increased investment in development, conflict prevention and global solidarity, then the current crises will simply herald a bigger exodus to come.
[Site link]


Emigration – India
India: Version 1.27 billion
Chidanand Rajghatta
The Times of India, 16 July 2015
[Chidanand Rajghatta is The Times of India's US-based Foreign Editor]

Let millions of Indians migrate; let many little Indias bloom

India is jostling its way towards becoming the most populous country in the world. At 5pm on July 11, World Population Day this year, the Republic clocked in at 1.27 billion, give or take a couple million, accounting for 17.5% of global population. Most projections indicate that with 1.63 billion people by 2050, India will have surpassed China as the world's most populous country. ...

It's hard to imagine Chandni Chowk or Chowringhee or Chembur being more crowded than they already are, but that is going to happen. We are going to be packed in tight, with very little elbow room. ... ...

Levity aside, something's got to give. Many smaller countries – Singapore and Bahrain, Netherlands and South Korea among them – have greater population density than India. But it is easier to manage resources when you are in the millions. Our billion and half is a half billion too many.

India's geographic size is relatively modest. It is only the seventh largest country in the world in area terms; and it is half the size of the sixth-largest nation, Australia. This will ensure that aside from sheer numbers, India will remain the most densely-packed large country in the world.

The strain on resources will be tremendous. We may find the wherewithal to feed our people through higher per capita yield or acreage production with land that is both fecund and fertile, but take something like automobiles. If India, with one-fourth the US land mass, reaches anywhere near American vehicular saturation (254 million cars and trucks for 320 million population), we are toast. With 50 million vehicles, our cities are already groaning in bumper-to-bumper misery; imagine a billion, or even 500 million, vehicles. Our traffic snarls will be not just miles long, but days long.

Could de-population through emigration provide a way out? After all, foreigners have streamed into India for millennia and have been absorbed into the lifeblood of the subcontinent to the extent that even DNA tests can't divine anything more than the fact that we are of mixed stock. So why shouldn't Indians be heading outwards in greater numbers, helped by government-negotiated policies that allow for organised and orderly work-related emigration in a manner that will be economically viable and beneficial to all?

Already, some countries are beginning to realise this and are formulating policies to attract diverse immigrants. The US, UK and France are among the countries whose populations are expected to increase by at least 25% by 2100, much of it fuelled by immigration. ...

Of course, some countries hold little attraction for Indians, and some others are still locked in a nativist time-warp. Russia's population will drop from its current 142 million to 111 million, and Japan's from 125 million to 91 million by 2100. ... ...

India, with its diverse and plural population, is already the motherlode of modern migration with a diaspora estimated at 30 million worldwide. ...

But New Delhi needs to facilitate emigration of 300 million or more, not just 30 million, to allow itself some breathing space and gain greater global heft.
[Site link]


Emigration – European Union
Emigration: Why British expats have nothing to fear from Brexit
Jon Moynihan, Andrew Allum, Matthew Elliott, Luke Johnson, Mark Littlewood, John Mills, Helena Morrissey and Viscount Ridley
Daily Telegraph, 26 June 2015
[Extracted from Change, or go, published by Business for Britain]

A significant fear for those concerned about Britain leaving the EU is the potential mass exodus of both Europeans and Britons from each other's respective nations. Former Attorney General Dominic Grieve has claimed that: "EU exit would make 2 million Britons abroad illegal immigrants overnight."

However, this claim is not grounded in legal fact, as the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969 would come into play. It contains articles that are based on 'acquired rights', which individuals build up over time and hold despite any changes in future treaties enacted by their nation.

Moreover, "acquired rights" were acknowledged in Greenland's withdrawal from the European Economic Community (EEC). Under the term "vested rights", the European Commission said that Greenland should retain the "substance" of free movement rights for workers from the EEC at the time of withdrawal.

As a House of Commons Library note clarified: "Generally speaking, withdrawing from a treaty releases the parties from any future obligations to each other, but does not affect any rights or obligations acquired under it before withdrawal."

Therefore, the EU's freedom of movement rights would be honoured for all those citizens who reside in other EEA nations prior to any Treaty changes. Furthermore, the Greenland example also included a transitional period. This works both ways, and the UK's Vienna Convention obligations would prevent any government from deporting migrants who came to the UK under the old system.

The UK's large expatriate retiree community in Spain, France and Italy would also not have to worry. While the Centre for European Reform has claimed that, were Britain to leave, "Spain might demand that British retirees on the costas pay for their own healthcare or it may try to limit migrants' access to healthcare... Their healthcare is costly to the Spanish treasury, which is struggling to balance its books" this is inaccurate, as the NHS would be responsible for paying the cost of healthcare of pensioners abroad in any case.

In 2013-14, the UK paid £580m to other EEA countries for the treatment of British pensioners resident in the EEA, while it received just £12m from other EEA countries in the same year for the treatment of EEA pensioners in the UK. Further, as previously noted, the Vienna Convention would guarantee the right to remain for Britons already in European nations through acquired rights.
[Site link]



Employment – wages
Stalling UK wage growth set to revive debate over migrant workers
Heather Stewart
The Guardian, 30 December 2015

Average pay growth for Britain's workers is likely to stall at about 2% in 2016, as the ready availability of migrants makes it easy for employers to fill vacancies, according to a forecast of the labour market.

In its annual assessment, the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD), which represents the human resources profession, says job creation will remain strong over the next 12 months, but wage growth has reached a plateau.

Its assessment of UK earning prospects are less bullish than those of the Bank of England and the government's independent forecaster, the Office for Budget Responsibility. Both expect average pay to expand by about 3.5% in 2016, helping to rebuild living standards dented by the long post-recession pay squeeze.

But the CIPD says that while up to 400,000 jobs are likely to be created the next year, there is little evidence of a skills shortage, making it difficult for workers to demand generous pay rises. ...

Danny Blanchflower, a labour market expert and former member of the Bank's monetary policy committee (MPC), said: "I think the CIPD's right. The labour market is slowing, and what we have got is pressure pushing down on wages: from the unemployed, from the underemployed, [and] by the potential flow of migrants from central and eastern Europe."

Official figures show the number of non-UK nationals in the workforce has surged from 986,000 in 1997 to 3.22 million – a rise from 3.7% of the workforce to more than 10%.

Over the past 12 months, almost three-quarters of new jobs created went to non-UK nationals, according to official figures – 326,000, compared with the 122,000 jobs taken by UK workers.
[Site link]


Employment – doctors, nurses
One in three UK doctors born abroad, international research shows.
Laura Donnelly
Daily Telegraph, 28 December 2015

Britain relies more on foreign doctors than any major EU nation, international research shows.

More than a third of NHS doctors – some 35 per cent - were born abroad, the report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reveals.

The figure puts Britain ahead of every other country in the European Union bar Luxembourg, and is three times that of Germany.

Perversely, the UK is also one of the highest exporters of doctors, the report reveals.

Critics attacked "revolving door" immigration policies which meant the UK has spent billions training medics who went abroad, only to rely on overseas labour to plug the gaps left.

The UK is also among the most dependent on foreign nurses, the major report discloses.

In total, 21.7pc of nurses were born abroad – a sharp increase from a decade earlier when the figure was 15.2 per cent. Across the EU, only Luxembourg, Ireland and Estonia are more dependent on nurses from overseas. ...

Earlier this month research found that hospitals with high numbers of foreign-born nurses get far worse ratings from patients.

The new study found that hospitals with the highest proportion of foreign nurses had the highest levels of patient dissatisfaction, with patients more likely to say they struggled to understand staff, and less likely to feel treated with dignity. ...

India and the Philippines were the largest exporters of doctors and nurses to OECD countries, by a "spectacular" margin, the study found.

The 2007 economic crisis fuelled migration of doctors and nurses from Eastern, Central and Southern Europe.

"They experienced considerable outflows of health workers at the end of the 2000s, most of whom headed for Germany and the United Kingdom," the report said. ...

More than 50,000 British nurses now work in healthcare systems in the other OECD nations – behind only the Philippines and India.

And 17,000 UK doctors now work in other OECD members' health systems – behind only India, China and Germany.
[Site link]


Employment – ethnic minorities, bias
'Ethnic Minorities Disadvantaged In Job Market' Claims ANOTHER Foreign-Funded, Pro-Migration 'Think Tank'
Oliver Lane
Breitbart, 28 December 2015

A report by the Resolution Foundation, a London-based group that works to "shape the debate on economic and social policy" has called on the government to indulge in positive discrimination towards ethnic minorities to close the so-called 'employment gap' between migrants and their native neighbours.

The Resolution Foundation is funded by the billionaire-backed, pro-migration Unbound Philanthropy group which also funds other hard left organisations such as Black Lives Matter and Hope Not Hate.

While the names and methods of the groups vary, one thing unites the recipients of the foreign-funding of Unbound Philanthropy; the promotion of open borders and mass migration – whether legal or illegal.

The report on employment levels between the disparate ethnic groups that make up the population of the modern United Kingdom found that while the 'gap' between the most and least employed regions for ethnic Brits was 11 per cent, for so-called Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic ('BAME') groups the number was 26 per cent.

This figure was reached by the report authors by subtracting the rate of employment for BAME individuals of working age in the most unemployed region in the country – in this case north-east England at 48 per cent – from the highest. In Scotland, BAME employment stands at 74 per cent, leaving a discrepancy of 26 per cent.

For the general population, the lowest employment rate is in Birmingham which sees 66 per cent in work. The most employed part of the nation is south-east England, which is 77 per cent, leaving a much lower so-called employment gap of 11 per cent. ...

In common with other Unbound Philanthropy funded groups, the report has not yet been released to the public, but rather is being trailed in the press, including pro-migration titles the Financial Times and the Independent before it has appeared on the organisation's website.
[Site link]


Employment – wages
City Spy: Bank of England backpedals on immigration paper
Evening Standard, 24 December 2015

Oh dear, oh dear. The Bank of England is hopping mad about coverage of a "staff working paper" it put out with the incendiary title of "The impact of immigration on occupational wages".

It found that there was a 1.88% drop in lower-skilled services wages for every 10 percentage-point rise in the proportion of immigrants coming in.

Cue predictable headlines on a "major new report" from the Bank and even an intervention from UKIP's migration spokesman Steven Woolfe, screaming: "Bank of England research finally accepts immigration causes lower wages".

Despite the article having "Bank of England" and "staff working paper" emblazoned on it, and one of the co-authors actually working for the Bank, Threadneedle Street is demanding redress based on the tiny small print, which said the report reflected the views of the author not the central bank.
[Site link]


Employment – wages
Migrant workers are driving down pay in low-skilled jobs
Business Matters, 19 December 2015

Mass migration has driven down the wages of workers in low-skilled jobs in the service industries, according to research by the Bank of England.

The influx of a huge number of eastern Europe migrants into jobs in catering, hotels and social care has led to an average 2 per cent cut in pay for workers in these sectors, reports The Times. ...

Hundreds of thousands of migrants have found low skilled jobs in the service sector, which makes up three quarters of the economy, in the past decade. It has been the most popular sector for migrants in recent years, according to the research.

Stephen Nickell, co-author of the report, said: "The biggest effect is in the semi/unskilled services sector, where a 10 percentage point rise in the proportion of immigrants is associated with a 2 per cent reduction in pay."
[Site link]


Employment – wages
Staff Working Paper No. 574: The impact of immigration on occupational wages: evidence from Britain - Stephen Nickell and Jumana Saleheen
Stephen Nickell and Jumana Saleheen
Bank of England, 18 December 2015

This paper asks whether immigration to Britain has had any impact on average wages. There seems to be a broad consensus among academics that the share of immigrants in the workforce has little or no effect on native wages. These studies typically have not refined their analysis by breaking it down into different occupational groups. Our contribution is to extend the existing literature on immigration to include occupations as well. We find that the immigrant to native ratio has a small negative impact on average British wages. /.../ Our results also reveal that the biggest impact of immigration on wages is within the semi/unskilled services occupational group. We also investigate if there is any differential impact between immigration from the EU and non-EU, and find that there is no additional impact on aggregate UK wages as a result of migrants arriving specifically from EU countries. These findings accord well with intuition and anecdotal evidence, but have not been recorded previously in the empirical literature.
[Site link]


Employment – welfare benefits
Would restricting in-work benefits to EU migrants reduce immigration?
Amy Sippitt
Full Fact, 10 December 2015

There is no direct evidence on whether welfare has acted as a "magnet" encouraging EU migrants to come to the UK, and gathering this kind of evidence is tricky. ...

Part of the difficulty in getting evidence for EU migrants as a group is that research tends to look at the EU-born or EU nationals. Only a small share of the EU-born population living in the UK report that they claim tax credits. This is self-reported data, which is known to undercount benefit recipients. We don't know by how much.

Assuming this data is broadly correct, if in-work benefits were acting to encourage migrants to come here then this suggests that restricting them wouldn't directly affect the decision of the majority of EU migrants to come to the UK.

The government has recently given a higher figure of around 40% of EU migrants claiming in or out-of-work benefits, but commentators have said the evidence behind this is not completely clear. ...

Access to benefits by EU nationals depends on their working status. If they're deemed to be a "worker" in a job which is considered "genuine and effective", they get immediate eligibility for in-work benefits like tax credits and housing benefit. EU nationals arriving here without a job can't access out-of-work benefits as easily. Our briefing written in collaboration with the Migration Observatory explains this in more detail.

As for whether migrants can "declare themselves to be on zero earnings" and get tax credits, we've asked HMRC for clarification on which tax credits they would be eligible for.

In the first quarter of 2014, EU-born people of working age were more likely to report receiving tax credits (14%) than the UK born (11%), according to the Migration Observatory's analysis of the Labour Force Survey.

The largest gap in rates of claiming was between people born in countries that joined the EU before 2004 and since 2004. 18% of people from new member states reported receiving tax credits compared to 8% from the pre-2004 members.

As we've said, that's based on self-reported data, which is known to undercount benefit recipients. Comparing rates of take up in this way assumes that undercounting is the same for all groups.

The availability of jobs is thought to be the prime factor in migrants' decisions to move, according to the Migration Observatory.

It's plausible that just as potential migrants take into account wage levels, they may also take into account the possibility of getting in-work benefits.
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A million more people will be employed in Britain by 2020 but most will be workers from abroad
Hugo Duncan
MailOnline, 9 December 2015

Migrants will make up the largest share of the rise in people in work during this Parliament, according to Treasury watchdogs.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) expects numbers working to jump by 1.1 million to a record 32.2 million by 2020.

Robert Chote, OBR chairman, told the Treasury Select Committee yesterday: 'About three-quarters of that [increase in employment] would arise from migration.'
[Site link]


Employment – EU, nurses, doctors
EU demands foreign docs be allowed to work in UK WITHOUT any checks on qualifications
Oli Smith
Sunday Express, 6 December 2015

Under new EU mandate rules, thousands of European doctors and nurses could be handed NHS jobs without vital checks on their qualifications and safety.

Critics have already called the new system a grave mistake that shows a "scandalous disregard" for patients.

Regulators fear that the British public could now be at risk from unsafe health workers.

New EU-approved electronic 'passports' will enable foreign doctors to work in hospitals and GP surgeries automatically.

The 'European Professional Cards' will be issued to EU nurses and midwives from January 1 and to doctors in two years.

The new rules mean UK regulators will have to give applicants licences to practise without first checking they have the necessary qualifications and have not lied on forms or been suspended.

The directive follows other alarming EU health rules which means that NHS hospitals can't test doctors on how well they speak English because this could impede their freedom of movement rights.

Regulators can only request certificates stating EU workers have already passed English tests – whereas those applying from elsewhere in the world face rigorous exams.

Almost 11,000 European doctors and nurses were granted permission to work in NHS last year and numbers are steadily rising. ...

Niall Dickson, of doctors' regulator the General Medical Council, said the new rules "would further jeopardise our ability to protect patients". ...

In the future, a Romanian GP could apply to work in the UK through Romanian authorities, who will have just two months to verify that he has the training and experience he claims to have.

If the deadline is missed, doctors and nurses will be issued a passport automatically, regardless of whether checks for medical wrongdoing or poor care have been established.

UK regulators are worried authorities will rush the checks and fail to carry them out properly. The GMC says it takes at least four months to vet an EU doctor. ...

The GMC and the Nursing and Midwifery Council will be allowed to refuse a licence if they believe a worker's English is not up to scratch, but this may be difficult to spot in every case without formal testing.
[Site link]


Employment – welfare benefits
Recent EU migration to the UK: can we trust government numbers?
National Institute of Economic and Social Research, 1 December 2015

The Prime Minister's claim that "around 40 percent of all recent European Economic Area migrants are supported by the UK benefits system" has been widely criticised /.../ and the UK Statistics Authority has made clear that it is very displeased that Number 10 chose to use unpublished (and inconsistent) statistic (which DWP's post-hoc publication doesn't even come close to validating).

But, leaving the abuse of the statistical process aside, the reason the Prime Minister came up with a number that is much higher than most researchers think credible is interesting – and potentially very revealing. ... ...

... Well, in the last 4 years, nearly 2 million EEA nationals registered for National Insurance numbers in the UK. ...

So what would happen if the government revealed how many EEA migrants are, according to its own computer systems, actually active in the UK labour market, one way or another? It seems highly probable that we would learn two things. First, that the Prime Minister's figure of "around 40 percent" of recent EEA migrants claiming benefits of some kind is considerably exaggerated. Second, and perhaps even more interesting, that there are actually considerably more such recent migrants than the official immigration or labour market statistics actually suggest.

Neither piece of information, of course, would be particularly helpful to the government at the present time. It would tell us both that EU migration is an even bigger issue than the official statistics suggest - and that the government's preferred solution is even less relevant than we already thought. But that is not a good reason for concealing the facts.
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Shocking figures reveal three out of four British jobs go to EU MIGRANTS
Macer Hall
Daily Express, 12 November 2015

Three out of four job hunters who found work in Britain in the past year were migrants from the EU, official figures reveal.

The data yesterday showed that the total number of people born in other EU countries in work in Britain has reached a record 2.1 million, up by 291,000 in 12 months.

The number of British-born people in jobs increased by just 122,000. Newcomers from Romania and Bulgaria numbered 219,000, a 30,000 increase and exceeding 200,000 for the first time.

The shocking figures reveal jobs are going to EU migrants 47 times faster than to Britons – by 19.1 per cent against just 0.4 per cent.

The total number of foreigners working in the UK has soared from 986,000 in 1997 to 3.2 million.
[Site link]


Employment – nurses
Hospitals to hire hundreds more foreign nurses from the Philippines, India and Pakistan after Government U-turn on immigration in wake of staffing crisis
Ian Drury and Sophie Borland
Daily Mail, 16 October 2015

Hospitals will be able to hire hundreds more foreign nurses following a Government U-turn on immigration rules.

Ministers said they will lift restrictions on the recruitment of nurses from outside of Europe amid concerns of a staffing crisis on NHS wards. ...

Home Secretary Theresa May said nurses would be temporarily added to the Government's Shortage Occupation List – an official register of jobs which cannot be filled by UK residents.

It means that hospitals will now be able to hire an unlimited number of nurses from outside the EU, largely the Philippines, India and Pakistan. ...

Earlier this year the Migration Advisory Committee, the Government's independent immigration advisers, recommended against adding nurses to the shortage occupation list.

But Whitehall insiders said the panel had been given insufficient information by the Department of Health about the looming crisis. ...

The nursing shortage has been caused partly by the Government cutting the number of training posts by 15 per cent since 2010, so there are far fewer coming up from university. ...

Statistics reveal that 8,183 overseas nurses were recruited by the NHS and private sector in 2014/15, almost twice as many as two years ago.

Many are hired from within the EU, mostly Spain and Portugal, and are not governed by the same visa restrictions.
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Employment – low-cost labour
Immigration is serving Europe's capitalist agenda
PJ Walsh
Belfast Telegraph, 25 September 2015
[Letter to the Editor]

For 25 years after the Second World War growth rates were high in the capitalist economies. Real income rose, as did the consumption of goods. However, multiple economic recessions in the mid-1970s ended this.

To control costs business began to migrate to areas of low-cost labour such as the Pacific Rim and Far East. Business tackled the problem of well-paid labour in the core capitalist economies with "liberalisation of the labour market", whereby low-cost labour was imported.

This was rebranded "freedom of movement" for public consumption, especially in states like Germany, where pay rates had been frozen for 10 years.

It was in this spirit that Angela Merkel called for more foreign workers to come to Germany to take up low-paid jobs, especially in retirement homes to look after the ageing population. Immigrants grow old, too, of course, but business needs come first and any criticism is castigated.

With this background the commitment of EU navies to patrol the Mediterranean for refugees has been a boon to people traffickers who now only need to drop their cargo a few kilometres from shore.

The purpose of immigration everywhere has been to provide a cheap servant class and keep pay rates down for all.

Survey evidence for the decline of societal well-being with large influxes of newcomers is long-established and incontrovertible, though not often mentioned.

The human collateral of the conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Iraq is a separate issue and we should not encourage the talent of these regions to abandon their homeland for Western business needs, because they are its future and what chance does it have without them?
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Employment – EU
Theresa May: Free EU movement 'for those with jobs'
BBC, 30 August 2015

EU free movement should mean the "freedom to move to a job" - not to look for work or benefits - Home Secretary Theresa May has said.

This would be a return to the "original principle" of free movement in the EU, she wrote in the Sunday Times.

Mrs May also said this summer's migrant crisis had been "exacerbated by the European system of no borders". ...

Mrs May's comments come days after official statistics showed net migration to the UK is at an all-time high, reaching 330,000 in the year to March. ...

Mrs May said the figure was "far too high" and "simply unsustainable".

The "biggest single factor" stopping the government achieving its aim of reducing net migration to the tens of thousands was net migration from the EU, she wrote.

Free movement of workers is a "fundamental principle" of the EU, and as a member nation the UK cannot stop EU nationals arriving to seek work.

Non-workers have the right to stay for up to three months, and pensioners can live in any EU country provided they have health insurance and sufficient income to live without support. ...

Mrs May also said "rigorous control" of the UK's student migration system had helped reduce the number of further education visa applications, while the number studying at top universities had gone up.

The figures showed "long-term immigration for study" rose by 12,000 to 188,000 in the year to March.

Mrs May said the figures "clearly show that too many students are not here temporarily".

She said the government must "break the link between short-term study and permanent settlement" in the UK.
[Site link]


Employment – Romanians, Bulgarians
Arrivals from Romania and Bulgaria double over the past year, driving the leap in European migration to Britain
Daily Mail, 28 August 2015

The leap in European migration to Britain has been driven by the arrival of tens of thousands of workers from Romania and Bulgaria.

Some 53,000 people from the two countries arrived in the year to March – nearly double the 28,000 in the previous 12 months.

The growing number from these Eastern European states – whose citizens gained the right to work in the UK at the beginning of 2014 – confirms the fears of analysts who said that the highly-paid British economy would attract thousands of migrants from two of the continent's poorest countries.

They also stand to criticise observers who insisted there would be no large-scale immigration from Romania and Bulgaria.

After the release of employment figures by the Office for National Statistics in spring last year – which apparently showed there had been a fall in migration from the 'EU2' – the BBC's 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 53,000 revealed in the latest figures is close to the 50,000 a year predicted by the immigration think-tank Migration Watch UK.

Of these, 42,000 said they were coming to Britain to work.

And very few Romanian and Bulgarian migrants returned home – net migration from the two countries was 49,000.
[Site link]


Employment – Romanians, Bulgarians
Why Are There 214,000 National Insurance Numbers for Romanians and Bulgarians, But Only 53,000 Immigrants?
Raheem Kassam
Breitbart, 27 August 2015

One of the questions arising from today's immigration figures is the discrepancy between how many National Insurance numbers were handed out to Romanians and Bulgarians, and the number of immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria.

For the year to March 2015, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that there were 53,000 new Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants – "a statistically significant increase and almost double the 28,000 in the previous 12 months".

Indeed such a rise is significant, but the question is – why are the National Insurance numbers (NINos) so different, at a total of 214,000 registrations of Romanians and Bulgarians (EU2) to the year ending June 2015. ...

Well, there is a combination of problems that are causing some confusion about the UK immigration figures.

Firstly, we know that the ONS numbers rely on the International Passenger Survey (IPS), which is a long-standing, entry-point survey of people travelling into the United Kingdom. The numbers are then extrapolated outwards to estimate those settling and those leaving the United Kingdom. Of the millions of people travelling in and out of the country every year, the IPS interviews around 750,000. The IPS cannot account for illegal immigration, as a result, and this is the first problem we have with our migration figures.

As they are estimates, the IPS numbers are far less reliable than NINO figures, which, as an ONS statistician told me, is hard data. This means that we should be looking more to the number of people registering for National Insurance in the United Kingdom. But we can't. Because the number of people registering for National Insurance in any given year doesn't necessarily mean that they entered the country in that year.

For instance, while 59,000 Spanish people registered for a UK National Insurance number to the year ending June 2015, some of them may have been here for years already.

But as people are noticing, the discrepancy between EU2 countries immigration figures and the NINo figures are particularly striking. There were 917,000 registrations in the year to June 2015, an 62 per cent increase (352,000) on the previous year. A whopping 76 per cent of these (697,000) were from within the European Union.

