IMMIGRATION CONCERN

NEWS AND VIEWS - BY SUBJECT
2016

Quotations of news and views by subject



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

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

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



ASYLUM

Asylum
Refugees housed by YOUR CASH have 'burnt down homes, attacked staff and grown drugs'
Jon Austin
Daily Express, 10 December 2016

Asylum seekers housed by the taxpayer have trashed and burnt down the properties and attacked or abused support staff employed to look after them, without facing any punishment, it has been claimed. ...

G4S is currently housing 18,639 asylum seekers and says only a minority are causing the serious problems. ...

G4S revealed the arson and assault problem in written evidence to an ongoing Home Affairs Select Committee inquiry into the standard of asylum seeker accommodation funded by taxpayers. ...

"So far in 2016, 14 properties have been seriously damaged by service users - usually through fire damage - rendering the property unusable and increasing the use of hotels.

"There were 162 cases of anti-social behaviour so far in 2016." ...

The report added: "G4S reports each incident to the Home Office and or to the local police. In most cases no sanction is applied."
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Asylum – cost
New asylum surge on way: Millions will be spent providing housing, says Home Office
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 9 December 2016

Britain is making plans to house record numbers of asylum seekers, the Home Office revealed last night.

It has ordered accommodation providers to improve and increase their stock to meet an increase in demand.

Ministers want those who arrive in the UK, many illegally, put up in "suitable properties" while their claims are processed.

The move could see Britain's asylum bill, currently costing taxpayers £546.8 million a year – or £1.5 million a day – rocket.

Fresh details of the UK's border crisis emerged after Home Office officials extended contracts with three asylum accommodation providers.

It comes as figures showed the number of applications, including dependents, increased by a third to 41,563 in March, the highest level since 2004. ...

The department refused to reveal how much the deals would cost taxpayers but the previous G4S contract, signed in 2012, saw it paid between £600-£700 million to provide accommodation for as many as 18,000 asylum seekers in 4,500 homes mainly in the North-east of England.
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Asylum – refugees
Refugees coming to the UK aren't escaping the troubles they leave behind, says Tory MEP
Shehab Khan
Independent, 23 November 2016

A Conservative MEP has said refugees "are not escaping those things they want to leave behind" when coming to Europe, and Britain "should definitely not" be accepting any more.

Geoffrey Van Orden, the MEP for the East of England region, said he believed the UK had not demonstrated that it had the capabilities to give refugees a "fresh chance".

The 71-year-old, who is the Conservative's spokesman for Defence and Security policy at the European Parliament, told The Independent that immigration was "the root of many of the difficulties" across the continent. ...

"The trouble is too rapidly many of them are drawn back into a culture within our country which is sustaining the problems they had before. In other words, they are not escaping those things they want to leave behind they are finding exactly the same things in parts of our own country as well."

When asked if we Britain should take more refugees, Mr Van Orden, who is a former senior British Army officer, replied "definitely not".

"We only have to look at some of the difficulties that we have in many of our societies now on the whole migration issue. ...

"What we are finding is that large numbers of people coming from cultures and societies which are not only economically very disparate but also culturally very separate.

"We cannot go on like that. It is the root cause of many of the difficulties that we had in many European countries at the moment and we are seeing a revolt against that," he added.
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Asylum – European Union
Asylum claims across European Union pass the one million mark and the final tally for this year is set to top 2015's record figure
Rachael Burford
MailOnline, 19 November 2016

The number of asylum claims lodged in the EU this year has passed a million, official figures indicate.

Provisional data updated on Friday shows that at least 1,003,635 asylum applications were registered in the 28 member states as of October this year.

The actual total is thought to be even higher, as only a handful of countries have submitted data for last month.

It is the second consecutive year that the number has reached seven figures - after a dramatic surge in 2015 amid the international migration crisis.

The findings emerged in Press Association analysis of figures on asylum which are compiled and regularly updated by the EU's statistical body.

Main applicants and any dependants such as children are counted in the headline tally - which could include repeat applications, so should not be read as one million separate individuals.

Separate figures show that 965,850 claims have been made by first-time applicants this year - equivalent to 96% of the total.

Germany continues to receive the lion's share of asylum applications, recording nearly two thirds of the total number, while just under 3% have been made in the UK this year.

Comparisons with counts for previous years give an indication of the extraordinary influx of people into Europe in 2015 and 2016, in what has been described as the largest mass movement of people since the Second World War.

For example, the total number of applications recorded for the whole of 2013 stood at less than half a million, while it was below a quarter of a million in 2008.

Some 1.3 million asylum claims were made last year, the highest figures since comparable records started eight years ago.

On current trends, the final total for 2016 could be even higher.
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Asylum – cost
Council chief reveals the 'huge strain' asylum seekers are putting on services
ByIan Johnson
Gazette Live [Teesside], 9 November 2016

Middlesbrough Council's top boss claims asylum seekers are putting an "enormous strain" on the town's poorest schools.

Interim chief exec Tony Parkinson also claims asylum seekers benefit applications are leaving the council out of pocket.

And specialist GPs have been brought in to deal with growing asylum seeker populations.

The claims are made in an open letter by the council chief to the Government's Home Affairs Committee Inquiry into Asylum Accommodation.

And he's slammed the "inadequacy" of how migrants are dispersed around Britain, a policy which has seen Middlesbrough have the highest number of asylum seekers per head in England. ...

He wrote:

"The current asylum contract and the propensity to place families in low value housing in the north is placing enormous strain on schools in already deprived areas.

"In Middlesbrough... this has seen enormous turnover of pupils, limiting the ability of schools to meet their performance targets and presenting challenges in terms of language and translation as well as socialisation and integration.

"In some central town schools the 'churn' is extreme, with some schools seeing more than 100 children joining a cohort during the primary years and a similar number leaving before the end of Year 6.

"School and LA staff are stretched to provide care support and learning to children and their families."

"One authority in our region has conducted an audit of asylum seekers accessing their TB screening services and found that 50% of asylum seekers seen had not registered with GPs.

"This severely undermines public health and well-being strategies for local authorities. It can also have consequences and costs for emergency services and for those presenting inappropriately and for health services aiming to deliver early preventative services at less cost. ..."
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Asylum – fraud, children, soldiers
How the Somme's boy soldiers shame today's 'child' migrants
Richard Littlejohn
Daily Mail, 8 November 2016

Later this week we will be commemorating the sacrifice of those who fought for Britain. This year is particularly poignant because it marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, one of the bloodiest encounters of World War I.

On the first day alone, British forces suffered 57,000 casualties. Many of the dead and wounded soldiers were teenagers, some as young as 16.

Between 1914 and 1918, more than 250,000 boys under the age of 18 served in the British Army, many having lied about their age to join up. ...

Hundreds of thousands of young men crossed the Channel to join the bloody fray because it was considered the patriotic thing to do. These days the passage of men of military age is all in the opposite direction as 'refugees' flood across Europe trying to enter Britain. ...

Now we learn hundreds of Albanian men arrived here illegally last year posing as child refugees. Half of them had their asylum applications accepted and were placed with foster parents. ...

What kind of madness is this? Set aside the fact that we shouldn't be taking in anyone from Albania, unless they have a job requiring special skills and are capable of supporting themselves financially. ...

What kind of man runs away to safety, leaving the women behind?

And why should we be expected to give them house room, full board and lodging and pay for their education until they are 25?

Even to ask these questions is to be labelled a heartless racist by the hand-wringing classes. But that doesn't make the problem go away, nor does it provide an adequate answer. Imagine if during the two world wars, most of the able-bodied young men in Britain had turned tail and boarded the first boat to America, demanding asylum. ...

Now grown men are lying about their age, pretending to be children, and travelling across continents so they can seek a safe haven in Britain.

And, more fool us, we're letting them get away with it.

If the teenage heroes of the Somme could see what kind of insane society our nation has become, they'd wonder what the hell they had been fighting for.
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Asylum – fraud, children, Albanians
Hundreds of Albanian migrants who are illegally sneaking into Britain by posing as child refugees are putting school pupils and foster families at risk
Martin Beckford
Mail on Sunday, 6 November 2016

Albanian migrants who illegally sneak into Britain posing as child refugees are putting school pupils and foster families at risk, shock official reports reveal.

Documents uncovered by The Mail on Sunday show that head teachers have been forced to take 'disciplinary measures' against asylum seekers feared to be adults.

One report said some schools had 'rejected children' over suspicions they were older than they claimed.

Another study revealed Albanian youths have been removed from foster families because of 'their behaviour towards female carers', with social workers blaming it on 'the gender assumptions of Albanian males'.

The shocking developments come weeks after controversy over the age of some of the 300 migrants arriving in Britain from the demolished Jungle camp in Calais last month, with widespread calls for them to undergo dental X-rays to establish how old they really are.

But an investigation by this newspaper shows this is the tip of the iceberg.

Almost 500 Albanians arrived in Britain last year claiming to be lone children – entitling them to a school place, a foster family and support until they are 25 – but close to half had their applications rejected.

We can also reveal how the abuse of the system is so great that the Home Office set up a secret operation to check the real ages and family backgrounds of hundreds of rejected claimants with the authorities in their Balkan home country. ...

The problems caused by Albanian Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) are exposed in detail by a number of Croydon Council reports and meetings over the past two years.

There are currently 433 child refugee claimants in the South London borough – 214 Albanians but just 11 Syrians. ...

Officials said they had been involved in 'a variety of offences' including affray and theft. Overall the number of people coming to England illegally and registering as UASC has doubled in two years to reach 3,253 in 2015.
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Asylum – housing, local authorities
COMING TO YOUR TOWN? ALL councils could be forced to house asylum seekers as numbers swell
Jon Austin
Daily Express, 5 November 2016

EXCLUSIVE: EVERY council in England could be forced to take in a share of asylum seekers, because of the demand being placed on existing providers, a Government contractor has claimed.

G4S, one of three COMPASS companies contracted by the Home Office to provide asylum seeker accommodation up and down the country, has revealed its employer is considering making it mandatory for councils to help resettle refugees.

Currently, it is down to a local authority if they chose to accept asylum seekers into their area, and the majority refuse to take part. ...

G4S is the largest provider of asylum accommodation and transport in the UK, currently housing over 18,000 vulnerable asylum seekers. ...

Of the 135 local authority areas in the Midlands, north-east, Yorkshire and Humberside, and the east of England, where G4S is contracted to provide housing for asylum seekers, only 37 local authorities currently do so.
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Asylum – cost, children
Child refugees will cost Britain £150k a year EACH
Andrew Jameson
Daily Star, 4 November 2016

Child refugees from the Calais Jungle could cost the UK £150,000 each every year they are here.

Figures released by the country's biggest resettlement programme included care in private residential homes.

Unaccompanied children have been sent to the UK from the dismantled refugee camp on the French border.

Coventry City Council acknowledged that a shortage of foster carers meant it had to use homes for some children.

The total taxpayer bill for rehousing the refugees will be almost £2.5 million in Coventry alone.

French officials last week demanded that Britain takes 1,500 children from the Calais Jungle.

Coventry has made the biggest commitment to house the refugees and will re-home an estimated 53 children. ...

In Coventry, the council is receiving grants of £37,000 per child but is being left to pick up the rest of the tab.

A council spokesman said he could not specify what the £150,000 had been spent on because the costs depended on the needs of each child.
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Asylum – illegal immigration, France
It's farcical for the French to lecture us on immigration
Leo McKinstry
Daily Express, 31 October 2016

Paris has long been known as the City of Light, a testament to its beauty, elegance and civilisation.

But now tragically parts of the French capital have been transformed into sprawling, squalid migrant camps.

Many central Parisian streets are lined with rows of filthy tents, put up by young men from Africa and Asia who think that Europe owes them a living.

This mess is a symbol of the deepening immigration disaster inflicted on the continent by treacherous, unpatriotic politicians.

The EU has made a fetish of open borders and multiculturalism. Now in the Paris makeshift settlements we can glimpse the destructive consequences of that ideology. ...

Yet what has been so intolerable about this saga has been the instinct of French politicians and pro-immigration groups to blame Britain for the shambles.

The Jungle campers were on French territory and had been waved through to Calais by French officials. Yet somehow, in the mindset of some Gallic buck-passers, it was our fault simply because the migrants had expressed a wish to live in England.

In the aftermath of the camp's closure French leaders are at it again with claims that Britain must take in 1,500 "unaccompanied minors" who were living at the camp when it was closed.

In a phone call to Theresa May on Saturday President Francois Hollande said that our Government must "play their part in subsequently welcoming these minors to the United Kingdom".

His demand was echoed by other figures such as Xavier Bertrand, the president of the Calais regional council who argued that "we now need the British Government to implement and accelerate the juvenile transfer process to the UK. It is a question of dignity and humanity".

From Paris more than 100 Left-wingers sent a pompous letter to Home Secretary Amber Rudd that stated: "We ask you to take your responsibilities and assume your moral duty by immediately organising their arrival."

All this Gallic emotional blackmail is as offensive as it is absurd. ...

Just as importantly, none of this is any business of ours. No matter how many times the phrase "my uncle in Birmingham" is heard, most of these migrants have absolutely no connection with Britain.

If there really have been so many unaccompanied children at the camp then how on earth did they get there and why have the French done nothing about them until now? ...

The French political class has treated its own people with contempt, refusing to defend the integrity of the nation or the fabric of society. ...

It used to be held that the right to claim asylum was based on a genuine fear of persecution or death.

Now the fashionable definition of a refugee is so ridiculously wide that it is applied to anyone "fleeing poverty".
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Asylum – fraud
I've seen first hand how easily our asylum system can be abused – and there's no real way to stop it
Andy Jones
Daily Telegraph, 31 October 2016

... processing maintenance payments for Birmingham social services in the early 2000s ...

I was just an admin worker, and it was not my job to process asylum claims. But I did see first hand both how awful these young men's lives were and how easy it was for them to lie and get away with it.

Back then the trouble spots were Iraq and Somalia, and the UK would take refugees from these places if they were aged under 18. Because of this, many Iraqi and Somali men (there were typically less than 20 per cent women at the centre) would claim they were 17 when they were clearly in their mid twenties or thirties. ...

This is not simply a matter of wasting taxpayers' cash. As I saw in Birmingham, lies about age can lead to hellish social problems. These men would be put into shared homes with genuinely young, vulnerable people, sometimes – as regular police visits to our offices testified – manipulating them into crime or stealing from them. They would be arrested and prosecuted on the assumption they were adults, only to face lesser penalties as "children". Most worrying of all, they would even go to colleges alongside 16-year-old children.

Today I am a journalist, and I have been to the Calais "Jungle". Most people I met were civil, kind, decent and genuine – truly ashamed to be living as they were and grateful to accept gifts of food and socks and hats. But most were also young men: in two days there the only person I met who was definitively under 16 was a 15-year-old boy taking the "night walk" to the Channel Tunnel entrance. Many, too, were economic migrants from the Horn of Africa or "safe" states in the Middle East. We should still help these people – if we can send aid to India with its space programme, we can afford it. But we should not be naive enough to let everyone in on a whim.

The problem is that there is no sure way to sort those who pass our criteria from those who are attempting to game them. ...

This leaves us with an awful dilemma. If we err on the side of caution, we will reject some genuinely deserving cases. If we err on the side of kindness, then cheaters will take advantage.
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Asylum – Europe
Refugees aren't the problem. Europe's identity crisis is
Natalie Nougayrède
The Guardian, 31 October 2016

Immigration is likely to remain an overarching theme in European politics. And for a long time yet. ...

A record 3,800 people have perished in the Mediterranean since the beginning of this year, according to the United Nations. ...

The migration issue has shaped political discourse in Europe, and is likely to continue to shape it. On one side are liberal internationalists attached to fundamental asylum principles or to the dream of a borderless world; on the other are xenophobic fence-builders who see migration as a modern version of barbaric invasions threatening culture and civilisation. The latter, alas, tend to hold sway. ...

The essential narrative of bigots is that our European world is collapsing under the onslaught of mass arrivals from cultures that we cannot possibly mingle with. In France, a theory called the "great replacement" has spread to large parts of the right and certainly the far-right. It states that, as a result of immigration, the nation's core population is set to be replaced by non-European outsiders who will wreck the country's identity. There are also echoes of this in Germany's Pegida movement, whose full name is "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the west".

Debunking these myths can be hard work. Hatred and passions overtake rational approaches and documented facts get swept away. It is even harder when Europe's long history of almost constant population movement and mixing of cultures is ignored, untaught or forgotten. ...

The 2015 refugee crisis has held up a mirror to Europeans: it's forced them to ask themselves who they are, how they define themselves and their actions. The 1.3 million people who reached the continent last year represented only 0.2% of the EU's total population. It should have been manageable. Germany alone took in roughly 800,000. That's equivalent to 1% of its own population, and is the same number it absorbed in 1992 when people fled the Balkan wars and ethnic Germans left the former Soviet Union.

If there was a crisis in 2015, it had less to do with the refugees – who knew what they were fleeing and where they wanted to go – and much more to do more with European governments and societies who did not all step up to the plate. In fact, Europe isn't confronted with a refugee and migrant crisis. It's the refugees and migrants who are confronted with a crisis of Europe. The scandal is that, in the Mediterranean, they have been paying with their lives. ...

Historically, Europe exported its population, whether to distant colonial possessions for conquest and domination, or to the New World as a consequence of poverty, persecution or war. Now, it has become the foremost magnet and refuge for those who seek safety and a better life. We are simply much richer and more stable than many other parts of the world.

And our diversity is set to grow, but not in the "great replacement" scenario. Europe needs immigration as an injection of youth and dynamism if in the decades to come it wants to address its workforce and pension problems.
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Asylum – motives, economic migrants
Why do migrants and asylum seekers want to come to the UK?
Full Fact, 31 October 2016

There are two questions here. Is the UK really a top destination for people crossing the Mediterranean compared to other European countries? If so, why?

The UK isn't particularly high up the league table of countries by number of asylum seekers. Last year it had the eighth highest number of new applications in the 28-country EU, or the 17th highest in terms of existing population.

There isn't much direct evidence to suggest that the UK is disproportionately favoured by asylum seekers.

The International Organisation for Migration carried out over 4,000 interviews with migrants earlier this year. It found that 6% of migrants "interviewed along the Central Mediterranean route" from North Africa to Italy said they intended to reach the UK. ...

That said, there will be variation depending on nationality. More Eritrean citizens travelling via Italy nominated the UK than any other country in the IOM research, and a smaller December 2014 survey found that the UK was the most popular destination for Iranians preparing to emigrate.

Many people fleeing conflict will stay a lot closer to home. Only 40% of Syrians expressing a wish to emigrate in January 2015 said that Europe was their preferred destination, according to a Gallup poll. The UN refugee agency notes that "the majority of those who have fled the conflict is hosted in Syria's neighbouring countries".

"This being the real world, there is no easy answer to the question 'why?'", as immigration lawyer Colin Yeo points out.

A report for the Refugee Council in 2010 found that two thirds of the 43 asylum seekers and refugees interviewed hadn't originally intended to come to the UK.

It found that agents arranging clandestine travel were an important factor in determining where people end up. That echoes the finding of a Home Office study from 2002 that's still cited in discussion of migrants' motivations. ...

Researchers say that, where people can choose, factors such as colonial and historical links, the presence of family members, general reputation as a safe country and language are relevant factors.

There's mixed evidence on whether people choose between countries based on their knowledge of its asylum system, according to Professor Heaven Crawley, a former head of Home Office asylum research. Some studies suggest that asylum seekers are drawn to countries with a more generous asylum regime, whereas others point to little or no knowledge about how the system works.

But economic opportunities, particularly being able to get a job, do play a role. As this suggests, there's not necessarily an easy dividing line between 'genuine refugees' fleeing conflict on the one hand, and 'economic migrants' seeking new opportunities on the other. A person can easily be both.

It seems unlikely that the benefits system is relevant. Professor Crawley writes that "there is no statistically significant relationship between the level of social and welfare benefits and asylum applications".
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Asylum – fraud, children
Child protection officers SCARED to challenge migrant 'children' over real ages
Daily Express, 27 October 2016

Child protection officers are AFRAID to challenge the age of "young" migrants, it has been revealed, over fears they will end up in court.

Industry insiders have told the Express they often meet migrants posing as children who are permitted to stay in the country because challenging them can put their career at risk.

The revelations came after the arrivals of "child" migrants from Calais - who appeared to be much older than the teenage years they had claimed. ...

But, speaking to Express Online a social worker who asked not to be named has revealed the REAL struggles faced by those in the industry.

According to the specialist THREE professionals are assigned to the first meeting with a migrant who claims to be a child.

And senior child protection officers are at their wits' end.

He said: "So a social worker is assigned the case. The social worker attends the assessment and because the asylum seeker is claiming to be under 17 (to come under the children's Act) an appropriate adult is also in attendance and so is an interpreter.

"Usually they enter the room and they see this asylum seeker is well over 17. It is that obvious.

"After they have done the process three times all three social workers have to come to a consensus on the estimated age of the asylum seeker - so let's says all three say this asylum seeker is well over 17 or 18 years old. You would think that would be the end of the process, but not so.

"They tell their managers of their decisions and then the manager tells them 'If that's your decision then okay but the asylum seeker will now be assigned a solicitor to challenge your opinion and you are likely to be cross examined in court'.

After this phase of the investigation is complete, if a social worker chooses to challenge the age, they are reportedly met with anger and abuse.

Many, he claims, have received calls calling them "racist" and have had complaints made against them.

Those put in this position have said they "cannot afford" to fight it.

One said: "I just sign and say he's under 17 years because it's not worth the hassle."

Social workers and child protection experts have called the system "broken" in Britain.
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Asylum – fraud, children
What is the best way to check the age of child refugees?
The Economist, 26 October 2016

Over the past two years tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors have turned up in European cities. Last year 35,000 lone children sought refuge in Sweden. As of September there were 51,000 in Germany. Britain receives many fewer, but the numbers are growing: in the year to September 2015, 2,564 unaccompanied children applied for asylum there, 50% more than the year before.

No standardised procedure exists to work out the age of these youngsters. And their age can make a big difference to their fate. On arrival in Greece, some minors claim to be over 18 to avoid being put in detention centres. In Sweden, by contrast, being under 18 means that an asylum-seeker gets a place in a special home and, in some cases, better access to lawyers.

In Britain some MPs suggested that the Jungle children should be subjected to dental checks to determine their age ("Tell us the tooth," roared the front page of the Sun). There was outrage at the uncharitable tone of the demand. Yet Britain is relatively unusual among European Union countries in not using dental X-rays as part of its age assessments (such tests are generally used as a last resort in those countries that do practise them). Instead, in Britain child refugees are interviewed by social workers, while the Home Office checks European records to see whether the children have been processed earlier in their journey across Europe and, if so, what age they gave at the time.

Dental checks are in fact of limited use. By the time people are in their late teens there is a "huge range" of development, says Judith Husband of the British Dental Association. Such tests therefore have a margin of error of about four years. The result should also be compared with a reference group of the same ethnicity or nationality, which European governments may lack. And it will differ if the subject is malnourished or has had chronic diseases.

Though it takes a miserly number of refugees compared with many European countries, Britain's age-verification system is more rigorous than most, thinks Taimour Lay, an asylum lawyer. Of the 574 asylum-seekers who underwent age checks in the year to September 2015, 65% were found to be over 18, despite having claimed to be children.
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Asylum – children
France blocked Britain from taking child refugees out of 'Jungle', Amber Rudd tells MPs
Tom Morgan
Daily Telegraph, 25 October 2016

France blocked Britain from taking child refugees from the "Jungle" camp amid fears it would further fuel the crisis in Calais, the Home Secretary has disclosed.

UK border officials interviewed 800 youngsters at the camp in the last seven days alone, but will be ordered not to accept any more who return after the bulldozers clear the site. ...

As French authorities begin bussing thousands of migrants out of the squalid camp, UK officials have faced a race against time to identify children with a legal right to live in Britain.

Mrs Rudd added: "My officials were only given access to the camp to interview children in the last week and similarly we have only recent received agreement from the French government that we could bring Dubs [amendment, which grants refuge to the most vulnerable] cases to the UK.

"Before this we worked closely with the French behind the scenes but without their agreement it was not possible to make progress on taking non-family cases from Calais." ...

Some 3,000 children are being taken in from camps in the Middle East, while some who have made it as far as mainland Europe are also being resettled in Britain if they have close family links.
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Asylum – fraud, children
Revealed: The missed warnings over child refugees
Ben Riley-Smith, Robert Mendick and Rory Mulholland
Sunday Telegraph, 23 October 2016

The Home Office was under intense pressure over its handling of age checks for child migrants as it emerged they failed to act on a series of warnings.

This week the Government faced questions over its ability to check the age of new arrivals into Britain as some appeared to be far older than 18.

With hundreds more child refugees expected to arrive in the UK this week, it has emerged that:

• Councils offered to send social workers to Calais to carry out age checks in August but were ignored

• Ministers feared David Cameron's promise to take more refuges in May was undeliverable

• The Chief Inspector of Borders warned that adult migrants were posing as children three years ago

• MPs on a powerful parliamentary committee are demanding an "urgent" inquiry into the child refugee process

A national debate over the country's child migrant policy was triggered this week as photographs of new arrivals from Calais led to claims some were actually adults.

UK officials are unable to carry out finger prints in France and often struggle to check ages because many refugees have little documentation after fleeing civil war or persecution.

They are interviewed about their background and checks can take in "physical appearance and demeanour", but the Home Office rejected calls this week for dental checks to be undertaken.

Seventeen EU countries use dental checks to help establish age, according European Asylum Support Office, though the body representing British dentists' said this week it is "vigorously opposed". ...

This newspaper has uncovered fresh evidence that calls for more to be done to ensure those coming here were children were not acted on.

A delegation from the Local Government Association [LGA] met with Home Office ministers and officials in August, requesting they send experts in age identification to France. ...

It has also emerged that ministers were warned three years ago that adults were posing as child refugees by John Vine, then the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration. ...

Mr Vine added that the speed with which a child's asylum application is approved had "created an incentive for adults to claim to be under 18". ...

Some 3,000 children are being taken in from camps in the Middle East, while some who have made mainland Europe are also being resettled in Britain if they have close family links.

David Cameron also agreed in May to take in more unaccompanied child refugees from continental Europe after political pressure from Lord Alf Dubs, the Labour peer.
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Asylum – children
Calais children: Children without UK links among 70 new arrivals
BBC, 23 October 2016

The first group of unaccompanied children without family ties to the UK has arrived in Britain from the migrant camp in Calais.

They came under the "Dubs amendment" rules which allow particularly vulnerable children - such as girls and those under 13 - refuge in the UK.

They were among 70 boys and girls to be taken to London from the "Jungle" camp. ...

The Dubs amendment was passed following the efforts of Labour peer Lord Dubs who successfully campaigned for an amendment to the Immigration Bill in April.

It allows for unaccompanied child refugees to be brought to the UK where they do not have family links but are considered to be particularly at risk.
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Asylum – fraud, children
'Age tests are ETHICAL' Sweden demands dental checks on migrants as Britain refuses policy
Lizzie Stromme
Sunday Express, 23 October 2016

Migrants seeking asylum in Sweden as minors will have to prove their age with dental checks after a state watchdog ruled it ethical, the Government has announced.

Kjell Asplund, the Chair of the Swedish National council on Medical Ethics, has said it is acceptable to carry out tests on young asylum seekers if there are reasonable grounds to doubt their claimed age.

Mr Ashland added the best scientific method should be used, but warned against it becoming a routine measure. ...

The decision to implement dental checks on minors whose age is in question comes as the British Government ruled it out as being too "intrusive".
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Asylum – fraud, children
Officials only challenge age of child refugees if they look over 25
Steven Swinford, Robert Mendick and David Chazan
Daily Telegraph, 22 October 2016

Officials are only challenging the age of child migrants if they look like they are over 25, The Daily Telegraph has learned as it emerged some of those claiming to be under 18 have already been proven to be adults.

Home Office guidance states that asylum seekers should only be challenged about their age if they are found to be "significantly over 18 years of age".

Staff have been instructed that the policy should only be used with "extreme caution" and that they should only verify their age if their appearance suggests they are "at least 25 years old".

It came as a minister revealed that one in 10 of those are claiming to be children in the Calais camp have been found to be adults. ...

A report by the Chief Inspector of Borders in 2013 disclosed that staff only challenge child migrants about their age if they look like they are aged over 25.

The report states: "We found from staff interviews and our observation of a trainer, that staff were encouraged to use this option in the guidance when perceiving an applicant to be at least 25 years old. "One stakeholder report advocated using this policy 'with extreme caution', and we therefore found the Home Office's use of an eight-year age gap to be reassuring as an example of safeguarding."

David Simmonds, chairman of the Local Government Association's asylum, refugee and migration task group, said the age guidance had been in use for some time.

He said: "In a supermarket, if a person doesn't look over the age of 25, the shop worker will ask for ID before selling them alcohol. But in the case of border control, it works the other way around. They are told to err on the side of trusting that the person is telling the truth unless they look over 25."

The head of the French charity working with the Home Office in Calais yesterday disclosed that 95 per cent of the 1,290 unaccompanied children in the camp want to come to the UK. ...

He said that 95 per cent of the 1,290 unaccompanied minors in Calais wanted to go to Britain. "Forty per cent of them, which means about 500, say they have relatives in the UK."
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Asylum – fraud, children, Calais
Farce of child migrant family checks: Home Office under fire for allowing youths into UK without being sure they have home to go to
Gordon Rayner, Steven Swinford and Robert Mendick
Daily Telegraph, 21 October 2016

The Home Office is failing to verify whether child refugees have family members in the UK capable of taking care of them before they are brought here from Calais, the Telegraph has learnt.

Local authorities who are ultimately responsible for the children's welfare have complained that in some cases minors arrive in London without any proof that their relatives exist.

The job of checking that family members can provide the migrants with a suitable home is left to councils, who often have to place them in the care system after discovering they have no-one here who can take them in. ...

Having faced criticism earlier in the week that it was bussing in "child refugees" who appeared to be well into adulthood, the Home Office was accused of a "literal cover-up" yesterday as new arrivals who appeared older had blankets over their heads, while younger ones were not covered.

The number of refugees coming to the UK from Calais is expected to increase over the weekend ahead of the closure of the camp, scheduled for Monday. ...

It also emerged that the Home Office planned to introduce a pilot scheme four years ago to check the age of asylum-seekers using dental x-rays, only to scrap the scheme after being told they had not sought the relevant ethical approval. ...

Refugees arriving in the European Union are required to claim asylum in the first EU country they reach, but unaccompanied child refugees are granted an exemption if they wish to join relatives in another EU country, such as Britain.

All of those who have been brought to the UK Asylum Intake Unit in Croydon, south London this week have claimed to be minors with relatives living here, but the Local Government Authority says the Home Office is not managing the scheme effectively, meaning the youngsters are arriving with no guarantee that they have anywhere to go.

David Simmonds, chairman of the LGA's asylum, refugee and migration task group, said: "The Home Office are saying that they have carried out checks that family members exist but in fact local authorities are being asked to check out the relatives when the children arrive.

"Even if the child has named a relative here, they could be lying or the relative could be lying about their ability to look after them. They might say they have a spare bedroom but then it turns out that uncle is actually sharing a bedroom with five other people above a shop.

"If they can't look after the children they will go back into the system as unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

"The local authority then becomes responsible for their care, accommodation and education until the age of 25, under the Leaving Care Act. That means the local authority also has to pay their university fees in full, because as foreigners they aren't entitled to student loans."

Mr Simmonds said the situation was placing a huge financial burden on local authorities at ports of entry, such as Hillingdon, where he sits as a councillor, and which includes Heathrow. ...

Lord Blencathra, in a letter to the Daily Telegraph, says today that he and fellow parliamentarians "assumed that we were talking about vulnerable little boys and girls under age 12-14" when the Government agreed to take them in. He said it was "vital" for the Home Office to introduce effective age tests to prevent border officials being "conned".
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Asylum – fraud, children
[X-ray of hand]
Dr Ben Timmis
Daily Telegraph, 21 October 2016
[Letter to the Editor]

Skeletal maturity bears a close linear relationship to chronological age in developing children, and X-ray departments are routinely asked to assess "bone age" in children, by the simple, cheap and low-dose means of an X-ray of the hand. The image obtained is compared with standard published images, and a fairly accurate chronological age can thus be assessed.

The technique is applicable from the newborn to 18 years. Imaging the teeth is more difficult, involves a higher radiation dose, and is less reliable.
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Asylum – fraud, children
Are dental checks for 'child' migrants unethical? No, they're already being done by the Home Office
Ian Drury, Jason Groves and Sam Greenhill
Daily Mail, 21 October 2016

Dental tests are already being used to assess the age of migrants, the Daily Mail can reveal.

The Home Office is under fire for ruling out tooth X-rays for youngsters coming to the UK from The Jungle camp in Calais.

Ministers claimed such checks were 'inaccurate, inappropriate and unethical'.

But last night it was revealed that UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), the Home Office agency responsible for asylum claims, already accepts dental checks as proof of age, if provided by the migrant.

Guidelines said officials should give 'considerable weight' to reports from dental consultants who have assessed arrivals. ...

Citing guidance from the British Dental Association, the Home Office claimed dental X-rays were not accurate enough because they carried a margin of error of at least two years.

But UKVI documents titled Assessing Age For Asylum Applicants showed that officials used such tests to check on some asylum seekers who were trying to prove they were children.

Critics said this torpedoed the Home Office's claims that the tests were unethical, although Whitehall officials pointed out that the migrants involved were voluntarily taking the test to prove they were under 18. ...

A Home Office spokesman admitted that UKVI did recognise dental records as a valid indicator of age in some cases, but insisted it did not seek them proactively.
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Asylum – fraud, children, Calais
Home Office admits checks on 'child refugees' in Calais are limited and hampered by French law
Gordon Rayner
Daily Telegraph, 20 October 2016

The Home Office has admitted it carries out only limited checks on the ages and identities of "child refugees" in Calais before they are allowed into the UK.

Dozens of supposed unaccompanied minors have been brought to Britain this week from the so-called "Jungle" camp in the French port, but some appear to be well into adulthood, with stubble and even crow's feet around their eyes.

It has led to calls for more rigorous checks to be carried out, such as dental examinations, which are used in some other countries to check applicants' ages. The Home Office dismissed the idea out of hand, insisting it already had rigorous procedures in place in Calais.

But it emerged that accepted guidelines on determining asylum seekers' ages, known as the Merton test, are not followed until applicants arrive in the UK, nor can they be fingerprinted in France because it contravenes French law.

Because so many applicants have no documentation to prove their age, Home Office workers who interview them in Calais alongside their French counterparts have to rely on physical appearance and demeanour to decide how old they think they are.

It means that adult men who should have claimed asylum in other EU countries could reach Britain before they are found to be lying about their age.

Once applicants arrive in the UK, they are fingerprinted and re-interviewed by the Home Office, and may then face a Merton test from the local authority where they intend to live, which involves lengthy questions about the applicant's activities during the previous few years. The interviewers must also "ask questions designed to test the applicant's credibility".

Two-thirds of child refugees screened by the Home Office to the year September 2015 were later found to be adults.

Afghan refugees at the Jungle told The Daily Telegraph it was commonplace for young men desperate to enter the UK to lie about their age.

Bashir Ahmad, from Spin Boldak, south of Kandahar, said: "People are lying about their ages. This is not good when there are real children here. I am 26, I tell everyone the truth."

Looking at pictures of some of those who had arrived in Britain, Mr Ahmad said: "He looks 25, he looks 30, he looks maybe 40."

The Conservative MP David Davies said the UK "should not be naïve" about refugees pretending to be minors to get into the UK. ...

He said dental checks should be introduced to determine a migrant's true age, dismissing suggestions it would be intrusive or immoral and claiming they are used by 18 other countries. ...

The Home Office said it would not be introducing dental checks, citing the British Dental Association's assessment that they would be "inaccurate, inappropriate and unethical".
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Asylum – fraud, children, Calais
Child refugee checks in Calais have descended into CHAOS, admits migrant charity chief
Charlie Bayliss
Daily Express, 20 October 2016

The process of separating legitimate child refugees from adults trying to con British border controls has "descended into chaos", a leading migrant charity worker has admitted. ...

The row over new age of the migrants has grown increasingly bitter after Home Office officials admitted that two-thirds of "child" refugees questioned about their age last year were revealed to be adults.

Beth Gardiner-Smith – from British charity Citizens UK, which oversees the safe passage of child refugees into Britain – told Newsnight the process has become a "bit of a muddle" and "shambolic".

She added: "In the camp, you've had people with megaphones, walking around calling for children to come forward and register themselves on separate lists [of UK charities seeking to help them]." ...

Ms Gardiner-Smith said there are "discrepancies" between the lists the Home Office and her charity has obtained.
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Asylum – fraud, children, Calais
Man on Yesterday's Sun Front Page is NOT an Interpreter
Media Guido, 20 October 2016

Yesterday a rumour went round Twitter virtue signallers that a man the Sun reported is a supposed child refugee is in fact a Home Office interpreter. It was too good for the tabloid-bashers to resist, soon hundreds of people had tweeted it without checking, as if it was fact. Including some very famous types like Gary Lineker, David Schneider and Caroline Criado Perez. Guido has asked the Home Office, who confirm the man in question is NOT an interpreter. They say they do not comment on minors, all but confirming he is a refugee claiming to be a child. As reported by the Sun.
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Asylum – fraud, children, Calais
Ex-Home Secretary Jack Straw Backs Dental Checks On Calais Child Refugees
Steven Hopkins
The Huffington Post, 20 October 2016

Dental tests to determine the age of child refugees from the Calais "Jungle" camp have been backed by Labour former home secretary Jack Straw.

Calls from Tory MP David Davies to perform such procedures to ensure Britain's "hospitality is not being abused" by refugees who "don't look like children" provoked a firestorm of backlash.

Straw insisted he would not have ruled out the move when he ran the Home Office as he insisted that the asylum effort would be undermined if it turned out people had been lying about their age in order to gain entry to Britain.

"Officials made a judgment, we have to accept that judgment, but if there is a case for dental checks, I would certainly not as home secretary have ruled that out," he said. ...

"So having tests, providing they are not too intrusive and invasive, is actually a sensible thing to do for everyone concerned. ...

"Part of the problem with the issue of whether they are children is you have got to test their age because you will understandably always get quite a lot of people who, knowing that it's easier to get in because they are younger, will pretend they are under 18 when they are not.

"Some of those who are at Calais are genuine refugees but an awful lot are economic migrants," Straw told the Daily Mail. ...

Campaigners including Citizens UK, which said it has reunited 60 children from Calais with relatives in Britain since March, claim to have identified hundreds of children in the camp who have a right to come to the UK - either because they have family ties here under the so-called Dublin regulations, or through the Dubs amendment.
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Asylum – fraud, children
How 'child' migrants are straining the care system - and British children are paying the price
Harriet Sergeant
Daily Mail, 20 October 2016

Yesterday, I talked to a worker in a residential home in Kent for children in care. Speaking on condition of anonymity, she told me that half of the children in care there are unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

... Yet she told me that in her estimation more than half the migrants are not children at all, but in their 20s.

'They can be quite frightening at times,' she said. 'They are aggressive and have an attitude problem. Many have no respect for women because of their culture.

'No one is giving consideration to the risks they pose, not just to staff but to the other children in the home. Because they are older, they have a lot of influence on the youngsters, who are very vulnerable. They introduce the children to alcohol and get them into crime like street robberies. It is a serious problem, which those in authority are not tackling.' ...

According to Eurostat, in 2015 3,045 unaccompanied minors claimed asylum here, of whom 91 per cent were male and only 8 per cent were under 14. ...

Other councils are seeing dizzying rises. A Freedom of Information request by Community Care Magazine revealed numbers of unaccompanied children being looked after by local authorities, excluding Kent, increased by an average of 55 per cent from 2013-14 to 2014-15. ...

Many of the youngsters whose families pay for them to come here – who may well be in their 20s but claim to be teenagers – are sent on flights into Britain and are instructed to say they are orphans so they are taken into care.

As one immigration officer with 20 years' experience explained to me: 'Ninety per cent of them are not orphans. Their coming here is very well worked out. Their families have paid the people-traffickers to bring them here,' he added. 'The intention is for the families to follow shortly after. For the most part, they are not fleeing for their lives.

'For years, we have had adult Pakistani males arriving in this country maintaining they are Afghan teenagers. They claim to be 13 or 14 but they are clearly over 20, with good facial hair.' ...

The immigration officer explained that thorough age-checks no longer take place at British airports.

'There was a time,' he said, 'when we had a doctor stationed at the port health office in the airport, who could make an age-assessment by looking at the claimant's teeth and face.'

But such doctors no longer exist. 'They were removed a few years ago, just as the increasing numbers of asylum kids kicked off,' he added.

'Now we just call a social worker, but there is nothing they can do [in terms of deciding what to do] until the young person has had a scientific age-assessment.' And, inevitably, that takes time to organise. So, instead of the migrant being detected as 'over-age' from the point they arrive in Britain, the social worker will place the 'child' with a temporary foster family or a care home. 'They abscond almost immediately, often within the hour,' said the immigration officer.

Sometimes, the migrants who say they are teenagers are accompanied by their traffickers on the flight. These men charge a high price for the service.

The immigration officer knows many of them by sight. They are often young men who mysteriously are able to travel ten times a year from Britain to Dubai and Africa. But since they have British or EU passports, immigration officials can do nothing about them.
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Asylum – children, adults
Two-thirds of child refugees screened by officials found to be adults, Home Office figures show
Peter Dominiczak and Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 19 October 2016

Nearly two-thirds of "child" refugees who officials questioned about their real age were found to be adults, Home Office documents show.

Figures show that in the year to September 2015, 65 per cent of the child refugees who had their age disputed were found to be over 18.

It comes after Conservative MPs raised questions about the ages of 14 refugees who were brought to the UK this week from the "Jungle" migrant camp in Calais. ...

In the year ending September 2015, 590 asylum applicants had their age disputed and of those, 574 recorded as having an age assessment.

Of the 574 refugees checked, 371 were found to be adults.

Since 2006 there have been 11,121 age disputes. Of those, 4,828 were found to have been adults.
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Asylum – children, Calais
How old are they REALLY? Concern as 'hulking' all-male refugee children arrive from Calais
Nick Gutteridge and Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 18 October 2016

Questions have been raised over the real ages of refugee children arriving in Britain from Calais after it emerged that immigration officials have no way of verifying how old they are.

Tory MPs have expressed concern that the UK's hospitality may be being abused after pictures of the first group of "hulking", all-male teenagers to cross the Channel were published yesterday.

Fourteen youngsters, who officials insist are between the ages of 14 and 17, arrived in the UK from the infamous Jungle camp as part of a fast-track scheme to get children out before it is demolished. ...

Home Office mandarins insisted they have "verified" the ages of all of the refugees who arrived yesterday, saying that every single one of them was aged between 14 and 17.

However, many asylum seekers living in Calais do not have identity papers. Some lost them, but others deliberately destroy their passports and birth certificates to conceal their real ages and nationalities and improve their chances of being granted asylum.

In instances where refuges have no official documentation, Home Office protocol states that a screening officer can certify them as a child based on their "physical appearance" or "demeanour".

Whitehall documents state that refugees "should be treated as an adult if their physical appearance/demeanour very strongly suggests that they are significantly over 18 years of age".

However, the guidelines also say that "all other applicants should be afforded the benefit of the doubt and treated as children".
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Asylum
Revealed: The father of the Jungle boy who made Lily Allen cry is an ex-Islamist fighter who sneaked into Britain in a lorry, claimed asylum from the 'terror' of Afghanistan - and then went back there on holiday
Ross Slater, Simon Murphy and Ian Gallagher
Mail on Sunday, 16 October 2016

The father of the migrant boy controversially championed by Lily Allen sneaked into Britain in the back of a lorry to claim asylum – then returned to the country he fled in terror for a three-month holiday after being given the right to stay here.

Hazrat Gul Sherin, whose son Shamsher appeared with the tearful pop star last week as she 'apologised' on behalf of Britain for bombing his country and putting him 'in the hands of the Taliban', came to the UK illegally in 2005, having fled war-torn Afghanistan.

His decision to flee the country was prompted not by the Taliban but because as a leading supporter of a brutal Islamist warlord – and an officer in his private army – he was afraid of the US and UK-backed Northern Alliance.

After seven years, Sherin was given indefinite leave to remain in the UK, then promptly returned to Afghanistan to visit his family.

The Mail on Sunday can reveal that the 49-year-old was a commander in the Islamist group Hezb-e Islami, led by the Butcher of Kabul, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. ...

... Sherin now lives in Birmingham and is hoping that 13-year-old Shamsher will be able to join him from Calais soon. ...

Yet the boy's father, from Jalalabad, revealed the startling truth behind his journey to the UK in an interview with The Mail on Sunday. To reach Britain, he hiked across eight countries before being stowed away by traffickers in a fruit lorry.

He spent seven years living on benefits in Birmingham before his claim for asylum was accepted in September 2012. He then went back to Afghanistan, flying in via Pakistan, for the first of two three-month visits to the very country that had put him in fear of his life.

After 11 years in the UK, he can barely speak English.
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Asylum – Syrians, Christians
Exclusive: Why Are There So Few Christian Refugees From Syria In The UK?
Ruth Gledhill
Christian Today, 6 October 2016

Faith leaders and aid workers have spoken out against the tiny proportion of Christian refugees admitted to Britain under the Government scheme to help the suffering people of Syria.

Under two per cent of Syrian refugees admitted to Britain since the scheme began are Christian, compared to 97.5 per cent that are Muslim.

Before the war began, an estimated 10 per cent of the population of Syria was Christian. Even now that so many have fled and been displaced, there are still 772,000 Christians in Syria, more than four per cent of the population of 1.86 million.

David Cameron, then Prime Minister, pledged in September last year to take 20,000 Syrian refugees to Britain.

The faith of refugees admitted under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettleent Scheme (VPR) has not previously been made publicly available but Christian Today obtained the figures via a Freedom of Information Request.

Home Office records show that between September 7, 2015 and June 30 this year, 2,659 individuals were resettled under the VPR scheme.

These included 2,592 Muslims and just 51 Christians, four of whom are identified as Eastern Orthodox. There are also three Druze and 13 Yazidis.
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Asylum – children
Child asylum numbers in UK soar to RECORD HIGH
Daily Express, 30 September 2016

The number of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children being looked after in the UK has jumped by more than half in the space of a year.

A total of 4,210 children claiming asylum were reported as being in the care of local authorities as of March 31 2016.

This was up 54 per cent on the previous year, according to new figures from the Department for Education.

It is also the highest total since current records began in 2004.

Roughly nine in 10 of the children were male, while three in four were aged 16 or over.
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Asylum – asylum claims
Daily Express Attacked For 'Wholly Incorrect' Claim That Thousands Of Asylum Seekers Have 'Vanished'
Louise Ridley
The Huffington Post, 29 September 2016

A Daily Express front page has been branded "wholly incorrect" by the Home Office and "dangerous" by a charity, after it claimed 12,000 asylum seekers in Britain have "vanished" and are "on the run".

The newspaper's lead story on Wednesday said that thousands of asylum seekers have "skipped their first meeting with border chiefs and vanished" after "giving authorities the slip".

But its claim has been dismissed by the Home Office, which says the data it gave The Express provided no evidence that anyone disappeared.

The Express based its claim on the Home Office's most recent 'Asylum Transparency Data' which says that one in six asylum applicants fail to attend their first asylum appointment - the equivalent of 11,988 current cases.

It claimed the "shocking statistic" had "emerged" after it obtained the information under Freedom of Information laws, but the figure was in fact publicly available on the Home Office website over a month ago.

The Express story, headlined online as: 'REVEALED: immigration crisis laid bare' claimed thousands of asylum seekers had "disappeared from under the noses of immigration officials", including migrants who had tried to "sneak into the UK". ...

But the Home Office said there was no evidence to support the claim that asylum seekers have vanished, and that the one in six figure the Express used only reflected "the proportion of people who simply didn't attend a first interview".

That figure includes people who have attended subsequent meetings after missing their first appointment and doesn't mean people have dropped off the radar, it explained.
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Asylum – asylum claims
Britain's immigration crisis laid bare as 12,000 asylum seekers VANISH
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 28 September 2016

Britain's immigration crisis is laid bare today as figures reveal that up to 12,000 asylum seekers are on the run.

An investigation has shown that of 77,440 asylum cases in progress, one in six skipped their first meeting with border chiefs and vanished.

The 11,988 include migrants seized and held while trying to sneak into the UK but who have subsequently given authorities the slip.

A rise in numbers trying to cross the Channel from northern France has seen border security stretched to breaking point.

Many of those intercepted are thought to have been set free to join illegal immigrants already here.

The alarming Home Office statistic released to the Daily Express under Freedom of Information laws may even be the tip of the iceberg. ...

The UK's booming black economy is estimated to be worth £150 billion, supporting at least 1.1 million people who could be here illegally. ...

MigrationWatch UK's Alp Mehmet said: "While illegal immigration continues to be a huge problem, the resources devoted to dealing with it remain inadequate.

"The number of enforced removals has barely changed for 15 years.

"The Border Force and enforcement teams must have the budgets, support and political backing to deal with illegal immigration."

Asylum claims rose by 38 per cent to 34,687 last year.

Most came from Iran, Eritrea, Iraq, Sudan, Pakistan and Syria. Including dependants, the number stood at 41,563.

Asylum cost the UK £546 million last year. ...

A Home Office spokesman denied that almost 12,000 asylum seekers were missing but could not provide a figure on how many there were.

He said: "The figure includes asylum seekers who simply did not turn up for their first interview. Therefore the figure includes individuals who attended subsequent meetings.

"Prior to 2009, there was no mechanism in place to trace absconders. We now have a dedicated national absconder tracing team which works closely with the police, other government agencies and commercial companies."
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Asylum – refugees, economic migrants, United Nations
UN needs to stop lecturing us on economic migrants, says Ross Clark
Ross Clark
Daily Express, 20 September 2016

What Ban Ki-moon and the UN should be focusing on is the plight of people who are fleeing for their lives, and who make up a small proportion of the total number of international migrants.

According to the UN's own figures there are 244 million international migrants worldwide but only 19.5 million of them can be classified as refugees. ...

The country with the greatest number of Syrian refugees isn't France, Germany, Greece or even Turkey. It is Syria.

There are 13.5 million Syrians displaced within their own country. ...

Ban Ki-moon should be banging the drum for the UN's refugee programme non-stop, not spending his time trying to lecture countries on their policies towards economic migrants.

The Calais Jungle camp is a prime example of how efforts towards migrants have been misdirected. Over the past year it has attracted a non-stop troupe of UK charities, celebrities and assorted do-gooders, all trying to score virtue points. Yet Calais is a distraction from the real refugee crisis.

No doubt there are some who began their journeys to Calais as genuine refugees but rather more seem to be economic migrants trying to hitch a lift to a better life on the back of public sentiment.

That was the conclusion of Kassin Tokan, deputy chief executive of Bradford-based charity the Human Relief Foundation when he visited the camp a year ago.

He estimated that 95 to 97 per cent of occupants were single adult men and that most had no valid reason to leave their home countries other than economic betterment.

As a result of his visit the Human Relief Foundation redirected its efforts to help refugees still in the Middle East. ...

As Angela Merkel soon discovered when she briefly put out the welcome mat last summer, and as Sweden has also discovered as a result of its very liberal policy towards migrants, a developed country which extends an open invitation to people from much poorer countries is quickly overwhelmed by latterday Dick Whittingtons with over-optimistic visions of streets paved with gold. By contrast helping refugees in countries bordering Syria is a bargain.

According to the charity War Child it costs £2,300 a year to provide food, shelter, water and education for a Syrian child displaced to Lebanon. Providing the same help in Europe costs 10 times as much.

In other words the same money can help 10 times as many refugees if efforts are concentrated close to the source of the problem.

There is another reason for doing this: it is in the long-term interests of Syria. Syria might be a disaster now but one day the war will end.

When it does, the country will need hardworking people to rebuild it. It isn't going to get them if they have all been resettled in developed countries and spread around the globe.
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Asylum
Nearly 20,000 asylum cases that began at least NINE YEARS ago STILL haven't been settled... and the claims backlog is rising
James Tapsfield
MailOnline, 20 September 2016

Nearly 20,000 asylum cases dating back at least nine years have not been resolved.

Another 4,403 applications classed as standard immigration that were filed before March 2007 are still 'live', according to official figures. ...

Figures slipped out by the Home Office show that in the year to June there were a total of 36,465 asylum applications, up more than 10,000 on the previous 12 month period and the highest since 2004.

But the number of initial decisions made on applications actually fell by 7 per cent year on year to 26,350 – pushing up the backlog.

As of the second quarter of this year, some 77,440 asylum cases were ongoing, with 20,300 awaiting an initial decision. Some 30,325 had been in progress for more than three years.

Mrs May scrapped the UK Border Agency (UKBA) in March 2013 - partly because of its poor performance in dealing with the huge backlog in cases.

Its functions were handed to three directorates within the Home Office - UK Visas and Immigration, Immigration Enforcement and Border Force.

These three directorates collectively spend some £1.8 billion per year.

In 2012, the department set up an 'Older Live Cases Unit' to deal with some 400,000 asylum and migration claims dating back to before March 2007 that were still in the system.

This caseload was reduced to 41,000 cases after a review which removed errors, duplicates and individuals who had already left the country.

But at the end of the second quarter of this year there were still 19,359 of the asylum applications outstanding after more than nine years. Another 4,403 immigration cases remained unresolved. ...

A Home Office spokesman said: 'This Government has worked to ensure that the legacy asylum claims made before March 2007 received a decision by the end of 2014.

'Where the decision was to refuse their claim these people should make arrangements to leave the UK and if they do not do so enforcement action may be considered. ...'

The spokesman said the figures included some records where there was no evidence the individual was still in the country.
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Asylum – cost
Resettling 20,000 Syrian refugees in Britain will cost nearly two billion pounds, says watchdog
Laura Hughes
Daily Telegraph, 13 September 2016

Resettling 20,000 Syrian refugees in Britain will cost nearly two billion pounds, a spending watchdog has revealed.

The National Audit Office (NAO) have estimated that every Syrian refugee who comes to Britain will cost taxpayers up to £17,340 per year on average for their first five years in the UK.

According to the latest UK figures, 2,800 Syrian refugees have arrived in Britain since David Cameron promised to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020.

The watchdog warned that nearly 5,000 houses or flats, and more than 10,000 childcare and school places, will be needed to honour the pledge.

The NAO said the total sum is uncertain as it depends in large part on the level of medial treatment refugees need and the extent to which they can gain employment and become self-sufficient.

Based on department assumptions, it estimated that the cost to the end of 2019/20 could be up to £1.1 billion, and up to £1.73 billion over the lifetime of the project.

Their report said: "The future of the programme could be put at risk by local authorities' lack of suitable accommodation and school places."

In April the government committed to take in 3,000 vulnerable child refugees and their carers in one of the biggest resettlement programmes in the World from the war-torn Syria region.
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Asylum – religious leaders
Help reunite refugee families, faith leaders urge May
BBC, 12 September 2016

More than 200 religious leaders have urged the UK to relax immigration rules so refugees from Syria and other areas can be reunited with their families. ...

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is among representatives from the Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh faiths to have signed the letter to Theresa May.

The signatories, who are acting in a personal capacity, also include Baroness Rabbi Julia Neuberger and Muslim Council of Britain secretary general Harun Rashid Khan.

The letter calls on the government to "urgently revise its policy" to help refugees fleeing Syria, Iraq and other areas of conflict "by adopting fair and humane family reunion policies". ...

While Baroness Neuberger would not confirm how many refugees the signatories think the country should accept, she said they were "talking about the difference between a few thousand and either a few hundred thousand or at least many tens of thousands".

She also emphasised that the group was not worried about whether there would be any issues with integration and said: "In previous years we have taken more, and we haven't had a huge problem with integration." ...

Last week, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the UK was on track to deliver the promise made by former Prime Minister David Cameron to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020.

The government says it is also committed to accepting 3,000 unaccompanied children registered in France, Italy and Greece.
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Asylum – English lessons
'Madness' of £10m English lessons for Syrian refugees
Jamie Doward and James Tapper
The Observer, 4 September 2016

A government pledge to spend £10m on English tuition for Syrian refugees in Britain, while ignoring those from other countries, is "madness", according to the charity advising the Home Office on how to integrate refugees.

The government is making the pledge as it confirms that the local authority places needed to deliver on its commitment to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020 have been found. ...

Latest figures show that some 2,800 Syrians have arrived in more than 100 local authority areas under the Vulnerable Person Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) since it began, putting the government on course to meet its commitment, according to the home secretary, Amber Rudd. ...

The new £10m funding package to boost English tuition will mean all adults arriving under VPRS will receive an extra 12 hours a week of lessons for up to six months. This is in addition to the language support provided by local authorities. ...

Official figures show that, in addition to those arriving through VPRS, almost 15,000 people were granted refugee status in the 12 months to the end of June 2016.
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Asylum – illegal immigration
Third of asylum claims come from illegal migrants and visa overstayers
Sophie Jamieson
Daily Telegraph, 15 August 2016

Over a third of asylum applications are made by migrants who entered the UK illegally or have overstayed their visas, new data has revealed.

Rather than applying for asylum when they first reach Britain, the figures suggest that a significant proportion of migrants are waiting until they are caught by immigration officers to make their application.

A total of 83,912 of the 231,100 main applications for asylum received in the decade between 2004 and 2014 were by migrants who were "encountered by local immigration and enforcement staff", according to data provided by the Home Office in a written Commons reply.

Of those applicants who claimed asylum after overstaying, 19,200 were either successful or given permission to remain in the country for another reason.

Think tank Migration Watch UK suggested that the data showed "many of those claiming asylum are in fact economic migrants".

Migrants may choose not to claim asylum immediately because they have been trafficked into the country, and those who overstay may be applying legitimately because the conditions in their home country have changed since their arrival.

The proportion of failed asylum seekers who made their applications after being identified as illegal immigrants or overstayed has risen to 70 per cent for last year, compared to 58 per cent in 2009, The Times reported.
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Asylum – visa applications, backlog
Home Office asylum backlog could take DECADES to clear as cases reach 'record high'
Zoie O'Brien
Daily Express, 29 July 2016

Applications to live in Britain have stacked up so high - they could take DECADES to clear.

And the indicators are that the load is only going to get heavier after Brexit.

Asylum applications in the first quarter of 2015 almost DOUBLED to 10,100 and MPs have revealed they are expecting the UK's Brexit decision to trigger a fresh avalanche of millions more migrants to the country as foreign nationals attempt to get in before Britain gets out of the Union.

But a Government report from the Home Affairs Committee has also revealed the nation is already struggling under the weight of visa and asylum applications.

Millions of immigration cases are dealt with by The Home Office every year - and that figure keeps on rising.

The Home Affairs Select Committee, chaired by Keith Vaz MP, stated its concern over asylum applications and visa requests reaching record highs.

A report states: "The number of outstanding asylum applications is at an all-time high. Despite repeated warnings from this Committee the Home Office has done nothing to address this situation and it must set out what steps it is taking to tackle this concern.

"We are concerned that the Immigration Directorates do not have the resources to cope with its workload. The number of visa applications on which work has not started continues to grow and now stands at over 16,000 cases. ...

"Progress in concluding historical cases has slowed and at the current rate may take decades to clear." ...

In the first quarter of 2016 there were 10,100 asylum applications to Britain - a 39% increase on the 5,955 applications received over the same period in 2015.

While in the same period there were 40,119 in-country visa applications pending completion and 60,000 out-of-country applications.

The foreign visa applications almost doubled from 31,354 from the end of December 2015.
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Asylum – children, schools
"Broken-hearted and sad", British schoolchildren learn empathy for refugees
Lin Taylor
Thomson Reuters Foundation, 20 July 2016

In a quiet suburban school in northwest London, young children are asked to imagine that they need to leave their homes because Britain is at war. ...

The children, aged between six and 11, spend time discussing the differences between a refugee, an asylum seeker, a migrant and a displaced person. ...

Britain is home to 126,000 refugees, according to the British Red Cross, and received nearly 40,000 asylum applications last year of which 45 percent were approved.

The largest numbers of asylum seekers were from Eritrea, Pakistan then Syria. ...

The 23-year-old uses lesson plans, supplied by the United Nations Children's Agency (UNICEF), to encourage children to ask questions. The students' parents are also encouraged to discuss the issues at home.

"We want them to understand that everybody is human, and everybody is the same and that they need to look after each other," she said.

Since there are refugee students in classrooms, it is important to help children make sense of the crisis in a child-friendly way, said UNICEF spokeswoman Lilly Carlise. ...

Carlise said more than 4,000 primary and secondary schools were sent the lesson plans in June and the response so far has been positive.
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Asylum – international law
There's a very simple reason for this, Oxfam
Tim Worstall
Adam Smith Institute, 18 July 2016

Oxfam tells us that it's simply shameful that the rich countries are not taking more of the current refugee flow. The difficulty with this claim is that the current numbers are the result of the way that international law works. This is, today's situation, exactly how the United Nations has agreed, and the member states have agreed, that refugees should be handled.

We thus have Oxfam opening something of a Pandora's Box. If those glorious institutions are wrong on this issue, well, what else are they wrong upon?



The six wealthiest countries in the world, which between them account for almost 60% of the global economy, host less than 9% of the world's refugees, while poorer countries shoulder most of the burden, Oxfam has said.

According to a report released by the charity on Monday, the US, China, Japan,Germany, France and the UK, which together make up 56.6% of global GDP, between them host just 2.1 million refugees: 8.9% of the world's total.

Of these 2.1 million people, roughly a third are hosted by Germany (736,740), while the remaining 1.4 million are split between the other five countries. The UK hosts 168,937 refugees, a figure Oxfam GB chief executive, Mark Goldring, has called shameful.

In contrast, more than half of the world's refugees – almost 12 million people – live in Jordan, Turkey, Palestine, Pakistan, Lebanon and South Africa, despite the fact these places make up less than 2% of the world's economy.



... However, a refugee must claim asylum in the first safe country that is reached. Thus Syrians who have (entirely rightly and correctly in law) fled the war in Syria and reached Lebanon or Turkey not only can claim asylum there they must.

Someone who gets off a plane from Syria to Heathrow can claim, and should be granted, asylum in the UK. That's what the system is. The reason it is this way is that asylum, that duty to those at risk, is not the same as open borders nor the ability to go jurisdiction shopping as a route of immigration.

Thus asylum duties are going to fall heavily on those countries which are geographically connected to those places going through the horrors which generate the right to asylum. This is not a defect of the current policy it is the point and purpose of it. For the assumption is that once the war or the persecution has finished then people will go home.
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Asylum – Afghans, children
Huge Increase In Child Migrants As Afghan Parents Send Kids To Europe
Nick Hallett
Breitbart, 12 July 2016

Afghan parents are sending their children to Europe unaccompanied in the hope they will be granted asylum and seek reunification with the rest of their families, a report by the European Union's (EU) asylum office has said.

Last year, nearly 96,000 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum in the EU, four times as many as the previous year, with the vast majority coming from Afghanistan.

Ward Lutin of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) told Euractiv that the numbers coming from Afghanistan were "huge".

"There is some social research showing that in Afghanistan, this is seen as a grouping mechanism. Families send out their children, strategically, hoping that they will manage to get a status in Europe, and then use them as anchor children and be reunited with them."

European asylum authorities are seen as far more sympathetic to minors, and once those minors are granted asylum they can request for the rest of their family to be given asylum under reunification rules.
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Asylum – children
Home Office loses test case on asylum seekers 'who look 18 or older'
Diane Taylor
The Guardian, 21 June 2016

A test case judgment has been handed down in the high court preventing the Home Office from detaining child asylum seekers just because officials think they look 18 or older.

According to current Home Office policy, an asylum seeker who tells the Home Office they are a child can be locked up in an adult immigration centre if the official processing their case believes they are 18 or over. ...

Under current rules, local authorities that provide support to child asylum seekers must conduct a full age assessment before making a decision about whether or not to support someone who says they are a child.

But until Monday's ruling, different rules applied to the Home Office.

The Home Office has been granted permission to appeal against the ruling.
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Asylum – family reunification
Child asylum seekers can bring family says court playing onto hands of people traffickers
Jonathan Owen
Sunday Express, 12 June 2016

A controversial ruling by Britain's most senior immigration judge has opened the door for thousands of young asylum seekers to come to the UK, it emerged today.

A teenage Eritrean refugee has been successful in getting permission for their relatives to join them in Britain, in a landmark ruling by Mr Justice Bernard McCloskey that keeping families separated breaches their human rights.

But the decision sets a dangerous legal precedent which could see many more young asylum seekers try to get to Britain and then bring their relatives over, campaigners warned last night.

Attempts by the family of the Eritrean to come to Britain had previously been refused by the UK Government.

The decision to allow them to come to the UK means that ministers will now have to revise immigration rules to allow judges more 'discretion' in letting relatives into Britain.

Previously, only adult refugees could apply for relatives to come and join them.

There are already more than 4,000 unaccompanied child refugees being looked after by councils across the country, and Britain has already agreed to take in thousands more from refugee camps across Europe. ...

MP Peter Bone, a former chairman of a parliamentary group on people-trafficking, said: "I think the Government will be very alarmed by this ruling. It will expose young children to awful risks, because traffickers will say to families, 'Let us have your son, we'll get him into Britain then you can all come.'"
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Asylum – numbers
ASYLUM UP BY A THIRD
Daily Mail, 27 May 2016

The number of asylum claims went up by nearly a third last year.

In the year to March, there were 41,563 applications for individuals and family members, the highest for nearly 15 years.

The figures also included 3,206 claims from unaccompanied children.

The number was 30 per cent up on the 32,036 recorded for the previous 12 months.

The record asylum level was 103,081 in 2002, before Tony Blair's government introduced restrictions on the rights of asylum seekers to housing and support.

The highest number of applications in the year to March came from nationals of Iran on 4,305, Eritrea, 3,321, Iraq, 2,805, Sudan, 2,769. Pakistan, 2,669, and Syria, 2,539. ...

Asylum numbers do not count directly in immigration statistics. Instead, the ONS says that adjustments are made to totals to take into account asylum seekers who remain and removals of illegal immigrants.
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Asylum – Europe
Close world's refugee camps, says David Miliband
Damien Gayle
The Guardian, 14 May 2016

David Miliband, the former foreign secretary-turned-NGO chief, has called for an end to the refugee camp system and the reform of humanitarian institutions "that were designed for yesterday's problems not tomorrow's".

Wealthy nations should accept the most vulnerable 10% of the world's 60 million refugees, Miliband said, and should also economically support poorer countries to integrate new arrivals as full-time residents.

Referring to the case of Dadaab, the world's biggest refugee camp, which houses 330,000 Somalians in Kenya, just across the border from their home country, Miliband called for a "new deal" for poorer countries that host refugees.

He said: "The new bargain is that a small number of people – probably up to 10% of refugees, the most vulnerable - are relocated to the richer countries to the west and elsewhere because of their medical needs because they're orphans etc.

"But then, [for] the large majority of people, the only real hope for them is to become productive residents of the countries that they've fled to.

"That's a massive call on the countries concerned but if we can ensure they get international financial support and build up their economies then it becomes a chance to avoid the kind of Dadaab situation of long-term housing people in places that become magnets for criminality, never mind for terrorism."

The Kenyan government has announced it wants to send all refugees in Dadaab, a desert tent city which is the third biggest settlement in Kenya, back to Somalia, saying the camp harboured terrorists, but Miliband did not address this. ...

Miliband, who has led US NGO the International Rescue Committee since 2013, said that the British public must accept refugees or reap the consequences.

"Either refugees come to Europe in a disorderly, illegal and dangerous way, or they come to Europe in an orderly, legal and organised fashion," he said. ...

Miliband backed Angela Merkel's policy of opening Germany's doors to migrants, despite the rightwing backlash that had fostered in the country. He blamed other European countries for not supporting Merkel.
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Asylum – world, population
The migrant crisis will never end. It is part of the modern world
David Blair
Sunday Telegraph, 8 May 2016

Sometimes, one fact goes a long way towards explaining a global crisis. ... The number of people driven from their homes by conflict worldwide has jumped by 40 per cent since 2013. ...

The raw data are as follows: in 2013, the global total of refugees (who have escaped across borders) and "internally displaced people" (who are fugitives within their own countries) stood at 33 million. By 2015, the number had climbed by 13 million to reach 46 million. ...

The immolation of Syria was the biggest cause, but on the other side of the world, two million people fled the path of Boko Haram's pitiless offensive in Nigeria; another 2.2 million escaped civil war in South Sudan. ...

Today's wars generally create far more refugees than previous conflicts. /.../ After all, the biggest reason is simply that even the most volatile countries have also experienced rapid population growth.

Had civil war broken out in Syria in 1970, the refugee crisis would have been a fraction of today's catastrophe. Back then, Syria had only six million people, compared with at least 20 million today.

If Boko Haram had swept across northern Nigeria in 1970, the Islamist gunmen would have been ravaging a country with barely one quarter of today's population. The refugee camps across the border in Chad would have been tiny by our standards.

There are more refugees because there are more people – and, in turn, there are more people because the world has broadly succeeded in reducing infant mortality and raising life expectancy, even in the poorest countries.

Many of those improvements, incidentally, were driven by the aid programmes of the very European countries that now find themselves inundated with refugees. The EU and its members have spent huge sums on primary health care and childhood vaccination campaigns across Africa and the Middle East. The result is that more children live to become adults, the population rises – and so does the number of people who are vulnerable to becoming refugees if war breaks out. ...

Wars will always force large numbers of people to flee. Populations are generally growing, so future conflicts will create even more refugees than today. If 46 million people are now living in camps or other sanctuaries, the conflicts of the 2020s are likely to displace still more.

Instead of being a passing phase, the "migration crisis" is part of the fabric of the world.
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Asylum – children
HALF of unaccompanied child refugees arrived in Europe last year were Afghan NOT Syrian
Alix Culbertson
Daily Express, 5 May 2016

More than half of unaccompanied child asylum seekers who arrived in Europe last year were from Afghanistan not Syria.

A total of 88,300 refugees - or almost a quarter - who applied for protection by European Union (EU) members in 2015 were aged 17 or below and without any relatives or carers, official EU statistics reveal.

The number of unaccompanied children arriving in the EU quadrupled in 2015 after doubling in 2014 to 23,000, while between 2008 and 2013 the number stood between 11,000 and 13,000 over five years.

Double the number of Syrian migrants (352,000) overall arrived in Europe last year compared to Afghans.

However, a shocking 51 per cent of children without parents - 45,300 - came from Afghanistan.

The figures come as David Cameron U-turned on accepting unaccompanied Syrian refugee children from Europe during this week's Prime Minister's Questions.

The Government previously rejected Lord Alf Dubs' amendments to the Immigration Bill which would have forced the UK to accept 3,000 child refugees from Europe.

Bowing to pressure from fellow Tory MPs, Mr Cameron said he would allow an unspecified number of unaccompanied minors into the UK who arrived in Europe before the EU/Turkey agreement started on March 20. ...

The EU considers an unaccompanied minor as a child who arrives in a member state without a responsible adult or a child who is "left unaccompanied after he or she has entered the territory of the member states".
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Asylum – children
We all feel sorry for child refugees but how will we pay for their needs?
Michael White
The Guardian, 5 May 2016

We all feel compassion for abandoned, often damaged children whom we see too often in refugee camps on TV or as victims in court proceedings. But children have a habit of growing up. ...

Unsentimental or no, the Guardian rightly asks if there will be more money for councils to cope with the extra mouths they are being asked to feed, and other needs they are expected to cope with. Yes is the simple answer, councils get paid between £71 and £114 a day for each child, already some 4,000 unaccompanied young asylum seekers on some counts (plus many more destitute families).

But simple answers are rarely enough. Councils report that many such children are traumatised and need special attention. But councils have seen their grants from central government cut by at least a third since 2010.

...

An even more alarming disconnect between "victory for compassion" talk and reality on the ground is the current state of care for vulnerable children. Yes, Cameron's shift will save some from people smugglers, sex traffickers and other horrors, even in EU states that are basically safe and not to be compared with Jewish peril in Nazi Germany.

But we read every day – the Mail is very good at reporting this spine-chilling stuff – of dreadful things done to vulnerable children in this country, murdered or abused by parents, by care homes and some foster parents, by neighbours and complete strangers, and of mistakes made by hard-pressed social services. ...

Such problems are not confined to Britain (believe it or not, other countries sweep scandals under the carpet too), but should give sober cause for concern as we agree to take on a new burden. ...

And there's the paradox, surely. Germany and Sweden, even plucky non-EU Norway, have taken much more than their fair share of refugees from the civil war in Syria (North Africa and Afghanistan too), but Britain has been the destination of choice for an earlier movement of people from eastern member states of the EU, notably Poland, at a time when Germany and France invoked EU transition rules, as the Blair/Brown government naively did not.

You can take an upbeat view but the sheer numbers show why some native Britons of all colours and creeds are in a resentful Brexit mood.

No wonder Cameron has dragged his feet on helping more refugees this past year; he has his referendum gamble to take. Not everyone benefits from migration, not even every migrant.
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Asylum – public opinion, Syrian refugees
Refugee crisis scale massively underestimated by UK public, report finds
Joe Nerssessian
Independent, 23 April 2016

The British public underestimates the number of refugees fleeing Syria by 4.5 million people, a report has found.

Nearly five million Syrians have been displaced by the civil war, yet Britons believe the figure to be closer to 300,000, the study says - 16 times fewer than official figures suggest.

The report also found the public believed the UK had accepted 10,000 Syrian refugees - twice as many as the latest official number of 5,000. The Government has pledged to accept 20,000 Syrians by 2020.

The Humanitarian Index compared six nations which have accepted refugees, revealing a huge public underestimation of the scale of the crisis and an exaggerated perception of their own governments' response.

The US, UK, Germany, France, Iran and Lebanon were surveyed in the report, carried out by the Edelman group, a communications firm, as campaigners and charities meet this weekend at a humanitarian conference in Armenia.

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the conflict has caused 4.8 million Syrians to flee their homes since 2011 ...
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Asylum – morality
Our hearts are leading us astray on the refugee crisis [part 1]
Paul Collier
Catholic Herald, 22 April 2016
[Sir Paul Collier is Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University]

The plight of the millions of Syrians displaced by conflict indeed demands our generosity of spirit. But generosity is not enough: our responses must be grounded in wisdom. The headless heart may lead to outcomes little better than the heartless head. I believe that the surge of the heart has momentarily overwhelmed the slow effort of the head: Christian reactions to refugees and migration are in a state of moral confusion, while failing to address the true needs.

The 10 million Syrians displaced from their homes by conflict, and the 60 million globally, should trigger in us a duty of rescue. ...

Half of those displaced from their homes are still in Syria: the borders are periodically closed so it can be difficult to get out. This tells us that the first requirement of the global duty of rescue is to ensure that neighbouring countries provide safe havens. This is indeed a basic requirement of international law. All the displaced who have left Syria have done so by crossing into Jordan, Turkey or Lebanon, where they have been given safe haven. An unambiguous part of Europe's duty of rescue has been to meet the financial cost of providing these havens. Shamefully, we have not done so: the governments of these middle-income countries were left to bear the bulk of the burden.

Once in the havens, refugees have the option of living in camps run by the UN refugee agency UNHCR, where they are housed and fed. Few opt for the camps; most prefer to preserve their autonomy by scratching a living illegally in the cities. This choice should alert us to the inadequacy of the standard UNHCR approach: what refugees need is the right to work in these havens, not a life without autonomy in the camps.

Governments of haven countries are often understandably wary of letting refugees work, because their own workers would object. However, the government of Jordan has offered to create 150,000 work permits for Syrian refugees as long as European firms create new jobs for them. The idea is to harness globalisation for good: the firms would bring jobs to Jordan's Industrial Zones, and sell the output in Europe. ...

But surely, you might be thinking, isn't Europe's primary duty of rescue simply to open our doors as the German Chancellor Angela Merkel did? I will argue that, on the contrary, doing so has compounded the tragedy by breaching another fundamental moral principle: "thou shall not tempt".

Many people in poorer countries would like to live in Europe: life here is far more comfortable than in their home countries. All the Syrians coming to Europe were previously in safe havens. Most left Syria because their homes had become unsafe. But since the open door, others have left Syria in part through being tempted to seize the opportunity of that open door. Those leaving for Europe are disproportionately the young, male and middle-class, as places bought from people-traffickers are expensive. These are the very people Syria will most need during its post-conflict recovery, but once comfortably ensconced in Europe, they are unlikely to go back. ...
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Asylum – morality
Our hearts are leading us astray on the refugee crisis [part 2]
Paul Collier
Catholic Herald, 22 April 2016

The temptation of Europe has encouraged such attitudes, which are neither right nor ethical. Societies recover from conflict, and the people with the energy and hope that bring about that recovery are the true heroes. ...

The chaotic conditions created by Europe's open door have been seized by thousands of economic migrants from around the world who have determined to try their luck. ...

Our response to this wave of economic migration has encountered a further layer of moral confusion: is there not a moral right to immigrate? Aren't border controls inherently selfish and racist? I think not: there are three powerful ethical arguments in support of restrictions on immigration.

The first is concern for the interests of Europe's poor. The nation states of Europe are highly unusual in having built shared identities that have enabled generous welfare systems to be seen as in the "common interest". Recent research by Professor David Rueda of Oxford has found that across Europe, the higher the proportion of immigrants in the society, the less willing are those earning above-average income to support transfers to the poor. Because of this undermining of fellow feeling for the less fortunate, rapid immigration would probably pose a threat to poor households.

Nations are not moral abominations, nor dinosaurs of bigotry. The likely alternative to fellow feeling for the millions of nationals is not fellow feeling for the billions of global humanity, but a retreat into individualism, selfishness and alienation. Hence, part of the ethical case for migration controls is that those Europeans on above-average incomes do not have the moral right to sacrifice the interest of their poorer fellow citizens. Nor should they dismiss the concerns of the poor as mere symptoms of racism.

A common sleight-of-hand by those advocating a right to immigrate is to infer it from the right to emigrate. Clearly, the few governments that deny a right to emigrate are denying a basic human freedom. But the right to emigrate from one country does not imply the right to immigrate to any other country of choice. Try the argument at a personal level: I do not have the right to prevent my spouse from leaving home; but that does not give her the right to come and live in your home. ...

A final ethical consideration is the interests of those left behind. /.../ the economic migrants from poor countries are disproportionately young, educated and enterprising.

They leave their societies in order to better their own circumstances. While this is a triumph of economic freedom, it is self-serving. Migrants make remittances, but on average they are a mere $1,000 per year. We should accept that behaviour, and of course behave decently towards the immigrants living in our societies. But their relocation is not iconic of compassion. The true icons are those capable people who choose to stay and help their less able fellow citizens. Europe's open borders have inadvertently tempted such people to abandon their responsibilities towards those who need them.
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Asylum – numbers
Number of refugees granted asylum in the UK soars by 26% in a YEAR with nearly 50 a day now being allowed to stay
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 21 April 2016

The number of refugees granted asylum in Britain soared by 26 per cent last year as the migration crisis engulfed Europe.

A total of 17,920 people were given sanctuary in the UK – or nearly 50 a day. It was up a quarter on the 14,065 who successfully applied for refuge the previous year, and thought to be the highest recorded since 2002.

The increase coincided with a record 1.25 million asylum seekers arriving in the EU last year.

Many are fleeing humanitarian disasters in Africa and the Middle East, but others are economic migrants attracted to the UK by lavish benefits, housing and illegal work.

They were able to make their way across the continent unhindered once they had made it to the EU's passport-free Schengen zone. ...

In addition the UK also resettled more refugees than any other country in Europe. It accepted 1,864 migrants – 1 in 5 of the 8,155 migrants given homes in the EU.

The Government has pledged to resettle 20,000 vulnerable Syrian refugees in Britain by 2020, at a cost more than half a billion pounds. ...

Last year, there were 38,080 applications for asylum, including spouses, children or other family members – almost 50 per cent higher than the 25,870 people who sought refuge in 2014. ...

However, the number of asylum seekers remained a fraction of the record 84,000 who arrived in the UK in 2002 under Tony Blair.
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Asylum – children
239 unaccompanied refugee children disappeared from UK care in 2015
Peter Yeung
Independent, 18 April 2016

At least 239 unaccompanied refugee children permanently disappeared from care facilities in the UK in 2015.

It represents a 75 per cent rise in the number of lone asylum-seeking children going missing from care, according to a joint investigation by BBC 5 Live and Buzzfeed News.

Freedom of information requests to 140 local authorities across England and Wales have revealed the significant increase – with 51 children disappearing from care in October 2015 alone.

There are fears some of the children are being taken into "a life of slavery and exploitation", in the words of the report, suggesting that cannabis farms, the sex industry or sweatshops are likely destinations. ...

According to the EU police agency Europol, more than 10,000 unaccompanied child refugees have disappeared in Europe in the last two years.
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Asylum – children, cost
Child asylum seekers as young as SIX are arriving in Britain without their parents
Tim Sculthorpe
MailOnline, 14 April 2016

Children as young as six years old are coming through the Channel Tunnel without parents or guardians and claiming asylum in Britain, it was claimed today.

Kent County Council has received a surge in children claiming asylum and entering care in the past year as a migration crisis grips Europe.

Officials said more than 800 children are currently in Kent's care - compared to around 350 last year. Caring for each child with schooling, foster care and housing is thought to cost £50,000.

A million or more people are expected to try and enter Europe this year - many fleeing the continuing war in Syria.

Andrew Ireland, corporate director of social care, health and wellbeing at the authority told a House of Lords committee he was shocked how many children crossed Europe to reach Britain. ...

He told peers the surge of around 500 additional young people had placed 'enormous pressure' on Kent's resources. ...

Immigration rules normally mean asylum seekers are supposed to apply for protection in the first country they enter.

The Dublin Convention then provides for families to be reunited in a single EU country if one member has legally settled there.

The process is automatic for a parent while aunts, uncles and grandparents can also trigger the rule. ...

Nationally, a total of 1,080 unaccompanied children lodged claims in the final three months of last year - equivalent to 11 every day.
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Asylum – cost
Taking in 20,000 Syrian refugees 'will cost the UK more than £500m'
Florence Taylor
Christian Today, 13 April 2016

It will cost more than half a billion pounds to resettle the government's pledged 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020, it emerged today.

The Vulnerable Persons Relocation (VPR) scheme is estimated to cost £598 million, according to Syrian refugee minister Richard Harrington.

Harrington revealed the figures in a written response to a parliamentary question from Jim Cunningham, Labour MP for Coventry, according to the BBC.

The first year's VPR scheme will be paid for by the UK's overseas aid budget. It is not clear where the rest of the money will come from. ...

The budget has also allocated £129m to help local authorities with costs for the duration of the VPR scheme. To date, 55 local authorities have signed up.

The UK has so far resettled 1,194 Syrians under the scheme, including 605 under-18s.

In October 2015, a collective of bishops wrote a letter to David Cameron urging him to show a "meaningful and substantial response" to the refugee crisis by raising the number of refugees resettled in the UK over the next five years to 50,000.
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Asylum – children, Europe
Fourfold rise as 95,000 unaccompanied children claim asylum in Europe in 2015
Safya Khan-Ruf and Maeve McClenaghan
Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 10 April 2016

At least 95,000 unaccompanied children applied for asylum in Europe last year, four times the numbers for 2014, Bureau research can reveal.

The huge increase was discovered by the Bureau during an investigation into the level of migration among unaccompanied under-18 year olds in Europe and the stark inconsistencies in the way they are treated.

From approaching 29 different governments for statistics, we found at least 95,070 applied for asylum in Europe in 2015, up from 23,572 in 2014.

It is the first time any concrete figure has been reported for the actual scale of migration among unaccompanied minors during last year's refugee crisis. ...

Only 17 of the 29 countries we approached provided any data. ...

We also found huge differences in the way the children are treated by national authorities, with some using controversial methods such as wrist bone x-rays to determine age. ...

We approached 27 EU member states for numbers, plus Norway and Switzerland.

Almost all the larger countries were among the 17 which provided details.

Of those 17, Sweden registered the most asylum applications by lone children in 2015 – 35,369. This was followed by 14,439 in Germany, 9,331 in Austria and 8,804 in Hungary.

The UK came in ninth place with 3,043. ...

Our research found that the largest number of unaccompanied minors were from Afghanistan, with 23,480 claiming asylum in Sweden alone in 2015. Sweden also saw 3,777 Syrian youngsters register claims.

In the UK, the numbers were much smaller with 694 minors from Eritrea topping the list. Only 186 came from Syria. ...

But one of the biggest differences among the countries analysed was in how states assess the true age of those arriving.

Because most countries provide higher standards of care for children, there is a degree of suspicion among immigration officials that some claiming to be minors are in fact over the age of 18.

A study in Denmark of its 2014 intake of asylum seeing children found that in 72% of the 282 questionable cases, those claiming to be minors were adults.
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Asylum – UK, European Union
Brussels plan that could stop Britain sending asylum seekers to Europe: Rules could be torn up meaning the EU would decide on each claim
Larisa Brown
Daily Mail, 7 April 2016

Britain could be blocked from deporting thousands of asylum seekers to Europe under EU plans.

The European Commission is examining proposals to tear up asylum rules that allow Britain to deport about 1,000 failed claimants a year.

No 10 had earlier claimed 'intense lobbying' by British officials had stopped the current system being ditched.

But the commission's report instead said that the existing rules were not sustainable.

It suggested bringing in a 'centralised system' in which the EU would decide on individual claims, taking power away from member states.

The commission said the migrant crisis had exposed the 'weaknesses' of the existing system, where different national approaches had fuelled so-called 'asylum shopping'. ...

Although the UK could opt out of a federal system, it would lose the powers of removal under the Dublin Regulation.

More than 12,000 people have been removed from Britain to other EU countries under these rules since 2003 – a figure the Home Office has boasted is 'many more than we have received in return'. ...

Speaking about the reform plan unveiled by the commission yesterday, first vice president Frans Timmermans said the present system was 'not working'.

He added: 'In the longer term there are other options... a centralised EU system with EU decision on individual asylum claims.'
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Asylum – UK, European Union
David Cameron claims victory in battle with EU over migrant arrival rules
Anushka Asthana and Jennifer Rankin
The Guardian, 6 April 2016

David Cameron will claim on Wednesday that Britain has won a battle in the EU that will prevent more asylum seekers from travelling to the UK and allow those who do arrive to be returned to elsewhere in Europe.

Downing Street said "intense lobbying" by British officials had helped stop the European commission from tearing up the so-called Dublin regulation, which says refugees have to claim asylum in the first European country they arrive in.

But the proposals to be unveiled by the commission on Wednesday, which have been seen by the Guardian, do not point to such a clear outcome for the UK as Downing street has claimed.

Instead, plans to scrap the Dublin regulation is still on the table as one option, in a move that would pave the way for a mandatory redistribution system for asylum seekers based on a country's wealth and ability to absorb newcomers.

A second option would preserve the existing rule, but add a "corrective fairness mechanism" so refugees could be redistributed in times of crisis to take the pressure off arrival states.

The "corrective fairness mechanism" would be based on an existing scheme, where member states have agreed to resettle 160,000 Syrian refugees from Greece and Italy to other EU countries. But in the first six months of operation, barely 1,000 refugees have been resettled under the scheme, raising questions about its viability.

EU officials have stressed that since January the UK, could opt out of EU asylum policy but has chosen not to do so. ...

"A vote to leave the EU would mean the Dublin regulation would be gone for good, so thousands more asylum seeker reaching our shores would have the chance of staying put," the government source said, adding that the powers had been used to return 12,000 asylum seekers since 2005.

But Matthew Elliott, chief executive of Vote Leave, said: "Being subject to the Dublin regulations result in hardly any removals from the UK but do leave EU judges in complete control of our asylum system.
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Asylum – UK, European Union
Refugee Crisis: EU 'Could Take More Control Over Asylum'
Josh Lowe
Newsweek, 5 April 2016

The European Commission could look to take some power over asylum policy out of member states' hands, according to documents leaked to a German newspaper.

A communication set for official publication on Wednesday, but published by Die Welt on Tuesday, suggests considering moving "responsibility for the processing of asylum claims from the national to the EU level," the paper reports.

The document reportedly proposes opening branches of the European Asylum Support Office, an EU body which supports member states in processing asylum claims, in every member state. This would, the document says, "create a single and centralized decision-making mechanism."

The Commission is reportedly considering two strategies for reforming the asylum system across the EU.

One would maintain the existing system, whereby under the so-called "Dublin regulation" asylum seekers are required to submit a claim in the first country of entry, but would seek to balance it with a "corrective fairness mechanism."

This would allow for the redistribution of refugees across member states in times of particular stress.

The other option on the table would introduce a distribution system for all asylum seekers, using a formula based on the size, wealth and reception capabilities of member states.
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Asylum – genocide, Islamic State
Cross-party peers in UK campaign to recognise Islamic State 'genocide'
Harriet Sherwood
The Guardian, 21 March 2016

A cross-party group of peers is stepping up its campaign to have the persecution and killing of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria declared a genocide with an amendment to the immigration bill. A vote to decide is expected on Monday.

John Kerry, the US secretary of state, said last week that Islamic State was committing genocide against Christians, Yazidis and others, and there was a unanimous vote along similar lines in the European parliament last month.

The UK government has refused to make such a declaration, insisting it is a matter for international judicial bodies. ...

The amendment says that a person seeking asylum in the UK, who belongs to "a national, ethnical, racial or religious group" that is subject to genocide as defined under international law, should be presumed to meet the conditions of asylum. Crucially, it adds that a supreme court judge should adjudicate on whether genocide has been committed "after consideration of the available facts". ...

According to Alton, a campaigner against the persecution of Christians, actions committed by Isis include "assassinations of church leaders, mass murders, torture, kidnapping for ransom, the sexual enslavement and systematic rape of Christian girls and women, forcible conversions, the destruction of churches, monasteries, cemeteries and Christian artefacts and theft of lands and wealth from Christian clergy and laity alike".

He told the House of Lords last month: "History proves that once the word 'genocide' is used to designate heinous and targeted crimes against sections of humanity, as in Yugoslavia or Cambodia, it is followed by swift international action to stop those atrocities."
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Asylum – European Union
We can't stop the migrants: EU says Britain has 'MORAL DUTY' to Turkey to accept refugees
David Maddox
Daily Express, 19 March 2016

The EU sparked a furious row last night by saying Britain and the rest of the bloc had a "moral duty" to accept all refugees arriving by boat.

Christos Stylianides, the EU commissioner in charge of immigration, enraged Eurosceptics by insisting that turning boats full of migrants round and sending them back to Turkey or Libya is "against our EU values." ...

The Daily Express has learnt that the European Commission is now blocking a radical Australian style proposal to turn ships around at see and not let the migrants land in Europe. ...

But according to sources at the briefing, Mr Stylianides, a Greek Cypriot, at first tried to ignore the question and then "exploded" with anger when pressed on it.

MEPs in the room were said to be "shocked and surprised" by his response to what many believe is "a reasonable solution" to end the crisis.

At the meeting Mr Styliandes claimed that it is Europe's "moral duty" to take in the refugees flooding in from North Africa and the Middle East.
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Asylum – European Union
Why don't EU leaders realise that this refugee deal with Turkey is exactly what the people traffickers want?
Kevin Watkins
Independent, 19 March 2016
[Kevin Watkins is Director of the Overseas Development Institute]

By any measure, the war waged by the EU against the people smugglers blamed for the refugee crisis has been an abject failure.

If sabre-rattling, barbed wire, and naval flotillas and other barriers could disrupt the trade in transporting migrants, this is a war would have been won long ago.

Yet the EU-Turkey deal offers more of the same. Rounding up people smuggled into Greece and trading them for refugees registered in Turkey is not just unethical, it's also unworkable.

Earlier this month, David Cameron declared that despatching the Royal Navy to the Aegean to intercept and return refugees would help "break the business model of the criminal smugglers."

That outcome is unlikely. The "business model" of people smugglers is built on an imbalance in supply and demand. Simply stated, the number of asylum seekers and other migrants driven to Europe by fear, hope and aspiration greatly exceeds the number allowed in, creating a market for intermediation served by trafficking.

If there is one pervasive theme linking the diverse stories of migrants, it is a generalised indifference to the risks associated with strengthened border defences, perilous sea journeys, and strictures from EU leaders warning them not to travel.

Whatever its military prowess, the Royal Navy is powerless to suspend the laws of economics. Refugees will continue to head for Europe – and the people smugglers will be there to facilitate their transit.

The overwhelming focus on strengthening borders and maritime patrolling is ultimately self-defeating. As migration and people smuggling become more risky - and more criminalised - the profits to be made from trafficking will rise. Europol estimates that a market now generating a turnover of some $6.6bn annually could triple in size over the next few years.

With the risks and rewards associated with smuggling increasing, more organised criminal groups will enter the market. ...

Apparently immune to evidence, Europe's policy makers appear hell-bent on repeating the mistakes of the war on drugs. That war has created extraordinary profits for organised crime, hurt vulnerable people, and supported the rise of institutions like the great Mexican drug cartels. ...

The way to defeat people smuggling is to suck the oxygen out of the market through a large-scale global resettlement programme, safe transit and orderly processing of asylum claims.
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Asylum – Syrian refugees, cost
Syrian refugees will cost ten times more to care for in Europe than in neighboring countries
Rob Williams
Independent, 14 March 2016
[Rob Williams is CEO of War Child UK]

Five years after the start of the conflict in Syria, world leaders are still trying to work out how they can heave the country out of the abyss. But one thing is certain: the British aid effort has been severely let down by our European partners.

Since 2012, donor governments and aid organisations have spent around $15 billion on looking after ever increasing numbers of Syrian refugees. About 10 per cent of that has been contributed by the UK. Overall, Britain is by far the biggest European donor to Syrian refugees in the Middle East.

Countries like Germany and France did not pull their weight in the early days of the Syrian refugee crisis. Unlike the UK, they failed to spend enough money on families who had stayed in the region after fleeing the horror of the civil war.

The result? Hundreds of thousands of refugees decided to risk everything by making the journey to Europe.

Caring for the basic needs of a refugee in Europe costs at least ten times as much as in countries neighbouring Syria. Whereas a budget of $3,000 per refugee in Jordan would provide not just basic food and water but also education and opportunity, this will cost over $30,000 per refugee in Germany or Austria.

European countries will now pay more in the long run, so how did this situation come about? Due to the scale of the crisis, that $15 billion never amounted to more than $2,000 per refugee per year - not much of a budget to support people who were barred from earning money themselves in their countries of refuge.

A second failure was that the aid effort never moved beyond a 'first 100 days' emergency response. Even though it was clear in 2013 that there would be no rapid return to Syria, refugees were still unable to work in Jordan, Turkey or Lebanon, and Western donor governments did little to encourage a change of policy.

While food and water kept people alive, it was hopeless to believe that four million people would simply stay where they were without access to work or education.

In camps and shelters across the region, increasing numbers of girls are being forced into early marriages – some as young as 12 years old. Rates of sexual violence are shamefully high, with girls and boys are being trafficked into the sex trade. More than half of Syria's refugee children are not in any form of education.

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians are forced to sit idle, unproductive and disillusioned, while camps serve as recruiting grounds for militias.
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Asylum
They are migrants not asylum seekers
Frederick Forsyth
Daily Express, 11 March 2016

The luvvie sections of the media have taken to calling several thousand would-be immigrants to this country grouped around Calais as "asylum seekers".

This may sound harsh but facts often are. They are no such thing. Asylum means protection, shelter or sanctuary. You cannot seek sanctuary except from a threat such as death or persecution. The simple truth is that those occupying the Jungle camp outside Calais did not arrive by sea or air. They came overland after first landfall on the European continent. From that moment they were in no danger at all.

They must have reached Calais by passing through up to three countries where they could have sought to stay and start new lives. They chose to press north-west, motivated by the desire to reach the super-magnet of Europe: this country. Britain has the reputation of possessing the most generous and easily obtained social security handouts of any land in the EU.

More to the point, most have torn up their identity cards and passports, if they ever had any. There is a point to this ruse. Without papers they can claim any name and almost any age. Some fully-grown men are claiming to be children. Families apart, they appear to be fit, tough, muscled young men, neither half-starved nor weakened by malnutrition. One may suspect that many are not fleeing war zones at all but other countries that simply happen to be poor.

Monsieur Emmanuel Macron, the French economics minister, threatens to tear up the Le Touquet treaty under which the "illegals" are not permitted to board lorry or train to cross the channel. He seems to forget that we pay France a handsome sum as our contribution to the Calais situation. But we never ask why the French, whose ID papers the immigrants do not possess either, do not eject the illegals back to the border they crossed to enter France.

After all they seem to have entered France illegally as well. Over the centuries and in my lifetime we have given genuine sanctuary to hundreds of thousands of refugees from death or persecution. They came asking for our sanctuary and we gave it to them. But when a genuine refugee from terror arrives he does not ensure that the first thing he does is tear up his passport, which is an illegal act. You just do not do that when you are seeking help or succour.

There is a strong case for us to spend a bit more money and set up an Anglo-French interview office staffed by Arab-speakers. Genuine seekers of help and shelter would turn up with their papers and ask politely. The rogues would stay away.
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Asylum – border security
Brussels immigration POWER GRAB: Now EU wants to take control of BRITAIN'S asylum system
Nick Gutteridge
Daily Express, 7 March 2016

Meddling Brussels bureaucrats want to take control of Britain's asylum system in a move which could open the country up to millions more migrants.

EU officials are plotting a radical overhaul of the continent's refugee system to remove responsibility for vetting asylum applications from member states in one of their biggest ever power grabs.

Brussels would establish its own agency responsible for approving or declining asylum applications, leaving individual states powerless to decide who is allowed to live within their borders. ...

Officials want to turn the European Asylum Support Office, which is currently restricted to offering advice to national governments, into a fully-fledged ministry deciding asylum applications for the whole continent.

The proposals will be put to EU leaders at a crunch summit on March 17, which has been called to formulate a concrete plan for dealing with the migrant chaos. ...

The latest power grab comes days after it emerged Brussels wants to seize control of the UK coastguard as part of plans to create a Europe-wide border force.

The move would see the EU take control of the British coastguard, including policing migration on the seas, and is being pushed through to tighten the Continent's external borders before the expected summer upsurge in migrants.

It has already won the backing of the European Council and the EU commissioner for migration said it should be adopted by all member states "without delay".
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Asylum – accommodation
British military bases could be used to house asylum seekers for YEARS as the migrant crisis in Europe continues to spiral 'out of control'
Larisa Brown
Daily Mail, 5 March 2016

British military bases will become migrant camps under dramatic plans being examined by defence officials.

Hundreds of asylum seekers could be housed for months - if not years - on bases across the country in a desperate attempt to cope with the influx of migrants from the rest of Europe. ...

Officials from the Ministry of Defence have visited dozens of bases across the entire estate to see whether they could take in migrants following an urgent request from the Home Office. ...

They have ruled out certain bases, including military barracks currently in permanent use by soldiers, however they have identified a handful of bases that could accommodate large numbers. ...

Colonel Bob Stewart, a member of the Defence Select Committee, said the plans highlighted the crisis Britain was facing.

He said: 'They don't have much choice, where can we put them? Hospitals, schools? The military has to step in.

'This underlines the severity of what we are facing. Our country is full and the more people that flood in the more challenging it will get. This is a pragmatic approach and is using common sense.'
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Asylum – fraud
Migrants 'posing' as CHILDREN to enter Britain and 'cheat the asylum system'
Macer Hall
Daily Express, 4 March 2016

Migrants are cheating the asylum system by posing as children to slip into Britain, an MP warned tonight.

Tory backbencher David Davies called for compulsory age checks on asylum seekers claiming to be unaccompanied youngsters aged under 18 to close a potential loophole in the country's border controls.

He raised the issue after obtaining figures showing that the numbers of unaccompanied asylum seeking children accepted into the UK has nearly doubled while the number of age checks has fallen.

His warning came as new official data showed the number of migrants claiming asylum in the UK as a proportion of the population has reached the highest level of 11 years.

Mr Davies said: "Many asylum seekers who are claiming to be under 18 are actually adults.

"They deliberately claim to be under 18 because it makes it much harder for the authorities to reject their claims and throw them out. They also receive more money.

"It is very easy to find out someone's age to within a few months with a dental check but not enough claimants are challenged.

"The figures I have obtained from the Government show that a high proportion have been lying about their age."

Figures released by the Home Office in response to a Commons Written Question from Mr Davies showed that the number of asylum applications made by migrants claiming to be unaccompanied children rose from 1,028 in 2012 to 1,858 in 2014.

Over the same period, the number of asylum claims with a disputed age fell from 337 to 318.

Other Home Office figures showed that 65% of asylum seekers in disputed cases whose age was assessed were found to be over 18. ...

Separate analysis of Home Office data yesterday showed that asylum claims from 38,900 main applicants and dependants such as children were recorded in 2015. ...

Asylum claims from main applicants jumped by 29% in the UK last year, with 32,414 - which is also the highest number since 2004.
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Asylum – deportation
Britain doesn't send ANY refugees back to Greece despite EU rules because the country is 'too unsafe'
Martin Beckford
Mail on Sunday, 28 February 2016

Britain has not sent any asylum seekers back to Greece for five years after human rights judges ruled that conditions there were inhumane.

Under EU rules, refugees are meant to claim asylum in the first safe country they reach, and can be returned there if they instead seek refugee status in a richer nation.

But Ministers have admitted that there have been no returns to Greece under the so-called Dublin Regulations since 2010 because of a judgment by the powerful European Court of Human Rights. ...

Tory MP Philip Hollobone said: 'We have this absurd position where Greece – to where millions of Brits go on holiday every year – is no longer deemed a safe country for asylum seekers.

'We should be making maximum use of the Dublin Regulations to deport asylum seekers back from the UK to the first country they came to, while the EU border-free countries should be paying for Greece's asylum detention system to be brought up to an acceptable standard in double-quick time.'

As a result of the ban on returns to Greece, the number of asylum seekers removed from Britain under the Dublin Regulations has halved in recent years.

New Home Office figures show the total number of people sent back from Britain to claim asylum elsewhere on the Continent has dropped from 1,150 in 2010 to 520 in 2014.
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Asylum – Amnesty
Why are Amnesty keeping the details of their plan to bring in more migrants secret?
Douglas Murray
Spectator blog, 24 February 2016

The head of Amnesty, Kate Allen, /.../ In an interview on the Today programme she reminded everyone of how bad the situation in Syria is and indulged in the usual Conservative-bashing by arguing that Britain wasn't doing enough to alleviate the refugee situation. Despite spending more than almost any other country on regional solutions to the humanitarian catastrophe and a commitment to take in 20,000 refugees over 5 years, Ms Allen particularly lamented that we were 'not joining with the rest of Europe.'

Seemingly unaware that most of the 'refugees' flooding into Europe are not Syrians and not refugees, she insisted that Britain should nevertheless bring in far more of them. When asked how many she thought we ought to bring in she said she was 'reluctant to put a number on it.' Of course she is. I am quite sure that Ms Allen has some figures in her head. The problem is that she knows that the public would balk at them, denounce her as a madwoman and cancel any remaining Amnesty subscriptions. So she keeps the actual numbers to herself. But we got an insight into the sort of numbers Ms Allen is thinking of for Britain when she said, 'So far we've seen only Germany and one or two of the Scandinavian countries play their role.'

So 'playing our role' in Ms Allen's mind clearly consists in copying the German and Swedish models. This would mean the UK taking in more than a million refugees this year only to discover after they are here that the majority ought not to be here because they are not Syrians and not refugees. /.../ No wonder Amnesty are keeping the details of this policy to themselves.
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Asylum – deportation, crime
Thousands Of Failed Asylum Seekers Still In UK
Lisa Holland
Sky News, 24 February 2016

Two-thirds of failed asylum seekers who came to Britain more than a decade ago are still in the country, Sky News has learned.

There are also people who have committed multiple crimes who the Home Office has failed to deport. ...

The Home Office has said the number of foreign criminals being deported from the UK is increasing.

But it is not just criminals the authorities are struggling to deal with.

Examining 11 years of data, Sky News has found the percentage of people who have failed to leave the country after being refused asylum is consistently high.

Of more than 24,000 asylum applicants in 2004 who were refused permission to stay in the UK, 65% are officially still in the country.

In 2010 - which saw the highest number of people leaving - there were nearly 11,000 failed asylum seekers of which 52% are still here.

And of the 8,634 failed applicants in 2014, 62% remain in Britain.
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Asylum – children, deceit
'Child' asylum seeker caught out by his teeth: Afghan who claimed to be just 12 is revealed to be in his TWENTIES after assaulting his British foster father
Alex Matthews
MailOnline, 21 February 2016

An Afghan who claimed to be just 12 is revealed to be in his twenties after assaulting his British foster father. ...

The revelation came after another British carer also reported that she was sexually assaulted by an alleged teen she was looking after. ...

Conservative MP for Monmouth David Davies spoke to MailOnline about an attack on one of his female constituents who was looking after the '12-year-old' immigrant. ...

Mr Davies said: 'They did a dental check on him and discovered that his wisdom teeth were rotting.

'The dentist said he had to be in at least his 20s but the Home Office strike people down to 16 if they don't know what their age is for certain, so he was listed as 16.'

Mr Davies said that Britain was being fooled by fraudster immigrants who knew how to play our system.

He said: 'These people come over here and get preferential treatment by claiming they're 12 and no one wants to call them out.

'We've seen how bad things can get with other incidents in Europe, like what happened to that poor girl murdered in Sweden. It's becoming common place.'

Mr Davies added: 'They're encouraged to lie because if they say they are 12 they are allowed to stay in the country for six years until they face being kicked out.

'But when their six years is over and they're being forced to leave they just turn around and say it's a breach of their human rights. It's all a complete ruse.'

Government guidelines state that an individual should be treated as an adult if two separate officials deem them to look 'significantly' over 18 and if there is 'clear and credible documentary evidence'.
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Asylum – European Union
Migrant crisis: EU asylum applications more than DOUBLES to 1.2 MILLION over the last year
Laura Mowat
Daily Express, 16 February 2016

The number of people applying for asylum in the European Union more than doubled in the last year last year to over 1.2 million, according to official UN figures.

The huge spike has been caused mostly by hundreds of thousands fleeing Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Albania although migration experts have warned many could be economic migrants.

Serbia and Kosovo received the most applications, followed closely by Germany, Hungary and Sweden.

There were 1,228,000 new applications for asylum made in the EU last year compared with 566,000 the previous year, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

The number of Syrians who applied for asylum more than trebled, from 119,771 in 2014 to 359,376 last year, and the number from Afghanistan more than quadrupled, from 37,993 to 169,945, as did those from Albania, rising from 16,148 to 65,402.

There were 35,264 applications in the UK, up from 32,344 in 2014.

The number of applications in Germany was 441,000, Hungary had 174,000, Sweden received 156,000, while France recorded 74,296, Italy had 77,170 and the Netherlands received 39,724 applications. ...

Chairman of Migration Watch UK, Lord Green of Deddington, said: "We must send economic migrants straight home or there will be no chance of tackling the huge number of genuine refugees or of maintaining public support for doing so."

These UN figures could be even higher as not all EU countries have submitted their figures for November and December.

Overall 38 European countries, including Turkey, received 2.1 million asylum applications last year.

According to senior officials, Germany is expected to take 500,000 more migrants this year.
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Asylum – politics, UKIP
Refugee crisis: Britain must be cruel to be kind
Suzanne Evans, Ukip deputy chairman
Daily Telegraph, 26 January 2016

Sometimes, as a politician, you just have to stick your head above the parapet and speak uncomfortable words. This week, I've been cast in the "bogeyman" role when talking about Jeremy Corbyn's call for the UK to take in all 3,000 unaccompanied children currently trapped in the hell-hole that is the Calais "jungle".

Every motherly instinct in my body wants to scoop up all these children myself and give them a home. How desperate would I have to be as a mother to put my own child on a rickety boat and send them into the unknown? I'm teary-eyed just writing this. But never have phrases such as "tough love" or "cruel to be kind" been more apt.

Take 3,000 from the jungle and 3,000 more will arrive within days. Then another 3,000 will arrive days after that. /.../ The fact is, the more we take in, the more children will be abandoned to the cruel sea and the even crueler people traffickers. Is this really what we want?
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Asylum – housing
Migrant homes WILL go to flood victims: Common sense victory for crisis-hit council
Chris Riches
Daily Express, 22 January 2016

A council was praised yesterday for employing common sense after giving homes earmarked for asylum seekers to flood victims instead.

Last November, Cumbria County Council announced that 30 families fleeing Syria had been selected for re-housing in the Lake District having been selected from camps in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon.

But since then dozens of families from flood-battered Kendal, in Cumbria, have been forced from their own homes due to the torrential rain caused by Storm Desmond.

Now the crisis-hit council has been granted a Government exemption from a requirement to house Syrian families – as it insists it needs all its available homes for those in dire need that were hit by the last month's catastrophic floods.
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Asylum – economy, Germany
For good or ill
The Economist, 23 January 2016

The welcome accorded the 1.1m refugees arriving in Germany in 2015 is cooling fast. ...

Humanity dictates that the rich world admit refugees, irrespective of the economic impact. But the economics of the influx still matters, not least because it colours perceptions of the new arrivals. ...

When it comes to their pay packets, Germans need not fret. Evidence suggests that immigration has only a small impact on employment or wages. Unskilled workers and existing migrants are most vulnerable, as they are the closest substitutes for the new arrivals. But the effects are still measly. ...

The evidence on the likely fiscal impact of refugees is murkier, as adding up the tax paid and benefits received by any individual or group is tricky. Those who try tend to find only small differences between immigrants and natives. ...

But the experience of past immigrants may not be much use in assessing the impact of the new lot. Immigrants were a fiscal burden in Germany in part because lots of them are pensioners, who tend to drain the public finances. The new arrivals, in contrast, are young, with a long working life ahead of them.

There are also differences between refugees and other legal migrants. A new paper from the IMF uses existing immigrants to Europe from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and the former Yugoslavia as proxies for the latest wave of refugees, since most of them come from those countries. Relative to other immigrants, people from those countries who have been in Europe for less than six years are 17 percentage points more likely to rely on benefits as their main source of income and 15 percentage points less likely to be employed, even after controlling for things like age, education and gender. This gap does shrink the longer the migrants have been in Europe, but it is still there for refugees who have been in residence for more than 20 years.

These barriers suggest that it will be a while before refugees pay more in tax than they receive in state support. A study of Australian refugees found that they paid less tax than they received in benefits for their first 15-20 years of residency. Of course, the newest arrivals in Europe could be very different. ...

The influx will not be bank-breaking, however. In the very short run, the IMF estimates that refugees will add around 0.19% of GDP to public expenditure in the European Union (0.35% in Germany) in 2016. This will add to public debt, and given higher joblessness among refugees, unemployment will rise. But looking only at their fiscal impact is too narrow a focus. Later on, as the new arrivals integrate into the workforce, they are expected to boost annual output by 0.1% for the EU as a whole, and 0.3% in Germany.
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Asylum – Dublin regulation
Syrian migrants in Calais win green light to come to Britain
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 21 January 2016

Judges have ordered that four Syrian refugees living in "The Jungle" migrant camp in Calais should be brought to Britain immediately in a human rights case which could have far-reaching implications for border controls.

The Immigration and Asylum Tribunal in central London heard the young men all faced "intolerable" conditions in the camp and were desperate to be reunited with their siblings in Britain.

The Refugee Council, the charity which backed the case involving a 17-year-old and his mentally-ill 26-year-old brother, plus two other teenage boys, said it was a "ground-breaking judgment".

It could set an important legal precedent that could allow many other refugees wanting to cross the Channel from Calais to come to Britain. ...

The Home Office fought the application and is understood to be preparing to appeal against the decision.

However, even a successful appeal is unlikely to have any effect on the case of the four Syrians as the court indicated they could come to Britain urgently.

The ruling was made unanimously by Mr Justice McCloskey, the president of the immigration tribunal, and Judge Mark Ockelton, the vice-president.

Under EU law known as the Dublin III regulation the Syrians would only be allowed to join their relatives in Britain if they had already applied for asylum in France.

Lawyers for the four successfully argued that because of bureaucratic failings in France and the refugees' entitlement to a family life under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights, they should immediately be brought to Britain and their asylum applications processed here.
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Asylum – Dublin regulation
Refugee crisis: Court victory could allow thousands more asylum seekers to come to Britain
Jamie Merrill
Independent, 21 January 2016

A ground-breaking court victory for asylum campaigners is set to pave the way for thousands more refugees to come to Britain.

The court found that three unaccompanied children and a young adult currently in the Calais refugee camp known as "the Jungle" should be allowed to come to live with close relatives who are already settled in the UK while their asylum claimed are examined. ...

Campaigners from the grassroots group Citizens UK, which brought the case, now say they hope to bring the four refugees to the UK on Thursday and are despatching a team of lawyers to Calais to prepare the cases of up to 200 refugees who may have a case to come to Britain under the Dublin regulation. ...

Nonetheless, the ruling has major implications beyond Calais as it paves the way for potentially thousands more refugees to come to Britain under European rules that give them the right to be reunited with close family members. ...

The Dublin regulation should theoretically only allow an asylum seeker in Calais or elsewhere in Europe to join a close relative in UK if they have themselves already been granted asylum in France. However campaigners argued that bureaucratic failures meant this rarely happened, and the court has agreed that evidence of a written claim to asylum in France was sufficient to prove children had initially sought safety there. ...

The court subsequently has ruled that instead of waiting for French authorities to act, the Home Office must now examine claims brought by refugees under Dublin regulations.
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Asylum – European Union, UK
Refugee crisis: EU 'first country' rule change puts pressure on UK to take more asylum seekers
Leo Cendrowicz and Oliver Wright
Independent, 20 January 2016

The rules obliging refugees to register in the first European country they enter look set to be abolished under a radical revision of the European Union's asylum system. The move could be problematic for David Cameron ahead of Britain's EU referendum.

The EU's system, part of the so-called Dublin regulation, has been widely ignored during the migrant crisis in which more than a million refugees have streamed into Europe.

However officials say the rules were never properly applied anyway, as most refugees landed on deserted beaches in Greece and Italy, and made their way over land to other countries such as Germany and Sweden.

The move for reform, reported in today's Financial Times, comes after Greece, in particular, came under criticism for failing to set up basic facilities for refugees.

However, it will mean that the richer countries of final destination, like Germany, will have to establish major registration and fingerprinting infrastructure to cope with the hundreds of thousands of expected refugees.

It could also mean that Britain may find it more difficult to send refugees back to neighbouring EU states. One of the main arguments of the British campaign to remain in the EU is that the Dublin regulations allow the UK to deport asylum-seekers if Britain is not the first European country that they arrived in.

If those regulations were to be changed the UK might be forced to accept refugees who have managed to enter the country from across the Channel, regardless of where they first arrived in Europe. This could further encourage migrants to head for Britain. ...

The European Council President Donald Tusk said that the EU had "no more than two months to get things under control" or face "grave consequences".
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Asylum – discrimination, Christian refugees
Catholic peer attacks government's failure to protect Christians fleeing ISIS' 'campaign of total annihilation'
Harry Farley
Christian Today, 15 January 2016

A Catholic peer has delivered a blistering attack on the government for disregarding the plight of Christian Syrian refugees while prioritising Muslims and gay people.

Lord Alton of Liverpool accused ministers of running a flawed refugee policy which is "one-size-fits-all" and fails to adequately protect Christians fleeing ISIS. ...

The peer joined a number of other Christian peers including the Archbishop of Canterbury in expressing concern that the government's relocation scheme only takes refugees from UNHCR camps while ignoring Christians who largely avoid the camps for fear of violence.

"If gay people (rightly) qualify as 'vulnerable' then Christians should too," he wrote in a letter to Home Office minister Lord Bates over Christmas. ...

He told Lord Bates that the "complicated administrative procedure" employed by the UK government meant that in reality Christians were excluded from the chance of resettlement.

In reply, Bates insisted the government did not "discriminate" on the basis of religion and encouraged Christians to register as refugees in order to seek possible resettlement.

However Alton said afterwards the government's "obsession with 'non-discrimination'" makes "no sense", according to Catholic Herald.

"It's far, far worse than discrimination – a campaign of total annihilation is underway, which is why these minorities should be discriminated in favour of," he added.

"Of course we should discriminate in favour of those most at risk, not least because we have a duty to protect the most vulnerable. ..."
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Asylum – legal costs
£30 MILLION of YOUR money paid to lawyers to help 35,000 failed asylum seekers stay in UK
John Ingham
Daily Express, 11 January 2016

British taxpayers are paying out more than £600,000 a week in legal aid to asylum seekers, official figures revealed yesterday.

And the figures are growing in the wake of the migrant crisis which has overwhelmed border controls across the EU.

Ministry of Justice figures show that in the last financial year 34,768 cases were approved for free legal advice at a cost of about £30 million.

But the first signs of the flood of migrants across the Mediterranean was revealed by the last quarter of the financial year - January to March 2015 - when £8.4 million was spent on nearly 10,000 cases.

That works out at nearly £650,000 a week for the peak three months. ...

This was the highest quarterly figure for two years.

Each case costs on average £900, the money paying for lawyers to help asylum seekers seek permission to stay or fight refusal of asylum.

The Taxpayers' Alliance said genuine cases were entitled to legal aid support - but stressed that more must be done to spot bogus cases.

The chief executive of the Taxpayers' Alliance, Jonathan Isaby, said: "These figures are concerning, particularly as we're likely to see a surge in these cases in the light of the refugee crisis.

"We have a proud tradition of justice for all in this country so every case must be dealt with fairly, but authorities must do all they can to make sure bogus claims are weeded out before they reach the courts at a great cost to already struggling taxpayers."
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Asylum – bias
Revealed: Government body helps asylum seekers quash convictions for illegal entry to Britain
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 10 January 2016

An official Government body is helping asylum seekers quash their convictions for illegal entry to Britain in a move MPs fear could "undermine deterrence" and lead to thousands more arrivals.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) is running an unprecedented publicity campaign encouraging hundreds of migrants to challenge criminal convictions related to their entry, such as fraud or using false passports.

The commission has already helped more than 30 asylum-seekers to overturn their convictions – something which has allowed many of them to receive refugee status and stay in the UK. It is considering a further 60 cases.

The disclosures come after a Sudanese man was granted refugee status in Britain, despite facing criminal charges for walking through the Channel Tunnel. ...

As well as advertising for asylum-seeker cases, the commission has waived its normal rules which insist that people seeking its help must first have tried to appeal through the courts in the normal way.

It has instead fast-tracked dozens of asylum-seeker cases, making up a large proportion of its workload. Despite massive demand from British citizens who say they are victims of injustice, almost a third of the people who the CCRC helped overturn their convictions last year were asylum-seekers. ...

The CCRC's action is strongly promoted by its chairman, Richard Foster, who is also chair of the Refugee Council, which campaigns to "support and empower refugees" and "offer practical support to people who are seeking asylum." ...

For British citizens, the commission states that "applying to the CCRC before you have appealed will usually be a waste of your time" and "we usually tell people who come to us before they have appealed that they need to go back and try to appeal in the normal way."

However, for asylum-seekers the CCRC does take cases before a first appeal has been heard.
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Asylum – numbers
Asylum applications to the UK more than double in ten months to 5,095 – the highest figure for 6 years – but are still below other EU countries including Germany's 54,000
Martin Robinson
MailOnline, 6 January 2016

The number of migrants seeking asylum in Britain has more than doubled in ten months and has now reached a record 5,000 applications per month, it was revealed today.

Official figures have revealed that there were 5,095 asylum applications in the UK in October - 164 every day - compared to 2,230 in February.

It is the highest figure for any month since current records began in January 2009 and the first time since then that the level has exceeded 5,000.

Of the 24 member states included, Britain received the eighth highest number of applicants.

More were registered in Germany, where 54,870 people lodged asylum claims in the month, as well as Sweden (39,055), Italy (10,440), Netherlands (10,160), France (8,060), Finland (7,005) and Belgium (6,020).

The figures indicate that the number applying in the UK was nearly five times higher than in Greece, which is a major entry point for refugees attempting to reach Europe. ...

The Eurostat data indicates that 530 - around one in 10 - of the applications received in the UK in October were from Syrians - a rise of 63 per cent compared to the previous month. Some 615 claims were made by Eritrean citizens.
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Asylum – charities
Migrant crisis: UK government response branded 'inadequate'
BBC, 4 January 2016

David Cameron's response to the refugee crisis is "clearly inadequate", leading aid and refugee agencies claim.

In a letter to the PM, the group of 27 charities - including Oxfam and Amnesty International - say the UK should take a "proportionate" share of refugees.

They praise the commitment to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees over five years but say more needs to be done. ...

The group, which also includes the International Rescue Committee, Liberty and ActionAid, wrote: "Last year's announcement that the UK will resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees over five years was a welcome first step, but given the numbers of people searching for safety across the globe, this response is clearly inadequate: it is too slow, too low and too narrow.

"The UK can and should be doing much more to ensure that refugees are not compelled to take life-threatening journeys or forced into smugglers' hands."

They endorse principles set out by 350 former judges and lawyers in October which include taking a fair share of refugees and establishing safe and legal routes to the UK for those seeking protection.

Refugee Council chief executive Maurice Wren said: "There are no easy answers to a humanitarian crisis of this magnitude.

"However, the solution must not be to spend another year impassively watching on while desperate people drown or are forced to endure a march of misery across the continent as they try to find a safe haven or to be reunited with their loved ones.

"This year the prime minister must open his heart and show true statesmanship by welcoming far more refugees to the UK, enabling them to travel here safely and legally to live lives free from violence, tyranny and oppression."
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BENEFITS AND COSTS

Benefits and costs – Brexit
Brexit could see net migration from the EU fall by 150,000 a year and give pay boost to low-income workers – major new report
Michael Wilkinson
Daily Telegraph, 8 December 2016

Annual net migration to the UK from European Union countries could fall by as much as 150,000 as a result of Brexit, while low-income workers would get a pay boost, according to a new study.

A reduction in foreign workers would boost pay for UK nationals in low-income jobs by as much as 0.5 per cent by 2030, found the report by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (Niesr).

The research suggests that a large drop in migrant workers would have a lost-lasting damaging effect on the economy, reducing GDP per capita in 2030 by up to 5.4 per cent below what it would otherwise have been. ...

Niesr's research estimates the possible impact on EU migration of limitations on the right to free movement to live and work in the UK, which Prime Minister Theresa May has put at the top of her list of priorities for Brexit.

Its central estimate anticipates a fall of 91,000 a year in net EU migration in the years to 2020, rising to 150,000 if rules are tightened more severely.
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Benefits and costs – welfare costs
£200 MILLION: Cost of 60,000 migrants who began claiming Carers Allowance on arrival in UK
Daily Express, 30 November 2016

The number of migrants who have come to the UK and then started claiming Carers Allowance benefit has DOUBLED in the last six years pushing the annual bill to almost £200 million.

Latest figures from the Government show there were 60,000 people claiming the benefit who have come here from abroad - a massive 10 PERCENT of all claimants.

It means the bill for these foreign-born claimants of the £62.10-per-week benefit is £3.7 million every week. ...

The figures show that the numbers of migrant claimants of this benefit in the UK has risen from 29,370 in 2010 to this year's figure of 60,000.

During the same time period the number of claimants born in the so-called EU-10 nations behind the old Iron Curtain has quadrupled from 1,770 to 8,910. ...

The figures show that the top ten nations whose inhabitants are claiming the benefit: 1. Pakistan (11,510) 2. Bangladesh (5,020) 3. India (4,650) 4. Poland (3,760) 5. Somalia (2,880) 6. Turkey (1,690) 7. Iraq (1,620) 8. Ireland (1,150) 9. Iran (1,080) 10. Holland (1,030).
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Benefits and costs – cost, health tourism, NHS
My shocking encounters with health tourists who exploit NHS
Sue Reid
Daily Mail, 24 November 2016

A maternity unit at St George's Hospital in Tooting, South London, was used by around 900 pregnant health tourists last year, costing the taxpayer more than £4 million in unpaid medical bills. ...

In an uncomplicated delivery, where a mother and baby stay in hospital for a few days, the bill can still reach £5,000, according to Meirion Thomas, a leading surgeon who is campaigning against maternity tourism. ...

One woman from West Africa was recently found to have flown to the UK five times to have each of her babies on an NHS ward before staff realised she was a serial fraudster.

An official at a leading London hospital told me this week that staff hesitate to ask mothers for payment in case 'they run away from the hospital to avoid the bill, leaving us with their babies'.
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Benefits and costs – costs, health services, NHS
NHS passport checks have tripled income recouped in first scheme
Laura Donnelly
Daily Telegraph, 23 November 2016

Passport checks on patients before treatment can almost triple the amount of money the NHS can recoup from health tourists, new figures suggest. ...

But doctors' unions attacked the idea, saying that the money lost to health tourism was a "pinprick" of a problem for the NHS, while Labour said medics must not be treated as "border guards." ...

Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation trust said it is now recouping 95 per cent of the money owed by overseas patients, after requiring patients to bring passports and proof of residency in order to receive free care.

In the last year, the trust recouped £250,000 in charges from overseas patients - almost all of the money owed. ...

The proposals are part of plans to attempt to recoup at least £500m a year from overseas patients without an entitlement to free NHS care. ...

Mr Wormald told the public accounts committee the Government was considering rolling out plans which were "controversial" and would mean a significant change to the culture of the health service.

The committee heard that Britain has paid £4.3 million towards treatment for Britons in Poland – but received just £1.5 million for the cost of treating Poles in NHS hospitals.
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Benefits and costs – costs, health services, NHS
DAILY MAIL COMMENT: A £2 billion 'pinprick' the NHS cannot afford
Daily Mail, 23 November 2016
[Leading article]

This paper is sad that, for the first time in the history of the NHS, patients needing hospital treatment are being asked to produce passports or other documentation proving their entitlement to free care at the point of delivery.

But much has changed since the foundation of the service in the 1940s. And in this age of mass migration and cheap air travel, it is hard to think of practical alternative ways of tackling the modern scourge of health tourism. ...

True, nobody knows exactly how much the NHS spends on treating patients from overseas (a fact which, in itself, exposes the hopeless inefficiency of our GP practices and hospital trusts).

What we do know is that Whitehall estimates the figure at a monstrous £2 billion a year – rather more than Dr Porter's pinprick, as anyone who cares about the long-term viability of the NHS must surely agree.

We also know that we pay out nine times more to foreign governments for treating Britons abroad than they pay us for treating their nationals.
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Benefits and costs – cost, NHS, identity card, national security
A passport for NHS treatment is one step away from an identity card
Frank Field, MP (Lab)
Daily Telegraph, 23 November 2016
[Letter to the Editor]

SIR – The Government is on to a winner with its plans to counter health tourism ("Show your passport if you want to use the NHS, patients could be told," report, November 22).

Requiring patients to produce identification, so that entitlement to treatment, and eligibility for it, can be determined is a necessary first move. But it should be only a first move.

A second, equally important move, and one that counters the risk of fake identification documents being produced, is for the Government to bite the bullet on identity cards.

The advantages to national security are clear. But ID cards could also be designed to define entitlement to welfare. In respect of the NHS, a system of ID cards carrying patients' citizenship and National Insurance records would help the Government deliver a truly National Health Service, rather than an international one. Herein lies a useful way of bolstering our country's post-Brexit borders.
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Benefits and costs – foreign students
Experts say foreign students who refuse to pay back their university loans should be ARRESTED
Eleanor Harding
Daily Mail, 12 November 2016

Foreign students who refuse to pay back their loans should be arrested at the border as every £1 spent on prosecuting them will claw back £22 for the taxpayer, experts say.

Proposals submitted to the government suggest millions of pounds of lost public money could be retrieved by investing in a crackdown on loan defaulters when they try to re-enter the country.

The plans are aimed at tackling the thousands of European Union students who have borrowed public money for their studies in the UK and returned home with no intention of paying.

There are also a large number of British graduates who work abroad and do not repay their loans.

The Higher Education Policy Institute, a think tank which drafted the proposals, want failure to repay student loans to be criminalised in the forthcoming higher education bill.

They have sent a policy paper to universities minister Jo Johnson, urging him to treat defaulters in the same way as 'tax evaders and benefit cheats'. ...

Those from the EU currently owe a record £1.3 billion of the English student loan book – up 36 per cent from 958 million this time last year, according to the latest statistics.

Around 8,600 – or 11 per cent – of former EU students are currently in arrears after graduation because there is no way of forcing those who move abroad to pay.
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Benefits and costs – cost, local authorities, children
Councils foot MASSIVE bill for more than 5,000 migrant children
Zoie O'Brien
Daily Express, 4 November 2016

Cash-strapped councils are being forced to plug million-pound black holes left by the gap between what child migrants cost and what the Home Office provides. ...

A report by the Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS) has revealed councils are being forced to spend out on supporting teens after the Government's decision to take on more children from Calais.

According to the report the number of lone child migrants in England has more than doubled from 2,050 in March 2014 to 4,210 in March 2016.

The revealing dossier showed among the 106 authorities which responded to the ADCS, 5,673 children were supported by local authorities in England in 2015/16.

Currently, 92 percent of the migrants being looked after in England are male, and 76 percent are aged 16 or 17.

The news comes as many of the migrants arriving from Calais appeared to be older than they claimed.

Last year, there were 789 age disputes, compared to 318 in 2014.

Councils told the ADCS the number of migrants lying about their age is rising.

Of this number two thirds were considered to be over the age of 18 when an assessment request was raised.

And the cost for the councils just keeps on rising. ...

The report said: "The increasing number of new arrivals, when added to those already looked after, indicates a significant and cumulatively growing cohort.

"The most common way children end up in certain areas is what is referred to as the 'lorry stop lottery'."
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Benefits and costs – health tourism
The London hospital used by Nigerian mums flying in for free maternity care
Katie Mansfield
Daily Express, 31 October 2016

Nigerian women are flying to Britain to have their babies at a south London hospital because they know there are NO checks on nationality or eligibility.

The problem is so acute that bosses are FINALLY considering introducing passport checks on women who have no right to treatment in British hospitals.

Health chiefs have long warned of an 'escalating' problem with women flying to Britain to have their children knowing they will get free top notch care, courtesy of the British tax payer.

And a high proportion of expectant foreign mothers who have no right to access the NHS maternity services continue to target St George's Hospital in Tooting.

There is growing evidence that this deliberate UK health tourism has become a commoditised business in Nigeria.

Now bosses are proposing ID checks and the Home Office is said to be keen to support the proposed pilot scheme with a view to potentially rolling the system out across the country.

Under the proposals every pregnant woman would be expected to show a photo ID and utility bill when they arrive for a scan to prove they are entitled to free NHS care.

Those unable to prove eligibility will be referred to the Overseas Patient Team for further investigation with the backing of the Home Office.

Managers at St George's said Nigerian women were using the south London hospital as an international health service. ...

Four in five overseas patients at St George's flee before paying for their care with the hospital losing approximately £4.6 million a year from health tourists. ...

The hospital, which serves a population of 1.3 million, treated at least 6,000 overseas patients last year.
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Benefits and costs – welfare costs
Migrant dad-of-eight 'lands plush four-bed detached property worth £425,000' – and YOU PAY
Charlie Bayliss
Daily Express, 31 October 2016

A family-of-ten have successfully wrangled themselves a property worth £425,000 after moaning their current house was too cramped.

Arnold Sube and his wife Jeanne - both from Cameroon – with his eight children have reportedly cost the taxpayer £238,000 since arriving in Britain in 2012.

Now Mr Sube and his wife have been given a dream home in leafy Milton Keynes, Bucks. ...

Mr Sube and his wife collect £44,000-a-year in benefits and have collected a total of £238,000 in benefits since their arrival from Paris in 2012, the Sun reported.

Neighbours labelled the hand-out "unfair" when they heard the family did not pay anything towards the £1,200-a-month rent. ...

Back in September, Mr Sube revealed he had £15,000 saved up from his job at a warehouse in Paris - but stopped work when he moved to Luton in 2012.

He spent his savings trying to keep up the lavish lifestyle he lived in Paris but soon ran out of cash and footed the bill to taxpayers instead.
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Benefits and costs – NHS, health tourism
NHS hit squads to collect payment from health tourists
Laura Donnelly and Henry Bodkin
Daily Telegraph, 28 October 2016

Hit squads of debt collectors are to be sent into hospitals to collect payment from health tourists after a report revealed the NHS recoups less than half the money it spends on treating overseas patients.

NHS Trusts collected just £255m of at least £500m spent providing treatment to foreign patients last year, according to a new report by the National Audit Office (NAO).

The report reveals that the NHS is failing to claim back money from foreign patients because half of doctors and a quarter of nurses do not think it is their job to ensure payments were made.

The damning report reveals that eight trusts failed to collect payment from a single overseas visitors who received free treatment, to which they had not been entitled.

Now the Daily Telegraph understands that the Government is preparing to send in teams of expert 'debt collectors' into such trusts.

And, in a bid to drive up the amount of money recouped from overseas visitors, the Government is preparing a further crackdown.

Ministers are drawing up plans to introduce charges for overseas patients who use Accident & Emergency departments, ambulance services, maternity units and GPs.

Currently charges are only recouped for non-urgent care.

Last night Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, said he was determined to strengthen measures to ensure the NHS was not "abused".

He said: "We consulted earlier this year on extending the charging of migrants and visitors using the NHS to other areas of healthcare. We will set out further steps in due course to ensure we deliver on our objective to recover £500 million a year by the middle of this Parliament." ...

Two years ago, the Government introduced a cost recovery programme to recoup costs spent treating patients who are not resident in the UK and not entitled to free care.

Ministers set a target to recoup £500m a year from foreign visitors by 2017-2018.

But the NAO report says that last year, health services attempted to charge just £289m for such costs – and only managed to reclaim £255m of this. ...

The NAO report said the target to claw back £500m in 2017-18 will be missed by more than £150m. ...

Earlier this month a London trust was revealed to be running a Home Office pilot scheme, which demands that women hand over passports before they give birth.

St George's Hospital in south London drew up the scheme, which may form the basis of the national plan, after uncovering a scam which saw con-men charging Nigerian women who flew to the NHS to give birth.

Officials said the unit was used by around 900 pregnant health tourists last year – with deliveries from non-EU mums accounted for a fifth of all births.
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Benefits and costs – health tourism, doctors, National Health Service
We must ensure the NHS gains from Brexit
J Meirion Thomas
ConservativeHome, 22 September 2016
[Meirion Thomas was until recently a Professor of Surgery and Consultant Surgeon in the NHS]

Whatever is decided, there must be no compromise on correcting the harm done to the NHS by uncontrolled migration from the EU. As of January 2016, the population of the European Union was 510.1 million and currently, all of those people, if they chose to exercise their Treaty rights to reside in UK, would, from the moment of arrival, be entitled to full and free NHS care, without the exclusion of pre-existing conditions. Needless to say, this automatic right is not offered or reciprocated elsewhere in Europe.

This happens because of the Department of Health's definition of "ordinarily resident" (OR) status, and because free NHS care is dependent on residency rather than contribution. This is contrary to any other European country with a healthcare system comparable to ours. The Department of Health's document "Guidance on implementing the overseas visitor hospital charging regulations 2015" states that a person is defined as ordinarily resident "if that residence is lawful and for settled purposes as part of the regular order of their life, whether of long or short duration".

Furthermore, "a person can be ordinarily resident in more than one country at once" and "it is perfectly possible to be ordinarily resident from the day of arrival providing that person has taken up settled residence". This definition of OR provides an incontestable loophole for any EU health tourist to gain access to the NHS. I saw this happening on many occasions in my role as a specialist cancer surgeon. ...

This concept of ordinarily resident was not imposed on us by EU decree. It was created in Whitehall and is not contained in any Act of Parliament. It was extrapolated from House of Lords judicial reviews, all delivered before 1983, and relating to education and immigration disputes. ...