Within the EU the number of NINo registrations in the year increased by 66 per cent (277,000) on the previous year.

The number from Romania and Bulgaria has increased by 151 per cent on the previous year.

It stretches credulity to believe that immigration can stand at just 53,000 while National Insurance registrations can be at 214,000. Especially when you consider that Romanian and Bulgarian migration into the UK in mid-2012 was below 10,000 on the year, and still only around 20,000 at the end of 2013 (the problem is of course I'm quoting IPS data).

The reality is the number of Romanians and Bulgarians is probably a lot higher than the IPS estimates. It isn't going to be 214,000 for the year. But reading the data tells me that it is likely to be closer to that number than 53,000.
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Foreigners now make up one in six of UK workers
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 13 August 2015

The share of foreigners in the British workforce has more than doubled since 1997, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics said that there was an 84,000 increase in the number of Britons in work in this country since 2014, compared with a rise of 250,000 other EU nationals.

The figures also show that the number of EU-born migrants working in Britain has topped 2 million for the first time, with half of them hailing from Eastern European countries.

The influx means that there are now 4.9 million foreigners working in the UK, equivalent to one in six workers. In 1997 there were just 1.9 million foreign-born workers, equivalent to one in 13.

Lord Green of Deddington, chairman of Migration Watch UK, which campaigns for stricter immigration controls, said more needed to be done to control the numbers arriving. He added: "Clearly the Government is going to have to get a grip on EU migration if it wants to bring overall numbers down."

Dr Carlos Vargas-Silva, from the Migration Observatory, said: "What is happening is that the UK economy is quite strong compared with other EU countries and that is attracting more migrants."
[Site link]


Employment – programmers
Large firms 'should stop hiring cheap foreign programmers over British IT experts'
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 12 August 2015

Ministers should make it harder for large foreign companies to bring in cheap IT experts from Asia and hire more British computer programmers, a leading thinktank says.

MigrationWatch is urging the Government to stop multi-national firms importing thousands of relatively low cost programmers, mainly from India at the expense of British jobs.

In June, David Cameron, the Prime Minister, ordered a review into whether it should be harder for skilled migrants to get Tier 2 visas to come to work in the UK from outside the European Union.

The policy, backed by Home secretary Theresa May, was on the table in the last Parliament but former Liberal Democrat business secretary Vince Cable reportedly blocked it. Business groups also opposed the changes.

According to Freedom of Information requests, more than half of the 60,000 IT employees in the UK at the end of last year had come to the UK from India.
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Employment – EU
EU pays jobless migrants to come to Britain
Matthew Holehouse, Tom Whitehead and Henry Samuel
Daily Telegraph, 4 August 2015

Unemployed migrants are being given thousands of pounds to find work in Britain under an EU scheme, The Telegraph can disclose.

It has emerged that the UK has taken a third of the young migrants involved in the "Your First EURES Job" programme.

Some 1,178 unemployed young people from the Continent have been found jobs, training or apprenticeships in Britain under the "jobs mobility" programme since it was set up in 2012.

That accounted for 34.7 per cent of the 3,387 jobs handed out so far, much higher than second place Germany, which has provided 659 placements. At the same time, just 25 Britons under 30 have found work under the scheme, less than 1 per cent of the total.

The scheme offers up to €5,000 (£3,500) in relocation expenses and course fees per participant. The average cost per head of the scheme was €1,818, according to official figures. ...

The EU work scheme contains a generous programme of grants and reimbursements to encourage people to move.

They include travel allowances of up to €350 for distances of more than 500 miles, plus subsistence funds of up to €50 a day while undergoing interviews.

Participants can also claim up to €1,060 in relocation expenses to move to the UK, €1,270 for language training and €1,000 to have their qualifications recognised in a new country.

Jobseekers with special "socio-economic" or "geographical" needs can claim a further €500 in reimbursements.

British businesses that employ people through the scheme can claim up to €1,060 in training and language allowances. In total, it means a single jobseeker could, in theory, cost the taxpayer more than €5,000 in handouts.
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Employment – students, visa fraud
Work restrictions on foreign students extended in 'visa fraud crackdown'
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 14 July 2015

Thousands of foreign students at publicly funded colleges are to lose the right to work in Britain while they study.

The immigration minister, James Brokenshire, announced on Monday that from next month students from outside the European Union who come to study at publicly funded further education colleges will lose the right to work for up to 10 hours a week.

The "new crackdown on visa fraud", as the Home Office describes it, is aimed at ensuring that student visas are used for study and "not as a backdoor to the country's job market".

Further measures will be introduced this autumn, including:

• Reducing the length of further education visas from three years to two.

• Preventing college students from applying to stay on in Britain and work when they finish their course, unless they leave the country first.

• Preventing further education students from extending their studies in Britain unless they are registered at an institution with a formal link to a university.

The number of foreign students at British further education colleges has slumped in recent years from a peak of more than 110,000 in 2011 to 18,297 in the last 12 months.

The fall is partly a result of a squeeze by the home secretary, Theresa May, in an attempt to reduce annual net migration to below 100,000.

Ministers say the fall is also a result of a drive to reduce visa fraud and close down hundreds of privately funded "bogus" colleges.

The latest changes extend restrictions on non-EU students at privately funded colleges to those at publicly funded colleges. It is thought that there are about 5,000 non-EU students at publicly funded colleges, many of them studying for A-levels before applying to British universities.

Brokenshire said there had been signs of increased fraud at some publicly funded colleges and evidence of immigration advisers advertising college visas as a means to work in Britain.

"Immigration offenders want to sell illegal access to the UK jobs market, and there are plenty of people willing to buy," he said. "Hardworking taxpayers who are helping to pay for publicly funded colleges expect them to be providing top-class education, not a backdoor to a British work visa."
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Employment – wages, living wage
George Osborne's £9 per hour National Living Wage 'will attract more migrants to Britain'
Christopher Hope and Dillon Leet
Daily Telegraph, 10 July 2015

George Osborne's decision to introduce a new £9 an hour national living wage will lead to more Eastern Europeans coming to work in Britain, experts fear.

The Chancellor's decision to order companies to pay the national living wage – which is currently a voluntary £7.85 per hour across the UK – was the highlight of this week's Budget.

It will be introduced from April 2016, topping up the minimum wage to create a national living wage of £7.20 an hour for employees aged 25 and over. The minimum wage will continue to apply for people aged 21 to 24.

However campaigners warned that increasing the wages of hundreds of thousands of people would make the UK more attractive to migrants from eastern European countries where wages are less. ...

Lord Green of Deddington, the founding chairman of MigrationWatch, said: "When it comes fully into effect in two years' time it will add to the incentive for East European migrants to come to Britain – if they are single.

"In later years they would lose benefits if they were married and had children. It is possible that it will attract single under-25s more strongly than at present. The present incentive is very strong – I think it will add to that incentive." ...

The National Institute for Economic and Social Research – which was commissioned by the Foreign Office to carry out research into the effect on the UK of increased migration – said the changes would make migrants more attractive to British employers.

Jonathan Portes, the institute's director, said: "It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the net impact of these changes will be to make the UK labour market more attractive to low-paid EU migrants; and, possibly, such migrants more attractive to UK employers."

He added: "There is also a relative price effect. Employers will have a significant incentive to employ the under-25s, who will be considerably cheaper.

"So some employers may choose to hire relatively more under-25s. Again, this may provide a boost to the relative employment prospects of EU migrants." ...

The Prime Minister's official spokesman denied that the changes would mean Britain is a more attracetive destination for migrants.

She said: "I would not accept that – there are already differences within wage levels across the European Union.

"There are other countries that already pay higher wages and that we are reducing pull factors with the changes that are being made to the tax credit system."
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Employment – wages, living wage
Osborne's living wage will increase immigration - but he won't mind
George Eaton
New Statesman blog, 9 July 2015

The Tories, in theory, have a policy of reducing immigration to the UK. Despite net migration last year reaching 318,000, the Conservative manifesto reaffirmed the party's aim of limiting it to "tens of thousands". David Cameron's bid to impose a four-year ban on migrant benefits (as part of his EU renegotiation) is designed, in his words, to reduce "the incentives for lower paid, low skilled EU workers to come here in the first place." The disparity between the amount migrants can earn at home and the amount they can earn in the UK (including through in-work welfare) must be narrowed.

But the defining measure of George Osborne's Budget - a "National Living Wage" - will only increase the incentives for foreigners to migrate. As the OBR noted, the planned rate of £9 by 2020 will move the UK from the middle of the global wage league table to the top. Just seven OECD countries will have a higher minimum wage relative to full-time median earnings.

This isn't the only draw for migrants. As the Labour MP John Mann, who has called for curbs on the free movement of labour, tweeted: "Biggest winners in today's budget are low skilled Europeans thinking of coming here. Free childcare, pay no tax, higher pay. The UK dilemma." But given the the economic benefits of high immigration, Osborne, a liberal on this issue, may not mind.
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The real land of opportunity: why it is best to be a migrant in Britain
Matthew Holehouse
Daily Telegraph, 3 July 2015

Foreigners are more likely to have jobs in the UK than British workers, according to a major new study that reveals Britain to be one of the most attractive countries in the world for migrants.

According to a report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the employment rate for male workers from overseas has now overtaken that of British natives. ...

The new report by the OECD shows that the UK is now one of the leading destinations in the world for foreigners seeking to start a new life.

It shows the proportion of immigrants with degrees has doubled in just six years to nearly a half, the report shows.

And it reveals that the children of poor migrants are far more likely to flourish in a British school than they would in other EU nations such as France or Germany.

The report, drawn from thousands of datasets in the 34-nation club, also shows that the UK now has one of the highest rates of migrants who have started their own businesses in the world.

It also reveals how migrants – historically the first to be laid off in a downturn – have weathered the downturn far better than their counterparts. Men born overseas are now more likely to be in work then those born in the UK.

Between 2006 and 2012 the employment rate for foreign-born men fell slightly from 78 per cent to 77.8 per cent as the economy contracted.

In the same, period the employment rate for men born in the UK fell much more sharply from 79.4 per cent to 76.7 per cent.

The report shows how foreign-born people in Britain are more likely to live in poverty than the UK-born population - a quarter compared to one sixth. A fifth live in over-crowded houses, double the rate for the rest of the population.

David Cameron wants to cut in-work benefits paid to migrants from the European Union in order to curb migration. He believes he can over come fierce opposition from Poland, Romania and Belgium by pointing out how a "brain drain" of the brightest and best is undermining their long-term prospects.

The OECD figures appear to confirm this, and show a dramatic jump in highly-qualified graduates settling in Britain.

Some 48 per cent of migrants now have degrees - compared to 25 per cent in 2006, a figure that remains the EU average. ...

Peter Bone, the Tory MP for Wellingborough, said the good life chances offered to migrants shows that Mr Cameron's welfare reforms will do little to cut overall numbers, a key demand of his constituents. "This report strengthens the case for real immigration control," he said.
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Employment – nurses
New immigration rules will cost the NHS millions, warns nursing union
Haroon Siddique
The Guardian, 22 June 2015

New immigration rules that will mean lower-earning non-EU workers being deported will exacerbate the shortage of nurses in the UK and cost the NHS tens of millions in recruitment, the government has been warned by nursing leaders.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said the change, due to come into effect in April next year, will cause chaos in the health service. Under the new rules, non-EU workers who are earning less than £35,000 after six years in the UK will be deported.

The RCN urged the Home Office to add nurses to the list of shortage occupations, exempt from the rules, and reconsider the salary threshold.

Research released by the RCN to coincide with its annual congress in Bournemouth, suggests that up to 3,365 nurses, who cost £20.19m to recruit, could be affected. But it says that figure could spiral by 2020, particularly, if workforce pressures lead to increased international recruitment, in which case 29,755 nurses, costing more than £178.5m to recruit, could be affected. ...

A Home Office spokesman said: "As the prime minister has made clear, the government wants to reduce the demand for migrant labour.

"There are exemptions to this threshold for occupations where the UK has a shortage – but the independent Migration Advisory Committee recommended against adding nurses to the shortage occupation list after taking evidence from groups, including the RCN.

"Employers have had since 2011 to prepare for the possibility their non-EEA workers may not meet the required salary threshold to remain in the UK permanently."
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Employment – nurses
NHS spends huge sums on foreign nurses, yet two thirds of local applicants are rejected
Laura Donnelly
Sunday Telegraph, 21 June 2015

The NHS is spending "ludicrous" sums poaching foreign nurses while rejecting two thirds of British applicants for training, the head of the nursing union has warned.

Dr Peter Carter claimed staff shortages across the UK had reached "crisis" levels, with almost every NHS hospital trawling the globe for staff.

The head of the Royal College of Nursing said attempts to procure nurses from countries that can ill afford to lose them were ethically dubious and "hugely expensive".

Despite shortages that have left trusts paying agencies up to £2,200 per nursing shift and soaring numbers of foreign nurses, most Britons who try to join the profession are turned away, he said.

Last year, 57,000 applicants tried to train as a nurse, but 37,000 were rejected. Dr Carter said not all of those turned away "would have been appropriate" but he added: "I can't believe the majority of them wouldn't have been fit." Meanwhile, the number of foreign nurses registering to work in Britain rose by one third, as did the amount spent on agency nurses – reaching a record £3.3 billion.

On the eve of the RCN's annual conference, Dr Carter told The Sunday Telegraph he was "deeply worried" about the reliance on agency and foreign workers.

He said a "truly lamentable" lack of planning had engineered disastrous shortages of nursing in this country that were damaging patient care. Nurse training places were cut by some 6,000 annually in the early years of the Coalition to just under 20,000 a year.

Dr Carter explained: "You have virtually every NHS trust in England, and a lot in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, recruiting overseas. It is ludicrous, hugely expensive, and labour intensive. The root cause is not training and retaining enough UK nurses."

He said that trusts were spending up to £12,000 per nurse recruited, with teams put up in hotels overseas as they sought foreign labour. ...

Twenty-nine per cent of new nurses were recruited from abroad in the past 12 months compared with 11 per cent five years previously.

About 7,500 came from the EU, particularly Spain, Italy and Portugal. Others arrived from further afield, including the Philippines. The number of foreign nurses and midwives registered in the past 12 months grew to 8,200 from 6,200 a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the percentage of NHS trusts who recruited abroad last year doubled, to 73 per cent.
[Site link]


Employment – Bulgarians, Romanians
Britain is a 'magnet for migrants' as number of foreigners with right to work hits 820,000 including 220% rise in Romanians
Matt Chorley
MailOnline, 4 June 2015

The number of Romanians registered to work in Britain has soared by 223 per cent in just a year, new figures show.

When EU work curbs were lifted, giving people from Romania and Bulgaria full access to the UK jobs market, there was a flood of applications for National Insurance numbers.

Critics said it showed how Britain is a 'magnet for migrants' as the figures further undermine David Cameron's hopes of cutting net migration to the tens of thousands.

From January 2014 workers from Romania and Bulgaria have been able to take jobs in the UK like anyone else in the EU.

When restrictions were lifted, Mr Cameron boasted that immigration levels from the two countries were 'reasonable' despite not seeing any official data.

Now the Department for Work and Pensions has revealed the dramatic increase in the number of people given the legal right to work in the UK.

In March this year there were 152,363 Romanians able to work in the UK, up from 47,116 in 2014 - a 223 per cent rise.

The number from Bulgaria hit 40,476, up 128 per cent on a year earlier. The huge increases far outstripped anything seen from any other country in the world.

The third highest rise was among workers from Italy, up 37 per cent year-on-year. ...

Separate immigration figures show that the number of Romanians and Bulgarians who arrived in Britain in 2014 doubled to 46,000, including 35,000 who came for work. ...

In total 824,154 people from around the world were registered to work in the UK in the year to March, a 37 per cent rise on 2014 and 44 per cent higher than before Mr Cameron became Prime Minister in 2010.

Three-quarters of all National Insurance registrations for foreign workers were from people from within the EU.

On 152,636, Romania has now overtaken Poland on 115,606.

The two eastern European countries account for a third of all foreign workers registered in the UK.
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Employment – East Europeans
75% of East Europeans and 30% of EU14 workers in low skilled work
Migrationwatch UK, 20 May 2015

Three quarters of all East European workers who have arrived since their countries joined the EU are working in low skilled work, so says a Migration Watch UK analysis of the Labour Force Survey.

The analysis finds that in early 2014 there were 870,000 workers from the Accession countries of Eastern Europe (including Romania and Bulgaria) in the labour market and almost three quarters, or 630,000, were in low skilled work, as defined by the government's Migration Advisory Committee. Remarkably, about half of these (almost 320,000) are in the very lowest skilled occupations.

This analysis goes some way in explaining why East European migrants' impact on GDP per capita is likely to continue to be 'negligible' at best, in line with previous modelling by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research. It also explains why the fiscal contribution of East Europeans has been, even on the most favourable assumptions, at best very low. The reason is of course that, while East Europeans have very high employment rates (84% of EU8 and 77% of Romanians and Bulgarians are in work) they are working for low pay in low skilled jobs.

By contrast, EU 14 migrants are much more in highly skilled work with 70% in skilled occupations compared to 55% of UK born. Taking all EU migrants together, 750,000 of the 1.27 million are in low skilled work – that is nearly 60%.

Commenting, Lord Green of Deddington, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said:

"This analysis clearly demonstrates that some means must be found to curb low skilled immigration from the EU if immigration is to be brought under control. East European workers have a very good reputation for their work ethic but the fact that they are so overwhelmingly in low skilled work raises real questions about their value to the UK economy. Meanwhile, they add considerably to the pressure on public services, especially in the areas where they are concentrated."
[Site link]


Employment – wages
Immigration is dragging down British wages
Stephen Pollard
Daily Express, 15 May 2015

Throughout the election, there were two phrases that every Conservative candidate mouthed at every possible opportunity.

One was "long term economic plan", and it's a phrase that clearly struck a chord. The other was "jobs miracle". And no wonder: David Cameron and George Osborne are the first Prime Minister and Chancellor in history who can say that, under their stewardship, the economy has created 1000 jobs a day. That's quite a boast.

And it's no wonder that we voted to stick with the plan that's brought it about. But nothing in politics and economics is ever as straightforward as it seems. Because although that figure of 1000 jobs a day is indeed unalloyed good news, it does not mean that 1000 Brits a day have benefited – or anything like it.

Of the roughly two million new jobs, around half have gone to foreign-born workers. The figures show that EU migrants are getting new jobs at 10 times the rate of British workers. In 1997, when Tony Blair first won power, around three per cent of the workforce came from overseas. That was at the high end of the figures for previous decades.

But figures published on Wednesday show that today, as a result of the last Labour government's decision to open up our borders and the free movement principle of the EU, that figure is now one in 10. Ten percent of workers in Britain today are foreign.

Over the past year, almost 300,000 new foreign workers arrived in the UK. That brings the total number of workers here from the EU to 1.91 million – half of whom come from the eight Eastern European former members of the Warsaw Pact. Their number is up from 803,000 to 929,000.

Of those, 173,000 were Romanians and Bulgarians – a third more than in 2013. ...

That puts in perspective the latest figures showing that the proportion of people now in work is at its highest level since records began. In 2014, there were 3.09 million foreigners working here – a rise of 294,000. The number of Brits in work totaled 27.91 million – a rise of 279,000. So there was a 10.8 per cent rise in EU migrant employment compared with a 1.2 per cent rise for Brits.

Overall, since Labour took office in 1997 and opened up our borders to the new Eastern European member states, nearly a million immigrants have taken jobs in Britain. All very well, you might say, but so what? Isn't it great that these people see Britain as a land of opportunity and come here to better themselves? If they're working, they're not on benefits, so who are they hurting? Why shouldn't they take jobs that Brits are clearly too workshy to apply for?

It's at that point that the debate moves up a notch. According to no less a figure than Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England – a man hailed across the political divide as one of the best in the world – the level of immigration is having far more impact than simply providing foreign workers with the chance to improve their lot. Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Carney warned that not only are they dampening wages across the economy, but that in doing so they are threatening the very economic growth that has created the jobs in the first place.
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Employment – wages
Foreign workers drag down UK wages, says bank chief: Carney's explosive intervention as number of EU migrants working here hits 2 million
Ian Drury and Hugo Duncan
Daily Mail, 14 May 2015

A huge influx of foreign workers is threatening the economy by holding down wages, the head of the Bank of England warned yesterday.

In a dramatic intervention, Mark Carney said high rates of immigration helped explain why pay rises had been subdued for several years.

He said sluggish earnings were a key risk to the country's recovery from the worst recession in a century. The comments coincide with the release of figures showing a record 4.8 million foreigners work in Britain – making up one sixth of the labour force. Almost two million of them are from the European Union – another all-time high.

Workers from Poland and other former Eastern Bloc countries have taken 942,000 jobs. ...

Speaking in public for the first time since the election, the Canadian bank governor said the UK labour force had 'expanded significantly' in recent years. This is partly explained by an increase in older workers and a willingness to work longer hours but Mr Carney also blamed 'strong population growth partly driven by net migration'.

Mr Carney said the increase in the size of the workforce had 'contained wage growth in the face of robust employment growth'. He added: 'A key risk [to the economy] is that these subdued growth rates continue.'

Gerwyn Davies, an adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said: 'The increased supply of workers, especially older workers and EU migrants, means that employers are under little or no recruitment pressure to boost pay growth.

'Until this supply begins to diminish, employers will be under little pressure to increase starting salaries and, even then, we still have some way to go to see wages significantly exceed living costs.'

Alp Mehmet, of the campaign group MigrationWatch UK, said: 'While some people have resisted the view that mass immigration exerts downward pressure on wages, the Bank of England report shows that such a view is neither extreme nor unjustified and that the impact of immigration is very likely affecting not just the lowest-paid. It is a key issue about which the government needs to be clear in its impending negotiations with the rest of the EU.'

The central bank says it is now factoring in higher levels of population growth for the coming years 'on the basis of higher net migration'.

Its inflation report – published every three months by the BoE to outline its latest forecasts – added: 'The outlook for net migration is highly uncertain and is likely to depend on a number of factors such as the United Kingdom's relative economic performance and also UK government policy.'
[Site link]


Employment – EU workers
Nearly two million EU workers in Britain, new figures show
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 13 May 2015

The number of workers who have moved to Britain from elsewhere in the European Union has reached a new high of just under two million, official figures show.

Data from the Office for National Statistics revealed 1.95 million people born in the 27 other EU member states were working here in the first quarter of this year.

The figure was almost half a million up on four years ago, equivalent to the population of Liverpool.

The new figures represented a 10.8 per cent increase year-on-year, or 190,000 extra workers.

In the same period in 2011, the figure was 1.46 million.

The figures have shown a steady climb as large numbers of Europeans escape economic problems in countries such as Spain, Italy and Greece.

The ONS figures showed the surge in the last 12 months was mainly driven by renewed levels of migration from Poland and the other seven eastern European countries which joined the EU in 2004.

Levels of immigration from the eight former Communist states, known as the "EUA8", had dropped off during the recession but in the last 12 months 135,000 arrived from the countries to work in Britain.

It means the total number of EUA8 immigrant workers was 942,000, up nearly 17 per cent year-on-year.

Immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria, which joined the EU in 2007 and are measured separately by the ONS, were at 186,000, a significant rise year-on-year but slightly below a peak seen in the third quarter of last year.
[Site link]


Employment – benefits, human rights
EU should welcome migrants, labour and migration experts say
Tom Miles
Reuters, 12 May 2015

The European Union should recognise the potential benefit of migrants fleeing to its shores, not try to keep them out for fear of the burden they will place on Europe's economy, labour and human rights say.

The European Commission will introduce a "European Agenda on Migration" on Wednesday, following criticism for what U.N human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein has called its "callous" approach to the 219,000 migrants who sailed to Europe last year, and the 3,500 who died trying.

The publication of the agenda comes after as many as 900 people trying to get to Europe drowned last month off the coast of Libya. Libya detained another 600 would-be immigrants from Africa last week as they tried to sail across the Mediterranean. ...

Last month, Zeid said EU politicians should stop "pandering to the xenophobic populist movements that have poisoned public opinion" and admit the EU needed "the low-skilled labour that migrants are desperate to contribute".

"The elephant in the room surely is the issue of economic migration, and the rational way to deal with it is in a managed way, rather than ignoring it and hoping it will go away, because it ain't going away," Leonard Doyle, a spokesman for the International Organization for Migration, told a regular U.N. briefing in Geneva on Tuesday.

Academic studies have found that if the conditions are right, waves of low-skilled foreigners can bring economic benefits.

One study published in March by Mette Foged at the University of Copenhagen and Giovanni Peri at UC Davis looked at a refugee influx in Denmark between 1991 and 2008. The study found it improved wages and job mobility for young and low-skilled Danes.

"In labour market migration, the impact is often positive, and certainly one cannot detect what would be a natural fear, for example the decline in wages and working conditions with a significant number of incomers," said Raymond Torres, head of research at the International Labour Organization.

A 1990 study by David Card at Princeton examined the Mariel Boatlift, when 125,000 Cubans arrived in Southern Florida, and found the sudden 7 percent increase to the Miami labour force had "virtually no effect on the wages or unemployment rates of less-skilled workers".