During the referendum debates, we were reminded that the NHS is heavily dependent on foreign trained doctors, about half of whom come from EU countries. Sadly, for decades, 30-40 per cent of all new doctors registering with the General Medical Council (GMC) are foreign-trained, because we don't train enough doctors of our own. Every year there are several thousand disappointed school leavers with the required A-level grades who can't obtain a place in a British medical school. This is a tragic loss of resource for the NHS and amounts to a governmental admission that it's cheaper to import doctors than to educate them. Should the UK be so continuously dependent on so many foreign-trained doctors? ...

... The entry criteria for some European medical schools are not as stringent as our own and the GMC has no control over their standards, such as hours and quality of tuition or their curriculum. ...

For these reasons, before Article 50 is triggered, there must be rigorous and well-rehearsed policies in place to protect the NHS and its patients. There should be no compromise on the two issues discussed in this article. These measures will help to reduce capacity pressures in the NHS, improve standards of care and save taxpayers' money. The amount saved should be used to train more British medical students.
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Benefits and costs – businesses
Migrants are creating jobs, not taking them, says report
Emma Featherstone
The Guardian, 13 September 2016

Migrant-led businesses are a boost to the UK economy, and need further government backing, says a report by the Institute of Directors (IoD) and mi-hub, a co-working space specifically for migrant entrepreneurs. ...

Andy Silvester, head of campaigns at the IoD and co-author of the report, Migrant Entrepreneurship in the UK: celebrating the benefits to Britain, said: "This is an attempt, in one small way, to remind people of the positive contribution that many migrants make to the UK.

"After the referendum, Britain is now likely to re-write its immigration policy. While the government must of course respond to public concerns, the visa system must be open to the world's brightest and best, many of whom will set up businesses that employ those born here."

Brazilian-born Rafael dos Santos, co-author of the report and founder of mi-hub, sets out a number of policy recommendations including simplifying the application process for UK work visas, with a focus on speeding up the time from application to decision.

He said: "The [report] shows that migrants contribute much more than they take from the UK economy." ...

In its annual member survey, 70% of IoD members agreed that UK businesses need the skills of immigrants to compete globally.
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Benefits and costs – poverty
'Extreme debt is caused by mass immigration' Ferrari blasts TUC's 'Britain in Red' report
Lizzie Stromme
Daily Express, 24 August 2016

This is the moment Nick Ferrari launched a savage attack on the Trades Union Congress (TUC) after it failed to investigate if mass immigration is to blame for British households' extreme debt.

The LBC host's anger was sparked after a report from the TUC claimed that more than 1.5 million British families are in the red.

It also stated that households are paying almost half of their gathered income in repayments.

Kam Gill, the economics spokesperson at the TUC, told LBC: "In 2007, rather than a growth in unemployment, what we saw was workers willing to take a cut in their wages or reduced hours.

"Since that point, while employment has stayed strong, wages have not grown at anything like the rate that employment has."

However, Ferrari took the TUC to task after Mr Gill admitted that the report had not looked into whether or not the large number of migrants coming to Britain had impacted the figure.

Blasting the lack of research, the LBC host said: "Is it because it's an inconvenient truth?"
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Benefits and costs – healthcare
Immigration Health Surcharge – a rotten deal for the NHS, patients and taxpayers
J Meirion Thomas
ConservativeHome, 16 August 2016
[J Meirion Thomas was until recently a Professor of Surgery and Consultant Surgeon in the NHS]

... financial troubles in the NHS still make almost daily headline news. To close a £22 billion funding gap by 2020, there must be unprecedented rationing of hospital services. Cataract surgery will have to be postponed – an outcome criticised by the Royal National Institute for the Blind. Steve Cannon, one of the most respected orthopaedic surgeons of his generation, has warned that delays in joint replacement will result in crippling arthritic pain and crumbling joints.

What have I done personally to prevent this tragic outcome for the NHS, apart from devoting 30 years of my life to specialist cancer surgery? The answer is that, for more than three years, I've been banging my head against the impenetrable, soundproofed wall of the Department of Health, trying to persuade those complacently cocooned within that billions of pounds could be saved by restricting access to the NHS only to those who are entitled to the privilege. I coined the phrase that "taxpayers should fund a National Health Service, not an International Health Service".

Imagine my surprise, therefore, when it was announced in this year's 2016 Queen's Speech that there is to be an NHS Overseas Charging Bill, and that "overseas migrants and visitors will be charged for services to which they are not entitled." A battle won – but not the war because those who are not entitled to free NHS care should not be taking up precious facilities, for payment or not. They should be in the private sector, where there is plenty of capacity.

The Government, embarrassed by its failure to control health tourism from outside the EU, had already announced a plan to raise £500 million from better charging of overseas visitors, of which £200 million would come from the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). This policy was a combined initiative by the Home Office and Department of Health, and was included in the 2014 Immigration Act.

I would argue that the IHS was possibly one the most ill-conceived pieces of legislation enacted by the Coalition Government. It may be costing the British taxpayer a fortune and, after being in place for more than a year, needs to be urgently reviewed. ...

... And will the new administration forge ahead with the NHS Overseas Charging Bill – or was the announcement just another Department of Health smokescreen, to compensate for policy failure?
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Benefits and costs – NHS, health tourism
Revealed, how health tourists are jumping the NHS queue: Hundreds of patients from Nigeria and Zimbabwe are given £2,500 eye surgery for FREE while British pensioners are forced to wait for months
Sophie Borland And Katherine Faulkner
Daily Mail, 12 July 2016

Health tourists are jumping the queue ahead of NHS patients for life-changing cataract operations, an investigation has revealed.

At least 300 foreign patients flying in from countries including Nigeria and Zimbabwe have been offered surgery before British taxpayers because their condition is deemed a priority.

The treatment costs the NHS up to £2,500 a time including translation costs but many patients return home and never pay it back.

Yet they are being fast-tracked by doctors as their condition is deemed very complex and urgent, leading to lengthy delays for British patients.

Cataract surgery is the most common treatment on the NHS and 300,000 operations are performed a year, mostly on the elderly.

Yet it is being heavily rationed due to financial pressures. Figures have shown that at least half of health trusts currently ration cataract surgery and some patients have been told their vision is 'too good' even though they cannot read or write.

Some areas including parts of Greater Manchester have average waiting times of 222 days – nearly eight months – while others will now only do one eye at a time. ...

Charities have warned, however, that thousands of patients are gradually losing their sight because NHS trusts are refusing to carry out surgery.

The Daily Mail used the Freedom of Information Act to ask all 150 hospital trusts in England a series of questions about overseas patients. The replies show that in the past two years 849 overseas patients were given cataract surgery on the NHS even though they were not eligible for free care.

They included 283 who were fast-tracked to the front of the queue because doctors deemed their condition to be more urgent than others already waiting.

Only 77 trusts managed to reply to any of our questions so the true scale of the abuse is likely to be far higher. Thirteen admitted they never recovered the full costs from the patients. ...

The Mail was alerted to the problem by a whistleblower from a hospital whose role is to charge foreign patients.

She said many patients, mainly from Nigeria and Zimbabwe, are brought in by relatives living here. The relatives then take them for eye tests by opticians, who refer them to hospital, where doctors carry out cataract surgery immediately. But they do not demand money beforehand.

The whistleblower said that between five and 15 overseas patients arrive at her hospital a week needing cataract treatment. 'We rarely get the money back,' she said. 'They tend to need very complex procedures. We have to use a translation service as well and it's a huge cost.'
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Benefits and costs – unaccompanied children, cost
'We can't cope if it happens again' warns children's chief
Tom Pyman
Kent News, 10 July 2016

Social services in Kent would not be able to cope if it was to endure a repeat of last summer's influx of refugee children, a council chief has admitted.

Peter Oakford, cabinet member for specialist children's services on Kent County Council, was speaking following the introduction of a new dispersal scheme for unaccompanied asylum seeking children that has been launched this month.

The scheme is a voluntary transfer arrangement that encourages councils around the country to offer to take such children off the hands of others that are becoming overwhelmed.

Local authorities have a legal duty to care for under 18s who arrive in their area from abroad seeking international protection, and Kent has seen a dramatic spike in the number in its care amid the international migrant crisis. ...

The crisis reached something of a crescendo last summer and Cllr Oakford admits he simply doesn't know what would happen if arrival rates were replicated this summer - which Eurotunnel chief executive and chairman Jacques Gounon warned could be the case, with those in Calais desperate to get across before the impact of Brexit, and an expected tightening of borders, comes into force. ...

... the government has also increased the amount of funding that it will provide to local authorities caring for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, with annual support for each child aged under 16 rising from £34,675 to £41,610. ...

"As they get towards 18 they can apply for asylum and the vast majority are given the right to remain, but the problem does not go away when they turn 18.

"If they are in any form of education, then KCC is still responsible for them and has to support them financially with accommodation all the time they are in education, which could be up to the age of 25."
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Benefits and costs – EU migration
Len McCluskey says EU migration was an 'experiment' at UK workers' expense
Rajeev Syal
The Guardian, 21 June 2016

The enlargement of the EU that allowed people from new member states to come to Britain was a gigantic experiment conducted at the expense of ordinary workers, Len McCluskey has said.

In an article for the Guardian, the remain-supporting leader of the Unite union criticised the previous Labour government's failure to prepare for mass migration from countries such as Poland. ...

McCluskey wrote that he was not surprised that Labour voters were concerned about immigration. "In the last 10 years, there has been a gigantic experiment at the expense of ordinary workers. Countries with vast historical differences in wage rates and living standards have been brought together in a common labour market," he said.

"The result has been sustained pressure on living standards, a systematic attempt to hold down wages and to cut the costs of social provision for working people."
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Benefits and costs – cost, EU migrants
Unskilled EU migrants cost UK taxpayers £6.6 BILLION a year, Brexit economists warn
Leda Reynolds
Daily Express, 21 June 2016

Unskilled migrants from the European Union (EU) are costing British taxpayers £6.6 billion a year, new figures have revealed.

Each UK taxpayer is forking out £17.75 a month for each unskilled migrant in the UK, analysis by Economists for Brexit found.

The average family of unskilled migrants costs the UK £30,000 a year – once tax, public service use and benefit payments are taken into account.

Patrick Minford, co-chairman of Economists for Brexit, said: "Migration can be an economically positive or negative issue.

"To make it a success you need control and in the EU there is zero prospect of that happening.

"Skilled migrants offer a huge economic boost to the UK and it would therefore be entirely appropriate to continue to attract those from around the world that offer a significant contribution to the UK.

"However, it is clear from our analysis that the UK is suffering in economic terms significantly from the vast numbers of unskilled EU migrants, which is only set to get worse."

Remain campaigners blasted the "baseless claims".

Economists for Brexit admits in its own report that the £6.6 billion figure is "necessarily highly imprecise" because of a lack of detailed data on things like migrant wages and household size.

The report also states the £6.6 billion figure is a "necessarily rough estimate for essentially illustrative purposes".
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Benefits and costs – cost
Analysis: Immigrants Costs Taxpayers Up To £17 Billion a Year
Oliver JJ Lane
Breitbart, 20 June 2016

Mass migration to the United Kingdom has been found to cost the Exchequer billions of pounds in a new analysis of academic studies just days before Britain's referendum on the European Union.

Only a minority of migrants are net financial beneficiaries to the United Kingdom, and overall migrants themselves cost billions of pounds every year. The new study by Migration Watch, released today has found the true cost of migrants is between four and seventeen billion pounds annually.

Despite claims to the contrary, there was also no evidence found that supported the idea that migrants boosted Gross Domestic Produce (GDP) per capita. Citing research by the House of Lords and a 2008 report by National Institute of Economic and Social Research found there was "no evidence that there was any significant economic benefit for the existing UK population".

Commenting on the new report, Migration Watch boss Lord Green of Deddington said: "There has been a lazy assumption in much recent comment that immigrants are unquestionably an economic benefit to the UK but this very much depends on where they came from and when they arrived.

"Of course many immigrants are hard workers and valuable contributors to our society and EU migrants are often particularly valued by their employers. However, in the context of the referendum debate, the overall economic impact of EU migrants is a relatively small part of the picture".

The Migration Watch report makes a clear distinction between arrivals from the most developed nations such as the original member states of the European Union including France and Germany which benefit the treasury. On the other hand are migrants from the newer EU nations, which take more out of the Exchequer than they pay in.

The report slams official government figures as "completely misleading", as when the state calculates the cost of migrants – and claim them as "net fiscal" contributors – it excludes spending on housing benefits and other welfare.

One key area the report establishes is that the longer the time-frame studied, the greater the cost of migration. In this regard, the Migration Watch report mirrors the findings of a Swedish economist and business professor who assessed the lifetime cost of migrants coming to his country.

Looking at the migrants which arrived in Sweden during just the migration crisis of 2015, professor Jan Tullberg assessed social assistance, housing, and pensions and deducted those from the value of tax migrants might on average pay over their lifetimes. At the conclusion of the study, the professor put his "conservative" figure at 583 billion kronor – around £48 billion.

The cost was equivalent to 14 years of defence expenditure for Sweden, for just one year of mass migration.
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Benefits and costs – cost
Current migration to Britain is costing our economy billions
Andrew Green
Evening Standard, 26 May 2016
[Lord Green is chairman of Migration Watch]

Yet many people may have been surprised a year or so ago by research from academics at University College London which showed that the cost of immigration to the Treasury had been to the tune of £115 billion over a decade-and-a-half.

MigrationWatch UK recently updated that research and found – on very much the same assumptions – the cost to be £13 billion in 2014/15 alone.

This is a substantial sum but it is not, of course, a criticism of migrants themselves.

Many are hard workers but those who are low-paid obviously pay little in tax, so their fiscal impact is not a reflection of personal effort.

By contrast, highly skilled and highly paid workers, particularly from Western Europe, make a considerable contribution to the Exchequer but nowhere near enough to outweigh the cost of immigration as a whole.

The recent focus, because of the Brexit debate, has been on EU migration, but this still accounts for only about half the net annual inflow.

Meanwhile, few people have noticed that the number of non-EU-born people working in Britain has now risen above three million for the first time. Employment rates for this group remain well below the UK-born average, with a large fiscal shortfall as a result.

For migrants from Eastern Europe, despite high rates of employment and hard work, continued low wages push them into deficit too. ...

The Government forecasts there will be another three million immigrants over the next decade-and-a-half, yet it seems to have no strategy to deal with the further pressures on public services that it is bound to cause.
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Benefits and costs – unpaid student loans
EU Students 'Disappear' From Britain With £89 Million Unpaid Debts
Nick Hallett
Breitbart, 24 May 2016

Over 12,000 European Union (EU) graduates have "disappeared" after studying at British universities, leaving £89 million of debt unpaid.

In recent years, the number of EU students who study at British universities before returning home and failing to repay their student loans has increased sharply.

This number is only likely to increase as tuition fees rise and the number of EU students also goes up. Last year, the government removed controls on the number of foreign students allowed to study at British universities.

Since 2006 EU students studying undergraduate courses at British universities have been able to take out student loans like British students. However, the official Student Loans Company (SLC) has a poor track record in chasing students who leave Britain, thus leaving millions of pounds of debt unpaid.

The Times reports that figures from a Freedom of Information Request show the number of EU students refusing to pay back their debts is rising.

Six years ago some 5,000 EU student were "missing", owing a total of around £25 million. Last year the figure was 12,314 with £89 million of debts unpaid.
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Benefits and costs – criminals
This man is proof we are a nation in moral decline
Leo McKinstry
Daily Express, 23 May 2016

The revolution that the politicians have imposed on our society without any mandate has left Britain a fractured, bewildered land.

The destructive consequences of officialdom's anarchic immigration policy were illustrated by a bizarre individual case this weekend. Featuring a one-legged convicted Albanian killer on benefits, this extraordinary saga sounds like a parody but it is all too tragically true.

... Despite having sustained a serious leg injury in a 1996 motorcycle crash, Saliman Barci took part in a major robbery the following year. According to the Albanian authorities, he then murdered his two accomplices because he wanted the loot for himself.

Yet he managed to evade prosecution for a time and, along with his wife, reached Britain in 2002 by hiding in a van from Calais.

Once here the couple pretended to be Kosovan refugees. Their false identity was inevitably the cue for lavish generosity from the British state. Not only were they provided with a four-bedroom house in London but Barci was handed no less than £2,000 a month in benefits. ...

But Barci's past began to catch up with him. In 2009 an Albanian court convicted him in his absence of the murder of his fellow robbers. The government then applied for his removal from Britain. Once more the British state came to his assistance, granting him legal aid to challenge the extradition proceedings.

This absurd decision was based on Barci's claim that his human rights might be infringed because of alleged corruption in the Albanian judicial system and the chance that he could be attacked in prison. ...

A convicted Albanian murderer and workshy parasite is the last person we should be battling to protect. Sadly his case is all too typical of our society where the Government neglects the rights of Britons but bends over backwards to support foreigners who hold our values in contempt.
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Benefits and costs – cost
£17bn, the true cost of immigration to the UK every year: Figure calculated as gap between amount migrants pay in taxes and consume in public services
James Slack
Daily Mail, 17 May 2016

The cost to Britain of mass immigration is £16.8 billion every year, a report claims today.

The figure includes a £1.2 billion annual net cost of migrants from Europe, who consume far more in public services and benefits than they pay in taxes. ...

The campaign group Migrationwatch compared the amount paid in income tax, national insurance, VAT and other taxes by migrants with the cost of providing them with health, education, policing, roads and other services.

The research found the gap between the contributions made by migrants from the EEA – which is the EU, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway – and the amount consumed by its citizens was £1.2 billion last year, or over £3 million a day.

For migrants from outside the EEA, the bill was £15.6 billion. Experts explain the gap by the fact that the non-EEA migrants will include people who arrived here as asylum seekers, who are less likely to go on to get well-paid jobs.

Lord Green of Deddington, the chairman of Migration Watch, said: 'This report shows that EU migration, taken as a whole, is not making the positive fiscal contribution that has so often been claimed.

'Furthermore, it is adding to the rapidly increasing pressures on housing and public services. It also contributes to our population increase of half a million every year – roughly a city the size of Liverpool.' ...

The Migrationwatch report separately dismisses as 'nonsense' last week's claim by the Treasury that EEA nationals pay five times more in taxes than they get back.

The figures were based on the fact that the migrants paid around £3 billion in income tax and national Insurance, but got back only £0.5 billion in child benefit and tax credits.

Crucially, however, this does not consider the cost of schools, hospitals or other public services.

Migrationwatch said: 'They only compare receipts of income tax and National Insurance with payments of child benefit and tax credits. The same comparison shows the UK general population paying six times more than they get. ...

The study follows the methodology of the widely-publicised research by the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM) at University College London, which was released in 2013. Migrationwatch has applied the most recent available data to the study.
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Benefits and costs – benefit claimants
Eastern European benefit claimants double in 5 years
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 13 May 2016

The number of eastern Europeans claiming benefits in Britain has more than doubled in the past five years, according to figures published yesterday.

Department for Work and Pensions data showed there were 24,400 "working age benefit claimants" from eastern Europe in 2010, but the number rose to 65,400 in 2014 before falling to 55,400 last year.
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Benefits and costs – health services
Crackdown on free access to NHS services for migrants
Daily Telegraph, 9 May 2016

Non-EU migrants entering the UK are to be charged for using the National Health Service, under plans to be set out in the Queen's Speech.

The bill, which will be published on May 18, will seek to make new arrivals pay for diagnostic tests and scans, prescriptions, ambulance trips, NHS dental services, eye care and even emergency medical care, in a move the government hopes will save up to £500 million per year.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has drawn up the measures, which will require patients who do not normally live in the UK or one of 28 countries in the European Economic Area plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein to pay for primary care services.

Previous attempts to crack down on so-called 'health tourism' have been limited to secondary care, such as elective operations, in addition to those EU and non-EU visitors who have stayed in the UK for long periods.

However ministers are believed to have rejected proposals to make migrants pay for GP services and nursing care amid fears such a move would deter new arrivals from seeking treatment if they fell ill and for communicable diseases.
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Benefits and costs – welfare benefits
David Cameron's EU benefits deal won't cut numbers coming to Britain as it only affects 10% of migrants, think-tank says
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 4 May 2016

Curbing benefits paid to EU workers is unlikely to lead to a dramatic reduction in migration, a report claims today.

As few as one in ten foreigners from the Brussels bloc claim handouts soon after arriving in the UK – meaning they were mostly lured by jobs, said the Migration Observatory.

The revelation torpedoes David Cameron's EU referendum deal which he said would tackle mass immigration.

Currently, migration from within the EU adds 172,000 to our population every year, equivalent to a town the size of Southend-on-Sea. The Prime Minister claimed his so-called 'emergency brake' would help cut the numbers moving to Britain.

The policy limits tax credits to incoming EU workers for four years and restricts child benefits. Government figures last year said up to 45 per cent of European Economic Area migrants, excluding students, arriving within the past four years had claimed taxpayer-funded handouts.

But the study by the Oxford University think-tank said the measures were unlikely to spark large reductions in migration.

The Migration Observatory said a 'large majority' of recent EU migrants do not receive benefits – with a maximum of 19 per cent claiming any at all. Those claiming in-work tax credits were as few as 10 per cent – fewer than 88,000.

Many of those who had arrived in the past four years had only a limited entitlement to in-work benefits, so the brake would be unlikely to act as a deterrent. ...

The introduction of the Living Wage of £9-an-hour by 2020 – ten times higher than the equivalent in Eastern Europe – means for many families the effect of benefit curbs would be 'small or irrelevant'. ...

The report found that EU migrants were less likely to claim jobless benefits but more prone to claiming in-work handouts compared with those born in the UK.
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Benefits and costs – trasnlators, interpreters
Taxpayers foot the bill for 150,000-a-year interpreters needed in UK courts
Steve Hawkes
The Sun, 22 April 2016

The taxpayer footed the bill for more than 150,000 translators and interpreters in courtrooms last year.

And the amount needed in civil and family court cases hit an all-time high as sky-high immigration changes the face of the country.

Official figures revealed that overall courts made 153,500 requests for translators in 2015, down 4 per cent on 2014 but a rate of over 420 a day.

The Ministry of Justice said there was a 25 per cent surge in Wales, but a 5 per cent fall in London.

Poles accounted for 19,000 of the requests in criminal courts – almost a quarter of the total – followed by Romanians and Lithuanians.

In tribunals, the most requested language interpreters were those speaking Urdu, Arabic and Punjabi.
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Benefits and costs – health services
Health tourists' NHS loophole: EU nationals don't need special card - or even any ID - to get free treatment, minister admits
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 19 April 2016

People from other EU countries can register with a GP and access health treatment for free in Britain without a European Health Insurance Card or any form of identification, a minister has revealed.

GPs have also been told by ministers that they are legally barred from stopping anyone from registering even if they cannot prove who they are or that they have a right to free healthcare.

Critics said the revelations, which came from a minister's statement in Parliament, showed how lax controls are on Britain's 'open door' NHS.

An EHIC card allows anyone from a country in the European Economic Area and Switzerland to receive healthcare in Britain if they fall ill. The EEA is the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

In theory, Britain should then claim back the cost of the treatment from their home country. But vast sums are believed to go unrecovered, often because health service staff do not ask for identification.

The most recent figures – for 2013/14 – show Britain claimed back only £50.3 million from other European countries for healthcare claimed by their nationals in this country. That is compared with the £750 million the Government handed over to EU states to pay for treatment for Britons abroad. ...

Ministers have always claimed they are trying to shut loopholes and claim more money back from 'health tourists' using the NHS.

But in reply to a question lodged in Parliament, health minister Alistair Burt made clear how easy it is to access free healthcare.

He was asked by Labour MP Frank Field whether a visitor to the UK from any other EEA country who does not have an EHIC card can register as a temporary patient with a GP practice and receive treatment free of charge.

Mr Burt replied that holding an EHIC card is 'not required' to register with a GP ... ...

'A practice cannot legally refuse to register someone because they do not possess identification or documents. Individual GP practices can have a policy where they ask prospective patients to provide identification, however they must ensure that this is applied to all patients and not done in a discriminatory manner.' ...

Last year a Daily Mail investigation revealed how the Ehic card also allowed EU nationals to bill the NHS for expensive healthcare they receive in their own countries.
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Benefits and costs – health services, NHS
Reality Check: How much pressure do EU migrants put on NHS?
Tamara Kovacevic
BBC, 15 April 2016

Those who campaign for the UK to leave the European Union say migration has put huge pressure on public services, including the NHS. What's the true cost of EU migration to the NHS?

It's relatively easy to estimate the cost of short-term visitors because the Department of Health has had a go already.

They put the cost to the whole of the NHS from visitors and non-permanent residents who come from the European Economic Area (that's the EU as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) at around £340m a year. ...

What about EU citizens who live and work here? There aren't any figures for how much they cost the NHS.

We do know there are around three million people from other EU countries resident in the UK and all are entitled to use NHS services. That definitely adds to demand.
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Benefits and costs – cost, health services
Health tourists cost UK taxpayers nearly £6 billion in eight years
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 5 April 2016

Britain has lost more than £6 billion in the past eight years treating foreigners from the European Union in UK hospitals, new Government figures reveal.

The UK paid out £6.2 billion to EU countries to cover the treatment of Britons in their hospitals last year – but received only £405 million in return from EU countries for treating ill foreigners in the National Health Service.

The deficit works out at £723 million a year or £2 million a day, a figure described by J Meirion Thomas, a hospital consultant who blew the whistle on health tourism, as "staggering".

The deficit would be enough to pay the salaries of an additional 2,638 GPs, or abolish prescription charges for everyone in England.
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Benefits and costs – cost, National Health Service
Report shows the NHS is nearly at breaking point as massive influx of EU migrants forces doctors to take on 1.5 million extra patients in just three years
Euan McLelland
MailOnline, 3 April 2016

A huge surge in the number of EU migrants receiving free health care upon arriving in Britain has left the NHS at breaking point, a new report shows.

The rising numbers of foreign nationals has led to doctors taking on an extra 1.5 million people on in the past three years alone.

Accident and emergency attendance figures have skyrocketed too - up 59 per cent from 14 million to 22.4 million in ten years.

That has led to longer queues for treatment, with four-hour waits trebling to now affect around 304,000 people attending casualty each year.

Expectant mothers from outside Britain have cost the NHS £1.3 billion in maternity care for 476,000 births in the last decade.

The figures, released by the UK Statistics Authority, lay bare the extent of the of the strain the national health body is now under.
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Benefits and costs – cost, babies
Where is YOUR money going? EU migrant mothers 'cost the NHS a staggering £1.3 BILLION'
Alison Little
Daily Express, 2 April 2016

The soaring number of babies born in Britain to mothers from other European Union countries has cost the NHS well over £1 billion in the last 10 years in maternity care alone, it was estimated yesterday.

Brexit campaigners said it was yet another example of the impact on UK public services of mass immigration from the Continent which Britain is powerless to stop as a member of the EU.

Nearly 476,000 babies were delivered in England and Wales between 2005 and 2014 to mothers born in other EU states, according to latest figures revealed last year by the Office for National Statistics.

The annual total more than doubled from 24,942 or 3.9 per cent of all babies born in England and Wales in 2005, to 64,067, or 9.2 per cent of all live births in 2014.

Figures suggest maternity care for those families cost the NHS more than £1.3 billion over the 10 years.

The increasing number of youngsters also adds to pressure on local authority services, schools and the NHS as they grow up, noted campaigners for Britain to leave the EU. ...

Guidance issued by the now defunct NHS Commission Board in 2012, which noted that having a baby was the single largest reason for hospital admissions, said antenatal, birth and postnatal care cost the NHS on average £2,800 per woman.

Applying that figure per birth adds up to a bill of more than £1.33 billion to the NHS over the decade for looking after pregnant women who were born on the Continent.

In 2014 alone that bill would have topped £179 million, up from around £70 million in 2005. ...

The ONS reported last year that a total of 475,935 babies were born in England and Wales between 2005 and 2014 to women who began their own lives in another EU country, although statisticians also stressed some may have been British citizens either originally or having obtained citizenship after moving here.

Mothers' nationality is not recorded when births are registered.

The number of live births to UK nationals and UK-born women remained broadly static at between about 507,000 and 541,000 a year.

The number of babies born to non-EU-born mothers also remained steady at between about 109,000 and 130,000 a year, as the number born to women from other EU member states grew.
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Benefits and costs – cost, welfare benefits
How YOU pay for Roma gypsy palaces - UK benefits are funding Romanian mansions
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 30 March 2016

Critics now claim Europe's "open borders" are to blame as migrants continue to tap Britain's welfare state.

The fresh call to control who can enter the UK came after it was said taxpayers have unwittingly helped to build more than 300 mansions in one small Romanian town alone.

Tandarei has become the Roma town Britain built, with many extravagant homes believed to have been bankrolled thanks to handouts claimed here.

Five years ago there were fewer than 100 mansions in Tandarei.

Now that number has trebled, with some valued at £500,000 and many having British-registered cars parked outside. ...

Latest figures show there are 3,500 working-age Romanian benefit claimants in the UK, two years after we opened the border to the country and invited them in.
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Benefits and costs – EU migrants, welfare benefits
EU migrants pocket MORE tax credits cash and child benefits than BRITISH workers
Nick Gutteridge
Daily Express, 24 March 2016

Migrants from the EU are pocketing more taxpayers' cash than working Britons whilst undercutting wages, a study released today has found.

European nationals are more likely to claim tax credits and child benefits than British born people, whilst still accessing public services like the NHS.

They are also contributing less in tax than working Britons because they are working for lower pay, undercutting wages in a number of sectors from building to manufacturing.

The figures come after it emerged that EU migrants are now costing taxpayers £530 million in benefits every year. ...

Statistics compiled by independent Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) paint a divided picture about the benefits of mass EU migration to the UK.

They show that migrants from the continent are more likely to be employed than British nationals, but that they are mostly filling low-skilled, low paid jobs.

In total 75 per cent of European migrants are in work - a figure which rises to 83 per cent for Eastern Europeans, compared to just 74 per cent of Britons.

As a result EU nationals claim less in unemployment benefits, like Jobseekers Allowance, than British people.

However, they are claiming more cash in tex credits and child benefit than UK nationals which is acting as a significant drain on the public purse.

The claims for child benefits are especially controversial, as many migrants send the cash straight back to children who are still living in their home country.

At the same time many are paying lower rates of tax than Britons because they are undercutting wages to take low paid jobs.
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Benefits and costs – healthcare
National Handout Service: Migrants owe millions for care as system struggles to cope
Tom Wells
The Sun, 21 March 2016

No healthcare system could cope with the cash strain the NHS is under by treating migrants, an expert has warned.

Professor Angus Dalgleish said that the cost of treating foreign patients who cannot afford to pay their bills or deliberately dodge them was "absolutely unsustainable".

The leading cancer specialist spoke out as it emerged millions of taxpayers' pounds are being frittered away in cases where there is no hope of getting the money back.

One illegal immigrant alone ran up a bill for £181,000 at one of the UK's most troubled hospitals.

And a Ghanaian was deported before a £43,000 bill was paid – leaving a trust to pick up the tab. ...

And MigrationWatch UK chairman Lord Green said: "This is further evidence that the NHS is wide open to people who have no right to use it and make no contribution towards its costs."
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Benefits and costs – welfare benefits
How to get 'GENEROUS' British benefits: Shocking guide handed out to Polish migrants
Rebecca Perring
Daily Express, 10 March 2016

Polish migrants in Britain are being handed a guide advising them on how to rake in thousands of pounds from the nation's "generous" benefits system.

A UK-based newspaper has provided its readers with a gleaming 20-page manual giving tips on how to bag the most lucrative benefits.

And it explains Britain has the "best developed" welfare system in Europe.

The guide features cartoon men and women with information detailing each type of handout that is available. Another, featured in the Polish Express newspaper, shows cartoons including a hand holding up a plate piled high with banknotes. ...

Poland was the loudest critic of David Cameron's plans to deny EU migrants in-work benefits for four years, repeatedly insisting that the plans are discriminatory and illegal under the European treaties. There are some 700,000 Poles in Britain.
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Benefits and costs – health services
Cash paid by European Union migrants to use British hospitals falls despite surge in EU nationals moving to the UK
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 3 March 2016

Cash clawed back from European Union migrants who use British hospitals has fallen over the past year despite a surge in EU nationals moving to the UK.

Britain paid out £647.4 million to EU countries to cover their health costs last year – but received only £49.7 million in return from EU countries treating Britons.

The figure is marginally down on the year before, when hospital trusts in the UK paid out £749.8 million, but only clawed back £50.3 million.

The fall came despite twice as many EU nationals living in the UK as Britons living overseas and a surge in EU migrants moving to the UK. ...

John Mann, the Labour MP who unearthed the figures, said: "Sorting out this scandal in itself would transform the financial situation of the NHS. This is a shambolic state of affairs and we are being played for fools.

"This is money that should directly be going into the NHS and it would make a huge annual difference to its finances."

Mr Mann pointed out that the discrepancy existed even though there were fewer than two million UK citizens living in the EU, compared to 2.6 million EU citizens living in Britain.
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Benefits and costs – welfare benefits
£886 million... That is the eye-watering sum YOU pay in benefits to out-of-work EU migrants in just one year
Martin Beckford
Mail on Sunday, 28 February 2016

Jobless European immigrants living in Britain were handed an astonishing £886 million in benefits over a single year, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

The staggering welfare bill has been disclosed for the first time buried in a Government report backing David Cameron's plea for the UK to remain in the European Union.

Last week's report says unemployed EU migrants received £886 million in Housing Benefit, Jobseeker's Allowance and sickness pay in 2013-14. The Government has always insisted it was unable to obtain this data despite repeated requests from MPs, prompting suspicions of a cover-up.

Critics say a fresh influx of Romanian and Bulgarian migrants means the figures are now likely to be even higher, despite Mr Cameron's claims that new welfare restrictions and the deal with other EU leaders means payments are falling.

Philip Davies, a Conservative MP who has repeatedly failed to obtain Government statistics on the migrant welfare bill, said: 'It's amazing we've got some figures at last, but one has to question how reliable they are. They certainly won't be underestimates. It's quite clear that immigration has gone up recently so the figures must be well over a billion pounds now, even by the Government's own estimates.

'At last we are laying bare the huge cost of being a member of the EU. The changes the Prime Minister has negotiated are trifling – the only way to restrict benefits to EU migrants is to leave the EU.'

Fellow Tory MP Christopher Chope, who recently tabled a Bill to cut Child Benefit sent abroad, said welfare paid to migrants was 'a very significant sum, and if the British taxpayer realised they would be even more concerned. I think this is why the Government has always been extremely reluctant to disclose the information'. ...

New restrictions mean migrants must wait three months before claiming benefits. The jobless can only receive them for three months after that, while Housing Benefit has been scrapped for the out-of-work.

But the Government only expects to save £10 million a year and there has since been a fresh surge of migrants, mainly from Romania and Bulgaria.

The Government report also fails to include details on Child Benefit, which is claimed by EU migrants for 32,000 children in their home countries.
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Benefits and costs – EU, welfare benefits
Cameron's benefits brake could lead to a surge of migrants as they try to get in ahead of deadline: Experts' warning to PM as he admits he STILL hasn't nailed down terms of how it will work
James Slack
Daily Mail, 22 February 2016

EU migrants could claim benefits within months of arriving in the UK even if the Government uses the so-called 'emergency brake'.

David Cameron admitted today that precise details of the brake – designed to strip migrants of in-work benefits – had yet to be nailed down.

And the Prime Minister was forced to try to defend the plan amid warnings that it could lead to the number of incomers going up, not down.

Migration experts pointed out that, over the past six months, he had advertised across Europe the fact that Britain offers handouts to low-paid workers.

With the new regime not expected to come into force until mid-2017, large numbers are expected to flock here to take advantage.

Anybody who arrives in Britain just before the rules are changed will keep their tax credits in full.

The one-off seven-year emergency brake was agreed following 30 hours of gruelling talks in Brussels on Friday.

The rest of Europe agreed to a new regime where, while the brake is operational, EU workers will have payments of tax credits 'phased in' over a period of four years. ...

Today, work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith questioned whether proposals for an 'emergency brake' on migrants' benefits would make any significant difference.

He said there had been a glaring need to win controls on free movement, but this had not been achieved.

Mr Duncan Smith said: 'We originally wanted to have a brake on migration, not just on benefits, and the EU point blank refused to discuss it.

'It is deeply troubling that the details of what the EU has offered us on migrant workers' access to benefits won't be set out until after the British people have voted.'

Lord Green of Deddington, who chairs MigrationWatch UK, said: 'This deal will do virtually nothing to reduce mass immigration which is the public's greatest concern.'

Labour MP Frank Field, a co-chairman of Parliament's cross-party group on balanced migration, said it would be 'amazing if there wasn't' a spike in immigration before the brake is applied. ...

Meanwhile Jonathan Portes, a former Downing Street economic adviser, said the benefits part of the EU deal was 'primarily symbolic'.

He said 'one of the real ironies' was that it could increase migration ahead of the application of the seven-year brake, expected next year.

'We have quite a bit of research that most people in Eastern Europe don't know very much about the benefits system in the UK. Well, they do now,' he said.

'The Prime Minister has spent the last six months engaging in the biggest, most publicised awareness campaign about the UK benefits system in Poland [and other countries]. So it's possible some people will come in advance of the brake because they know after that they'll be missing out.'
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Benefits and costs – teaching English, Northern Ireland
£47m cost of teaching English to migrant children in Northern Ireland schools
Belfast Telegraph, 22 February 2016

Almost £50m has been spent to teach English to "newcomer" children in Northern Ireland's schools in the last five years, it has been revealed.

The sum was paid for pupils who did not have a language in common with the teacher.

About £1,000 a year is provided - via the common funding formula (CFF) - to schools for each pupil designated a newcomer.

In the last five years the total amount provided to schools was £47m. ...

A "newcomer" child is defined by the Education Minister as "a pupil who does not have a language in common with the teacher in order to access the curriculum". ...

Earlier this month it emerged there were 77 schools with 40 or more children whose native language is not English.

At one school in Co Tyrone, 603 of the 847 pupils do not have English as their first language.
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Benefits and costs – work benefits
As Brexit vote looms, UK says European migrants receive 10 percent of in-work welfare spend
Reuters, 22 February 2016

European migrants to Britain receive 10 percent of spending on in-work benefits despite only making up around 6 percent of the workforce, the government said on Monday as it set out why it was backing a deal struck to reform ties with the EU. ...

Statistics included in the government report on the deal published on Monday said around 40 percent of recent migrants from the European Economic Area – the EU's 28 member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway – were in households supported by the welfare system.

Of the 25 billion pounds Britain spent in 2013-2014 on in-work benefits for workers on low incomes, around 2.5 billion pounds went to EEA migrants, the government said.

"This represents 10 percent of spending, even though people from the EEA make up only around 6 percent of the UK work force," the government said.

"On average, families with a recent EEA migrant claim almost 6,000 pounds per year in tax credits, and of these, around 8,000 families receive more than 10,000 pounds."
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Benefits and costs – welfare benefits
How Much Do EU Migrants Cost - Or Benefit - The UK? 'Information Not Available', Minister Says
Paul Waugh
The Huffington Post, 20 February 2016

David Cameron's Government has claimed it has no information on how much EU migrants cost - or benefit - the UK.

Treasury Minister Lord O'Neill made the startling admission in a written Parliamentary answer that was quietly published while the Prime Minister was in Brussels.

Labour peer Lord Beecham asked the minister to reveal 'the annual benefits paid to EU migrants in the UK and the contribution of those individuals to the public purse through income tax receipts and VAT'.

Lord O'Neill replied with a five word answer: "The information is not available." ...

Shadow Justice Minister Lord Beecham pointed out that Mr Cameron was making migrant benefits a centrepiece of his Brussels renegotiation.

"It is extraordinary that the government, which is making such an issue about the impact of migrants on the nation's finances should turn out to have no information about what it is actually paying out in benefits on the one hand and receiving by way of taxes and VAT on the other," he told HuffPost UK.

"If Ministers continue to consider this a serious problem, they need urgently to commission a proper study of the actual situation and then publish the findings." ...

Department for Work and Pensions statistics show that out of the 5 million people who claim welfare benefits in the UK, 114,000 (2.2 percent of the total) were EU nationals.

The most recent Freedom of Information request found that 84,000 EU migrant families claimed tax credits in 2013-14 and had been issued a national insurance number in the previous four years.
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Benefits and costs – disruption
Eurotunnel asks for £22m to cover revenue lost during refugee crisis
Independent, 18 February 2016

Eurotunnel has asked the British and French governments to reimburse it £22 million (29 million euro) for lost revenue during last year's cross-Channel migrant crisis. ...

The Chunnel operator faced heavy disruption to its services last summer as migrants based at the Jungle camp in Calais made repeated bids to cross to Britain.

As it revealed its 2015 annual results, Eurotunnel said there has been no disruption to services since last October following strengthened border security at the Coquelles terminal.
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Benefits and costs – childcare
Britain takes 'thousands of migrant children' into care
Colin Freeman
Sunday Telegraph, 14 February 2016

Councils are spending hundreds of millions of pounds every year taking children of Eastern European migrant workers into care, despite growing calls for them to be looked after in their parents' home countries.

Figures obtained by The Telegraph suggest that up to 8,000 children of Eastern European origins have entered care proceedings in Britain in the last decade alone. The figures have nearly doubled in the last five years as the number of Eastern Europeans living in Britain has reached one million.

Some are the result of compulsory care orders brought by child protection officials, while others are cases where mothers who have had unwanted pregnancies out of wedlock have chosen to put children up for adoption rather than allow family back home to find out.

A minority are even believed to have put unwanted offspring put into the British care system because it is seen as offering better "life chances" than those at home, raising concerns of "adoption tourism".

With around 1,000 such children entering the care system every year, the cost of such care orders is a huge additional burden on local authorities.

Yet at the same time, the trend has angered Eastern European governments, who want such children to be returned to be looked after in their home countries.

They have accused town halls of putting children into adoption in the UK even when offers to look after them have been made back home, either by relatives or government-approved foster carers.

John Hemming, a former Liberal Democrat MP and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Family Law, said the British care system was unwittingly acting as a "Pied Piper" for Eastern European children, despite the heavy cost to the public purse.

"The costs here are enormous and it is helping to break the care system," he told the Daily Telegraph. "So if the Eastern European governments are calling out for the children to be sent back, why isn't that happening? Apart from anything, it usually much more culturally appropriate for these children to be looked after in their parents' home countries." ...

The 2015 figures show that 2,500 children in the "White Other" are currently in the UK care system, either via children's homes, foster care or adoption. That compares with around 1,500 in 2006. The numbers of Gypsy Roma children also increased from 90 in 2011 to 250 in 2015.

The total number of "White Other" children who have passed in and out of the care system over the last ten years was more than 8,000.

Foster care alone typically costs around £40,000 per year, while the total costs in terms of legal bills and local authority support for new foster care cases is around £250,000 for the first two years.
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Benefits and costs – healthcare
Migrant patients costing Britain four times what they pay into NHS fund through Government's new charge
tephen Adams
Mail on Sunday, 14 February 2016

The cost of treating temporary migrants on the NHS is four times what is collected from the Government's much-vaunted new charge, official figures show.

Eighteen months ago Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt promised the Health Surcharge and other measures would 'make sure the NHS is better resourced'.

But almost a year after it went live, the bombshell figures reveal British taxpayers are still subsidising the health costs of foreign students and others by hundreds of millions of pounds every year.

Last night, cancer surgeon J. Meirion Thomas criticised the charge, saying: 'The introduction of the surcharge was a disastrous error because the unintended consequence has been to encourage health tourism at minimal cost.'

Well-placed sources say pregnant women and people with long-term conditions are paying the charge so they can fly to Britain simply to access expensive treatment – legitimately – on the NHS.

The surcharge is levied on temporary migrants from outside the EU applying to come to the UK for more than six months. The standard charge is £200 per year's stay; students pay £150. Officials believe it will raise £200 million a year – about 0.2 per cent of the NHS budget.

But the standard £200 annual charge is less than a sixth of the £1,280 that a British worker on £30,000 puts into the NHS annually through income tax, according to HMRC figures. In a House of Lords debate earlier this month, Home Office Minister Lord Bates said that, on average, migrants paying the £200 levy were costing the NHS 'just more than £800 per head' per stay. Their cost to the NHS was 'more than £500 million per year', he stated.

Despite their youth, students from outside the EU are scarcely less expensive. They cost 'just more than £700 per head, with a total gross cost to the NHS of £430 million per year'.

Lord Bates admitted in a letter to fellow peers that the surcharge fees had been 'set well below the true cost to the NHS of treating temporary migrants'. He wrote: 'The low level recognises the valuable contribution migrants make, and the need to ensure the UK remains an attractive destination for global talent.'

J. Meirion Thomas said the charge was wide open to abuse, as unlike travel insurance policies, it did not exclude pre-existing conditions. He said: 'After paying the Health Surcharge, the migrant or student is fully entitled to free NHS care.

'To signify payment, a 'green banner' appears on their computerised NHS record, which guarantees unlimited treatment, even for pre-existing conditions.'
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Benefits and costs – healthcare
The health visa surcharge is flawed
J Meirion Thomas
Mail on Sunday, 14 February 2016

The migrant and student visa surcharge, now known as the health surcharge, was possibly one the most ill conceived pieces of legislation enacted by the Coalition Government.

It was included in the 2014 Immigration Act and is costing the British taxpayer a fortune.

Every non-European migrant or student applying for a UK visa for over six months, on or after the 6th April 2015, must pay the health surcharge at the time of application.

The charge is per family member and per year and is set at £200 for migrants and £150 for students.

The surcharge does not apply to visitors or those with 'indefinite leave to remain'.

After paying the health surcharge, the migrant or student and their dependents are fully entitled to free NHS care. ...

The health surcharge is undoubtedly, the cheapest travel insurance on the planet. ...

The health surcharge is a Godsend to health tourists who are defined as people who travel to the UK with a pre-existing illness, whose purpose is to access free NHS care.

The surcharge was introduced to offset the cost of health tourism because it was known that even when health tourists were identified and charged, only 16% of invoices raised were ever paid.

The introduction of the health surcharge was a disastrous error because the unintended consequence is to encourage health tourism at minimal cost. Why was this not foreseen?
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Benefits and costs – EU migrants
Emergency brake on UK welfare will not stop EU migrants, says Barroso
Rowena Mason and agencies
The Guardian, 10 February 2016

An "emergency brake" on in-work welfare payments will not stop migrants from heading to Britain, according to a former European commission president.

José Manuel Barroso said proposals to alter the UK's relationship with the EU were a "creative and intelligent" compromise that could work. But he dismissed David Cameron's calls for greater British sovereignty and said restrictions on in-work benefits would fail to deter workers moving to the UK.

Asked if an emergency brake on welfare would put migrants off from coming to Britain, he replied: "No. Frankly not."
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Benefits and costs – medical costs, NHS
Health: NHS losing £500m a year as EU citizens fail to pay hospitals
Daily Mail, 10 February 2016

Taxpayers are ripped off to the tune of at least £500 million a year a because hospitals are too lax at charging Europeans for their treatment, Jeremy Hunt admitted yesterday.

Meanwhile the 'health tourism gap' between the amount the NHS collects from EU patients and the total hospitals on the Continent receive from Britain when UK residents fall ill abroad now stands at almost £700 million. ...

Yesterday the Health Secretary told MPs that at least £500 million a year extra could be recovered if hospitals were more 'efficient'.

Mr Hunt said: 'When it comes to the EU, the biggest problem that we have is that we are able to reclaim the costs of people temporarily visiting the UK, but we do not do so as much as we should because the systems in hospitals are not as efficient as they need to be,' he said. ...

Department of Health figures, released after a Freedom of Information request, show that in 2013/14, taxpayers handed £749.8 million to European governments to pay for the care of UK citizens abroad, up from £649.3 million a year before.

In the same year, the NHS managed to collect just £50.3 million from European countries to pay for the care of their citizens who needed treatment here – an increase on £32 million in a year.

But the huge amount going the other way leaves the 'health tourism gap' at £699.5 million.
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Benefits and costs – medical costs, NHS
'Migrants are pushing NHS to breaking point': Top cancer doctor warns health tourists are bleeding hospitals dry with demand for treatment
James Slack
Daily Mail, 9 February 2016

The NHS has been left 'on its knees' by uncontrolled migration from the EU, a leading cancer expert will warn tomorrow.

Professor Angus Dalgleish, the principal of the Cancer Vaccine Institute, says the NHS is being bled dry of resources by health tourists denied care at home.

Cancer treatment can cost £200,000 and, under Brussels rules, Britain has to offer it to all EU nationals.

Professor Dalgleish says this partly explains the NHS's £3 billion deficit. He will also claim the Government has hindered progress into key disease areas 'by blindly adhering to EU directives'.

'Our membership of the EU is putting an intolerable strain on our NHS,' Professor Dalgleish, a melanoma expert of global renown, will tell a conference.

'The NHS is on its knees and could collapse completely. NHS Trusts were not prepared for the millions of EU migrants who have poured into Britain because the Government estimate was nowhere near the reality.

'GP services are collapsing under the huge number of people they are having to treat and this has led to less than 20 per cent of students wanting to become GPs.

'Britain is attracting thousands of health tourists from across the EU who cannot get certain drugs or treatments in their home country so come to Britain and demand them as EU citizens.

'Cancer treatment can cost £200,000 a year per patient and while we remain in the EU, Britain has to offer treatment for any EU citizen who comes here so as to not discriminate.

'The Health Service is being bled dry – this is why our NHS faces a £3 billion deficit.'
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Benefits and costs – welfare benefits
Migrants 'will flock to the UK before we can put on brake on benefits' warns top Tory
David Maddox
Daily Express, 8 February 2016

David Cameron's EU deal is likely to lead to a surge in immigrants from Eastern Europe rather than deter from coming, a senior Tory has warned.

Former Europe minister David Davis has issued a stark warning over the effects of the "emergency brake" on migration which the Prime Minister hailed as the major achievement in his much criticised renegotiation of Britain's EU membership terms. ...

Highlighting the dangers of the Prime Minister's proposed deal on only allowing migrants to claim benefits at slowly increasing levels over four years, Mr Davis, a former shadow Home Secretary, warned: "The so-called emergency brake that the Prime Minister is attempting to negotiate with Brussels is very likely to increase the number of people immigrating into the UK in the coming year."

He said since the proposed deal was set out "Eastern European newspapers have carried numerous stories about in-work benefits and the plans to terminate them for the first four years after a migrant's arrival in the UK" while Brussels has suggested that the scheme could take 12 months to implement.

"Under such circumstances the incentive for anybody wishing to come to live in the UK will be to come as quickly as possible to beat the deadline when any such restrictions come into effect. "Accordingly we are likely to see a surge in migrants in the next 12 months."
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Benefits and costs – EU, employment benefits
Emergency brake hits just a fraction of migrants - but EU leaders will offer nothing more
Matthew Holehouse, Kate McCann and Laura Hughes
Daily Telegraph, 5 February 2016

David Cameron's emergency brake on benefits will not affect most European migrants, figures released yesterday suggested, as campaigners for EU membership admitted it would "never" cut migration.

In 2014, just 84,000 families containing at least one EU migrant who had arrived in the past four years claimed tax credits, HMRC said in response to a Freedom of Information request by the Guardian.

In the same period, 718,000 people arrived in Britain from the continent according to ONS figures, although experts believe the true figure based on National Insurance registrations is more than one million. It suggests a fraction of new EU migrants, perhaps as low as around one in ten, will be hit by the policy.

Jonathan Portes, of the National Institute for Economic and Social Research, said: "This suggests that the PM'S focus on this issue is misguided. The emergency brake will have only a modest impact on benefit receipt, and is highly unlikely to have a significant impact on migration flows."

Alan Johnson, the former home secretary and leader of Labour In for Britain, said the curb was "was never going to" cut migration.
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Benefits and costs – EU, child benefits
David Cameron's child benefit plan 'won't apply to EU nationals already in the UK'
Kate McCann
Daily Telegraph, 5 February 2016

Millions of pounds of child benefit paid to EU nationals who are already living in the UK will continue despite David Cameron's renegotiation plans.

The EU Commission is responsible for drawing up the details of a proposal to pay benefits to the children of EU migrants in other countries at their local rate rather than the more generous British payment.

But legal and policy experts, as well as a senior British Government source, have admitted it would be "very difficult" to force those who are already here to take a dramatic cut in the benefits they receive even after the EU renegotiation.

It means an estimated 150,000 migrants could continue to claim the higher rate from the British system and send it home to their children, despite the prime minister's promise to prevent benefits being sent out of the UK.

...

A UK Government source said it would be "very difficult" to make the changes apply to people who are already here - including ten thousand EU nationals who claim over £10,000 a year in child benefit payments.
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Benefits and costs – EU, welfare benefits
Cameron can't hit EU migration emergency brake for 18 months
Ian Traynor, Jennifer Rankin and Rowena Mason
The Guardian, 3 February 2016

David Cameron will not be able to curb benefits for EU citizens working in Britain for at least 18 months, under the terms of a draft deal crafted to keep the UK in the EU.

Tuesday's agreement allows any EU state to call for an "emergency brake" or "safeguard mechanism" to be applied to in-work benefits when an influx from elsewhere in the EU is deemed to result in undue strain on social and economic systems.

In a separate document, the European Commission granted that such an emergency already obtained in the UK. But changing the rules to facilitate the brake will take time, hobbling hopes in London that the lever can be pulled quickly. ...

The restrictions on in-work benefits will not be an outright ban as originally sought by Cameron but rather a "graduated" limitation to "take account of the growing connection of the worker with the labour market of the host member state".
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Benefits and costs – health tourism
Half a billion people can claim free care - the system just can't cope [part 1]
J Meirion Thomas
Mail on Sunday, 31 January 2016

The trickle is already a steady stream, and, for once, we can't blame Brussels or Strasbourg.

Our NHS is being flooded by health tourists - people who come to this country for the sole purpose of receiving free treatment.

And the fault lies with our misplaced liberalism and our Governments' repeated failure to protect our National Health Service, its workforce and the British taxpayer.

We in Britain are rightly proud of our NHS. But it has a central - and possibly fatal - flaw.

Unlike any other comparable system in the world, entitlement to free state-funded healthcare in this country depends on residency and not the contributions that individuals have made.

As a result, half a billion EU citizens are now eligible to claim free treatment in our hospitals and clinics.

When I explain this to friends, especially those from America, Canada and Australia, they respond with incredulity.

Even in mainland Europe, the vast majority of health systems are based on insurance or employment - which is why our problem with health tourism is quite unique.

As a cancer specialist in London, I have come across all too many examples. I have seen patients from abroad brought to hospital by a relative who does live permanently in the UK. ...

I'm sorry to say that British expatriates are in on the act, too - guilty of travelling back here for free care that might be ruinously expensive in the country where they have chosen to live, but for which they have made no financial contribution.

These patients can be difficult to identify because they will probably have an old NHS number. Moreover, any ex-patriate Briton can return after any length of absence and claim to be ordinarily resident here regardless of whether they intend to stay.

The longest time of 'non-contributory absence' I experienced was 48 years.

The case - I will never forget it - was that of a university educated British woman who had spent her working life abroad before returning to UK with an abdominal cancer.

She had not resigned her job nor transferred her home and family, but confidently informed me that, according to NHS guidelines, she was currently ordinarily resident in UK and was therefore entitled to free NHS care.

I protested to a senior manager who rang a Department of Health overseas visitor helpline... which confirmed her entitlement to free NHS care. ...

I had to postpone the planned operation of another patient with recurrent cancer to make way for her.

The simple 'residency' qualification for state-funded health care has existed since the NHS was established in 1946, but for decades it proved to be no real problem.

In the days of strict immigration control and expensive travel, few could or would travel to Britain purely to get health treatment.
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Benefits and costs – health tourism
Half a billion people can claim free care - the system just can't cope [part 2]
J Meirion Thomas
Mail on Sunday, 31 January 2016

Now though, we are in danger of inundation, and the recently-published Department of Health guidance on implementing charges for overseas visitors has, if anything, made matters worse.

It confirms the principle that anyone who is lawfully "ordinarily resident" in the UK is entitled to free NHS care. ...

It adds: 'If a patient is ordinarily resident in the UK, then they are entitled to free NHS care even if they have only been in UK for a few days or weeks. A person can be ordinarily resident in more than one country at once.'

The guidance also says 'it is perfectly possible to be ordinarily resident from the day of arrival providing that that person has, upon arrival, taken up settled residence'. ...

To anyone currently working in the NHS, it is clear that the NHS approach to free treatment belongs firmly in the past. It has failed to keep up with a changing world, and woefully.

Our-less-than-insightful hospital managers wonder why the NHS is on its knees, yet one of the reasons is staring them in the face.

As a result of freedom of movement across the European Union, any EU citizen who chooses to reside in UK can be 'ordinarily resident' here.

And the population of the European Union was last year estimated at just over 500 million people. ...

Nowhere is the folly of the Department of Health's current 'ordinary resident' policy more fully exposed than in the scandalous abuse of the European Health Insurance Card, whose nature is regularly misunderstood.

The EHIC is meant to cover the cost of emergency medical treatment if that becomes necessary during a trip to another European country.

Anyone resident in UK can secure a British EHIC on line by providing their name, address and either a National Insurance number or their NHS number.

By contrast, mainland Europeans are not entitled to their native EHIC card unless they contribute to the native health insurance system, and even then, the benefit may be time or cost restricted.

This explains why most migrants (60 per cent of whom are job seekers) and most students from the EU have no native EHIC card.

When asked to provide an EHIC card in A&E, migrants and students from EU often produce a British EHIC card to which they are fully entitled solely by having gained a National Insurance or NHS number.

But why would they need a British EHIC card if they are already entitled to free NHS care by virtue of being ordinarily resident?

Because the card can be used back in their native country or anywhere in Europe to cover emergency medical care and the bill is sent back to the British government.

This explains why our government paid out £750 million in 2014 to other European countries for medical costs incurred abroad, but recovered only £50 million.

This is a rare example of official figures being of some use in calculating the size of the problem.

The Government has no way of even estimating the volume and costs incurred to the NHS by migrants, students and their families from the European Union, a problem which has surged since the expansion of the EU.
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Benefits and costs – health tourism
Got your papers in order? Then welcome to soft touch Britain: Top doctors blow whistle on EU health tourists who bleed NHS dry
Stephen Adams and Rachel Ellis
Mail on Sunday, 31 January 2016

European health tourists are milking the NHS for expensive cancer treatments, drugs and dialysis by claiming they are UK residents on the day they arrive in the country, top doctors reveal today.

They are being granted complex therapy – sometimes worth hundreds of thousands of pounds – thanks to 'incredibly lax' guidelines governing full access to Britain's treasured Health Service, medics have told The Mail on Sunday.

Despite Government claims that it is cracking down on health tourism, the doctors say these instructions potentially allow immediate access to everything the NHS has to offer to around 500 million Europeans.

All that individuals from across Europe have to do, say the consultants, is come here and claim to be 'ordinarily resident' in the UK – which they can do by quoting a friend or relative's address.

Until recently, official guidance was that EU passport holders had to prove they had been living in Britain for at least six months to qualify.

But new guidelines have all but scrapped the 'six-month rule' – plainly stating: 'It is perfectly possible to be ordinarily resident here from the day of arrival.'

As a result the senior doctors say:

. Patients are coming to hospital straight from the airport to demand treatment for serious diseases they have had for some time;

. One Spaniard racked up bills topping £200,000 for cancer surgery and drugs – none of which he was billed for – by simply claiming he was living at a friend's UK address;

. Eastern Europeans are regularly flying in for treatment they cannot get at home, which can cost tens of thousands of pounds, by claiming to be staying with relatives;

. Expatriate Britons who have not paid taxes or lived in Britain for decades are also eligible for immediate treatment.

Bizarrely, people can even claim to be 'ordinarily resident' both in their home country and in Britain – meaning they do not have to prove they live here full-time to qualify for all NHS services.

They merely need to be able to show they are in the UK lawfully 'for settled purposes as part of the regular order of their life for the time being'.

Foreign visitors and short-term migrants cost the NHS up to £2 billion a year, according to an official report published in 2013. It estimated illegal use by 'health tourists' made up £300 million of that figure.

While many EU passport holders have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) this only entitles them to free NHS urgent and emergency care.

By contrast, ordinary residence grants access to everything including expensive cancer drugs and even fertility treatments such as IVF. ...

Most of the doctors who have raised the issue with The MoS have done so on the condition they remain anonymous – knowing that to raise it publicly would jeopardise their careers. ...

Another NHS insider said EU passport holders were swiftly claiming 'ordinarily resident' status to access dialysis and maternity services. ...

Even though it wrote the guidelines, the Department of Health recognised in a consultation published in December that there was a serious problem.
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Benefits and costs – police, translation
Tory police candidate slams 'unseen cost of immigration' as force has £100,000 bill for interpreters
Tristan Cork
Western Daily Press, 27 January 2016

Police in Gloucestershire are having to spend more than £2,000 a week on interpreters to translate for people they deal with every day – and the Tory candidate for police commissioner in the county said it should be 'investigated' for cutting police costs.

Will Windsor-Clive, who is standing for election for the Conservatives to be Gloucestershire's second police commissioner, and made a Freedom of Information request to the police to find out how much they were spending on hiring translators.

He discovered that the overall costs have remained around £100,000 a year over the three years between 2011 and 2014.
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Benefits and costs – migrant children
Migrant influx means British children forced to move away from Kent care homes, says councillor
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 26 January 2016

Vulnerable British children in care have been forced to move away from their home area because of the massive influx of asylum seekers from Calais, a councillor has warned.

Peter Oakford, who oversees specialist children's services in Kent, said youngsters from the area who needed foster care or other housing had been placed outside the county as it struggled to deal with a sharp increase in arrivals of migrant children. ...

The county council is obliged by law to provide them with housing - even though its geographical area means it receives the majority of new arrivals from calais who make it to British soil.

Mr Oakford said Kent currently has 1,382 unaccompanies asylum-seeking children in its care, up from 980 at the beginning of December and from nearly 630 at the start of August.
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BIAS

Bias – BBC
Tories have missed chance to quell cosseted mouthpiece of the Left
David Keighley
Conservative Woman, 30 December 2016

The BBC heads into 2017 almost unchanged – and unscathed.

Yet again during a cycle of so-called Charter renewal, the Corporation has repelled all boarders in terms of meaningful reform.

In effect, its partisan position as a political advocate of the liberal Left, facilitated by its self-serving concept of 'due impartiality', has been cemented. ...

The Corporation's defence of uncontrolled immigration and unmodified multiculturalism - and in tandem with this, the systematic re-writing of British history and values to accommodate its visceral hatred of Western values - remains bloody-mindedly resolute.

Evidence of this plethora of bias, before, during and after the June 23 Brexit vote can be found in abundance on the News-watch website, and, of course, on TCW, itself. ...

The year-end balance sheet is that the Corporation still enjoys a guaranteed income, of billions. ...

Politicians (in the Conservative Party especially) should hang their heads in shame about this. Despite their parliamentary majority, they have allowed, in effect, the Corporation to continue to poison national debate, and to rubbish and undermine those with whom it disagrees.
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Bias – newspaper regulator
Impress Regulators Seek to Financially Ruin Three Papers
Media Guido, 19 December 2016

The second instalment of MediaGuido's Impress File reveals attempts by the state-endorsed press regulator to financially ruin three newspapers. Several senior figures at Impress support the so-called Stop Funding Hate (SFH) campaign to boycott advertising in the popular press. SFH's stated aim is to "take on the divisive hate campaigns of the Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Express by persuading advertisers to pull their support". It wants to prevent newspapers from "making money by publishing these headlines". SFH is bullying advertisers to censor or bankrupt the three centre-right newspapers read by millions of Britons.

Impress CEO Jonathan Heawood is a vocal supporter and campaigner on behalf of SFH. He has promoted social media posts from SFH aggressively targeting Boots and HSBC into removing ads from MailOnline. ...

... Impress actively campaigns to bankrupt three newspapers – how can it possibly be a fair and balanced regulator of the press?

... SFH is an cabal of so-called 'liberals' trying to shut down the right-of-centre popular press. This raises serious questions for the government: how can Impress possibly be a fair and even-handed regulator when key figures within Impress are campaigning to ruin several newspapers? Regulators would not be allowed to behave in this way in any other industry...
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Bias – extremism, Islam, Christianity
UK visas: YES to radical Islamists, NO to Christian archbishops
Barnabas Fund, 2 December 2016
[Leading article]

It is hard to imagine a more incongruous headline – just as the world's attention focuses on the liberation of Mosul, the UK government has refused to grant a visa to the Archbishop of Mosul to attend the consecration of the UK's first Syriac Orthodox cathedral, a church whose flock includes many refugees fleeing persecution from Islamists in Iraq and Syria.

Last week saw great celebrations as St Thomas Cathedral in London was consecrated by the worldwide head of the Syriac Orthodox Church, Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II. HM the Queen sent a personal message, while Prince Charles was the guest of honour and addressed the congregation. The service was attended by senior UK church leaders including the Bishop of London, while the UK Prime Minister, Rt Hon Theresa May MP, sent a letter to be read out to the congregation. ...

Yet that welcome did not extend to either Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, the Archbishop of Mosul or to Timothius Mousa Shamani, the Archbishop of St Matthew's (which covers the Nineveh valley in northern Iraq) who were refused UK visas to attend the cathedral's consecration in London. The UK also refused to grant a visa to Archbishop Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh, the Archbishop of Homs and Hama in Syria. In his case the British Embassy told him that they would not waver from their policy of not granting visas to anyone in Syria. The diocese of each of these three archbishops has been taken over by Islamic State (IS) with Christians executed, enslaved, or forced to accept dhimmitude and pay jizya. Churches there have been either destroyed or converted into mosques. The Archbishop of Mosul was in fact the last senior churchman to leave Mosul in July 2014 when IS seized it. His cathedral is now a mosque.

Yet despite this, both these very senior church leaders whose church members are experiencing genocide were denied visas to attend the consecration of the UK's first Syriac Orthodox cathedral, which provides spiritual care for some of their flock who have managed to obtain refuge in the UK. ...

The refusal to grant a few days' UK visa to these very senior church leaders is symptomatic of a deeper problem in the UK Home Office. ...

Yet, at the same time this is happening, radical Islamist leaders are being told they can have visas – even though they represent organisations or movements that incite violence and persecution against Christians. For example, we have previously reported that the UK Home Office recently issued guidance stating that there should be a presumption that senior members of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood should be granted asylum in the UK – despite the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood has repeatedly incited violence against Egyptian Christians, leading to around 80 churches being burnt down since 2013, and has declared a violent jihad against the Egyptian government. In July this year visas were granted for a tour of UK mosques by two Pakistani Islamic leaders who have been prominent campaigners to "honour" the murder of anyone opposed to Pakistan's blasphemy laws and who also called for the immediate killing of Christians accused of blasphemy, such as Aasia Bibi.
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Bias – refugees
Angelina Jolie-Pitt should open her doors to refugees - or shut up
Allison Pearson
Daily Telegraph, 18 May 2016

You will doubtless share my delight at the heartwarming news that Angelina Jolie-Pitt is to fling open the doors of her 35-room, $60 million chateau in the south of France to refugees. ...

Failing that, the refugees could be put up in some style at the Jolie-Pitt estate in Los Feliz, where they will enjoy considerable privacy because Brad bought two properties next to the house to keep ne'er-do-wells like, er, refugees, at a safe distance.

Or there is always that 7,000 square foot mansion in New Orleans, complete with three-storey guest house, oodles of space for several Syrian families.

If the refugees fancy being near the ocean, welcome to the Jolie-Pitt's $18 million home in California. ...

Oh. Sorry, slightly crossed wires. Angelina is desperately keen for us to take in refugees.

In her capacity as special envoy to the United Nation's refugee agency, the movie star tore into Western leaders on Monday over their response to the migration crisis, saying they were in danger of "promoting the politics of fear".

By contrast, she praised Angela Merkel for her decision to admit over a million refugees to Germany last year, a move which, as well as alarming Merkel's own supporters, rode roughshod over EU agreements. "I think it came from a beautiful, emotional place," gushed Angelina of Merkel's recklessness. ...

... The star dares to accuse us of taking a "hardline on immigration" when both she and her children are completely immune from its consequences.

Remember when Brad and Angelina were awaiting the birth of their daughter, Shiloh, the family stayed in Namibia at the Burning Shores resort? They rented out all of the luxury hotel's rooms to make sure they could command a total lockdown and absolute privacy.

What a contrast with the experience of pregnant women turned away from NHS maternity hospitals because they are full, due to uncontrolled immigration to the UK. ...

May I suggest a compromise? We will accept pious, moralising lectures from the many-mansioned, multi-millionairess Angelina Jolie when, and only when, she has trouble getting her six children into an overcrowded school. That should guarantee a welcome period of silence.
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Bias – BBC
The BBC's focus on immigration was a whole day of anti-Brexit propaganda
Toby Young
Daily Telegraph, 17 May 2016

Sadly, my newfound respect for the BBC was dealt a blow yesterday when the broadcaster devoted an entire day of live programming to migration. ...

If you were looking for impartiality, you'd come to the wrong place. The entire day was like a 24-hour political broadcast for the Remain campaign. ...

Grandi meanwhile stressed over and over again that the only reason people left their own countries was out of dire necessity, to escape war or famine.

"Many believe that refugees are people that come to rich countries to take advantage of a better way of living," he told Martha Kearney, unable to contain his amusement at such a laughably inadequate hypothesis. "Refugees mostly flee because they are compelled to flee by terrible, unimaginable violence. If they had a choice, they wouldn't leave, but they have no choice. That's why we have such a strong not only legal, but also a moral obligation to give them asylum."

That isn't true. The number of displaced people in the world currently stands at 60 million, higher than it's ever been, but both war and poverty have declined dramatically since World War II, a phenomenon painstakingly documented by the Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker.

The subtext of Grandi's "terrible, unimaginable violence" remarks couldn't have been clearer. Anyone in the UK who wants to restrict the flow of migrants into our country – that is, anyone thinking of voting Leave – is a knuckle-dragging barbarian. ...

But the centrepiece of Monday's blanket coverage was a speech by Angelina Jolie, the Hollywood actress and UNHCR special envoy. She'd been asked by the Beeb to speak at Broadcasting House.

Sounding as if she was reading a script by Nick Clegg, the star denounced "the politics of fear and separation" and claimed that those seeking to impose tougher border controls, (i.e. Brexit campaigners), were guilty of "protecting themselves whatever the cost or challenge to their neighbours and despite their international responsibilities". ...

As I say, I'm not a swivel-eyed Eurosceptic loon when it comes to the BBC. But a whole day devoted to making those of us who would like to control migration feel like mean-spirited Little Englanders was too much.
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Bias – Twitter
Twitter Shadowbanning 'Real and Happening Every Day' Says Inside Source
Milo Yiannopoulos
Breitbart, 16 February 2016

Rumours that Twitter has begun 'shadowbanning' politically inconvenient users have been confirmed by a source inside the company, who spoke exclusively to Breitbart Tech. His claim was corroborated by a senior editor at a major publisher.

According to the source, Twitter maintains a 'whitelist' of favoured Twitter accounts and a 'blacklist' of unfavoured accounts. Accounts on the whitelist are prioritised in search results, even if they're not the most popular among users. Meanwhile, accounts on the blacklist have their posts hidden from both search results and other users' timelines.

Our source was backed up by a senior editor at a major digital publisher, who told Breitbart that Twitter told him it deliberately whitelists and blacklists users. He added that he was afraid of the site's power, noting that his tweets could disappear from users' timelines if he got on the wrong side of the company. ...

The pattern of shadowban reports, which skews towards the alt-right, the populist right, and cultural libertarians, follows close on the heels of Twitter's establishment of a "Trust and Safety Council" packed with left-wing advocacy groups, as well as Islamic research centre the Wahid Institute. ...

With shadowbans now confirmed by an inside source, there is little room for doubt that the platform is intent on silencing conservatives.
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Bias – education
GCSE pupils to be taught that the nation's earliest inhabitants were Africans who were in Britain before the English
Mark Branagan and Nick Craven
Mail on Sunday, 10 January 2016

GCSE students are to be taught that some of our nation's earliest inhabitants were Africans who arrived here long before the English.

... the extraordinary rewriting of our island's history – the politically correct work of a Marxist academic – will be offered to thousands of history students throughout England from September.

Its creators claim the course addresses the 'white male-dominated' view of history – but it has outraged some of Britain's most eminent thinkers.

Booker and Nobel prize-winning novelist V.S. Naipaul said: 'Once again political correctness is distorting our history and the education of our children.'

And historian Sir Roy Strong, author of The Story Of Britain, said: 'This stands history on its head, projecting back on to the past something that isn't true.'

The 'Africans in Britain' quotation is the opening line of a key book on the course reading list by a Marxist historian and refers to a Roman legion of North Africans briefly stationed on Hadrian's Wall in the 3rd Century, before the arrival of Anglo-Saxons.

Up to 500 'Aurelian' Moors – named in honour of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, popularised in the film Gladiator – manned a fort near Carlisle.

But there is no evidence they ever settled there.

Offered by the Oxford and Cambridge examination board (OCR) and approved for use in schools, the course literature states: 'This course will enable students to learn how the movement of people – European, African, Asian – to and from these islands has shaped the story of this nation for thousands of years.

'The history of migration is the story of Britain: in 1984, Peter Fryer wrote, "There were Africans in Britain before the English came." '

The course – Migration To Britain c. 1,000 to c. 2010 – was created with academics from the Black and Asian Studies Association but has been condemned as 'pro-immigration propaganda' at a time when the subject is especially sensitive. ...

Sir Roy Strong said: 'The only Africans who came here were a few with the Romans who came and then left! I find it disturbing that our children should be taught something that is clearly designed to feed into contemporary problems rather than tell our island's story properly.' ...

Although the new course takes its starting point as the Middle Ages, one section is headed 'Population diversity in England before 1066'.

Professor Alan Smithers, of Buckingham University, a specialist adviser to the Commons Education Committee, said: 'This seems to be aimed more at indoctrination than education. It is dangerous because a cohesive society depends on an authentic shared view of history.'

And Campaign for Real Education chairman Chris McGovern said: 'The country is being sold down the river by the politically correct brigade and national identity sacrificed for minority groups to feel included. It's pro-immigration propaganda.' ...

Mike Goddard, head of history at OCR, said: 'There is no political bias. The GCSE will present facts. It is not pushing any particular argument.'
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Bias – Muslim migrants, USA, Hungary
Hungary's Prime Minister shares similar views to Donald Trump. Should he be banned too?
Ross Clark
Spectator blog, 10 January 2016

If you are going to try to put people beyond the pale on the grounds of what they have said it pays at least to be consistent. This week, left-wing MPs were cock a hoop at achieving the required number of signatures on a petition calling for Donald Trump to be banned from the UK for the matter to be debated in Parliament. ...

There was no visible protest, on the other hand, against David Cameron meeting Hungarian PM Viktor Orban in Budapest this week, no audible call for Mr Orban to be banned from making a return visit to the UK. ...

... 'I think we have a right to decide that we do not want a large number of Muslim people in our country,' he [Orban] said. ...

But either way, there is little to distinguish between the remarks of Trump and those of Orban, yet one is the subject of a vitriolic campaign to ban him from Britain. As for the other, we have heard hardly a squeak of protest against him.
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Bias – multiculturalism
Cologne exposes a crisis in our continent, yet parliament is debating Donald Trump
Douglas Murray
Spectator blog, 9 January 2016

Europe is going through a period of radical change, but it is facing this with a process of radical self-distraction. Unwilling to face up to our problems we obsess over the responses to those problems. There have been some startling recent examples. ...

This is a shame, because some free thought and discussion about what is going on could have been useful at an earlier stage. Last year, when Angela Merkel flung open Germany's borders anyone who said, 'Are you sure you know what you're doing?' was shouted down with cries of 'racist'. ...

Millions of people whose identities and beliefs are unknown have been let into our continent. Many who have been here for a few years continue to present challenges which are by no means minimal. There seems to be a belief that so long as we have got Katie Hopkins, Donald Trump or Tommy Robinson to kick around then we can focus our energies on ignoring the problem.

Of course all one can do is warn. But it seems to me that, if we keep distracting ourselves from the problem and beating up on every response to it, then this continent of ours is going to go very bad, very fast.
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BORDER CONTROLS

Border controls – appeals
Immigration appeal delays 'shocking' as backlog reaches 63,000
John Hyde
The Law Society Gazette, 22 December 2016

MPs have said the immigration appeals system is on the verge of a crisis as delays continue to plague the process. Hackney South MP Meg Hillier has told the Gazette that the number of people reporting problems with the immigration appeals process has reached record levels. ...

The Gazette reported in October that immigration appeal hearings were being put back by up to nine months and that HM Courts and Tribunals Service had drawn up a list of 'priority' cases to ensure the most urgent issues were dealt with.

Statistics published by the Ministry of Justice earlier this month reveal the caseload in the First-tier Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber was 62,900 at the end of September – an increase of 20% compared to the same time in 2015.

The tribunal disposed of 18,000 appeals from July to September this year – down 13% on the same period in 2015.

The mean age of a case at disposal in the FTTIAC was 48 weeks in the third quarter of 2016 – 15 weeks longer than last year.

Hillier, who is chair of the commons Public Accounts Committee, said she was sympathetic to the complexities of the immigration appeals system but the current state of the system was 'shocking'. ...

The government says the increase in average time taken for cases to be cleared is due to an increased proportion of more complex cases which require more court time.
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Border controls – crime, Ireland
Criminals gaining route into UK 'by weaker Irish Republic immigration checks'
The Herald [Scotland], 14 December 2016

Weaker immigration checks in the Irish Republic are providing a route for international criminals to enter the UK, Northern Ireland's police chief has told MPs.

George Hamilton said controls in the Republic of Ireland did not have the same "resource or focus" as those operating in Northern Ireland.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) chief constable was being questioned by members of a Westminster committee as part of its inquiry into the future of the Irish border post-Brexit.

Mr Hamilton told the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee that a growing number of criminals operating on the island of Ireland were from abroad.
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Border controls – ports
British borders are weakened by poor information at ports, the terror watchdog has warned
Kate McCann
Daily Telegraph, 2 December 2016

British borders are weakened in the fight against terror because ports do not receive good enough advance information about passengers, a watchdog has warned.

David Anderson QC's damning report concluded that port staff are "impaired" in their ability to fight terrorism and block people who should not be coming into the country because of poor records kept by travel firms.

The Independent Reviewer of Terror legislation said that passenger lists, which help police and border force officers identify people who should be stopped on entering or leaving the UK, are often incomplete and are provided too late.
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Border controls – cost, Calais, France
Britain picks up £36 million bill for closure of the Jungle - money comes on top of £80million to pay for security guards in French ports
Vanessa Allen, Glen Keogh and Mario Ledwith
MailOnline, 25 October 2016

Britain is footing a £36 million bill for the closure of the Jungle migrant camp in Calais.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the UK would help pay for the evacuation that began on Monday and for measures to keep the site shut.

The UK has already pledged £80 million to pay private security firms to patrol ports in northern France for three years.

And a few weeks ago the British government agreed to fund the £2 million 'Great Wall of Calais' to stop stowaways sneaking across the Channel.

It means British taxpayers face a total bill of £118 million to secure the Jungle site and the French ports over the next three years, despite charities warning many migrants will inevitably return. ...

She said: 'The UK Government will be contributing up to £36m to maintain the security of these controls, to support the camp clearance and to ensure in the long term that the camp is kept closed. This funding will also be used to help keep children safe in France.

'This contribution is not made unconditionally, and we will continue to work with the French Government to ensure that the clearance operation is full and lasting.'

The Home Secretary said British officials were only given access to the camp to begin interviewing children last week.
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Border controls – Calais, France
REVEALED: Calais migrant chaos has cost UK taxpayers more than £90 MILLION over two years
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 12 October 2016

UK taxpayers have forked out more than £90 million in just two years tackling the migrant chaos in Calais, it has emerged.

The astonishing figure on securing the besieged port town works out at £123,287 a day.

And Home Secretary Amber Rudd promised that Britain would continue to contribute towards the spiralling cost even after the notorious "Jungle" camp is cleared.

The revelation comes just days before bulldozers were set to flatten the shantytown which is now home to 10,000 UK-bound refugees.

Evictions will start after the Home Office has finalised plans to bring nearly 400 unaccompanied children from Calais.
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Border controls
Take back control? Our Border Force is in no fit state to do its job
Polly Toynbee
The Guardian, 11 October 2016

May missed all her targets when she was in charge of immigration as home secretary, so she knows better than anyone the impossibility of cutting net migration down to "tens of thousands". She knows UK border controls are inadequate: police find 10,000 people each year who have entered ports in the backs of lorries, and Dover's Tory MP Charlie Elphicke claims many more, never detected, step straight into the arms of traffickers.

Public sector cuts have not spared the service that is supposed to security-check all arrivals at a time of a raised terror threat. ...

Had she asked staff about their workloads, they probably wouldn't have told the truth, governed as they are by a regime of terror and targets. I spoke to some Border Force staff, on condition of strictest anonymity, meeting them miles away from Heathrow for fear of disciplinary action if they were caught talking to a journalist. With no culture of transparency, this service punishes whistleblowers.

Here's what they told me: after the public row over gigantic queues before the 2012 Olympics, strict targets were set: non-EU passengers must queue for no more than 45 minutes, EU for 25 minutes, and fast-track first class just 15 minutes. These targets must be met 95% of the time.

At present, they are met 70% of the time, and staff shortages mean that civil servants brought in from elsewhere get just a few days' training. "All they can do is a basic passport scan," say these whistleblowers. "Training and experience matter. We can feel whether something is wrong about who they say they are, where they've been, for how long and how often. We notice their demeanour, their nerves." It takes experience to spot children being trafficked. E-gates detect fewer suspicious cases. ...

With everyone manning the desks, paperwork piles up behind the scenes: asylum claims are rising again and people stopped can wait hours to be checked. Staff are taken off customs: "Guns and drugs don't matter as much as queues," one officer says. ...

Visa checks on people from non-EU countries are weaker, they claim, now visa offices abroad have been closed. "There are no standard interviews for student or visitor visas now. But you can't rely on written references and qualifications," says one officer who has worked overseas. "You need to see applicants to detect people who are not what they say they are." During the present "surge", there is only one forgery specialist each shift, instead of two or three: "They're run off their feet." ...

Passenger numbers have risen by 20% since 2010 and are set to continue rising by 2% a year, while Border Force funding is cut: spending per passenger is down 25%. Some technology is 14 years out of date, while £1bn was wasted on a failed e-borders system. Last year's National Audit Office report warned that the Advance Passenger Information System was collecting only 86% of arrivals. The system cannot check them all "in sufficient time to prevent high-risk travellers from starting their journey to or from the UK," the report said. That leaves 16.5 million people a year unchecked before arrival.
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Border controls – Brexit, Ireland, Common Travel Area
Britain to push post-Brexit UK immigration controls back to Irish border
Henry McDonald
The Guardian, 10 October 2016

Britain is seeking to shift the frontline of immigration controls to Ireland's ports and airports to avoid having to introduce a "hard border" between north and south after the UK leaves the European Union, the Guardian has learned.

The Northern Ireland secretary, James Brokenshire, has told the Guardian that London and Dublin will work to strengthen Ireland's external borders in order to combat illegal migration into the UK once it leaves the European Union. ...

"We have put in place a range of measures to further combat illegal migration working closely with the Irish government," Brokenshire said. "Our focus is to strengthen the external border of the common travel area [CTA], building on the strong collaboration with our Irish partners."

The CTA is a unique arrangement that allows for full freedom of movement between people from Ireland and Britain on both islands. ...

The measures will be aimed primarily at non-Europeans seeking entry into the CTA. Politicians on all sides of the divide on the island of Ireland have expressed concern that Irish border towns such as Dundalk could become the "new Calais" if people-traffickers trying to send migrants into the UK target the Irish Republic as a "jump-off point" into Northern Ireland.

Precedents already exist for this Anglo-Irish collaborative model: Indian and Chinese visitors are subject to a system whereby they apply for a single visa, valid for travel in both Ireland and the UK.

The joint Anglo-Irish border procedures will not be able to stem the arrival of EU nationals, as they will retain the right to free movement to live and work in the Irish Republic. However, this point is seen as moot: officials believe few EU citizens will want to come and work illegally in the UK after Brexit. "The numbers would be very small," said one diplomatic source familiar with Brexit discussions.
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Border controls – failure
'I cleared FIVE checks with a fake passport - I could have been a jihadi': Anarchists give Syrian migrant bogus documents and smuggle him into the UK on a Ryanair flight
Ian Gallagher, Ross Kempsell and Russell Jenkins
Mail on Sunday, 18 September 2016

A Syrian migrant was smuggled into Britain on a Ryanair flight using a bogus passport supplied by a group of political extremists, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

In an astonishing security lapse, Bashar Habib, 18, walked unchallenged through a series of checks at Athens airport before claiming asylum on arrival at Stansted.

He said he had been given the passport less than 24 hours earlier by No Borders, whose members include British anarchists accused of stirring trouble among migrants in refugee camps across Europe. ...

'I'm a genuine person and want to be a doctor to help people in Syria – but I could have been a jihadi or a criminal,' Bashar told The Mail on Sunday. 'It's just luck that I had good intentions.'

He boarded the plane at Athens International Airport unchallenged, despite differing markedly in appearance from the owner of the passport, Austrian Marius Brem, who has longer hair, different coloured eyes and is seven years older. ...

Home Office documents seen by this newspaper show that he was questioned on arrival and his nationality established by his Syrian identity card. ...

Chris Phillips, former head of the National Counter Terrorism Security Office, said: 'He could have been anyone. It raises the question: how many more people are coming in by this route?' ...

Aviation expert Julian Bray said: 'Worryingly, coming in on a scheduled flight is now becoming a mainstream opportunity for unauthorised people to get into Britain.

'He could have been anybody getting on that plane. There's absolutely no excuse for it and the Greek authorities must raise their game... the airline must also increase its security. The only good news is that he was picked up this end.'
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Border controls – Channel crossing
Exposed, the easy route for migrants crossing the Channel: How SUE REID hired an inflatable for eight, crossed to France past a Navy warship, stayed in a hotel and returned to Dover - without a single check
Sue Reid
Daily Mail, 17 September 2016

The shockingly easy way that migrants can exploit shoddy border controls to slip into Britain undetected is exposed today by the Mail.

We have proved that terrorists, criminals and illegals can enter this country undercover with no security checks.

I sailed across the English Channel on a small inflatable boat from France without anyone stopping me, asking for my passport, or showing any sign of noticing when I landed on the Kent coast.

Together with a Mail photographer, I made the 31-mile journey to Dover from the French port of Gravelines, which lies between Calais and Dunkirk, the two busy towns where countless migrants wait to cross the Channel and get into Britain illegally.

Our findings about the UK's scandalously poor border controls come just days after six suspected illegal migrants jumped off a private yacht on the Suffolk coast and disappeared.

This coincided with a chilling report by an influential think-tank, the Adam Smith Institute, which warned that Britain is being left 'exposed' to a terrorist attack by its failure to check thousands of people arriving from abroad.

Police and Border Force officials are still searching for the six people who went on the run from the village of Bawdsey, near Felixstowe, amid fears that people-smuggling gangs are operating with impunity as a result of bad border security on Britain's coastline.

They believe such international gangs are making millions of pounds by sailing small boats, carrying migrants, into the UK. National Crime Agency investigators say they land in quiet ports, beaches and inlets, as well as using the shortest Channel crossing-point from Calais into Dover. ...

To find out how easy it is to slip unchallenged into Britain by sea, I hired a skipper and a RIB (rigid inflatable boat) with an outboard motor from a maritime firm near Rye to take us from the Kent coast to France – and then, crucially, to make the return journey. ...

Just 35 minutes after leaving Gravelines, we could see the White Cliffs of Dover shimmering enticingly under the early morning sun in the distance.

As we got near Dover, we passed miles of deserted beaches. If it had not been for the difficult weather, we would easily have landed on one of them. As it was, we decided to sail to Dover itself. ...

Our findings about the lack of border controls confirm what MPs said last month in a Home Affairs Select Committee report, which was critical of the UK and the EU's response to the migration crisis.

They complained that the number of Navy vessels available to patrol Britain's coast is 'worryingly low' and that the UK Border Force was 'clearly under-resourced', with a fleet of only five. The authorities suspect the people-smuggling gangs routinely use the route we took to clandestinely slip illegals into the UK.
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Border controls
Stretched border controls 'miss more than 4,000 high risk flights a year'
Ben Farmer
Daily Telegraph, 12 September 2016

More than 4,000 "high risk" flights are being missed by Border Force officials each year, a new study estimates, raising fears crime gangs, drug traffickers and even terrorists could be using lax security to enter the country.

The UK's Border Force is in disarray after years of neglect, while the rising number of passengers has stretched the organisation to breaking point, the Adam Smith Institute warns.

While passenger numbers through Britain's ports and airports have risen by a fifth this decade and are expected to rise by another 43 per cent by 2030, funding for border checks has been slashed, the think tank says.

"Britain's Border Force is not equipped to quickly, accurately and securely monitor passengers in and out of Britain," the report warns.

Border officials aim to check 99 per cent of inbound "high risk" flights, for example where passenger lists have not been submitted in advance and the identities of those on board are unknown.

But the report found some days up to 7.5 per cent of such flights, or the equivalent of as many as 4,197 a year, are not met by agents or checked on databases. ...

The Home Office rejected the study's calculations as "inaccurate and highly misleading".

A spokeswoman said Border Force officers carried out "detailed risk assessments and our officers physically meet any flight considered to be high risk.

"In addition, we work with domestic and international partners to gather intelligence and target suspicious activity in the skies and seas."
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Border controls – border security
Small ports and beaches at mercy of criminals and migrants
John Chapman
Daily Express, 8 August 2016

Security at small ports is the "greatest emerging threat" to the UK, according to the head of the National Crime Agency.

Lynne Owens has warned police chiefs that her officers have had to deal with a number of "serious incidents" at British ports.

She said attempts to get a grip on border controls was "taking up all my time".

In a briefing to police, Ms Owens said the Home Office is conducting a secret review of port security as illegal migrants use sailing boats to land in small harbours or on remote coasts.

A source said: "Organised crime gangs are now coming in through the small ports. We have seven different agencies looking after our ports.

It's a mess.

Everybody is treading on each other and no one knows who is in charge." ...

Mark Gribbin, chairman of ISU, the union for Borders, Immigration & Customs, said it is "only a matter of time before we see a mass breach of the border".

He said: "UK Borders are in meltdown. Crisis point has well and truly arrived."
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Border controls – failures
UK border controls rendered 'laughing stock' by failure to collect immigration fines
Adam Button
Police Professional, 27 July 2016

Failure to pay immigration penalties should be made a criminal offence to address the Government's "shameful" failure to collect £2.5 million of people smuggling fines, the Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) has recommended.

In a report published on Wednesday (July 27), HASC found that lorry companies were served with more than £6.5 million worth of civil penalties for intentional and unintentional people smuggling in 2014/15.

However, almost 40 per cent of this was never collected.

HASC has now advised that failure to pay these fines should be made a criminal offence, and intends to make collection of civil penalties a key performance measure for the Home Office.

HASC chairman Keith Vaz said: "The inability to collect penalties from those who are serial and persistent breachers of our immigration law, who harbour, employ or smuggle illegal migrants make a laughing stock of our border controls.

"For £2.5 million in fines to remain unpaid is shameful, and if the Government is serious about deterring people smuggling it may need to consider making this into a criminal offence."

The report found that a third of lorries arriving at UK borders do not have the advised standards of security, equating to roughly 750,000 vehicles per year.

British registered lorries only accounted for seven per cent of all penalties issued despite being responsible for 14 per cent of traffic coming into the country.

At the same time, the number of people trying to illegally enter the UK through Calais, Coquelles and Dunkerque has dramatically increased – around 40,000 attempts were prevented last year, compared to 18,000 in 2013/14 and 11,000 in 2012/13.

Similar issues were identified around penalties issued for the employment of illegal workers, less than a third of which are recovered. ...

Concern was also raised over marriage fraud – often used by immigrants to gain Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK – as HASC does not believe the crime is being treated with the severity it deserves.

It has now called on the Government to set out how many cases of marriage fraud have been reported in the last three years, what investigations have taken place, and how many perpetrators have had their Leave to Remain revoked and have been deported.
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Border controls – failures
People smugglers 'making a mockery' of UK borders: Damning evidence shows how easy it is for criminals to avoid penalties after a third of fines are never paid
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 27 July 2016

People smugglers are making a 'laughing stock' of Britain's porous borders, a withering report concludes today.

Damning evidence shows the Home Office's failure to crack down on immigration abuse, as well as how easy it is for rule-breakers to avoid penalties. ...

Under rules operated by the Border Force, drivers can be fined up to £2,000 for each migrant found at the British border. ...

Many of these are foreign truckers who turn a blind eye to the Home Office guidance – or simply never read it. ...

The committee report says: 'The civil penalty system will not be an effective means of deterring people from smuggling migrants if hauliers and drivers can simply evade fines.'

Over the past three years, drivers of HGVs have been hit with 6,335 penalty notices, but only 449 went to Britons.

Many foreign drivers simply disappear back over the border without paying – with Border Force chiefs failing to chase them up.
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Border controls – Calais, France
Welcome BACK to the Jungle
Sarah Dean
MailOnline, 22 July 2016

Just five months ago French authorities began demolishing the Calais refugee camp nicknamed the 'Jungle' after a judge upheld a decision to evict hundreds from the sprawling centre.

But despite talk of dismantling it these new aerial photographs appear to show it is now bigger than ever, having moved to an adjacent field, as a new census claimed the population had swollen to above 7,000 for the first time. ...

Charities Help Refugees and L'Auberge des Migrants say the population now totals 7,307. Nearly 50 people per day are arriving at the tent community and the camp's population is expected to exceed 10,000 before the end of September if this surprising rate continues. ...

There are now 761 minors living in the camp - 608 of them (80 per cent) are unaccompanied by an adult. The youngest child is just four months old, and the youngest unaccompanied child is eight years old.
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Border controls – Calais, France
'Prepare for the chaos of 15 years ago': UK Border Force union warns tens of thousands of illegal immigrants a year could land in Dover if Calais border controls are scrapped
Nick Fagge
MailOnline, 8 July 2016

Tens of thousands of illegal immigrants a year could land in Dover if the border controls at Calais are scrapped, the head of the UK Border Force union has warned.

British authorities would be powerless to return the hundreds of stowaways caught every day trying to sneak aboard ferries to Britain main's ports from Calais if French politicians follow through with their threat to end the deal, Lucy Moreton added. ...

The front-runner to become the next French president has called for Britain's border checks in Calais to be scrapped.

Alain Juppe said it was 'logical' for checks to take place on UK soil now the country is leaving the EU. ...

Mrs Moreton, general secretary of the ISU union which represents officers from the UK Border Force, Immigration Service and HM Revenue and Customs, claims the end of the Le Touquet deal would mean the return to the illegal immigration chaos of the 2000s when the numbers seeking asylum reached a staggering 84,132 a year.

Last year UK Border guards foiled 30,629 attempts to cross to Britain illegally between April and July – an annual rate of 92,000, according to the latest Home Office figures. ...

Hundreds of migrants walked between the sprawling jungle camp and the ferry port in Calais today as they planned their illegal route to the UK.

An estimated 7,000 from Africa, Asia and the Middle East are currently living in the make-shift encampment on the edge of town hoping to start a new life in Britain.
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Border controls – UK, European Union
As MEPs vote for tougher EU border controls German minister threatens UK for wanting same
Alix Culbertson
Daily Express, 7 July 2016

On the day MEPs voted to toughen-up border controls Germany's finance minister once again threatened Britain saying there could be no access to the single market without unhindered access to the UK for EU citizens.

Wolfgang Schäuble said he rejected suggestions from Westminster that Britain could retain full EU market access while curbing immigration.

Bizarrely his comments came as 483 MEPs voted to toughen-up external border controls yesterday.

His blunt warning also came after several Brexit campaigners said the UK could have full access to the single market, including the vital financial sector, while limiting the number of EU nationals entering the country. ...

Mr Schaeuble's warning came a day after European Council President Donald Tusk repeated his warning Britain will have to accept freedom of movement if it wants access to the EU's single market.

The former prime minister of Poland warned the UK would not be able to place controls on EU immigration as the bloc "will not sell off our freedom and there will be no single market à la carte". ...

Despite EU politicians' insistence they will not budge on the issue of immigration and the single market, an overwhelming majority of MEPs voted today to effectively destroy the Schengen free movement agreement.

They voted to bring back border controls in a bid to minimise the effects of the migration crisis.
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Border controls – Calais, France
Europe offers another concession on migrants: Hollande says Britain CAN keep border agents in Calais after breakthrough on trade deal in boost for hopes of a smooth exit from EU
James Slack, John Stevens and Jason Groves
Daily Mail, 30 June 2016

Britain will be allowed to keep border controls in Calais after it leaves the European Union, the French president said last night.

Francois Hollande said it 'does not make sense' to rip up an agreement enabling British border guards to check for migrants stowed away on lorries or trains before they cross the Channel.

In the run-up to the referendum, Remain campaigners had repeatedly claimed that a Brexit vote could lead to the border being shifted back to Dover.

But Mr Hollande said yesterday the Le Touquet treaty signed between Britain and France in 2003 was not at stake. ...

After the Brexit result, Xavier Bertrand, president of the Hauts-de-France region that includes Calais, warned he would do everything in his power to make sure the 'wild west' jungle was turned into a 'British problem'. ...

Mr Bertrand said Britain should now take 'total' responsibility for the situation. ...

'The people of Calais are very welcoming but they can't cope with this anymore. Every night there are rocks thrown or trees dragged to make lorries brake so that people can jump on board - this is like the wild west. It's impossible.' ...

An estimated 5,000 mainly Afghan, Sudanese, Kurdish and Syrian migrants wanting to reach Britain are currently in northern France.
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Border controls – UK, France
French border deal won't be affected by Brexit, says Paris
Angelique Chrisafis
The Guardian, 25 June 2016

The French deal with Britain that keeps border checks, and thousands of refugees and migrants, on the French side of the Channel will remain in place and won't be affected by the Brexit vote, the Paris government has said.

Under a bilateral treaty signed in 2003 known as the Le Touquet accord, British officials can check passports in France and vice-versa. This means the English border is effectively pushed back to France and migrants and refugees trying to reach Britain remain stuck in a no-man's land at make-shift camps in Calais and on France's northern coast. ...

"On the question of immigration, to be clear, British exit from the European Union will not lead to changes in terms of immigration treaties with United Kingdom ... These are bilateral treaties," said the government spokesman and agriculture minister, Stephane Le Foll.
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Border controls – boat
UK's open borders exposed: Brexit campaigner films himself 'illegally' crossing the Channel to reveal just how easy it is for migrants to get into Britain
James Dunn
MailOnline, 23 June 2016

Leave campaigners have released a shocking video of a sailor smuggling three 'refugees' across the Channel to show just how easy it is to get migrants into the UK.

The unnamed sailor takes three people he claims are migrants on a small rubber rib boat from Gravelines in northern France to Folkestone Harbour without being challenged once.

As the three men get off the boat, their alleged trafficker says: 'No harbour master, no police, no customs no nothing.'
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Border controls – coast, boats
UK Border Farce: How Italy has 600 boats to patrol its coastline for migrants while Britain has just THREE – despite growing evidence smugglers are targeting our shores
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 9 June 2016

Britain's lack of coastal border security was laid bare last night as it was revealed the country has only a handful of boats to guard our waters – while Italy has 600.

UK Border Force has just three vessels monitoring 7,700 miles of coast despite mounting evidence of smugglers and migrants targeting small harbours and isolated beaches. ...

And figures show the size of our operational fleet is tiny compared to other European nations. Tory MP Anne Main uncovered the strength of foreign fleets for law enforcement, including immigration, weapons and drug-smuggling, after urging Home Secretary Theresa May to bolster border controls.

Border Force has five cutters, but only three are patrolling UK waters. One is tackling migrant-smuggling in the Mediterranean and another is kept in dock to save money.

Each vessel can operate for just 48 hours from their home marina near Portsmouth, limiting them to the Channel – and leaving swathes of coastline unmanned.

But Italy has 600 boats to patrol the country's 4,700 miles of coast, Greece has 240 vessels monitoring 8,500 miles and Spain has 147 looking after 3,085 miles. ...

The Home Office announced last month it has ordered eight rigid-hulled inflatable boats to tackle people-smuggling, but they will not be fully deployed until 2018.

The Home Office said the figures did not take into account other military and law-enforcement vessels available. A spokesman said: 'Border Force uses a combination of cutters, radar and aerial surveillance to detect efforts to smuggle guns and drugs or facilitate illegal entry into the country.'
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Border controls – coast
Migrant crisis has arrived HERE - so why is Cameron turning a blind eye?
Nick Ferrari
Sunday Express, 5 June 2016

So now the migrant crisis has come to our front door.

If you are reading this in Kent, that is quite literally what has happened. Actually, make that in Kent, Sussex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Lincolnshire or anywhere else along our 7,700 miles of vulnerable coastline.

The biggest mass movement of people the planet has ever seen is now going on, with the White Cliffs of Dover as one of its backdrops, and just as Europe has lamentably failed to tackle the crisis on its southern borders, again it just stands and watches in paralysed horror as the hordes sweep ever closer.

Migration experts say the English Channel could become the new Mediterranean and how long might it be before the washed-up bodies of children find their way to our beaches as they have down south? Hapless Immigration Minister James Brokenshire tut-tuts, tells the media we are wrong to talk about wide-open borders and then absurdly boasts we possess "one of the most secure borders in the world". ...

It should probably be pointed out however that the practised indifference he displayed matches ministerial and Government apathy to the whole problem, as it emerged last week that no fewer than four reports over how lax border controls had become in some areas have been ignored, with the most recent report being just two weeks ago.

When you discover the alarm bells have been sounding for years, it makes this disdain even more disgraceful. Warnings have come from the police and the chief immigration inspector and even the former independent reviewer of terror legislation has talked candidly of a "crack in national security".
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Border controls – coast, France
Bonanza for the people-smugglers as 20,000 migrants wait for boats along 450 miles of French coast
Sue Reid
MailOnline, 4 June 2016

Gangs of people smugglers now operate along all 450 miles of the north French coast – from Calais on the Belgian border to Cherbourg and beyond – as 20,000 migrants wait to get to England for a new life.

During the past week they have used small fishing vessels, private yachts and speedboats to slip migrants onto England's South Coast beaches under cover of darkness. ...

The determination of migrants and the greed of traffickers has not been diminished by the French government's demolition in March of the 'Jungle' migrant camp in Calais, an unhygienic shanty town of 4,000.

The migrants simply moved on – initially 30 or so miles away to Dunkirk, where thousands live in a camp near the port, paying traffickers to cross the Channel, and then spreading further along the coast.

The fact the British government has spent £63 million in the past year beefing up security at Calais has only encouraged the diaspora. ...

Migrants are trying their luck in all eight ports with ferry services to England, from Dunkirk to Roscoff, and any harbours with small boats. ...

Nowhere in recent years have the criminals been more active than in the port town of Ouistreham in Normandy, on whose beaches Allied forces made the D-Day landings. ...

In the outskirts of Caen itself, we found 200 Iranian, Afghan and Iraqi migrants living in a dishevelled former industrial unit.

They told us Albanian gangs hire the boats of fishermen or yacht owners who will skipper a vessel the 40 miles across the sea from Ouistreham to Portsmouth.
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Border controls – small ports
Britain's border weakspots: The areas identified by criminal gangs smuggling hundreds of migrants into the UK
Peter Dominiczak, Steven Swinford and Laura Hughes
Daily Telegraph, 2 June 2016

Criminal gangs are using more than a dozen ports on Britain's coastline to smuggle hundreds of migrants into the UK. ...

Europol, the European police agency, has identified 13 "migrant smuggling hotspots" in the United Kingdom which are being targeted by the criminals.

It comes after the Chief Inspector of Borders warned that border officials are not collecting details about the identity of passengers entering the country on small boats.

David Bolt said that there "no systematic collection of information about any aspect of General Maritime".

It said that captains routinely ignore legal requirements to report their movements and who they have on board, while the Border Force rates its own performance as poor in 27 out of 28 areas.

The Chief Inspector also criticised the absence of any advance passenger information for people arriving in the UK on small boats, which it described as a "significant gap" in border security. ...

The National Crime Agency has also revealed that people smugglers are using rigid-hulled inflatable boats to take migrants to "shallow beaches", including the popular tourist town on Whistable in Kent.

Other ports which are increasingly being targeted by migrants include Hull, Immingham in North East Lincolnshire, Tilbury and Purfleet in Essex and Newhaven and Portsmouth on the South coast.
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Border controls – aerial surveillance
Theresa May scrapped aerial border surveillance despite warnings from former security minister
Peter Dominiczak and Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 1 June 2016

Theresa May cancelled an aerial surveillance programme designed to stop migrants crossing the Channel into Britain to save money despite warnings from a former security minister, the Telegraph can disclose.

The Home Secretary in January agreed to scrap a £4 million surveillance contract despite being told by Baroness Neville-Jones, a former security minister and chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, that it was a risk to Britain's border security.

It comes amid growing criticism of Britain's border security after growing evidence emerged that people smugglers are increasingly using small boats to ferry migrants across the Channel to small ports and harbours on the UK coastline. ...

The Home Office on Tuesday announced that around six new vessels would be brought into service to patrol British coastal waters.

However, the plans were immediately labelled a "joke" by Conservative MPs after it emerged that all of the boats will not be fully operational until the end of 2017. ...

Frank Hurst, a former head of maritime operations at HM Customs and Excise, said that the decision to end the air surveillance contract was "short sighted".

He said that the surveillance has been in use for more than 20 years and had proved "extremely helpful" in spotting vessels.

He said: "You can cover a huge amount of ground. It was extremely helpful in operations, especially when we had a particular target.

"I was very disappointed to see that the contract was cancelled. It seems short-sighted because we built up a lot of expertise over the years."
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Border controls – boats
The Royal Navy's obsession with big ships leaves it unable to protect our shores from the migration crisis
Con Coughlin
Daily Telegraph, 1 June 2016

For the past year the migration crisis that has brought chaos to large tracts of southern Europe has, so far as Britain is concerned, seemed a problem that was unlikely to pose a direct threat to our own shores. ...

It now appears that the Government's assumption that the migration crisis is really an EU problem, rather than one that could directly affect Britain, has meant that it has paid scant regard to protecting its own shores.

The folly of this approach, driven as much by domestic budget considerations as by a naïve confidence in the EU's crisis management capabilities, has now been laid bare by the arrival of the first batch of illegal immigrants from Albania over the bank holiday weekend. ...

But, as the political row over the rescue of 18 Albanian migrants off the Kent coast has highlighted, the authorities seem singularly ill-equipped to protect the 11,000-mile coastline of mainland Britain. ...

The reason the Border Force, the Home Office agency responsible for policing Britain's ports, does not have enough boats is because half its fleet of purpose-built cutters has been sent to the Mediterranean, where they are supporting the EU naval operation to prevent a fresh wave of migrants reaching Europe this summer. ...

The other drawback to providing effective protection of the British coast is that the Border Force boats are in the Mediterranean because the Royal Navy, which has seen the number of its surface combat ships radically reduced by recent defence cuts, simply does not have enough ships available for this kind of mission.

The Government's insistence on squandering billions in foreign aid while at the same time cutting the strength of the Armed Forces is certainly one contributing factor to this disastrous state of affairs.

But the Navy, with its insistence on only buying the most expensive kit available, must also share some of the blame. ...

It is time the Government woke up to the fact people-smuggling gangs are now going to target the British coastline directly. And if we cannot rely on Europe to defend our borders, then it is imperative that we have the means - and the boats – to defend ourselves.
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Border controls – coast
Britain's very porous borders: Having just three boats to patrol coast is a security gamble, says ex-Navy chief
Larisa Brown
Daily Mail, 30 May 2016

Britain's borders are at risk from terrorists and uncontrolled flows of migrants because so few boats patrol UK waters, a former head of the Royal Navy warned yesterday.

Just three Border Force vessels patrol 7,700 miles of coastline after another was deployed to the Aegean Sea to tackle the migrant crisis.

The situation, described by Admiral Lord West as a 'complete mess', comes after aerial surveillance of Britain's shores was scrapped in January to save money.

Both Britain's Maritime and Coastguard Agency and HM Revenue & Customs officials are said to be 'deeply concerned' that the UK has not got control of its territorial waters, it can be revealed.

If hundreds more migrants start to take advantage of the sea route from Calais, Britain could be reliant on private vessels to conduct rescue missions.

Lord West, who was a security minister under Gordon Brown, told the Daily Mail: 'We are taking a calculated risk with our own territorial waters.

'Already we have seen these illegal immigrants and I don't believe there aren't clever traffickers using the smaller ports to send them and I'm sure terrorists are aware of the route too.

'We need to get a grip on this. We are taking a gamble that nothing will ever happen in our seas and that is a risky view to take given the dangerous world we are in.' ...

Lord West said: 'It is a complete mess. I've asked which government department is responsible for the surveillance and security of our territorial areas and I think the answer is nobody.' ...

A report earlier this year revealed Britain's borders are almost undefended against terrorists and criminals using small boats and planes.
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Border controls – coast
Ex-borders chief who warned of UK-bound migrant boats 5 YEARS ago 'was told they were a low priority'
Ben Glaze and Dan Bloom
Mirror, 30 May 2016

Britain's borders watchdog warned of migrant boats crossing the Channel 5 YEARS ago but ministers considered them a "low priority", he has revealed.

John Vine spoke out after it emerged just two Border Force cutters are patrolling the UK's 7,700-mile coastline - despite 18 Albanians being rescued from a sinking boat near Kent.

Saturday night's scene brought worrying echoes of the thousands who have died trying to cross the Mediterranean, including heartbreaking images of toddler Aylan Kurdi on a Turkish beach.

Now the ex-chief inspector of borders and immigration has warned there's an "equal chance" of the same thing happening in Britain.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I reported on this in two inspections, in 2011 and 2013.

"There have been reports by the National Audit Office that were followed up at the Public Accounts Committee.

"My sense was this wasn't a major priority. This was a lower priority in the face of other demands elsewhere."
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Border controls – people smuggling
UK is 'woefully unprepared' in dealing with migrant crisis
ITV, 30 May 2016

The UK is "woefully unprepared" and "woefully ill-equipped" to deal with people smugglers, according to a border security expert.

Speaking to Good Morning Britain, Chris Hobbs, a former Special Branch officer, said "the Home office [is] playing catch-up" in dealing with the migrant coastal threat. ...

The border security expert also raised concern the threat posed by migrants crossing the English Channel could involve more than people smuggling.

"It's a question of firearms, it's a question of drugs", with the police marine units guarding the coastline "under threat because of cutbacks. It's not a pretty picture along our coastline."
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Border controls – small ports
Unpoliced small ports are a backdoor into Britain for terrorists, people smugglers and gangsters warns National Crime Agency
Abe Hawken
MailOnline, 29 May 2016

Small marinas and ports across the UK are vulnerable to terrorists and organised criminals because they are unpoliced, according to the National Crime Agency.

The agency claims there is an absence of checks at hundreds of ports across the country and they are so busy with one-off arrivals that one marina official compared them to an NCP car park. ...

Border Force, which is responsible for frontline border control operations at air, sea and rail ports in the UK, admitted early this year that few routine checks were carried out on tiny marinas, reports The Times.

Earlier this week, 17 illegal immigrants from Albania were discovered at Chichester harbour in West Sussex on a catamaran that had just arrived from France.

The vessel was stopped only because officers from Hampshire Constabulary Marine Unit were searching for a missing person. ...

David Bolt, chief inspector of borders, said that large numbers of boats were sailing into British waters from outside the UK with few checks.
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Border controls – EU citizens
Proof that we DON'T control our borders: Brussels laws mean Britain turns away 20 times more non-EU nationals than Europeans
James Slack
Daily Mail, 29 April 2016

British border guards have turned away almost 20 times as many non-EU nationals as European citizens in the past decade, official figures revealed last night.

The shocking data shows how officials seeking to keep out terror suspects, extremists and criminals have had their hands tied by Brussels.

In the last ten years, guards ordered not to impede freedom of movement rules have turned away just 11,000 EU citizens.

In the same period, 200,000 non-EU nationals have been refused entry to the UK.

This is despite the fact that 215 million of the 321 million visitors to Britain since 2006 were from within the EU.

Under UK law, a person from outside the EU can be stopped from entering the country on the simple grounds that their presence is 'not conducive to the public good'. But Brussels diktats state that EU citizens can only be turned away if there is a 'serious, credible and present threat' – a far higher threshold binding officials' hands.
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Border controls – terrorism, European Union
Open borders bring terror to our doorstep
Con Coughlin
Daily Telegraph, 28 April 2016

The only concern for the majority of people fleeing war-ravaged countries such as Syria and Iraq is to find sanctuary from violence. But for those few of more malign intent, Europe's biggest refugee crisis since the end of the Second World War has provided a unique opportunity – to infiltrate Europe's heartland with terror cells.

Thanks to the EU's hapless response to the migration crisis which erupted last summer, it is estimated that thousands of jihadists trained in the latest terrorist techniques have been able to make their way undetected through Europe after obtaining new identities and passports.

The result, so far as Britain is concerned, is that the leaders of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) have succeeded in setting up a network of sleeper cells throughout the UK which can be activated to conduct terrorist attacks on a similar scale to those recently experienced in Paris and Brussels.

In short, to use the terminology familiar to MI5 and MI6 officers, Isil leaders have succeeded in "weaponising" the refugee crisis for their own nefarious purposes.

James Clapper, the US Director of National Intelligence, earlier this week revealed the existence of sleeper cells in the UK, as well as other European states such as Germany and Italy. He believes Isil has been able to infiltrate the country by taking advantage of Europe's porous borders.

If that is indeed the case, then many people will be sympathetic to questions raised by Iain Duncan Smith, the former work and pensions secretary, about the wisdom of the Government spending nearly £2 billion to help countries such as Turkey and Serbia join the EU.

It was the failure of these, as well as other Balkan states, to monitor properly the flood of refugees fleeing across the Syrian border that enabled Isil to penetrate the migrant routes in the first place. Therefore, the Government's policy of encouraging them to join the EU, whereby they can benefit from its open-borders policy, is likely to make it even more difficult for intelligence agencies to track terrorists criss-crossing the continent. ...

The best way to prevent Isil and other terror groups from activating their terror cells is to stop them from arriving in the first place.

But to do that the EU must undertake a radical overhaul of its open-borders policy, rather than extending it and allowing yet more terrorists to travel freely across the European continent.
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Border controls – EU membership
Reality Check: Does EU membership make it harder to control immigration?
BBC, 25 April 2016

The claim: Home Secretary Theresa May says: "Free movement makes it harder to control immigration, but it doesn't make it impossible to control immigration.

Reality Check verdict: Free movement does make it harder to control immigration. But leaving the EU would not necessarily mean abandoning free movement, and the government has not managed to meet its immigration ambitions even for non-EU migrants, over whom it has greater control.

Freedom of movement means people holding the passports of European Union member states may go and live, work or study anywhere else in the EU.

This compares with migrants from outside the EU, for whom the UK currently has a points-based system that allows in people with skills needed in the economy as well as students and some temporary migrants.

The UK is not signed up to the Schengen agreement, so passports are still checked at the borders.

EU passport-holders are not automatically allowed in, but the bar is set quite high if EU citizens are to be rejected - just having a criminal record is not enough, they must pose a current threat. Last year, 2,165 EU passengers were turned away.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest the UK's annual net migration - the number who have come minus the number who have left - from the EU stands at 172,000.

From outside the EU, it is 191,000.

The Conservative manifesto in 2015 said the party would "keep our ambition of delivering annual net migration in the tens of thousands, not the hundreds of thousands".

Clearly, even for just the non-EU migrants, over whom the government has greater control, the country is still well over that limit.

It should be said Norway and Switzerland also currently accept free movement, despite not being part of the EU, in order to gain access to the single market.

But Justice Secretary Michael Gove said last week the UK could be part of the European Free Trade Area, allowing it to trade with the EU without having to accept free movement.

Even so, it is possible, if the UK were to leave the EU, an eventual trade deal would mean it still having to allow favourable terms for EU migrants.
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Border controls – terrorists
Border security: Guards 'lack power to stop returning jihadis'
David Barrett and Camilla Turner
Daily Telegraph, 22 April 2016

British border guards are virtually powerless to stop and detain Britons they suspect of returning from jihad or terrorism training, a whistle-blower has disclosed.

UK Border Force guards have "zero discretion" to detain and interview travellers trying to re-enter Britain if they hold a UK passport and have not been "flagged" by police or security services.

It means the UK border has a potentially fatal flaw in relation to "cleanskin" jihadis, who have never come to the attention of police but could go on to commit atrocities on British soil.

The Terrorism Act 2000 sets out how immigration officers could be granted the power to "stop, question and detain" anyone they believe is "concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism".

However, these powers have never been conferred on immigration and borders staff.

The Home Office whistle-blower, ..., said it was a "glaring omission" that border guards have been forbidden from using the powers set out in Schedule 7 of the Act. ...

They can only detain British travellers if their names appear on the "Warnings Index" database, they are wanted for arrest or are carrying contraband, such as illegal extremist literature.

Other suspects whose behaviour, appearance or travel history raises concerns must be waved through the border.

The Home Office confirmed the Schedule 7 powers are not available to border guards but claimed the whistle-blower was "simply not correct", insisting guards could refer suspects to the police for later investigation.
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Border controls – EU nationals, criminals
Reality Check: How many EU nationals have been refused entry to the UK?
Shelley Phelps
BBC, 22 April 2016

The claim: The home secretary has stopped lots of European Union nationals from visiting the UK.

Reality Check verdict: The UK refuses a tiny fraction of EU nationals who want to come here. It has to have very good grounds to do so. In the case of criminality, for example, a conviction even for a serious crime in not good enough - the individual must pose a current risk.

"If you ask the Home Secretary she'll tell you that she's excluded a very large number of EU nationals. If she has a need to do it she can," former attorney general Dominic Grieve told Radio 4's Today Programme. ...

The reason it came up is that Justice Secretary Michael Gove, a Vote Leave campaigner, said: "Inside the EU we have to accept that anyone with an EU passport, even if they have a criminal record, can breeze into Britain."

People who are nationals of EU member states have the right to work or live across the EU, including in the UK. ...

A person must represent a "genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat affecting one of the fundamental interests of society".

The rules state that "criminal convictions shall not in themselves constitute grounds for taking such measures". ...

We do not have figures for the reasons behind refusals, but government statistics show that since 2010 the total number of EU passengers initially refused entry to the UK has been rising; in 2015 a total of 2,165 EU passengers were not allowed in.
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Border controls – EU rules, terrorism
Poor EU border controls put Britain in danger
Dominic Raab, MP
Daily Telegraph, 21 April 2016

Yesterday, former police chiefs and security experts warned that recent terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris were a "wake-up call" for UK border protection. ...

Their clarion call to action was spurred by a report by Frontex, the EU external border agency, which documented 1.8 million illegal border crossings into the EU last year.

The report found: "False declarations of nationality are rife ... with no thorough checks or penalties in place for those making such false declarations, there is a risk that some persons representing a security threat ... may be taking advantage of this situation." ...

The EU immigration system is based on the principle that people arriving are properly registered once, then allowed to move around freely.

Yet, more fraudulent documents are detected when people move within the EU, than when they arrive in the first place.

Frontex warns that the number of people trying to get into Britain fraudulently surged by 70 per cent last year. So having exposed the UK to this risk, the EU then ties our hands in dealing with it. We're forced to rely on potentially illegitimate documents issued by another EU state.

In an EU of 28, that system is only as strong as its weakest link. As former head of Interpol Ronald Noble points out, eight EU members are on Interpol's top 10 list of nations reporting stolen or lost passports. None systematically screens passports at their borders.

EU law dictates the UK can't insist on issuing its own permits, can't simply refuse entry because of an alert on an international warning system, and can't automatically bar from entry those nationals lacking proper travel documents. We have to admit someone bearing an EU passport – even from a country where fraud is widespread.

Peter Higgins, former head of immigration at UK ports, explains that in practice: "The controls for EU citizens are pretty minimal.

The Border Force glance at your passport and wave you on." ...

Critically, EU rules present a threat to Britain, because we can't take the preventative measures necessary to protect the public.

The Government rightly pressed for reform during negotiations. But the EU pointedly refused to change the sacrosanct rules.
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Border controls – airports
Suspect passengers waved through border without immigration interviews
Tom Whitehead
Daily Telegraph, 14 April 2016

Eight in ten suspicious passengers waved through at one of Britain's busiest airports are not interviewed by immigration officers despite concerns about them, a watchdog has revealed.

Border staff at Manchester airport are failing to abide by Home Office guidelines which say where there is a concern over someone's reason for coming to the UK, they should be questioned further.

Inspectors found that in 50 cases where such passengers were granted entry only ten were interviewed.

In 12 cases, there was no clear explanation as to why an officer had granted entry despite an "accumulation of negative evidence", David Bolt, the chief inspector of borders and immigration, said.

In one case, a man was allowed through despite lying to staff and concerns from America that he may use an alias.
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Border controls
Border staff are needed more than ever, but are being battered by cuts
Lucy Moreton
The Guardian, 2 April 2016

Barely a day goes by without immigration and border control making headlines. Both are political hot potatoes linked to the threat of terrorism, public safety, jobs, benefit spending, community cohesion and even "Brexit". But what of the staff at the sharp end of this political "push me pull you"?

Border Force staff are faced daily with the competing pressures of keeping down airport queues and actually securing the border. ...

Immigration enforcement staff are met by frequent protests and attacks from pressure groups opposed to the enforcement of immigration controls and borders. Where once this work was carried out with the assistance of the police, cuts and other spending restrictions mean they are now alone. To make matters more complex, they have been issued with vans with Immigration Enforcement stencilled on them, ensuring they can be easily avoided, or targeted.

Officers at the channel ports are at the sharp end of the pressures of irregular migration, with thousands of people desperate to reach the UK by any means. ...

Both Border Force and Immigration Enforcement are staffed largely by committed and surprisingly loyal staff. But they are constantly battered.

Resource the staff properly, give them the tools they need to do their jobs, and treat them well. Surely that is the least they have a right to expect.
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Border controls – passports, citizenship for sale
The $2 Billion Market for Passports
Vikram Mansharamani
Fortune, 2 April 2016

A growing number of countries offer individuals passports in return for investment, and the wealthy have been taking advantage in increasing numbers. In 2014, the global rich spent an estimated $2 billion acquiring nationalities.

The Caribbean is the global capital of "citizenship-by-investment" programs. A passport from Dominica can be had in return for a $100,000 investment. A $400,000 real estate investment or a $250,000 donation to a development fund will get you citizenship in St. Kitts and Nevis. Similar sums are required for a passport from Antigua and Barbuda, plus five days of residency over the first five years of citizenship. ...

But it's not just Caribbean nations hawking passports. Cyprus, for instance, offers citizenship in return for a minimum €2.5 million real estate investment. Further, not all countries sell citizenship outright. Some, including the United States and the United Kingdom, offer residency – and a path to citizenship – to wealthy investors. ...

But demand also boomed as investors sought second passports in record numbers. ...

A second passport is more than a means of escape and a hedge against uncertainty. /.../ Passports from Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan, for example, will get you into fewer than 40 countries visa-free (just behind North Korea), while a passport from St. Kitts and Nevis will get you into 131. The very best passports, including those from the U.S., UK, and Canada, will get you into 170 or more.

Of course, this added mobility might also be used to break the law.
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Border controls – small boats and aeroplanes
Borders 'virtually defenceless' against small boats and planes
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 27 March 2016

Britain's borders are almost undefended against terrorists and criminals using small boats and planes, a watchdog has found.

David Bolt, the Chief Inspector of Borders, disclosed failings which could give back-door entry to jihadists.

There are just three Border Force patrol vessels for the whole coast, less than one-twentieth of France's capability. Two more were either tied up in port or deployed to the Mediterranean refugee crisis. Aerial surveillance was scrapped in January to save money.

Crews on small vessels such as yachts, tugs and motorboats or "general maritime" should notify officials of their arrival on a phone line but just 177 out of tens of thousands did in 2014.

The report admits that there is "no reliable data for the number of general maritime arrivals in the UK" and "no systematic collection of information about any aspect of general maritime".

Almost no information is known about the names of passengers on any small vessel, the inspectorate was told.

The patrols had almost no systematic tasking and only one crew, which is based in Harwich and Felixstowe, regularly boarded any suspect vessel. ...

The report found that only two out of dozens of airstrips handling private flights – Farnborough and Biggin Hill, both near London – had a dedicated immigration and customs presence.
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Border controls – cost, cuts
Drop 'dangerous' Border Force cuts, says Andy Burnham
BBC, 27 March 2016

Labour has urged the government to drop "dangerous cuts" to the Border Force.

Shadow home secretary Andy Burnham told the BBC there "couldn't be a more serious time" to be strengthening borders, after the Brussels attacks.

But he quoted whistleblowers as saying the Border Force had been told to expect cuts of 6% in both the next financial year and the one after.

The Home Office said funding was being finalised and "all necessary measures" would be taken to secure UK borders.

In a letter to Home Secretary Theresa May, Mr Burnham said making savings now would be a "very serious mistake". ...

He said the force had "already experienced consecutive years of cuts" and was "stretched to the limit".
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Border controls – stowaways, cost
Stowaway migrants have cost fruit importer £350,000 after breaking its lorries 15 times in a year
Emily Kent Smith and Inderdeep Bains
Daily Mail, 25 March 2016

Stowaway migrants have cost a fruit and vegetable importer more than £350,000 in a year.

Vehicles carrying produce for Gomez have been broken into 15 times over the past 12 months – leaving the family-run firm to pick up the bill.

In the past four weeks alone £80,000 of haulage has had to be discarded amid fears of contamination, after stowaways were found inside the lorries with bottles of urine and dirty clothes.

Managing director Jim Parmenter last night called for urgent action, following the discovery of 26 migrants in a lorry at the firm's Canterbury depot on Wednesday.

He said dozens of scanners should be installed at the French border so that stowaways are detected before they reach Britain. ...

Insurance companies do not cover loss of produce due to migrants breaking into the lorries and Gomez is not compensated in any way.

Mr Parmenter said the situation was not helped by the free movement allowed within mainland Europe.

'In the old days [migrants] would have to come through five or six borders to get to Calais – now they come straight to Calais. We are effectively policing the border of the whole of Europe.'

Nigel Jenney, of the Fresh Produce Consortium, said: 'Stowaways continue to be a problem. The damage caused has cost responsible businesses millions of pounds and wasted tons of food.

'The situation is unsustainable and the Government must do more to protect hauliers.'
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Border controls – X-rays, stowaways
British border guards are BANNED from X-raying lorries searching for illegal immigrants - in case the radiation harms the stowaways' health
Mark Duell
MailOnline, 25 March 2016

British border guards have been banned from X-raying lorries while searching for illegal immigrants at French ports in case the radiation harms the stowaways' health, it was revealed today.

Lucy Moreton from the Immigration Services Union said that her members are only permitted to use the scanners at ports in France when searching for smuggled or illegal goods.

The revelation comes as it emerged that at least 24 of the migrants who made it to Britain hiding in the back of two lorries earlier this week have already been given their freedom.

Mrs Moreton told The Times: 'The French will not allow us to use them for looking for illegals. They only allow us to use scanners to search for contraband, not people.'

Speaking to the newspaper's reporters Richard Ford and Sean O'Neill, the ISU general secretary added that the machines are 'very, very slow to operate, taking about an hour per each vehicle'. ...

The Mail reported in 2008 that UK border guards in Calais had been banned from using X-rays to search for illegal immigrants in lorries, unless they asked for the stowaways' written permission.
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Border controls – national security
Civil servants 'complacent' over e-Borders fiasco
Rajeev Syal
The Guardian, 4 March 2016

Civil servants overseeing the e-Borders programme have been accused by parliament's spending watchdog of being "complacent" and "worryingly dismissive" of failings that could damage national security.

A report by the public accounts committee has confirmed the National Audit Office's findings that the security database used to identify potential terrorists will cost over £1bn and be at least eight years late.

The committee found that Home Office officials, past and present, have not heeded warnings over the last six years and have failed to accept that there remains fundamental problems with the programme.
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Border controls – national security
National security 'could be put at risk by hold-up of new border checks system'
Nigel Morris
Independent, 4 March 2016

National security could be put at risk by the protracted hold-ups in implementing a £1.1bn system of border checks, MPs have warned. ...

The Public Accounts Committee told the department to "get its house in order now" over the system, which has been bedevilled by delays and IT problems.

It said only 86 per cent of new arrivals to Britain have their data checked ahead of arrival, despite a promise to hit a rate of 95 per cent in 2010.

Meg Hillier, its chairwoman, said: "If you collect information before people arrive, the more chance you have to stop them entering the country in the first place.

"That's the prize – to stop the people who mean to do this country harm, terrorists or criminals, to stop them coming into the country in the first place."
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Border controls – France
UK 'to give France €20 million extra' to stop migrants and refugees reaching England from Calais
John Lichfield
Independent, 3 March 2016

David Cameron is to agree to give an extra €20 million (£15.4 million) to France for policing and dispersing migrants attempting to reach the UK from Calais, a minister has said.

In a radio interview before a Franco-British summit at Amiens in the Somme, the French Europe minister, Harlem Desir, said the extra funding came on top of previous British spending of €60 million (£47 million).
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Border controls
Revealed: UK keeps no record of citizens barred from boarding US flights
Aisha Gani
The Guardian, 15 February 2016

The Home Office has admitted it holds no record of British citizens barred from boarding transatlantic flights despite them being identified by US security officials as potential threats at UK airports.

James Brokenshire, the immigration minister, confirmed that information regarding the numbers, religion and ethnicity of Britons prevented from travelling abroad was not retained by the government.

The admission came after a question by Stella Creasy, the Labour MP, who raised the case of a British Muslim family of 11 who were barred by US authorities from flying from Gatwick to Los Angeles, where they had planned a Disneyland holiday. ...

In response to Creasy's question about the matter, Brokenshire wrote: "You asked for the statistical information relating to the numbers, religion, ethnicity and cultural background of British citizens refused entry to other countries and notified of that at UK airports. We do not hold this information, as these matters are from the government making the decision, the carrier and the individual concerned."
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Border controls – France
France rejects David Cameron's claim it would let the Calais refugee camp move to Kent
Jon Stone
Independent, 9 February 2016

The French Government has dismissed David Cameron's claim that it would scrap a border agreement with Britain in the event of a Brexit.

The agreement, drawn up as part of a bilateral treaty between the two countries, allows the UK to operate its border controls on the French side of the channel. ...

A French interior ministry source however pointed the Daily Telegraph newspaper to a recent statement by Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and said it had "no plans" to change the agreement.

Mr Cazeneuve had explicitly ruled out changing the border agreement and said such a move could lead to a humanitarian disaster.

"Calling for the border with the English to be opened is not a responsible solution," he said in October last year.

"It would send a signal to people smugglers and would lead migrants to flow to Calais in far greater numbers.

"A humanitarian disaster would ensue. It is a foolhardy path, and one the government will not pursue." ...

However, Sir Peter Ricketts, former UK ambassador to France and former national security advisor to David Cameron warned that France's stance might not last forever.
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Border controls – European Union
African on a fake passport exposes EU borders farce: European Court blasts France for detaining illegal immigrant trying to get to the UK instead of releasing her
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 3 February 2016

Europe's highest court dealt a fresh blow yesterday to David Cameron's attempts to crack down on refugees trying to sneak into the UK.

As Britain faces a surge of asylum seekers seeking to enter from Calais, the European Court of Justice blasted France for detaining an illegal immigrant at the entrance to the Channel Tunnel.

It said France was wrong to detain Ghanaian Selina Affum after she was caught trying to reach the UK using a false passport. Instead, she should have been released – giving her the chance to vanish.

Critics said the 'farcical' judgment would provide new encouragement for people from outside Europe who want to slip into Britain unlawfully.

The ruling may also complicate efforts to stop migrants moving unhampered across Europe's passport-free Schengen zone and heading for the French port.

And the case could have significant implications for how the French and British guard Calais. Up to 7,000 migrants are holed up in The Jungle shanty town there, using it as a springboard for illegal entry to the UK.

Ms Affum was stopped by French police at the Channel Tunnel entrance on a coach from Ghent in Belgium to London in March 2013. She was travelling with someone else's Belgian passport and had no other travel documents.

She was put in police custody on the grounds that she was an illegal entrant and held in jail while officials waited to send her back to Belgium. Under French law, illegal entry can be punished with up to a year in prison. But in a preliminary ruling the Advocate General to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), Maciej Szpunar, said France had no right to detain her under EU rules for being an illegal entrant.

An EU directive allows the imprisonment of illegal immigrants only if they have already been booted out and are attempting to re-enter a country. They can also be locked up if moves to kick them out have been started and they resist.

In addition, she could not be detained while deportation proceedings were being started.

Advocate General Szpunar said: 'A third party country national such as Ms Affum cannot be imprisoned solely on the basis that she is illegally in the territory of a member state.'

Because of the number of migrants in northern France, authorities do not routinely lock people up for false travel documents.

The ECJ will now consider the matter before making a final judgment, but it rarely overturns an Advocate General's opinion. ...

Alp Mehmet, of Migrationwatch, which campaigns for managed migration, added: 'This flies in the face of common sense – it is a ridiculous, farcical judgment. The EU's migration policies are a disaster and this will make it even worse. It underlines, if ever it were needed, why the UK should never have anything to do with a Schengen-type arrangement.

'This is yet another ECJ judgment which jeopardises our ability to control entry to the UK.'
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Border controls – European Union
Michael Gove: Immigration is not being properly controlled by the European Union
Ben Riley-Smith
Daily Telegraph, 27 January 2016

Immigration is not being properly controlled by Europe, Michael Gove has said in the latest warning from a leading Eurosceptic cabinet minister.

... the Justice Secretary told MPs the issue was of "profound public concern". ...

On Monday, Mrs May hit out at the EU's handling of the migration crisis by saying "urgent action" was needed to deal with the "unprecedented" problem.

...

Mrs May said on Monday that Europe must take "urgent action" to deal with an "unprecedented migration crisis" ahead of interior ministers meeting to draw up plans to beef up border security.

The Home Secretary said: "Unfortunately, what we've had is more talk than action."
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Border controls – European Union
Schengen: How the breakdown of a border-free Europe would affect travel
Simon Calder
Independent, 27 January 2016

President Hollande's move to impose border controls is just one of many changes as concerns about terrorism and migration grow - leading to a new term, "Schengend". ...

Mark Smith, the founder of the Seat61.com international rail website, said: "It would be ironic if the creation and subsequent abolition of the Schengen agreement results in more difficult cross-border travel than if it had never existed." ...

"Europe's trains ran across borders perfectly well before Schengen, with controls carried out relatively painlessly on board trains," said Mr Smith.

"The danger is that governments have now forgotten how it used to be done."

...

Yet the sheer number of international crossing points and the intensity of 21st-century travel means checks can be avoided by choosing alternatives to the main arteries. While Austrian frontier officials focus on the E50 highway and express rail line from Hungary to Austria, travellers face no significant hassle when crossing the border at the nearby town of Sopron - the location, in 1989, for the first, historic breach in the Iron Curtain.

Back at the Franco-German frontier in Strasbourg, a British expatriate working for an international organisation said: "Of course, anyone intent on crossing the border with a bag of drugs or arms needs only walk over on the nearby pedestrian bridge, with no surveillance."
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Border controls – rioting, Calais, France
Activists encourage Calais migrants to riot - and police are almost powerless to act
Selina Sykes
Daily Express, 26 January 2016

British activists encouraging violence among Calais migrants trying to reach the UK are enjoying almost total impunity under French law, a prosecutor has admitted.