"All the evidence points in this direction," Torres said. "When you have growing inequality in society, there's a certain tendency to try to find culprits."
[Site link]


Employment – cheaper workers
Nicola Sturgeon linked to IT fraud probe
Marco Giannangeli
Sunday Express, 26 April 2015

Police have launched a major fraud investigation after claims that 200 British workers at Scotland's environment agency were sacked and replaced by cheaper staff from India and South America.

Most of the replacements are alleged to have been allowed to enter the country on Tier 2 Visas – designed only for people coming to the UK to fill a position that cannot be filled by a settled workers.

The claims, made by two former employees, were also passed on to Scotland's First Minster Nicola Sturgeon, who was last night challenged to explain on why she took no action.

Embarrassingly, they come just two weeks after the SNP leader declared: "We need strong controls on immigration and we need to make sure people do not get away with abusing the system the rest of us pay for."

Detectives from Police Scotland's Economic Crimes Unit were last night investigating a raft of allegations including fraud, Visa fraud, breaches of employment law and misconduct in public office.

The IT unit at the department of Agriculture, Farming and Rural affairs formally consisted of around 200 mostly British experts tasked with creating a £200m online system for processing farming claims and agricultural subsidies.

The replacements began in November and happened over a period of four months, in batches of 30 and 40.

By March this year, almost all staff employed in the project were Tier 2 Visa holders from India, South America and Korea.

Last night former IT consultant John Dunning described a culture of "fear and resentment" as new workers worked double shifts without extra pay, for fear of having their Visas revoked and being sent home.

He reported his concerns to the Scottish Government under Whistleblower rules, and made a separate complaint to Police Scotland.

He also contacted both Nicola Sturgeon and Richard Lochhead MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, and was astonished to discover that his concerns had simply been bounced back to AFRC's HR department. ...

Mr Dunning added "I also saw one of the new Indian employees pass Visa documents to another with the instructions 'photocopy these and then change the name'."

Last night a Government Scotland spokesman said it had launched an investigation with the Home Office, but that no evidence of Visa fraud had been found.

But Mr Dunning said: "They concentrated on the forgery issue, but not the way in these Visas were obtained."

Last night his claims were backed by another worker at the site, who resigned in protest. ...

"Britain is full of very capable and skilled It workers, but the new generation is being killed off because it's much cheaper to ship in cheap foreign labour.

"Those Visas are for genuine skills shortages, not to help Government agencies save money."
[Site link]


Employment – Poles
New wave of Polish workers on the way to Britain as 250,000 think of quitting homeland
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 20 April 2015

Fears of a fresh wave of Polish migrants heading to the UK were raised by government research showing 250,000 were thinking of quitting their homeland for a better life over here.

About 1.2 million Poles want to leave the country and move abroad in the next 12 months and almost one in four hope to land in Britain, a study by the Polish employment service found.

The staggering figures prompted concern in the UK - which is already home to nearly 800,000 of the eastern Europeans.

Steven Woolfe of Ukip said: "The most worrying thing about this survey is that low income migrants are the most likely to want to come to the UK with their families seeking 'a better life.' Whilst this might be understandable, this will continue to put pressure on the wages of unskilled UK workers."

The head of Poland's employment service Tomasz Hanczarek said: "This is a disturbing increase in the numbers of people looking to work abroad.

"Last year it was five percent, this year it is 6.4 percent, which means that 1.2 million have decided to leave the country in the next 12 months."

"A large number of those we spoke to said that family and friends were a strong reason to stay in Poland. And those on good incomes are less interested in leaving.

"But those with low wages see more opportunities abroad."
[Site link]


Employment – public opinion, Scotland, Britain
'Brits should get job priority', suggests BBC poll of Scots
BBC, 11 March 2015

Most Scots think job recruiters should give priority to British people over immigrants, a poll for the BBC shows.

The YouGov survey suggests Scots are more positive about the role of new arrivals in the economy than people across the rest of Britain.

But it points to a majority wishing to protect those who already live in Britain from competing for jobs.

The findings are part of the same poll that suggested 64% of Scots wanted to see the level of immigration reduced.

One of the economic questions put to 1,100 Scottish-based people on the YouGov internet panel was whether employers should give priority to British people over immigrants when recruiting for jobs.

The response showed 58% of Scots took that view, and 30% said there should not be special treatment for British people in jobs recruitment.

The same question was put to a YouGov panel across Britain in February last year and the answer came back as 67% in favour of priority for British people and 20% for a level playing field.

The latest survey also asked whether people thought immigration was good or bad for the British economy.

It found that 36% said it was good and 37% answered that it was bad, with 19% saying it was neither.

The same question asked of a Britain-wide panel a year ago showed a much wider margin of people thought immigration was bad for the economy - 42% bad to 25% good, and a much larger 35% saying it was neither.

As with other questions they were asked, the Scottish results pointed to a less negative attitude to immigration than Britain as a whole but the findings were not out of line.

Robert Wright, professor of economics at Strathclyde University, said there was a "mixed bag of empirical research" on whether immigration had a negative effect on pay.

He said there was some evidence of reducing wages at the lower end of the pay scale but he believed the strength of that negative effect had been "exaggerated".
[Site link]


Employment – Europeans
Immigration: 576% rise in poorest Europeans registering for work
Tim Ross
Sunday Telegraph, 8 March 2015

Seven times as many migrants from the poorest countries in Europe registered to work in Britain after immigration rules were relaxed last year.

Official figures showed 187,370 Romanians and Bulgarians were given National Insurance numbers over the course of 2014, up from 27,700 during the previous year.

This represented a 576 per cent increase in the numbers of migrants from the two most deprived countries in the European Union who registered to work or receive state benefits in the space of just 12 months.

Romanians and Bulgarians now make up a quarter of all new NI numbers allocated to foreigners, the Department for Work and Pensions said.

Experts said the figures suggested that many of these immigrants had been in Britain for months or even years, working illegally "in the shadows".

Jobs that pay "cash-in-hand", such as construction or cleaning, will have enabled them to support themselves while not paying full taxes, it was claimed.

The figures prompted warnings that the sudden increase in the number of eastern Europeans registering for work could make it harder for British people to find jobs.

A National Insurance number is a legal requirement for anyone wanting to work as an employee, or to claim state benefits and tax credits. ...

MPs and academics said that the "huge" rise in NI numbers issued last year showed Britain's borders had not been properly controlled.

Experts at Oxford University said many Romanians and Bulgarians may have moved to Britain while the restrictions were still in place and claimed they were self-employed but were in fact working as employees on building projects or in other "cash-in-hand" jobs, without formal contracts.

Then, once the restrictions were lifted last year, they registered for NI numbers so they could work legally as employees.
[Site link]


Employment – wages
Immigration to Britain has not increased unemployment or reduced wages, study finds
Jon Stone
The Independent, 27 February 2015

Immigration to Britain has not increased unemployment or reduced wages, a major new study has concluded.

Researchers at the London School of Economics looked at the levels of immigration to each of Britain's counties, and compared it to the unemployment rate in the same area across the same period.

They found that there was no connection between how much immigration a county had seen between 2004 and 2012 and the area's level of unemployment.

The study also looked at whether migrants coming to an area had led to a fall in wage levels and found no evidence that this was the case.

Many areas that saw huge increases in immigration had seen wages rise and unemployment fall, while many areas which had seen no immigration had suffered from falling wages and rises in employment.

On average, immigration had a neutral effect on the employment and wage rates – neither increasing nor decreasing them. ...

They said they found "no evidence" that the young or low skilled had been impacted, and called for further researcher in why anti-immigrant perceptions were still prevalent despite the evidence.

"On balance, the evidence on the UK labour market suggests that fears about adverse consequences of rising immigration regularly seen in opinion polls have not, on average, materialised," the study's authors from the university's Centre for Economic Performance said.

"It is hard to find evidence of much displacement of UK workers or lower wages. Immigrants, especially in recent years, tend to be younger and better educated than the UK-born and less likely to be unemployed.

"Perceptions do not seem to line up with the existing evidence and it is perhaps here that we need to understand more."
[Site link]


Employment – brain drain, emigration, skill
Britain's brightest leaving in brain drain and replaced with low skilled migrants
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 26 February 2015

One in ten of Britain's best workers have been lured from the UK in a brain drain and been replaced by low skilled migrants, research has found.

The country's most highly skilled workers are emigrating because they can earn more money and enjoy better standards of living overseas, according to University College London.

But in their place the UK has attracted more than two million migrants with low numeracy skills, the report concluded. ...

The UCL study also found that migrants in the UK are six times more likely to have never worked than those born here.

Migrants are also more likely to be unemployed, with unemployed female migrants almost double the rate of British born.

Dr John Jerrim, of the UCL Institute of Education, said: "Immigrants account for one in four of the 9.6 million working age adults living in the United Kingdom with low level numeracy skills.

"Immigration has therefore had its biggest impact upon the bottom end of the numeracy skill distribution; it has led to a significant increase in the supply of low skilled workers."

There are now an estimated 4.7 million Britons living abroad and, on average, more than 300,000 a year leave the UK, the report said.

Dr Jerrim said around "one in ten highly skilled British citizens now lives overseas".

He found that between 1964 and 2011 some 684,000 "highly numerate individuals" left the UK.

And although a similar number of "very numerate immigrants" arrived in the UK over the same period they were dwarfed by the number of low skilled migrants also arriving.

The academic calculated that immigration added some 2.4 million people to the UK population with low numeracy skills.

"Although immigration from South Asia has added many highly numerate people to our labour force, immigration from the same region and Africa has added six times more people with low numeracy skills to the UK than those with high numeracy skills," he said. ...

Dr Jerrim analysed a major international survey of adult competency to compile his findings.

He found that Britons who have emigrated are more likely to earn more money and enjoy a healthier lifestyle than those remaining in the UK

The most popular destinations were Australia, where there is an estimated 1.2 million Britons, the United States (701,000) and Canada (675,000).

Spain (411,000), Ireland (397,000) and New Zealand (268,000) also featured in the top ten.
[Site link]


Employment – EU citizens
Romanian and Bulgarian migration: Rise in workers in UK
BBC, 18 February 2015

The number of Romanians and Bulgarians working in the UK has risen by 15% year-on-year, Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show.

In the last three months of 2014 there were 172,000 people working in the UK who had been born in one of the two eastern European countries.

The figure is 22,000 more than the same period in 2013.

In January 2014, Bulgarians and Romanians gained the same rights to work in the UK as other EU citizens.

The figures also show that the total number of EU workers in the UK rose by 200,000 - or 10.5% - to almost 1.9 million.
[Site link]


Employment – politics, Conservative Party
You're still too soft on migration, say Tory MPs who warn Cameron Britain is at risk of 'immensely serious social dangers'
James Slack
Daily Mail, 10 February 2015

David Cameron's plans to curb immigration do not go far enough and leave Britain at risk of 'immensely serious social dangers', a Conservative backbench manifesto claims.

Brian Binley, treasurer of the powerful 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers, said tougher controls were needed on migrants' access to welfare and the jobs market.

In a pamphlet for the respected Civitas think-tank, he said immigrants' country of origin should be made to pay for social security costs until they have made a significant contribution to the Exchequer.

There would also be automatic deportation for anybody given a one-year prison sentence or two court fines – a far tougher regime than is currently in place. ...

The pamphlet by Mr Binley, one of the party's most senior backbench figures, reflects widespread concern among the rank-and-file that the UK has 'surrendered control over its borders'.

It states: 'Emerging policies have failed to be wide-ranging and ambitious enough. Failure to address public immigration concerns would carry immensely serious social dangers.'

Mr Binley, who co-authored the pamphlet with the academic Dr Lee Rotherham, continues: 'The free movement of workers as permitted under EU rules means that the UK has lost control of the supply side of its workforce.

'This would not be an issue but for the fact that it is subsidising its own native workforce to remain unemployed and our long-term uncompetitiveness by hiring in outside labour.

'This may be advantageous to the productivity of the companies in these areas, but it is disadvantageous to the taxpayer who has to effectively subsidise them by dole payments, while the UK workers affected fail to better themselves and rise up the employment ladder.'

He also accuses Labour of 'cynically' encouraging mass immigration, adding: 'Those who endorse a level of mega-immigration that exceeds the ability of society to integrate the newcomers are deliberately attempting social change by different means.'
[Site link]


Employment – paramedics
NHS turns to Poland and Australia for paramedics in desperate staff shortage
Laura Donnelly
Sunday Telegraph, 25 January 2015

More than half of NHS ambulance services have begun trying to recruit paramedics from abroad amid a desperate national shortage of trained staff.

New figures show NHS trusts are turning to Poland, Australia and Ireland in a bid to plug vacancy rates which are now as high as one in four in many parts of the country.

In total, six of England's 10 ambulance trusts say they are now making plans to recruit from abroad, or have recently hired foreign paramedics. ...

NHS trusts have long gone abroad in search of nurses to fill staffing shortages, with the number soaring in recent years.

But for the first time, ambulance trusts are now having to look abroad to find enough trained paramedics. ...

Research by the respected magazine Health Service Journal discloses that in total, 183 paramedics have been recruited from abroad since April, most by London Ambulance Service. The previous year, just one worker was recruited from overseas. ...

Language checks are carried out on paramedics who come here from outside the EU – meaning tests are carried out on those who come here from Australia – but there are no checks on those who come here from countries such as Poland.
[Site link]


David Cameron admits nearly 500,000 foreigners have joined British workforce since 2010
Christopher Hope and David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 20 January 2015

Nearly 500,000 British jobs have been taken by foreigners since the Coalition was formed, David Cameron has admitted.

The Prime Minister - who said he wanted to ensure there was a job for everybody who wanted to work - said that "two thirds" of new jobs in the private sector had gone to Britons over the past four years.

Mr Cameron made the point in a bid to combat a "myth" that all those new jobs "have gone to foreigners" on an election campaign visit to a lawn mower works in Ipswich, saying: "They haven't."

He said: "Two thirds of the new private sector jobs have gone to British people - that is partly because we've been making sure our education system is working properly, making sure our welfare system is working properly, we're training more apprentices and making sure that British people can get the jobs this economy is now creating."

Aides said later said that the "two thirds" claim related to a 1.4 million increase in the the UK workforce between the third quarters in 2010 and 2014.

Given that two thirds – around 924,000 – of the jobs were taken by British workers and the remaining figure - some 462,000 - were taken up by non-British workers.

The news came as new research found that Britain's economy shifted more towards low-skilled jobs and less towards high-skilled ones compared with other European countries under Labour, according to Oxford university research.

For every 10 middle-skilled jobs that disappeared in the UK between 1996 and 2008, about 4.5 of the replacement jobs were high-skilled and 5.5 were low-skilled, the Financial Times reported. ...

Alp Mehmet, of the lobby group MigrationWatch UK, added: "The Prime Minister's figures are interesting but may underestimate the number of jobs going to those born abroad.

"Official figures shows that we have had over 550 foreign workers a day arriving since the beginning of 2010, and every year 200,000 people take British citizenship. It is therefore difficult to know how this might affect the figures given by the PM."
[Site link]


Employment – politics, Conservative Party
George Osborne sees off Theresa May's controversial plan to deport foreign graduates
Rosa Prince
Daily Telegraph, 7 January 2015

George Osborne is said to have quashed controversial plans to expel international students after graduation in what will be seen as the latest round of his battle with Theresa May, the Home Secretary.

The proposal to require anyone who entered the United Kingdom on a student visa to leave once they finished their studies had been heavily criticised by business leaders including Sir James Dyson, who warned that the move could damage the economy.

Now the Financial Times reports that "senior Tory officials" are briefing the plan will not appear in the Conservatives' manifesto ahead of the General Election in May, with Mr Osborne, the Chancellor, said to have been the leading voice in killing it off.

One Conservative official told the FT: "We have a policy that international students can stay when they graduate if they find a graduate-level job paying £24,000 a year. That remains the policy."

When it was put forward last month, it was suggested that the measure would give much-needed control over the arrival of non-EU students who Mrs May has said are a major factor behind rising immigration.

Earlier this week she warned that foreign student levels were on course to hit 600,000 by 2020.
[Site link]


Employment – illegal immigration, students
Theresa May warns that foreign student numbers will hit 600,000 in 2020s
Holly Watt
Daily Telegraph, 6 January 2015

The Home Secretary has warned that 600,000 foreign students will come to the UK by the 2020s.

Theresa May disclosed the figure as she defended plans to expel non-EU graduates at the end of their courses.

The warning was sounded after business figures, including Sir James Dyson, questioned government plans to force graduates to leave Britain at the end of their courses in order to apply for new visas.

The Home Secretary insisted that changes to the immigration system would still ensure the "brightest and the best" are welcomed into the United Kingdom. However, she said the new rules were necessary because surveys had shown that every year tens of thousands of students were staying on after their courses had finished. ...

"We have no limit on the number of people who are coming here genuinely to study at a proper educational establishment and I'm pleased to say that visa applications from university students rose by 2% in the year ending September 2014, with an increase of 4% for the Russell Group universities," she told the House of Commons.

"We also need to recognise that the latest survey showed that in one year 121,000 students came in from overseas and only 50,000 left in that year and figures suggest that in the 2020s we will see 600,000 overseas students each year in this country."
[Site link]


Employment – points-based system
Wanted, HR manager for a newsagent and PR boss for takeaway: How Labour's visa scheme for the 'highly skilled' let thousands of migrants con their way into Britain
James Slack
Daily Mail, 2 January 2015

Thousands of immigrants conned their way into Britain by pretending to be skilled workers - when they actually came to do menial jobs such as working in kebab shops.

Immigrants were able to get visas for supposedly skilled jobs thanks to the connivance of rogue employers.

One created a post for a migrant of 'sales and business development manager' - for a small high street kebab shop.

Other ruses included fast food shops recruiting 'press and PR managers' and a newsagent and off-licence saying it needed a full-time HR manager when it only had three staff.

Officials are now in the process of rounding up and deporting thousands of foreign workers.

Ministers say they were able to exploit 'incompetence' in a supposedly tough points-based system introduced by the previous government in 2008.

The so-called Tier Two of Labour's immigration system allowed people from outside the EU to get a visa only if they had been offered a 'skilled' job in the UK that could not be filled by a British or EU worker.

Employers were required to obtain approval from the Home Office to sponsor migrants, but checks were far from thorough, only looking to see whether the business was trading.

Employers and migrants could therefore work together to cheat the system, with employers sometimes receiving payments worth thousands of pounds.

The rules have since been tightened; officials now scrutinise the roles the migrants are supposedly coming to fill, the business's turnover and tax arrangements, and, crucially, how many people it employs.

The rate of visas refused under the new rules has rocketed from less than 2 per cent to 37 per cent, suggesting abuse of the old regime was rampant - with potentially tens of thousands slipping through the net.

Checks have now been carried out on historic files and up to 2,500 migrants who conned their way into the country are in the process of being sent home. ...

Under Labour, there was also widespread abuse of the separate Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, which later became Tier One of the points system.

This route was supposed to allow the brightest migrants to come to the UK to look for a job even if they had no advance offer.

At least 30 per cent of Tier One migrants were later found to work in low-skilled roles such as stacking shelves, driving taxis or working as security guards. Others did not have a job at all.
[Site link]



Extremism – Islam
The Muslim Brotherhood review has left many questions unanswered
Douglas Murray
Spectator blog, 17 December 2015

The findings of the UK government's review into the Muslim Brotherhood have finally been published. Commissioned by the Prime Minister in April 2014, the full report will not be released. Although the review finds that the Muslim Brotherhood does not meet the threshold of violence which would see it proscribed in the UK, it described members of the Muslim Brotherhood as possible extremists. As such the government has listed a set of renewed actions, including visa bans, on individuals associated with the group and promises to keep the group's activities under review in order to consider proscription at a future date. ...

The section on the Muslim Brotherhood's activities in the UK (authored by Charles Farr) are especially noteworthy. These include the fact that the MB established its first representation in the UK fifty years ago, but that crucially:

In the 1990s the Muslim Brotherhood and their associates established public facing and apparently national organisations in the UK to promote their views. None were openly identified with the Muslim Brotherhood and membership of the Muslim Brotherhood remained (and still remains) a secret. But for some years the Muslim Brotherhood shaped the new Islamic Society of Britain (ISB), dominated the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) and played an important role in establishing and then running the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). MAB became politically active, notably in connection with Palestine and Iraq, and promoted candidates in national and local elections. The MCB sought and obtained a dialogue with Government.'

The findings go on to list a set of organisations – including charities – which are associated with the Brotherhood and notes that among these:

'MAB (like the MCB) have consistently opposed programmes by successive Governments to prevent terrorism.'

It concludes that:

'Aspects of Muslim Brotherhood ideology and tactics, in this country and overseas, are contrary to our values and have been contrary to our national interests and our national security.'

The fact that these findings could be published at all constitutes a small victory for government. And doubtless there will be those who will hope this matter can now be shelved or at least made to go away for a time. In fact the release of these findings only starts the debate over what to do about the Muslim Brotherhood's presence in the UK. ...

Furthermore, how can groups associated with the Muslim Brotherhood – several named in the report, some of which are closely affiliated with the designated terrorist group (and Brotherhood off-shoot) Hamas – retain charitable status while being designated as possibly 'extremist' by the UK government? What capabilities will be given to the Charity Commission and then the other relevant authorities to investigate and pursue those entities which have clearly been using such a status to further the aims of an entity whose members have now been labelled possibly 'extreme'? What about those individuals from the group and its affiliates who teach at universities or work in other public bodies in the UK?
[Site link]


Extremism – Syrian refugees
Cameron 'warned ISIS run camps' from where UK is getting 20,000 Syrian refugees
Jon Austin
Daily Express, 16 December 2015

David Cameron was "warned radical Islamic groups including ISIS controlled refugee camps" from where Britain will fly in Syrian asylum seekers - BEFORE the Government began bringing in the first wave of 20,000, a shock new report claims.

The Prime Minister has come under under fire after the International Development Committee, which is investigating the Syrian refugee crisis, received evidence that ISIS and other Islamic extremist groups were running the camps within the war-torn country, but also in Lebanon and Jordan where the majority of the 20,000 heading for the UK are currently based.

A report by Barnabas Fund, an organisation which helps persecuted Christians across the globe, said Mr Cameron was told there were Islamic extremists within the refugee camps for displaced Syrians in Lebanon when he visited them in September, weeks BEFORE any of the refugees began coming to the UK.

Mr Cameron announced the extended number of asylum seekers in September after the harrowing image of the Syrian boy who drowned trying to get to Europe went around the globe.

The Barnabus report said: "In September 2015 Lebanon's Education minister Elias Bou Saab told British Prime Minister David Cameron during a tour of refugee camps that some Syrian refugees travelling to Europe were Islamists, adding that this was also the case among those living in refugee camps." ...

The UK is taking 20,000 people from the camps over the next five years, with most coming from Lebanon after the Government struck a deal with the US that America would deal mainly with those in Jordan. ...

However, a Home Office spokesman insisted that all of the 20,000 refugees were being security checked and registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) which has its own checks.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam, Islamism
Angela Merkel is doing more damage to the future of the West than Donald Trump
Charles Moore
Daily Telegraph, 12 December 2015

Donald Trump /.../ wants a "complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's elected representatives can work out what is going on".

How have we reached this plight? Until we know the answer, we shall not begin to be able to decide how to get out of it.

Like most other commentators, I agree that Mr Trump's remarks were nasty and dangerous – nasty because they libel millions of decent people, dangerous because they could drive such people to think: "If you hate and fear us, we must hate and fear you."

But there is another reason why he has caused such a stir. Like all skilled populists, Mr Trump is touching (or rather trampling) on a real problem.


Alas, there are two true things lying behind his idiotic policy suggestion. The first is that the problem is about Muslims. The second is that our "elected representatives" do not know what to do about it. ...

This world-view is known as "Islamism". Islam itself is related to Islamism as patriotism is related to nationalism, the former being based on love of something, the latter on hatred of something else. Islamism validates resentment. Its emotional appeal is like that of communism and fascism, but stronger, because it promises heaven to those who commit its violent acts on earth.

Such ideas have become powerful in the West, partly because of arithmetic: we now have a great many Muslims in our midst – far more here, proportionately, than in Mr Trump's country, and more in France than here. The risk of violence rises with the total. Even if it is true that 99 per cent of Muslims would not hurt a fly, when you increase the numbers you inevitably get more of those who would. People are, therefore, right to worry more about mass immigration from, say, Syria, than from, say, Poland.

But, even with high numbers, the problem would be much less severe if our leaders and institutions had greater cultural confidence. If they upheld a robust belief in the Western way of life, reflected in what our schools taught, what the BBC broadcast, what rules of citizenship were insisted on, and what was considered injurious to our values, then the doctrines of Islamism would be better resisted. ...

But if Muslim leaders say that the plight of their brethren in Britain today is like that of Jews in Germany in the Thirties, or that no Muslim should serve in the British armed services against a Muslim country, no one jumps on them. It is not only Jeremy Corbyn, dining last night with what would be better called the Stop the West Coalition, who devoutly believes the narrative of our "Islamophobia": it is almost the official orthodoxy. ...