Only a handful of activists from No Borders, an international network supporting refugees in the northern French town, have faced trial despite claims from police they incite violence among migrants.

Jean-Pierre Valensi, the state prosecutor of Boulogne-sur-Mer, near Calais, said it was very rare for activists - many of whom are British - to be put on trial. ...

Bruno Noel, regional delegate of the Alliance police union, said such activists came from many countries "but the biggest single group is British".

Mr Noel added No borders was behind nightly clashes on the motorway to Calais where migrants try to jump onto lorries.
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Border controls – European Union
Britain should send soldiers to protect Europe's borders, EU leaders say
Steven Swinford and Kate McCann
Daily Telegraph, 25 January 2016

Britain should send hundreds of soldiers to defend Europe's borders and stem the influx of migrants, European leaders have said.

Milos Zeman, the Czech President, suggested that Britain and every other EU nation should send 500 soldiers to bolster a European Border and Coast Guard. ...

However Milos Zeman, the Czech President, said that the current size of the 1,500-strong border force is "comical" as he as he warned that half a million more refugees could arrive in Europe by the time the force is in place. ...

European leaders are considering plans to suspend passport-freetravel in the EU for two years amid concerns that 2.6 million more people are forecast to arrive.
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Border controls – Indians, fake documents
How 3,000 Indians got into the UK with fake papers sold by Portuguese gangs exploiting immigration loophole
Abul Taher
Mail on Sunday, 24 January 2016

Thousands of Indians entered Britain illegally using fake documents bought from criminals exploiting an immigration loophole exposed by The Mail on Sunday last week.

The forged papers entitle holders to obtain EU passports using a bizarre but entirely legitimate back door which gives those living in former Portuguese colonies the right to come to Europe.

An estimated 3,000 Indians have entered the UK in this manner with the help of a gang operating in Lisbon, London and Leicester, paying the criminals up to £22,000 a time. ...

Under Portuguese law, Indians born in Goa, Diu and Daman before 1961, or their children and grandchildren, can apply for Portuguese passports because these were colonies of Portugal until that year.

As a result, 20,000 Indians obtained Portuguese passports in India, and came straight to Britain without even setting foot in Portugal.

Now we can reveal that Portuguese police and the UK's Home Office and National Crime Agency have gathered evidence indicating that 3,000 Indians obtained the passports with false birth and marriage certificates provided by the gang.
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Border controls – violence, Calais, France
French army should be deployed in Calais, UK haulage boss says
BBC, 24 January 2016

French authorities should deploy soldiers in order to secure the port of Calais, a UK haulage boss has demanded following fresh incursions by migrants.

The port in northern France was closed on Saturday and services were disrupted overnight after about 50 migrants briefly boarded a UK-bound P&O ferry. ...

Richard Burnett, chief executive of the Road Haulage Association, called for authorities to back "decisive action".

He said the incident was the latest in a string of recent incursions in Calais, warning it was "only a matter of time before our worst fears become a reality and a UK-bound truck driver is killed". ...

"It is now time for the authorities to acknowledge and meet our demand for the French military to be deployed to secure the port and its approaches."

He added: "The number of migrants in the camp has escalated, the number of attempts - violent attempts against drivers - has been escalating, and we think now, after yesterday's incident, enough is enough, the time for discussion's over - we need action."
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Border controls – violence, Calais, France
British anarchists led violence in Calais and defaced statue of de Gaulle in invasion of ferry port by 500 migrants
Peter Allen and Joseph Curtis
MailOnline, 24 January 2016

British anarchists were among some 35 people under arrest in Calais on Sunday after leading a 'scandalous' invasion of the ferry port by some 500 migrants.

Not only did the thugs tear down security fences and threaten violence, but they also defaced a statue of France's wartime leader and former president Charles de Gaulle.

Masked agitators from the left-wing group No Borders were filmed during the trouble on Saturday afternoon as they tried to get people to the UK.

Xavier Bertrand, the president of the French region which covers Calais, said: 'The attitude of No Borders in Calais is scandalous – there must be a punishment,' ...

Images posted on social media show masked thugs with political flags leading a rally attended by around 2000 people in support of free immigration to Britain. ...

Police today confirmed they had arrested 24 migrants, and a further 11 people believed to be from No Borders, some of them British.

'Identification is difficult because few carry passports or other identification cards,' said a Calais police source. 'All want to keep their identities a secret.'
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Border controls – refugees, terrorists, Europe
Most migrants are not properly checked at Europe's borders
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 22 January 2016

Most of the 1.5 million migrants who came to Europe last year were not subject to proper checks to establish whether they are genuinely refugees, the Government has admitted.

Edward Hobart, the Foreign Office's migration envoy, said the "great majority" of migrants who arrived in Greece were not interviewed to establish the truth about where they were from.

He also admitted border checks are failing to establish whether some of the migrants are in fact terrorists.

He told the LOrds' EU external affairs sub-committee: "Our immigration services are pretty good at being able to interview people and detect whether they are genuinely where they say they are from. That's what happens in the UK where we have manageable numbers claiming asylum. That hasn't and isn't happening [in Greece]."
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Border controls – France
French Govt Helping 'Significant Number' Of Calais Migrants Into The UK
Liam Deacon
Breitbart, 22 January 2016

Just a day after a landmark court ruling declaring that the UK must admit more migrants from Calais, French officials have been ordered to scour the camps to identify suitable candidates. ...

Yesterday it was reported that an Immigration and Asylum Tribunal had ruled that four Syrian migrants currently living in the so-called "jungle" camp must be brought to Britain and reunite with family members already here.

Lawyers for the four invoked Article 8 of the European Convention of Human rights, which entitles them to a family life. ...

Since the ruling set a new precedent, however, French authorities have wasted no time in seeking to move as many of the Calais migrants into the UK.

A French interior ministry document seen by the Times has requested officials "identify those migrants who have particular ties to the United Kingdom, allowing their legal transfer to that country under the discretionary clauses planned by Dublin III regulation."

Adding: "It is essential that a significant number of cases are brought to the attention of the Asylum Service of the General Directorate of Foreigners in France, so the latter may request their benevolent consideration by British authorities.

"You will ensure that all migrants in reception and orientation centres are informed of this possibility."
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Border controls – politics, European Union
David Cameron unlikely to secure deal on Europe at key summit, France says
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 21 January 2016

David Cameron plans for an early EU referendum have suffered a significant blow after France said he is unlikely to secure a deal at a key Brussels summit next month amid mounting concern over the migration crisis. ...

Brussels on Wednesday threatened to stop Britain deporting migrants unless it agreed to accept "quotas" of migrants, something which could see the UK forced to admit 90,000 refugees.

If Britain refuses to accept the quota, the EU has said the UK will no longer be able to use the Dublin Regulation - the rule which states that migrants must seek asylum in the first European country they arrive - to deport foreigners illegally entering the country.

Senior Conservatives warned that there will be "chaos" in Calais because the changes to EU rules would create a "fast track for migrants" trying to enter the UK.

There were also warnings that the EU rule change could see thousands more migrants attempting to make the journey to the UK because there will be no chance of them being deported.
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Border controls – border security
MP warns Theresa May: 67,500 planes and boats enter UK with no checks
Caroline Wheeler
Sunday Express, 17 January 2016

Home Secretary Theresa May has been warned that organised criminals are exploiting gaps in the UK's border security after it was revealed that 67,500 small planes and boats enter Britain each year unchecked.

Illegal immigrants are using these vessels to breach Britain's border controls with the east coast particularly vulnerable, it has been claimed.

It is feared small ports and airports are also being targeted by criminals seeking to smuggle illegal drugs and weapons into the UK.

Shadow immigration minister David Hanson said the Government was "failing to secure our borders".
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Border controls – activists, Calais, France
Calais chief says hard-left activists causing migrant chaos should be 'kicked out'
Vincent Wood
Daily Express, 16 January 2016

Hard-left British activists who stir up trouble in Calais' migrant camps should be kicked out of France, the port city's deputy mayor has said.

Philippe Mignonet called on UK officials to help clamp down on liberal activists using migrants for "political reasons".

He said: "The English government, who know who these activists are, should treat them as hooligans and not allow them to leave the country.

"They are acting as humanitarians undercover but they are using the migrants for political reasons. They are there to manipulate the migrants.

"Most are from the extreme left. Whatever we do they are activists, they are anarchists, all they do is create a mess."
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Border controls – asylum
Backlash as Sudanese migrant granted asylum after walking through Channel Tunnel
Robin De Peyer
Evening Standard, 5 January 2016

A Sudanese man who entered Britain after walking 31 miles through the Channel Tunnel has been granted asylum.

Abdul Rahman Haroun, 40, was granted refugee status after being found inside the tunnel near its exit at Folkestone, Kent, on August 4.

He had been charged with causing an obstruction to an engine or carriage using the railway under the Malicious Damage Act 1861. ...

At a hearing at Canterbury Crown Court, prosecutors said they were considering whether to drop the charges in light of the decision.

Operator Eurotunnel said it was disappointed with the decision to grant asylum, as it may encourage others to attempt the same journey.

Spokesman John Keefe said: "We believe that it is something that can only act as an incentive to other illegal immigrants to seek to enter the country.

"We had hoped the authorities would use the full force of the law as a dissuasive measure."
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Border controls – terrorism
Europe must get together and close its borders to all returning jihadis
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 5 January 2016

How are countries to defend themselves against those determined to do them harm if they cannot identify who wants to enter and then decide whether or not to let them in? And that must include their own citizens, who pose the greatest threat of all. ...

... Thousands of foreign nationals have gone to fight with Isil in Syria and Iraq and many have returned to their home countries. The perpetrators of the Paris massacre were Belgians and French jihadis who had travelled in and out of Europe with ease, not least because there are (or were) no internal borders. Even though these people claim allegiance to their caliphate they use their citizenship to re-enter and conspire against the country they have disavowed. Why do we let them?

Anyone who has gone to live in this self-styled caliphate should forfeit their nationality since they are so keen to adopt a new one. It should be advertised loud and clear in all Muslim communities that if radicalised young Islamists go to Syria they cannot come back. /.../ It is hard to understand the arguments against banishing these people. ...

There is an argument that returning jihadis can be deployed to dissuade other would-be fighters joining Isil in the first place. But finding former fanatics prepared to be branded apostates by their peers is not easy. ...

Around 700 British Muslims have travelled to Syria. Fifty or so have been killed while about 350 are thought to have been allowed back into the country and a few dozen have been convicted of offences for supporting terrorism abroad or are being investigated. But most have not been charged even though adherence to Isil is supposedly a crime.

Why is this? Has a decision been taken that most returning jihadis are harmless, made a mistake and will live blameless lives in future? Perhaps they will; but it is a big gamble for any country to take. It would be better not to let them back in the first place. That, of course, means being able to identify who they are and to intercept them if they try to return. Yet it is highly doubtful that our border controls are up to the task. A report yesterday from the Centre for Policy Studies disclosed that some 67,500 ships and planes are not met by overworked border staff while targets for detection and seizures are routinely missed. ...

We have also long had the equivalent of the Scandinavian no-border arrangement in the common travel area with Ireland.

There is growing concern that radicalised British Muslims returning from Iraq and Syria are flying into Dublin and Shannon and sneaking back into the UK by way of Northern Ireland. Although crossing points were often manned by the police or Army during the Troubles, passport controls have never been imposed in peacetime since partition. No one wants frontiers put up between Ireland and the UK; but nor did they want them reinstated between Denmark and Sweden.

Many of the assumptions about the movement of people that have been taken as gospel for decades will now have to be revisited. That includes the international barrier against rendering people stateless. ...

Why on earth should we not defend ourselves? After all, psychopaths like Jihadi John and his balaclava-wearing successor claim allegiance to a state. Let them stay there; we don't want them back.
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Border controls – Dunkirk, France
The joke is on us! In historic Dunkirk, a British clown entertains migrants by mocking the Queen and staging a 'play' where they sneak illegally into the UK
Ben Ellery
MailOnline, 3 January 2016

A bizarre clown show – funded by the French government and performed in a migrants' camp – not only mocked the Queen and celebrated breaking the law, but also derided the concerns of millions of Britons about the influx of illegal immigrants sneaking across the border.

The act, Clowns Sans Frontières – Clowns Without Borders – visited four makeshift camps to perform in front of hundreds of migrants. During one show, a UK actress dressed up as the Queen wore a comic crown and red nose in a sketch about passport control.

Migrants at the squalid Grande-Synthe camp, where numbers have swelled from 800 to around 3,000 in the past two months, will soon be given a £1 million upgrade to make it a semi-permanent facility. Thanks to a local council, there will be heated tents, running water, toilets and showers. ...

On Friday, I watched migrants in the Grande-Synthe camp cheer as 'the Queen', played by Joanna Holden, led the clown troupe, which is supported by various French ministries, regional government and Unesco. ...

The residents of Dunkirk, along with the British lorry drivers running a daily gauntlet of threats and violence from smuggling gangs and migrants breaking into their trucks, are unlikely to be laughing along. ...

When I toured the Grande-Synthe camp, I spoke to around ten migrants, all of whom said that they wanted to go to Britain. ...

Lord Green of Deddington, chairman of Migration Watch UK, said last week: 'Migrants in France should either be considered for asylum in France or removed to their own countries as economic migrants.

'To provide a comfortable waiting area for those who prefer to be in Britain is a travesty of the entire asylum system.' ...

Dunkirk prosecutor Eric Fouard said he believed that the camp is controlled by a criminal network of Kurdish human traffickers with links to Britain, and compared the situation in the town to the dark days of the Second World War.

He told me that most of the migrants had been brought to the camp by traffickers so they could wait their turn to pay up to 5,000 euros to be smuggled into the UK. ...

'It's difficult to know if they are economic migrants or refugees because by definition they are people who do not have official papers.

'They present themselves as people fleeing war or Islamic State or President Assad, but we have no way of proving or verifying if that's true.

'We've never had to confront something like this. It's the first time it's been this difficult [in the town] since the Second World War.'

Local residents, meanwhile, said that their daily lives have become unbearable and speak of traffickers armed with guns and knives.
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Border controls – Dunkirk, France
New threat to British border as France builds first official refugee camp for 13 years
David Barrett and David Chazan
Daily Telegraph, 1 January 2016

Britain is facing a new threat to its border after France announced the construction of a "Sangatte"-style refugee camp less than 50 miles from Dover, prompting fears it will intensify the migrant crisis.

A sprawling migrant centre – the first official camp in France for more than 13 years - will be built near an existing shanty town at Grande-Synthe, just five miles from the ferry port which links Dunkirk with the British coast.

The £1.1 million construction bill will be picked up by the French government, officials announced, and work is to start immediately with new facilities opening within weeks.

British MPs said it risked acting as a magnet for larger numbers of migrants who want to reach this country rather than settle in France. ...

Tim Loughton, a Conservative MP and member of the Commons' home affairs select committee, said: "This is a really unhelpful move by France on all fronts.

"If they are genuine about looking after refugees then it needs to be at their point of entry rather than as a jumping-off point for the UK, where they have no right of abode. ..." ...

In an indication French authorities do not expect the migrant crisis to go away, permanent buildings for aid agencies will be built alongside the new camp. ...

Lord Green of Deddington, the chairman of MigrationWatch UK which campaigns for tougher border control, said of the new camp: "This is surely a step in the wrong direction.

"Migrants in France should either be considered for asylum in France or removed to their own countries as economic migrants.

"To provide a comfortable waiting area for those who prefer to be in Britain is a travesty of the entire asylum system.

"It can only encourage yet more young men to make aggressive efforts to get across the Channel."
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CITIZENSHIP

Citizenship – asylum
Theresa May slammed after British citizenship figures and asylum claims ROCKET
Siobhan McFadyen
Daily Express, 10 December 2016

Individuals given British Citizenship has jumped by 36 per cent in just a year as people scramble to secure their status ahead of Brexit. ...

According to Home Office figures there were 171,807 British citizenship decisions in the year ending September 2016, 38 per cent more than the previous 12 months to 124,927.

And those granted British citizenship increased by 36 per cent were up by 41,351 to 157,066 on the previous year.

The UK Government has come under increased pressure to clamp down on immigration but appears to be giving more people than ever before the right to have a British passport.

And they've reiterated that anyone from the EU who has been living in the UK for five years have been granted automatic citizenship ahead of Brexit. ...

Asylum applications in the UK from main applicants increased by 14 per cent to 33,380 in the year ending September 2016.

The report states: "In the year ending September 2016, the largest number of applications for asylum came from nationals of Iran, followed by Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria and Bangladesh.

"Most applications for asylum are made by people already in the country, 89 per cent of applications in the year ending September 2016, rather than immediately on arrival in the UK at a port."
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Citizenship – Europe
The most generous countries granting citizenship to foreigners in Europe
Marta Cooper
Quartz, 15 June 2016

When it comes to turning its new arrivals into citizens, one EU country has been much more generous than the others.

Spain granted citizenship to more foreigners than any of its EU neighbors in 2014, according to the latest data released this week. In that year, 205,880 people were given Spanish citizenship, the biggest group coming from Morocco (17%).

When considering the size of a country, the rankings change. Looking at the naturalization rate – that is, the ratio between the number of people granted citizenship in a country in a year and the number of foreign residents in that country at the start of the year – Sweden comes out top. It had the highest naturalization rate in 2014, with 6.3 new citizenships granted per 100 resident foreigners, well above the EU average of 2.6.

In terms of where new EU citizens come from, Moroccans were the most common, with more than twice as many getting passports from EU member states as the next-largest group, Albanians.

Overall, 890,000 foreigners acquired citizenship in an EU country in 2014, down 9% from the year before. The vast majority of the newly naturalized citizens (89%) came from non-EU countries.
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Citizenship – EU, UK
5 million foreigners granted citizenship in EU in six years
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 14 June 2016

More than five million people have been granted citizenship in the EU over the past six years giving them the right to live and work in the UK, according to official figures.

Eurostat, the EU's official statistical agency, disclosed that the number of people given citizenship by EU nations has risen from 771,800 in 2009 to 889,100 in 2014.

One in five of those who has been granted citizenship in Europe over the past six years has been given a British passport, more than any other nation. ...

Eurostat, the EU's official statistical agency, disclosed that since 2009 Britain has given 1.1 million migrants citizenship while other EU nations have given 3.96 million citizenship.

Nine in 10 of the people granted citizenship in 2014 were from countries outside the EU, with the bulk of those given British passports from coming India, Pakistan and Nigeria.

Last year Britain granted 125,600 migrants citizenship, the third highest number of any European nation.

A total of 92,700 Moroccans gained the new status, 88 per cent of them in Spain, Italy or France, along with 41,000 Albanians, nearly all in Greece or Italy, and 37,500 Turks, 60 per cent of whom were in Germany.

Almost two thirds of the 35,300 people from India who acquired citizenship did so in Britain, according to the research.
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Citizenship – identity cards, free speech
Does wanting ID cards make me a Nazi?
Angela Epstein
The Jewish Chronicle, 4 February 2016

Anyway, I'm in the business of debate and everyone is entitled to a view. But this week, comments dripped into my Twitter feed which crossed a line. Put simply, I was described as a Nazi.

In fact, in order to labour the point, my correspondent also sent me a picture of Adolf Hitler. This prompted others to follow suit.

The trigger for this venomous tirade was a newspaper article I'd written in which I expressed support for the return of ID cards. Back in 2009 the then Labour government introduced non-compulsory cards for UK citizens, with those in my home town of Manchester becoming the first in the UK to be able to buy a biometric ID card - at a cost of £30. Seizing this as a convenient and safe way to prove identity, I happily bought one. However, there was robust opposition to the scheme - and in 2010 the new Coalition government scrapped the project. The cards were no longer valid and the national identity register, which held the personal details of everyone issued with an identity card, including photographs and fingerprint biometrics, was destroyed the following year.

Personally, I never really understood what the fuss was about. If you're a law-abiding citizen, what is there to lose? Such a scheme can only assist national security, welfare fraud and other criminal activity. /.../ Which is why I suggested, in my article, that during such troubled times - and especially with the vexatious issue of illegal immigration - that it was time for the government to revisit the scheme. And this time make it compulsory.

I realised there would always be those who would disagree with me - not least the civil libertarians who think offering information to the state is tantamount to martial law.

Yet I had made it clear in the piece that I was also a Jewish girl and understood the "show me your papers" undertones of an ID card. What's more, in Israel they are compulsory. Issued at birth, the number you are given remains unchanged and is hugely useful for everything from processing utility bills to battling government departments. ...

Being called a Nazi hasn't changed my views on ID cards. The only thing it has done is make me wonder whether those who would smother my free speech and sensible debate with images of the Third Reich really are the Nazis here.
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CRIME

Crime – slavery, illegal immigration
Salon swoop: 100 arrested by modern slavery police in crackdown on nail bars that employ illegal immigrant staff
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 28 December 2016

Nearly 100 people have been arrested in a crackdown on illegal foreign workers in nail bars.

Some 97 men and women were seized during a blitz on salons that employ non-EU citizens who do not have permission to be in Britain.

More than a dozen of those rounded up during a series of swoops were suspected of having been trafficked by organised gangs into modern slavery.

A total of 68 businesses were warned that they face fines of up to £20,000 for every illegal worker.

The majority of people arrested were Vietnamese. Others came from Mongolia, Ghana, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and India.

A spate of recent cases have also shown how Vietnamese gangs use nail bars as a convenient legal 'front' for their activities including prostitution and cannabis cultivation.

Ministers ordered the raids to send a message that the estimated 1.1 million illegal immigrants will be tackled. ...

In the five years to 2013, more than 90 nail salons across England and Wales, owned by people with Vietnamese names, were fined nearly £700,000 for employing illegal immigrants.
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Crime – illegal immigration, fake passports
TERROR FEARS: Islamist crook helps 'ISIS jihadis travel to UK on £12,500 fake passports'
Siobhan McFadyen
Daily Express, 15 December 2016

National crime agency officers are on the hunt for hundreds of illegal immigrants who have flooded the UK on fake passports they bought from a Greece based gang.

And a number of those suspected to have travelled to the UK are thought to have terror links and could belong to ISIS. ...

A total of 24 people have so far been arrested in Glasgow, Manchester and Northampton as well as Athens as investigators try to understand the scale of the issue.

They have also arrested 33 suspects who are accused of helping to facilitate the travel of immigrants from Iran to Europe. ...

According to reports, there are credible claims that one of the men believed to be behind the crime syndicate is an Islamic terrorist giving rise to security fears.

And it is thought that some of the people who accessed the UK on the fake documents are linked to Islamic State. ...

Chris Hogben of the National Crime Agency said "hundreds of Iranian migrants" have arrived into Britain.

Up to 1,100 migrants in total may have used the gang to enter Europe.
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Crime – illegal immigration
Fraud gang are convicted of rigging English language tests for more than 800 bogus overseas students after charging to read out answers and providing substitutes to sit exams
Martin Robinson
MailOnline, 15 December 2016

Four fraudsters who rigged English language tests for more than 800 bogus overseas students in a vast immigration scam are behind bars today.

The gang charged 'very large sums of money' to read out the answers to multiple-choice tests or provided substitutes to sit in the language exams on behalf of candidates.

The 'industrial scale' fraud was first uncovered by an undercover BBC Panorama sting in 2014 which triggered a police investigation.

Three firms involved also provided forged bank statements and academic records for Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi migrants trying to illegally extend their stay in the UK.

The companies ran tests devised by one of the world's largest language testing firms, Educational Training Services Global (ETS), Southwark Crown Court heard.

Today Harinder Kumar, 31, Talal Chowdhury, 30, Shaheen Ahmed, 33, and Mohammad Hasan, 37, were found guilty of plotting to facilitate the commission of breaches of immigration law between 17 October 2012 and 10 February 2014. ...

Six other alleged fraudsters named on the indictment fled the country before they could be charged. ...

Prosecutor David Walbank said: 'What the police inquiry revealed was a well-practised operation involving the wholesale exploitation of the student visa system and fraud on a truly industrial scale.
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Crime – illegal immigration, forged documents
Taxpayer foots £200k bill for jailed illegal immigrant's 14-year stay
Express & Star, 15 December 2016

An illegal immigrant, whose 14-year stay in the UK has run up an estimated cost of over £200,000 to the taxpayer, has been jailed.

Jamaican national Duhane Hall arrived in the UK on September 22, 2002 after being granted leave to enter on a visa that allowed him to stay until March 2003 on the condition that he could not be employed or try and gain access to public funds.

However, he has remained in the UK ever since, repeatedly making applications for leave to remain status which were then rejected, before making appeals that were subsequently rejected.

In an application to Sandwell Council in March 2005, Hall handed in a forged letter stating to be from the Home Office claiming he had been given indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

Hall pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud by false representation, using a false instrument and using fake identity documents at Wolverhampton Crown Court. ...

Mr Jackson said that on top of the estimated £180,000 cost of tenancy fraud, Hall was also responsible for losses of £17,312 in housing benefits, £1,972 in council tax benefits and £7,622 in JobSeekers Allowance.

While applying for the benefits, Hall stated he had a right of abode in the UK when he didn't and also stated that he was British. He also used a forged UK passport to support the application.
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Crime – sham marriage
Sham marriage gang jailed for bringing 'fake' partners from Hungary
BBC, 12 December 2016

Two men who orchestrated a series of sham marriages have been sentenced to a total of nine years in jail.

They were two of five people sentenced for an immigration scam organised through an internet café in Leicester.

They paid strangers to fly to the UK for the fake weddings.

Leicester Crown Court heard that Martins Okoko, 31, a Nigerian national, and Wilson Odume, 45, a Cameroonian national, set up the marriages to bypass immigration rules. ...

Odume, of Aikman Ave, Leicester, had taken part in a fake marriage of his own in order to gain residency in the UK. ...

Two fake brides and a fake groom involved in the weddings were also sentenced for conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration.
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Crime – sex traffic
Paddington sex traffic gang who made £15,000 a month 'exploiting women' is jailed
Francesca Gillett
Evening Standard, 21 November 2016

A central London sex traffic gang which earned thousands of pounds a week by pimping out prostitutes has been jailed.

The traffickers raked in more than £15,000 a month and even submitted their accounts to HM Revenue and Customs to hide their criminal activities.

The Paddington gang of two men and two women "callously manipulated" prostitutes and gave them "very little" of the money they made, police said. ...

Aliona Pislaru, 39, was in charge of a group of prostitutes who she advertised online and arranged for them to be delivered to addresses for sex. ...

Police also found Janina Nuta, 39, at the house with paperwork and price lists for the prostitutes.

Two others, 30-year-old Vlad Harzoparu and 34-year-old Ilie Melinte, were also caught by police and arrested for controlling prostitution. ...

The gang, who were Romanian nationals, were caught after an investigation by the Met Police's slavery and kidnap unit.
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Crime – fake ID cards, sham marriages
Criminal who provides bogus ID cards to illegal immigrants and brokers sham marriages is caught in undercover sting as he barters over £10,000 price tag for fake Romanian bride
Stephanie Linning
MailOnline, 17 November 2016

A criminal who makes thousands of pounds by arranging sham marriages has been exposed trying to offer up a bogus bride on a petrol station forecourt.

The conman, known only as Anton, was caught on camera as he introduced the Romanian woman to an undercover reporter posing as a criminal middleman.

For £10,000, Anton claimed he could provide a woman willing to marry a stranger who was desperate to remain in the UK after entering the country on a visitor visa. He promised the groom would have 'the rights, the passport, the whole thing.'

Anton also revealed he runs another lucrative illegal business: flogging Romanian identity cards to illegal immigrants. The documents, made using the names of dead Romanian citizens, allow an individual to stay and work in the UK and can be used to travel abroad, Anton boasted.

Asked whether the card would be of a good enough quality, Anton said: 'I am working with the same ID. I come from Romania only with ID. No passport.'

He has been exposed by investigative journalist Paul Connolly as part of a five-part Channel 5 documentary series, Undercover Criminal.

In a bid to uncover those facilitating illegal immigration, Connolly posed as a criminal looking to bring people into Britain and help them disappear once they are here.

After months of undercover work, the journalist was introduced to Anton, who revealed he not only operates a trade making Romanian identity cards for illegal immigrants but also has a sinister side business brokering sham marriages.

The problem is widespread. The Home Office estimates that 4,000 to 10,000 applications a year to stay in the UK are made on the basis of sham marriages.
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Crime – gangs, drugs
Tasers and acid used by child-grooming drugs gangs
ITV, 17 November 2016

Children as young as 12 are being ruthlessly groomed and exploited by organised gangs who are using stun guns and acid to control the drugs market, an official report has found.

Violence, incidents of kidnap and use of weapons are becoming common place in the organised crime groups operating in England and Wales, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said. ...

The NCA has identified an emerging trend in the behaviour of drugs gangs, who operate in a distribution model knows as "county lines".

It typically involves urban gangs travelling to locations such as a county or coastal town to sell heroin and crack cocaine. ...

Eighty per cent of police forces in England and Wales reported the exploitation of children, with 71% reporting established county lines activity within their area.

Other findings include the dominance of London gangs, which were reported in 85% of areas.

More than a third of areas reported the presence of Somali gangs from London.
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Crime – young offenders
Almost half of young offenders from black or ethnic minorities – highest rate since 2001
Daily Express, 16 November 2016

Forty-seven per cent of boys held in youth offender institutions are from a black or ethnic minority background, according to a watchdog's survey.

The disclosure emerged in a report released by HM Inspectorate of Prisons, which has published an annual summary of responses from those in YOIs since 2001/2002.

Findings in 2015/16 showed the proportion of boys from a black or ethnic minority background was at 47 per cent.

This was the highest rate recorded since 2001, the report said.

It added that those with experience of the local authority care system (37 per cent), Muslim boys (22 per cent), disabled youths (19 per cent) and those from a gypsy, Romany or traveller background (7 per cent) "continued to be disproportionately over-represented" across the YOI estate when compared with the population as a whole.

Survey findings for secure training centres, another type of custodial facility for children, showed the proportion from a black or minority ethnic background was 41 per cent.

The number of children in custody fell by 53 per cent between 2010-11 and 2015-16.

As of April, there were 906 under-18s being held in England and Wales.
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Crime – deportation, human rights
More than 1,300 foreign criminals, including killers, rapists and paedophiles have used human rights laws to stay in the UK
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 16 November 2016

More than 1,300 foreign criminals have avoided being booted out of Britain because it would infringe their human rights.

Many who committed heinous offences, including killers, rapists and paedophiles, won permission to stay in the UK because their family live here, the latest figures show.

But the number of convicts who used the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to evade deportation has plummeted since a shake-up by the Home Office. Since Theresa May, when she was home secretary, introduced a 'deport first, appeal later' system for foreign criminals, those who won their human rights appeal fell from 356 in 2012/13 to just 11 last year.

Mrs May also introduced new rules spelling out to judges that Article 8 of the ECHR, which safeguards family life, was not 'absolute' after it was exploited by foreign criminals.

The number of foreign crooks using the ECHR, which was brought into UK law in 1998 by Labour's controversial Human Rights Act, to avoid deportation rose every year from 2006/7 until its peak of 356 in 2012/13.

This fell to 123 in 2013/14, 38 in 2014/15 and just 11 last year. ...

But there are 5,000-plus foreign offenders living in the community awaiting removal. Instead of being locked up until they are thrown out, they are freed to protect their 'human rights', and so could abscond or potentially put the public in danger. Nearly a third – 1,865 criminals – have been loose for more than five years.

The Home Office said it removed a record 5,810 foreign national offenders in 2015/16. The number of appeals against deportation plunged from 2,351 in 2013/14 to 1,440 last year.
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Crime – honour crime, violence
Honour Based Violence Reports To Police Reveal Only Minority Of Alleged Crimes Result In Charge
Kathryn Snowdon
The Huffington Post, 13 November 2016

Worrying new figures from police forces across Britain have revealed that in some areas just 3% of reported incidents of so-called 'honour' based violence result in charges.

The data, uncovered by a Freedom of Information (FOI) request submitted to 43 forces by The Huffington Post UK, suggests that despite the all-encompassing nature of the honour based abuse, police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) are poorly equipped to deal with it.

The abuse is often used as a means of control, with violence beginning when victims are children and continuing into adult life, campaigners say. Compounding the despair of victims, disobeying is seen as an insult and brings perceived shame to not only relatives, but to entire communities.

The figures reveal that some incidents were simply logged as "unresolved", while others were deemed to have insufficient evidence, and in some cases the victim withdrew their complaint. ...

Professor Marianne Hester, criminologist and chair in gender, violence and international policy at the University of Bristol, says there have been some improvements in the way police investigate domestic violence and rape cases, but there remains a lack of understanding regarding honour based abuse. "They still don't really understand what it is about," Professor Hester says.

The FOI request asked each police force how many reports of honour based violence they had received between January 2011 and August 2016.

Of the 42 forces that responded and provided figures, it was revealed there had been 7,048 reports to police, with most incidents recorded as assaults, threats to kill and kidnap. ...

The Met police arrested and charged 181 people (8%) over the five-year period. In 376 instances there was not enough evidence to proceed and in 174 cases victims were unwilling to prosecute.

Of the 857 incidents reported to Greater Manchester Police, 143 were deemed a crime, but just 23 (3%) resulted in a person being charged. Thames Valley Police refused to provide a breakdown of the outcomes of reports.

By comparison, Home Office records show that 13% of all reported crimes in the UK between April 2015 and March 2016 resulted in a charge or summons being issued.
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Crime – fake identity documents
Exposed: The 'fixer' who makes thousands selling fake IDs to illegal immigrants for £600 a time
Emma Glanfield
MailOnline, 9 November 2016

A 'fixer' who makes thousands of pounds selling fake IDs to illegal immigrants to help them stay living in Britain has been caught in an undercover sting.

The conman, known only as Adil, has been exposed for selling fake residency cards to immigrants in Birmingham – and charging up to £600 per ID card.

He boasted that he can supply 'top quality' fake versions of a biometric residence permit - which holds a migrant's name, date and place of birth, alongside a photograph, fingerprints and immigration status in the UK.

The cards, which are supposed to be issued only by the Home Office, allow an individual to stay, work or study in the UK and can be used as ID when opening a bank account, applying for work or benefits, or getting a domestic flight. ...

He has been exposed by investigative journalist Paul Connolly for a new Channel 5 documentary - Undercover Criminal: The Great British Fake Off.

It comes amid growing controversy around Britain's immigration policy, with the use of biometric visas put in the spotlight today when Prime Minister Theresa May said she wants India to take back overstayers based on biometric data alone, rather than piles of paperwork. ...

Highlighting how easy it is for fraudsters to replicate the biometric documents in the UK, investigative journalist Connolly briefed a fellow undercover reporter who visited Adil's run-down office in Birmingham city centre pretending to be a contact of an illegal immigrant in need of some identification.
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Crime – honour crimes, bias
CPS 'afraid to tackle honour crimes for fear of causing unrest in Asian communities'
Hannah Summers and Camilla Turner
Daily Telegraph, 8 November 2016

The Crown Prosecution Service is failing to prosecute honour crimes for fear of causing "unrest" in Asian communities, a Scotland Yard whistleblower has alleged.

Det Sgt Pal Singh disclosed that "apathy" by prosecutors led to the collapse of what could have been the first conviction for forced marriage in England.

He said that the CPS dropped the case despite pleas from the police that "a forced marriage trial would send a strong message to the community".

Det Sgt Singh has been commended three times by the force for his work in the area over the past year. ...

But Det Sgt Singh says he is speaking out now because he is witnessing what he perceives to be serious miscarriages of justice – despite figures showing that the number of forced marriage cases being referred to the CPS by the police has doubled in the past five years.

"The way I see it is that victims are being denied justice," he said. "It is in the public interest that I speak out."

He added: "There appears to be an apathy from the CPS when prosecuting cases where Asian women are victims of honour-based violence. A conviction could lead to unrest in the affected community but if they discontinue a case they know most victims won't complain due to their vulnerability." ...

Last year Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary published a report into the police response to honour-based violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

It found that only three of the country's 43 police forces were prepared to tackle honour-based violence.
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Crime – drugs
Preston drugs ring worth £17m jailed
2BR, 4 November 2016

A Preston drugs circle worth more than £17m have been sentenced at Preston Crown Court.

Mohammed Yahya Khan, Mohammed Wasaf Baig, Junaid Anwar, Yousef Ghafoor, Junaed Alam, Mohammed Umar Patel and Benjamin Langford were jailed for a total of 25 years.

The group was sentenced as part of Operation Nexus, led by Lancashire Police's Serious and Organised Crime Unit (SOCU). ...

Detectives estimate the drugs recovered had a street value of £17m.

More than a dozen members of the group were sentenced at earlier hearings.
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Crime – stabbings, London
London knife crime: Most stabbings in the capital go unsolved, new figures show
Justin Davenport and May Bulman
Evening Standard, 4 November 2016

More than three in four knife crimes in London are going unsolved, according to alarming new figures.

Statistics show that a total of 8,147 violent incidents involving a sharp instrument went "undetected" in the capital last year - nearly 80 per cent of the total 10,238 cases.

The figures also show that the rate of unsolved cases of knife crime has increased by six per cent in the past two years. ...

Today Tom Isaac, manager of Oasis Youth Support, a service that offers youth support to victims of violence in the emergency department of St Thomas's Hospital in Southwark, said young victims were often unwilling to speak to police.

Mr Isaac said: "You think it's always the obvious thing to tell the police, but it's often more complicated than that.

"Young people who have been stabbed when they come in here often won't give full statements or press charges, because they know it could put them in more danger of revenge and retaliation when they leave the hospital. It happens all the time."
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Crime – Somalis
Somali gang jailed for the systematic rape and abuse of vulnerable schoolgirls in Bristol
Martin Evans
Daily Telegraph, 2 November 2016

A gang of Somali refugees have been jailed for their part in the systematic rape and abuse of teenage girls who were failed by police and told their "lifestyle choices" were to blame for their ordeal.

Victims, as young as 14, were given drugs and repeatedly pestered for sex by the men, who were part of a wider gang based in Bristol.

Three men - Sakariya Sheikh, 23, Mohammed Dahir, 24, and Abdirashid Abdulahi, 23 - were convicted of 14 charges relating to four girls, following a third trial into the sexual exploitation of vulnerable schoolgirls.

It takes to 13, the number of men convicted of the "chilling" abuse which occurred in Bristol between 2009 and 2013.

But a report into the abuse found that many of the victims had been let down by social services, doctors and the police, whose failure to launch an investigation immediately meant the gang were free to abuse the victims for another six months. ...

The trial, codenamed Operation Button, was the third in a series of prosecutions of Somali men for child sexual exploitation and drugs offences.
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Crime – Islam
Muslim civil war on streets of Britain: Islam divide carries 'death warrant', says expert
Laura Mowat
Daily Express, 21 October 2016

Muslim divide has caused civil war on the streets of Britain, according to the chief executive of a counter-extremism think tank.

The chief executive of the Quiliam Foundation, Haras Rafiq, has claimed that civil war has spread onto the UK's streets. ...

He said: "The last three killings of Muslims to be picked up by the media have been carried out by those who have decided that their victims 'are not Muslim enough'."

Mr Rafiq said that the Salafi version of Islam excommunicates Muslims who are not the same as them and under Sharia law, this means that these people can be killed. ...

The chief executive of the think tank said that "not being the right kind of Muslim now carries a potential death warrant on our streets."
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Crime – deportation
Jamaican drug-dealing killer CANNOT be thrown out of the country because his parents aren't married and it would violate his human rights say judges
Stephanie Linning
MailOnline, 20 October 2016

A drug-dealing killer who was jailed for manslaughter cannot be deported as it would violate his human rights, the Supreme Court ruled.

Eric Johnson was sentenced to nine years in prison for killing David Williams, 30, by hitting him with a piece of wood and stabbing him in his flat in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, in 2007.

Then Home Secretary Theresa May said he should be deported to Jamaica, where he was born to a British father and Jamaican mother out of wedlock.

Because he was illegitimate he was not entitled automatically to become a British citizen on birth and then did not apply before he was 18.

Johnson argued he should not be deported as it would amount to discrimination.

He lost his case in the Court of Appeal earlier this year but secured a victory at the Supreme Court today.

Five judges said that to remove Johnson would be to punish him for 'the accident of his birth outside of wedlock' as he would have been entitled to British citizenship if his parents had been married. ...

He could not apply for citizenship in his own right at the age of 16 as he had run up a string of convictions and was therefore not considered to be of 'good character'. ...

Upholding Johnson's appeal, Lady Hale ruled deporting him simply because of the accident of his birth outside wedlock would be unlawfully discriminatory.

Johnson was in no way responsible for his parents' unmarried status and there could be 'no justification' for deporting him.

The requirement that a person in his position must also be of good character to qualify for citizenship was also 'incompatible' with human rights, she said.
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Crime – child sexual abuse
Rotherham: eight men convicted of sexually exploiting teenage girls
Helen Pidd
The Guardian, 18 October 2016

Eight men have been found guilty of sexually exploiting teenage girls in Rotherham.

The men, who include two brothers and four cousins, all raped or indecently assaulted the same girl when she was as young as 13, a jury at Sheffield crown court found on Monday. Some of them had abused two other girls as far back as 1999, the jury ruled.

The main complainant, who is now 27 and a campaigner against child sexual exploitation, said her abusers threatened to "gang-rape" her mother if she did not submit to their sexual abuse, which took place largely in an alley behind a branch of Boots in Rotherham town centre, in a local park and in bushes near a museum.

Her family were so afraid of her alleged abusers that they moved to Spain after their complaints to the police, social services, their MP and the home secretary went unresolved, the court heard.

The jury believed her when she said that Sageer Hussain, 30 – who is of British Pakistani origin, along with all but one of the other men in the dock – first raped her behind Boots when she was 13 and later called her a "white slag" when she tried and failed to stop him. ...

His older brother, Basharat Hussain, 40, was found guilty of indecently assaulting her. Six further men, including two cousins of the Hussain brothers, were found guilty of abusing her or helping others to do so.

After the majority verdicts were returned in this trial on Monday, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said it was separately investigating more than 11,100 lines of inquiry relating to non-familial child sexual exploitation in Rotherham between 1997 and 2003.

So far 38 people have been designated "suspects" with many more under investigation, according to the NCA, which is carrying out the independent investigation at the request of the chief constable of South Yorkshire police.

NCA staff have been talking to 133 victims and survivors and have so far recorded 163 crimes in relation to their experiences. They have identified 17 distinct investigations under the overall inquiry. ...

The operation began after the publication in August 2014 of the Jay report, which said at least 1,400 children in Rotherham had been sexually exploited over a 16-year period from 1997.
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Crime – child sexual abuse
Muslim Rape Gang Victim Talks to Breitbart: Girls Still Targeted Because Police Refuse to Act
Donna Rachel Edmunds
Breitbart, 18 October 2016

Muslim men who groomed and violently abused young girls in a quiet English town have been left to carry on raping girls, despite being named to the police, one of their victims has told Breitbart London.

Kaitlyn (not her real name) suffered years of abuse at the hands of hundreds of men in her home town, and in locations across the UK. Yet despite handing a list of more than 80 names to the police for investigation, her attackers are still working as taxi drivers, businessmen, and even on the local council. And she says they are still abusing young vulnerable girls in her town.

Kaitlyn's ordeal began when she was thirteen when an "olive skinned" man came to her house telling her he was going to take photos for a modelling portfolio. ...

Over the next decade Kaitlyn was systematically abused by hundreds of men who would line up to await their turn with her. On average, she says, she would be raped by eight at a time, one after the other.

"My mum called the police when I was 15. I didn't tell her, she found out another way. This big tall black officer [came to the house]; he was pacing the room. He was really impatient."

Rather than take the complaint seriously, the officer told Kaitlyn's mother that she was a known prostitute. "He told my mum to leave me to it, that I would stop when I'm ready. And he told me that they couldn't offer protection if I gave a statement." ...

As none of her abusers ever used protection she has contracted numerous STDs and has been pregnant eleven times. Many of the pregnancies ended in abortion, but she has two young daughters, both fathered by her abusers.
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Crime
Widow of scientist killed by psychotic knifeman days after charges are dropped demands inquiry into failings
Martin Evans
Daily Telegraph, 11 October 2016

The widow of a renowned scientist, stabbed to death by a cannabis-addicted psychotic, has slammed Britain's health and legal system for allowing her husband's killer to wander the streets.

Dr Jeroen Ensink, 41, a lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine was killed by Nigerian born student, Femi Nandap, on December 29 last year, just days after his wife, Nadja, gave birth to their baby daughter. ...

Despite attacking a police officer in May last year and then being caught in possession of two kitchen knives, Nandap was twice given bail, before prosecutors decided to drop the charges against him.

Six days later he attacked and killed Dr Ensink, telling police who tried to intervene that he was the "black messiah". ...

The prosecution admitted that the decision to drop the charges six days before the fatal stabbing had been wrong.
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Crime – assimilation, integration
Mass Immigration Is Correlated To Higher Levels Of Crime, But Not Causal
Science 2.0, 29 September 2016

It is common to equate high levels of immigration with increases in the crime rate because there are increases in the crime rate according to every statistic, but the opposite can be true, according to University of Huddersfield criminology lecturer Dr. Dainis Ignatans, who carried out statistical analysis of UK communities.

His latest article, in the International Review of Victimology, analyzes the changed distribution of crime by offenze type and is based on data extracted from a total of almost 600,000 respondents to the Crime Survey for England and Wales between 1982 and 2012.

What do police not think is worth very much? Asking people on surveys about crime, especially when actual crime is different than what people claim on surveys.

"My research shows that areas with very high concentrations of immigrant populations tend to have much lower police recorded crime rates than areas with low or medium concentrations of immigrants," Ignatans said.

Confounder: People in high immigration areas tend to be insular and won't call the police.

The data from The British Crime Survey was presented by Ignatans at conferences in the UK and overseas. "I have been looking at patterns across England and Wales which demonstrate that regions which have very strong clustering of immigrant populations consistently have much lower recorded crime rates – regardless of the crime type," he said, and added that the reductions took place both within and outside the immigrant populations. "There is no specific point at which the good effect kicks in. It depends on the distribution of the people."

Explanations for the crime drop could include the fact that concentrated immigrant communities have felt a sense of home and belonging and the positive features of their culture have led to communal improvement.

Integration and assimilation

Ignatans argues for an important distinction between the concepts of "integration" and "assimilation". Immigrants can integrate successfully with the wider community even if they do not assimilate culturally, he contends. "If we permit immigrants to demonstrate the best of their culture, we can all benefit from it and districts with high levels of migrants will improve greatly over time. "But if we create lots of districts where those cultures are oppressed or where cultures are forcibly mixed – such as council estates where people from all backgrounds are put together – then those areas are very high in crime and tend not to do particularly well."
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Crime – bogus marriages
Four men jailed for arranging sham marriages to mail order brides
Rochdale Online, 24 September 2016

Four men, based in Rochdale, have been sentenced at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court for committing fraud by arranging sham marriages. ...

Shilpa Chauhan, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West said: "The four men, who originated from Pakistan, facilitated sham marriages to young Roma Slovakian women.

"Shahid Mahboob and Nasir Khalil, who had over-stayed their permission to be in the UK and Hammed Khan who had only a temporary student visa, married their young brides in Gretna Green.

"The women who were from very poor backgrounds had been brought into the country in a mail order type scenario. They had been in Britain a very short time before they were married, some of them only a matter of days.

"Muhammad Farhan assisted Hammed Khan to arrange his sham marriage.

"Nasir Khalil also deceived a girl into marrying him as soon as she turned 16.

"This was a complex investigation and prosecution involving multiple strands of evidence.

"The men involved this criminal enterprise showed utter disregard for the welfare of the women they used in order simply to secure permission to stay in the UK. Mahboob and Khalil went so far as to father children with their wives. ..."
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Crime – fraud
UK's biggest ever cyber scammers stole £113m by calling victims pretending to be from their BANK: Fraudsters used bin bags full of cash for shopping sprees, bought supercars and a Lahore mansion
Rebecca Camber
Daily Mail, 22 September 2016

Britain's biggest cyber-fraudster grew so rich from a £113 million scam that he flew his personal valets 8,000 miles across the world to polish his Porsches.

Feezan Hameed Choudhary, 25, described himself as 'King' and lived like one – jetting off around the globe to party with pop stars. ...

But in reality the Burnley-born fraudster had fleeced over 750 British firms to fund his millionaire playboy lifestyle. Raking in £3 million a month by cold-calling bank customers, he ruined hundreds of lives and put small businesses on the brink of bankruptcy – leaving one victim so distraught that she committed suicide.

Yesterday he was jailed for 11 years as the scale of the fraud by his 19-strong gang was uncovered for the first time. ...

Scotland Yard believes at least 750 businesses were affected between January 2013 and October 2015, but there could be countless others. ...

Nearly £70 million was laundered through bureaux de change in London and sent to Dubai and Pakistan. ...

Corrupt Lloyds account business adviser, Jones Opare-Addo, 58, from Putney, West London, was jailed for five years for leaking account details to the gang and setting up accounts to launder cash.
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Crime – people-smuggling, Europe
FACE OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING: Nationalities of the most prolific migrant smugglers revealed
Rebecca Flood
Sunday Express, 18 September 2016

The face of human trafficking is changing as different nationalities capitalise on the lucrative migrant smuggling trade, new information has revealed. ...

Europol, European Union's law enforcement agency, recently released figures documenting the shifting trends in the illegal trade.

With more than 12,000 new suspects reported to Europol so far this year, a statement from the agency said: "Between early 2015 and the summer of 2016, the picture of migrant smuggling to and within the EU has undergone significant changes."

When compared with a year ago, the nationalities of the smugglers has undergone a drastic shift.

In 2015 Romanians were the most prolific smugglers, with 350 rounded up.

This was closely followed by Egyptians, with 336 in custody, then Syrians with 261 detained.

But this year, Romanians have dropped down to third place - with 216 caught - while Turks pole-vaulted into first place with a staggering 423 found to be engaged in people smuggling. ...

Covering this year up until the end of August, Syrians jumped from third to second place, with 364 caught - a rise of 39 per cent.

Romanian smugglers decreased by 38 per cent, and Polish traffickers also dropped by 47 per cent.

But Ukrainian traffickers rose by 157 per cent, with 149 caught this year. ...

Stats from Europol reveal 272,070 tried to make the journey via sea so far this year, and overall people smuggling increased by eight per cent.
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Crime
Hungarian vice gang led by 'The Snake' who traded a woman between them as their personal sex slave will pay back less than £400 of the £300,000 they made
James Dunn
MailOnline, 16 September 2016

A gang of Hungarian sex traffickers led by a man known as 'The Snake' made nearly £300,000 from the misery of their victims - but will pay back less than £400.

The gang of five shipped 250 women into the country then advertised their services in shop windows and phone boxes, making £292,492.95 running brothels in London and Peterborough.
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Crime – leniency
Brothers who illegally supplied eastern European migrants to British factories walk free
Zoe Efstathiou
Daily Express, 15 September 2016

Two brothers have avoided jail despite illegally arranging for hundreds of eastern European migrants to work at factories and farms in East Anglia.

Stanislovas Dambrauskas, 38 and Andrius Danmbrauskas, 34, originally from Lithuania, were living in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, when they were operating as gang masters, illegally supplying eastern European migrants to labour agencies in the UK.

The crooked pair were given suspended sentences at King's Lynn Magistrates' Court, after being charged with acting as unlicensed gangmasters and of committing fraud by abuse of position between January 1 2012 and December 31 2013.

Stanislavas Drambrauskas had two previous convictions for shoplifting and handling stolen goods and five prison sentences given in Lithuania for theft charges and possession of an offensive weapon. ...

The Judge defended his decision to give the pair suspended sentences, stating he had taken into account that none of the workers had been treated violently or threatened, and there had been no money laundering.

He said that his lenience stemmed from the fact that the requests for the workers had come from other licensed agencies.
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Crime – solicitor
Indian solicitor who helped countrymen 'cheat' the system & Home Office faces deportation
Daily Express, 14 September 2016

An Indian solicitor who advised his countrymen on how to cheat the Home Office into allowing them to stay in the UK faces deportation after he was jailed for eight years.

Mathew Chellam, 45, made bogus applications for EEA2 Residence Cards on behalf of illegal immigrants he advised as clients through Mathew Moghan & Co Advocates.

The lawyer submitted false documentation to the Home Office including fake birth certificates and wage slips from non-existent cleaning companies.

Chellam also arranged bogus weddings between Indian and French nationals apparently taking place in Ghana.

Ghanaian law recognises customary marriages by proxy - in which the bride and or groom are not even required to attend. ...

His ex-wife, Victoria Mathew, 39, was convicted of seeking leave to remain by deception after she submitted a bogus Non-EEA Residence Card application including a Ghanaian customary proxy marriage certificate in 2011.

She was due to be sentenced alongside her former husband but failed to answer her bail and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

KFC worker Venkataramana Enugu, 31, and 30-year old Jeykrishnan Murugesan were also convicted of seeking leave to remain by deception after being arrested in connection with the investigation.
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Crime – people-smuggling
Surge in Britons cashing in on people-trafficking: Smugglers use new routes and tactics to move migrants at will
John Stevens
Daily Mail, 13 September 2016

An alarming jump in the number of British people-trafficking suspects has been flagged up by an international crime-fighting agency.

Despite a clampdown on border controls across Europe since the start of the migrant crisis, there's been a surge in people smuggling operations – including many involving Britons.

This growing band have a 'constant ability' to move migrants across the Continent, according to Europol – the EU's law enforcement agency. It admitted yesterday that it had identified a record 12,000 new people-trafficking suspects so far this year.

The number of British suspects added to its database was 132, a rise of nearly a third compared to the number in the whole of 2015.

Europol warned smugglers are using new tactics to evade tighter border controls and are increasingly looking to cash in on migrants stranded at border camps such as near the Channel port at Dunkirk. ...

... It warned the gangs operating in the camps in Greece, Italy and France, are 'increasingly offering fraudulent documents to allow them to move forward into the EU'.

Europol said the hiding of people in lorries remained the most common method, but that 'new alternative routes via air, sea and land are increasingly used'.

The agency now has around 50,000 suspected people smugglers in its database, with an extra 12,000 suspects added since January. This compares with 6,400 new suspects identified by Europol in 2014 and 10,000 during 2015. Ninety-five per cent of the new suspects were male with an average age of 35.

Some 423 of the new suspects were Turkish – three times the number identified last year. Some 364 Syrians were added to the database, a rise of 40 per cent compared to 2015. ...

A Europol report earlier this year labelled people-smuggling as the 'fastest growing criminal market in Europe', estimating gangs netted 6 billion euros (£5 billion) last year.

About one million migrants entered the EU in 2015 of which nine out of ten paid gangs fees of 3,000-6000 euros each.
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Crime
My day at court that proved foreigners ARE overloading the justice system
Dominic Lawson
Daily Mail, 13 September 2016

Pontius is the first judge to speak out publicly about this. I suspect he felt able to do so only because the interview marked his retirement after 20 years as a Crown Court judge.

But those of us who have spent time in the company of his colleagues know they have become increasingly agitated about the effect on their courtrooms of the ineluctable increase in crimes of migrants from parts of Eastern Europe. ...

Another judge, whose attention I drew to Pontius's interview, told me: 'He is absolutely right and I am glad he said it, although others will interpret it as anti-foreigner and it isn't. If people could see how many are here with substantial criminal records, some EU, some pretending to be Latvian when they are Russian and getting in that way, then they may feel differently.'

Actually, the figures are all publicly available: in that respect our justice system is admirably transparent. So, for example, we know that British courts are dealing with more than 700 notifications involving EU migrants every week – a rise of nearly 40 per cent over the past five years. ...

And we also know that 12 per cent of our prison population are foreign nationals. Almost 10 per cent of that foreign element are Poles, 7 per cent Romanian, and 4.5 per cent Lithuanian.

This in fact suggests that Poles are not especially likely to commit serious offences – their large number within the offending population is just a reflection of the overall scale of Polish immigration: as Pontius himself pointed out, 'the huge majority are law-abiding'.

But there do seem to be national differences reflected in these figures: Romanian and Albanian immigrants seem to be on average more inclined to engage in criminality, whereas Estonians are much less predisposed. These figures, I am sure, are a reflection of the societies from which they come.

It is equally clear that the Government has failed in its attempt to reduce the cost to our prison system by returning the offenders to serve time in their country of origin. ...

Recently, wanting to see for myself the effect of this phenomenon, I spent a day at Snaresbrook Crown Court, the largest court complex in Europe, set up in the Sixties to deal with crimes in North-East London.

I have in front of me the official list of names of defendants on the day I visited. It is fair to say that Middle Eastern-sounding names are much more evident on it than East European ones. But the latter are there in force, too: Sugaipov, Smirnov, Dovnarovic, Koclamazasvili, Noreikaite. ...

Afterwards, one of the court officials took me to one side and said crossly: 'A lot of these people can understand English very well. But the interpreting process means that they can think much longer before answering the prosecuting lawyer's questions. And once I caught one of the interpreters actually advising the defendant how to answer.'
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Crime – child sex crime
'Stop the abusers': Telford MP urges Prime Minister to intervene as her town becomes Britain's 'child-sex capital'
Rory Tingle
MailOnline, 11 September 2016

The MP for Telford has urged Theresa May to carry out a 'Rotherham-style' inquiry into the town, which has the highest rate of child sex crime in the UK.

Tory MP Lucy Allan said an inquiry was 'appropriate', particularly after allegations emerged that local council leaders ignored its own report into gangs targeting young people.

Parents who believed their children might have been abused had told the Telford and Wrekin Council their concerns were not being taken seriously.

An inquiry by the authority acknowledged police investigations were seen as slow, reported The Sunday Mirror.

It also noted that less than a third of 137 child sexual exploitation reports were handed to the safeguarding team.

But one victim claimed the report was a 'whitewash' because no one had been disciplined over its contents.

Ms Allan, 51, who was elected an MP in the 2015 General Election, told The Sunday Mirror: 'Victims are left feeling their voices are not being heard, and that no one is accountable for mistakes made.'

The Mirror claims to have uncovered evidence of abuse by gangs of men in Telford, mainly from the Pakistani community, dating back two decades. ...

Police said 100 girls could have become victims in Telford between 2007 and 2009.

Home Office figures show there were 15.1 child sex crimes reported per 10,000 residents in the year to September 2015.

Telford's population is 155,000 – meaning a potential 225 victims.
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Crime
Labour councillor and mosque leader hired illegal immigrants and dodged tax
Jon Austin
Daily Express, 9 September 2016

A councillor and mosque leader has been banned from being a company director for six years after he was found employing illegal immigrants at his business which failed to pay tax.

Montaz Ali Azad, a Labour councillor on Oldham Council and trustee of the charity which runs Oldham Central Masjid and Islamic Centre, was caught by Home Office immigration officers employing three illegal workers at his industrial laundry firm in Ashton-under-Lyne in Tameside, Greater Manchester.

The employees did not have correct immigration papers and had not been registered with the tax man. ...

His firm was hit with a civil penalty of £15,000 from the Home Office Immigration Enforcement unit, and did not object or appeal against it.

However, the business made no payments and it remained unpaid when Azad placed the business into liquidation on September 18 2014, owing a total of £105,367 to creditors, including £15,000 to the Home Office and more than £17,000 to HMRC.
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Crime
Old Bailey judge retiring after 20 years condemns burden foreign criminals are placing on state
Robert Mendick
Daily Telegraph, 8 September 2016

An influx of Eastern European criminals risks clogging up the criminal justice system and placing an extra burden on its finances, a senior Old Bailey judge warns.

His Honour Judge Tim Pontius also expresses concern at the surge in historic sex abuse cases which he called "troubling", while conceding that the system is struggling to cope with young Islamist terrorists.

A problem with black teenagers in Britain "routinely" carrying knives in the street particularly depressed him, he added. ...

"It is commonplace in the court list to see more Polish names, Romanian names, Albanian names, Russian names, reflecting all sorts of crimes from murder downwards," he said, including "a lot of deception crimes", larger scale frauds and violent assaults.

He said the increase was "inevitable" given the number of migrants who had come to Britain in recent years and stressed that the "huge majority are law abiding".

But Judge Pontius added: "It is an extra financial burden, not least because where you have foreign defendants that means foreign witnesses as well and you need interpreters and they don't come cheap.

"That has been a significant increase in expenditure for the Ministry of Justice. It also means the trials take longer, not least because suddenly everything must be translated verbatim for the witnesses and defendants involved." ...

Judge Pontius recognised the difficulty over how to deal with young Islamist terrorists.

"If they have become fanatics there is no easy way of changing that," he said, adding it was "deeply depressing" that terrorists sent to jail would simply meet like-minded Islamists there.

The judge spoke of his alarm at the number of murders involving teenagers "and very often young black teenagers" who "are routinely going out with knives in their pockets".

That, he added, is "what really depresses me most".
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Crime – Syrians
Police arrest 900 Syrians in England and Wales for crimes including rape and child abuse
Siobhan McFadyen
Daily Express, 2 September 2016

Shocking police figures released for England and Wales have shown nearly 900 Syrians have been arrested in just one year.

And officials say the migrants were accused of sickening crimes including rapes and child abuse.

Now critics say they are concerned that the thousands of Syrians entering Britain each year under resettlement schemes are being allowed to enter the country unchecked.
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Crime – deportation
Algerian asylum seeker who has committed 17 crimes including for attempted robbery and drug crime is RELEASED onto the streets because Government can't kick him out
Martin Robinson
MailOnline, 2 September 2016

An Algerian asylum seeker with 14 convictions for 17 crimes can't be deported because no other country will have him, the High Court heard.

The 31-year-old career criminal poses a 'high risk of harm to the public' and has committed 'numerous criminal offences' including violent and drug crime.

He arrived in the UK from Africa in 2003 and has been convicted of 17 offences over a seven-year period. ...

But he has been released from immigration detention after deportation attempts failed. ...

Judge McKenna said the man, who has a history of alcoholism, drug use and homelessness and cannot be named, had been born in a refugee camp in southern Algeria, claimed that he was 'stateless'.

He said Home Office staff had approached authorities in different parts of Africa - in a bid to deport - but officials abroad had refused to provide travel documents to the man. ...

The man had claimed that he had been unlawfully detained between January and November 2015. Home Office officials disputed his claim.

They said he had been a 'serial absconder' and had committed 'numerous criminal offences'. ...

But the judge said the man had been released late in 2015 - after being held in immigration detention for more than 10 months - following fruitless deportation bids.
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Crime – Notting Hill Carnival
Hey Black Lives Matter UK: here's some perspective on Glastonbury vs Notting Hill Carnival
Rod Liddle
Spectator blog, 1 September 2016

Here's a thing. Shortly after my column for this week's magazine appeared online, Black Lives Matter UK put out the following tweet: ...

Hey Rod Liddle: where were your calls to ban Glastonbury in order to prevent white-on-white crime? ...

Rather than answer this sliver of delusional idiocy myself, I'll leave it to Ken Marsh, chairman of the Police Federation:



'Last year we had an officer stabbed. This year colleagues were assaulted, abused and spat at. How can that be right? It's completely and utterly unacceptable.

'The Glastonbury music festival had 40 arrests this year. Notting Hill had 10 times that amount.

'Year after year there are such high levels of violence against police officers and the public at the carnival. And yet year after year nothing changes. Something needs to be done.'




Thank you, Ken. I think that puts it in perspective. Glastonbury – 40 arrests across a week, mainly for drugs offences. Notting Hill Carnival – 454 arrests across two days, 43 officers injured and eight taken to hospital, five members of the public stabbed. Oh, and while we're on the subject: Cost of Glastonbury to the taxpayer – almost nothing. Cost of the carnival to the taxpayer – at least £7m.

It is another, perfectly formed, example of BLMUK's delusion.
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Crime – sexual abuse of children, racism, political correctness
'Easy Meat.' Britain's Muslim Rape Gang Cover-Up
Dale Hurd
CBN News, 30 August 2016

Some scandals are so massive that they're simply hard to believe. As many as one million white English children may have been the victims of Muslim rape gangs, better known as grooming gangs, in towns up and down Great Britain.

Policy analyst George Igler says, "When you encounter an issue that is just so unbelievable, just so outside your frame of reference and understanding, the immediate human reaction is just one to not believe it at all."

Perhaps even harder to believe is that while there have been prosecutions, the British government has still not stopped this criminal activity.

Former Home Secretary and parliament member Jack Straw once said, "There's a particular problem involving Pakistani heritage men who target young, vulnerable, white English girls." He also said these Pakistani heritage men view white English girls as "easy meat."

This is when some shout 'racism,' but here are the facts: calculations based on convictions show that a British Muslim male is 170 times more likely to be a part of sex grooming gang than a non-Muslim. ...

Igler says, "What you do not have is any example of non-Muslim men targeting Muslim girls for this organized form of abuse. So, the argument that this crime exists everywhere is not only false, but is being deliberately cultivated by the media and by the government inquiry that is kicking the can down the road."

The grooming gangs have been traced back as far as the late 1980s. ...

The said authorities often make it sound like it was the girl's fault, or her parents' fault, "because you don't have control of your child."

Igler says, "If you are a young English girl, particularly between the ages of nine and 14, and you find yourself subject to the perversions of Muslim men, you effectively exist in a country where the forces of law and order don't exist at all." ...

The reason these crimes were covered up and continue to this day is political correctness. No one wanted to be called a racist.

The definitive book on this scandal is "Easy Meat" by Peter McLoughlin, who declined an on-camera interview for safety reasons.
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Crime – Glasgow
Sturgeon's EU slum: Squalor, filth and sex crime in constituency branded SHAME OF SCOTLAND
Siobhan McFadyen
Daily Express, 22 August 2016

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon's very own constituency has become a haven for illegal immigration and organised crime where women cannot walk the streets, it has been claimed. ...

The constituency of Govanhill had 3,500 Romanian migrants packed into a few streets of ramshackle tenement blocks in Govanhill, in the south of Glasgow even before the nation's accession to EU in January 2014.

Now the pocket of Glasgow, which Ms Sturgeon only visits with armed police officers in tow, is in meltdown mode.

There is no clear information on how many different racial groups are in the broken down community, but figures show that there are 57 different languages spoken by their pupils in schools.

Indeed, English is the home language of just four per cent of pupils in Annette Street Primary.
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Crime – sexual abuse of children
ROTHERHAM SCANDAL: Fury as child abuse evidence VANISHES from police station
Nick Gutteridge
Daily Express, 11 August 2016

Vital pieces of evidence which could have outed new suspects in the Rotherham grooming scandal have gone "missing" from the town's police station with alarming regularity.

Senior officers were under pressure to explain how key documents, which are supposed to be kept under lock and key, vanished from Rotherham's central station amid accusations they are still failing to tackle the issue of Asian grooming gangs.

As part of an Express.co.uk investigation into the Rotherham abuse scandal, victims have told this website of their shock and disgust that evidence they provided to the police in the form of witness statements and DNA later disappeared without explanation. ...

Amongst the documents to vanish from the police evidence room at Rotherham police station are a teenager's diary which chronicled her years of sex abuse at the hands of grooming gangs, a victim's original interview notes with officers and a 14-year-old's DNA evidence. ...

And a former social worker who helps victims of abuse told this website the disappearance of evidence from Rotherham police station is "common". ...

Victims and their families told how police are not even logging instances of intimidation as a crime when they are reported, adding that detectives often repeat the mantra that they can only arrest abusers after they have committed an assault. ...

Lawyer David Greenwood said he had heard countless complaints from victims of child abuse about police inaction and missing evidence. ...

The force declined to comment on the issue.
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Crime – sexual abuse of children
ROTHERHAM ABUSE SCANDAL: Horrific reality of 'industrial scale' child grooming revealed
Nick Gutteridge
Daily Express, 9 August 2016

Grooming of young girls by gangs of predominantly Kashmiri men is still occurring on an "industrial scale" in Rotherham because authorities are failing to tackle an organised child sex crime racket, an investigation by express.co.uk has uncovered.