Ultimately, the capacity of a civilisation to resist those who hate it depends on its self-belief. In Europe, this was expressed in what was called Christendom, enriched by the ideas of the Enlightenment. /.../ The leader of the union's largest Christian Democrat party, Angela Merkel, has let more than a million mainly Muslim immigrants into her country this year alone. The East German pastor's daughter is surely a much nicer person than Donald J Trump, but I wonder if she is not doing more actual harm to the future of the West.
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Extremism – Islam, Saudi Arabia, Germany
'Saudi-funded mosques breeding extremism'
The Local [Germany], 7 December 2015

German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel on Sunday said Saudi Arabia must stop financing fundamentalist mosques abroad which are accused of breeding extremism.

"From Saudi Arabia, Wahhabi mosques are financed throughout the world," said Gabriel.

"In Germany many extremists considered dangerous persons emerge from these communities," he told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

Gabriel, who is Chancellor Angela Merkel's deputy in a left-right coalition, warned against alienating Saudi Arabia, a crucial player in the bid to end the Syrian war, with too much criticism.

"At the same time we must make it clear to the Saudis that the time of looking the other way is over," said Gabriel, who is also economy minister.

Gabriel, head of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), urged decisive steps in Germany against radical mosques associated with Wahhabism.

"This radical fundamentalism taking place in Salafist mosques is no less dangerous than right-wing extremism," he said.

The head of the SPD parliamentary group, Thomas Oppermann, also urged steps against preaching that contradicts the basic freedoms guaranteed in the German constitution.

"We will prevent Saudi help in the building or financing of mosques in Germany where Wahhabi ideas are to be disseminated," he told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

Wahhabism provided the "complete ideology of the Islamic State and contributes in other countries to a radicalisation of moderate Muslims," he said, adding that "this is something we don't need and don't want in Germany".
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
Support for Isis stretches 'deep into parts of Muslim societies,' says Blair
Nicholas Watt
The Guardian, 5 December 2015

Support for the propaganda of Islamic State stretches "deep into parts of Muslim societies", Tony Blair has said as he warned of terror attacks on a larger scale than the shootings and bombings in Paris last month unless the group and its ideology are defeated.

In a speech in Washington, in which he praised British MPs for the "important" decision to extend RAF airstrikes against Isis targets from Iraq to Syria, the former prime minister warned that "a belief in innate hostility between Islam and the west" is not the preserve of a few.

"Those who believe in concepts of the caliphate and the apocalypse – so much part of Daesh [Isis] propaganda – stretch deep into parts of Muslim societies," Blair said. "A belief in innate hostility between Islam and the west is not the preserve of the few." ...

Blair endorsed this view in a wider global context when he spoke of the large number of Muslims who have sympathy for extremist views. He said: "Of course a large majority of Muslims completely reject Daesh-like jihadism and the terrorism which comes with it.

"However, in many Muslim countries large numbers also believe that the CIA or Jews were behind 9/11. Clerics who proclaim that non-believers and apostates must be killed or call for jihad against Jews have Twitter followings running into millions ... The ideology has deep roots. We have to reach right the way down and uproot it."
[Site link]


Extremism – women, Islam
Isis: the British Women Supporters Unveiled, review: 'shocking tale of government-funded extremist meetings'
Harry Mount
Daily Telegraph, 24 November 2015

The timing for Isis: the British Women Supporters Unveiled (Channel 4) was tragically spot on. For a year, right up until last month, a brave undercover reporter, named only as Aisha, had been infiltrating female Islamic extremists. ... ...

Hopefully the security services were watching. For all her bravery, Aisha pulled off the undercover filming in a very simple way. By tweeting messages sympathetic to the Isis cause and attending extremist demonstrations, she was invited to women's "secret study circles" in community meetings. Staggeringly, these community meetings are funded with government money. I do hope this programme puts an end to that.

The secret study Aisha witnessed was banal in its intellectual content, unspeakably nasty in its central message. The Islamic extremists turned out the usual hateful stuff. The good days have already begun, one of them said, thanks to the establishment of an Islamic state. For good measure, she threw in an attack on the "filthy Jews" for encouraging the killing of Muslim children. The impressionable, young women at the meeting lapped it all up. How easy it was to imagine them heading off to Syria.

What made it all the more horrifying was the humdrum setting. One extremist had a day job as a careers adviser.
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Extremism – refugees, Jews, Islam
Candidly Speaking: Jews, Islamophobia and compassion for refugees
Isi Leibler
Jerusalem Post, 4 October 2015

It would be inhumane not to react with compassion to the tragic and harrowing depictions of the suffering of refugees. ...

In this context, it is ironic that the most generous assistance to refugees emanates from the Germans, /.../ Many attribute this to a guilt reflex and atonement for Germany's iniquities during the Holocaust.

It is also not surprising that many Jewish communities in Europe, North America and Australia are currently in the vanguard of those calling on governments to be more liberal and accept greater numbers of refugees.

We also hear passionate calls from rabbis and Jewish lay leaders citing religious and ethical teachings that oblige us as Jews to provide haven for refugees. ... ...

The Jews who found refuge from the Nazis integrated into their host societies and never sought to impose their Jewish values – in stark contrast to the tensions created in Europe over recent decades by Islamic migration of elements who seek to impose anti-democratic values, restrict freedom of expression and promote the equivalent of Sharia law. In fact, the Jews became the most committed advocates for strengthening democracy and made major contributions to the economic and cultural enrichment of the countries that gave them haven.

Nor can one point to a single example of a second-generation Jew transformed into a terrorist by extremist rabbis, while this has been the case with many Muslim migrants. Indeed, the idea of Jews engaging in terrorism in Western countries is simply inconceivable.

That European Union bureaucrats are pressuring European countries to absorb refugees indeed reflects commendable humanitarian intentions. But there is a need to act rationally and appreciate that a growing flood of Muslim migrants to Europe could lead to disaster and even ultimately undermine West European civilization.

That may sound hysterical and, in the current climate, such observations automatically provoke accusations of Islamophobia and lack of compassion.

But the reality is that the overwhelming majority of these "refugees" not only originate from Muslim countries other than Syria, but 70 percent are estimated to be men of military age. That is to say that the majority of this "refugee" population are not traditional families seeking sanctuary, but men seeking economic enhancement.

Furthermore, these large numbers will act as a magnet which could result in profound demographic changes, with tens of millions of Muslims seeking to escape Arab countries for better lives in Europe. Taking account of their high fertility rates in a continent with declining birth rates, Islam could yet conquer Europe by demographic means, despite being vanquished militarily hundreds of years ago on the battlefield.

Most European countries already face major problems integrating existing Muslim communities, all of which include substantial extremist elements promoting objectives incompatible with Western values and creating major social upheavals and conflicts.

We should be under no illusions. Most emigrants from Muslim countries have been nurtured with hatred of Western values, contempt for democracy and vicious anti-Semitism. Ironically, Germany's concern to demonstrate its severance from its evil Nazi past by hosting large numbers of these "refugees" will inevitably strengthen the growing Islamist anti-Semitism in Germany and throughout Europe.
[Site link]


Extremism – free speech
For freedom of speech, these are troubling times [part 1]
Jonathan Dimbleby
The Guardian, 21 September 2015
[This is an edited extract from the 2015 Prix Italia lecture to be delivered in Turin tomorrow]

In our troubled and insecure environment, Britain has accumulated laws which curtail freedom of expression – in the name of national security and territorial integrity; and to prevent public disorder and combat crime. Laws which also compromise freedom of expression to restrict what we now call "hate speech".

Take the Public Order Act, which makes it a criminal offence to use threatening or abusive language with the intention of causing "alarm or distress" to an individual or anybody else who hears it. It is a criminal offence to use language, or publish written material, intended to incite "racial hatred". It is a criminal offence to incite "religious hatred" or "hatred" against individuals on the grounds of sexual orientation.

But what is it to cause "alarm and distress"? What expression of "hatred" should merit criminal sanction?

There is a critically important distinction – that the law seeks to protect – between causing "distress", which may be a crime, and causing "offence", which may not. The distinction is not easy for the layman to define, and the two are only too easy to elide. And this happens too often, not because of the laws against hate speech themselves, but because of the prevailing climate in which the law now operates. There is a growing number of people who believe that you should be able to say what you like, but only so long as they agree with you. This attitude is having a huge impact: on university campuses and in town halls, on radio and television, in theatres and art galleries. ...

This febrile atmosphere is explained in large measure by the growing threat posed by "extremists". Those terrorists who perpetrated the Charlie Hebdo murders brought this into the most dastardly focus. For me, some reactions to that atrocity were a disturbing illustration of a growing intolerance of offensive expression.

Some went berserk on Twitter and elsewhere to condemn the slogan "Je suis Charlie Hebdo" because, they claimed, the magazine was Islamophobic, racist and therefore not worthy of defending on grounds of free expression. A cavalcade of righteous authors, led by Michael Ondaatje and Peter Carey, wrote an open letter attacking the American branch of PEN for awarding Charlie Hebdo the Freedom of Expression Courage award.

Salman Rushdie was appalled and driven to say that, instead of supporting him over The Satanic Verses, such writers "would have accused me of insulting an ethnic and cultural minority". He added: "We are living in the darkest time I have ever known."

In institutions across the western world, the "hecklers'" veto is growing in frequency and volume. This was applied successfully to, among others, the former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, and the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, who were driven to withdraw from speaking engagements on US university campuses.

On some campuses there are calls for "trigger warnings" to be inserted in books like The Great Gatsby (because it is misogynistic), Huckleberry Finn (racist), and the Merchant of Venice (antisemitic). How long before such books are removed from the shelves altogether to protect the vulnerable from being offended?
[Site link]


Extremism – free speech
For freedom of speech, these are troubling times [part 2]
Jonathan Dimbleby
The Guardian, 21 September 2015

In Britain it is no better. When Israel's deputy ambassador was invited to Essex University to give a talk, he was heckled so violently that the event had to be abandoned. There is something peculiarly ugly about young minds so closed to alternative views that they block their ears and intimidate others into silence. Too often university authorities are supine in the face of student intimidation.

And it is intimidation. The scientist Tim Hunt was silenced by his university, University College London, after he joked somewhat feebly that girls shouldn't work with men in the laboratory because they fall in love and cry when criticised. Despite an apology, he was pressurised to resign his honorary fellowship. Like a good number of the university's alumni I was appalled, and took the painful step of disowning my own honorary fellowship.

In the name of national security, the government is soon to launch a counter-extremism strategy – extremism being defined as "the vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of the law, individual liberty and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs ..." The prime minister has declared that "our strongest weapon [is] our own liberal values".

There are to be "new narrowly targeted powers" in the counter-extremism bill designed to prevent what the prime minister describes as "cult leaders" from peddling their hatred in public places. If he means that such "hate" preachers should not be treated as latter-day messiahs, I am with him. If, however, he wants to stop them being cross-examined, contradicted or ridiculed, then I think he is wrong.

Preachers spouting hateful nonsense, as opposed to advocating hateful action, should be subjected to merciless scrutiny. So it is dismaying to read that the home secretary has been considering a "pre-transmission regulatory regime" – muzzling radio and television in the hope of stamping out extremism.

Nothing could be better calculated to incubate the virus of extremism. It would be driven even further underground, and find a ready host in those who feel lost, alienated and resentful.
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Extremism – multiculturalism, Islam
Nothing has changed in 25 years to ease my concerns about Islam
Charles Moore
Daily Telegraph, 12 September 2015

Viktor Orbán is the prime minister of Hungary. /.../ At the beginning of this month, Mr Orbán said: "I think we have a right to decide that we don't want to have a large number of Muslim people in our country."

Mr Orbán was fiercely attacked for the motives behind his remark. /.../ But, regardless of the precise facts about Mr Orbán, I would guess most people in western – let alone eastern – Europe would quietly agree with his general proposition. One of the biggest anxieties about the current immigration is its high Muslim element. Is it wrong to have such an anxiety, let alone to express it publicly, let alone to want to have a system of immigration based on it? ...

I don't find these easy questions to answer. ... ...

But in my dealings with British Muslim leaders and representatives /.../ and in other contacts /.../, I became uneasy. There were several unattractive things I noticed. One was the exclusion of women from any role in governance, thought or worship. Another was an absolutism about the Israel-Palestine issue which involved, in many cases, an unmistakable hostility to Jews. A third was an assumption that something that was considered bad – blasphemy, immodesty, homosexuality, mixed bathing – should be banned. The idea that one could disapprove of something, and yet believe that it should be permitted, seemed barely to exist.

Finally, there was an unsettling attitude about politics, law and power. It seemed to me that most Muslim leaders saw their role not in integrating Muslims in Britain, but in asserting difference and increasing their muscle. Many favoured sharia law trumping British law. They would not support Muslim membership of the Armed Forces if those forces were deployed against Muslim countries. They wanted it to be illegal to attack Islam, let alone denigrate its prophet; and they waged constant "lawfare" to try to silence their critics. They tended, I thought, to see the advance of their cause as a zero-sum game in which the authorities had to cede more ground (sometimes it is literally a matter of territory) to Muslims. ...

... Most Muslims, luckily, do not admire the bloodthirsty regime trying to plant its flag in the most troubled corners of the Middle East, but significant numbers do see a faith-run, faith-defined state as the ultimate goal in this life. They therefore do not believe in secular law, freedom, pluralism or, except in limited form, the rights of unbelievers.

So the sad fact is that nothing in the past quarter-century has undermined the basic argument /.../ which I put forward then. Indeed, the opposite.

It would obviously be wrong, both morally and factually, to say that Muslims are worse than anyone else. It would be wrong not to acknowledge the contribution most of them make to our society. But it would also be wrong to deny that, in current conditions, a large Muslim community in a non-Muslim country produces more political disturbance, more communal tension, more intolerance of other faiths (and of non-faiths) and more terrorism. Few non-Muslims want to live near a mosque, see women veiling their faces or have Muslim practices introduced into state schools. Few non-Muslims want lots more Muslim immigrants. ...

An assimilated Muslim is not a contradiction in terms, but neither is he or she the norm in Britain today. With the Muslim world in ferment and on the move, the risks grow daily.
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Extremism – human rights, deportation
Extremist preacher linked to Osama Bin Laden cannot be deported from Britain despite being refused UK citizenship – because it would breach his human rights
Tom Wyke
MailOnline, 9 August 2015

He has repeatedly been turned down for British citizenship due to his 'extremist' views but now the British government is set to allow a radical Muslim preacher to stay in the UK.

The imam, who is known only in legal documents as FM, has long been considered connected to the deceased Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Born in Yemen, the 50-year-old imam regularly preaches at a well known mosque in the north of England. He cannot be named as his identity is protected by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC). ...

The Home Office has a record of struggling to deport foreign-born extremist preachers due to Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights which protects people from likely torture and an unfair if they are originally from a troubled country.
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Extremism – multiculturalism, Islam
It is Muslims who must reach out to Britain
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 21 July 2015

Speaking in Birmingham about his five-year plan to counter non-violent extremism, David Cameron said those who stir up antipathy to the West in response to perceived historic injustices or involvement in Middle East wars must be confronted. "We face a radical ideology that is not just subversive, but can seem exciting, that has often sucked people in from non-violence to violence, that is overpowering moderate voices within the debate and can gain traction because of issues of identity and failures of integration." The same could be said about the Leftist rabble-rouser in the 1970s, with one fundamental difference: integration. ...

By contrast, young Muslim men – and, increasingly, girls – have few counterpoints to the warped world view they experience on a daily basis, whether at home, in school, on TV or through the Internet. It is their separation from the mainstream rather than the ideology itself that is the problem. Essentially, this has a lot to do with a shared religion, which is why those who say Islam is not the issue miss the point: it is not that its teachings are necessarily at fault, but Islam provides an impenetrable ethical and cultural carapace that repels liberal ideas. Add in the supposed "glamour" offered by organisations like Isil and the misplaced sense of injustice that is continually invoked by Muslim spokesmen and you have a toxic cocktail that may manifest itself in violence.

It may well be true that some young Muslims feel angry and alienated but that is only because they are fed a daily diet of resentment that other settlers – Jews, Chinese, Indians etc – do not feel. ...

The key conundrum Mr Cameron is struggling to answer is what, specifically, makes a young Muslim susceptible to extremist ideology but not a young second-generation Indian or, for that matter, a young British Christian bombarded with the quack nostrums of Marxist collectivism. To ignore the cultural confines of Islam and say this is really a political, not a religious, issue is to miss the point entirely as, indeed, Mr Cameron conceded for the first time in his Birmingham speech. Breaking down these barriers is the real challenge, just as it has been for the past 30 years. We are reaping the whirlwind of the multiculturalist experiment that the Left championed and the Right were too cowed to denounce until the baleful consequences of segregation became apparent. ...

The Prime Minister said that to face down extremism we all must change our approach; but since support for violent jihadism is confined to the Muslim community, it is patently not true that everyone has a role to play. To pretend otherwise is to perpetuate the cultural cringe that got us into this mess in the first place. Just as with subversive Marxism, the counterweight to this ideology must be provided by an everyday repudiation of its nonsensical tenets from within the society where its allure is strongest. Mr Cameron has clearly thought long and hard about this matter and has gone far further than any previous Prime Minister in identifying where responsibility for tackling it must lie. But all his bold statements about cohesion, and the counter-terrorism strategy now being devised, will be immaterial if the Muslims he needs to convince are simply not listening.
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Extremism – politics, Islam, Labour Party
Jeremy Corbyn, friend to Hamas, Iran and extremists
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 19 July 2015

Between 2004 and 2008, the Iranian-backed Mahdi Army militia, led by Muqtada al-Sadr, killed at least 70 British soldiers. Last February, the man who might become the next leader of the Labour Party shared a platform with al-Sadr's British representative.

Jeremy Corbyn was helping Sayyed Hassan al-Sadr celebrate "the all-encompassing revolution," the 35th anniversary of the ayatollahs' takeover in Iran. His talk, entitled The Case for Iran, called for the immediate scrapping of sanctions on the country, which had not then promised to restrict its nuclear programme, attacked its colonial exploitation by British business and called for an end to its "demonisation" by the West.

With Mr Corbyn now topping the constituency nominations for the Labour leadership, most attention has focused on the escapist heritage artefact that is his economic policy.

But if he does win, Labour will be in the extraordinary position of having as its leader a man with among the most extensive links in Parliament to terrorists, extremists and hard-line regimes.

Mr Corbyn, The Telegraph can reveal, has taken thousands of pounds in gifts from organisations closely linked to terror group Hamas, whose operatives he once described as "friends".

He has hosted, promoted and defended alleged anti-Semites and racists. ...

Mr Corbyn and MEMO co-sponsored the visit to Britain and to Parliament of Israel-based, anti-Semitic extremist Raed Saleh, found by a British court to have claimed that Jews use the blood of gentile children to make bread.

Mr Saleh describes Jews as "monkeys" and "bacteria" and says that 9/11 was a Jewish plot. But he was strongly defended by Mr Corbyn, who called him "a very honoured citizen". ...

Mr Corbyn ... Not for nothing did one extremist website describe him last week as "the Labour leader British Muslims have been waiting for."
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Extremism – Islam
By day, at heart of counter-terror policing. And by night, preacher of extremism
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 12 July 2015

The Government watchdog which inspects police forces' readiness for terrorism admitted that it employed one of Britain's most notorious Islamic extremists.

For almost two years Abdullah al Andalusi, led a double life, the Telegraph can reveal.

By night, he taught that the terror group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) was "no different to Western armies," said that "kaffirs," non-Muslims, would be "punished in hell" and claimed that the British government wanted to destroy Islam.

By day, using a different name, he went to work for the same British government at the London offices of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), the official regulator of all 44 forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The disclosures will be intensely embarassing to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, who has criticised parts of Britain's Muslim communities for "quietly condoning" Islamist extremism.

HMIC's staff, who number less than 150, are given privileged access to highly sensitive and classified police and intelligence information to carry out their inspections.

The inspectorate's work includes scrutinising police forces' counter-terrorism capabilities and top-secret plans for dealing with terror attacks.

It has also recently published reports on undercover policing and the use of informants.

HMIC admitted that Mr al Andalusi, whose real name is Mouloud Farid, had passed a security vetting check to work as a civil servant at the inspectorate.

He was subsequently promoted to executive grade, a management rank, placing him at the heart of the security establishment.

He was only sacked after bosses spotted him on television defending extremist Islamic positions on behalf of his organisation, the Muslim Debate Initiative, which is heavily dependent on Saudi money.

The inspectorate insisted that he did not handle classified material but former friends of Mr al Andalusi said he had done so. ...

Under the name by which he was known to HMIC, Mouloud Farid, his links with the Muslim Debate Initiative were a matter of public record.

He was registered as a director of the organisation at Companies House, though he earlier this year changed to yet a third name, Wazir Leton Rahman, on the companies register. ...

The HMIC accepted Mr Farid's resignation in July last year, the spokesman added. But the security lapse has only just emerged ... ...

The former friends of Mr al Andalusi said they had left the Muslim Debate Initiative when it became increasingly extreme and dominated by donations from a wealthy Saudi businessman. ...

Mr al Andalusi, who lives in a subsidised £750,000 housing association flat in Westminster, said last night that as Mouloud Farid he was "proud to work for a public watchdog which holds those in power to account. ..."

He has previously insisted that he does condemn terrorism and regards it as un-Islamic.
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Extremism – freedom, Islamisation
North African migrants and the future of Europe
Donald Macleod
Donald Macleod, 8 July 2015
[Professor Donald Macleod's article first appeared in the West Highland Free Press on 22 May 2015]

Europe's movers and shakers are now calling for a concerted response to the migrant crisis, but this has not been the only note. Influential voices have also suggested that the migrants are part of a coherent plan to increase the Muslim presence in Europe, and this is even being linked to predictions that within twenty-five years Britain will be a predominantly Muslim country. Yet, while for all the years of the Cold War we trembled at the spectre of Communism and the thought of 'Reds under the bed', no-one seems to be taking the Islamic threat seriously.

Is such complacency wise? There can certainly be no doubt that the thousands of North Africans now pouring into Europe are Muslims. Nor can there be any doubt that after centuries of relative passivity Islam, like Scottish separatism, is now all fired-up with new energy and zeal. /.../ But whatever the reasons, the millions of North Africans who will enter Europe in the next twenty-five years are not likely to arrive full of gratitude. They will bring with them Islam's innate sense of superiority and its contempt for the infidel.

Equally clearly, our freedoms will never survive under a dominant Islam. No Muslim country on earth grants civil rights or liberty of speech to its citizens. ... ...

All minorities prefer to keep a low profile and avoid trouble. Generations of British Muslims have done exactly that, many have made an invaluable contribution to British society, and many are perfectly prepared to listen quietly while Christians 'witness' to them. But when minorities become majorities, things change, as German Jews discovered in the 1930s. Once the Nazis achieved ascendancy, friendly German neighbours suddenly became informants for the Gestapo; and in the event of Islamic dominance in Britain our friendly Muslim shopkeepers will have little option but to march behind the radicals.

Have we any protection? Tighter immigration controls bring their own complications. ...

But have we no intellectual, ideological or spiritual barriers to raise against Islam? The prevailing secular humanism is too preoccupied with hating Christianity to notice the threat posed by Islam; and anyway, when it comes to the bit, a negative ('There is no God') can never have the motivational force of a fanatical positive like, 'Allah is God'.

What of Christianity? Can it save us (and our freedoms) from Islam? Yes, but only if it is robustly biblical, and robustly confident that Jesus is the one and only Lord.

But Christianity must also address the fact that in many parts of Britain it is invisible: simply not there. ... ...

But then, Islam has never needed to win the intellectual battle, and in the eyes of its radicals it still doesn't need to. Bombs and beheadings will suffice; or, in the worst possible scenario, an Islamised France, armed to the hilt and ready to pounce.

Apocalyptic delusions of an aged brain? Possibly, but consider Augustine, the greatest Christian mind the world has ever seen. Born in Algeria, he became Bishop of Hippo (also in Algeria) in 396. There, if anywhere, Christianity seemed secure for all time coming. But by 622 Mohammed had established himself in Medina, and a hundred years later Christianity was obliterated in Algeria. It was no victory of the mind. Augustine's diocese had merely been overwhelmed by a Muslim army.

History need not repeat itself. But let's not sleep-walk our way into the loss of all our freedoms.
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Extremism – Islam
Time to face the extremism taking hold in Britain
Leo McKinstry
Daily Express, 29 June 2015

In the face of the savage threat from militant Islam, European civilisation has embarked on a programme of assisted suicide.

The lethal medicine comes in the form of uncontrolled immigration and the dogma of multiculturalism.

This deadly cocktail is administered by treacherous politicians who refuse to defend our society and instead dress up their cowardice as tolerance.

The scale of the peril that now confronts us was brutally illustrated by a string of atrocities carried out last week by Muslim extremists. ...

The relentless cycle of violence is likely to reach soon into the heart of Britain. ...

In response to the grim and relentless catalogue of butchery David Cameron at the weekend appeared to adopt a tone of Churchillian defiance.

The deaths, he declared, "will only unite us more strongly in our determination to defeat these Islamist extremists and all they stand for".

Fine words but in practice they amount to empty rhetoric. For European governments have shown no such resolution or courage against Islamism.

Their pusillanimous attitude was encapsulated in Cameron's claim last week that Islam is "a religion of peace", a fatuous remark that is contradicted by the deluge of evidence about Muslim brutality.