Express.co.uk has pieced together shocking testimony from victims, campaigners and local residents in a large-scale investigation series being revealed throughout this week.

They all told us how police and the local council is still "failing" thousands of vulnerable girls.

It reveals how organised, criminal gangs of paedophiles are still using the town as their own personal fiefdom, peddling underage girls for sex as part of a multi-million pound crime empire. ...

Today an investigation by this website lifts the lid on the shocking scale of abuse still going on in Rotherham, two years after a landmark report into the scandal ruled police and council workers had ignored the issue for fear of being branded racist.

Professor Alexis Jay's astonishing probe revealed at least 1,400 girls were groomed by sex gangs between 1997 and 2013, and unearthed a series of scandalous failings by local authorities.

A recent follow-up report, published by Professor John Drew in March, concluded that the police are now "adequately" tackling child grooming and that historic failures had been "isolated".

But testimony, pieced together from independent sources, paints a starkly different picture of the authorities' response.

A number of people who gave evidence to Professor Drew's inquiry expressed open dismay at his findings and told us the grooming of girls is as bad now as it has ever been. ...

In many instances the abuse is so open that neighbours in the town are aware it is going on.

But they say they feel powerless to act because of police indifference and the vice-like grip the criminal grooming gangs have achieved. ...

Rotherham MP Sarah Champion said abuse is "still going on" in the town and that she still gets new girls coming to her on a regular basis, although the numbers have dropped off. ...

Campaigner Anne Marie Waters, who carried out her own investigation into the Rotherham sex attacks, said the child grooming business is as booming as ever, adding victims who felt let down by the police and social services are "too scared" to speak out.
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Crime – Syrians
Police arrest 900 Syrians in England and Wales for crimes including rape and child abuse
Siobhan McFadyen
Daily Express, 1 August 2016

Shocking police figures released for England and Wales have shown nearly 900 Syrians have been arrested in just one year.

And officials say the migrants were accused of sickening crimes including rapes and child abuse.

Now critics say they are concerned that the thousands of Syrians entering Britain each year under resettlement schemes are being allowed to enter the country unchecked. ...

According to Parliamentary research paper it is possible for Syrians to claim asylum upon arrival or after-entry to the UK.

It states: "Syrian nationals were the sixth-largest group of asylum applicants in the year ending March 2016, 2,539 main applicants.

"87 per cent of initial asylum decisions in Syrian cases gave permission to remain in the UK. ..."

The figure of 900 came from a Freedom of Information request by the Sun on Sunday.
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Crime – gang membership
Met 'may be overly targeting BAME youths as gang members'
Vikram Dodd
The Guardian, 20 July 2016

The Metropolitan police may be overly targeting black and ethnic minority youths as gang members, resulting in them being treated more harshly by the courts, prisons and justice system, a review has found.

The concerns centre on figures showing nearly 90% of youths classed as gang members by Britain's largest force are black or from other ethnic minority backgrounds (BAME) – which is considerably in excess of their proportion in the population.

The review is being led by the Labour MP David Lammy and was ordered by David Cameron when he was prime minister. ...

Concerns centre around the Met's database of gang suspects, called the gangs matrix. Figures for 2016 show that of the 3,626 people listed on that database, 78% were black and a further 9% were from other ethnic minority backgrounds. Ethnic minorities make up 40% of London's population.

The figures cover people known to be in a gang, suspected of involvement, or at risk of joining a gang. Lammy said the effects are that someone can get a longer sentence and be treated more harshly throughout the criminal justice system. ...

The full report is expected to be given to May early next year. Lammy's inquiry is being staffed and supported by civil servants in a sign of how seriously the government is taking it.
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Crime – foreign suspects
Alice Gross: Coroner demands checks on foreign suspects after finding teenager was 'unlawfully killed' by Latvian builder
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 5 July 2016

Police are failing to carry out checks on foreign suspects, a coroner has warned after an inquest found that teenager Alice Gross was "unlawfully killed" in a sexually-motivated attack.

Arnis Zalkalns, who killed the 14-year-old in 2014, was allowed into Britain despite having previously served a prison sentence for murdering his wife in his native Latvia. ...

Zalkalns was arrested in Britain in 2009 for an alleged sexual assault but police failed to ask Latvian authorities if he had a criminal record.

During an inquest it emerged that even today criminal record checks are still not carried out on a fifth of foreign suspects who are arrested in London.

The Home Office also admitted during the inquest that foreign murderers and sex attackers could be allowed to live in the UK even if their previous convictions are known. ...

It subsequently emerged that he came to Britain in 2007 after serving a seven-year sentence for killing his wife. As an EU national he underwent no background checks on arrival and was completely unknown to the British authorities. ...

Changes have been made since Alice's killing to ensure that when a foreign national is now arrested, the Metropolitan Police automatically perform a background check in his or her home country.

However the Metropolitan Police admitted that it is not possible to carry out checks on all foreign nationals because some EU nations do not have a criminal record database. In other parts of the country the checks are not mandatory.

Steve Rodhouse, the Metropolitan Police's Deputy Assistant Commissioner, said that even if the force had been aware of Zalkalns' previous conviction when he was arrested in 2009 it could not have started deportation proceedings. ...

David Cheesman, the Home Office head of policy on international criminal records, said during the inquest there was "no guarantee" violent offenders would be refused entry or deported if past crimes were discovered.
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Crime
Low-earning Indian migrants were given 'phantom jobs as high-earning IT specialists to trick the Home Office into allowing them to stay in the UK'
Stephanie Linning
MailOnline, 5 July 2016

Low-income migrants were given 'phantom jobs' to trick the Home Office into allowing them to stay in the UK, a court heard.

Amarnath Aitha, 31, and Shyam Polsani, 40, are accused of trying to avoid deportation by using an network of illegal immigration advisors, which is said to include pharmacist Navya Avala, 35.

The men, who came to Britain from India, are said to have claimed to have high-paying jobs as IT specialists to 'boost' their Home Office applications and better their chances of remaining in the UK. ...

The court heard a number of fraudsters have already been convicted in relation to the conspiracy while others have left the country to avoid facing trial.
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Crime – deportation
Murderer who's made a mockery of the extradition system: Albanian killer back in the UK six years after being kicked out to serve 15-year prison term in his homeland
Stephen Wright
Daily Mail, 20 June 2016

An Albanian killer who was extradited from Britain to his homeland to face a 15-year jail term has come back to live in the UK after serving just four years.

Ardian Rragami, 45, has made a mockery of the extradition process by returning to Britain just a few years after he was kicked out to face justice for murdering his neighbour in cold blood.

Rragami was back behind bars last night after immigration officers were shamed by the Daily Mail into getting him off the streets. Immigration officers swooped on the killer, who sprayed his victim with four bullets, hours after we submitted a series of questions about the farce to the Home Office.

Now the UK authorities face a lengthy and costly battle to send him back to his home country for a second time. ...

The ease with which he has been able to slip back into Britain, having previously lied to gain residency here, is hugely embarrassing for the authorities. ...

Last month the Mail revealed how one-legged Albanian convicted double killer, Saliman Barci, 41, has been granted legal aid to fight extradition – despite allegedly confessing to his crimes to his wife.

Following a major international investigation by this newspaper, another notorious Albanian double killer fugitive, Avni Metra, 53, was arrested by Scotland Yard earlier this month after spending 18 years in hiding in the UK.

Metra was high on an Interpol Most Wanted list when we tracked him down to his bolthole in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, and tipped off police to his whereabouts.

In the UK, the minimum time a murderer must serve is 12 years. ...

'He has never been a British citizen and is liable for deportation based on his overseas convictions.'
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Crime – BBC's silence
Why did police keep quiet on sex attack by Syrian UK refugees? Girl, 14, was assaulted by gang but it was kept off the crime list covered by BBC Newsnight team...
Martin Beckford and Jacinta Taylor
Mail on Sunday, 12 June 2016

Police were last night accused of burying allegations that a gang of Syrians sexually assaulted two teenage girls in a Newcastle park.

Three young men and a teenage boy, at least one of them a refugee, were arrested last month over claims two 14-year-olds had been attacked in the centre of the city.

But even after the suspects were charged and appeared in court, Northumbria Police – which claims to have made sexual violence a top priority – did not announce the case to the public or press. Even the local MP only heard about it last week.

Last night, it also emerged that the force published more than 100 incidents and public appeals, including those on sexual assaults and indecent exposures, on its website in the same month the alleged attacks took place – but not the case allegedly involving the Syrians.

Other crimes included the theft of 19 prawn pots from a harbour wall and a car being scratched.

Details on the alleged attacks emerged on Friday in a report by the BBC, which had been following the progress of the refugee defendant's family since they arrived in Britain last year under the Government's high-profile scheme to resettle vulnerable Syrians.

However, the BBC's Newsnight programme has refused to say when it first heard about the case.

A police source told The Mail on Sunday the BBC had been informed four weeks previously in early May, when the teenage refugee had been arrested and charged. ...

Last night, Ukip leader Nigel Farage – who has been criticised for warning the migrant crisis could put British women at risk – said: 'Serious questions need to be asked about both the vetting of those the Government are allowing into the country, and of the authorities, including the BBC, who appear to have been involved in a conspiracy of silence over the case.

'When did they know what was happening, and why is it only coming out now?' ...

Omar Badreddin, the 18-year-old refugee who appeared on the BBC, was arrested on May 11, and charged with sexual assault on one girl the following day.

Mohammed Alfrouh, 20, was also charged with sexual assault against two girls. ...

Another man, Mohammad Allakkoud, 18, and a 17-year-old who cannot be named, were charged with sexual assault on May 19, again with no publicity.
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Crime – cost, prisons
Current immigration rates mean UK will need 'SEVEN more prisons to house EU criminals'
Alison Little
Daily Express, 11 June 2016

The UK will need an extra seven prisons to house criminals from other EU countries at current immigration rates, pro-Brexit campaigners claim.

Vote Leave research calculated if net migration continued at its current pace, the UK's already over-crowded prison system would need an extra 7,226 places by 2030, including nearly 4,000 just for EU migrants.

Housing the extra European criminals alone would take seven more prisons the size of Yorkshire's 606-place Full Sutton prison.

It would take more than £400 million to create the new places plus another £145 million each year to look after them.

Vote Leave's forecasts equate to a near-doubling of the current EU offender population in our jails, currently numbering around 4,200.

A recent report from MPs on the Home Affairs Committee warned that the government's failure to deport foreign national offenders quickly meant thousands were taking up space in our jails or walking free on Britain's streets.
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Crime – EU rules, deportation
EU rules stopped Britain deporting murderers, rapists and violent criminals
Ben Riley-Smith and Laura Hughes
Daily Telegraph, 7 June 2016

Murderers, rapists and violent offenders from across Europe have been able to remain in Britain after their crimes, the Justice Minister will say on Tuesday as he reveals a dossier of 50 offenders who have used EU rules to avoid deportation.

Dominic Raab, who works closely with Michael Gove in the Justice department, said that British families are "at risk" because European courts are refusing to allow UK judges to deport dangerous and violent criminals back to EU countries. ...

A report last week warned that 5,789 criminals from overseas are free to walk the UK's streets - the highest number since 2012 – because they are protected under EU human rights laws.

Mr Gove on Monday warned that the EU's lack of border controls on the continent "actively abets terrorism". ...

"At the moment, unfortunately, the European law, which the European Court of Justice takes, has prevented us from getting rid of some people who are terrorists, or criminals who have been supporting terrorists."

Under current British law, any foreigner who commits a "serious crime" or is sentenced to more than a year in jail qualifies for automatic deportation.

However if the convict is from the EU, that rule can be meaningless because of the bloc's "freedom of movement" rules that allow migrants to live and work in any member state. ...

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, admitted the Government needs to do more but said a record number of foreign offenders were deported last year.

And James Brokenshire, the immigration minister, insisted that the Prime Minister's renegotiation with Brussels has made it easier for the UK to deport foreign criminals.

"The UK sought greater control over the deportation of foreign criminals in its EU renegotiation - and that's precisely what the Prime Minister's deal delivered.

"The International Law Decision we secured means our ability to deport foreign criminals is strengthened, and it is now clear that the UK can take into account the full background of a criminal in a decision over whether to deport."
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Crime – employment
The gangsters on England's doorstep
The Guardian, 6 June 2016
[Written by Felicity Lawrence, read by Ruth Barnes and produced by Simon Barnard]

In the bleak flatlands of East Anglia, migrant workers are controlled by criminal gangs, and some are forced to commit crimes to pay off their debts. This is what happens when cheap labour is our only priority

[audio: 42:35]
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Crime – deportation
EU killers and rapists we've failed to deport: UK's inability to expel thousands of foreign criminals undermines case for the EU, say MPs
Ian Drury and James Slack
Daily Mail, 3 June 2016

Thousands of violent thugs and rapists from the EU are walking Britain's streets and clogging up our jails because the Government has failed to send them home.

The presence of the criminals – who arrived here under EU freedom of movement rules – is undermining David Cameron's case to remain in the EU, a report warns today.

The inquiry by MPs found the top three foreign nationalities inside our packed prisons are all now from inside the EU – with almost 1,000 from Poland alone and 600 from Romania.

Despite the Prime Minister repeatedly pledging to end the scandal, there were 4,171 criminals from the EU behind bars in England and Wales in December.

They include rapists, robbers, paedophiles and drug dealers. The figure is all the more startling because there is a European agreement in place to send them home.

Including those from the EU, the committee says there are more than 13,000 foreign criminals in Britain – a number equivalent to a 'small town' – either in jail or walking our streets.

More of those now living in the community after finishing their sentences have successfully resisted deportation by using human rights legislation.

In its report today, Westminster's Home Affairs Select Committee says the Government has 'consistently failed' to get a grip on the shambolic system for kicking out foreign convicts.

And it says the failure to deport more EU criminals is so dire that it casts doubt on 'the point of the UK remaining a member of the EU'. The committee report also warns it would take a 'modern miracle' for Mr Cameron to meet his pledge to cut migration to under 100,000. ...

Despite the Prime Minister repeatedly pledging to end the scandal of foreigners clogging up our packed prisons, a staggering 9,895 were behind bars in England and Wales in December. Of these, 4,171 were from the EU – 42 per cent. The cost of housing them is an estimated £150 million a year.

Britain is entitled to deport criminals from the European Union if they are sentenced to jail while non-EU criminals must have served at least one year behind bars. Meanwhile, there are an 'unacceptable' 5,789 foreign offenders living in the community awaiting deportation – the highest number for five years. It is up nearly 20 per cent on the previous year.

Instead of being locked up until thrown out, they are freed to protect their 'human rights', at risk of absconding and potentially putting the public in danger. Nearly a third – 1,865 – have been loose for more than five years.

A string of murders and sex attacks have been committed by foreign nationals who should already have been booted out. ...

Once a convict has served their sentence, they can only continue to be held if there is a good chance of them being deported imminently. ...

New figures show that 416 foreign offenders were freed between October and December last year after completing their sentences, but only six were deported. Another 14 were given permission to stay.
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Crime
Alarm over surge in migrant murder and rape suspects in Britain
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 23 May 2016

Half of all rape and murder suspects in some parts of Britain are foreigners, new figures show. An investigation found that across the country almost a fifth of those believed responsible for the worst crimes last year were born outside the UK.

But in parts of England and Wales with high immigration levels, the proportion rises to 50 per cent or more. ...

Freedom of Information responses from 36 of the 44 forces in England and Wales showed 65 foreigners were charged with murder and 558 accused of rape last year. ...

The Home Office said that 29,000 overseas offenders had been removed from Britain since 2010.

Last year 5,602 were deported.
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Crime – visa fraud
Visa fraudster helped Indians stay in Britain by claiming they were qualified Sikh ministers employed by his religious charity
Stephanie Linning
MailOnline, 18 May 2016

A fraudster who set up a Sikh religious charity as a front for an illegal immigration racket has been jailed.

Ravinder Singh, 57, helped forge visa applications for Indian migrants wanting to remain in Britain, charging up to £4,000-a-head for the service.

The mortgage advisor falsely claimed the applicants were qualified 'ministers of religion' who were in the UK to carry out Sikh ceremonies and teaching on behalf of his charity.

Their bogus sponsorship applications allowed them to later seek full UK citizenship.

However Singh's 'clients' did little or no religious work and instead secured other paid jobs. They then 'donated' part of their income to the charity, allowing Singh to pay their 'wages' as preachers.

The sophisticated scam was uncovered after one of Singh's business associates discovered his identity had been stolen and was being used in 56 separate visa applications. ...

One of Singh's 'clients' found work as a driver for a haulage firm. Another set up his own immigration racket, supplying false resident permits, passports and national insurance numbers. ...

Judge Hilary Manley told Singh had benefited from 'exploiting the vagueness in the official definition of a minister of religion.'

She added: You succumbed to the temptation to exploit the very considerable power conferred upon you by the Home Office.'
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Crime – migrant-smuggling
Migrant smuggling is 'a multinational business', finds joint report
Interpol, 17 May 2016

The findings of a joint Europol-INTERPOL Report on Migrant Smuggling Networks underline the need for an accurate and in-depth understanding of the wide range of illicit services offered by migrant smugglers, and their operating methods, so as to dismantle their criminal networks.

A summary of the report published today provides comprehensive insight into the activities, organizational structures, operating capabilities, geographical hotspots of migrant smugglers and their estimated profits.

It estimates that the annual turnover of migrant smuggling was worth an estimated USD 5 to 6 billion in 2015, representing one of the main profit-generating activities for organized criminals in Europe.

Other key findings reveal that:

• Travel by 90% of the migrants to the European Union (EU) is predominantly facilitated by members of a criminal network.

• Key migratory routes identified as main corridors for migrant smuggling are fluid and influenced by external factors like border controls.

• Facilitators behind migrant smuggling are organized in loosely connected networks.

• Migrant smuggling is a multinational business, with suspects originating from more than 100 countries.

• The structure of migrant smuggling networks includes leaders who loosely coordinate activities along a given route, organizers who manage activities locally through personal contacts, and opportunistic low level facilitators.

• Migrant smuggling suspects tend to have previous connections with other types of crime.

• Migrants who travel to the EU are vulnerable to labour or sexual exploitation as they need to repay their debt to smugglers.

• While a systematic link between migrant smuggling and terrorism is not proven, there is an increased risk that foreign terrorist fighters may use migratory flows to (re)enter the EU.
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Crime
Number of evil foreign killers and rapists entering UK for 'crime-sprees' soar
Bradley Jolly
Daily Star, 15 May 2016

Authorities are "really concerned" how foreign murderers and rapists are slipping into the UK to commit more heinous crimes.

Police data shows the number of callous foreign killers and vile sex offenders that entered the UK from other countries before being nabbed by our cops has more than doubled in the last two years.

The crooks have gone on to commit shocking murders, manslaughters, sex crimes and robberies in our nation.

Shockingly, official checks by UK police forces on the criminal records of foreigners arrested on suspicion of committing crimes here has soared by 133% from 56,984 in 2013 to last year's figure of 132,964.

Among those the numbers of foreign rapists and murderers nabbed by UK cops has increased from 146 in 2013 to 372 last year.

Of the 307 twisted murderers, 90 were from Romania, 47 from Poland and 35 from Lithuania.

Immigration and crime experts have expressed their "real concern" at the figures.

Harry Fletcher, criminal justice director for crime-stopping charity Digital-Trust, said: "It is of real concern that last year nearly 400 foreign nationals resident in the UK were found to have had serious previous convictions on entry to this country.

"In the digital world it must be possible to undertake rapid checks to ensure that people entering Britain with unspent convictions for the likes of murder and rape are not allowed to clear customs."
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Crime – terrorism, border security
Open borders are a gift to organised criminals
Anthony Stansfeld
Daily Telegraph, 14 May 2016
[Anthony Stansfeld is the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner]

The greatest threat to our social stability at the moment is the fact that we have weakened our border controls at a time when they should have been strengthened. Thanks to the Schengen Agreement, border control within the EU is almost non-existent; once someone is in Europe, they can travel almost without restriction. ...

But as we well know, within this movement of people there is a small but significant number who wish us harm and who wish to impose their unpalatable beliefs upon us. Their ideology has more in common with extreme fascism than anything else and their anti-Semitism is as profound as that of Nazi Germany.

It is unacceptable, yet we allow it to come to our country and flourish. Furthermore, we have allowed its proponents to advise the Home Office, to preach in our mosques, and to spread their creed in our prisons. They seek to destroy the very freedoms that they lacked in their own countries. We need to wake up to, and take far more seriously, the threat they pose to our safety and to our country.

Meanwhile, Eastern European criminals have spotted an opportunity. The pickings are far easier in a rich liberal country such as ours, than in their own poorer countries; our legal system is much kinder should they be caught; and their ability to leave the country while on bail makes the threat of imprisonment at best weak. As a result, much more serious organised crime, controlled from abroad, is operating in to the UK. And as the EU increases its membership, with more Eastern European nations joining, such as Albania, the situation can only worsen. Already, the increase in murder rates and serious violence across the UK is now beginning to reflect this. In an attempt to contain it, and as a direct consequence of our inability to control our borders, we will see the arming of yet more police officers on our streets.

At the same time, the rapid increase in our population, also caused in large part by our open borders, is making it harder for us to deal with these threats. Our hospitals, our schools, our housing, our transport system, our energy capacity, our prisons, our court system, and our local councils, are all stretched to breaking point. This inevitably impinges on the police, the service of last resort. ...

To keep up with the population increase in the Thames Valley alone we should have been increasing our numbers by at least 200 a year. ...

There is much talk at government level about what is being done, but in reality little is; the EU prevents us from implementing the most elementary precautions that need to be put in place. And so the promise to control immigration has failed. ...

Until we can control our borders and our sovereignty the current situation can only deteriorate further. We need a far more realistic approach to how we spend our money. It's time for a change of direction – and we need it fast.
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Crime – drink-driving
Drink driving figures deepen concern over impact of EU immigration
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 6 May 2016

Areas of the country which have seen high levels of eastern European immigration have been revealed as some of the most serious black spots for drink-driving.

Boston in Lincolnshire took second place with 598 offences in five years, according to figures obtained under freedom of information laws.

Peterborough in Cambridgeshire took third place with 589 and Wisbech in the same county was tenth with 470.

It comes after a former Cambridgeshire chief constable warned that drink-driving was showing a sharp rise because immigrants had "different standards" towards the crime than native Britons.

Julie Spence, the then chief constable, said in September 2007: "We can identify a significant rise in drink-drive, which was down to people thinking that what they did where they came from, they could do here." ...

One postcode in Croydon, south London, was the worst area for drink drivers with 687 cases in the last five years, according to the data obtained by website Motoring.co.uk.

However, the postcode-based figures showed Leicester had three areas in the worst 21, adding up to a total of 1,545 offenders, making it the most prevalent area for drink-driving by geography rather than post-code. The offences covered January 2011 to December 2015.
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Crime – EU citizens
More than 30,000 Europeans a year are arrested in London: 80 people a day are held as Brexit campaigners say staying in the EU would put huge pressure on prisons
Jack Doyle
Daily Mail, 3 May 2016

More than 80 EU nationals are arrested in London every day, the Mail can reveal.

The scale of crime linked to European nationals is exposed in official police figures which show nearly 100,000 arrests in three years.

Scotland Yard data, published after a Freedom of Information request, showed the Met has arrested more than 30,000 EU nationals in the capital in each of the past three years. ...

The revelations come just days after Justice Secretary Michael Gove warned that staying in the EU would see huge pressure placed on Britain's jails.

He said there were already 10,000 foreign criminals in UK jails - with one in 20 from Albania, which wants to join the EU in the coming years. ...

Figures from the Freedom of Information request reveal 30,561 non UK EU nationals were arrested in London in 2015.

There were 32,214 arrested in 2014 and 32,851 in 2013.

In 2013 a total of 13,087 - more than 1000 a month - were charged. In 2014 that figure was 12,266 and last year 11,285.
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Crime – illegal immigration
Judge's concern over number of illegal Vietnamese immigrants being used to grow cannabis in Bolton
Joanne Rowe
Bolton News, 25 April 2016

A judge has expressed concern about the number of illegal Vietnamese immigrants being used to grow cannabis in Bolton.

Following the conviction of Bin Truong, who was caught with 223 plants in the loft space above flats near Bolton town centre, the Honorary Recorder of Bolton, Judge Timothy Clayson said: "Frequently, if not always, cannabis farms are being looked after or cultivated by Vietnamese gardeners.

"They are exposed to the highest risk of detection.

"They are clearly being directed by and operated by others who remain unseen and undetected.

"It is worrying. It is well known that there is a real problem of the sort I have mentioned." ...

Truong had entered the country illegally in the back of a lorry in October 2014, being caught when it stopped on the M2 in Kent.

But he later failed to attend appointments with immigration authorities.
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Crime – EU migrants
Deadly cost of open borders: 250 EU migrants serving life sentences in Britain
Caroline Wheeler
Sunday Express, 17 April 2016

The deadly cost of Britain's open borders is laid bare today as figures reveal that almost 250 offenders from European Union countries are serving life sentences here.

Figures released by the Ministry of Justice show there are almost 10,000 foreign offenders in prisons in England and Wales, including 4,171 from EU countries.

But the figures add that 248 European criminals are serving life for violent offences such as murder and rape. ...

A further 65 have been given a sentence of "imprisonment for public protection", which means they cannot be released until they are deemed to no longer pose a risk.

Another 60 of the most European dangerous offenders were given an "extended determinate sentence", which means they will be monitored beyond the end of their jail term.
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Crime – deportation
Laughing on our streets, 'depressed' benefit cheat migrants we can't deport: How two members of a notorious crime gang are each taking home £500 a month in handouts
Christian Gysin
Daily Mail, 16 April 2016

As they walk down an East London street, Dennis Kyeyune and Lamulah Sekiziyuvu both look carefree.

They live in separate rent-free taxpayer-funded flats because neither is working, and each takes home £500 a month in benefits because they claim that they have depression.

Behind the smiles, however, there is a more sinister side to Kyeyune and Sekiziyuvu. Both were members of a notorious nine-strong gang that stole more than £4 million in benefits. ...

At the time they were accused by a judge of committing 'fraud on a huge scale and an outrageous abuse of the hospitality' offered by Britain.

They were also told that they would be subject to automatic deportation because their sentences were longer than 12 months.

But every member of the gang who has served their sentence is now free and still living in Britain. ...

The African gang, mainly from Uganda, ran a fraud lasting 20 years, using the identities of more than 100 fake children to claim a string of related benefits.

Ringleader Ruth Nabuguzi, 53, also claimed to have HIV and Aids in order to receive costly drugs which she sent back to Uganda and sold for huge profits. ...

As well as receiving housing and council tax benefit, the pair both get £125 a week Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) – which replaced Incapacity Benefit – because they both claim to have depression.

One senior source at the Department for Work and Pensions told the Mail: 'The whole thing is a complete and utter joke. The pair of them received the highest level of ESA which amounts to £125 a week.

'Four years ago we caught them, saw them convicted and imprisoned and now they are out on the streets as if they have not got a care in the world.

'It is a disgrace. It makes a mockery of ever taking them to court in the first place.'
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Crime – benefit fraud
Charity boss and his wife who flew hundreds of Bangladeshi migrants to Britain for a day to claim £1.6 million in benefits are jailed
Christian Gysin, Lee Sorrell and Thomas Burrows
MailOnline, 9 April 2016

A charity boss and his wife who flew hundreds of Bangladeshis to Britain to claim £1.6 million in benefits have been jailed.

Chowdhury Muyeed, 52, was the £44,000-a-year head of finance at Blood Pressure UK, when he headed the 'con air' scam that saw welfare cheats fly to Britain from Italy and illegally claim state handouts.

Muyeed - who carried out the fraud with his wife Asma Khanam, 47, and a man called Habibur Rahman - also used two other charities as 'fronts' to help arriving migrants dupe the benefits system.

He was jailed for five-and-a-half years today at Snaresbrook Crown Court in East London for running the fraud.

His wife was imprisoned for three-and-a-half years after being found guilty of producing or furnishing documents or information as part of the same scam. ...

The court heard how Muyeed, from Newbury Park, in north-east London, set up the companies Families for Survival UK and Age Shelter UK Ltd to pay wages to Italian passport-holders.

Migrants based in Italy, who were supplied with sham addresses, flew into the UK through Stansted Airport in Essex to attend Job Centre interviews, before getting their hands on National Insurance numbers. ...

Their details were then linked to bogus addresses and they were registered with the government as working for the couple 24 hours a week, making them entitled to housing benefit and council tax credit claims.

Redbridge Borough Council in East London identified 300 suspect applications had been submitted.

Their fake claims cost Redbridge and neighbouring Tower Hamlets Council a total of £1,582,519. ...

The Department of Work and Pensions also lost more than £420,000 in falsely claimed tax credits. ...

The DWP is currently investigating the full scale of the fraud and losses could run into 'many millions of pounds', making it one of Britain's largest-ever benefit frauds.
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Crime – sexual exploitation, Islam
A Look Inside Britain's Muslim Sex Grooming Gang Scandal [part 1]
Janet Levy
American Thinker, 6 April 2016

For the past few decades, British authorities have been caught up in the pervasive meme of multiculturalism – the falsehood that all cultures are equal and that to believe otherwise is to commit the worst modern day offense – to be "racist."

Under this fallacy, the British government in 2001 introduced a series of restrictive speech codes that criminalized criticism of Islam, followed by a Racial and Religious Hatred Bill imposing fines and even imprisonment for speech that "incited hatred against a person for their religious or racial background."

These laws have victimized a number of Britons. ...

In this context and political climate, with racism conflated with religion – one specific religion – it is easy to see how government and public service employees would fear professional and legal repercussions (up to seven years in prison) merely for speaking up about criminal behavior by Muslims who justify their actions citing the Koran. In this way, teachers, police, child care workers, government officials and others have been silent about the growing menace of Muslim gangs who sexually groom and exploit children in the UK.

In his riveting book, Easy Meat: Inside Britain's Grooming Gang Scandal (World Encounter Institute/New English Review Press, 2016. 328 pp., $17.20) author Peter McLoughlin explains how multiculturalism-inspired political correctness along with its companion, willful blindness concerning Islamic doctrine, has jeopardized the safety and well-being of children. /.../ In essence, an extensive, insidious operation that targets children for sexual grooming and enslavement has been covered up because of political correctness and fear of Muslim retribution. ...

... Muslim perpetrators, however, work in gangs, see nothing wrong with their shariah-sanctioned activities, receive collusive support from their communities and feel they are above the law. ...

... Alarmingly, a footnote in the book references a quotation from a city outreach worker with the Children's Society who states, "every girl living in a children's home in the city of Birmingham is being sexually exploited."

McLoughlin makes reference to the staggering profitability of the sex grooming enterprise for the Muslim community. He cites a 2007 expose, Mothers of Prevention by Julie Bindel, a feminist writer and founder of the legal reform group, Justice for Women.

Bindel estimated that a pimp can make $325,000 to $550,000 annually with one 16-year-old girl. ...

McLoughlin does a good job of portraying the frustration and desperation of victim's families who have sought help to no avail for well over a decade from local councils, law enforcement, child care professionals and journalists. ...

McLoughlin reveals that local authorities – social workers, teachers' unions, educational organizations and childcare agencies – have made no effort to intervene or draw public attention to the pervasive threat. He submits that feared charges of racism preclude their mandated responsibility for the protection of children. In fact, the author reports how major teachers' unions are behind an organization – Unite Against Fascism – that blocks the publicizing of the sex grooming gang phenomenon and its Muslim community participation.
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Crime – sexual exploitation, Islam
A Look Inside Britain's Muslim Sex Grooming Gang Scandal [part 2]
Janet Levy
American Thinker, 6 April 2016

In 2008, a taxpayer-funded national education film, My Dangerous Loverboy, commissioned by the United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre, was produced ostensibly to warn and educate girls about generic sex grooming gangs. But no mention was made of Muslim involvement or the victims' young ages. According to McLoughlin, the film has been difficult to obtain and has not been shown to the intended audience: girls, parents, social workers, police officers, school nurses, doctors, teachers, youth workers, sexual health practitioners. My own extensive, month-long efforts to locate a copy were unproductive and met with denials of the crimes' Muslim connection.

In Easy Meat, McLoughlin laments the very limited prosecution of Muslim sex grooming and pimping crimes. In the rare instances of successful criminal litigation, typical sentences are minimal and usually partially served, if at all, despite existing sentencing guidelines. Gang members have been known to assert Muslim supremacy, make accusations of Muslim victimhood and racism, and threaten retaliation against the girls and their families. Some have clearly cited religious motivations for their crimes in court.

Astonishingly, few victims receive any special protection during the trials. Protection of defendants' rights supersedes that of victims, even with child victims. The 1989 Children's Act, a statute requiring the child's welfare be the court's paramount consideration, doesn't seem to make the slightest difference in the proceedings and outcome. More distressing is the fact that the greater the Muslim population density in an area, the lower the conviction rate.

The backdrop for sexual grooming and enslavement of children lies in Islamic doctrines outlined by McLoughlin. He reviews the pervasive slave-taking history of Islam from the 7th century, as well as Islamic doctrine from the Koran citing Islam's view of non-Muslims, its treatment of women and sexual slaves, and the permissibility of sex with children by Mohammed's example with his nine-year-old third wife, Aisha. McLoughlin explains how sex as rape has historically been used as a weapon of war to assert Islamic supremacy. Islamic doctrine encourages the rape and enslavement of non-Muslims, even with married infidel women as a legal and moral enterprise.

Further, the required first and foremost allegiance to the Umma, or Muslim community, and the inbred obligation of enmity toward non-Muslims facilitates the pimping of non-Muslim girls and hinders any attempts at exposing its criminality and eventual prosecution. ...

In Easy Meat, McLoughlin details how the sexploitation and enslavement of girls, once viewed as a great evil in Western society, has become a pervasive, routine, and almost pedestrian part of everyday life in the UK. On this issue, the courageous author effectively deals with the contention that Western civilization is fighting for its very existence in a clash between civilization and barbarism. His book serves as a grave warning for other countries as they consider increased levels of Muslim immigration.
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Crime – free movement, European Union
Deadly cost of our open borders: Damning dossier lists a catalogue of murders and rapes committed in Britain by 50 foreign criminals who were let in under EU rules
Jack Doyle and Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 29 March 2016

EU free movement rules have let dozens of foreign criminals commit horrific offences in Britain, analysis reveals.

A dossier released today lists 50 of the 'most dangerous' European criminals who have entered the UK freely, despite convictions in their countries.

Once here, 45 of them committed serious offences, the report by Brexit campaign Vote Leave says. In total, they were responsible for 14 killings, including nine murders, and 13 sex crimes of which seven were rape.

They also carried out robberies, theft, burglaries and drug offences. ...

The dossier also reveals the exasperation and despair of British judges presiding over these cases, as they questioned how such dangerous men got into the country in the first place.

Victor Akulic, a serial Lithuanian offender with convictions including child rape, committed rape again within a year of entering Britain. In court, Lady Justice Hallett asked: 'Do we have to take in anybody, even if they have a conviction for raping a child?'

Kajus Scuka had convictions for murder, gross indecency and assault but after coming to the UK committed rape and three other sex attacks within months.

Sentencing, Judge Peter Kelson said: 'It seems to me ... even with your convictions for murder and assaults you were free to enjoy the same freedom of movement as any other European citizen.'

Among five who did not commit any offence in Britain is Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who helped plan the Bataclan terror attacks in Paris. He entered the UK despite a conviction in Belgium for terrorism-related offences.

... Justice minister Dominic Raab, who is backing Brexit, said: 'EU rules make it far too difficult to control who comes into the UK, and who we can deport.

'In security terms, that forces us to import risk at the expense of public protection. There's no escaping the fact that this weakens our security.'
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Crime – EU rules
EU rules that leave a gaping hole in our borders
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 29 March 2016

Any EU citizen, including those from Eastern Europe, can enter the UK without a visa, just as Britons can travel freely around the continent.

When EU nationals arrive at the border, their passport details are checked against a 'watchlist' of suspected terrorists and foreign criminals compiled by the border agency.

But unless an offender is high-profile, is known to have committed crimes in several countries, or is on Interpol's 'wanted' list, the system is unlikely to be aware of their previous convictions – leaving a gaping hole in our border controls. Except in the most extreme circumstances, Brussels does not force EU states to share information on known criminals who might travel.

France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland flag up potentially dangerous people to the UK so they can be turned away at ports or airports. But if countries do not warn that a dangerous offender is on the way – and some do not even keep information of convictions for internal use – there is little Britain can do to stop them slipping through the net.

Even if an arrival has a known conviction, they cannot automatically be refused entry.

Normally, a person can be excluded from the UK only if they pose 'a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat'. This means it is not enough for an EU citizen to have a serious criminal conviction – if it is some time in the past the UK may fall foul of Brussels directives if they refuse to allow that person in. ...

... Another system, ECRIS, lists EU citizens' convictions. But this can be used only when a suspect is inside the UK and has been arrested or charged.
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Crime – deportation
66 Europeans a week are kicked out of Britain because they are a DANGER to society
Craig Woodhouse
The Sun, 25 March 2016

Almost 10 Europeans a day are being booted out of Britain because they are a danger to society, shock figures have revealed.

In the latest sign of the dangers of open-door immigration, a staggering 2,584 criminals from the European Economic Area - made up of the EU along with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway - were deported in the first nine months of last year, equivalent to 66 a week.

The numbers have almost trebled from 1,275 in 2011-12, bringing the total number of Euro crooks kicked out since 2011 to 10,918. ...

They include people given criminal convictions after committing offences in Britain – or whose criminal pasts were revealed by immigration and other background checks, meaning they had slipped through the net to set up life here.

And as of December last year, a staggering 4,217 more were awaiting deportation. ...

Tory former Europe minister and ex-Home Affairs spokesman David Davis said: "The fact that there is such an enormous number of dangerous criminals and that it has trebled in under five years is a clear demonstration of the risks to British society posed by the free movement of people – which too often means the free movement of criminals.

"This demonstrates yet again that the claim that Europe enhances our security is the opposite of the truth."

And Tory MP Anne Main, who uncovered the data and is campaigning for Britain to leave the EU, said: ...

Ms Main also slammed the cost to the public purse of getting rid of the European criminals.

It costs an estimated £15,000 for each deportation, landing us with a £163.7 million bill for the 10,918 kicked out since 2011.

Ms Main said: "Booting these offenders out is not free to the British taxpayer. The cost alone would be enough to pay for over 2,000 newly qualified nurses per year for our NHS."
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Crime
Mastermind behind 225 sham weddings and £2.8 million benefits scam should have been kicked out TEN years ago after being jailed for similar offences
Christian Gysin
Daily Mail, 16 March 2016

Ordered to be deported on his release, Ndoli repeatedly appealed against the decision – allowing him to stay in Britain and embark on a fresh crimewave.

On Monday, his gang was jailed for a total of 17 years by Judge Nicholas Ainley at Croydon Crown Court for a seven-year fraud operation that netted them at least £2.8 million. He told them: 'This was a long-running and skilfully-planned fraud aimed at the benefits system of this country and our immigration controls. ...

'Marriages were arranged abroad and they were all shams. The value of benefits claims was some £2.8 million but the value of immigration claims is simply incalculable.' He added: 'The scale of this fraud was enormous.' ...

Because of the sheer scale of their operation the real losses to the UK taxpayer could run into tens of millions of pounds with fears a large numbers of IDs remain undetected. ...

The Daily Mail repeatedly asked the Home Office how and why Ndoli was able to remain in the country after being told he would be deported but spokesman Richard Crowe refused to comment.
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Crime – deportation
How Britain deports the wrong people – and only the wrong people
Rod Liddle
The Spectator, 12 March 2016

For once it seemed that we were getting tough. Our patience had apparently snapped. We had been worn down by the constant news stories about foreigners whom the UK government was unable to deport – the child rapists, the fraudsters, the thieves, the gangsters, the jihadis who want us all dead, and just your plain old common-or-garden illegal residents. It always seemed that the more vile and murderous the individual and the more misery he or she intended to wreak upon the rest of us, the more likely they were to be given leave to stay here by some idiotic judge. ...

... In order to be deported from the UK, the alien must be possessed of the following characteristics. They must be white. They must come from a comparatively pleasant country. They must have a valid passport. They should pose no threat whatsoever to the rest of us. They should have committed no crime. Any illegal resident who manages to tick all of those boxes had better start packing a suitcase. The rest of them – the murderers, rapists, head-chopping maniacs et al – well, they can stay. As long as they like. Despite all Theresa May's promises, she's barely changed the number of foreign criminals we deport. It was 5,500 back in 2009 and the latest figure is 5,600.

The Home Office minister Richard Harrington has recently admitted that there are more than 30,000 known (an important qualifier) illegal asylum seekers who cannot be deported because he doesn't know where to send them. They won't tell him where they've come from, no matter how pleasantly he broaches his enquiries. And they've all burned their passports. So under the Dublin Convention none of them can be kicked out, and in any case Mr Harrington hasn't got a clue what country they should be deported to. The number of illegal asylum seekers we manage to get rid of has halved over the past five years.

But that's just the arrivals who have as yet committed no crime other than to come here illegally. Once they've committed a crime, and preferably a very serious crime, it doesn't matter how much money the taxpayer spends on the merry-go-rounds of the immigration courts, they ain't going nowhere. ...

There is a plethora of national and supra-national legislation protecting the rights of the foreign criminal: the Human Rights Act, the Dublin Convention, the European Court of Human Rights, the European Courts of Justice. But none protecting the rest of us.

And yet the problem is largely of our own making, much though we may blame 'Brussels', the catch-all scapegoat for this ludicrous charade. Between 2001 and 2010 we deported nine jihadis from the UK. During the same period the French deported 129. They act first and ask questions later, without giving the villains a chance of appeal. But we're British and do things by the book – as Myrtle Cothill discovered.
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Crime – deportation
Nearly 6,000 foreign criminals freed to live freely in Britain
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 10 March 2016

Nearly 6,000 foreign national criminals who are eligible for deportation from Britain have been released to live in the community, new figures have revealed.

Official Home Office data disclosed how an average of five foreign offenders a day were freed from jail or bailed from immigration detention in the final three months of last year.

Many will be claiming they cannot be deported because of their human rights, including the "right to private and family life" under Labour's Human Rights Act.

Numbers have soared by nearly 900 in a year, with just 4,903 living in the community at the end of 2014 compared with 5,789 at the end of last year – a jump of 18 per cent.

In 2012 the figure was less than 4,000.

The figures, reported for the first time today, emerged in a report by the Commons' home affairs select committee, and showed 1,800 offenders had been living freely in Britain for more than five years.

Keith Vaz, chairman of the all-party committee, said: "The Prime Minister promised to make the speedy removal of foreign national offenders a priority but these figures show the Home Office has failed to do so.

"The public will be alarmed that 1,800 offenders are still here after five years.

"This demonstrates either incompetence, inefficiency or both."

He added: "Given a significant number of these offenders are from the EU, it is absurd that we cannot persuade our so called European partners to take responsibility for their own citizens."

Peter Cuthbertson, of the Centre for Crime Prevention think-tank, said the figures exposed a "risk to public safety".

"MPs are right to highlight an utterly shocking failure by the Home Office," he said.

"There are enough British criminals released onto our streets as it is. Why top them up with foreign criminals who have no right to be here?

"This risk to public safety should be dealt with urgently."
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Crime – sham marriage
Sham marriages have increased by almost 850% and authorities 'are overwhelmed'
Laura Mowat
Sunday Express, 28 February 2016

The number of arrests over immigrants using bogus weddings to stay in the UK has had a huge surge, leaving an MP urging for a major crackdown on the practice.

Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz, made the comments amid the UK facing a refugee crisis, with immigration at a record high.

A Freedom of Information request by Express.co.uk has shown the number of enforcement visits over sham marriages has surged from 204 in 2010 to 2,488 in 2014 - an increase of over 1,100 per cent over just four years.

Arrests from the practice rose from 137 in 2010 to an astonishing 1,545 in 2014, which is over 840 per cent.

A sham marriage is described as a marriage of convenience entered into purely for the purpose of being able to enter the country, not of a genuine couple.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Vaz said it showed the authorities could not cope with the rapid increase.

He said: "The numbers of people abusing the system through sham marriages has increased alarmingly. The evidence is clear, criminal gangs are arranging sham marriages for huge profits all over the country.

"Enforcement raids have increased, with a record 2,488 enforcement visits at weddings in 2014, but despite their best intentions the authorities appear overwhelmed by the sheer number of cases.

"The burden on enforcement officials could and should be lifted by providing the power to registrars to cancel weddings rather than just refer suspected sham marriages, where in many cases action is not being taken."

A 2013 sham marriage report by the Home Office said bogus weddings pose a "significant threat to immigration control".

The Government department estimates 4,000 to 10,000 applications a year to stay in the UK, under the Immigration Rules or under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006, are made on the basis of a sham marriage or civil partnership. ...

The response from the FOI request revealed there were 204 enforcement visits in 2010, while in 2011 there was 628, the 2012 figure was 757, in 2013 there was 1,268 visits and the figure peaked in 2014 with 2,488.

Last year the number dropped slightly to 2,278.
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Crime – Islamophobia, police
Police priorities were all wrong in Rotherham
Simon Heffer
Sunday Telegraph, 28 February 2016

Following the imprisonment of a gang of Muslim men from Rotherham for wholesale sexual abuse of young girls, the local police force is not increasing its monitoring of vulnerable young females and of those disposed to treat them in a way disgusting to the sensibilities of all decent people of whatever culture.

It is instead increasing patrols to ward off "Islamophobic" hate crimes. Attacks on any innocent person are to be abominated. But isn't it typical of the police to prioritise, at this moment, the protection of the community that harboured and tolerated the perpetrators, rather than that of their potential victims?
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Crime – cover-up, child sex abuse
Police face 55 investigations over alleged Rotherham child sex gang failings
Ben Farmer and Patrick Sawer
Daily Telegraph, 25 February 2016

Police accused of failing to tackle sex grooming gangs preying on girls in Rotherham are now facing 55 separate investigations into allegations of neglect of duty and corruption, the police watchdog has disclosed.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is looking at 194 allegations over how South Yorkshire Police handled the town's child sex scandal, in one of the biggest inquiries into potential misconduct in recent policing history.

The scale of the watchdog's investigation was revealed as a gang led by three gun-toting, drug dealing brothers and their uncle was convicted of a string of rapes and sexual assaults against 15 women.

Arshid, Basharat and Bannaras Hussain, known as Mad Ash, Bash and Bono, appeared to operate with impunity in the South Yorkshire town, a trial at Sheffield Crown Court heard.

Victims repeatedly told the trial they had sought help from police, only for their pleas to be ignored or dismissed. ...

The town became a byword for the exploitation of teenage girls and the failures of police and social workers after the Jay and Casey reports disclosed more than 1,400 girls had been abused since the late 1990s, predominantly by gangs from Rotherham's Pakistani community. ...

Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, said: "The sad reality is that in the case of on-street gang grooming, there is an over- representation of Pakistani men.

"Until British Pakistanis accept that this is a problem for our community we will not be able to eradicate this evil. Burying our head in the sand as the usual response is not good enough."
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Crime – Germany
Immigrant Crime Rates in Germany
Anatoly Karlin
The Unz Review, 19 February 2016

One of the problems critics of mass immigration face is that there aren't that many concrete statistics on their crime rates (substantially thanks to European institutions being in the habit of forbidding the gathering of said race/ethnicity data).

But things do leak through every now and then and more often than not they tend to confirm the hateful stereotypes.

Latest example: The German Federal Criminal Office compiles data on "nationality of suspect" across different criminal categories current up to 2014 /.../. In the last year before the Great Migration, immigrants – accounting for less than 10% of the population – were responsible for 18% of rapes and 30% of murders. One enterprising fellow who presumably prefers to remain anonymous compiled a big infographic combining the criminal and demographic data to produce estimates of criminality rates by different crime categories and country of origin. ...

Frankly even I was rather surprised by some of these figures – perhaps not so much the figures on rape, but I do find the killer performance of the likes of Lebanon, Tunisia and Algeria in the homicide rates to be unduly impressive. After all, according to international homicide rate statistics, the Maghreb is actually rather civilized – 2.2/100,000 in Tunisia and Morocco, and a mere 0.7/100,000 in Algeria (lower than in Germany itself at 0.8/100,000). Lebanon for all its chaos is also at 2.2/100,000. Homicide rates are the one major type of crime that can be reliably measured across countries, so that actually makes them safer than large chunks of Eastern Europe, including Poland before the 2000s. But for some reason when they come to Europe their homicide rates soar by an order of magnitude.

What could be the cause? ...

Note that 70% of prisoners in French jails are Muslim. ...

It also becomes easier to see why the latest wave of immigration has been such a shock to Europe and elicited such strong headlines in the right-wing press. The current wave of migrants into Germany and Europe tend to have rape rates around 5x the native German norm according to its own police statistics.
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Crime – EU migrants
Criminal convictions for EU migrants leap by 40% in five years
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 17 February 2016

British courts are handing out more than 700 convictions involving European Union migrants every week in the UK – a rise of nearly 40 per cent in five years.

In a fresh blow for EU backers, figures show that Europeans have been found guilty of 146,100 crimes – including murder and rape – since 2012.

Poles and Romanians are the worst offenders, fuelling fears over the impact of EU expansion.

But the statistics show that only 19,227 foreign crooks have been deported in the past four years – many of whom will have originally come from outside Europe.

Critics seized on the figures as evidence that the bloc's freedom of movement rules are routinely being abused.

Under an EU information-sharing system, British police forces notify counterparts in other member states if one of its citizens is convicted of a crime here.

The figures were released by the National Police Chiefs' Council under the Freedom of Information Act, which has exposed numerous public sector scandals but is now under threat from the Government.

They showed that last year 37,079 notifications were made. This is equivalent to 713 a week – or 101 convictions every day.

It compared to 27,056 notifications in 2010 – meaning there has been a 37 per cent increase for EU citizens in the UK.

A notification also includes an appeal or a breach of a court order, said criminal records office ACRO.

Jack Montgomery, spokesman for Eurosceptic group Leave.EU, who uncovered the figures, said: 'Remain campaigners like to claim that the EU is a huge boon to security and public safety. Free movement is enabling tens of thousands of crimes to be committed every year. This is a dreadful trade-off, however you measure it, and the situation is clearly worsening.

'The public are being endangered and the law-abiding majority of immigrants are being given a bad name, which worsens tensions.'

David Green, director of think-tank Civitas, added: 'When we consider if immigration is a bad thing or a good thing we have got to remember that a lot of people who arrive here are criminals.' ...

In 2014, the last calendar year for which figures are available, 1.2 million offenders were convicted in Britain's courts. There are about 3 million EU citizens among Britain's 63.7 million population. This was a 34 per cent rise on 2010.
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Crime – European Union, Germany
MIGRANT WARNING: Child refugees could become 'attackers of tomorrow', politician claims
Tom Parfitt
Daily Express, 15 February 2016

A top politician has claimed the thousands of missing child refugees in Germany could pursue a life of crime.

Joachim Herrmann warned the youngsters could turn to crime if Germany does not "rapidly integrate" them into society.

He told a newspaper the "new attackers of tomorrow could soon come from the group of young refugees".

Mr Herrmann, Bavaria's Interior Minister, made the comments after a series of shocking thefts and sex attacks by migrant gangs across the country.

But the German Children's Fund charity said young migrants could be taken advantage of by criminals. ...

Earlier this month, the European Union's criminal intelligence agency revealed at least 10,000 youngsters had vanished since fleeing to Europe.

Europol's chief of staff, Brian Donald, said: "Not all of them will be criminally exploited. Some might have been passed on to family members.

"We just don't know where they are, what they're doing or whom they are with."
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Crime – Pakistanis, political correctness
Why DID police turn a blind eye to gang of rapists who preyed on young girls like wolves?
Chris Roycroft-Davis
Daily Express, 11 February 2016

There is an unpalatable truth which the Thought Police do their damnedest to hide but which emerges blinking into the light at all too regular intervals: in some of the poorest parts of this country there are gangs of Pakistani Muslims who prey on young white girls like a wolf pack devouring newborn lambs.

... Notice that I said "Pakistani" and not "Asian", the euphemism beloved of those in the race industry and the broadcast media who believe that facts can somehow be racist and therefore must be suppressed. ...

... We don't describe Romanian pickpockets, French terrorists or Italian gangsters as "European" so why should the Pakistani community be treated with kid gloves and disguised as "Asian"? Does the culture and country of origin of sex offenders really matter?

Yes, it most certainly does because the mounting evidence of recent years demonstrates a scandalous link between where you or your forebears were born and the willingness of the police and social services to take action. We've seen it in the child grooming scandals in Rochdale and Rotherham, and this week it has surfaced again during a gruesome trial in Keighley, West Yorkshire.

A court heard how 13 men of Pakistani origin repeatedly raped a girl aged 13. ...

Many of the men behaved so badly in the dock that the judge Mr Justice Thomas, QC, declared before jailing them for 143 years: "The attitudes that the majority of you have so clearly demonstrated to these proceedings have been contemptuous, disrespectful and arrogant on a scale that I have hardly seen before in many years of practice in criminal law." Their attitude to the girl was equally disgusting. ...

... An inquiry into the Rochdale grooming scandal attacked the "shocking" inability of 17 public service agencies to protect seven vulnerable girls from sexual exploitation. Police failed to turn up to dozens of meetings and no one questioned why so many white girls would have "friendships" with gangs of middle-aged Pakistani men. ...

... A report by the deputy children's commissioner in 2012 said 33 per cent of child sex abuse by gangs was committed by Asians (that word again) – who form only seven per cent of the UK population. The report concluded it was "irresponsible" to dwell on the point. Our daughters are paying a terrible price for such politically correct stupidity.
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Crime – political correctness
FGM checks
Dr Rosemary Martin
Daily Telegraph, 11 February 2016
[Letter to the Editor]

SIR – Clark Cross makes a sensible suggestion for eliminating the practice of Female Genital Mutilation in Britain. It would not be hard to arrange examinations, conducted regularly in schools, of children at risk. These could be done by a school nurse, or a peripatetic one, and records kept. Then a few parents would face prosecution, and word would get back to their communities.

However, the school staff who decide which children are involved must be able to do so without fear of retribution. If they face being dragged before tribunals, they won't do it. No one working in Britain's public sector now can afford to be involved in a row over ethnicity or cultural issues. Until we reverse this, nothing can change.
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Crime – gang rape
A private school girl, mothers who excuse gang rape and a terrifying culture clash no one dares talk about: How Somalian men are living by their own laws... and causing devastating repercussions in Britain
Paul Bracchi and Liz Hull
Daily Mail, 6 February 2016

In Britain, gang rape is not recorded as a separate crime category. But in 2009, a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary, Rape In The City, investigated 29 cases in London, from January 2006 to March 2009, in which a total of 92 young people were convicted of involvement in gang rape.

Of those convicted, 66 were black or mixed race, 13 were white and the remainder were from other countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

Yet police insist it is not a race issue – but that most gang rapes take place in the most deprived boroughs, which have disproportionately high ethnic populations.

However, documentary-maker, Sorious Samura, himself black, was deeply alarmed by the figures. 'Clearly this is not a crime exclusive to black communities,' he said, 'but I found it impossible to ignore the fact that such a high proportion were committed by black and mixed-race young men.'

No statistics were given for the racial profile of victims in the programme. But figures obtained from Scotland Yard by this newspaper in 2008 for gang rapes in that year, and 2006-7, revealed that the majority – 60 per cent – were white and 28 per cent were black. ...

Somali gangs are now major players in the heroin and crack cocaine trade in London, Birmingham, Sheffield and on the South Coast, often replacing the established underworld order by being prepared to resort to the most extreme levels of violence. ...

Two gun-toting Somali gangs, 'Dem Crazy Somalis' and 'Somalian Mandem' operate in south Manchester. Violent, degrading group sex, if not gang rape, is often a rite of passage for members or 'soldiers' as they style themselves.

The opposite sex is almost always treated as sexual prey.
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Crime – Nigerians
Nigerians' reputation for crime has made them unwelcome in Britain, says country's president
Colin Freeman
Daily Telegraph, 6 February 2016

Nigeria's president has warned his fellow citizens to stop trying to make asylum claims in Britain, saying that their reputation for criminality has made it hard for them to be "accepted" abroad.

Muhammadu Buhari, the tough ex-general elected last year, said those who had joined the migrant exodus to Europe were doing so purely for economic reasons rather than because they were in danger.

He added that because of the number of Nigerians imprisoned for law-breaking in Britain and elsewhere, they were also unlikely to get much sympathy. ...

Mr Buhari's remarks may upset refugees' rights groups, who claim that the vast majority of asylum cases lodged by Nigerians are genuine. ...

However, only around one in ten of the 13,000 asylum claims lodged by Nigerians in Britain in the last 15 years have been accepted.
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Crime – EU, deportation
Criminals with UK children cannot be automatically deported, says EU court
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 5 February 2016

The EU's top court has told the home secretary, Theresa May, she cannot deport a Moroccan mother with a British-born son simply because she has a criminal record.

The advocate general of the European court of justice has told May that it will be contrary to EU law if she automatically expels or refuses a residence permit to a non-EU national with a criminal record who is a parent of a child who is an EU citizen.

The preliminary opinion of the court's advocate general, Maciej Szpunar, however, adds that while, in principle, deportation in such cases was contrary to EU law, he agreed with UK representations that there should be exceptional circumstances when a convicted criminal could still be deported depending on the seriousness of the offences involved. ...

The advocate general's opinion follows a request from British judges on the immigration and asylum tribunal in London for a EU court of justice ruling on the effect a criminal record may have on the recognition of a right of residence under EU law.

The EU legal opinion applies to two deportation cases. The first case involves a Moroccan woman, known for legal reasons as CS, who became liable for deportation after serving a 12-month prison sentence. In August 2012 she was informed that she was liable to be deported.

She has a four-year-old son born in 2011 as a result of her marriage to a British citizen, but following her divorce now has sole care and custody of the child and has told the British courts there is no one else to care for her son.

The second case involes a Colombian man, Rendon Marin, who has two Spanish-born children and who faces expulsion from Spain after being given a nine-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

In both cases the European court says that the rights of the children involved as EU citizens must take priority.
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Crime – racism, violence
UK Parents Claim 'Cover Up' After Violent Migrant Schoolkids Demanded British Children 'Bow Down To Them'
Donna Rachel Edmunds
Breitbart, 5 February 2016

Residents of Crewe in northern England have accused a school and the local police force of covering up violent attacks by Slovakian pupils in the school, including children being thrown down flights of stairs and threatened with rape. The headmaster has allegedly responded by threatening any British pupils who speak out with exclusion, while the police have played down the incident, leaving the town in uproar. ...

Speaking to Breitbart London, local resident Edward Sumner said the town had changed beyond recognition over the last decade as thousands of Eastern European migrants have taken up residents.

"Integration is a huge problem, we see now that they don't try and integrate," he said. Many have not bothered to learn English; instead Polish language signs have been installed in the area.

"Rape threats and violence is now happening in schools in Crewe, it's now very clear to see. Yet we see a police service refusing to accurately report on it due to obvious fears of being called racist. ..."
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Crime – deportation
Violent migrant drug dealer CAN'T be deported – because he WANTS to stay in UK
Leda Reynolds
Daily Express, 3 February 2016

A Zimbabwean migrant convicted of drug dealing and violent crime will not be deported from Britain – because he does not WANT to go home.

Andre Babbage had been held in a detention centre since October 2013 pending deportation after being convicted of assault, robbery and supplying cocaine.

However a High Court judge ruled Babbage was released back onto the streets of Britain because he does not wish to return to Zimbabwe and has no passport.

Mr Justice Garnham accepted Babbage was likely to abscond and commit crime but concluded his continued detention was unjustified because there was no reasonable prospect of Home Secretary Theresa May being able to send him back to Zimbabwe. ...

Mr Justice Garnham said: "Mr Babbage is a Zimbabwean national, with no right to remain in the UK, who has committed serious offences in this country and whose home country will only accept returning nationals if they have a passport or wish to return.

"It is my judgment that he would be likely, if released, to abscond and to commit further offences.

"The question which arises here is whether the Home Secretary can justify his continued detention when he has made it clear that he will not return home."

He added: "My answer to that question is 'no'."
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Crime – Romanians
Police hunt 'large number' of Romanian supercrooks who slipped into Britain after massive delay in obtaining their criminal records
Martin Beckford
Mail on Sunday, 31 January 2016

Police and immigration officers are searching for hundreds of 'very serious' foreign criminals in Britain after massive delays in obtaining their conviction records from Romania. ...

Their details have been passed to local forces and the Home Office's immigration teams to see if the criminals can be kicked out of the country.

...

'The International Criminal Conviction Exchange department therefore checked each outstanding nominal record. ...

'However, this work identified a large number of offenders with very serious previous convictions who are now in the UK.

'These individuals have been notified to forces and the Home Office Immigration Enforcement.' ...

Overall the agency made a record 104,122 requests for criminal conviction information held overseas in 2014-15 – up from 61,040 the year before. ...

There are 557 foreign criminals in British jails who have not had checks done on their criminal pasts overseas.
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Crime – Nigerians, sex-trafficking
The world of Nigeria's sex-trafficking 'Air Lords'
BBC, 27 January 2016

Last year, the BBC's Sam Piranty was given access by the Catalan police, Mossos D'Esquadra, to an investigation into a Nigerian sex-trafficking gang. ...

Cortes and his team first came across the group in 2011 during a forgery investigation, but quickly discovered it was a huge network trafficking women and drugs. ...

The group now traffics human beings and narcotics (cocaine and marijuana) and forges passports. It has also facilitated the transport of stolen crude oil into Europe. ...

"They are able to earn money in many ways, but we are focused on human-trafficking and the victims," says Cortes.

His second-in-command, Alex Escola, then tells me something remarkable.

"You know, one of the tappings showed us that last year, on 7 July, around 400 members of SEC met in Geneva. They had a big meeting, all together."

It was an audacious display of arrogance. In a city where many of the world's global institutions are headquartered, including numerous UN agencies, a global criminal institution held its own parallel international gathering and no-one tried to stop it. ...

Keepers often get the women pregnant prior to making the crossing to Spain. With a child or pregnant, they stand a better chance of not being deported, and the men can use access to the child as a form of blackmail to keep the women under control.

Two years ago, at a time when the coyotes reported Libya had become too dangerous, recorded phone calls show that the girls were taken instead to Greece, via Yemen, Iran and Turkey. And today, as the Mediterranean becomes more difficult to cross - and the authorities try harder to detect traffickers - the SEC has begun to use airports in the UK more frequently.

...

... This is an organised crime group, run by men, operating across the world.
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Crime – Islam
Revealed: How one in five inmates in maximum security prisons is Muslim
Steph Cockroft
MailOnline, 26 January 2016

One in five inmates serving sentences in Britain's maximum security jails are Muslim, figures show.

There are currently 5,885 highly dangerous criminals behind bars in the eight Category A prisons in the UK, of which 1,229 follow the Islamic faith.

The figure equates to 20 per cent of high-security prisoners and, according to figures obtained by The Sun, is an increase of 23 per cent from five years ago.

The percentage rise has been far greater than the Muslim population increase in the UK, which is currently at five per cent. ...

A series of reports on Whitemoor have also revealed that inmates come under intense pressure to convert to Islam, which is treated by many as a gang or protection racket rather than a religion.

According to watchdog Independent Monitoring Board, Muslims form the 'biggest power bloc' and are taking over from the previous 'gangs'. ...

In 2010, the then Chief Inspector of Prisons, Dame Anne Owers, published a report on Muslims in jails, in which she linked the growth in numbers to the age and socio-economic profiles of the Muslim population in general.
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Crime
Cologne sex mobs will arrive in Britain if we stay in the EU: Former defence secretary Liam Fox warns women will be at risk of gang rape if UK does not sever ties with Europe
MailOnline, 24 January 2016

Eurosceptics have warned that migrants linked to a wave of sex attacks in Germany will be able to move to Britain if it remains part of the European Union.

Former defence secretary Liam Fox told campaigners the New Year's Eve crime spree in Cologne, which has been blamed on migrants, revealed the 'real security issue at risk' when voters decide if they want to sever the UK's ties with Brussels.

The concerns were echoed by Ukip leader Nigel Farage, who claimed that within three or four years the perpetrators would have German passports that would allow them to head to the UK.

Police in Cologne are investigating a staggering 359 sexual assaults and a total of 821 complaints after a mob went on the rampage on New Year's Eve.
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Crime
Violent crime jumps 27 per cent in new figures released by the Office for National Statistics
David Barrett
Daily Telegraph, 22 January 2016

The murder rate in England and Wales has risen sharply for the first time in a decade ...

New figures show that the number of murders and manslaughter deaths increased by 14 per cent last year bringing the annual total to 574, or 11 deaths a week.

Officials at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the surge was concentrated in London and the South East and described it as "peculiar".

However, police sources said contributory factors may have been the re-deployment of detectives in London – where a fifth of the additional murders took place – as well as growing violence among migrants, including organised gangs. ...

The ONS said overall crime recorded by the police rose by six per cent in the year to September, including a 27 per cent jump in violence against the person. It amounted to an extra 185,666 violent offences, bringing the annual total to more than 885,000 in England and Wales.

A leading criminologist said migration patterns were one of the factors in the murder rate rise.

"The pattern of immigration is part of a cocktail of factors that has led to the increase in the murder figures," said David Wilson, professor of criminology at Birmingham City University.
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Crime – sex assaults
Now BRITAIN faces migrant SEX ATTACKS after surge of European assaults, warns top expert
Jake Burman
Daily Express, 9 January 2016

Britain is facing imminent migrant sex attacks similar to the sickening New Year's Eve assaults in Germany, according a top security expert has warned.

The alert - which was issued after 150 women were assaulted in the Germany - came as countries across the continent claimed many cities were now no-go areas for lone females. ...

Security expert Professor Anthony Glees told the Daily Star Online the UK was safe for now because of its "sensible" approach of letting in only a small number of refugees.

But he warned the millions of asylum seekers entering Europe asylum seekers will be free to roam the EU in three years.

Professor Glees, from Buckingham University, said: "The German policy was a policy of complete open doors. There's no immediate threat to us in the UK and that's the result of sensible British policy.

"What happened in Germany on New Year's Eve was outrageous and there's no excuse for it – and the authorities cannot cope.

"But there is a longer-term problem for Britain given the lack of screening of people who have come into Germany, as after a few years they can travel anywhere they want within the EU.

"You can get documentation that allows you to travel throughout the EU – including the UK – after that time has passed. And you can do this without having a passport."
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Crime – sex ratio, sex crimes
Influx 'will fuel rise in sex crimes': Warning after number of males arriving in Europe outnumber females by three to one
Daily Mail, 8 January 2016

Europe faces the threat of a rise in violence and sex attacks because of the overwhelming number of single male migrants arriving, an American professor has warned.

The vast number of teenage boys coming to the continent after fleeing poverty in Africa and the Middle East is creating imbalances in the number of men and women in some areas, it is claimed.

More than 66 per cent of adult migrants arriving through Italy and Greece in the past year were male, according to the International Organization of Migration – along with 90 per cent of unaccompanied under-18s.

Valerie Hudson, a professor at Texas A&M University, said numerous academic studies have shown that 'the higher the sex ratio, the worse the crime rate'.

'Our research also found a link between sex ratios and the emergence of both violent criminal gangs and anti-government movements,' she wrote in an article published on US website Politico. 'It makes sense. When young adult males fail to make the transition to starting a household – particularly those young males who are already at risk for sociopathic behaviour due to marginalisation, a common concern among immigrants – their grievances are aggravated.

'There are also clearly negative effects for women in male-dominated populations. Crimes such as rape and sexual harassment become more common in highly masculinised societies.' Young men are thought to be more likely to leave countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria as they are at greater risk of being forced to join fighting groups or of being killed rather than just captured.

Figures compiled by Professor Hudson showed that among the general population of Sweden the ratio of 16 and 17-year-old boys to girls was now skewed at 123:100 because of the influx of migrants.

Swedish government statistics for 2015 up to November show that 71 per cent of all asylum applicants were male. Among unaccompanied minors there was a ratio of 11.3 boys for every girl.