The ideology of groups like Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram is driven by religion, using the Koran as a textbook for a remorseless war on non-believers.

Tragically the theocratic goals of these organisations are supported by all too many Muslims in Europe who yearn for the triumph of their creed.

Contrary to all the fashionable talk about "the vast majority" of moderates, 40 per cent of Muslims in Britain want to see sharia law formally established here while 30 per of Muslim students on British university campuses desire a caliphate and think that killing in the name of Islam is justified.

Far from taking the fight to extremism our political class has allowed it to flourish.

The vital work of our security forces has been undermined by human rights legislation and by anxiety about accusations of so-called Islamophobia.

Soon after the Tunisia massacre the Government of Prime Minister Habib Essid announced that 80 mosques in the country would be closed for "spreading venom".

Can you imagine any British politicians or authorities ordering the closure of mosques for promoting radicalism?

Indeed in 2007 when Channel 4 made a documentary about hate preachers operating in Birmingham's mosques, the West Midlands Police urged that the producers should be prosecuted for stirring up racial hatred.

The same cowardly spirit can be seen in the growth of immigration which has now reached the incredible annual total of 641,000 new arrivals, the majority of them from Asia and Africa. ...

Uncontrolled immigration, allied to a soaring birth rate, has seen the Muslim population of Britain rise to almost three million. ...

Supporters of mass immigration like to prattle about the joys of cultural enrichment but what is actually happening is the Islamification of large swathes of urban Britain. ...

It was a transformation imposed by our supine political class without any mandate.
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Extremism – Islam
Muslims must do more to repel Isil, says Cameron
Tom Whitehead and Emily Gosden
Daily Telegraph, 19 June 2015

David Cameron will on Friday warn parts of the Muslim community that "quietly condoning" anti-Western ideology is making it easier for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) to recruit in British cities.

The Prime Minister will issue a stark message to Muslim families and leaders that they must do more to combat the lure of Isil among young people.

He will also tell those who have lost loved ones to extremist groups to stop "finger pointing" and blaming the police and security services when their relatives run off to Syria or Iraq.

Mr Cameron will say: "The cause is ideological. It is an Islamist extremist ideology: one that says the West is bad and democracy is wrong, that women are inferior and homosexuality is evil.

"It says religious doctrine trumps the rule of law and Caliphate trumps nation state, and it justifies violence in asserting itself and achieving its aims. The question is: how do people arrive at this world view?

"I am clear that one of the reasons is that there are people who hold some of these views who don't go as far as advocating violence, but do buy into some of these prejudices – giving the extreme Islamist narrative weight and telling fellow Muslims 'you are part of this'.

"This paves the way for young people to turn simmering prejudice into murderous intent. To go from listening to firebrand preachers online to boarding a plane to Istanbul and travelling onward to join the jihadis. ..."

His comments risk a backlash from some Muslim leaders, but sources say the Prime Minister believes a "frank debate" is needed over the role everyone has to play. ...

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said those returning from the war zone were even more dangerous because they were "militarised and brutalised" and had a network of fanatics both here and abroad.

As part of the renewed offensive, Mr Cameron will warn in the speech to the Globsec conference in Bratislava, Slovakia, that Isil is one of the biggest threats the world has faced and its scale is "formidable".

Its warped influence, especially online, is such that young boys and girls are happy to leave loving homes and travel thousands of miles to either become suicide bombers or subservient jihadi brides, he will say.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
Transcript: The Breitbart Geert Wilders Interview
Oliver Lane
Breitbart, 19 June 2015

Breitbart London recently spoke to Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV) leader Geert Wilders on a wide range of topics from Mohammad cartoons, to Charlie Hebdo, to BREXIT, and even the future of Europe itself. ...

Wilders: "Islamisation certainly is becoming a lot worse in Europe. I see a change for the better in the Vox Populi, the normal people on the street on any European country, but sadly the political elite is still appeasing, and multiculturalist at heart.

"However, if you look at the facts despite it only being a minority of Muslims committing those terroristic crimes, unfortunately there is a big group supporting them. I already made these points once in a debate with our Dutch prime minister in parliament that 73 per cent of the Islamic Population think that Dutch Muslims who fight Jihad in Syria are heroes. That is 73 per cent of one million Muslims in Holland.

"80 per cent of the Turkish youth in Holland, one of the biggest minority groups here say that violence against Christians and Jews is not a bad thing. In addition to that, a poll by the leftist-liberal Univeristy of Amsterdam found 11 per cent of Muslims in Holland – over 100,000 people – are prepared to use violence for the sake of Islam is Holland. Unfortunately, these figures are far worse now than they were five or ten years ago.

"Everybody is talking about the minority – of course it is a minority that uses the violence, but unfortunately there is a majority of these people who support the idea, and think they are heroes. This is a Trojan horse we have imported, people who are not even willing to assimilate to our society and adhere to our values and constitution. We have a problem.

"The good news is, the ordinary people are waking up. With the Islamic State happening, with Jihadis going and returning from Northern Africa and Syria, it is causing people to wake up to the reality of what is happening. The good news is that parties like mine are getting stronger all over Europe. Islam is getting worse, but there is a change coming because the people are fed up".
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NATO: Extremists May Be Among Mediterranean Migrants
ABC News / Associated Press, 21 May 2015

NATO's supreme commander says he's worried that boats attempting to carry migrants across the Mediterranean to southern Europe may also be ferrying criminals and potential terrorists.

U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove on Thursday said, "we do not know what is in these migrations coming across the Mediterranean from northern Africa."

He told a news conference that he and other NATO officials are concerned about who might be on the often dangerously unseaworthy craft carrying passengers from Libya and other nations.

Breedlove said "some of these people are legitimate refugees from ungoverned spaces." But other passengers, the general said, "we believe are organized crime, and yes, we believe there could be elements of extremists" as well.

Breedlove spoke following a meeting of NATO's Military Committee in Brussels.
[Site link]


Extremism – schools, education
Extremists are setting up anti-British schools, report claims
Javier Espinoza
Daily Telegraph, 13 April 2015

Nearly 50 unregulated schools set up by extremists are being investigated for being anti-British, it has been claimed.

Education authorities are looking into allegations that these schools impart teachings that go against British values.

Many of these schools were set up by a teacher embroiled in the Trojan Horse scandal that saw radical Muslims infiltrating school governing bodies in Birmingham, it was alleged.

Based around the UK – including Luton, Birmingham, and London, these schools manage to escape prying eyes by operating outside the traditional education system, it was claimed.

Many of the students have been pulled out of the mainstream education system, which is overseen by the schools' watchdog, Ofsted, and the Department for Education (DfE), and are being home schooled without proper regulation or oversight.

Children of Somali, Bengali and Pakistani origins are thought to be at risk of being radicalised in their own homes, it was reported.

It is a criminal offence to run unregulated schools, which must be registered with the DfE. However, local authorities are responsible to make sure home schooling in their area is providing suitable education for youngsters.

Set up as private tutorial centres, unregulated schools find it easier to remain under the radar by teaching only a limited amount of hours per week.

It was reported the DfE has launched a number of investigations into the rising number of unregulated schools as some expressed concerns they are too easy to set up and are not being monitored properly to ensure they teach British values.

One of the schools at the centre of the controversy is Siddeeq Academy in Tower Hamlets, which closed down earlier this year following revelations it was being run by a convicted Islamist extremist by the name of Mizanur Rahman.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
Muslim group with links to extremists boasts of influencing election
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 5 April 2015

A front group for Muslim extremists which wants to let British Muslims fight in Syria has boasted that it is "negotiating with the Tory and Labour leadership" to secure some of its demands.

Muslim Engagement and Development (Mend) has built links with both parties – and been chosen as an "official partner" by the Electoral Commission for May's poll – after claiming to promote "democratic engagement" by Muslims. However, it is actually a facade to win political access and influence for individuals holding extreme, bigoted and anti-democratic views.

Labour's shadow equalities minister and vice-chair of its national policy forum, Kate Green, spoke at a Mend event last Friday addressed by a man, Abu Eesa Niamatullah, who has called British people "animals," demanded that women should not work, attacked democracy and said that "the Creator is the one who should decide what the laws should be."

Baroness Warsi, the former Tory chairman, also spoke at the event.

In new recordings heard by this newspaper, Sufyan Ismail, Mend's chief executive, describes the group's strategy to act as "kingmaker" in next month's election and claims it can control as many as 30 seats.

One Tory candidate in a winnable seat was repeatedly approached by a well-known Muslim figure offering large sums of money for his campaign if he signed up to Mend's "Muslim manifesto." The manifesto was launched last month at an event in Parliament attended by at least ten Labour and Conservative MPs, though there is no evidence any of them were paid by Mend. Lynton Crosby, the Conservative campaign director, has attended Mend events.

Mend's director of engagement, Azad Ali, is an extremist who has supported the killing of British troops, praised the al-Qaeda ideologue Anwar al-Awlaki and said that "democracy, if it means at the expense of not implementing the Sharia, of course no-one agrees with that."

Mend is holding a series of events this weekend with other extremist, anti-democratic speakers and has close links to the pro-terrorist lobby group Cage. ...

Mend strongly supports Cage and has held joint meetings with it, including in Manchester on November 28 last year. In another talk, at a mosque in Cheadle, Cheshire, Mr Ismail said Cage and another group linked to Syrian jihadis, IERA, "do a really good job."
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
The baroness, Islamic extremists and a question of free speech
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 22 March 2015

At first glance, it looks admirable: two closely connected campaigns, called YouElect and Mend (Muslim Engagement and Development), to get British Muslims involved and voting in this year's general election.

Mend says it is "creating and supporting an environment in which British Muslims can confidently and critically engage in politics". One of YouElect's leaders, Jamil Rashid, told the Islam Channel: "We're all part of this society, so I think it's extremely important that Muslims stand up and be counted." Who could disagree? That, no doubt, is why the Electoral Commission has made Mend an "official partner" in registering Muslim voters for the coming campaign; why at least 10 Labour and Tory MPs joined the launch of Mend's "Muslim manifesto" in the Commons earlier this month; and why even Lynton Crosby, the Conservative campaign director, addressed a Mend fringe meeting at last year's Tory conference.

Mend also holds events with police chiefs, gets funding from the EU and is a "key partner" in the Hacked Off campaign for state-backed controls on the press. The truth, however, is that these distinguished bodies and people have been conned. Both Mend and YouElect are clever fronts to win political access and influence for Islamists holding extreme and anti-democratic views.

When not giving reassuring interviews, Mr Rashid is a director of the London-based Muslim Research and Development Foundation, the think tank of one of Britain's most notorious hate preachers, Haitham al-Haddad, an extremist cleric and Sharia judge from east London.

Haddad describes democracy as "filthy", regards music as a "prohibited and fake message of love and peace", states that Jews and Christians are the "enemies of Allah" who will "all go to hellfire" and advises Muslims not to "integrate ... as simple as that".

On March 6, Mr Rashid spoke at a rally organised by Cage, the pro-terrorist lobby group which had the week before provoked outrage by describing Mohammed Emwazi, "Jihadi John", as a "kind and gentle" man who had been "radicalised by MI5". He described Cage as "the leaders in our community – we are all Cage, and we stand with them in all their endeavours". Ismail Patel, the director of YouElect, is also spokesman for the British Muslim Initiative, closely linked to Hamas, the terrorist group which wants to destroy Israel, and the Muslim Brotherhood, which wants to replace secular democratic government with a caliphate under Islamic law.

Then there is Mend. It, too, has defended Cage, accusing the media of trying to discredit the group after the "Jihadi John" episode. It, too, has links to Haddad, who, despite his views on democracy, has appeared in a Mend video urging Muslims to vote. He has said in the past that voting may be permissible to return a Muslim majority government in "50 years, something like this" as a prelude to "Islam spreading all over the world". ...

On April 3 in Manchester, one of the speakers booked to appear alongside Mr Niamatullah is Baroness Warsi, the former Tory chairman and the first Muslim woman to sit in Cabinet.
[Site link]


Extremism – jihad, Islam
France PM: 10,000 Europeans could be waging jihad by year-end
Yahoo! News / AFP, 8 March 2015

As many as 10,000 Europeans could be waging jihad in Iraq and Syria by the end of this year, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls warned Sunday, a three-fold increase on current numbers.

"There are 3,000 Europeans in Iraq and Syria today. When you do a projection for the months to come, there could be 5,000 before summer and 10,000 before the end of the year," Valls told French television channel iTele.

"Do you realise the threat that this represents?" he asked.

He said there were around 1,400 people who were either already in these conflict zones, who had come back from there or who were planning to go.

"There have already been nearly 90 French people who have died out there with a weapon in their hand, fighting against our own values," Valls said.
[Site link]


Extremism – charity funding
Charities no longer funding Cage, says Charity Commission
BBC, 6 March 2015

Advocacy group Cage is no longer being funded by two UK charities, according to the Charity Commission.

Cage has been criticised for suggesting MI5 may have helped cause the radicalisation of Mohammed Emwazi.

The commission says it has been talking to the Roddick Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust since 2013 about their links with Cage.

It has now received assurances from the charities that they have ceased funding the group and will not do so in future.

In a statement following the announcement, Cage said it respected the decision and thanked the charities for their support. ...

The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust told the Charity Commission that it made grant awards to Cage of £305,000 between 2007 and 2014 - of which £271,250 was paid.

The Roddick Foundation said it made grant payments to Cage of £120,000 between 2009 and 2012.

The Charity Commission said in a statement: "In recent days a great deal of media and public attention has focused on Cage, which describes itself as an advocacy group.

"Cage is not a charity but has been in part funded by British charities. As it is not a charity and given the nature of its work, and the controversy it has attracted, the Charity Commission has been concerned that such funding risked damaging public trust and confidence in charity.

"As the regulator of charities, we expect all charities and trustees to ensure that all charitable funds are used according to their charity's purposes and in the way that the public would expect." ...

Cage describes itself as "an independent organisation working to empower communities impacted by the War on Terror" and has spoken out against the UK's anti-terrorism laws.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
Cage: the extremists peddling lies to British Muslims to turn them into supporters of terror
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 1 March 2015

As Asim Qureshi, of the campaign group Cage, took to the airwaves to explain how Mohammed Emwazi, "Jihadi John", was the real victim of recent events in Syria, ...

Being turned back on his travels and questioned by the security services had, it seemed, left Emwazi with no alternative but to join Islamic State and behead seven innocent people. Further oppression by the UK's apparatus of government terror included giving him a university education, his family a council flat and not actually arresting or detaining him for anything. ...

For Cage is no collection of isolated loonies. /.../ it is part of a closely connected network of extremists relentlessly – and successfully – lying to young British Muslims that they are hated and persecuted by their fellow citizens in order to make them into supporters of terror. Cage has an active outreach programme in mosques, universities and community groups. Even more disturbingly, it continues to be treated as a credible partner by respected and respectable organisations, including Liberty and Amnesty International. ...

But long before its whitewashing of Jihadi John, Cage was also, quite clearly, a terrorism advocacy group. It campaigns for actual terrorists convicted not by kangaroo courts but by juries, on strong evidence, in properly conducted trials. It even campaigns for some terrorists who actually pleaded guilty – such as Mohammed Ahmed and Yusuf Sarwar, two friends from Birmingham sentenced to more than 12 years each last December after travelling to Syria. ...

... Polling shows that Cage's fantasies are widely believed among younger British Muslims. Most of Cage's audience does not trust, or even read, the mainstream media. In Cage's parallel universe, they are targeted online and through the group's close links to many other extremist groups, above all some university Islamic societies.

Another Cage spokesman, Amandla Thomas-Johnson, was previously press officer for Fosis, the Federation of Student Islamic Societies. Fosis works closely with Cage, organising joint events, and is itself a highly problematic organisation, condemned by Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, for its "failure to fully challenge terrorist and extremist ideology". ... ...

Other partners in the campaign are the extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, which believes that voting is forbidden, and the Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA), which has links to some Syrian jihadis and sends extremist speakers around the country. Two weeks ago, IERA and Cage held a joint event on "the limits of free speech" at which large sections of the audience applauded a call for apostates to be executed, according to Dan Hodges, one of the participants. ...

But perhaps its most interesting links are with the mainstream liberal-left. Amnesty International, the human rights group, claims it has stopped working with Mr Begg after one of its key activists resigned in 2010 in protest at its links with Cage. But it is still working with Cage.

As recently as Oct 30, Amnesty, Liberty, Justice and five other mainstream human rights groups joined with Cage in a "collective" to make representations to the then inquiry into the treatment of British Army detainees. Amnesty's director for Europe and central Asia, John Dalhuisen, and Liberty's director, Shami Chakrabarti, signed the collective's letter alongside Mr Rabbani.
[Site link]


Extremism – political correctness
A Word from the Editor: Britain has to come out of the multi-cultural inclusiveness trance
Martin Townsend
Sunday Express, 1 March 2015

If we don't wake up – and soon – to the fact that IS is a real and present danger to just about everything we hold dear in the civilised world, then all will be lost before we do. ...

Britain has been in a trance of multi-cultural inclusiveness and namby-pamby, touchy-feely liberalism since the Blair years.

We were sold the idea that such tolerance has strengthened our democracy but it has done quite the opposite: it has allowed a small, hard-core of extremists to develop and flourish, and threaten the security of the vast, law-abiding majority: whether they be Christians, Jewish people, Muslims or any other race or creed.

We have to shake ourselves out of that trance.

We have to protect our borders and carry out proper checks on everybody entering and leaving our airports, even if it means bringing back what troops we have from abroad to do it.
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
Islamic 'radicals' at the heart of Whitehall
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 22 February 2015

Entryism, the favourite tactic of the 1980s' Militant Tendency, is when a political party or institution is infiltrated by groups with a radically different agenda. Since Militant's Trotskyites were expelled from the Labour Party, the word has rather fallen out of fashion.

But now, according to one Muslim leader, Islamic radicals are practising entryism of their own – into the heart of Whitehall – courtesy of a woman who was until recently a government minister.

Baroness Warsi, the first Muslim woman to sit in Cabinet, handed official posts to people linked to Islamist groups, including a man involved in an "unpleasant and bullying" campaign to win planning permission for the controversial London "megamosque" proposed by a fundamentalist Islamic sect.

He sits – alongside other radicals or former radicals and their allies – on a "cross-Government working group on anti-Muslim hatred" set up by Lady Warsi and Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister.

Some members of the group are using their seats at the table to urge that Whitehall work with Islamist and extremist-linked bodies, including one described by the Prime Minister as a "political front for the Muslim Brotherhood". Some are also pressing to lift bans on foreign hate preachers from entering Britain, including Zakir Naik, who has stated that "every Muslim should be a terrorist".

Fiyaz Mughal, a former member of the working group, told The Telegraph that he had resigned in protest at its activities. "I was deeply concerned about the kinds of groups some of the members had connections with, and some of the groups they were recommending be brought into government," he said. ...

Another member said: "The working group was Sayeeda [Warsi]'s personal project and she was responsible for the appointments. There was very little transparency about who was put on."

The working group, set up in 2012, has continued after Lady Warsi's resignation last summer in protest at the Government's "morally indefensible" policy on the Gaza crisis. It is based in Eric Pickles's Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and includes officials from there, the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office, the Department for Education, the Foreign Office and the Crown Prosecution Service.
[Site link]


Extremism – anti-Semitism, Islam
The rising tide of anti-Semitism
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 25 January 2015

In parts of Britain, this newspaper has found, anti-Semitism is open, unashamed – and supported by the taxpayer. Only 25 miles north of Barnet, in Luton, one of the town's main mosques, the Luton Islamic Centre, publishes statements on its website describing Jews as the "brethren of swine and pigs" and calling for "victory over the Jews and the rest of the enemies of Islam".

One text on the "Palestinian Crisis" asks: "How do the brethren of swine and pigs [Jews] have the upper hand over the best Ummah among all the other nations [Muslims]?"

Another text states: "The Jews strive their utmost to corrupt the beliefs, morals and manners of the Muslims."

After the Paris attacks, the mosque tweeted a lecture by Qadeer Baksh, its imam, saying that Muslims would be caused "much harm" by the "Christians and the Jews, the extremists among them".

But, surprisingly given its views, an organisation closely linked to the mosque has been awarded public money for projects to rehabilitate Muslim former offenders and to "work with young people" in Luton.

The Ethnic Minority Training Project, chaired by one of the mosque's trustees and run by an activist at the mosque, has received at least £75,000 from the local council, the Department for Work and Pensions, the EU and other bodies. According to the mosque's website, it is a "partner" in the project with the Bedfordshire Probation Service and The Mount, one of the local prisons.

Luton is not the only place where groups with alleged links to anti-Semites have collected a subsidy. In 2013, a charity called the Peace Giving Foundation received a lottery grant of £118,000 to run a programme "empowering ethnic minority women".

At the time, the Peace Giving Foundation shared directors (and continues to share an address) with the Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA), which sends extremist speakers to mosques and university societies.

Abdurraheem Green, the founder and head of IERA, once demanded that a Jewish man be removed from his sight when preaching at Speaker's Corner.

He has also said that the Jewish homeland is a "myth" and British public opinion is "totally hostage to the Zionist-controlled media".

Other IERA speakers include Sheikh Abdullah Hakim Quick, who has called all Jews "filth". Past members of the group's advisory board are Hussain Yee, who blamed the Jews for 9/11, and Haitham al-Haddad, who described them as "the descendants of apes and pigs".

More than £39,000 of the lottery grant has already been paid. The Big Lottery Fund said last night that payment of the remaining £78,000 had been stopped pending an investigation into the Peace Giving Foundation's "connections".
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
I don't want to live under Islamic blasphemy law. That doesn't make me racist
Douglas Murray
The Spectator, 24 January 2015

In the immediate aftermath of the Paris atrocities most of the people who thought the journalists and cartoonists in some sense 'had it coming to them' kept their heads down. I encountered a few who did not, including Asghar Bukhari from the MPAC (Muslim Public Affairs Committee). In the aftermath of the atrocity Asghar was immediately eager to smear the cartoonists and editors of Charlie Hebdo as racists. From what he and others of his ilk have been sending around since, they appear to have dug down into a narrative which now goes something like this: 'The murders had nothing to do with Islam, Muslims or Islamic blasphemy law. They certainly had something to do with Western foreign policy or domestic Islamophobia. But by the way Charlie Hebdo is a racist magazine.'

For the first time, MPAC proved to be ahead of the curve. Because by the end of the first week after the atrocity more 'mainstream' and 'moderate' voices joined in with this narrative. ...

The most shocking scramble came from the Cambridge don Abdal Hakim Murad ('Tim Winters' until his conversion to Islam). Hakim, or Tim, is often held up as a model of moderation, though I have had reason to doubt this claim before. And now there is even more cause to doubt it, because earlier this week we had him (and remember this is someone regularly held up as one of the great hopes of 'liberal' Islam in Britain) using the pages of the Telegraph to argue that the law of the land in Britain should be used to prosecute anyone who blasphemes Islam. In the UK. In the 21st century.

Hakim / Tim also went on to describe drawings of his 'prophet' as an 'act of violence'. We should dwell on that for a moment. A drawing of Mohammed is an 'act of violence.' /.../ But then this is someone who seems to believe a 'moderate' policy for punishing those who leave Islam is to imprison them. What all these apologists and excusers have in common is a concerted and transparent effort to reverse the roles of victim and aggressor. In their world the cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo were the aggressors and Muslims in general were the victims. And this is at one with a mainstream media narrative.

While Jews were still lying dead on the floor of the Kosher food shop various broadcasters scuttled around Paris asking Muslims 'how safe they felt in France.'
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
Islam experts: No-go zones looming for America
Bob Unruh
WND, 23 January 2015

As WND reported, the government of France has identified 751 Zones Urbaines Sensibles, or Sensitive Urban Zones, that the state does not fully control, citing Middle East foreign policy expert Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum.

The zones are enclaves where Muslim immigrants have chosen not to assimilate, and law enforcement has lost some degree of control. ...

Islam analyst and expert Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch told WND the zones "aren't here."

"But they're coming as the Muslim population grows," he warned. "We already see areas such as Dearborn, Michigan: It isn't a no-go zone – police don't fear to enter there and non-Muslims aren't menaced for non-adherence to Shariah norms – but police did the bidding of the Muslim community a couple of years ago and arrested some Christian missionaries solely for the crime of preaching to Muslims. A Shariah crime, not a crime according to any U.S. law."

David Yerushalmi of the American Freedom Law Center, which has fought legal battles over the Dearborn disputes, said there aren't any no-go zones in American right now, but Dearborn comes close.

There, evangelical Christians were attacked with rocks and bottles by a Muslim crowd for talking about their faith on public property during an annual Arab festival. When police arrived, they ordered the Christians to leave or face arrest.

Several legal cases over the incident have been resolved in favor of the Christians, but a major one, handled by AFLC, is still under way. It has been granted the highly unusual step of a hearing before a full federal appeals court, which previously denied the Christians' claims.

Yerushalmi said there have been times when first responders have declined to go into certain riot areas for a time because it "would incite the crowd to more violence."

He said there aren't the numbers of Muslims in the U.S. population at the moment to form such no-go-zones.

"However, you have demographics which are changing," he warned. ...

Onetime Muslim terrorist Walid Shoebat has posted a piece online by Keith Davies explaining that no-go zones in the U.K. are areas where even serious crimes are not reported, because they are handled by Shariah rather than British law enforcement.

"Numerous murders and rapes are not reported in these no-go zones because of local justice systems," he wrote.

WND reported last year that President Obama had thanked Muslims for "building the very fabric of our nation" and claiming they were in part responsible for "the core of our democracy."

But his comments didn't align with statements from some of the Founders.

For example, in 1801, President Jefferson sent the Navy to the Barbary Coast to stop Islamic pirates' reign of terror on U.S. merchant ships. Jefferson read the Quran to understand what was motivating the pirates, and he learned that the Muslim holy book commanded the faithful to "plunder and enslave" non-Muslims.

In 1814, after Tripoli broke its truce and began attacking U.S. ships again, former President John Adams wrote Jefferson a letter advising that Islam's founder was "a military fanatic."
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam, schools
Trojan Horse 'plot': ministers failed to intervene amid warnings 20 years ago
Edward Malnick
Daily Telegraph, 17 January 2015

Ministers were warned as early as 20 years ago about fears that extremists had "infiltrated" Birmingham schools, but failed to intervene, an official review has found.

A senior civil servant has admitted that the Department for Education (DfE) was told by governors in 1994 of fears that a radical Islamist group was "gaining an influence" over schools in the city.

However, concerns raised with officials were treated as "one-off pieces of transactional business" and "assumed to be the responsibility of other authorities", Chris Wormald, the department's permanent secretary concluded.

The admission came in a review carried out by Mr Wormwald of claims the department "missed warnings" over the so-called Trojan Horse plot by extremists to seize control of a number of school governing boards in Birmingham.

Last year an inquiry by Peter Clarke, the former anti-terror chief, concluded that there had been "co-ordinated, deliberate and sustained action" by a number of individuals to introduce an "intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos" into a few schools in the city.

Mr Wormwald said he found no instances where "direct warnings" of extremism in Birmingham schools "were received by the department and ignored". He also found no evidence that officials or ministers had been warned about "violent extremism" in particular schools.

However he admitted that the DfE had "lacked inquisitiveness about this issue" and that its procedures "could have been tighter than they were".
[Site link]


Extremism – Islam
Paris attacks: Why this could happen in Britain
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 11 January 2015

Last Tuesday, little more than 12 hours before the atrocities in Paris, there was a meeting at the House of Commons – hosted by a Labour MP, Yasmin Qureshi – at which Britain's leading Islamists called for the country's counter-terrorism policy, Prevent, to be scrapped. Among the attendees was Azad Ali, who has called for British troops to be killed, described al-Qaeda as a "myth," and written of his "love" for Anwar al-Awlaki, the al-Qaeda cleric cited as a direct influence by one of the Paris murderers.

Mr Ali is a senior activist in the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE), a non-violent extremist group based at the East London Mosque and dedicated, in its own words, to changing the "very infrastructure of society, its institutions, its culture, its political order and its creed ... from ignorance to Islam." He has stated that "democracy, if it means at the expense of not implementing the sharia, of course no one agrees with that."


Another attendee was Muhammad Abdul Bari, former head of the IFE and chairman of the East London Mosque. In 2006, when he was secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, he was asked whether it was permissible to stone adulterers to death. "It's not a yes or no answer," he replied, later adding: "It depends what sort of stoning."

Again, there is no suggestion that Dr Bari is responsible for any act of terror. The MCB, which he no longer leads, has condemned the Paris attacks. ... ...

In some ways, this country is safer than France. ...

But in other ways, as Tuesday's Commons meeting suggests, we may be more at risk. In Britain, Islamists aren't marginalised figures on street corners. They have been embraced by parts of the Establishment. Dr Bari was a member of the London Olympic Committee. His former deputy at the East London Mosque, Chowdhury Mueenuddin, a man convicted of war crimes in his native Bangladesh, was "head of Muslim spiritual care provision" for the NHS. Mr Ali, extraordinarily, was chairman of the Muslim Safety Forum, the principal liaison body between the Muslim community and the Metropolitan Police.

Mr Ali's career has taken a dip lately, but he remains vice-chairman of Unite Against Fascism, one of the country's main anti-racist groups, funded by the main trade unions. Dr Bari remains a trustee of the East London Mosque, Britain's largest, and of Muslim Aid, one of the biggest Muslim charities.

As poll after poll tells us, the vast majority of British Muslims reject radical views. They support a mixed, plural society. ...

The problem is that the leading institutions of Muslim Britain are disproportionately dominated by the small minority of Islamists. Sometimes publicly, sometimes only when they think no one's looking, key mosques, charities, TV stations, schools and university societies 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.

This is mainly a danger to social cohesion – but it's also a threat to security. Some Islamist institutions openly flirt with violence and terror, or have done in the past. In 2009, the East London Mosque hosted a live audio lecture by Awlaki, advertised with a poster of Manhattan under bombardment. Many others provide the intellectual foundations and rhetorical climate for it.
[Site link]



Fraud and corruption – ballot-rigging, electoral fraud
'Ballot-rigging risk' in Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities
Daily Telegraph, 28 January 2015

British Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities are vulnerable to ballot-rigging and electoral fraud because of a lack of campaigning activity by mainstream political parties, the official watchdog has warned.

Research published by the Electoral Commission said the political "void" in such communities was being filled by "ethnic kinship networks" which undermined the principle of free choice for voters.

It found that social pressure on community members ranged from respect for the decisions of elders at its mildest to the exercise of "undue influence", where women and young adults are denied access to individual ballots.

The commission said it was working closely with police and returning officers in areas with a history of ballot-rigging to put in place additional measures to prevent problems at the general election in May.

The move comes amid findings that "almost all" the cases of large-scale electoral fraud in England since 2000 have occurred in areas with large Pakistani or Bangladeshi communities.

Researchers from Liverpool and Manchester universities and from the NatCen research agency were commissioned to carry out a detailed survey of eight wards with high concentrations of Pakistani or Bangladeshi-origin voters - four where there had been problems in the past and four where there had not.

The report by the Liverpool and Manchester team found both communities shared "a wide range of vulnerabilities, which may make them susceptible to becoming victims of electoral fraud".

Among the problems they encountered were language and knowledge barriers, community loyalties and pressures, discrimination in candidate selection, insufficient safeguards for voting procedures and economic deprivation.

However the main issues highlighted were the influence of the "kinship networks" combined with an absence of mainstream party political activity. ...

The report found some voters felt that postal voting was "intrinsically unsafe" and there were also concerns about the ease with which electoral "personation" could take place due an "informal approach" to proxy voting.

The commission said it would be monitoring the impact of postal voting during the general election and had not ruled out further statutory regulation, including making it an offence for candidates to handle postal voting materials.

Electoral Commission chairwoman Jenny Watston said the research confirmed that when fraud was committed, candidates and campaigners were the most likely offenders and voters the victims.
[Site link]



Illegal immigration – border security
We don't know that 100,000 illegal migrants have been stopped at the border
Amy Sippitt
Full Fact, 23 December 2015

The Daily Mail's front page this morning claimed that almost 100,000 illegal immigrants have been stopped from making the crossing to the UK in the past year. As well as the Sun, the claim has been reported on by the Daily Express and the Telegraph.

It's wrong to describe this figure as the number of attempts stopped in the past year, as outlets have. It's an unofficial projection based on Home Office data and depends upon the assumption that foiled attempts have continued at the same rate as in April to July this year for the rest of the year. This is by no means certain.

The figures also don't refer to the number of unique people who have been stopped over any given period, rather the number of attempts that have been stopped. If one person makes multiple attempts to cross the border then they'll be counted multiple times.

The Home Office has confirmed that the data for April to July that the articles use to make the extrapolation is correct. ...

In April to July 2015, 30,629 attempts to cross the channel illegally were stopped, according to the Home Office. ...

The data on this topic has tended to be released sporadically, and isn't published in much detail, which makes comparisons to different time frames tricky.

The outlets compare the 2015 estimate to a figure of 40,000 attempts stopped in the 2014/15 financial year, claiming foiled attempts have 'doubled'. The 40,000 statistic has previously been referred to in Parliament. Due to the uncertainty of the 100,000 figure, this comparison is problematic.

A Freedom of Information request gives data for previous years, showing 19,000 attempts were refused entry in 2013/14, and in the three years before that the figure was around the 10,000-11,000 mark.

We also have data for the number of attempts stopped in the same period last year, when there were thought to be 11,920 such attempts. This year's spring figures represent an increase of 160% on that period.

So it seems fair to say that the number of thwarted attempts is increasing.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – border security
100,000 illegal migrants stopped from entering Britain over the past year
Laura Hughes
Daily Telegraph, 23 December 2015

Around 100,000 illegal migrants were stopped from entering Britain by UK Border Force officials over the past year, according to the latest figures.

The most recent Home Office data shows more than twice the number of migrants were intercepted than in 2014. ...

Last week David Cameron was accused of a "migration cover-up" after it emerged that more than a million migrants who have come to the UK in recent years are unaccounted for. ...

Lord Green of Deddington, the chairman of Migrationwatch, added: "The Home Office should now publish their estimate of the numbers that are actually getting through."
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – Nigerians
NIS: Three Million Nigerians Living Illegally in UK
Omololu Ogunmade
This Day Live, 18 December 2015

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Thursday told the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs that no fewer than three million Nigerians were illegally living in the United Kingdom.

While appearing before the committee, NIS Deputy Comptroller General in charge of Investigation and Intelligence, Mr. T.A. Hundeyin, dismissed as untrue the insinuation that the United Kingdom had perfected plans to deport 29,000 Nigerians.

He explained that besides the 48 Nigerians deported to the country from the UK last week, there was no further plan to deport more Nigerians.

According to him, those deported were found guilty of offences inimical to the laws of the country adding that only 45 of them actually committed such offences.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration
People smugglers who brought migrants to UK beaches in yachts jailed in France
Rory Mulholland
Daily Telegraph, 12 December 2015

Five leaders of a people smuggling network have been sentenced to five years in prison for ferrying dozens of Albanian migrants across the Channel from France to England on speedboats and yachts.

A total of 18 people were tried by a court in the western city of Rennes for pocketing up to €6,000 (£4,300) for each person they brought to Britain over a year-long period starting in early 2012.

The leaders of the smuggling ring included Albanian and Kosovar nationals and local French businessman Philippe Colin, who the court heard played a "central role" in the smuggling ring. ...

The judge said that in his sentencing he had taken into account that the migrants had only "moderately" been in any danger and that they had been treated "with dignity" by the smugglers.

The migrants were taken across the water in speedboats and yachts, with at least 127 migrants brought to England in around 16 sailings from various ports in the west of France.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – terrorism, health tourism, identity cards
ID cards are a good idea – and now is the time to talk about them
Frank Field and Sir Nicholas Soames
Daily Telegraph, 10 December 2015
[Frank Field MP and Sir Nicholas Soames MP are co-chairmen of the cross-party group on balanced migration]

The biggest mistake of the coalition government was to scrap Labour's identity card scheme just as it was nearing fruition. Now, in the aftermath of Paris, the security of the realm must take centre stage. If now isn't the time to re-consider the introduction of national identity cards when might events warrant it?

Of course, the cards will not stop attacks happening but they may well help to prevent them. In the event of another atrocity they could aid the rapid identification of co-conspirators. We have seen this in Paris where the authorities were able to establish the identity of the killers in a matter of hours; a vital part of preventing further follow up attacks.

More generally, pinning people down to one identity makes it much harder for them to operate in the shadows, for example, in organised crime or money laundering.

In this age of the mass movement of people we simply do not know who is living in the UK. There have been, until very recently, no exit checks in the UK. No checks in fact for nearly twenty years. As a result, the authorities literally have no idea who is still in the country.

The Border Force battles daily to intercept those trying to enter illegally via Calais and elsewhere, but many will get through. Most are simply economic migrants, but some will be involved with organised criminality or worse. They will join the estimated one million illegal immigrants already in the UK.

The introduction of ID cards would definitely make it harder for those here illegally to operate; it might also deter people from trying to breach our borders in the first place. And it would have an impact on those who overstay their visas. There is no question the public are conscious of the extent of illegal immigration and want it tackled. Achieving this is central to any efforts to get a grip of our borders and restore public confidence in our immigration system.

As well as our external borders we need protection for our health system. An ID card, if properly set up, could also act an entitlement card. The NHS is our national health service, not an international one open to abuse. The production of an ID card could be a simple way of establishing the right to free treatment at the point of use. This would deal with complaints from the health profession that they cannot be expected to decide who qualifies for care and who doesn't.

Similarly, landlords and employers could use the ID card as the one document that gives confidence that someone has the right to rent accommodation or to work. Preventing illegal working is one of the best ways of tackling illegal immigration. ...

These are important considerations however these should not be overstated. ID cards are widely used throughout the European Union, with 25 out of 28 member states currently operating them, indeed 15 EU countries have mandatory schemes. ...

Now is the time to return to debate the introduction of ID cards.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – Egyptian children
Egypt: Minya province is top exporter of illegal child migrants to Europe-minister
Agence de Presse Africaine, 8 December 2015

The Upper Egyptian province of Minya is the top "exporter" of illegal child migrants to Europe, the Immigration and Egyptian Expatriates Affairs Minister said in A statement on Monday.

"Italy alone is home to more than 4,000 Egyptian children who migrated there illegally," Minister Nabila Makram, said during a visit to Minya.

"Those represent a headache for the defense, foreign affairs, social solidarity, immigration and manpower ministries," the minister added, also demanding penalties for the parents of the illegal migrants.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – criminal gangs
Middle class migrants paying £10,000 to be smuggled into Britain by speedboat
Tom Morgan and David Chazan
Sunday Telegraph, 6 December 2015

Middle-class migrants are paying up to £10,000 a head to be smuggled into the UK by speedboat, yacht and light aircraft, investigators have told the Telegraph.

Calais police believe Albanian gangs controlling Europe's multi-million pound trafficking industry are "diversifying" routes into England after security was increased at ferry ports and the Eurotunnel network. ...

French judiciary sources said officers are now monitoring smaller ports and airfields in Northern France.

Gilles Debove, of Calais Police Union, said: "The tunnel has become impossible so the Albanian gangs are changing their strategies and their routes." ...

Investigators believe better-off migrants are staying in small hotels rather than the 'Jungle' camp.

One local in Calais said. "They are probably mainly Albanians, Syrians and other Arabs, and some Asians. They are the ones who can afford to pay." ...

Professor Andrew Geddes, a politics lecturer specialising in migration at Sheffield University, said high costs involved mean migrants either rely on family savings or are lured into the illegal labour market to pay off debts. ...

Mr Geddes added that migration crime is a growing industry, attracting drug and gun gangs because of softer sentences.

"Migration is big business," he said. "It's become very lucrative and of huge appeal because the potential punishments can be favourable compared to drug and gun running. The associated risks are not seen as big.

"All kinds of people will be getting involved along the lines." ...

The Home Office confirmed it was stepping up efforts to bring the crisis under control, saying border officers had disrupted over 170 organised crime groups involved in organised immigration crime last year. ...

On Thursday, a Liverpool-based alleged mastermind of one of Europe's largest people-smuggling appeared before magistrates.

Jamal Owda, 26, helped tens of thousands of Syrians enter the continent via Greece, a court was told.

Police found evidence the operation made profits of at least £7 million.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – crime, people-smuggling
'Ringleader' of smuggling gang bringing 70,000 migrants to UK & EU arrested in Britain
Leda Reynolds
Daily Express, 3 December 2015

A man living in Britain is suspected to be the criminal mastermind behind a (£7 million) €10 million people smuggling ring bringing up to 70,000 Syrians into the UK and Europe.

Jamal Owda was arrested in a Liverpool refugee shelter on suspicion of being one of 23 people involved in an international migrant smuggling network.

The National Crime Agency swooped on the 26-year-old Palestinian national in the hostel in Sephton Park, Liverpool, as part of a series of simultaneous raids across Europe organised by Europol.

He is alleged to be the ringleader of a gang responsible for smuggling 100 migrants into western Europe EVERY DAY since 2013. ...

Other suspects were detained in police operations in Greece, Austria and Sweden, and included mainly Syrians and Greeks.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – asylum seeker
No one's checking: Shambolic immigration fooled by false address given by asylum seeker
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 24 November 2015

Britain's shambolic immigration system has been highlighted by a case where officials failed to spot that an asylum seeker had given a false address - and when the real homeowner tried to alert the Government, he hit a brick wall.

Tom Mulcahy repeatedly returned official letters addressed to a Bangladeshi woman saying she did not live there but they kept coming.

He finally opened one in a bid to halt the unwanted mail and discovered the woman had lied to immigration officials and used his address to claim the right to stay in the UK.

But when he tried to call a Home Office helpline to warn them of the deception no one would answer the phone.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – fake Syrian passports
There's a booming black market for fake Syrian passports
Elahe Izadi
Washington Post, 21 November 2015

The terrorist who blew himself up outside the Stade de France had fingerprints matching that of a man who arrived on European shores Oct. 3 alongside desperate migrants who had crossed over from Turkey, according to French and Greek officials.

But the Syrian passport found near his body, which quickly sparked a political debate in Europe and the United States? It was a fake.

Fraudulent Syrian passports are nothing new on the migratory route from Turkey through Europe. Indeed, German officials this year estimated that nearly a third of asylum seekers falsely claimed they were Syrian.

That's because a Syrian passport has become a valuable item, as European nations have pledged to grant asylum to refugees from the Middle Eastern nation. ...

The head of European border agency Frontex Fabrice Leggeri said such individuals have come to view Syrian passports as a ticket to the European Union. ...

The Frontex head, Leggeri, said in September that there hadn't been any evidence yet that potential terrorists were using fraudulent Syrian passports to enter Europe.

But the fear of militants using fake documents to enter Europe has become among the most pressing concerns of the refugee crisis.

"It is obvious now," Bernard Squarcini, the former chief of French intelligence, told The Post's Anthony Faiola this week. "Amongst the migrants, there are some terrorists."
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – fake passports, Europe
The Syrian passports to terror: EIGHT migrants have got into Europe with same papers as those found on stadium suicide bomber
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 18 November 2015

The full scale of the trade in false passports that allows terrorists to slip into Europe was exposed last night.

It lets Islamic State fanatics who are bent on murder pose as refugees fleeing war and persecution.

Eight migrants have reached Europe using documents almost identical to those carried by one of the Paris suicide bombers.

He claimed asylum on the Greek island of Leros last month with a fake Syrian passport in the name of 25-year-old Ahmad Almohammad.

In a shocking indictment of the EU's porous borders, yesterday Serbian police revealed they had arrested a man carrying a Syrian passport which was almost a carbon copy of the one found on the IS bomber's corpse on Friday.

It had the same name, date of birth and place of birth. The only difference was the photograph. Serbian officials said as many as six other men this year had entered the EU with virtually identical passports.

The discovery has heightened fears that all the documents are fakes made by the same forger in the Middle East to dupe authorities into believing the holders are asylum seekers. ...

Lord Green of Deddington, the chairman of campaign group Migrationwatch, said: 'This underlines the extent to which the southern borders of the EU is now wide open to fraud. It will take a huge operation to recover any controls worth the name. Meanwhile, the security risks of people carrying bogus passports around Europe speaks for itself.' ...

In another indication of the lack of passport controls, the EU border agency Frontex revealed it does not have the equipment to assess the authenticity of identification documents of every migrant landing in Greece.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – fake passports, Europe
How easy is it to buy a fake Syrian passport?
Fazel Hawramy, Phoebe Greenwood, Milan Dinic and Patrick Kingsley
The Guardian, 18 November 2015

Forgers in the Middle East are offering fake Syrian passports for as little as $250, days after it emerged that one of the Paris bombers may have entered Europe using false Syrian paperwork. ...

As the United Nations warned on Tuesday against scapegoating refugees for Friday's attacks in Paris, a backlash nevertheless gained momentum with the news that up to eight people allegedly entered Europe using similar passport details as one of the Paris bombers. The EU border agency revealed that it does not have the equipment to assess the authenticity of people's identification documents in all of the Greek islands.

A Guardian journalist in Iraqi Kurdistan was offered fake Syrian passports by two separate smuggling rings, less than a week after French authorities alleged that a terrorist used a similar forgery to enter the Greek island of Leros, before taking part in an attack on the Stade de France in Paris.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – European Union
800,000 'illegal entries' to EU in 2015: border agency chief
EUbusiness, 4 November 2015

Migrants have made some 800,000 "illegal entries" to the European Union so far this year, the head of the bloc's border agency Frontex said in an interview with German newspaper Bild published Wednesday.

Warning that the influx of migrants has probably not yet "reached its peak", Fabrice Leggeri called for European states to detain unsuccessful asylum seekers so they can be "rapidly" sent back to their countries of origin.

"EU states must prepare for the fact that we still have a very difficult situation ahead of us in the coming months," added Leggeri.

Last month, Frontex said that 710,000 migrants had entered the EU in the first nine months of the year but cautioned that many people had been counted twice.

The agency said on October 13 that "irregular border crossings may be attempted by the same person several times".

"This means that a large number of the people who were counted when they arrived in Greece were again counted when entering the EU for the second time through Hungary or Croatia," explained the agency.

According to the most recent figures from the UN refugee agency, more than 744,000 people have made the perilous journey across the Mediterranean this year, the majority to Greece.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – Europe
Tony Abbott tells European leaders to turn back asylum seekers or risk 'catastrophic error'
Melissa Clarke
ABC [Australia], 28 October 2015

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has used a speech in London to call on European leaders to close their borders to asylum seekers or risk imperilling their nations. ...

He urged regional leaders to act by "turning around boats [and] denying entry at the border for people with no right to come".

"It will require some force, it will require massive logistics and expense; it will gnaw at our consciences," Mr Abbott said.

"Yet it is the only way to prevent a tide of humanity surging through Europe and quite possibly changing it forever."

He outlined his concern that "misguided altruism" was "...leading much of Europe into catastrophic error".

"No country or continent can open its borders to all comers without fundamentally weakening itself," he said.

He cautioned, "too much mercy for some necessarily undermines justice for all".
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – Cyprus, Britain
Migrants' back door into Britain: As refugees land at RAF base in Cyprus, MPs warn it could be new stepping stone to UK
Larisa Brown and Inderdeep Bains
Daily Mail, 23 October 2015

A British military base could be used as a 'Trojan horse' by a flood of illegal migrants seeking a back door into Britain, MPs warned last night.

Ministers said they feared RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus could become a refugee camp as the migrant crisis escalates.

More than 100 refugees who landed at the base in two boats on Wednesday remained there last night as a diplomatic row continued over which country should take responsibility for them.

British taxpayers could be forced to foot the bill to house, feed and provide medical assistance for months – or even years if the migrants choose not to claim asylum and are not sent home. ...

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said he would not allow a new route to open up to Britain – but Cypriot officials said they did not have to accept any asylum seekers who arrive on British soil.

The row came as it emerged that:

. Military officials raised concerns weeks ago that RAF Akrotiri could become a target for migrant boats wanting to gain asylum in Britain – but there was no plan in how to deal with them;

. Twenty-one refugees who landed at the base 17 years ago and remain on British territory have been able to claim 70 euros a week in benefits – costing British taxpayers about £1million;

. The 21 – Iraqi and Syrian Kurds who have been given free housing and medical care – are fighting a legal battle to come to the UK, which could set a precedent for thousands more to follow. Defence sources said they had remained on UK soil as they were 'milking the system' and 'didn't want to work'; ...

Last night there were fears that the ease at which refugees can reach British territory – and UK benefits – could spark a huge new influx.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – tenants
'Right to Rent' scheme tracks down more than 100 illegal immigrants
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 21 October 2015

More than 100 illegal immigrants were tracked down by a pilot scheme which required landlords to check up on their tenants, it has emerged, as ministers announced the scheme will go nationwide.

The programme – which allows landlords to be fined up to £3,000 if they fail to carry out checks on potential tenants before letting out a property – will roll out across England from February.

The Home Office said a six-month pilot of the "Right to Rent" programme led to 63 illegal immigrants being identified who officials had never previously encountered.

Another 46 were also located who had disappeared after being previously identified previously by immigration teams.

Of the 109, nine have already been removed from Britain and five are pending removal, for example in a detention centre or through the assisted voluntary returns process, which offers money and other benefits to go home.

Another 40 cases are being "progressed", 28 had "outstanding cases such as asylum applications" and nine were granted leave to stay in the UK.

Another nine of the illegal immigrants were ordered to report to immigration enforcement officers "but had failed to do so".

In six cases no action could be taken because of a lack of details provided under the scheme.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – Calais, France
France urged to clear Calais of migrants as notorious Jungle camp DOUBLES in size
Nick Gutteridge
Daily Express, 20 October 2015

France has been urged to completely clear Calais of migrants hoping to reach Britain after it emerged the town's biggest camp has DOUBLED in size.

Eurotunnel bosses said president Francois Hollande should send in police to clear the notorious Jungle II camp, which is now home to more than 6,000 people.

Their dire warning came as one French official admitted his government does "not know what comes next".

The Mayor of Calais, Natacha Bouchart, is so worried she has demanded the French Government provides a permanent army presence in her besieged town. ...