Some of the arrivals are expected to be joined later by female relatives, but they are unlikely to fully balance out the disparity.
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Crime – sex ratio, sexual violence
Why Britain should be worried by this flood of young male migrants: Leading lawyer who's the son of immigrants gives a stark warning
Nazir Afzal
Daily Mail, 8 January 2016

As the song says, it's raining men. But it is no cause for hallelujahs. Far from it – the influx of young, male migrants from the Middle East and North Africa risks tipping the whole balance of European society.

A disproportionate majority of the immigrants from Syria, Iraq and Libya are unmarried young men, many of them under 18, travelling without family members.

Restless and rootless, those lone boys are part of a very alarming trend. Studies consistently show that communities with a predominance of single males are more prone to aggression and, in particular, sexual violence.

We had a grim warning of what this means on New Year's Eve, when gangs of hundreds of young men of North African or Middle Eastern appearance, many of them apparently drunk and speaking Arabic, crowded around female revellers in Cologne and Hamburg, and robbed them while committing vile sexual assaults. ...

In Europe last year, more than a million migrants swept in – up to 400 per cent more than arrived the previous year. ...

This problem is familiar from nightly news coverage. But what the reports have failed to address is the damage that can be done to societies that prize sexual equality, and a peaceful, stable way of life, when so many migrants are young men. ...

As a result, among 16- and 17-year-olds across Sweden as a whole, the male- to-female ratio is far more skewed even than in China at the height of its one-child policy, only recently relaxed.

As a fascinating article by Valerie Hudson on the Politico website reveals, 18,615 males aged 16 and 17 entered Sweden in the past year, compared with just 2,555 females of the same age. Added to the existing population of the same age, it means there are now 121,914 males in Sweden aged 16 or 17, compared with 99,079 girls – a 123:100 male-to-female ratio. In China, the male to female ratio in the same age group is approximately 117:100. ...

And it is not just Sweden. By September last year in Greece, the UNHCR believes, some 730,000 migrants had arrived on flotillas of boats, of whom more than a quarter were under 18. Again, the great majority were male.

People have not wanted to talk about this, but we have here a recipe for disaster. When more and more unaccompanied teenage males upset the sex ratio balance, insurmountable problems are created. As a former Chief Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service, I have been warning for a long time that people bring cultural baggage with them from their old lives into their new environment.

If they come from a country where women do not enjoy the same rights as men, or where homophobia is rampant, they will bring those moral codes with them. We have to be prepared for that – to acknowledge it, and to fight it. We can't just pretend it isn't happening.
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Crime – multiculturalism, sexual crimes
Cologne assault: Cultural difference is no excuse for rape
Allison Pearson
Daily Telegraph, 8 January 2016

In the early hours of 26 October 2014, a group of Libyan cadets, who were stationed at RAF Bassingbourn, ran amok in the centre of Cambridge. ...

Moahmoud and Abugtila were jailed for 12 years apiece; the men who groped the women received shorter terms ...

... I was truly astounded, however, when a Libyan spokesman appeared on our local TV news. The uniformed male said he was sorry, but the Libyans didn't realise that you weren't allowed to do such things in England. It was an unfortunate case of cultural misunderstanding.

There will be hundred of thousands of people today in the famously civilised city of Cologne, who will be in a state of shock about a similar "cultural misunderstanding". The facts as we know them are profoundly troubling. On New Year's Eve, in the precincts of the beautiful, twin-spired cathedral, up to 1,000 men of Arab or North African appearance sexually assaulted and robbed women who were enjoying the festivities. ... It soon became impossible to ignore the gravity of what had happened. Even then, the authorities' default position was denial. On Tuesday, Henriette Reker, the Mayor of Cologne, made a statement which I sincerely hope will haunt her till her dying day. Asked how women were supposed to cope with this menace, the mayor proposed a new "code of conduct" for young women and girls "so that such things do not happen to them". In particular, she suggested that women maintain an arm's length from strangers. ...

Politicians and journalists had previously been reluctant to address stories about rape and child abuse in German refugee camps, where unaccompanied women are apparently seen as "fair game". ...

We saw the same pattern of denial in the UK when there was widespread sexual trafficking of young girls in towns such as Rotherham and Rochdale by gangs of mainly Pakistani origin. Attempts by nervous police and social workers to excuse the misogynist attitudes of the perpetrators - "It's their culture, isn't it?" - led to hundreds of young girls being raped, ignored and even blamed for their own suffering.

In Germany, I regret to say, they are still pretending that there is a moral equivalence between racist attitudes and actual bodily harm to women. (Fear of racism trumps feminism every single time.) Ralf Jaeger, interior minister for North Rhine-Westphalia, epitomised that cultural cringe when he warned that anti-immigrant groups were using the attacks to stir up hatred against refugees. "What happens on the right-wing platforms and in chat rooms is at least as awful as the acts of those assaulting the women," he said.

Nein, nein, nein, mein Herr. Attitudes are not the same as deeds. Women in Europe have not fought for equal rights all these long years only to be told to start modifying their behaviour to avoid being molested. ...

I hope that I am wrong, but I fear that the grotesque mass attack on women in Cologne was not an isolated incident, but the first of many battles in a clash of civilisations.
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Crime – sexual violence
Let's not shy away from asking hard questions about the Cologne attacks
Gaby Hinsliff
The Guardian, 8 January 2016

On New Year's Eve, something happened that I don't really want to talk about. It happened not to me but to about 100 women in Cologne and other German cities, some of whom probably didn't want to talk about it either; it often takes a while for victims to report sexual assault to the police.

But that's not quite why it has taken nearly a week to piece together the story of a spate of muggings and sexual attacks carried out that night by seemingly organised gangs of young men. Many Germans are asking why politicians, police and broadcasters seem so reluctant to discuss what happened under cover of the crowds (the state broadcaster EZF apologised for not covering the attacks until Tuesday), and whether it's because the attackers are widely described as looking Arab or north African. Which is why, of course, liberals like me are reluctant to talk about it.

For xenophobes and racists, or merely anyone opposed to immigration, this story is Christmas come a week late. ...

So no wonder liberals would do anything to avoid fanning these flames, since we see in all this righteous indignation a blatantly racist old trope about barbarians at the gates. We bend over backwards to report it responsibly, to moderate the frothing rage bubbling up below the line. ...

But by trying not to give succour to racists, the risk is that we end up miserably self-censoring, giving the "why can't we talk about immigration?" brigade ammunition for their conspiracy theories. Journalism isn't really journalism when it avoids stories for fear of how some might react. The parallels between German politicians' discomfort over Cologne and Britain's response to predominantly Asian gangs grooming girls in Rotherham for sexual exploitation aren't exact, but there are lessons to be learned.

The first is that pushing victims under the carpet for the sake of cohesion is dangerous. ...

Liberals shouldn't be afraid to ask hard questions. ...

... Bluster and blame fools nobody. But neither, it turns out, does queasy silence.
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Crime – multiculturalism, Islam
Europeans Studiously Ignore Muslim Mobs [part 1]
John O'Sullivan
National Review [USA], 8 January 2016

To avoid inciting anti-Muslim sentiment, the press and government overlook repeated, vicious riots targeting women. ...

Which brings me not to Donald Trump but to the New Year's riots in Cologne and two other German cities, in which one woman was raped, about 90 others grossly assaulted sexually, and New Year revelers of both sexes jostled, attacked, robbed, and threatened by an estimated 1,000 men of North African and Middle Eastern appearance in "organized" criminal gangs.

Whatever Mohammed's virtues or defects as a prophet, he was one helluva practical sociologist.

Not that the riots and sexual assaults in Cologne stemmed from the Koran or Islamic doctrine, /.../ But the founder of Islam imbued his new religion with a number of rules and practices that made it the formidable militaristic force that conquered an empire from Spain to India in its first 100 years and that is advancing in Africa and Asia today.

If we exclude divine favor as an explanation of this long advance, as Christians and post-Christian secularists presumably should, the rules that explain it include capital punishment for leaving Islam (a.k.a. apostasy), which is presumably a disincentive to doing so; strict rules for regular public prayer, which strengthen group solidarity; a privileged position for men over women, amounting in practice to ownership of them as either wives or concubines; a hierarchical structure within Islamic society that places Muslims in a position above non-Muslims in law, government, and social life; and a religious orthodoxy that endows Muslims with a general superiority (and sense of superiority) over others in non-Islamic societies.

Taken together, these rules help to shape a Muslim community that is cohesive, conscious of its separation from the rest of society, resistant to influences likely to undermine its cohesion, self-policing through its male members, and – because its sense of superiority is not reflected in its actual status either locally or globally – prey to resentment and hostility toward those whom it blames for its unjust subordination.

To be sure, a hundred qualifications should be added to this picture. /.../ And the majority of ordinary, decent Muslims, especially in non-Muslim Western societies, are far more interested in getting good jobs, raising happy families, and getting on with their neighbors than in martyrdom or advancing the interests of the umma or the local mosque. And much else.

That said, the minority that supports aggressive jihadism (or is simply contemptuous of non-Muslim society) is not just larger but, as opinion polls show, far larger than similar tendencies in other religions and ideologies. That minority seeks to impose its rules both on fellow Muslims and on the wider society. And it has had remarkable success in areas where Muslims predominate locally, making U.K. state schools conform to Islamic teaching and practices, including the separation of the sexes; establishing "no-go areas" of European cities where police go only by agreement and where in their absence Muslim rules on alcohol and modest female dress are enforced by violence; and turning local governments into reliable Muslim fiefdoms through levels of voter fraud not known in England since the mid-19th century.
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Crime – multiculturalism, Islam
Europeans Studiously Ignore Muslim Mobs [part 2]
John O'Sullivan
National Review [USA], 8 January 2016

But the most disturbing effects occur when the Muslim sense of superiority over non-Muslims combines with the Muslim males' sense of superiority over women. Last year that combination produced the scandal in Rotherham, /.../ gangs of Muslim men of Pakistani background who despised their victims as sluts and "worthless." /.../ But the same basic narrative, varying only in the details, was replayed in Oxford, Birmingham, Oldham, and about 20 more medium-size English provincial towns in the last decade.

The shame of such widespread sexual abuse is not confined to its Muslim male perpetrators. It is shared by the police, by local councilors, by social workers who were supposedly caring for some of the victims, by MPs who didn't want to know what was happening, by the negligent media, and by local Muslim leaders. ...

What happened this week to the women in Cologne differs in important ways from the abuse of the young girls in Rotherham. But it proceeds from the same Muslim group loyalty and sense of superiorities inherent in Islam. What the rioters in Cologne demonstrated in the crudest possible way was that among the things they wanted to take were "our" women. Our own society finds such logic hard to follow: In what sense are modern independent women anyone else's property? But by the logic of the societies and religion from which the rioters and most migrants come, women are either behind the veil, and thus the property of the family, or on the street, and thus the property of anyone. And the rioters were imposing their logic, values, and identity on us on the significant date of New Year's Day.

Nor did the initial reaction of the German authorities differ very much from that of various Rotherham officials. The police did little at the time; no one was arrested. Indeed, they announced that the night had been a peaceful one. The media made no mention of the event. All told, the story was suppressed for three days by the media, the police, the Cologne authorities, and the federal government until it began to seep out through social media. ...

Policy in Germany, the U.K., France, and the U.S. since the late 20th century has been one of killing the Muslim sense of superiority with kindness and expecting Muslim migrants to gradually surrender to the lures of Western liberal-democratic capitalism. It's not an unreasonable policy; it was adopted in part from sympathy for ordinary, respectable Muslim families, some of whom did adapt; and I can understand why governments pursued it. But it simply hasn't worked. And it will fail more and more as more and more migrants arrive to strengthen Muslim solidarity and to weaken pressures for assimilation. ...

Which brings me finally to Donald Trump. His policy of simply halting Muslim immigration has been denounced all around. It is, of course, discriminatory and thus a mortal sin in today's politics. Fine. Let's rule it out. But if his critics don't want a blanket moratorium on all immigration – which I assume they don't – and if they don't want to repeat the experiences of France and Germany in 30 years' time – which I also assume they don't – shouldn't they tell us what they will do?

And, for once, that's not a rhetorical question.
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DISEASE

Disease – tuberculosis
Study calls for strategy to fight multidrug-resistant TB in migrants
Manufacturing Chemist, 1 December 2016

Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is widespread globally with almost half a million cases documented in 2014. Although rare in European countries, the risks posed by the current migrant crisis makes MDR-TB an important and urgent public health priority.

A study just published in Clinical Microbiology and Infection documents that the rate of infection with MDR-TB is higher among migrants than in the general population, particularly in those born outside Europe and in those forced to leave their home country as asylum seekers and refugees.

The data, reviewed by Hargreaves et al., shows that 100% of the MDR-TB cases diagnosed in Austria, the Netherlands and Norway occurred in migrants to those countries. A high proportion of MDR-TB cases were also apparent in migrants to other European states – 90% in the UK, 89% in France, 87% in Italy and 94% in Germany.
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Disease – mental illness
The mental-health crisis among migrants
Alison Abbott
Nature, 13 October 2016

Europe is experiencing the largest movement of people since the Second World War. Last year, more than 1.2 million people applied for asylum in the European Union – and those numbers underestimate the scale of the problem. Germany, which has taken in the lion's share of people, reckons that it received more than a million refugees in 2015, tens of thousands of whom have yet to officially apply for asylum. Most came from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. Many have experienced war, shock, upheaval and terrible journeys, and they often have poor physical health. ...

What hasn't been widely discussed is the enormous burden of mental-health disorders in migrants and refugees. Clinical psychologist Thomas Elbert from the University of Konstanz in Germany is conducting a local survey of refugees that suggests "more than half of those who arrived in Germany in the last few years show signs of mental disorder, and a quarter of them have a PTSD, anxiety or depression that won't get better without help". ... "It is a public-health tragedy – and it's a scandal that it is not recognized as such, as a physical epidemic would be," says epidemiologist James Kirkbride of University College London. ...

... A 2005 meta-analysis of studies performed mostly in northern Europe showed that first-and second-generation migrants were at much greater risk of schizophrenia than non-migrants – and that those from developing countries were more at risk than those from developed ones. ...

Those who stand out most seem to be particularly vulnerable. The 2005 meta-analysis showed that black migrants in a mostly white population had an almost fivefold increased risk of psychotic disorders. And the risk is higher for migrants living in neighbourhoods with a low proportion of residents from their own ethnic group compared with those surrounded by many of their own ethnicity.
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Disease – refugees
Refugees flocking to Britain are carrying deadly superbugs, warn experts
Matthew Young
Daily Star, 12 April 2016

Refugees flocking to enter Britain are carrying deadly superbugs, medical experts have warned.

They say health officials across Europe have to improve their disease screening after the surge of migrants.

Bugs they are bringing in include MRSA, HIV, tuberculosis, shigella, scabies and antibiotic-resistant salmonella, according to data presented at a microbiology conference.

Academics from University Hospital Basel reported that patients in a Swiss refugee centre were 10 times as likely to be carrying MRSA bugs as the general population.

A separate Norwegian study also found that 26% of MRSA cases were caught abroad, either as a result of migration or tourism.
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DIVERSITY

Diversity – films
Bafta's new diversity requirements might have barred James Bond hit
Tom Ough
Daily Telegraph, 15 December 2016

For the UK's flagship film awards body will, from 2019, require entrants to satisfy diversity requirements of which a Bond film might foul.

The regulations, adopted from the British Film Institute, are intended to reduce under-representation of groups such as women, disabled people, gay people, those of lower socio-economic groups and people of black and ethnic minority backgrounds.

There are four standards, of which each film must satisfy two. Three of the standards refer to areas invisible to cinema-goers: the diversity of the film-making team, the presence of work experience and development opportunities, and the quality of the production group's outreach to under-served audience groups.

The other standard – Standard A – asks that films include "meaningful representations of diversity" in areas such as their main protagonists and antagonists, their themes, and their setting. ...

Charles Thompson, the founder of Screen Nation, an annual TV and films awards event for Britons of African heritage. ...

"It's a very positive move," said Simon Albury, the chairman of the Campaign for Broadcasting Equality, of the new Bafta rules. He said that black and minority ethnic people are underrepresented on screen and that the new standards might help redress that imbalance.
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Diversity – Christmas
Campaign begins to counter 'all white' Christmas
Jane Martinson
The Guardian, 15 December 2016

A new campaign that aims to counter images of an "all white" Christmas is to be launched on Thursday to increase the number of black and ethnic minority families portrayed enjoying the festive period.

A series of images of black and ethnic minority families doing things such as wrapping Christmas presents or decorating a tree will be made available on social media platforms under the hashtag #ChristmasSoWhite in a bid to increase the diversity of holiday images.

Nadya Powell, an advertising consultant, was inspired to start the project when looking for images for a school website project on favourite things at Christmas. ...

"She was not seeing anything that looked like her and I realised she never did. This beautiful little girl is growing up in a world where on a daily basis she doesn't see people like her in any media, where a perfect Christmas is a white Christmas."

Powell believes that Christmas has somehow become linked with the idea of white people and snow. Online searches for families wrapping presents or throwing snowballs produce results that are almost entirely white models. ...

The campaign has been financed so far by eight large media and marketing groups including Google, MediaCom, Saatchi & Saatchi and Edelman. In an email Karen Blackett, chairwoman of MediaCom, said: "This campaign is long overdue and is so needed."
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Diversity – photographs
Autograph launches photo agency specialising in race and cultural diversity, working with Magnum and Getty
Jenny Brewer
It's Nice That, 9 December 2016

A new photography licensing agency specialising in all aspects of race and cultural diversity has launched in London. Working with Magnum Photos, Getty Images and Africa Media Online, Autograph Media, states its remit as covering "a wide range of subjects, from the abolition of slavery to the recent refugee crisis" as well as images depicting "politics, social justice, music, film, sport, TV and youth culture".

The agency was founded by former Getty director Steve Blogg and Mark Sealy, director of Autograph ABP, the Association of Black Photographers.

According to the agency there is "a growing demand for high quality images of our culturally diverse society", which it hopes to cater for.
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Diversity – births
70 per cent of newborns in London have at least one foreign parent - and the figure is 33 per cent across the rest of England and Wales
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 1 December 2016

Seven out of every ten children born in London last year had at least one foreign-born parent, official figures reveal, with the figure as high as 86 per cent in some suburbs.

The number of children born in England and Wales with at least one parent born overseas has soared to a record 33 per cent – up from just 21.2 per cent in 2000, when Tony Blair's government was opening the gates to mass migration from Eastern Europe. ...

In the eastern borough of Newham, the proportion was 86.4 per cent – or 5,378 out of 6,226 babies. Brent, in North-West London, came next with 86.2 per cent, followed by Westminster (83.5 per cent) and Kensington and Chelsea (83.2 per cent).

In only four of 32 London boroughs were fewer than half of births to non-British parents. The figures were revealed by National Statistician John Pullinger in a letter published by the House of Commons.

The data is a striking illustration of the way mass migration is changing the face of the country – and placing additional pressure on public services, including hospitals, clinics and education services. ...

In the latest set of figures, published in August, net migration totalled 327,000 in the year to March – before Britain voted to leave the EU. That was down slightly on the record 336,000 recorded a year earlier.
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Diversity – actors, theatre
Andrew Lloyd Webber warns of diversity crisis in British theatre
Dalya Alberge
The Guardian, 1 December 2016

Andrew Lloyd Webber has said he fears for the survival of British theatre unless it reflects the diversity of the nation's population, referring to the industry as still 'hideously white'.

The award-winning composer of hits including Evita, Cats and Jesus Christ Superstar sounds the warning in a diversity report he commissioned to address the lack of non-white performers and backstage staff.

In its introduction, he writes: "I passionately believe that the stage needs to reflect the diversity of the UK population or it risks becoming sidelined."

The report, published on Thursday, warns: "If the situation continues, there is real danger that, not only will black and Asian young people stay away from the theatre as a profession, they will stay away as punters. And without them in the audience, theatres will become unsustainable, as they are forced to compete for a dwindling ageing, white, middle-class audience." ...

Lord Lloyd-Webber said he was alarmed by the findings of the report, Centre Stage: The Pipeline of BAME Talent. ...

The report's authors, Danuta Kean, an arts, media and publishing analyst, and Mel Larsen, an arts consultant, say "white middle classes still dominate audiences" and that "even in London, where the BAME population is now 44%, audiences outside specialist theatres and theatre groups remain overwhelmingly white". ...

The report says the problem is even greater backstage, with only a handful of BAME senior executives, while makeup artists are not trained to deal with black skin.
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Diversity – births
A third of babies have at least one parent born outside the UK
Full Fact, 1 December 2016

The proportion of babies registered with a parent born outside the UK rose from just under 30% in 2008 to about 33% in 2015. So in plain English, that's more like 'just under a third' to 'about a third'. ...

On the other hand, it's correct that the proportion has come up from about 21% in 2000. ...

63% of babies are recorded as having both parents born in the UK, so just under two-thirds. The remaining 4% of babies are registered as having a mother born inside the UK, but their father isn't registered.

The Office for National Statistics told us they don't collect data on parents' nationalities. The data on parents' place of birth comes from the information you have to bring when you register a birth. Although parents can bring a passport as ID, they don't have to. ...

Across London, about 69% of babies have at least one parent who was born abroad.
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Diversity – businesses
CBI's all-white leadership challenged on diversity call
Sarah Gordon
Financial Times, 18 November 2016

The UK's leading business lobby faces accusations of hypocrisy after failing to follow its own recommendations to improve ethnic diversity in British business.

The Policy Exchange, a think-tank, said the CBI did not have a single non-white senior director at a national or regional level, despite urging its members to broaden the diversity of their directors.

The CBI has 16 people on its leadership team, as well as seven on its board and 13 UK regional directors, all of whom are white. The criticism forms part of research by the exchange that shows only 1.5 per cent of the FTSE 100's 1,087 directors are British-born non-whites – a total of 17. Ethnic minorities make up 14 per cent of the UK population.

David Goodhart, head of the exchange's integration and immigration unit, said: "It is incumbent on organisations which represent British business such as the CBI to lead by example. It came as a bit of a surprise that the organisation that talks such a good game on diversity doesn't practice what it preaches."

The CBI said it was "completely committed" to promoting diversity.

The lobby group said more than a quarter of all new CBI appointments in the past six months were from a black, Asian and minority ethnic background, while half were female. It added: "But of course, there is still more to do."

The exchange's research found that the representation of Britain's ethnic minorities in some professions, such as law and medicine, had increased substantially, in particular from British Indian and Chinese backgrounds.

One in 10 law firm partners are non-white, up from 6 per cent a decade ago, although the proportion at big firms in the City of London is 5-6 per cent.

There is now a greater percentage of the ethnic minority population in senior managerial roles than of the white population – 12 per cent compared with 11 per cent. In 2002, only 7 per cent of people with an ethnic minority background were in senior management roles.

About a third of doctors, consultants, pharmacists and dentists are non-white. But despite the rapid rise in non-white consultants, less than 6 per cent of NHS board-level directors are non-white.
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Diversity – business
Blue-chip boards set 2021 target for ending all-white status
Mark Kleinman
Sky News, 29 October 2016

FTSE-350 boards should have a non-white director by 2024, according to the findings of a report next week obtained by Sky News.

Britain's leading public companies should have at least one non-white director by 2021, a Government-backed report will demand next week.

Sky News has learnt that a review lasting nearly two years chaired by Sir John Parker, the City grandee, has concluded that FTSE-100 boardrooms are insufficiently representative of their workforces, customer bases and supply chains.

The report will contain the most significant recommendations so far aimed at bolstering the ethnic diversity of British companies.

Insiders said on Saturday that in addition to the target for FTSE-100 companies, it will urge the next 250 largest public companies to appoint at least one board member of colour by 2024. ...

A person familiar with Sir John's report, known as The Parker Review, said it would highlight the fact that while 14% of the UK's population is non-white, that statistic fell to just 8% of the nearly 1100 directors of FTSE-100 boards.

Only 1.5% of FTSE-100 directors are both not white and are UK citizens, reflecting the fact that some companies in the index - such as India's Vedanta Resources - have boards dominated by directors who hold foreign, rather than British, passports. ...

Sir John was commissioned to undertake the review by Sir Vince Cable, the then Business Secretary, in 2014.
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Diversity – classical music, BBC
Classical music must tackle diversity or die
Hannah Furness
Daily Telegraph, 19 October 2016

Classical music must do more to address the diversity of its composers or it will become "irrelevant", the controller of BBC Radio 3 will warn today.

Alan Davey will say there has been too much talk and not enough action to tackle the lack of diversity in the genre, and that more black and ethnic minority voices deserve to be heard.

Speaking at a BBC-led conference at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, he will demand the sector tackles the "big issues" to keep it alive for a new generation. ...

The speeches at the Diversity and Inclusion in Composition conference are due to be matched by a week of programming on Radio 3.
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Diversity – population change
Science centres must engage with more diverse audiences or risk becoming 'obsolete'
Tom Anstey
Attractions Management, 29 September 2016

Linda Conlon, chief executive of Newcastle's International Centre for Life, has said science centres need to engage with more diverse audiences, particularly refugee and migrant groups.

Echoing some of the sentiments of Elizabeth Rasekoala, who said during her keynote speech at this year's Ecsite conference that 'Eurocentric' science centres were hindering education in STEM for black youths, Conlon said that science centres need to engage with refugees and migrants or risk becoming "obsolete". ...

"Migration of people in and out of countries has produced an emotional backlash against immigration, refugees and indeed the entire idea of globalisation. Starkly put, economic issues affect the head, identity issues hit the heart," said Conlon, speaking at the Association of Science and Technology Centres (ASTC) annual conference in Tampa, Florida. ...

"There will come a point, sooner for some of us than others, when the current core audience becomes the minority. When that tipping point inevitably occurs - we need to be ready," said Conlon.
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Diversity – arts
Survey finds white workers less enthusiastic about diversity quotas
David Hutchison
The Stage, 29 September 2016

White arts workers are less likely than other ethnic groups to favour quotas and penalties as a way to improve the diversity of the sector, according to a new survey.

It also found that four out of five in the sector said better diversity in the workforce was either a "top strategic priority" or "important".

The survey by ArtsProfessional asked more than 500 workers about diversity in the arts and ways it can be improved.

Financial incentives for employees and organisations proved popular with both white and BAME respondents, with more than 60% in both groups saying each idea would definitely or probably help.

But when it came to stricter measures, such as employment quotas, financial penalties for poor diversity or "naming and shaming", there was a much bigger split.

Just 21% of white arts workers said quotas should definitely or probably be implemented, compared with 45% of BAME workers.

Half of the BAME respondents said organisations with low diversity should be named and shamed, compared with just under a quarter of white workers surveyed.

Financial penalties for non-diverse organisations were also more popular among BAME workers, with half saying they should definitely or probably be implemented, next to 24% of white respondents.

The survey also found that 61% agreed that "a shallow pool of diverse candidates for work opportunities" was a barrier to their organisation to improving diversity.
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Diversity – civil service
Britain's top mandarins
Christopher Hope
Daily Telegraph, 22 September 2016

Britain's attempt to engage with Commonwealth countries and rest of the world is being undermined by an overwhelmingly white Foreign Office and Brexit department, former equalities chief Trevor Phillipshas said.

Mr Phillips said the absence of black and ethnic minority faces in the senior civil service gave the impression that the UK had "not moved on from the days of colonialism".

A report commissioned by Green Park, a recruitment agency, found that there were no employees of Black or Chinese/Other Asian origin in the top four grades within the key departments dealing with the UK's economic relationships with the rest of the world.

The study found that 16 of the 24 ministerial departments had 100 per cent white senior management teams. ...

Mr Phillips – who chairs Green Park Diversity Analytics which researches diversity in the private and public sector – said: "In a new world where our civil service has a vital role in helping our businesses to build fresh trading relationships, Sir Humphrey has to start pulling his weight and utilise to the full our country's diverse talents.

"At the very least we may be losing out on valuable cultural insights which could give us a competitive advantage in global markets."

Raj Tulsiani, Green Park's chief executive, said the figures showed that the UK "still have a very long way to go to achieve the best public leadership mix our diverse society can offer".

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: "We do not recognise the statistics used in this report. Recent figures from March 2015 show that 10.6 per cent of civil servants are from a BAME background and 4.1 per cent are in the Senior Civil Service."

"The Civil Service is committed to being a place where, regardless of background, everyone can thrive. Our aspiration is to be the UK's most inclusive employer.

"We are working hard to increase diversity in the Civil Service, including the representation of BAME staff at the most senior grades."
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Diversity – racism, clergy
Church of England seeks more black and minority ethnic clergy
Harriet Sherwood
The Guardian, 21 September 2016

The Church of England has appointed a senior figure to drive up the proportion of black and ethnic minority clergy against a backdrop of data showing the church is failing to match national demographics.

The proportion of black and minority ethnic (BAME) people among those embarking on the process of becoming a priest fell to 1.9% last year, compared with a share of the general population of about 15%.

In the previous four years, the proportion of BAME new ordinands fluctuated between 4% and 5%, according to analysis released by the C of E on Tuesday. The reasons for last year's drop is not known, but the overall trend since 1988, when the proportion was 0.3%, is upward.

The proportion of existing clergy who were BAME was 3.4% in 2015, up from 3% since 2010. ...

The C of E's new national minority ethnic officer will help dioceses to increase the number of BAME candidates for ordination. ...

David Isioru, a vicar in Handsworth, who recently presented a paper on black clergy to a British Sociological Association conference, said: "The under-representation of BAME [people] in the Church of England rests upon institutional racism."

However, he added, the church "recognises that BAME clergy are marginalised within the C of E, concentrated within inner-city parishes and prevented from career progression".
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Diversity – heritage
English Heritage launch scheme to nominate more black and Asian people for blue plaques
Hannah Furness
Daily Telegraph, 21 September 2016

English Heritage is launching a new initiative to honour more black and minority ethnic public figures on their famous blue plaques.

The organisation said just four per cent of the 900 plaques currently on buildings in London commemorate black or Asian figures from history.

As of today, they are setting up a new working group tasked with nominating key people to join the prestigious list of names under the 150-year-old scheme. ...

The low numbers are partly down to a lack of public nominations for people who fulfil the blue plaque criteria and an absence or inaccessibility of historical records establishing a definitive link between the person and the building where they lived, English Heritage said.
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Diversity – civil service
Cabinet Office hails biggest ever diversity internship scheme
Jim Dunton
Civil Service World, 12 September 2016

Cabinet Office minister Ben Gummer has praised staff and participants in the civil service's latest summer diversity internship programme, which is aimed at encouraging future fast stream applicants from under-represented backgrounds.

The 2016 scheme, which finished last week, offered two-month placements to 308 undergraduates from black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, young people from low-income backgrounds, or those with disabilities. Some participants would have fallen into more than one of the categories. ...

The Cabinet Office said 27 departments had offered placements as part of the programme, helping participants learn about the civil service, involving them in departmental projects, as well as helping them to develop broader skills.

It said 81% of the 2016 intake had been from ethnic minority groups, 25% from lower socio-economic background, and 24% with disabilities.
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Diversity – student fees, universities
Universities to raise fees next year, survey shows
Javier Espinoza
Daily Telegraph, 6 September 2016

All elite universities are set to introduce higher fees from next year, new data from the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) revealed as it emerged nearly every institution in England is expected to follow suit.

The data showed 121 out of 123 universities with full-time undergraduates plan to charge £9,250 for some of their courses and 36 institutions plan to charge the higher fee on all their subjects. ...

OFFA expected the investment in widening access to under-represented groups of students – including the disabled and ethnic minorities – to remain in proportion to the rise in fees.

However, the universities are set to spend around 30 per cent of their higher fee income in broadening access with Oxford (41.3 per cent), Cambridge (31.2 per cent), London School of Economics (49.9 per cent) and Imperial (35 per cent) – all above the average.

Russell Group universities – particularly Oxford – have been under a lot of pressure to accept more minority students in their ranks following calls from former prime minister, David Cameron, to take more ethnic minority students.
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Diversity
Study finds mandatory diversity training backfires
Kate Hardiman
The College Fix, 26 August 2016

According to a recent study published in the Harvard Business Review, mandatory diversity training programs in corporations not only fail to achieve their goals, they also have a negative impact on the hiring of females and underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.

After studying more than 800 companies across the country, Harvard sociologist Frank Dobin and Tel Aviv professor Alexandra Kalev found that companies made no gains in the proportion of white women, black men, or Hispanics in management and that the proportion of African American women and Asian American employees actually declined five years after the implementation of mandatory diversity training programs.

"We were quite surprised at first, because some of the most popular and costly programs – mandatory diversity training for instance – tend to backfire and this is what the quantitative data show," Dobin wrote in an email to The College Fix.

"But when we began to interview managers to understand why popular programs don't work, it began to make sense. Social scientists have long known that if you try to control people's thoughts and behavior, they rebel. That's what we find – programs designed to reeducate managers or stop them from discriminating directly tend to backfire," Dobin noted.

Dobin and Kalev became interested in studying the effects of diversity programs on corporate composition when they realized the dearth of systematic research on those programs. The study notes that the diversity programs in place now are more or less the same as those instituted in the 1960s, and that companies are now merely doubling down on their efforts – often making the issue worse, not better. ...

Kalev suggested several alternatives to compulsory diversity training programs that may prove to be more effective.
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Diversity – television programmes
EastEnders and other TV shows to be monitored for diversity in new scheme
Tara Conlan
The Guardian, 24 August 2016

Shows such as EastEnders and Coronation Street are to be monitored for diversity following the launch of a new system that measures the ethnic, gender and sexual orientation makeup of British television.

The BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky are taking part in Project Diamond, which will gather data about the background of those working on all UK programmes.

All key staff, from actors to sound technicians, will be asked about their gender, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation and gender identity via a confidential, encrypted computer system.

The organisation behind Diamond, the Creative Diversity Network, is also looking at making public how shows such as EastEnders measure up. ...

Project Diamond was created in response to Lenny Henry's rallying call two years ago for an improvement in the number of black, Asian and minority ethnic people on-screen and behind the camera.

Early results are due to be unveiled in around six months, depending on how quickly a sizeable amount of data has been collected. In the first stage, drama, entertainment and factual shows will be monitored, with news and sport covered from next year. ...

New minister for digital and culture Matt Hancock said: "Whilst BAME representation in the UK's creative industries is increasing twice as fast as the rest of the UK workplace, we want to see greater social mobility and diversity across this and across the arts sector.

"The launch of project Diamond is a clear example of how the UK's broadcasting industry is leading the way. Together with industry we want to see diversity continuing to improve both on and off screen, and this world- first initiative is a step forward to achieving that."
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Diversity – BBC, discrimination
BBC seeks Panorama researcher but only apply if you're 'black, Asian or non-white'
Rebecca Perring
Daily Express, 2 August 2016

The BBC has found itself at the centre of another discrimination row after it emerged the corporation is STILL advertising paid placements white people CANNOT apply for.

The taxpayer-funded corporation has been accused of "absolute discrimination" after it posted the advertisement for an internship role researching for Panorama – but only available to "UK nationals from a black, Asian or non-white ethnic minority".

The role is for a paid placement with a bursary of £20,000.

It appears the corporation hasn't learnt its lesson after it faced an angry backlash for advertising another internship, which white people couldn't apply for, just a few months ago.

Antonia Stuart, who is campaigning to eliminate discrimination in job advertisements in Britain, told Express.co.uk: "This BBC job advertisement is absolute discrimination and simply abhorrent. What does it matter what race you are to do this job?

"The job role should be open to everyone regardless of race, age or sex or social status. Currently there are no legal guidelines in place for advertising jobs therefore the job advert can discriminate, which is a growing issue." ...

Miss Stuart added: "The number of occurrences of job adverts discriminating against race, sex, age and social status is now at a rather worrying level and becoming a common problem which must be addressed in Parliament." ...

A spokeswoman for BBC defended the advert.

She said: "This is not a job, but simply a training and development opportunity.

"This training scheme is designed as a positive action scheme to address an identified under-representation of people from ethnic minority backgrounds in certain roles; such schemes are as allowed under the Equality Act."
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Diversity – growing diversity
Britain's unparalleled diversity is here to stay
The Economist, 18 July 2016

Liberal internationalists in Britain have plenty of reasons to despair over the vote to leave the European Union. /.../ Neither the government nor the Labour Party is led by a liberal. But what really offends liberals – particularly in London – is the thought that Britain is bound to become less tolerant, less international, less diverse and as a result less interesting. In this respect the worriers are wrong.

... As a magnet for immigrants, London has no rival in Europe. Not only does it contain many more foreigners than any other city (which partly just reflects London's size), it also has proportionately more immigrants than almost anywhere else. Next to London, famously cosmopolitan cities like Paris and Berlin are actually rather homogeneous. ...

If national diversity is the goal, Britain's capital has an enormous head start. ...

... In 2014, 27% of babies born in England and Wales had immigrant mothers, up from just 12% in 1990. Polish women had more babies than any other immigrant group: they accounted for 3.2% of all births. Pakistanis were second, followed by Indians, Bangladeshis and Nigerians. Many other babies who were born to British women had an immigrant father. Soon these babies will be in school and their parents will be pinned to Britain.

Even if immigration were suddenly to stop, Britain would become more diverse. Immigrants have slightly more babies – their fertility rate in England and Wales is 2.1, compared with 1.8 for the natives. And diversity will spread. Immigrants tend to arrive in big cities and gradually move out, seeking bigger houses that they can afford. Between 2001 and 2011 (the last two census years) the proportion of black Africans in England and Wales who lived in London fell from 80% to 58% – a staggering exodus. Provincial towns such as Milton Keynes are rapidly becoming more racially mixed. ...

As immigrants and their children multiply and disperse, the Britons who most dislike immigration will disappear. ...

So Britain will gradually change. While you wait for that to happen, though, remember that it is not at present a racist or intolerant country. Britons (including old, white, working-class Britons) might dislike immigration, but they tend also to dislike racism and discrimination. Eurobarometer, which obsessively polls Europeans on their prejudices, consistently finds that Britons are unusually relaxed about the idea of having a non-white political leader or non-white co-workers. The most recent poll, in 2015, found that only Swedes were as calm as Britons at the prospect of one of their children dating a Muslim.

The vote to leave the EU was not a nativist revolution, as nativists fervently hope and liberals fear. It was more a desperate lashing out against the inevitable transformation of British society – the past kicking against the future. The kick hurt a lot. But the fight only ends one way.
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Diversity – politics, Conservative Party
How David Cameron saved his party from fusty white male irrelevance
Ian Birrell
Daily Telegraph, 14 July 2016

My one-time boss seems remarkably unchanged, despite the scars of six years in Downing Street and abrupt style of his unwanted exit. Yet how different the party bequeathed to his successor.

... One thing I liked when I met Mr Cameron was how he seemed comfortable in his skin and in his country, devoid of hang-ups about gender, race and sexuality that dogged many Tories. This challenge was the core of his modernisation project.

Three years earlier, a new party chairwoman called Theresa May told members that they failed to reflect a rapidly changing nation in her superb "nasty party" speech to the annual conference. ...

Now look at those people cheering Mr Cameron in his farewell to parliament. Note the pink and purple jackets breaking up the grey suits. One of his finest achievements has been to transform a party that was pale, male and very stale into something much more representative of modern Britain. ...

... There are also 17 black and ethnic minority Tories. ...

Mr Cameron deserves credit for this transformation, often made in the teeth of silly attacks about "political correctness". For the reshaping is driven by urgent political necessity – and not just in the inner cities. In the true blue Surrey suburb where I grew up, there are now at least 30 languages spoken, migrant children make up more than one in seven pupils in some schools and a mosque has opened to minimal fuss. ...

"It used to look like a sea of grumpy white men from the shires when you sat looking out from the Tory conference platform," one senior source told me. "Now it looks like Britain." Not quite. There remains some way to go on this journey. Yet Mr Cameron saved his party from fading into fusty irrelevance. Now Mrs May, the proto-moderniser who identified the problem, can complete the job.
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Diversity – portraits
'Stale' Oxford starts replacing portraits of dead white men with women, black and gay people
Sarah Harris
Daily Mail, 4 July 2016

Oxford University is replacing some portraits of famous men with female, black and gay leaders to counter its 'male, pale and stale' image.

It is commissioning artists to paint dozens of new portraits to hang in its ancient buildings at a cost of £900 each.

Stickers with the words 'next in frame' have been put up around Oxford, asking students and staff to nominate suitable subjects by the end of this week.

In addition, colleges are already redecorating dining and lecture halls with new pictures and photographs to reflect the diversity of their alumni.

Pictures of author Jonathan Swift, 16th century poet John Donne and bible translator William Tyndale were all removed. And portraits of TV presenter Natasha Kaplinsky, author Hari Kunzru and journalist Naomi Wolf have been put up.
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Diversity – police
Police Scotland hijab plan for Muslim officers
BBC, 7 June 2016

Police Scotland is preparing to introduce a hijab as an optional part of its uniform to encourage Muslim women to join the force.

It is studying a specific design of headscarf which would cover the head and neck but not the face.

Currently, officers who wish to wear a religious head covering must seek the approval of a senior officer.

Police Scotland is committed to encouraging more black and Asian recruits to apply to join the force.

The Metropolitan Police in London approved a uniform hijab more than 10 years ago.

Police Scotland figures showed that there were 127 applications from black, Asian and ethnic minority candidates in 2015-16. That was just 2.6% of the total number applying to work for the force.

In order to reflect the 4% figure across Scottish society, the force said it would need to recruit an additional 650 ethnic minority candidates.
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Diversity – BBC, discrimination
Auntie is anti-white: Applicant's anger over BBC telly jobs just for minorities
Jen Pharo
The Sun, 3 June 2016

The BBC has been blasted for rejecting work applicants because they are white.

It advertised two £25,000 junior scriptwriting roles for shows like Holby City, but said they were only for people from "ethnic minority backgrounds".

One outraged job-hunter said: "It's racial discrimination and just wrong.

"If you applied for a position and got a reply saying it was only open to white applicants you'd quite rightly not be happy.

"This is exactly the same."

The Sun can reveal the Beeb is running four recruitment schemes open only to black, Asian or ethnic minorities.

It has recruited 17 presenters and ten writers in two years via the Creative Diversity Talent Fund, Senior Leadership Development (Clore) Programme, Assistant Commissioner Development Programme and Creative Access Trainee Scheme.

Under the Equality Act it is illegal to discriminate against job applicants on grounds of race, unless crucial to the role.

The BBC last night insisted the positions were not jobs, but trainee schemes.

And it said the scriptwriter pay was an allowance rather than a wage. ...

The BBC said ads made it clear the roles were for candidates from ethnic minorities.

A spokesman said: "This is a training and development programme designed to address an under-representation of people from ethnic minority backgrounds in script editing roles."
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Diversity – quotas, universities
Lord Patten: University quotas will hit standards
Javier Espinoza
Daily Telegraph, 16 May 2016

Universities cannot accept more ethnic minority students without eroding standards, the chancellor of Oxford University has warned, as the Government readies reforms which force them to publish admissions data.

Ministers are pressing ahead with proposals to require all universities to publish the gender, ethnicity and socio-economic background of their intake in what Jo Johnson, the universities minister, calls a 'transparency revolution.'

But as the pressure to accept students from a diverse background increases, Lord Patten lay the blame on schools for failing to prepare students and warned that any enforced quotas would result in a lowering of academic standards. ...

He said: "I don't support quotas at universities. Nobody will explain to me how you can make a system of quotas work while retaining the highest admissions standards.

"Quotas must mean lower standards. There are better ways of addressing social inclusion at universities."
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Diversity – BBC, discrimination
Whites Need Not Apply: BBC Advertises 'Black, Asian, Or Minority'-Only Positions
Virginia Hale
Breitbart, 7 May 2016

A range of British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) television departments, programmes, and radio stations are currently offering highly desirable, paid internships, but white people are prohibited from applying.

Creative Access – an organisation, registered as a charity, which offers placements at "many of the UK's top media organisations" – has listed a number of BBC placements on its website, demanding applicants are only from "Black, Asian and non-white minority ethnic backgrounds".

The website's list of opportunities shows that all but four of the positions currently available are for jobs at the publicly-funded BBC, and Creative Access is funded by the British tax payer despite its charity status. ...

The website lists its main sources of funding, naming the quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisation 'UK Commission for Employment & Skills' and the UK government's Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.

The other organisation named alongside the government departments is Creative Skillset, which has received millions of pounds of "investment" from the Scottish Parliament.
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Diversity – universities
British universities lose grip on world university rankings 'because they are forced to focus on diversity'
Javier Espinoza
Daily Telegraph, 6 May 2016

Britain's best universities are slipping down university rankings because they are forced to focus on diversity and recruiting from disadvantaged backgrounds, experts say.

Top universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, have been under huge political pressure to take on minority students after the Prime Minister, David Cameron, attacked them for racial bias and not working harder to broaden their student mix. ...

It now seems that this pressure is leading universities to "take their eye off the ball" in terms of improving quality of research and teaching, in favour of implementing recruitment policies to appease political pressures.

An annual ranking, published by the Times Higher Education (THE), showed Cambridge has fallen to fourth place, down from second last year while Oxford to fifth having been third in one of the most prestigious world university rankings.

The number of UK universities in the top 100 has also dropped from 12 to 10 this year with Bristol and Durham falling out of the list, the table showed.

The table, which is based on the largest invitation-only survey of senior academics across the world, placed only three other UK universities in the top 30 (Imperial, UCL and LSE).

The US dominated the rankings with 43 institutions in the top 100.

The decline in British institutions is partly to do with institutions not recruiting enough high-quality staff from abroad due to increasing restrictions on visas.

It also to do with the pressures on universities to meet quotas to increase the proportion of disadvantaged and ethnic minority students which is distracting them from focusing on research and high-calibre teaching.
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Diversity – education
'Outstanding' rural nursery is downgraded by Ofsted for not teaching toddlers about ethnic diversity and not having enough pictures of black and Asian people on walls
Keiligh Baker
MailOnline, 28 April 2016

Angry parents have slammed Ofsted for downgrading an 'outstanding' rural nursery to just 'good' because it does not teach toddlers about ethnic diversity.

The education watchdog even penalised Town and Country Kiddies Nursery in Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, for not having enough pictures of black and Asian people on the walls.

In their report inspectors criticised the nursery - which caters for children aged from just eight weeks to 11 years as it also offers a kids' club - for failing to teach youngsters about other cultures. ...

Around 97 per cent of the population in the town to which the nursery belongs are white.

Parents today blasted Ofsted, branding the decision to mark the nursery down as 'politically correct nonsense'. ...

Ofsted initially published their report from the inspection this week on their website - but bosses have now temporarily withdrawn it following a backlash from furious parents. ...

The row comes 18 months after Middle Rasen Primary School, which is a mile away from the nursery, was penalised by Ofsted for effectively being too English.

Inspectors said the school was 'not yet outstanding' because pupils' cultural development was limited by a 'lack of first-hand experience of the diverse make up of modern British society'.
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Diversity – London
Sadiq Khan: There are too many white men on Transport for London
Adam Bienkov
Politics.co.uk, 30 March 2016

London's transport authority is far too dominated by white men, Labour's mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan said today.

There are currently 13 white men on the Transport for London board and just three women. Khan said he would ensure the board better reflected the "diversity" of Londoners if he becomes mayor.

"I will reshape TfL's board," he said during a speech in Brixton this morning.

"It needs to better reflect London's diversity in the interest of Londoners. ..."
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Diversity – education
Private schools move to accept more black students as pupils 'living in wealthy cocoon'
Javier Espinoza
Daily Telegraph, 8 March 2016

Private schools must accept more black students as leading private school heads say their pupils are "living in a wealthy cocoon".

The headteachers of schools like Westminster and Rugby are increasingly bringing in more students from unprivileged backgrounds – including young black teens – as they address concerns of a 'polarising' society. ...

But Patrick Derham, headmaster of Westminster, has highlighted how his school is making a conscious effort to recruit more students from poorer backgrounds and black teenagers because it is pointless to educate those who "have only met people like themselves".

In an interview with the New York Times, he said: "More and more of us are concerned by this polarisation in society.

"There is no point producing people who have only met people like themselves." ...

It isn't just private schools that have been under pressure to accept more black and poor students to their ranks. Last month, David Cameron, accused Oxford University of "not doing enough to attract talent from across our country" and highlighted how the institution accepted just under 30 black British students in a year.

He vowed to create new legislation to name and shame universities into improving diversity.
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Diversity – unhappiness
Britons whose neighbourhoods change with an influx of migrants are LESS happy and MORE isolated, major study finds
Stephanie Linning
MailOnline, 18 February 2016

An influx of foreigners makes existing residents feel unhappier and more socially isolated, a major study has revealed.

Residents living in areas where there were new ethnic groups said they felt less attached to their communities over time.

Meanwhile residents who left a more diverse neighbourhood in favour of a community made up of others from their own ethnic group reported feeling happier.

However Britons who moved to already diverse areas were unaffected by the different ethnicities and social groups, researchers found.

The 17-year study of more than 10,000 people was carried out by The University of Manchester and the Economic and Social Research Council.

The paper, which is published in the European Sociology Review, set out to test the idea that ethnic diversity has a harmful effect on community cohesion.
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Diversity – politics, parliaments, UK, Europe
New research shows national parliaments in the UK and the Netherlands host highest number of MPs of immigrant origin
University of Leicester, 15 February 2016

Key research findings about the political representation of citizens of immigrant origin (IO) in European national parliaments will be announced at an event in central London on Monday 15 February.

The findings, announced at an event organised by Professor Laura Morales from the University of Leicester's Department of Politics and International Relations in collaboration with the Political Studies Association, are from the 'Pathways to Power' project, which studies the political representation of IO MPs in the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.

Among the key findings of the research are:

• The Netherlands and the United Kingdom lead in the presence of citizens of immigrant origin in national parliaments across the eight European countries studied

• South European countries fare worst in the inclusion of citizens of immigrant origin in the national legislature ...

Professor Morales said: "The study is the first of its kind to compare in a systematic way the political representation of citizens of immigrant origin across European countries. ...

Over the past decades, ethnic diversity within European societies has increased radically and immigration is one of the most important challenges facing Europe today.
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Diversity – politics, parliaments, UK, Europe
UK has most immigrant-origin parliamentarians in Europe
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, 15 February 2016

Amid continuing concerns over immigration in Britain and Europe, a new study released on Monday shows the UK and the Netherlands have the highest number of MPs of immigrant-origin, including those of Indian descent.

Ten MPs of Indian origin were elected in the May 2015 election in Britain, the highest number so far. Campaign groups have estimated the number of MPs categorised as "black and ethnic minorities" too was the highest in Britain after the election: 42.

The new findings are from an international project called "Pathways to Power", which studied political representation of immigrant-origin MPs in Britain, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. ...

Westminster was found to be among the parliaments most representative, with around 11% of MPs being of immigrant origin. The other country leading on this dimension of representation is the Netherlands, with around 12% MPs of immigrant origin.

"The findings indicate that the direct descendants of immigrants (second generation), born in the UK, are more likely to be represented than first-generation immigrants. Nevertheless, over 3% of British IO (immigrant-origin) MPs in the Parliaments elected in 2005 and 2010 were born abroad," the study said.

The Labour Party has had a historical lead in the presence of Indian origin MPs in British parliaments. This gap, however, has been closing in recent electoral cycles, with the Conservative Party significantly increasing the number of immigrant-origin MPs and MPs with ethnic-minority backgrounds on its benches.
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Diversity – film industry
Baftas too white, awards chief admits, as black performers plan protest outside ceremony
Patrick Foster
Daily Telegraph, 13 February 2016

The Baftas, the flagship event in the British film industry calendar, does not feature enough black and ethnic minority nominees, the head of the awards body has admitted.

Amanda Berry, chief executive of Bafta, said that she was backing a protest by black performers that will be held outside tomorrow's event, as she heaped blame on the film industry for failing to create enough opportunities for ethnic minority actors.

Idris Elba is the only black star out of twenty performers who feature in the four main acting categories at tomorrow's Baftas, and Ms Berry told the Telegraph: "Not enough films are being made with diverse talent in front of the camera. Our industry isn't diverse enough, so the pool of people to draw award winners from isn't diverse enough. I want the awards to be as diverse as they possibly can be. But people can only vote on what they've seen."

Bafta is to follow the lead of the Oscars – which faces a boycott over the lack of black nominees at this year's event – by overhauling its members to make them more representative of society. ...

The Bafta boss said that she had been forced to increase the number of ethnic minority stars who would present awards, to make sure that the ceremony was suitably diverse. The organisation announced earlier this week that the American actress Angela Bassett will present an award, while other black presenters and attendees will include Cuba Gooding Jr and the British actor Adewale Akinnuoye Agbaje.

She said: "We always try to make sure that we deliver a programme that has as diverse a cast as possible. And the presenters are something that we can control."
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Diversity – multiculturalism
The End of an Era à for White Males
David Rothkopf
Foreign Policy, 25 January 2016

Several factors are contributing to making this historic moment a watershed in global history. First, there is the rise of the emerging world, notably the economies and societies of Asia. While the planet has always been home to great nonwhite civilizations, such societies have ebbed and flowed in relative importance. Today, it is clear that these emerging societies, namely China and India, are on the rise. So too – thanks to economic and political reforms, technological and scientific progress, and the advent of the connected world – are other great and rich cultures from the Middle East to Africa. ...

Finally, thanks to the mobility revolution of the past century, flows of refugees and migrants of all kinds have shifted the demographics of societies and – protests and unease aside – they have proved essential to fighting the demographic trends, such as aging, that have put many advanced societies at risk. ...

The result is that the status quo of the past several millennia is going to undergo a profound change. In Europe alone, the influx of migrants and refugees is already producing irreversible demographic shifts – a great blending of cultures.

But by mid-century in the United States, the former majority population will be a minority: The majority, according to demographers, will be nonwhite. By that time, Europe will include massive populations from Africa and the Middle East, as well as Asia. This is to say that by 2050 white men will be the ones checking the "other" box on census forms. ...

... In this case, the politicians in America and Europe who spew nationalist bile and fan the flames of anti-immigrant furor are tapping into a growing if unconscious cultural recognition that time is running out on what has been the world's most privileged ethnic class.

Of course, human mobility is not something to be fought, but rather something to be embraced. While belonging to a community is wired into our DNA for reasons linked to the survival-based social units of our most ancient ancestors, the story of civilization and progress has been one about the blending and reblending of those units. ...

What we need instead are those who will stand up and say, "No. You have it wrong. Diversity is not the threat. It is the answer." That is, in fact, what has made America and every diverse society great.
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Diversity – Conservative Party
Oliver Letwin: Britain needs more black cabinet ministers
Ben Riley-Smith
Daily Telegraph, 23 January 2016

Britain needs more black and ethnic minority cabinet ministers, Olive Letwin has indicated as he said the government wants to quicken the "frustratingly slow" pace of change at the top of politics and industry.

Mr Letwin, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and one of David Cameron's closest confidantes, said concerns about diversity at the top of government were "very pertinent".

He said there had been "huge" change in recent years but called on more black and ethnic minority Britons to be selected as parliamentary candidates to help change the make-up of Parliament.

Sajid Javid, the Business Secretary, and Priti Patel, the Work and Pensions Minister, are the only two ethnic minority cabinet ministers in the Tory government. ...

Mr Letwin, a former shadow home secretary and shadow chancellor, is considered one of Mr Cameron's closest allies, having headed up the policy review for his 2010 election campaign.

At a speech in central London for the Bright Blue think tank attended by The Telegraph, Mr Letwin demanded "equality of opportunity for all" as he outlined the modernising Conservative vision at the centre of Mr Cameron's second term.
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Diversity – Europe
Diversity could be the making of Europe – let's talk about it
Natalie Nougayrňde
The Guardian, 5 January 2016

If Europe's big test in 2015 was the refugee crisis, integrating the newly arrived will be 2016's. /.../ The refugee crisis has highlighted a historical fact: Europe's cultural, ethnic and religious diversity will increase in a transformative way in the years and decades to come. Which makes it a good time also to open a healthier more cool-headed debate about our collective identity.

Sudden surges in migration pose a real challenge, but it's worth remembering that we have been here before. Think of the huge population transfers after the world wars, or the arrival of immigrant workers in the 1950s and 60s – to France and Britain from former colonies, or to Germany from Turkey.

What is new is merely the pace of the inflow and the dramatic circumstances under which people are being driven to Europe. The underlying questions remain more or less the same, though: how to accept difference while upholding democratic governance and social standards. How to define national identities within a larger collective project of mutually shared values – key pillars of what Europe is supposed to be about. ...

But none of this fully addresses the longer-term issue of how a hopeful future can be built on the new diversity. ...

Diversity is dealt with in different ways across Europe. The British or German "multicultural" models are contrasted with the French "assimilationist" approach, but problems exist everywhere. ...

But it is hard to reassure the many Europeans who struggle to see how diversity can be truly dealt with. There is a growing sense that a certain way of life is about to disappear. Simply telling people that diversity must be embraced, or that immigration is needed due to demographic change, overlooks the lack of preparation, the concrete difficulties and the fears that can arise from ignorance or stereotyping.

It is a safe bet that politicians will not supply the answers – they are too stuck on short-termism. /.../ Now is the time to launch a pan-European citizens' debate on diversity. ...

Is there a way to explore the notion of being "hyphenated Europeans" – Turkish-German, Algerian-French or Asian-British, just as one can be African-American or Italian-American? Diversity, as experienced across Europe, by Europeans and non-Europeans alike, is the next looming horizon. It is a compelling, gripping transformation – a story that we are all part of, and one we should start talking about in new ways.
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EGALITARIANISM

Egalitarianism – race equality
Being black in Britain is like 'living in a different world' says equality commission
Lydia Willgress
Daily Telegraph, 18 August 2016

Black graduates earn a quarter less than their white counterparts, the inequality watchdog has said, as it warns that being black in Britain can feel like "living in a different world".

People from ethnic minorities still face "entrenched" race inequality across many strands of modern life in Britain, according to the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

A sweeping review examining areas including education, employment, housing, pay, health and criminal justice painted an "alarming picture", the report said.

David Isaac, chairman of the body, said its report "underlines just how entrenched and far-reaching race inequality remains".

He added: "We must redouble our efforts to tackle race inequality urgently or risk the divisions in our society growing and racial tensions increasing.

"If you are black or an ethnic minority in modern Britain, it can often still feel like you're living in a different world, never mind being part of a one nation society."

The commission, which carried out an analysis of existing evidence, found Black people in England are more than three times more likely to be a victim of homicide than those who are white.

Unemployment rates were "significantly higher" for ethnic minorities and ethnic minority people were more likely to live in poverty than white people.

Ethnic minorities are still "hugely under-represented" in positions of power - such as judges and police chiefs. Poorer white communities also face "continuing disadvantage", the report added.

The commission said there has been progress in some areas, citing an increase in the number of ethnic minority MPs and a rise in the proportion with a degree-level qualification across all ethnic groups.

Mr Isaac called for the Government to introduce a comprehensive race equality strategy, arguing that the approach in recent years has been "stuttering".
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Egalitarianism – political correctness
Oliver Letwin is no racist – so why this witch hunt against him?
Charles Moore
Daily Telegraph, 4 January 2016

... I came across the 1985 memo from Oliver Letwin (and another adviser) to Mrs Thatcher which made headlines last week. It was about how to deal with the social problems which had produced the riots in Broadwater Farm and elsewhere that year. /.../ The memo exposed the disagreements of the time. In my book, I mildly criticised the memo's authors for writing like "idealistic young moralisers" rather than careful policymakers on this occasion, but their reaction did not seem odd in the context. A policeman, PC Keith Blakelock, had recently been murdered by the mob, with 40 injuries from cuts and stabs and a six-inch knife buried in his neck. It looked like a moral problem to most people.

So I was a bit surprised when the release of this document by the National Archives at Kew last week was treated as a more important event than all the other government documents from 1985 published with it: it wasn't even new. ...

An unsuccessful attempt was being made to put Mr Letwin in a special category of wickedness. In public debate nowadays, there are lots of opinions with which one can disagree without being accused of evil – one can be in favour of high or low taxes, in favour of the nuclear bomb or against it, for or against private education even. But there is a class of subjects now labelled "equality", where any disagreement is deemed "inappropriate". "Equality" includes sex, sexual orientation, disability and race.
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EMPLOYMENT

Employment – machines
Machines could easily replace EU migrants working in coffee shops, says leading economist as he says it's 'certain' Britain will adapt to Brexit
Matt Dathan
MailOnline, 1 December 2016

EU migrants working in coffee shops and similar industries could easily be replaced by modern machinery, a leading economist said.

This is one of a number of ways British businesses will adjust to a reduction in immigration after Brexit, according to Jonathan Portes, a former chief economist at the Cabinet Office and principal research fellow at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

He suggested Britain's vote to leave the EU will make companies more efficient, with firms choosing to invest in labour-saving machinery.

Mr Portes said it was 'certain' that the economy would adjust to lower levels of migration and dismissed concerns over the impact Brexit will have on the economy.

But he warned that the reduction in cheap labour from eastern Europe could lead to some UK firms going out of business or could lead to higher prices for consumers as employers are forced to employ British workers on higher wages.

This could lead to an increase in our reliance on foreign imports, Mr Portes told a House of Lords committee on the EU today. ...

Madeleine Sumption, director of the Migration Observatory at Oxford University, said the number of EU nationals in the UK could be as high as 3.9 million - higher than the 3.3 million currently estimated to be living in the UK.
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Employment – technology
'Tech migrants' are invading Europe – and many are heading for the UK
Victoria Woollaston
Wired, 30 November 2016

On the face of things, Europe and its tech hubs seem to pale in comparison against the US, but figures from the second Slush report suggest this is far from the truth.

By studying data from LinkedIn, Stack Overflow and Meetup, as well as surveys with industry leaders, the report has found there are now more professional developers in Europe (4.7 million) than across the US (4.1 million).

And the number one destination for international tech talent is the UK. ...

Looking across Europe, the top developer hubs are London, Paris, Berlin, Madrid and Amsterdam. London's developer population is now bigger than New York, while the total professional developer population in London, Paris and Berlin outnumbers that in the Silicon Valley/Bay Area.

As a result, many of the people coming to work in tech jobs in Europe come from outside the continent or are moving between countries.

A quarter of these so-called 'tech migrants' who move into Europe head for the UK. Germany (12 per cent), France (nine per cent) and Spain (seven per cent) follow. The UK is also the top destination for people from both outside and inside Europe.
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Employment
Migrants rush to come to Britain for UK jobs before Brexit
Aletha Adu
Daily Express, 17 November 2016

Foreigners make up 95 per cent of Britain's new workforce, figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed.

The expansion of the European Union in 2004 dramatically pushed Britain's levels of employment to an all-time high of 31.9 million employed adults between July and September this year, 5.5 million of which are foreign-born. ...

The presence of foreign-born workers in Britain have increased by 430,000 over the last year, while almost one half of those were born in one of the eight eastern European states that joined the EU in 2004. ...

Since Britain voted to leave the EU, 50,000 more migrants have entered from the eight Eastern EU countries, the highest level over the last three months.
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Employment – nurses
Four in 10 new nurses are from overseas, amid warnings NHS faces 'perfect storm' post-Brexit
Laura Donnelly
Daily Telegraph, 21 October 2016

Four in ten new nurses have come from overseas – the highest level in more than a decade, according to a new report warning of a "perfect storm" about to hit the NHS.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said hospitals are on the brink of a major staffing crisis.

Half of British nurses could retire within a decade, while services are increasingly reliant on foreign workers, who could leave post-Brexit, its report says.

Last year, 11,261 nurses who registered to work in the UK came from overseas – a rise from 8,183 the previous year, official statistics show.

In total, four in 10 of last year's entrants trained abroad, with the vast majority coming from within the EU. Six years ago, overseas nurses made up just one in 10 new entrants. ...

The union has previously warned that the NHS was spending "ludicrous" sums poaching foreign nurses while rejecting two thirds of British applicants for training.
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Employment – visas
Group that claimed Jihadi John 'wouldn't hurt a fly' licensed to bring foreign workers into UK
Gethin Chamberlain
Sunday Mirror, 16 October 2016

The group that defended Isis terrorist Jihadi John and a religious cult have been licensed by the Home Office to bring foreign workers into the UK.

Advocacy group Cage and notorious sect the Moonies are among thousands of organisations still licensed to sponsor UK visas, despite Tory pledges to crack down on immigration.

The official register of licensed companies also includes male strippers, a closed Chinese takeaway, an immigration advice company that went out of business last year and a non-existent polo team. ...

But a Sunday Mirror investigation casts doubt on the Home Office's own vetting procedure for organisations that have brought thousands of foreign nationals into the UK since the Conservatives came to power in 2010.

The list of 30,000 companies licensed to bring in overseas workers to fill jobs includes many of Britain's biggest businesses, along with Conservative Party HQ and some of the largest government departments.

It is intended to guarantee that only carefully screened organisations can sponsor visas for foreign nationals. But the Sunday Mirror investigation found glaring holes in the vetting process.

The list includes Cage, which hit the headlines last year when its spokesman Asim Qureshi claimed Isis murderer Mohammed Emwazi 'wouldn't hurt a fly'.

"He was such a beautiful young man, the most humble young person that I knew," Qureshi said in an interview.

Boris Johnson described the group as "apologists for terror" and Philip Hammond accused it of carrying a "huge burden of responsibility" for the actions of terrorists.

Yet at the time it was registered as a sponsor for work visas and it remains on the official register.

The most striking recent addition to the list of registered visa sponsors is the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, which is another name for the Unification Church - better known as the Moonies. ...

The cult was best known for bringing together complete strangers from different countries and marrying them at huge mass weddings to create "pure" families.

Despite this track record, it was added to the official Home Office register of visa sponsors within the last 12 months and can sponsor renewable one year visas for voluntary workers.

Foreign citizens granted visas under the scheme can bring their families with them and extend their stay once in the UK.

Since the Conservatives came to power in 2010 - and Theresa May became Home Secretary - more than 900,000 work visas have been issued.
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Employment – work visas
EU migrants will ONLY be offered visa if they have skilled job - to reduce numbers by 100k
Simon Osborne
Sunday Express, 16 October 2016

Immigration from the European Union (EU) will be reduced by 100,000 under new plans to only offer visas to those offered a SKILLED job in Britain, ministers have pledged.

UK borders will be brought back under control with tens of thousands of low-skilled migrants being refused entry each year, under the new plans proposed by Home Secretary Amber Rudd.

Officials expect the EU to impose a visa scheme in return which means Britons will need a permit to work in Europe and will be limited to skilled jobs.

If there are labour shortages in a particular occupation, such as agriculture, a seasonal worker scheme could be introduced allowing people to enter the UK for a fixed period. ...

Around 80 per cent of EU workers who have arrived in Britain in the past ten years are in low-skilled employment.
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Employment
Whitehall employs THOUSANDS of foreign workers - despite calls for firms to use Brit staff
Ben Glaze
Mirror, 15 October 2016

Thousands of foreign workers are employed across Whitehall – despite Ministers urging companies to use British staff. ...

However, we can reveal Government departments already collect data on their foreign staff.

At least 7,660 workers are from abroad, according to the independent House of Commons Library.

But the total is likely to be more as a third of workers did not declare their nationality in the latest survey.

Last week Mrs Rudd vowed to toughen up the "resident labour market test" which requires companies to advertise a job in the UK for 28 days before recruiting from abroad.
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Employment – foreign workers
Companies will not be forced to publish list of foreign workers, Cabinet ministers insist
John Ashmore
PoliticsHome, 9 October 2016

Companies will not be forced to publish lists of non-British workers on their books, two senior Cabinet ministers said this morning.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd unveiled plans earlier this week to force firms to compile data on how many foreigners they employ, leading some critics to suggest companies would be "named and shamed".

David Cameron's former adviser Steve Hilton called the proposals "repugnant" and "insanely bureaucratic".

But ministers Michael Fallon and Justine Greening said today there were no plans to make any data public, saying it would only be used to identify areas with skills shortages.

"That is really about collecting the right evidence we will need if we're going to be able to respond to skills shortages of employers... this is not data that will be published, there will be absolutely no naming and shaming," Ms Greening told ITV's Peston on Sunday programme. ...