UKIP MEP Mike Hookem said: "The Jungle exists as a camp for people who are planning to break the law by getting illegally into Britain - this wouldn't be allowed for any other crime so why are we allowing it in Calais?

"The camps are dominated by criminal gangs and we know that Islamic State fighters have infiltrated the camps, ready to spread their hatred and violence in Britain.

"On top of that, crime in Calais and other northern towns has gone up, I know from experience that there are guns in these camps and the reports about the sexual abuse of women there is shocking."

And French official Fabienne Buccio admitted: "I do not know what comes next, but 6,000 is the most we can take." ...

There are currently around 750 French police officers stationed in Calais trying to keep the peace, but they are routinely overrun by the sheer numbers of migrants.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – Channel tunnel
Eurotunnel stops trains after hundreds of migrants storm terminal in France
Danny Boyle
Daily Telegraph, 19 October 2015

Cross-Channel travellers from Britain have been hit with long delays after hundreds of migrants stormed the terminal and platforms in France.

Eurotunnel was forced to suspend services in both directions on Monday morning, forcing passengers to wait for almost four hours in Kent. ...

It emerged at the weekend that the number of migrants living in makeshift camps outside Calais has now reached 6,000.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – numbers
UK border FARCE: More than 20,000 illegals arrested after sneaking into Britain
Nick Gutteridge
Sunday Express, 18 October 2015

Britain's border chaos was laid bare today as it emerged that police have arrested more than 20,000 people who successfully smuggled themselves past immigration guards in the last three years alone.

Tens of thousands of migrants are evading feeble security patrols by stowing away in the backs of lorries and cargo containers, with many making it into the heart of England before being discovered.

Overwhelmed cops have arrested an astonishing 20,806 people on suspicion of illegal entry in just three years - enough to fill a town the size of Market Harborough.

But that is just a tiny fraction of the overall number arriving, as most will manage to successfully ghost into the country before disappearing into the untraceable black market.

And the evidence suggests that record numbers could be caught this year, with some areas seeing huge increases in arrests in the first six months of 2015.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – European Union
Britain facing a new £260 MILLION bill from Brussels as part of a deal to get Turkey to stem the flow of migrants into Europe
John Stevens
Daily Mail, 16 October 2015

Britain could face a £260 million bill as part of a deal to get Turkey to stem the flow of migrants into Europe.

European Union officials yesterday reached a provisional agreement with the country that could offer up to 3 billion euros (£2.2bn) of funding.

Eased visa restrictions will also give Turkey's 75 million population immediate access to the EU's border-free Schengen Zone as soon as next year.

In return the country will strengthen its border controls including working more closely with Brussels officials and those in neighbouring Greece.

It will also agree to take back failed asylum seekers deported from the EU after entering from Turkey and eventually give the two million Syrians living in refugee camps there the right to work.

The draft deal, which was agreed in Ankara, will be discussed by EU leaders at a future before it is finalised.

EU leaders have admitted that they need to get the Turkish on side in order to control the migrant crisis.

In the first nine months of this year only 50,000 of the 350,000 people who left Turkey heading for Greece were stopped by Turkish authorities. ...

Last night it was unclear how the 3billion euros would be funded and over what period it would be paid. If it was sourced from general EU funds, Britain would contribute £260 million share.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – border security
UK Border Force chief quizzed over migration crisis
Winnie Agbonlahor
Global Government Forum, 15 October 2015

British border control staff have stopped almost as many attempts by people entering the UK from the French border in three months as it did over the whole previous year, the chief of Britain's Border Force has said.

Sir Charles Montgomery, director-general of the Border Force, said that "in three months between April and July we have already intercepted 30,000 attempts", compared to 40,000 people "we had prevented from making the journey across to the United Kingdom at the end of the last year."

This represents a three-fold increase from an average monthly figure of around 3,300 last year to 10,000 this year.

Vast numbers of migrants and asylum seekers have made their way across the Mediterranean to Europe in 2015, with the International Organization for Migration estimating that more than 350,000 migrants were detected at the EU's borders between January and August 2015, compared with 280,000 detected for the whole of 2014. The figures do not include those who got in undetected.

Speaking during a Home Affairs Select Committee hearing last month on the migration crisis, Montgomery said that the increase in interceptions had been down to "a combination" of more people coming through and Montgomery and his team getting better at their job. ...

Asked by Vaz how many of the 30,000 people had been "'retreads' – people who have tried and therefore come back again", Montgomery said he could not give an accurate figure, because his staff are tasked only to "make these interceptions and to return them to the police and the French authorities." But he added that "we do see on a daily basis, regular reattempts from any one individual."

Vaz also asked Montgomery if he would like to see the system which sees "people, who you have done so much work on, suddenly disappear, presumably to offend again", changed.

Montgomery responded that, "in all these circumstances, I naturally want people who have offended to be brought to justice," but added that this "has not happened so far."
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – cost, border security, Calais, France
Calais migrant crisis costs Britain £100,000 a day – that's £200 MILLION in just five years
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 13 October 2015

Cash-strapped Britain is spending nearly £100,000 a day tackling the migrant crisis in Calais, the Daily Express can reveal.

Official figures show for the first time how securing the besieged port town and surrounding region is proving a huge drain on taxpayers.

Since 2010 almost £200 million has been spent trying to repel those looking to sneak into the UK.

The sum lays bare the scale of the migrant threat just 20 miles off the English coast. ... ...

The outlay includes £7 million on fencing to surround the Eurotunnel terminal, a £2 million upgrade of detection technology and boosting Border Force's dog searching capability by £1 million.

The amount spent over the past five-and-a-half years could have funded 8,000 nurses.

Lured by the prospect of jobs, benefits and free healthcare stowaways were stopped at the border at a rate of 153 a day in the first six months of the year, the Home Office said.

There were 27,755 attempts to sneak into Britain illegally between January and June.

This compares to 12,980 in the first six months of 2014 and 6,238 in 2013.

It means the number risking their lives for the chance of a new start jumped 350 per cent in just two years. ...

But the true scale of the burden on the public purse emerged after the Conservatives' Lord (John) Patten demanded to know the cost of the British commitment in northern France.

In response, Home Office Minister Lord Bates said: "Since 2010 the Government has spent £196 million in Calais and the surrounding locations to secure the border, which includes day-to-day activity such as carrying out passport checks on all passengers, searching for illicit goods, as well as stopping and deterring illegal migration.

"Part of this figure includes the recent investment to reinforce security through infrastructure improvements at Border Force's controls in northern France."
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – people smugglers
Chinese network of people smugglers dismantled with Europol's support
Europol, 12 October 2015

Eighty-nine arrests have been made in a coordinated operation led by the Spanish National Police and supported by Europol. Operation 'TIJA' targeted a Chinese organised crime group specialised in smuggling people into Spain, as a transit country on the way to the UK, Ireland, Canada and the United States of America by using forged identity documents or travel documents belonging to someone else. ...

After a preliminary investigation, Spanish law enforcement officers uncovered a very active organised group of Chinese and Pakistani criminals based in Barcelona. Having first smuggled the migrants into Spain, the facilitators lodged them in safe houses until the next stage of the journey was arranged (booking the flight, receiving the travel documents from China). Once in Spain, the migrants were provided with various options to illegally enter their favoured destination country: land routes through Turkey and Greece, direct or indirect flights, and ferries.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration
How 150 migrants try to sneak into Britain EACH DAY
Giles Shelrick
Daily Express, 10 October 2015

As many as 150 migrants are being caught each day trying to sneak into Britain, figures show.

Thousands of immigrants, lured by jobs, benefits and healthcare, are massed along the French coast in record numbers. Latest figures obtained by the Daily Express show 27,755 attempts to enter Britain illegally were stopped between January and June this year.

This compares with 12,980 in the first six months of 2014 and 6,238 in 2013. In only two years, the numbers have risen by almost 350 per cent. Critics said last night the Home Office statistics proved the EU's "open door policy" had produced a crisis that was out of control.

The border figures emerged as it was revealed that the number of migrants arriving on Greek islands near Turkey had surged to about 7,000 a day over the past week.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – Turkey, Greece
Watch: How Smugglers Are Profiting From the Migrant Crisis
Francesca Trianni and Simon Shuster
Time, 8 October 2015

Nothing quite captures the scale of this summer's migration crisis in Europe like the fields of deflated boats and life jackets scattered along the eastern islands of Greece. The beaches where tourists would normally sunbathe are practically coated with these items, sometimes stacked in mounds that could fill an Olympic swimming pool. Stare at them long enough and it's hard to avoid an unsettling thought: someone is making a fortune on selling these things.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – deportation, European Union
EU pledges fast removal of failed asylum-seekers
Associated Press, 8 October 2015

The European Union has committed to speeding up and intensifying the deportation of people who do not qualify for asylum.

A statement of the meetings said: "Increased return rates should act as a deterrent to irregular migration."

A meeting of EU interior ministers agreed that the Frontex border agency set would start the organization of return flights and promised more staff for the organization to deal with the crisis.

It said detention could be used as a measure of last resort to make sure failed applicants actually go back and insisted enough pre-departure detention centers should be available.

At the same time most member states backed proposals to reinforce the EU's porous external borders.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – amnesty
Boris Johnson calls for UK illegal immigrants amnesty
Alix Culbertson
Daily Express, 8 October 2015

Boris Johnson is calling for an amnesty for illegal immigrants who have been in Britain for more than 12 years.

The London mayor revealed he is "pro-immigration" and said it was a "shame" illegal migrants can only earn money on the black market as they then cannot pay taxes. ...

He told LBC radio: "I'm the great-grandson of Turkish immigrants - where would my family be if London hadn't given sanctuary to my great-grandfather?

"So I'm totally in favour of people being able to make their lives in another country."

But he admitted concerns over the number of illegal immigrants coming to Britain were warranted and he had "sympathy" with "some of the things" Home Secretary Theresa May said following her warning about the dangers of mass migration. ...

He suggested the idea of an amnesty for illegal immigrants in 2008 and reiterated yesterday it was "not a bad idea" after estimating there were up to 750,000 illegal migrants in the UK - with 500,000 in London alone. ...

Criticising the Government, he said there was an "inertia on our ability" to deport illegal migrants and it is impossible for the Home Office to restrain numbers from the EU.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – identity cards
Identity cards can solve Britain's migrant crisis
Leah Fisher
Shout Out UK, 8 October 2015

The world is currently facing an immigration crisis with economic migrants. Every day, thousands of people are risking their lives by escaping from places like Africa in a bid to secure a better future within the European Union. ... ...

... Something must be done to stop economically driven migrants from settling in the UK illegally.

First and foremost, immediate assistance must be given to African countries to help them become more prosperous. This will then create less of a need for individuals to enter the UK for economic purposes.

However, this does not address the problem currently facing the UK. In 2006, the Identity Cards Act was passed but subsequently repealed. Ten years on, I suggest that the notion of identity cards should be revisited.

There are many advantages to identity cards, namely helping to identify illegal immigrants more efficiently and discouraging people from illegally entering the UK.

According to some human rights lawyers, identity cards are a violation of human rights, particularly Article 8 (right to a private life) and Article 14 (right to non-discrimination) of the European Court of Human Rights. However, identity cards are fairer than the introduction of strict laws, many of which have caused the government to be labelled as acting in a 'morally reprehensible way'.

Identity cards do not violate human rights. Regarding Article 8, identity cards do not present an invasion of privacy. Although information in the UK is not stored in one place, the state has the power to obtain all of our information. An identity card would not provide the state with any information it does not already have access to. Therefore, there is no actual invasion of any privacy, as there is no privacy to be invaded. ...

Regarding Article 14, discrimination will not occur if sufficient safeguards are put in place and identity cards are used for their correct purpose. If a person is illegally in the UK for pure economic reasons, it would not be a violation of human rights to remove them from the country and identity cards will help spot such illegal immigrants.

Of course technical details would need to be carefully discussed before such a scheme is implemented, but logically identity cards could solve a number of current issues. Other countries work well using identity cards and so there is no reason why the UK should not follow suit.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – economic migrants, not refugees, Calais, France
UK charity considers cutting off aid for the 'Jungle' at Calais after visiting the camp and deciding most migrants had no real reason to leave their home country
Chris Brooke and Peter Allen
Daily Mail, 7 October 2015

A crisis relief charity chief is set to pull the plug on aid to the Calais 'Jungle' camp after discovering most people there are economic migrants 'without any reason' to leave their home country.

The Bradford-based Human Relief Foundation has been running a project to help the 'refugees' at the makeshift camp and previously claimed they were all 'fleeing war and significant atrocities.'

But a visit by a team led by Kassim Tokan, the HRF deputy chief executive, discovered a totally different picture on the ground, with unwanted clothing and food being 'dumped and burnt' by the migrants.

Instead of vulnerable families fighting for survival he found the camp – dubbed the Jungle – was '95 to 97 per cent' adult men.

The discovery has prompted the charity – which sends relief aid to people in desperate need around the world – to change its aid policy in respect of the Calais camp where around 4,000 people are living. ...

Interviewed by ITV's Calendar News, Mr Tokan admitted he was surprised by what he found. Asked if his charity would withdraw support for the camp's inhabitants, he said: 'Most likely, yes.'

He said it would be better to help people in genuine need in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey rather than 'healthy people here.'

The charity's own 'Path of Mercy' project stated on its website that 'most of the refugees in the camp are highly vulnerable people' fleeing war. Adding: 'Due to the conflict, many people have faced and continue to face injury, disability, torture, starvation, neglect and poor mental health.'

However, after inspecting conditions at the Calais camp and being shown around by an aid staff on site, Mr Tokan came to a very different conclusion.

Mr Tokan, who heads the international charity's global orphan and family programmes, said many migrants in Calais had no 'valid' reason for going to the UK and should have stayed at home. ...

Politicians and other commentators on both sides of the Channel have long argued that the illegal Calais camps are mainly populated by economic migrants.

France's former employment minister Xavier Bertrand is one of many who said Britain's 'black jobs market' was the goal of the mostly young men with mobile phones, rather than desperate families fleeing war and persecution.

A volunteer aid worker attached to one of the major charities working in Calais told the Mail yesterday that the migrants were primarily interested in getting hold of 'phones, cash and any practical equipment which will make their journeys to Britain easier'. ...

The Human Relief Foundations has offices in eight locations around the world. It is a member of the Muslim Charities Forum and has an annual income of around £3m a year.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – euphemisms, Europe, USA
Euphemism du Jour: "Spontaneous Arrivals"
Mark Krikorian
Center for Immigration Studies, 6 October 2015

An indication of the unpopularity of the anti-borders position is the ubiquity of euphemism. Immigration being an Up vs. Down issue, rather than the conventional Right vs. Left, anti-borders elites have to use their cultural sway to transform even the utterance of certain ungood words into crimethink.

For example, the National Council of La Raza concluded from focus-group research that Mexican President Vicente Fox should avoid the word "amnesty" during his September 2001 visit to Washington to confer with President Bush about their joint push for amnesty. The replacements they suggested to him for the normal, universally used word for letting illegal immigrants stay were "regularization" or "legalization." Other euphemisms used over the years have been "normalization," "earned adjustment," and "comprehensive immigration reform."

Likewise with "illegal alien." Jimmy Carter's INS director, Leonel Castillo, mainstreamed the adjective "undocumented" to replace "illegal" regarding aliens. Now even "illegal immigrant" is verboten in the Legacy Media. The AP stylebook entry on the subject says, in part, "use illegal only to refer to an action, not a person: illegal immigration, but not illegal immigrant."

Now, even "illegal immigration" is being stigmatized. The new euphemism out of Europe is "spontaneous arrival," as in "The [UK] government has gone to great lengths to reduce spontaneous arrivals, such as spending millions on fences and sniffer dogs at the French port of Calais." I haven't seen it used yet with regard to the United States in the general-interest media, but you'll know the euphemism has arrived if and when Josh Earnest refers to the Central American illegal aliens still being waved across the border into South Texas as "spontaneous arrivals from Central America."

Confucius says: "If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things." Amen, brother.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – fake Syrian passports
People smugglers using Facebook to sell fake Syrian passports to economic migrants
Gordon Rayner
Daily Telegraph, 22 September 2015

Migrants from north Africa and the Middle East are using fake Syrian passports bought via Facebook to pose as refugees and enter Europe, The Telegraph can disclose.

Thousands of fraudulent documents are in circulation in Turkey and other migration routes into the EU, which the head of Europe's border police described as a "windfall" for economic migrants.

An undercover Telegraph reporter posing as an Egyptian migrant called a number left on an Arabic language Facebook site and spoke to a people-smuggler who offered to arrange fake Syrian documents for £1,000, with passage from Turkey to Greece costing another £800.

It comes after German police arrested a Moroccan-born Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) jihadist using fake papers to pose as an asylum-seeker.

Genuine Syrian asylum seekers fleeing the civil war in their country are angry that people from Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Egypt and other countries are passing themselves off as Syrians because they think it will give them a free pass into Europe.

The Arabic language version of Twitter even has an "expose fake Syrians" hashtag, which is one of the most popular trending topics in Syria.

The most recent EU figures show that only one in five migrants is Syrian, but at some border crossings it has been reported that up to 90 per cent of those entering Europe claim to be from Syria.

Fabrice Leggeri, the executive director of Frontex, the EU's external border agency, said: "There are people who are now in Turkey, buying false Syrian passports because they have obviously realized that it is a windfall since Syrians get asylum in all member states in the European Union.

"People who use false Syrian passports often speak in Arabic. They may originate in North Africa or the Middle East, but have the profile of economic migrants."

In Bulgaria 10,000 fake Syrian passports have been seized, which is likely to be only a fraction of those in circulation elsewhere.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – Syrians, safe havens
Our moral duty to the migrants is to make Syria safe to live in again
Boris Johnson
Daily Telegraph, 21 September 2015

If there is one lesson from the European migrant crisis, it is that there is absolutely nothing – once they have decided to come – that will hold them back. ...

Nothing we say or do can seemingly deter those brave souls who have decided to come in search of safety or simply a better life. Whatever the EU policy is – and it is far from clear – you could hardly say it was working. ...

Croatia has taken 21,000 in the last four days. We are seeing the biggest movement of peoples in our lifetime, and we have no way of knowing how many more will come. ...

... The Prime Minister has announced a plan to take 20,000; and it is possible at once to admire the Christian compassion of Angela Merkel, and at the same time to think that by posing as a teutonic version of the statue of Liberty, and by holding out her arms in welcome to the huddled masses of the Middle East, she has exacerbated a very serious financial, logistical and political problem for everyone. ...

It is time we came up with a plan to staunch this haemorrhage of humanity, this flow of energy and talent that is bleeding Syria of any future economic strength; and that means trying to heal the wound itself. The world should look again at an idea that has was proposed 18 months ago at least by the Turks, kicked around by the British, and filed by the Americans in the box marked "too difficult". We need to think how we can keep the Syrians safely in Syria, and the proposal – most recently articulated by former development secretary Andrew Mitchell MP – is for "safe havens".

The idea has on the face of it much to be commended. You create an area of Syria that is safe from both sides of this horrific civil war: an enclave where kids can go to school, and where people can go about peaceful economic activity. You use overwhelming military force to protect the zone – funded and administered through the UN – and you ensure that it cannot be overflown by Assad or anyone else. The beauty of the proposal is that it gives displaced Syrians a place of refuge that is not some miserable foreign camp, but part of their own country; a place they can stay, and work, until peace eventually returns.

Two such zones have been identified, one in the north, near the border with Turkey, and one in the south, nearer Jordan. The difficulties, needless to say, are immense. First, you have to create such zones – and that cannot be done by air power alone. You need to invest each area with ground troops, and then you need to hold that ground; and inevitably there will be fears – reasonable fears – that you are being sucked into an Iraq-like quagmire that will prove hideously expensive in cash and in human life. ...

... If we don't help keep them there, they will simply try to come here.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – Syrian migrants, EU
Four out of five migrants are NOT from Syria: EU figures expose the 'lie' that the majority of refugees are fleeing war zone
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 19 September 2015

Only one in every five migrants claiming asylum in Europe is from Syria.

The EU logged 213,000 arrivals in April, May and June but only 44,000 of them were fleeing the Syrian civil war.

Campaigners and left-wing MPs have suggested the vast majority of migrants are from the war-torn state, accusing the Government of doing too little to help them.

'This exposes the lie peddled in some quarters that vast numbers of those reaching Europe are from Syria,' said David Davies, Tory MP for Monmouth. 'Most people who are escaping the war will go to camps in Lebanon or Jordan.

'Many of those who have opted to risk their lives to come to Europe have done so for economic reasons.'

Sir Bill Cash, a fellow Tory, said: 'These figures make extremely disturbing reading. The whole argument has been made that this influx is all real refugees from Syria whereas this adds to the substantial evidence that there are a large number of economic migrants who are aiming for a better life.'

The figures from Eurostat, the EU's official statistical agency, show that migration from April to June was running at double the level of the same period in 2014.

The number of Afghans lodging asylum claims is up four-fold, from 6,300 to 27,000. Another 17,700 claims were made by Albanians, whose country is at peace.

A further 13,900 applicants came from Iraq which, like Syria, is being torn apart by the Islamic State terror group. ...

More than 250,000 migrants have reached Greece and Italy, where the authorities are close to breaking point.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel fuelled the chaos last month by declaring that any Syrian who reached the country could claim asylum.

When the numbers became uncontrollable Berlin shut its borders, throwing Austria, Hungary and other EU countries into turmoil.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – Hungary, European Union
35 MILLION migrants heading to Europe, says Hungary as it builds second fence
Rob Virtue and Agnes Kegl
Daily Express, 19 September 2015

Shock estimates predict up to 35 MILLION refugees could head for Europe due to hugely unstable situations across the world.

The huge figure was revealed today by Hungary's minister for foreign affairs and trade Peter Szijjártó.

Speaking as the country begins work on its second fence to stop migrants heading across its border he predicted the current crisis will continue for years.

Mr Szijjártó told the Hungarian Times: "The name of the fence is 'Temporary Security Border Fence' but I think there is no question that in this case temporary means years.

"It's a self delusion to call this situation a migration crisis; it is a massive migration of nations, with inexhaustible reserves.

"I don't think that the analysis results, stating that 30-35 million people out there could possibly become migrants, would be an exaggeration.

"Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are all countries with a huge population and an extremely unstable situation." ...

"The European Union just realised what the Schengen border means.

"If we want to keep the freedom of movement in the European Union, we have to protect the outer borders.'
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – penalties
Illegal migrants in UK face jail if caught driving
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 18 September 2015

People who drive a car while they are in Britain illegally face being jailed and having their vehicle seized under powers included in the government's latest immigration bill.

Most of the measures in the legislation, published on Thursday, are designed to create "a hostile environment" for migrants who are in Britain unlawfully and have already been strongly trailed by ministers since the general election. The Commons second reading of the bill is scheduled for 13 October, shortly after the Conservative party conference.

The provisions of the bill include creating a new offence of illegal working, extending the scheme requiring landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants, making it easier to evict undocumented migrants and requiring banks and building societies to regularly check the status of their account holders.

The new offence of driving while unlawfully in the UK will carry a maximum sentence of six months in prison and an unlimited fine in England and Wales.

"Anyone arrested for the new offence could have their car impounded and, if convicted, forfeited. Immigration enforcement officers will have new powers to search individuals and properties and seize driving licences if they suspect someone to be here illegally," said a Home Office spokesman.

The published bill includes detailed measures to withdraw support from refused asylum seekers and to introduce powers to electronically tag those refused immigration bail.

They also include higher penalties for those who employ illegal migrants, a new skills levy on business who recruit staff from outside Europe and a new role of director of labour market enforcement.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – fake Syrian passports
PASSPORT TO TERROR: MailOnline reporter buys Syrian papers being sold to ISIS fighters sneaking into Europe hidden among refugees
Nick Fagge
MailOnline, 17 September 2015

ISIS fighters and economic migrants are able to buy Syrian identity documents that allow them to hide among refugees travelling to Europe with frightening ease, an investigation by MailOnline can reveal.

Our reporter was able to buy a Syrian passport, identity card and driving licence from a fraudster in a Turkish border town this week.

The genuine documents were stolen from Syria when they were blank. The forger added our reporter's picture and gave him the identity of a Syrian man from Aleppo killed last year.

The documents, on sale for around $2,000, would help an asylum claim in Europe.

The forger who sold us the papers, said that they are being used by ISIS fanatics to travel undetected across borders into Europe hidden among tens of thousands of genuine refugees fleeing the terror and destruction. ...

The bogus papers are also being used by economic migrants from other Middle Eastern states who know that a Syrian asylum claim will be met with more sympathy following the civil war which has so far forced an estimated four million people to flee. ...

The passport book MailOnline acquired is genuine, made from a batch seized from one of the many Syrian government offices captured by advancing opposition forces.

The forger explained that the militias fighting the forces of Assad make a beeline for government offices when they over-run a town. They know the value of the documents there and steal the passports, papers and even the printers that are used to create identity cards and driving licences. ...

He went on: 'Everyone wants to be Syrian now – because now everyone welcomes Syrians. There are Palestinians, Egyptians, Iraqis, people from all over the Arab world who are pretending to be Syrian so they can have a new life in Europe.

'ISIS fighters are among the people going to Europe in this way. They are going to wait for the right time to become a fighter for ISIS again.'

Alarm bells began to ring as to the scale of the problem earlier this month when German customs officers seized packages containing a large number of blank Syrian passports. The packages contained both genuine and fake passport books.

Frontex, the EU border agency, has reported an increase in the seizure of Syrian passports for sale although they admit they as yet have no idea of the size of the problem. ...

'[Syrian passports] are found in the hands of Iraqis and Palestinians. There is also a rising phenomenon of migrants from Algeria, Egypt or Morocco claiming falsely to be of Syrian nationality.' ...

The manufacture of passports and identity documents by forgers began innocently following the collapse of Assad's Syrian regime, when many citizens lost their official papers in the chaos and society broke down.

But this 'public service' has been hijacked by unscrupulous criminals who will sell anyone the documents to claim they are Syrian. ...

Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Home Affairs committee told MailOnline the revelations were 'deeply disturbing'.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – asylum seekers, Europe
Five new reflections on Europe's migrant crisis
Mark Urban
BBC, 17 September 2015

I'm just back from reporting on the European migration crisis in Berlin. In my last blog I offered some initial impressions from my time there. Here are a few more.

Syrians are a small minority of those seeking refuge in Germany

While the tragedy of those fleeing Syria's terrible civil war has caught the popular imagination, such people formed just 20.1% of those seeking asylum in Germany from January to August 2015.

If you add together the Balkan arrivals (from Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, and Macedonia) they amount to twice that, 40.2%. The figures for those granted refuge are quite different because many of the applications from Balkan countries are rejected.

It's hard to avoid the conclusion that tens of thousands of people from relatively peaceful countries have joined the trek to Germany, which is seen as one of the most desirable places in Europe to live.

To put it more bluntly: they are taking advantage of and increasing this crisis. Statistics /.../ compiled by the German authorities show that while the number of Syrians went up by 177% during the first nine months of 2015 (compared with the same period last year), the rise from Albania was 631%. ...

The flows are already shifting

While many people have argued that fences "will never work", the early signs are that Mr Orban's policy of sealing the Hungarian-Serbian border is already having the effect he wanted. It channels people to registration areas (from where they can continue to Germany or elsewhere) and dissuades others from trying to cross. ...

Bavarian police told me last week about how dynamic in their use of social media and phone the new arrivals were, in terms of seeking the best routes to use. But their ability to bypass Hungary will become limited as other EU countries beef up controls. ...

The most desperate may avoid Europe

One of the most shocking aspects of the Syrian story is the degree to which donor countries have reduced aid to the refugee camps or failed to keep pace with the growing numbers in them.

Food aid for refugee camps in Jordan has therefore been halved recently and many who live in rented accommodation away from camps now no longer get it at all. ...

We know already that the trip to Germany via the Greek islands or Italy is often very expensive. ... ...

So what's happening now?

Firstly, thousands of refugees are returning to Syria - aid agencies say the numbers doing that have doubled in recent months. Secondly, people are trying to find cheaper ways to Europe.

Reports this week suggest large numbers of people in Erdine and Istanbul bus stations seeking to travel towards Bulgaria. This is a way of avoiding the costly Mediterranean crossing (and also, potentially, Hungary's fence).
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – asylum, violence
Migrants flee incomprehensible violence but are they victims or perpetrators?
Daily Express, 16 September 2015

Brutal fighters from some of the world's most fearsome regimes are among the hundreds of thousands of migrants entering Europe, with many hoping to reach Britain, ...

The armies of migrants massing on the shores of Europe and in the Calais Jungle after travelling thousands of miles in the determined hope of reaching 'El Dorado' Britain hail largely from violent, dysfunctional nations in east Africa and the Middle East.

The recent histories of these nations are defined by levels of murderous violence which are difficult to properly comprehend. ...

Huge numbers of Eritreans recruited to fight for their Government's totalitarian rule, as well as Somalians who have been forced as children to fight for Al Shabaab are among those now hoping to seek asylum in Europe.

Pope Francis became the latest high profile person to express fears Islamist militants are using the European migrant crisis as a gateway to smuggle thousands of extremists into the continent. ...

Indeed, without details of the identities of these men it is almost impossible to discern if they are fleeing victims or the men behind the very atrocities Britain is providing succour from.

Already many Syrians and charities revealed many migrants are faking being Syrian to try to be accepted as refugees. ...

The latest revelations, from charity Human Rights Watch, prove soldiers are among the desperate families fleeing the very wars they were a part of.

Judith Sunderland, associate director of Human Rights Watch's Europe and Central Asia division, told "There are a lot of people who have fled military service. We have spoken to a lot of people who have escaped before they were recruited and people who have served a certain amount of time, sometimes two years, who have escaped.

"We have asked a lot of questions about their time in military service and pretty awful stories confirm research we have done in the past.

"There are really awful conditions, they are punished for nothing at all, or very little."

Two thirds of the migrants arriving in Europe are from Eritrea, Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan, according to the watchdog. ...

Out of the 5,000 migrants who have made daily attempts to reach Britain from Calais, the majority of from Eritrea.

And, in recent times, the soldiers of many of these countries are guilty of carrying out the most unspeakably evil atrocities – from the use of mass rape as a weapon of war to the dropping of barrel bombs to cause severe injury to thousands of civilians.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – Europe
Sky Finds 'Handbook' For EU-Bound Migrants
LBC, 13 September 2015

Refugees heading to Greece on people smugglers' boats are given a 'migrants handbook' packed with tips, maps, phone numbers and advice about getting across Europe.

Among discarded life jackets and punctured rubber dinghies, Sky News discovered a tattered copy of the unique travel guide washed up on a beach on the Greek island of Lesbos. ...

The 'rough guide' is written in Arabic and contains phone numbers of organisations which might help refugees making the journey, such as the Red Cross and UNHCR.

Among those behind the booklet is an organisation called w2eu, which means 'Welcome To Europe'.

Sonia, who did not want to give her surname, is a volunteer with w2eu and told Sky News: "Activists from our network distribute the guides for free in Turkey". ...

Arabic speaker Sonia takes calls from her home in Austria and is one of a number of volunteers.

"We are a big group of about 100 people" she said. "We are based across Europe and North Africa."

The pocket-sized guide has a handy map of Europe detailing the areas boats tend to land in. ...

W2eu's website says "We welcome all travellers on their difficult trip and wish you all a good journey - because freedom of movement is everybody's right!".
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – refugees, Europe
Hungary PM slams migrant 'rebellion', U.N. warns of millions more refugees
Krisztina Than and Stephanie Nebehay
Reuters, 12 September 2015

Hungary's prime minister angrily accused illegal migrants on Friday of "rebelling" against the rule of law in his country as security forces across Europe struggled to control record flows of hungry, scared refugees.

The United Nations called for the swift creation of large-scale reception centres in frontline states such as Hungary and Greece, and one U.N. agency warned that millions more refugees could arrive in Europe if Syria's civil war continues to rage.

Many of the tens of thousands of refugees now trekking from Greece via the Balkans and Hungary towards western Europe are fleeing the Syrian war in search of sanctuary, above all in more welcoming and generous countries such as Germany and Sweden.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said his country, which expects to take in 800,000 asylum seekers this year alone, had finite resources and urged other European countries to do much more to share the burden.

He said Germany expected to receive another 40,000 migrants this weekend. And as politicians from the left and right accused Chancellor Angela Merkel's government of losing control of the refugee situation, the defence ministry put 4,000 troops on standby to help with the influx.

Hungary is racing to construct a fence along its border with Serbia by early October to help stem the tide. It also plans to implement much tougher immigration rules from next week.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a fiery populist who has framed the crisis as a battle to preserve Europe's prosperity and "Christian identity", angrily criticised the behaviour of the mostly Muslim migrants who have been filling up central Budapest and disrupting traffic along roads running westward to Austria.

"They seized railway stations, rejected giving fingerprints, failed to cooperate and are unwilling to go to places where they would get food, water, accommodation and medical care ... They rebelled against Hungarian legal order," Orban told reporters.

"From the 15th, Hungarian authorities will not forgive illegal border crossings," he said.

More than 170,000 migrants have crossed into Hungary from non-EU Serbia so far this year. Many try to avoid being registered in Hungary for fear of being stranded there or returned to the country later in their journey across Europe. ...

Syria's four-year civil war has so far displaced almost eight million people, said Peter Salama of UNICEF, the U.N. childrens' agency, adding: "There could be millions and millions more refugees leaving Syria and ultimately (going) to the European Union and beyond."

So far this year, a record 433,000 refugees and migrants have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe, more than double the total for all of 2014, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Friday.

The European Commission, backed by Germany and France, wants EU member states to accept mandatory quotas to share out some 160,000 refugees but the plan faces stiff resistance in some capitals. On Friday the UNHCR said the number of people requiring relocation had now risen to 200,000. ...

Germany has come under fire from Orban and other east European leaders for opening its door to Syrian asylum seekers, saying such generosity will only encourage many more to come.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – Syrian passports
Alarm as Syria sells 10,000 passports with few questions asked
Anil Dawar
Daily Express, 11 September 2015

Fears that terrorists and economic migrants could be entering EU posing as refugees have been raised after Syria issued 10,000 passports in just one month through its embassy in Jordan.

Lax new rules handed down from Damascus allows passports to be issued abroad with virtually no checks for just £250.

Experts said the system, which allows Syrian citizens abroad to get passports without referring their applications to the country's central immigration control, could be abused by terrorists and people smugglers.

News of the staggering numbers being issued without proper checks comes amid warnings about the growing illegal trade in the documents fuelled by German and Swedish pledges to house any refugees from Syria. ...

The new measures, designed to raise badly needed foreign currency for Syria's beleaguered Assad regime, came into force this summer.

A document sent to all Syrian embassies in April raised the spectre of mass fraud by non-Syrians by appearing to show that those without any form of existing ID could buy the vital paperwork allowing them to leave the country and head to the EU.

In the memo, embassy staff were told passports should be issued to Syrians "even if they left in an illegal manner or they hold non-official passports or travel documents."

Jordan houses close to a million Syrians fleeing their country's bloody civil war.

Since the announcement that new passports will be issued for £250 and old ones renewed for £125, there have been constant queues at the embassy in Amman.

Similar scenes have been reported in Lebanon, another neighbouring country with vast numbers of Syrian refugees.

Sources in the Jordanian capital Amman said 10,000 passports were issued at the embassy in August alone.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – ill-treatment, cost
Every illegal immigrant costs YOU £36K a year: The cost of migrant centres revealed
Rebecca Perring
Daily Express, 11 September 2015

British taxpayers are forking out around £36,000 A YEAR to detain every illegal immigrant that sneaks across our borders.

Undocumented workers facing deportation are languishing in detention for months and even years - which costs the public purse a staggering £164.4 million. ...

Tory Richard Fuller, the MP for Bedford, said it was time to "close down" immigration removal centres (IRCs), where foreign offenders are detained before they are deported back to their home country.

He told MPs: "We know the current system is a mess.

"It is, I think, almost without question the current process of immigration detention is both costly, it is ineffective, and as we see too often, it is unjust for too many people involved in the system.

"How on earth can I justify to my taxpayers the expenditure of £100 a night to incarcerate someone into a prison only to put them back where they came from in the first place?

"How can the minister defend a policy where 50 per cent of the people who are put into detention centres are put straight back into the community rather than removed?"

Mr Fuller's remarks come after shocking details emerged from Yarl's Wood, a detention centre in Bedfordshire, where women refugees were being subject to horrifying sexual violence.

Around 4,500 people, mostly women, are detained at Yarl's Wood at an estimated yearly cost of £30,000 each. ...

Meanwhile, former shadow justice minister David Burrowes joined a number of MPs calling for radical changes to the system of immigration detention.

The Conservative MP for Enfield Southgate renewed calls for a 28-day time limit on detention - in line with the rest of the European Union (EU) - and to ensure the Home Office uses detention "sparingly" and as a last resort.

He claimed criminals who have committed very serious offences are treated better than detainees at IRCs.

More than 30,000 people were said to be held in 11 IRCs last year, going "largely unnoticed" and had no idea when they were to be released or removed.

He added: "Over the last four years the High Court has on six occasions found against the Home Office for causing inhumane or degrading treatment to some of the most vulnerable of people - mentally disordered detainees in long-term detention."
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – European Union
Soft touch approach will encourage more migrants to come to the EU
Daily Express, 10 September 2015
[Leading article]

Official figures show that a record half a million people have claimed asylum in the EU this year.

Germany, with its foolish open-door refugee policy, has received almost half of the applications.

The numbers travelling there are a clear indicator that, as this newspaper has said all along, failing to deal robustly with migrants encourages more of them.

The response to the migrant crisis has seen governments pledging to accept tens of thousands of people who are already in Europe illegally.

Driven by a misguided sense of compassion these policies will only encourage more people to make the journey, a terrible outcome for this continent and for North Africa.

If European leaders are serious about tackling the crisis they must bring in tough measures to clamp down on economic migrants in order to deter others from doing the same.

Until then there will be ever more people for border guards to try to stop, more asylum seekers for taxpayers to support and more people drowning in the Mediterranean.

Germany's decision to roll out the red carpet for migrants who have come to Europe is a dangerous mistake.

How fortunate that David Cameron has proved wise enough not to follow suit.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – asylum, emotion
The response to the migration crisis is blinkered emoting
Melanie Phillips
Jewish Chronicle, 10 September 2015

The pictures of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, whose drowned body was washed up on a Turkish beach after his Syrian Kurdish parents set out for Europe in a dinghy, produced an outpouring of sorrow and a clamour to "do something" to which politicians have been scrambling to respond.

It is very difficult for any diaspora Jew to deal rationally with Europe's migration crisis. Like many others, my own forbears migrated to Britain from eastern Europe at the turn of the last century. More subsequently fled to Britain during the Shoah. How could we possibly argue against welcoming this tidal wave of human misery?

Yet the arguments made by certain Jewish community leaders have left me uneasy. In particular, the comparison with the Kindertransport, when some 10,000 Jewish refugee children were brought to Britain from Nazi Europe, seemed particularly inappropriate.

The Kindertransport rescued children from almost certain murder by a regime aiming to kill them simply because they were Jews. Today's migration crisis is different. Many pouring into Europe are fleeing societies consumed by war or terror. However, even if they are not economic migrants, most are not fleeing for their lives. Aylan Kurdi's family did not journey from Syria but from Bodrum in Turkey, where they had already found a safe haven, because they wanted a better life in Canada.

The west-friendly Kurds are people we should support in our own national interest. But among fleeing Syrians are Isis supporters or other Islamists who pose a threat to Britain and Europe.

We should all heed the Biblical injunction to love the stranger because we were once strangers. But does that mean all strangers, including those who wish to do us harm? Does it mean throwing open the British border to the millions who may want to leave the myriad countries where conditions are hellish – when Britain is already staggering under the weight of unprecedented immigration?

Can it really be part of our Jewish ethic to advocate measures which are likely to overwhelm and transform British and European society and culture, or encourage yet more to set off and drown in the Mediterranean? /.../ This is not just a refugee crisis. It is part of a vast and unprecedented movement of peoples trying to migrate from south to north. It threatens to overwhelm a Europe whose chickens are coming home to roost. For years, the west has failed to acknowledge the civilisational threat represented by the convulsions in the Arab and Muslim world. Almost everything the west has done has made chaos, war, persecution, tyranny and terrorism more likely. ...

Where are the tears over the Arab children whose bodies are strapped with explosives and turned into human bombs? Or African Christian girls sold into sex slavery? Who in Britain has rushed to offer homes to persecuted Somali Christians or Yazidis in Iraq? Kindness and compassion are moral responses. But selective and blinkered emoting seems more like a gesture designed to make us feel good about ourselves. In current circumstances, such public grandstanding is not just humbug but potentially lethal.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – amnesty
Why the government is wrong to refuse an amnesty for illegal immigrants
Tim Wigmore
New Statesman, 9 September 2015

An amnesty for Britain's illegal migrants has been championed by both the left and right – it's time David Cameron stopped ignoring the pragmatic and moral policy proposal.

The incomprehensible sight of a three-year-old boy washed ashore onto a beach in Turkey has belatedly led Britain to stop ignoring the refugee crisis. Yet there is another issue that cowardly British politicians ignore: the presence of over half a million illegal immigrants in the UK today.

Few of these arrived on trucks from Calais. Most illegal migrants came to the UK legally to work, but remained after their visas expired. Children of illegal migrants are here illegally too, even if they have spent every day of their lives in the UK.

The upshot is simple. There are "two categories of people in our great city, one group who live normally and another who live in the shadows unable to contribute fully to the rest of society", as Boris Johnson observed in 2009. Two years ago, he said it was "completely crazy" not to introduce an amnesty.

Indeed it is. Ridding the country of hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants would involved dragging children out of classrooms, sending many back to crisis-ridden countries where their lives would be imperilled and cost billions of pounds that the country cannot afford. Sensibly, the government is not even trying to do this. As Johnson noted two years ago: "We effectively have it [amnesty], if you've been here for more than 12 years I'm afraid the authorities are no longer prepared to pursue you, they give up."

So we already have an amnesty by another name. But because politicians are afraid to admit as much, the government is unable to benefit financially.

British taxpapers are the losers. Illegal migrants use public services but barely contribute towards them: they don't pay income tax. Introducing an amnesty would, according to a comprehensive study by the LSE in 2009, bring in a net £3bn a year to the British economy, which is why the Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi also advocates an amnesty.

To quell the shrieks of an amnesty being soft on immigration, the money raised could be used to ramp up border security; the sort of trade-off that briefly held the promise of leading to comprehensive immigration reform in the United States.

An amnesty would particularly benefit Britons in low-skilled work. It does not matter how much George Osborne trumpets his "Living Wage" while illegal migrants can be paid below the minimum wage and undercut the rest of the workforce.

But the case for an amnesty extends beyond economics. It is also be a humane thing to do. ...

An amnesty would end the fear illegal immigrants face of being deported and would stop the perverse punishment of children for their parents coming to Britain illegally.

Yet not only has David Cameron described the idea of an amnesty as "terrible", but his government has also moved even further away from one. Until 2012, illegal immigrants who had lived in the UK for 14 years could apply for indefinite leave to remain in the country; now the threshold, only applicable in "exceptional circumstances", has been extended to 20 years.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – European Union
EU president warns migrants could keep coming in for YEARS – and it's just the 'beginning'
Jake Burman
Daily Express, 8 September 2015

The European Union's president has warned that the current migrant crisis in Europe could last for years.

Donald Tusk said it is part of an "exodus" that will not instantly disappear.

Speaking at the Bruegel Institute, a Brussels think-tank, he said: "The present wave of migration is not a one-time incident but the beginning of a real exodus, which only means that we will have to deal with this problem for many years to come."

The bureaucrat said it is imperative for EU nations to bear the brunt of the current crisis together "without blaming each other".

Mr Tusk added: "But let us have no illusions that we have a silver bullet to reverse the situation."
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – Hungary, Europe
Hungary's Viktor Orban, Sole Voice Of Sanity In The EU, Tells The Truth On Immigration
Gerald Warner
Breitbart, 8 September 2015

"Everything which is now taking place before our eyes threatens to have explosive consequences for the whole of Europe. Europe's response is madness. We must acknowledge that the European Union's misguided immigration policy is responsible for this situation."

The voice of truth and common sense has been so long stilled that to hear it given utterance by anyone in government in Europe is startling. Those words of Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary, are the first truthful and accurate analysis we have heard from any EU politician of the immigration catastrophe now engulfing our continent. Nor did he confine himself to those remarks.

"Those arriving have been raised in another religion and represent a radically different culture. Most of them are not Christians, but Muslims," he added. "This is an important question because Europe and European identity is rooted in Christianity. Is it not worrying in itself that European Christianity is now barely able to keep Europe Christian? There is no alternative, and we have no option but to defend our borders."

To defend Christianity today is to violate the ultimate taboo of the Brussels multiculturalists and the forces of political correctness that promote mass immigration for precisely the objective of eradicating Europe's Christian identity. ...

Hungary has already been invaded – no other term is accurate – by 160,000 migrants this year alone. Now its responsible approach to the problem has triggered abuse from EU politicians who are subjecting their own countries to demographic inundation and cultural extinction.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – refugees, politics, European Union
Refugee crisis: east and west split as leaders resent Germany for waiving rules
Ian Traynor
The Observer, 6 September 2015

Europe's meltdown in the face of its biggest post-1945 immigration emergency is generating the worst east-west split since the Iraq war, when Donald Rumsfeld divided it into "new Europe and old Europe" – his supporters and opponents.

On Thursday Germany and France ordered the European commission to come up with a new "permanent" and binding regime for spreading the refugee load around all of the 28 countries in the union. David Cameron and home secretary Theresa May want nothing to do with the scheme and have absented themselves from the policymaking, carping from the sidelines.

On Friday the prime ministers of Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic told Paris and Berlin to get stuffed, arguing that west European-style multiculturalism is nothing but trouble and that they have no intention of repeating the same mistakes.

The commission has already done what Berlin is demanding. On Wednesday its president, Jean-Claude Juncker, will unveil proposals obliging at least 22 countries with a combined population of almost 400 million to absorb 160,000 people from Italy, Greece and Hungary, which are struggling with influxes from the Middle East and Africa. ...

Hungary's prime minister, Viktor Orbán, is the cheerleader of the "Europe is useless" chorus, but Robert Fico, the Slovakian premier, and President Milos Zeman in Prague are not far behind. Ewa Kopacz, the prime minister of Poland, sounds more moderate, but she looks likely to lose an election next month to the nationalist right. Her hands are tied.

When Europe's leaders last met to grapple with the crisis, in June, they argued until 3.30am and dispersed without agreement, bringing Matteo Renzi, the Italian prime minister, to lament: "If this is Europe, you can keep it."

Entirely predictably, things have worsened considerably since then. ... ...

The all-powerful busybodies of Brussels are relatively impotent when it comes to immigration. For months the Italians, French, Austrians and Germans have been quietly re-establishing controls on the internal national borders of the open Schengen travel zone, which are supposed to be proscribed. Brussels cannot stop them. ...

The commission is charged with policing the regime governing Schengen, but Germany unilaterally waived the rules regulating how immigrants entering the EU are handled. It did not tell Brussels, nor neighbouring governments.

Berlin is winning plaudits everywhere for its exemplary generosity and its open-door policy towards Syrians fleeing war, but Syrians can only get to Germany through other EU countries who were not told about the policy flip-flop. That contributed to the wretched scenes in Hungary and Austria.

Uniquely in Europe, Angela Merkel has seized the moral high ground on Syrian refugees. But this is the same leader who, a few years ago, declared that "multikulti has absolutely failed". ...

For more than a year the Germans have been complaining bitterly that people entering Italy and Greece were deliberately not being registered by the national authorities, but simply encouraged to board trains and buses for Germany. Then they shifted and declared unilaterally that Syrians could come anyway.
[Site link]


Illegal immigration – national identity
We won't save refugees by destroying our own country
Peter Hitchens
Mail on Sunday, 6 September 2015

Actually we can't do what we like with this country. We inherited it from our parents and grandparents and we have a duty to hand it on to our children and grandchildren, preferably improved and certainly undamaged.

It is one of the heaviest responsibilities we will ever have. We cannot just give it away to complete strangers on an impulse because it makes us feel good about ourselves.

Every one of the posturing notables simpering 'refugees welcome' should be asked if he or she will take a refugee family into his or her home for an indefinite period, and pay for their food, medical treatment and education.

If so, they mean it. If not, they are merely demanding that others pay and make room so that they can experience a self-righteous glow. ... ...

Britain is a desirable place to live mainly because it is an island, which most people can't get to. Most of the really successful civilisations survived because they were protected from invasion by mountains, sea, deserts or a combination of these things. ...

Thanks to a thousand years of uninvaded peace, we have developed astonishing levels of trust, safety and freedom. I have visited nearly 60 countries and lived in the USSR, Russia and the USA, and I have never experienced anything as good as what we have. Only in the Anglosphere countries – the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – is there anything comparable. I am amazed at how relaxed we are about giving this away.

Our advantages depend very much on our shared past, our inherited traditions, habits and memories. Newcomers can learn them, but only if they come in small enough numbers. Mass immigration means we adapt to them, when they should be adapting to us.

So now, on the basis of an emotional spasm, dressed up as civilisation and generosity, are we going to say that we abandon this legacy and decline our obligation to pass it on, like the enfeebled, wastrel heirs of an ancient inheritance letting the great house and the estate go to ruin?

Having seen more than my share of real corpses, and watched children starving to death in a Somali famine, I am not unmoved by pictures of a dead child on a Turkish beach. But I am not going to pretend to be more upset than anyone else. Nor am I going to suddenly stop thinking, as so many people in the media and politics appear to have done.

The child is not dead because advanced countries have immigration laws. The child is dead because criminal traffickers cynically risked the lives of their victims in pursuit of money.

I'll go further. The use of words such as 'desperate' is quite wrong in this case. The child's family were safe in Turkey. Turkey (for all its many faults) is a member of Nato, officially classified as free and democratic. ...

It may not be ideal, but the definition of a refugee is that he is fleeing from danger, not fleeing towards a higher standard of living.

Goodness knows I have don