Ms Greening also played down reports that foreign academics had been banned from helping the Government on the Brexit negotiations.

The controversy emerged after an assistant professor at the London School of Economics said she had received an email saying she and other foreign colleagues "no longer qualify" as advisers.

But the Education Secretary insisted overseas advisers were welcome to assist the Government.

"Absolutely and there's been no change in the policy and we'd always, of course, have the necessary security checks... there's been no change in the policy. I'm pleased you raised it because it gives me the opportunity to clarify that," she said.
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Employment – foreign employees, numbers, public opinion
Public backs plans to make firms release list of foreign workers, YouGov poll suggests
Samuel Osborne
Independent, 7 October 2016

A majority of the British public back Home Secretary Amber Rudd's plan to make businesses reveal how many foreign workers they employ, according to a YouGov poll.

Overall, 59 per cent of people say they either strongly or somewhat the proposals, more than double the 26 per cent who said they somewhat or strongly oppose them.

Ms Rudd said firms should declare the percentage of foreign workers they employ as part of a drive to employ more local people.

The policy also garnered favour among Labour voters, with 51 per cent supporting the proposals.

Some 86 per cent of Ukip voters support the policy along with 73 per cent of Tory voters, while 48 per cent of Liberal Democrat voters supported it compared to 37 per cent who opposed it.

SNP voters were split, with 46 per cent in favour and 46 per cent against.

YouGov asked 5,875 UK adults the extent they supported or opposed the Government's proposals to report how many foreign workers they employ. ...

The Labour party said her speech would "fan the flames of xenophobia and hatred in our communities".
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Employment – policy, democracy
The Tory Foreign Worker Transparency Plan Makes Sense - And Could Reduce Racism
Colin Cortbus
The Huffington Post, 6 October 2016

This week's Conservative Party plan to make some companies disclose how many foreign workers they employ may be controversial. But is a positive step forward for transparency, and could take the wind out of the sails of those peddling racist myths about immigration. Britain should learn from the Philippines, where radical transparency around foreign worker permits is already a legal requirement. ...

The mandatory list, published in widely circulated newspapers as a classified ad by authorities, contains not only the names of the foreign nationals applying for the right to work in the Philippines. It also shows who their prospective employers are and gives some quite specific details about the work they are going to be doing. There are only a tiny number of corporate, educational and diplomatic work exceptions where this transparency requirement does not apply.

And the information isn't just being provided for passive public consumptions. Local workers can get actively involved in the system - and have their fair say: If anyone spots an illicit permit application in the public list, they have 30 days from publication to file an objection with employment authorities. If they can prove Filipino workers are willing and able to do the job applied for by the foreign national, the permit can still be revoked to protect local jobs. ...

In the absence of easy access to accurate, balanced information about immigrant workers, people become vulnerable to large-scale misinformation from far-right hate peddlers, and self-interested clickbait journalists. ...

London's chatting classes may use this as a disingenuous reason to discount the opinions of the rest of the country: But if people are never provided with full, factual information because the political elite are afraid of people power, who can blame them for accepting xenophobic propaganda at face value? ...

A Philippines-inspired, transparent foreign work permit system would give people back trust in the fairness of the immigration system. They could see, with their own eyes, irrefutable proof in their local newspaper that foreign worker numbers locally are in fact not as high as the far-right rabble rousers purport. Reading the job descriptions, they would realise that most foreign workers are in fact doing vital, community-sustaining jobs in sectors, such as healthcare, where there is a dire shortage of skilled professionals. ...

Real transparency around work permits would finally bring democratic decision making authority about immigration where it belongs: To ordinary people in local communities across the UK, rather than over-paid Whitehall bureaucrats with multiple postgrad degrees in law and jurisprudence. The Tory plans are a step in that direction, but more action is needed.

It's time to give people their voice back. In a democracy they are owed nothing less.
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Employment – numbers, Conservative Party
Forcing businesses to declare how many foreigners they employ is an awful and clumsy idea
Mark Wallace
ConservativeHome, 6 October 2016

As usual, Twitter got the wrong end of the stick and therefore over-reacted to Amber Rudd's proposal that businesses should report the number of foreign workers they employ. The misunderstanding that the Home Secretary proposed to make companies list such workers by name appears to have come from The Times' headline "Firms must list foreign workers". Within half an hour people were wondering if the Government might insist on Nazi-style coloured badges for foreigners.

... What she was proposing, though, was that companies should be compelled to publish a tally of their foreign employees – along the lines of previous proposals to publish pay disparities between men and women, for example. ...

There are myriad problems with the idea. For a start, it's another bit of meddling red tape which will add new costs for businesses. Worse, the adoption of a 'name and shame' approach rests on an unpleasant assumption that the public would wish to punish companies deemed to have too many foreign employees. That assumption is either incorrect, in which case the policy would have no effect at best, or accurate, in which case it plays to instincts which ought not to be indulged by the Government. Doing so would effectively mean penalising existing foreign workers in the UK for the sin of being foreign – effectively encouraging their employers to find ways to get rid of them. We should not want modern Britain to become a society which does such things.

... Who would know from a raw number if the people involved were employed as labourers or specialist technicians, office cleaners or financial analysts? /.../ Rudd's attempt would be the equivalent of scrutinising the problem through the wrong end of a telescope.
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Employment – student doctors
Student doctor numbers to rise by 25%
Nick Triggle
BBC, 4 October 2016

The number of medical school places will increase by 25% from 2018 under plans to make England "self-sufficient" in training doctors.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is to announce an expansion in training places from 6,000 to 7,500 a year. ...

About a quarter of the medical workforce is trained outside the UK, but the impact of Brexit and a global shortage of doctors could make it harder to recruit so many in the future.

Prime Minister Theresa May told the BBC: "We want to see the NHS able to recruit doctors from this country. We want to see more British doctors in the NHS."
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Employment – wages
Does "uncontrolled mass migration" push down wages?
Full Fact, 30 September 2016

Research suggests that immigration has a small impact on the average wages of existing workers, but certain groups of people are affected differently. For example, low-wage workers lose out while medium and high-paid workers gain.

The group most likely to see a reduction in wages because of immigration to an area are resident workers who were originally migrants themselves.

If an area sees a 10% increase in the proportion of immigrants working in semi-skilled or unskilled service jobs, average wages in those sectors decrease by around 2%, according to one particular study by the Bank of England.

But between 2004/06 and 2012/14 the ratio of foreign born to UK born workers across the whole of the UK only rose by 8% in low-skilled and semi-skilled service jobs, so this is a relatively small effect. Other sectors looked at in the report saw smaller increases.
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Employment – business
British business must stop 'mainlining' immigrants like a 'drug' Boris Johnson claims as he warns the PM she must trigger Brexit by May
Tim Sculthorpe
MailOnline, 25 September 2016

Boris Johnson today warned British business it must stop 'mainlining' immigration as the UK quits the EU.

The Foreign Secretary said he was in favour of skilled foreign workers coming to the UK but said the Brexit vote was about 'control' over numbers to ensure British youngsters had a fair chance of work.

Mr Johnson said unlimited immigration from Europe for the past 25 years had left firms addicted to cheap labour from abroad. ...

Mr Johnson told the BBC's Andrew Marr: 'I want skilled and talented people to come to the UK if they want to fulfill their dreams in our country - I have no problem with that provided we have control.

'In the last figures we had, 333,000 people came net from around the world. That's a huge sum, 175,000 net from the EU, in an uncontrolled way.

'Most people in our country would say that is too high.'

He added: 'We have got to invest in our own young people, we have also got to build up the skills of this country.

'For 25 years UK business and industry have been mainlining immigration like a kind of drug without actually investing enough or caring enough about the skills and the training of young people in our country.'
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Employment
Government Language Tutor Claims Migrants Only Interested in Benefits, Boast They'll Never Work
Virginia Hale
Breitbart, 14 September 2016

A woman employed teaching English to migrants with so-called refugee status has revealed students have no interest in learning the language or getting a job, and are mostly interested in the benefits they can extract from taxpayers.

The teacher, who identified herself as 'Janet', rang Nick Ferrari's morning show on London's LBC to discuss her experience of giving taxpayer-funded English classes to Syrians and other migrants granted asylum. ...

She explained: "We have so many students and they don't turn up. They don't want these lessons and they're not really interested in learning English."

Mr Ferrari questioned her, asking: "When you say they don't turn up, do you mean these special classes [that are paid for by the government]?"

Janet replied: "Special classes that they don't have to pay for, and obviously we pay for it".

"It's so so frustrating. I love teaching them, they're lovely people when they do turn up but a lot of them don't turn up. They're simply not interested in learning English.

"A lot of them have been here for many many years now, and when I was teaching English for employment some of them refused to go because they said 'Well I don't want to work. I don't want to work so I don't want to learn English for employment'.
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Employment – cost
New £1.2m EU project to support ethnic minority and migrant communities
Huw Price
Welsh Labour, 9 September 2016

A £1.2m EU-backed project to improve the skills and job prospects of people from ethnic minority and migrant communities has been announced by Welsh Labour's Finance Secretary, Mark Drakeford.

The Achieving Change through Employment (ACE) project will be supported by £950,000 of EU funds and delivered by the charity, Sova Cymru, over the next three years.

Around 400 people in North, West Wales and the South Wales valleys will benefit from training programmes and opportunities to achieve qualifications and take part in work experience or volunteering.
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Employment – work permits
Low skilled migrants would have to apply for work permits under plans being considered by ministers
Steven Swinfordand Ben Riley-Smith
Daily Telegraph, 25 August 2016

Low skilled migrants from the EU would have to apply for permits to work in Britain after it leaves the European Union under plans being considered by ministers.

Sir David Metcalf, the head of the Migration Advisory Committee, told The Telegraph that both the number of migrants and the amount of time they spend in the UK could be controlled using work permits.

He said the scheme would be "pretty straightforward" to run and could be modeled on a previous work permit system for seasonal agricultural workers. ...

On Wednesday the Migration Advisory Committee published a new report which found that low-skilled migrants have put "extra pressure on housing, education, health and transport services".

The report, which highlighted nine years of work under outgoing chairman Sir David, says that migrants have had a "small negative impact" on the wages of low paid workers.

It also suggests that an influx of low skilled workers has had "possible implications for cohesion and integration" because populations in some parts of the country have changed so rapidly. ...

The report by the Migration Advisory Committee found that migrants now account for two million of the 13 million low skilled workers in Britain - equivalent to one in seven.
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Employment – numbers
Shock EU migrant figures REVEALED: 2.2 MILLION now work in Britain
Macer Hall
Daily Express, 18 August 2016

A huge rise in EU migrants working in Britain has renewed calls for an accelerated Brexit.

New figures reveal that the number employed throughout the UK soared by 238,000 over the past year to more than 2.2 million.

Labour market data showed that the rollcall of foreigners with jobs in the UK has reached a record 3.45 million, more than a tenth of the workforce.

And the numbers of people from eight former communist countries including Poland and the Czech Republic with jobs in the UK has passed the one million mark for the first time, the official figures confirmed. ...

Lord Green of Deddington, chairman of the pressure group Migration Watch, said: "These figures represent a milestone in EU migration to Britain."

He pointed out that Britain now had more than one million workers from the Eastern European countries who joined the EU in 2004, plus nearly a million from Western EU nations and a quarter of a million more from Romania and Bulgaria.

"The pressures that this massive migration has placed on local communities go a long way to explaining the outcome of the referendum," Lord Green said.

"The new statistics underline why it is essential not just to regain control of our borders but also to reduce net migration significantly.

"It is also important to realise that some 80% of EU migrants are in lower skilled employment.

"Migration into lower-skilled work is not of particular benefit to the UK economy.

"Indeed the Migration Advisory Committee did not find any positive impact on UK-born employment rates, fiscal contribution, GDP per head or productivity."

And former Labour welfare minister Frank Field, joint chairman of the Commons Cross-Party Group on Balanced Migration, said: "Today's figures on the surge of eastern European migration show how crucial it is that one aspect of Brexit's success must be the control of our borders.

"This can best be done by introducing a points system and accompanying this with active measures to build up the skill levels of our existing labour force. ..."

The Office for National Statistics data for the three month period from April to June this year showed that the total number of foreigners working in the UK has risen from 966,000 in 1997 to 3.45 million.

Over nearly two decades, the proportion of foreign citizens in the labour force has soared from 3.7% to 10.9%. ...

The number of workers in Britain from outside the EU changed little over the last year at 1.21 million, according to the official data.

Statisticians insisted the estimates related to the number of people in employment and should not be used to suggest the size of flows of foreign migrants into the UK.
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Employment
British bus driver told he can't have a job because he's NOT ROMANIAN
Charlie Bayliss
se, 14 August 2016

A bus firm has turned down a British driver after the company said it was only employing Romanians.

Peter Kennedy sent his CV into a recruitment agency after seeing an advert wanting bus drivers from the European Union.

The 45-year-old said an interview was set-up before receiving an email the day before from Arriva saying the job was only available to Romanians. ...

Arriva was looking for 30 drivers to work full time in Watford, with accommodation provided by the company. ...

In a statement Arriva defending their selection policy, saying: "On occasion, to ensure that all vacancies are filled with the most suitable candidates, we employ agencies that specialise in personnel from overseas.

"Candidates undergo the exact same interview process as those of British residency. We always encourage applications from any individual, regardless of their present address."
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Employment
£1.2m to boost ethnic minority and migrant job prospects
BBC, 4 August 2016

£1.2m will be spent on a project to improve the job prospects of migrants and ethnic minorities.

It will be run by charity, Sova Cymru, over three years in north, west and south Wales. ...

Achieving Change through Employment will be funded by the Welsh Government and the European Union and will involve one-to-one mentoring to improve people's literacy, numeracy and personal skills.
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Employment – public opinion
[47% in the UK believe immigrants take jobs from local residents]
Sputnik International, 12 July 2016

A Sputnik.Polls survey has revealed that 47% of people in the UK, as well as 36% in Germany and 50% in France, believe that immigrants take jobs from local residents. ...

The poll was conducted by French opinion and marketing research company Ifop and UK polling agency Populus for Sputnik News Agency and Radio.
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Employment – EEA, Single Market
Ending free movement of people in Europe will create a bureaucratic nightmare
Jonathan Portes
Institute of Economic Affairs, 8 July 2016
[Jonathan Portes is Principal Research Fellow at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research]

Some degree of control of EU migration for work purposes would appear to be a political necessity.

As a consequence, it looks likely that the UK's negotiating position /.../ may coalesce around "EEA-minus", described by George Osborne's former Chief of Staff Rupert Harrison as "a bit more immigration control and a bit less single market". ...

The first point to make is that it seems highly probable that EU nationals currently resident will be granted permanent residence rights. ...

This might appear like a purely retrospective issue, not influencing future migration flows, but in practice things are considerably more complex. The UK has no population register and no remotely comprehensive database on the movements of EU citizens in and out of the country. This means that the most obvious administratively feasible mechanism for granting rights to EU citizens who have already exercised their free movement rights would be to grant those who have registered for a National Insurance number (NINo) indefinite leave to remain, or its equivalent (perhaps giving them a time period in which they had to apply). Given the very large increase in short-term migration identified by the Office for National Statistic, this means that there are (conservatively) at least 1.5 million EEA nationals not currently resident in the UK who already have some connection with the UK labour market and who would therefore retain, at least in principle, the right to move to the UK in the future without being subject to any new controls. Nor does it end there: at the moment, EU citizens have (mostly) the right to bring partners and other close family members, even if they are not workers and even if they are not EU citizens; a literal preservation of "acquired rights" would cover such migrants in the future as well.

Another important point is that it does not seem likely or feasible that we would restrict EEA nationals' right to enter the UK without a visa. For the reasons set out above, it is difficult to see how we would find and remove EEA nationals who were "overstaying"; nor, frankly, to see why this would be priority for an already woefully overstretched Borders Agency.

... There are two obvious ways to implement a system that imposed restrictions on EEA nationals that were more restrictive than the current system, but less so than that applying to non-EEA nationals.

a) To oblige EEA nationals who want to work legally to apply for a work visa, as non-EEA nationals, but with less restrictive rules. ...

b) To impose no specific restrictions with respect to occupation or skill level, but simply to restrict the issuance of new National Insurance numbers to EEA nationals, with a monthly or annual ceiling. ...

Either system would in principle be feasible, albeit hugely complex. For example, what would be the status of the spouses of "qualifying" EEA nationals, whether from inside or outside the EU, who did not "qualify" in their own right? Would they be entitled to work, and if so in any job? Or to reside, but not work? Under both options self-employment would presumably be permitted (as it was for new and prospective EU members, even while employment was restricted) but there would need to be controls to prevent abuse, especially in sectors such as construction; again, this would add additional complexity.
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Employment – robots
Robots could replace migrant workers, says think-tank
Delphine Strauss
Financial Times, 4 July 2016

Britain's decision to leave the EU will force companies that rely on migrant labour to rethink their business models, if it leads to restrictions on low-skilled immigration.

For some, robots may be the most likely replacement, according to a report by the Resolution Foundation think-tank.

Almost one third of the workforce in food manufacturing are EU migrants. More than a fifth of domestic personnel are from the EU, and more than one in eight workers in sectors ranging from agriculture to warehousing and textiles manufacturing.

An end to free movement of labour would – other things being equal – make it more costly to fill these jobs. Given other changes such as the living wage, auto-enrolment in workplace pensions and the apprenticeship levy, there will be a strong incentive for employers to invest in automation.

This does not have to be a bad thing, the think-tank argues. The ready supply of cheap workers has allowed UK employers to get away with relatively low levels of capital investment for many years, a trend that has become even more evident since the global financial crisis.

"What the UK needs – with its high employment, terrible productivity performance and low investment – is more robots," said Adam Corlett, analyst at the Resolution Foundation. ...

There is some precedent for employers replacing migrants with machines: in the US, mechanisation transformed California's tomato industry when the supply of Mexican farm labourers through the Bracero programme ended.
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Employment – wages
Former British Chambers Of Commerce Chief: Labour Betrayed Working Class With Unlimited EU Immigration
Nick Hallett
Breitbart, 26 May 2016

The Labour Party should be "ashamed of itself" for allowing uncontrolled European Union (EU) immigration to push down the wages and job opportunities of the working class, the former head of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has said.

John Longworth, who resigned his post in March to campaign for Britain to leave the EU, said that immigrant labour allowed "corporates" to get away with failing to invest in British workers.

Speaking at the Institute of Directors, Mr Longworth said: "The European Union has been a disaster for working people in the UK. Migration has led to a low wage, low skill, low productivity economy because the unlimited supply of cheap labour for corporates has meant they haven't bothered to invest in productivity improvement or in skills training."

He added there were "half a million under-25s who are unskilled and unemployable in the UK", calling this a "national scandal".

It was also scandalous that Britain has a "low wage economy" when we are in an economic cycle where wages should be rising, Mr Longworth said.
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Employment – EU migrants
Number of EU migrants working in UK rises to record level
Alan Travis
The Guardian, 18 May 2016

The number of European Union migrants working in Britain has risen by 224,000 to a record 2.15 million over the past year, the latest official labour force statistics reveal.

The 229,000 total rise in the number of all migrants from inside and outside the EU working in Britain compares with a 185,000 rise in the number of Britons working in the UK labour force, according to the Office of National Statistics.

The fact that the increase in the proportion of non-UK nationals working in Britain is almost entirely accounted for by an increase in EU migration is bound to fuel the already fevered referendum debate over the impact of Britain's membership of the EU on immigration.

The lion's share of the increase in EU migrants in work in Britain – 131,000 of the 224,000 – comprises migrants from western European countries such as France, Italy and Spain, underlying Britain's current position as the "jobs factory of Europe". There was also a smaller increase in numbers from Romania and Bulgaria.

The ONS figures show that while employment of EU nationals increased by 224,000 to 2.15 million over the 12 months to March 2016, the number of nationals from outside the EU working in Britain was little changed at 1.19 million.

The latest quarterly labour force survey data shows that there are 28.15 million Britons in work compared with 3.34 million non-UK nationals. This means that foreign national migrants working in Britain account for 10.6% of the workforce – an increase of just 3.5% since 1997, when records began.

The fact that the 229,000-strong rise in overseas migrant employment in Britain happened at the same time as an 185,000-strong rise in the number of Britons in work suggests that the idea that they are all coming over here "taking our jobs" remains a fallacy.

The ONS said that the 224,000 increase in the number of EU nationals working in Britain was partly accounted for by the removal of restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians working in Britain. Their numbers in the British labour force rose from 173,000 to 228,000 between March 2015 and March 2016.
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Employment – EU citizens
Mass migration 'is damaging Britain': Leaked jobs report reveals civil servants' concern at EU influx
James Slack
Daily Mail, 23 April 2016

Mass migration from Europe is having a 'disproportionate' impact on the UK and damaging society, a government analysis says.

The leaked Whitehall document reveals that EU citizens are overwhelmingly the biggest winners in the British jobs market, responsible for 75 per cent of the growth in employment.

Graduates from Eastern Europe are taking low-skilled jobs, topped up by 'generous in-work benefits, without having contributed, from Day One'.

This is damaging the 'social policy objectives' of getting lower-skilled British citizens into work, according to the Department for Work and Pensions analysis.

It says 'unprecedented' levels of migration from the EU are the main force behind the equivalent of a 'new Coventry' being added to Britain's population every year. ...

The leaked paper, 'EU & International Affairs in DWP', is marked 'sensitive'. It dates from March 24.

The report reads: 'Net migration continues to rise at record levels and is now 336,000.

'The biggest contributor is the increase in the long-term migration of EU citizens. This is equivalent to adding a new Coventry to the UK every year.

'Newly arriving EEA [European Economic Area] nationals have a disproportionate impact on the UK. Numbers in employment in the UK grew by nearly 450,000 in the last year. EEA nationals secured about three quarters of that growth in employment, compared to 25 per cent for UK nationals.'

It adds that well-educated EU citizens from Eastern Europe 'are over-represented in low-skilled sectors in the UK – in-work benefits can act as a subsidy for them to take and stay in these jobs, damaging UK social policy objectives'.

It says 60 per cent of Eastern European graduates in the country work in lower-skilled occupations, compared with 20 per cent of those from Britain.

It adds that more than £3.1 billion of the annual £27.2 billion in-work benefits bill goes to EEA nationals. They represent around 6 per cent of the working-age population, but receive more than 10 per cent of the in-work benefit spend.
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Employment – health services, safety
Safety alert as EU blocks vital checks on doctors' qualifications: Concern over cards for medics due to come into force in 2018
Daniel Martin
Daily Mail, 2 April 2016

The European Union is a threat to patient safety because it will soon prevent hospitals from making vital checks on doctors, a former health minister warns today.

Unless Britain votes to leave the EU, the NHS will have to employ European doctors without being able to check their qualifications in as little as two years, MP Gisela Stuart said.

This is because of the planned introduction of European Professional Cards, due to come into force for doctors in 2018. These will allow medics to work in the NHS without having their qualifications checked.

Mrs Stuart also said that without a Brexit, the UK will never be able to carry out systematic language tests on all doctors currently working in the country.

Under European rules, hospitals are only allowed to test those who moved to Britain after 2014.

New figures show that in the past two years, 900 doctors from the continent have been turned down for work in UK hospitals or GP practices because their English is not good enough. ...

Almost 11 per cent of doctors working in the UK were first registered in another European country. ...

Mrs Stuart, a health minister between 1999 and 2001, said she was particularly concerned about European Professional Cards for doctors, agreed at an EU level.

They 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 General Medical Council, Britain's regulator, has warned that the cards could put patient safety at risk because the NHS will have to rely on European regulators to do the checks on its behalf.
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Employment – wages
National living wage will increase immigration, culture secretary warns
Daily Telegraph, 1 April 2016

The culture secretary has warned that George Osborne's new national living wage could fuel immigration unless Britain leaves the European Union.

John Whittingdale warned that freedom of movement rules, coupled with a rise in pay, could attract more low-skilled workers from Europe.

The living wage could put "great strain on our schools and hospitals" unless Britain was allowed to regain greater control over EU migration, he told The Times.

His comments come just as the new policy launches – from today, workers aged 25 or over will received a pay rise of 50p an hour to £7.20.

This could increase to £9 an hour by 2020.

Last year, Mr Osborne said the national living wage would be a deserved pay rise for the country.

But Mr Whittingdale warned that British workers may not be the main recipients.
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Employment – NHS, EU
Nonsense! Quitting EU could SAVE our hospitals
Dr Max Pemberton
Daily Mail, 28 March 2016

The other reason leaving the EU would help the NHS can be summed up in one word: immigration. This is putting the NHS under immense strain. It simply wasn't designed to support untold numbers of people from multiple countries having ready access to its resource.

Immigrants from the EU are more likely to have children than UK nationals, for example, meaning that they place more pressure on maternity services.

Britain is allowed to recoup costs for treating EU nationals on the NHS – but despite net immigration from the EU being at record levels, the amount we successfully claim back is falling. Hospitals recouped £49.7 million last year, although they clawed back £50.3 million the year before.

At the same time, the UK Government handed over £674 million to European governments last year to pay for British citizens being treated while they were abroad. In other words, we play fair while our EU partners don't.

We simply can't trust our EU partners to consistently cough up the money they owe us. Tackling this would require hospitals to have whole departments sending out invoices for EU nationals on a scale that is just too unwieldy at the moment.

Part of the problem is that no other EU country operates a system quite like the NHS, entirely free at the point of access and entirely funded by taxpayers' money. It is easily misused by those who can come here under EU free movement legislation, receive free healthcare, then return home.

The anti-Leave camp insists we need the EU to provide us with doctors and nurses. But this is entirely misleading.

It is true that the UK is more reliant on foreign doctors than any other major EU nation, with more than a third of the workforce coming from overseas. But this is a reason for us to invest properly in training – and retaining – enough doctors and nurses for our needs, rather than steal them from elsewhere.

Shockingly, in the past five years alone, a third of all NHS A&E doctors have moved abroad. Surely it's better for us to put strategies in place to stop us haemorrhaging talent in this way?
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Employment – nurses
NHS signs up MORE foreign nurses: Bosses accused of using cheap labour to 'undercut' British staff over plans to recruit 14,000 medics over the next four years
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 25 March 2016

NHS bosses will continue to recruit thousands of nurses from outside Europe amid claims they are exploiting cheap labour to 'undercut' British staff.

More than 14,000 are expected over the next four years, according to the Government's independent immigration advisers. A damning report yesterday said health bosses are using overseas nurses as a 'get out of jail free' card instead of investing in home-grown talent.

And it condemned the Department of Health and NHS trusts for flying in nurses from countries including the Philippines, India and Nigeria on lower rates of pay. The report by the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) said staff shortages could be blamed on failures to plan for things that 'could and should have been anticipated' – including an ageing population, training cuts and pay freezes. ...

... Around 630,000 qualified nurses work in the UK, including the private sector. Around one-fifth – or 140,000 – are foreign-born, with some 31,000 of them from outside Europe.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre says 11 per cent of all NHS staff are not British. It will now be at least three years before there are enough UK-born nurses to meet demand, the report by the MAC says. ...

The 140-page study by the MAC linked the shortage of nurses in England to a decision to cut training places by almost a fifth between 2009 and 2013.
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Employment – economy
Government Budget Relies On Mass Migration Levels Breaking Tory Targets
Liam Deacon
Breitbart, 17 March 2016

The government's economic projections for the UK, as laid out in yesterday's Budget, are based on levels of immigration which directly contradict their "promise" to bring migrant numbers down to the "tens of thousands".

The revelation will stoke suspicions that the Tories are using mass migration to shore up the economy, while ignoring widespread concerns about its wider social and societal effects.

Nick Timothy, the former chief of staff to Home Secretary Theresa May, said the Tories were "no longer trying" to tackle immigration, which would "keep going up and up".

In a blistering attack, he said the Treasury was "keener than ever" on mass immigration as it would help mitigate the effects of Tory spending cuts.

The economic blueprint on which George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, based yesterday's budget was drawn up by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). They insisted the figures were "scenarios not forecasts".

According to those "scenarios", net migration is assumed to sit at around 185,000 by 2021. A worst-case "high migration" scenario puts it at 265,000 in five years' time. ...

Between now and 2021, the OBR also suggests that there will be a rise of 900,000 in the number of people in work.

This suggests that three quarters of the increase over the next five years will be due to migration. OBR documents state: "Around three-quarters of the increase in employment that we forecast would be accounted for by net migration."

This is even higher than predictions made by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) last month, according to which half of all new jobs created in the UK would go to migrants.
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Employment – national insurance numbers
David Cameron must release figures showing full scale of EU migration, Cabinet minister says
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 5 March 2016

John Whittingdale, the Culture Secretary, said in an interview with The Telegraph that it is a matter of "great concern" that hundreds of thousands more migrants could be living in Britain than official figures claim. ...

He challenged the Prime Minister to release details on the number of active national insurance numbers being used by EU migrants. ...

He said: "There is already enormous concern on the basis of the numbers that that are published. The suggestion that they may understate the position is a cause for even greater concern.

"I have heard the reasons why national insurance numbers don't necessarily reflect actual levels but at the very least that's a debate which we need to have and I can see no reason why we can't have the figures.

"The massive influx that has occurred as a result particularly of the expansion of the EU is putting pressure on all of the public services - housing, education, health.

"It is creaking at he seams. There is a very strong feeling that his is a small country and we simply cannot go on having an enormous influx over which we have no control."
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Employment – numbers
David Cameron REFUSES to release figures that would 'prove the true level' of EU migration to the UK
Matt Dathan
MailOnline, 3 March 2016

David Cameron has refused a request to release statistics that Eurosceptics say will prove how many EU migrants actually enter Britain every year.

HMRC issues thousands more national insurance numbers to EU migrants than officially arrive in Britain but the tax office has repeatedly refused to publish the figures on the grounds that it might influence the outcome of June's EU referendum.

Leading Eurosceptic Tory MP David Davis demanded the Prime Minister step in to tell HMRC to release the figures 'immediately' so voters are given the 'truth' about EU immigration. ...

Figures published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) last month found 257,000 EU migrants came to the UK last year but over the same period 630,000 EU citizens registered for a national insurance number.

In the last five years 2.25 million EU nationals have registered for a national insurance number but according to the ONS just one million EU citizens have arrived in the country in the same period.

HMRC has refused to say how many of those national insurance numbers given to EU workers are active and have left the gap between the two sets of data unexplained.
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Employment – wages
Wages for British workers will rise in the event of a Brexit, head of 'in' campaign, Lord Rose says
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 3 March 2016

Wages will rise if Britain votes to leave the European Union and the number of EU migrants coming to the UK falls, the head of the "in" campaign has admitted.

Lord Rose, the former head of Marks & Spencer who is leading the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign, told MPs on Wednesday that if a British exit leads to restrictions on EU migrants, then "the price of labour will, frankly, go up".

He also suggested, in an appearance before the Treasury select committee, that the "cost" of Britain remaining in the EU will be continued "one-way traffic" of EU migrants for up to a decade. ...

During Lord Rose's appearance before the select committee, Wes Streeting, a Labour MP, asked him whether restrictions on free movement of EU migrants after a Brexit "could see an increase in wages for low-skilled workers in the UK".

Lord Rose replied: "If you are short of labour the price will, frankly, go up. So yes. That's not necessarily a good thing." ...

He issued a statement last night to clarify his comments on wages, suggesting that the economic impact of leaving the EU would mean that the "lowest paid would suffer the most".
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Employment – numbers
An EU migration debate is worth having. But the government must give us the facts
Jonathan Portes
The Guardian, 29 February 2016

More than 2 million citizens of other EU countries registered for UK national insurance numbers in the last five years, while the official immigration statistics show an influx of only a million. What's going on? Is the government covering up the true extent of European migration?

..., you wouldn't necessarily expect the figures to match up. In particular, people who only come here for a short time to work, and then return home, might need a number but rightly aren't counted in immigration statistics.

But the discrepancy is very large and has grown enormously over the last few years. Neither I, nor other migration researchers, can explain it. That's why I asked HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to provide data on how many of the national insurance numbers are still "active" on their systems, paying tax or national insurance. This would give us a far better idea of how many of those 2 million people are still active in the UK labour market.

The initial response from HMRC was that releasing this data – which it admits it has – would be unhelpful to the [EU] "negotiation process".

Now that the negotiations are over, the excuse is that "collating" the information would exceed the freedom of information cost limit of £600. I don't believe the government is trying desperately to conceal the true scale of immigration to the UK. But if it wanted to give that impression, it is certainly doing an excellent job.

What would the data tell us? First, it might indicate that migration flows from Europe, particularly for work reasons, have indeed been higher than we thought. If so, the already rather low level of benefit claims from EU nationals is even lower than we thought, relative to their presence here. But then – and this, perhaps, is the actual reason why the information is being withheld – the prime minister's claim that "40% of recent European migrants are supported by the benefit system" is based on a deliberately misleading interpretation of the data, and the government knew, or should have known, that when he said it. ...

This is a debate worth having, but it must be based on the facts. The ball is now in the government's court. /.../ Whichever side of the referendum debate you are on, and whatever your view on immigration to the UK, that has to be the right thing to do.
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Employment – domestic servants
Immigration system BROKEN as wealthy elite ships in foreign servants
David Maddox
Daily Express, 29 February 2016

New evidence has emerged that the immigration system to the UK is broken after it was revealed that almost 20,000 foreign domestic servants and their dependents have been given the right to stay over the last four years.

The figures published by the Home Office show that wealthy families are shipping in thousands of cleaners, cooks, au pairs and other servants from abroad along with their families. ...

Ukip last night warned that the number is "just the tip of the iceberg" because only servants from outside the EU have to be registered and they estimate "many thousands more" are being brought in from impoverished European countries. ...

Ukip Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall said: "This highlights everything that is wrong with our immigration system.

"Basically the government is allowing rich people to bring in domestic slaves on knock down wages and allowing them to beat the immigration system."

He went on: "Obviously jobs like cleaners, cooks and child carers are ones which can be done by British people but by shipping domestic servants in from abroad it allows people to pay much lower wages while at the same time heaping even more pressure on our public services."
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Employment – foreign workers
1 in 9 workers in Britain are now foreigners
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 17 February 2016

Foreigners now account for nearly one in nine workers in Britain after a surge in the number of EU migrants coming to this country, official figures have revealed.

The Office for National Statistics said that the number of EU migrants has risen by more than 200,000 in the year up to December 2015 to more than 2 million.

The rise means that there are now 3.2 million foreign nationals working in Britain, including non-EU migrants, compared to 28 million British workers.

The number of Eastern European workers rose between 121,000 to 1.17 million, which includes nearly 50,000 more Romanians and Bulgarians.

Since 1997 the number of foreign workers in Britain has risen from just over 1 million to 3.22 million.
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Employment – language requirements
WANTED workers...but ONLY if you're POLISH: Migrants being offered work AHEAD of Britons
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 12 February 2016

Jobless Britons are being denied work in favour of economic migrants from Eastern Europe, it has been claimed.

Dozens of vacancies on a Government-backed recruitment site require people to speak Polish, Romanian, Bulgarian and Russian.

Agencies can advertise for work with language requirements where it is necessary for the role.

But an investigation by the Daily Express found companies are actively seeking security guards, cleaners, customer service advisors and teaching assistants fluent in languages other than English.

One advert on the Universal Jobmatch site stressed it was "essential" an experienced painter and decorator was able to converse in Polish.

Critics said the scandal laid bare the "discrimination" against UK workers which was a symptom of our toxic relationship with a borderless EU. ...

Other jobs included Polish-speaking recruitment consultants in Nuneaton, Romanian-speaking school cleaners in Oxford, Romanian-speaking steel fixers in central London and warehouse workers in Nursling, Hants., where Eastern European languages are "useful". ...

DWP officials regularly vet the site but when asked they were unable to say how many of the 85,000 current vacancies require the ability to speak a foreign language. ...

Latest statistics show estimated employment of EU nationals (excluding British) living in the UK was 250,000 higher in April to June last year compared with the same quarter the previous year with non-EU nationals in employment increasing by 7,000.

The Office for National Statistics data also showed there were 84,000 more British nationals in jobs over the same period, meaning 75 per cent of the growth in employment was accounted for by foreigners.
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Employment – wages
National Living Wage 'may lure more migrants'
Joe Murphy
Evening Standard, 29 January 2016

Whitehall officials fear George Osborne's new National Living Wage could be a "magnet" for migrants from Europe, the Standard has learned. ...

Under the Government's Living Wage plan, the new wage floor will start at £7.20 per hour in April, and is expected to rise to £9 by 2020, putting Britain near the top of the global league table for compulsory minimum pay rates.

But concern is growing that higher wages will attract more people from lower-paying EU states such as Romania and Bulgaria.
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Employment – restriction, charge
Bosses face £1,000 non-EU skilled worker charge
BBC, 19 January 2016

Bosses should pay an annual charge of £1,000 for every skilled worker brought in from outside Europe, migration advisers have told the government.

The Migration Advisory Committee report said the proposal could raise £250m to go towards helping train British-based workers in UK firms.

It also suggested raising the minimum salary threshold for skilled workers coming to the UK by £9,200, to £30,000.

Ministers are concerned about the rising number of "Tier 2" migrants. ...

As such, the government asked the Migration Advisory Committee - the independent public body which advises it on migration issues - to investigate possible changes to Tier 2 visa requirements.

Currently, those wanting to work in the UK must be offered a starting salary of £20,800. There are some higher thresholds specific to individual roles.

In 2014, 151,000 skilled workers and their dependants arrived in the UK or were allowed to stay on.

The committee said raising the salary threshold to £30,000 would have excluded almost 28,000 people in 2014 - or about 18% of the total.

The committee "strongly" supports the introduction of the so-called Immigration Skills Charge to incentivise employers to reduce their reliance on migrant workers and encourage them to invest in training British workers.

The committee also recommends tightening the rules on intra-company transfers - overseas staff working for the same company in the UK - which have risen "very rapidly" in recent years.
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EXTREMISM

Extremism – free speech
'A very dangerous business' - terrorism legislation adviser raises alarm over Government clampdown on extremism
Josh May
PoliticsHome, 30 December 2016

The terrorism legislation watchdog has hit out at the Government's "dangerous" plans to clamp down on non-violent extremism.

In this year's Queen's Speech, the Government announced plans for a new "civil order regime to restrict extremist activity" as part of the new Counter Extremism and Safeguarding Bill.

Extremism was defined in the document as "the vocal or active opposition to our fundamental values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs".

David Anderson QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, said measures such as social media bans or limitations on movement and association could be used as part of a "silence coerced by law".

The Government is yet to come forward with its detailed proposals, but Mr Anderson said the plan ran contrary to free speech.

"Freedom of speech is notoriously a value that everyone subscribes to in theory but in practice it very often depends on the views that are being expressed," he told Radio 4's World at One programme.

"I think silence coerced by law, as an American judge once put it, is a very dangerous business – particularly when you're looking at something as vague as extremism. I've not met anyone who can really define it in a satisfactory way...

"It may be one thing to have a policy of opening people's eyes and making sure that they know about critical thinking and they can approach the internet in a critical manner, but to start applying the force of the law to people who oppose certain values I think is a really difficult and dangerous line to go down."

Silencing proponents of unpalatable views was "not the way" the UK has dealt with challenges to liberal values in the past, he added.

"We didn't ban Communism during the Cold War and I think we should be strong and robust enough to argue back," Mr Anderson said.

Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights delivered a scathing verdict on the Government's proposals in the summer.

The cross-party group of MPs and peers said the Government had not yet defined extremism, and warned that its plan could lead to people informing upon law-abiding citizens.
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Extremism – hate, Islamophobia
The predictable Muslim 'good news stories' have arrived
Douglas Murray
Spectator blog, 23 December 2016

The self-proclaimed anti-hate group 'Hope Not Hate' is appealing for funds to sue Farage for comments he made about the group. I will have more to say about this group in due course. But in the meantime it is worth mentioning that last year the Jewish Chronicle described this group's work as, 'not merely shoddy', but 'dangerous'. The Jewish Chronicle went on to describe the group's 'targeting' of Jewish commentators as 'deeply disturbing.' It concluded that 'Hope Not Hate is now, it seems, engaged itself in the politics of hatred.' ...

Various papers who made the mistake of trusting 'Hope Not Hate' have now had to un-publish their stories or print corrections. Perhaps they won't trust the group again.
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Extremism
Hope Not Hate's Own Spin Doctor Admitted Their Tactics Are 'Dirty, Underhand, Low down, Unscrupulous'
Raheem Kassam
Breitbart, 21 December 2016

A former Hope Not Hate communications adviser has admitted the group trying to take Nigel Farage to court uses "dirty, underhand, low down, unscrupulous" tactics in their efforts to crush political opponents.

Writing for the Labour Uncut website in 2011, paid Hope Not Hate activist turned Telegraph columnist Dan Hodges admitted to how the group operates.

"I started working with Hope not Hate on the media campaign for the 2009 Euro elections," he writes, before going on to describe how his organisation went toe-to-toe with the socialistic British National Party (BNP):



"It was no-holds-barred, bare knuckle, PR. We used every dirty, underhand, low down, unscrupulous trick in the book. Then when the book had been used up, we tore it to shreds, set it on fire, and stuffed it down Nick Griffin's underpants"



This approach taken towards a racist, ethno-centric party like the BNP could be legitimised. But questions can be asked as to whether or not the George Soros-funded group – which found itself without raison d'etre following the BNP's collapse – should be applying the same tactics to the UK Independence Party.

Indeed the group asked the question of itself just three years ago as it faced irrelevance. ...

The author of the article accompanying the question, director Nick Lowles, even admitted at the time: "I really don't know what we should do. As an anti-fascist, UKIP is outside my remit".
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Extremism – hatred, false claims
A supposed outpouring of online hatred against Jo Cox, a murdered MP, was exaggerated
The Economist, 17 December 2016

Hope Not Hate, a charity that combats extremism, published a report on November 28th purportedly revealing a mass outbreak of online hate-speech after the murder of Jo Cox, a Labour MP, a week before the Brexit referendum in June. In the month after the killing at least 25,000 people sent more than 50,000 tweets celebrating her death or praising her murderer, Thomas Mair, Hope Not Hate said.

Britain's largest newspapers leapt to publish the shocking findings. The story was shared far and wide. ...

Yet the story was wrong. An investigation by The Economist has found that Hope Not Hate misrepresented the findings of its own report when first releasing it to the press. The report itself gave a confusing impression of the number of tweets that celebrated Ms Cox's murder. We estimate that, in reality, of hundreds of thousands of tweets mentioning the MP by name, the number that celebrated her death was at most 1,500, and probably much lower.

Although press coverage of the story appeared to misread the report, that is not entirely the fault of journalists. The claim that 50,000 tweets celebrated Ms Cox's death or praised her killer comes from the first paragraph of a press release sent out by Hope Not Hate ahead of the report's publication. ...

Hope Not Hate admitted that its initial press release was incorrect and said that it was later changed. The charity referred us to the study's authors, Imran Awan of Birmingham City University and Irene Zempi of Nottingham Trent University. Mr Awan agreed that newspaper headlines had oversimplified the study's findings. Even so both authors retweeted articles repeating the press release's false claim.
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Extremism – cost, Islam
Mother who took her toddler son to Syria to fight for ISIS was given £132,000 taxpayers' cash in legal aid
Mark Duell
MailOnline, 29 November 2016

The first British woman convicted of joining Islamic State received £132,000 of taxpayers' cash to help fight her case in court, it was revealed today.

Tareena Shakil, 26, fled to Syria two years ago with her toddler son to join the terror group before being arrested on her return at London Heathrow Airport.

The Morrisons supermarket worker used her £400 student loan to fund the trip with her child before crossing over the border from Turkey.

She was later found guilty of joining ISIS and encouraging acts of terror following a trial at Birmingham Crown Court and was jailed for six years in February.

Now figures have revealed Shakil received £132,703 to pay for her solicitor and barrister through the taxpayer funded legal aid system.

A total of £72,875 was paid to her solicitor, £53,918 to her barrister and there was £5,909 to cover disbursements.
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Extremism – Islam
Ringleaders of 'Trojan Horse' plot to impose Islamic regimes in state schools are BACK in the classroom despite being banned from teaching
Amie Gordon
MailOnline, 28 November 2016

Two teachers banned from teaching after being named as ringleaders in the 'Trojan horse' education scandal have returned to the classroom.

Tahir Alam and Razwan Faraz were part of the 'Park View Brotherhood' of teachers, which exchanged some 3,000 messages in a WhatsApp group, including offensive comments about British soldiers, the Boston Marathon bombings and the murder of soldier Lee Rigby.

Mr Faraz, a former deputy headteacher of the Trojan-horse linked Nansen Primary School, is under an interim teaching ban, while Mr Alam was banned from any involvement with schools by the Department for Education (DfE).

However it has now been revealed Mr Faraz has been running classes under a different name, and Mr Alam has been teaching children in informal classes.
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Extremism – Islamists, justice
UK: Two Systems of Justice
Douglas Murray
Gatestone Institute, 26 November 2016

So farewell, then, Anjem Choudary. For two and half years at least. On September 6, the radical cleric was sentenced by a British judge to five and a half years in prison for encouraging people to join the Islamic State. If he behaves himself in prison he could be out in half that time, although whenever he emerges, it is unlikely that it will be as a reformed character. ...

It is now seven years ago that a young British man from Luton going by the name of Tommy Robinson formed the English Defence League (EDL). ...

Whatever its legitimate grievances when it began, the EDL did undoubtedly cause trouble. Protests often descended into thuggery, partly because of some bad people attracted to it and partly because "anti-fascist" counter-demonstrators often ensured that EDL protests became violent by starting fights with them. But through most of the time that Robinson led the EDL, there did appear to be – confirmed by third-party observers including independent journalists – a sincere and concerted effort to keep genuinely problematic elements out of the organisation. ...

In 2013 Robinson left the group he started, and in the years since, has engaged in a range of activities, including authoring a book. The book chronicles, among other things, a campaign by the state of harassment, which began from the moment Robinson formed the EDL. His own house and those of his nearest relatives were repeatedly raided by police, and computers and other materials taken away for examination. ...

Since his release, as before, Robinson has been repeatedly assaulted in the streets, including by Luton Muslims who have faced no subsequent charges for their attacks, even when caught on camera. In February of this year, he was hospitalised after being assaulted upon leaving a nightclub in Essex. ...

There will be those who think that such harassment of Robinson is correct - - that in order to keep the peace it is necessary to keep an eye on anybody who may have any effect to the contrary. But if that is true, it is curious that such measures were not routinely used on Anjem Choudary in all his years living freely in the community. ...

But of course the very comparison is unfair and in many ways lazy, because Tommy Robinson has not been – as Choudary was – at the heart of a nexus of terrorists and terrorist-supporters going back years. /.../ He is a white working-class man who, it appears, can thus not only be harassed by certain authorities with impunity, but can find few if any defenders of his rights among the vast panoply of people in our societies who are only too keen to defend the rights of Islamists.

Civil liberties groups such as "Liberty'" which are so stringent in protecting the rights of Islamist groups such as "Cage," are silent on the case of Tommy Robinson. To consider why this is so is to see to the heart of a problem that Britain has been going through in recent years and which seems destined to continue for many years to come.
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Extremism – religion, Islam
Justin Welby: It's time to stop saying Isil has 'nothing to do with Islam'
John Bingham
Daily Telegraph, 19 November 2016

Claims that the atrocities of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have "nothing to do with Islam" are harming efforts to confront and combat extremism, the Archbishop of Canterbury has insisted. ...

He argued that unless people recognise and attempt to understand the motivation of terrorists they will never be able to combat their ideology effectively.

It follows calls from a series of high profile figures for people to avoid using the term Islamic State – also known as Isil, Isis and Daesh – because, they say, its murderous tactics go against Islamic teaching and that using the name could help legitimise the group's own propaganda.

But the Archbishop said that it was essential to recognise extremists' religious motivation in order to get to grips with the problem.

He also said it was time for countries across Europe to recognise and rediscover the "Judaeo Christian" roots of their culture to find solutions to the mass disenchantment which led to the Brexit vote in the UK and the rise of anti-establishment leaders in the continent and beyond. ...

He said a series of terrorist atrocities, notably in Paris where he was speaking, showed how there was an urgent need for people across Europe to understand religion. ...

"This requires a move away from the argument that has become increasingly popular, which is to say that Isis is 'nothing to do with Islam', or that Christian militia in the Central African Republic are nothing to do with Christianity, or Hindu nationalist persecution of Christians in South India is nothing to do with Hinduism.

"Until religious leaders stand up and take responsibility for the actions of those who do things in the name of their religion, we will see no resolution."
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Extremism – Islam
The West Is Finally Fighting Back against Militant Islam
Rev. Peter Mullen
Breitbart, 19 November 2016

General Michael Flynn has been offered the post of national security adviser in Donald Trump's administration. ...

He is on record as having said, "It's rational to fear Muslims." On the BBC's Today Programme, the presenter Nick Robinson described Flynn's statement as "controversial."

So that's the BBC's assessment of what counts as controversial!

How so when for decades Muslims have been shooting, bombing, dispossessing and otherwise terrorising people in large numbers on three continents?

But the left wing establishment – that politically correct amalgamation of politicians, senior churchmen and huge sections of the media – insists that we shouldn't notice the slaughter. As a priest in the Church of England, I wish we would adopt the attitude and policies of some of our best forebears. ...

Islam, the famous "religion of peace and love" has got a CV. Here is a summary of its imperialistic incursions and attempted conquests over the last 1300 years: ...

There is no doubt that militant Islam's current aggression will have to be firmly suppressed if the character of Europe as we know it is to survive. If the European powers cannot bring themselves to act firmly, then the continent will be dominated by the Islamic ideology within a generation, with the resulting loss of all our freedoms – and of course the loss of countless lives.

The character of Islam has long been understood by some of the finest minds in Europe. One of the most outstanding philosophers of the 20th century, R.G. Collingwood in his The New Leviathan (1942) described Islam as "a barbarism." And the great poet Samuel Coleridge had this to say in his On the Constitution of Church and State (1830):

"That erection of a temporal monarch under the pretence of a spiritual authority, which was not possible in Christendom but by the extinction or entrancement of the spirit of Christianity, this was effected in full by Mahomet, to the establishment of the most extensive and complete despotism that ever warred against civilisation and the interests of humanity."

Winston Churchill wrote:

"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy."

World War III is not something that belongs to the future: it has been going on for a long time. The strategy of Islam is what it has always been, and that is to defeat, subdue and rule the west. Yes, there is a war on. The trouble is only one side is fighting it. Let us hope that, under the guidance of General Michael Flynn, this policy of appeasement and defeatism is about to change.
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Extremism – bias, police
Police Boss Backs Campaign to Destroy Right Wing 'Hate Rags'
Liam Deacon
Breitbart, 17 November 2016

The North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner has backed a campaign aiming to put right wing papers out of business because of their reporting on mass-immigration and Brexit.

Arfon Jones, a member of the Welsh nationalist Plaid Cymru party, called red tops "hate rags" and said it was "pathetic" for firms to continue placing advertisements in them.

He made the comments in support of Stop Funding Hate, an online campaign pressuring businesses into withdrawing advertising from newspapers, such as the Daily Mail, until they fold or move their editorial line in a left-wing direction.
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Extremism – Islam
Extremist group with links to 140 Isis fighters active in UK
Lizzie Dearden
Independent, 17 November 2016

Members of an extremist group banned in Germany for inspiring more than 140 Isis fighters with its "violent" ideology are active in the UK and seeking to recruit followers in Britain's largest cities, The Independent can reveal.

Police launched almost 200 raids across Germany at mosques, offices and homes linked to Die Wahre Religion (DWR) movement, meaning "The True Religion", this week but British security forces remain powerless to stop the same group's activities.

Announcing the prohibition on Tuesday, the German interior minister said members were spreading "hate and anti-constitutional messages, seeing young people radicalised with conspiracy theories" under the cover of a Quran distribution campaign.

"After taking part in DWR activities, more than 140 young individuals so far have travelled to Syria or Iraq to join in the fighting by terrorist groups," Dr Thomas de Maizière said. ...

The interior ministry said the group was stirring up "militant and aggressive attitudes" among its predominantly young audience, including calls to wage jihad and reject democracy in favour of the DWR's Salafist interpretation of Islam. ...

Members were running a stall in London's busy Oxford Street as recently as Sunday and have posted footage of events in towns and cities including Leicester, Nottingham and Blackburn. ...

British security services encountered similar problems with Al-Muhajiroun, a banned British jihadi organisation also known for handing out extremist material in UK high streets that underwent several name changes in attempts to evade authorities.
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Extremism – tolerance, intolerance
Stop Funding Hate: a nasty, elitist campaign for press censorship
Brendan O'Neill
Spectator blog, 16 November 2016

Intolerance wears a progressive mask in the 21st century. Students hound political undesirables off campus in the name of 'protecting diversity'. /.../ And now assorted leftists and tweeters are seeking to punish tabloid newspapers, to starve them of big revenue, in the name of promoting tolerance. Yes, intolerance – in this case of the redtop press and its right to say what it wants – is tolerance.

Stop Funding Hate is a new campaign aimed at getting big businesses – like Lego, John Lewis, Walkers Crisps, Virgin – to stop advertising in what are referred to as 'hate newspapers': that is, tabloids, primarily the Daily Mail. /.../ Let's curb the euphemisms and all the talk of promoting tolerance – this is a sly, sinister effort to chill and tame the press; a marshalling of capitalist power to punish newspapers and force them to change. It's a stab at censorship, not a cry for tolerance.

Stop Funding Hate is primarily concerned with the tone of the tabloids since the EU referendum. It doesn't like what some of these apparently low, rude papers have said about immigration. Or judges. ...

I'm sorry, but when you plead with Virgin and Lego and huge stores to deprive the rabble-rousing press of funds because they are pro-Brexit, anti-judge and not in favour of mass migration, then you are engaged in naked political censorship. You are agitating for the rich to try to stop mass newspapers from saying what they think. The campaigners are actually open about this. ...

SFH's footsoldiers fancy themselves as liberal, hilariously, but actually they're following in the steps of others in history who likewise sought to tame papers through de-funding them or depriving them of advertising. ...

SFH's agitation to pull ads from newspapers is not some simple, good, happy-clappy act of consumer caring. It's the attempted use of financial power to whack tabloid freedom in a similar way to how the FBI and African dictators once sought to harm the radical press. /.../ This is elitist, repugnant and illiberal, as are all attempts at press censorship.
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Extremism – Islam
Leading Islamic charity told by watchdog to distance itself from those who condone 'violent extremism and acts of terrorism'
Camilla Turner
Sunday Telegraph, 13 November 2016

A leading Islamic charity which penned an open letter criticising The Sunday Telegraph's reports about its extreme speakers and filed numerous complaints to the press regulator has been warned by the Charities Commission it must distance itself from individuals who condone "violent extremism and acts of terrorism".

Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) was investigated by the charities watchdog amid allegations that its leaders promote anti-Semitism and have called for homosexuals and female adulterers to be stoned to death.

The inquiry, which lasted almost three years, concluded that trustees must do more to prevent associating with organisations and individuals who "encourage or support terrorism and/or extremist views".

The charities watchdog also criticised iERA over its partnership with Islamic University Online, an organisation founded by Dr Bilal Philips, who was banned from the UK for his extremist views by Theresa May in 2010 while she was Home Secretary. ...

It said that iERA must step up procedures to prevent organisations and individuals "who seek to encourage or support terrorism and /or extremist views from taking advantage of the charity's status, reputation, facilities or assets".
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Extremism – Islam
Shame on Sharia: Women beaten, robbed and raped. A chilling expose of how BRITISH females are being sentenced to lives of misery by Muslim courts
Gita Sahgal
MailOnline, 13 November 2016

The Commons Home Affairs Committee has begun an investigation into the spread of Islamic law.

Dr Ahmad Al-Dubayan, chairman of the new UK Board of Sharia Councils, told the committee that British Muslims have the right to use sharia courts. They have no legal force but are regularly used by Muslim families to adjudicate on personal matters, including religious marriages and divorces.

Dr Al-Dubayan's colleague said that Islamic law allows polygamy, but the sharia judges and 'regulators' denied that they were promoting the practice.

To me this sounded like double-speak from the very organisation that aimed to standardise procedures and prevent abuses which could be perpetrated by the scores of self-appointed 'courts' operating around the country with no regulation.

In other words, they were the good guys who should be trusted to tame the extremists who might flourish if sharia law was driven underground.

The truth, however, is far more sinister. As an activist and documentary film-maker who has spent more than two decades investigating religious fundamentalism in Britain, I can reveal that sharia courts seek to undermine British law, subject women to humiliation, subjugation and the risk of physical harm, and apply a version of Islamic law that is far more extreme than that used in Muslim countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan.

The most prominent sharia councils are also the fundamentalist ones.

At the heart of their existence is a deliberate lie. The overwhelming majority of cases heard by sharia courts are divorce suits brought by women who are told that a British civil divorce does not count in the eyes of Islam.

Any woman who embarks on a new relationship will, they say, have committed adultery – a crime only equalled in their eyes by apostasy [abandoning Islam] and blasphemy.

Yet the courts in, for example, Bangladesh and Pakistan, are perfectly happy to accept a civil divorce certificate from Britain as evidence of the end of a marriage, which in the Muslim tradition is a civil contract rather than a sacrament. In those countries, the contract must be registered to count as a legal marriage.

But, here in Britain, there are many unregistered marriages. ...

The most sickening thing is that the spread of sharia law has been aided and abetted by the British state, which sees acceptance of these shadowy courts as a way to appease what they regard as 'non-violent' extremists.
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Extremism – Islam
'7 years of persecution' Muslim who converted to Christianity forced to flee Bradford home
Jon Rogers
Daily Express, 8 November 2016

A Christian and his family have been forced to flee their home under armed guard having suffered "seven years of persecution" after converting from Islam.

Nissan Hussain, 50, who took part in a Channel 4 documentary about the mistreatment of Muslim converts, suffered a brutal assault last year by two men.

Mr Hussain suffered a smashed kneecap and a broken hand in the attack which was captured on CCTV.

The father-of-six, who converted to Christianity 20 years ago, had been planning on leaving his home town of Bradford in west Yorkshire but armed police arrived on November, 3 as Mr Hussain had already started packing the family's possessions, and moved him to a safe place.
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Extremism – integration. political correctness
Government plans to make UK firms list migrant workers STILL 'ongoing' despite backlash
Alison Little
Daily Express, 10 October 2016

The Government yesterday insisted it remains committed to cutting migration amid claims it has gagged a critical report into its record on integration and extremism. ...

The Home Office has been accused of trying to censor a hard-hitting report by its "integration tsar" Dame Louise Casey. Casey is said to have found that the Government did not move quickly enough to get a grip on the speed of immigration and its impact on public services. ...

She also warned that "liberal tolerance" and political correctness have gone too far.

The Government wrongly let some areas operate as if they were Muslim-only zones, leaving state schools to close early for Friday prayers, she found.

Dame Louise is said to have voiced frustration at a failure to defend the Prevent anti-radicalisation programme from false claims that it is an attack on Muslims.

Anti-extremist professionals have reportedly been told to expect the findings of the review - which was ordered by then Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May - to be watered down.

Earlier this year Dame Louise urged the Government to stand up more for Britain's laws and values and insisted it is "not racist to say that the pace and rate of immigration has created a lot of change in Britain and for some people that feels too much".

This latest report was reportedly finished months ago but is understood to be still under wraps as officials consider whether it focuses too narrowly on Islamist extremism at the expense of examining other forms.

A Home Office spokesman said: "Louise Casey was commissioned in 2015 to review what more we can do to create more cohesive communities in England.

"The report will be published in due course."
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Extremism – Islam
US Muslim preacher 'who advocated beheading of gay men allowed to lecture in the UK'
Siobhan Fenton
Independent, 7 October 2016

A US-based Muslim preacher who allegedly advocated killing gay people is giving a lecture series in London after being allowed to enter the UK.

The Home Office has been urged to retract the visa of Hamza Sodagar who is giving a series of lectures in the capital city between 3 October and 12 October.

Mr Sodagar appeared in an online video recorded in 2010 in which he details ways in which gay people can be 'punished' for their sexuality, including being beheaded or thrown off a cliff. ...

LGBT rights activist Peter Tatchell called on the Home Office to revoke Mr Sodagar's visa. He said: "In a free society, Hamza Sodagar has a right to believe that homosexuality is sinful but not to preach about ways to kill lesbians and gay men. Many people with far less extreme views, who have never advocated violence, have been banned from entering the UK. Calling for death to LGBT people crosses a red line.

"The Home Office was wrong to grant him a visa and should now revoke it. The cleric should be ordered out of the country."

His lectures are being facilitated by the Ahlulbayt Islamic Mission at the Islamic Republic Of Iran School in London. ...

The Mission have defended their decision to host Mr Sodagar, saying his comments did not mean he endorsed murder of gay men and had been taken out of context.
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Extremism – Islam, Islamic fascism
Western Publishers Submit to Islam
Giulio Meotti
Gatestone Institute, 11 September 2016

When Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses came out in 1989, Viking Penguin, the British and American publisher of the novel, was subjected to daily Islamist harassment. As Daniel Pipes wrote, the London office resembled "an armed camp," with police protection, metal detectors and escorts for visitors. ...

Nonetheless, Viking never flinched. It was a miracle that the novel finally came out. Other publishers, however, faltered. Since then, the situation has only gotten worse. Most Western publishers are now faltering. That is the meaning of the new Hamed Abdel-Samad affair. ...

Abdel-Samad today is 46 years old and lives in Munich, Germany, where he married a Danish girl and works for the Institute of Jewish History and Culture at the University of Munich. In his native Egyptian village, his first book caused an uproar. Some Muslims wanted to burn it.

Abdel-Samad's recent book, Der Islamische Faschismus: Eine Analyse, has just been burned at the stake not in Cairo by Islamists, but in France by some of the self-righteous French.

The book is a bestseller in Germany, where it has been published by the well-known publisher, Droemer Knaur. An English translation has been published in the U.S. by Prometheus Books, under the title Islamic Fascism. Two years ago, the French publisher, Piranha, acquired the rights to translate Abdel-Samad's book about "Islamic Fascism" into French. A publication date was even posted on Amazon: September 16. But at the last moment, the publisher stopped its release. Jean-Marc Loubet, head of the publishing house, announced to Abdel-Samad's agent that the publication of his book is now unthinkable in France, not only for security reasons, but also because it would reinforce the "extreme right".

For criticizing Islam, Abdel-Samad lives under police protection in Germany

...

Mr. Abdel-Samad's case is not new. At a time when dozens of novelists, journalists and scholars are facing Islamists' threats, it is unforgivable that Western publishers not only agree to bow down, but are often the first to capitulate.

In France, for criticizing Islam in a column titled "We refuse to change civilization" for the daily newspaper, Le Monde, the famous writer, Renaud Camus, lost his publisher, Fayard. ...

Then a Paris court convicted Camus for "Islamophobia" (a fine of 4,000 euros), for a speech he gave on December 18, 2010, in which he spoke of "Grand Remplacement", the replacement of the French people under the Trojan horse of multiculturalism. It was then that Camus became persona non grata in France.

The Jewel of Medina, a novel by the American writer Sherry Jones about the life of the third wife of Muhammad, was first purchased and then scrapped by the powerful publisher Random House, which had already paid her an advance and launched an ambitious promotional campaign. Sherry Jones's new publisher, Gibson Square, was then firebombed by Islamists in London.
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Extremism – Islam
Top Saudi Arabia Muslim cleric calls for killing of Christians, Shia's and Jews in prayer service
Lorraine Caballero
Christian Daily, 9 September 2016

A top imam in Saudi Arabia has called for the killing of Christians, Shia Muslims, and Jews in a prayer broadcast at the Masjid al-Haram mosque.

In a video showing a prayer service at the Great Mosque of Mecca, a top Saudi imam is heard praying to Allah to help the Yemeni jihadists achieve victory over Christians, Shia Muslims, and Jews. The Muslim cleric's prayer was broadcast live on Egypt's television channel Al-Qahera Wal Nas, Sputnik News details.

"O Allah, grant victory, dignity and empowerment to our brothers Mujahideen (Jihadists) in Yemen. In Sham (Syria), and Iraq, and everywhere. O Lords of the Worlds grant them victory over the godless Rafidah (Shia Muslims)," the Saudi imam is heard saying in Arabic in the video. "Grant them victory over the treacherous Jews, and over the spiteful Christians, and over the untrusted hypocrites. O Allah, grant them victory, help and strength."

In a similar incident, a video surfaced last month showing a young Muslim in Belgium walking down a street in the city of Verviers and praying to Allah to kill every Christian. ...

After Immigration Minister Theo Francken prompted the police to launch an investigation, they discovered that the young man in the video is Imam Sheikh Alami's 16-year-old son.
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Extremism – prison, Islam, racism, political correctness
'Political correctness' allowing Islamist extremism to flourish in British prisons, report warns
Peter Dominiczak
Daily Telegraph, 22 August 2016

Political correctness in prisons is allowing extremism to flourish because guards are too afraid of confronting Muslims, a report has found.

A review into Islamist extremism in the British justice system has found that "cultural sensitivity" towards Muslim prisoners is preventing staff "challenging unacceptable extremist behaviour and views".

The report, by Ian Acheson, a former prison governor, warns that supervising staff are being "pressured" to leave prayer rooms during collective worship.

Islamist prisoners are also attempting to prevent searches by "claiming dress is religious" and are also getting access to extremist literature that is available in chaplaincy libraries or from individual prisoners.

Mr Acheson's report concluded that extremists are "exploiting... staff fear of being labelled racist". ...

The Government has said that it will implement a number of the report's recommendations. ...

Figures show there were 12,633 Muslims in prison in England and Wales as of the end of June. The number stood at 8,243 a decade earlier.

As at the end of March, of the 147 people in prison for terrorism-related offences, 137 of them considered themselves to be Muslim.
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Extremism – Islam
Labour's Frank Field sparks row by saying Britain should let jihadis go to Syria so they can die fighting for ISIS
Brendan Carlin
ms, 14 August 2016

Senior Labour MP Frank Field was branded irresponsible last night after claiming it was 'fine' for radicalised British adults to join Islamic State in Syria – because if they were killed, it would boost Britain's security.

The former Minister declared he was worried 'not one iota' about British extremists going to fight in Syria.

Mr Field said: 'I think we should have no worries about letting them go because the chances are some of them will get killed and that increases the security of this country.

'If people want to practise their evil, better go and practise it with the mates who've actually taught them about this evil than inflict it on my constituent or anybody else.'

But last night, Tory MP Alec Shelbrooke condemned Mr Field's remarks, claiming the Government was right to seek to stop British jihadis from getting to Syria. ...

Last night, Mr Field stood by his remarks about adult Britons travelling to fight for extremists in Syria.

He said: 'I am relaxed about letting them go but I am unbelievably tough about letting them back in again.

'The resources used to control their going should be used to prevent them coming back.'
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Extremism – Islam
Please stop saying the Nice attacks have nothing to do with Islam
Maajid Nawaz
Daily Telegraph, 16 July 2016
[Maajid Nawaz is the founder of the Quilliam Foundation, a counter-extremism think tank]

In the wake of the Nice attacks people are already saying: "But the terrorist wasn't pious. See! It has nothing to do with Islam."

Please stop.

Your good intentions towards us Muslims are only making the problem worse. This is as dangerous as saying it is everything to do with Islam.

The Crusaders weren't pious. But they had something to do with Christianity, right? Right? That something was the desire impious religious peasants had for martyrdom and the religious promise of redemption that Pope Urban II gave them.

Now switch out white Christians with brown Muslims and kindly cease with this bigotry of low expectations. This has something to do with Islam.

It is not a failure of security. We can deploy all the troops we want and it won't solve anything. ...

You can't disrupt a network that was barely a network to begin with and you can't break up a conspiracy of one. There will never be enough police to stop every runaway truck or every gunman in an airport, or nightclub, or stadium.

All we can do is stop the supply of recruits – and there are far too many of those. No terrorist represents the values of all Muslims, of course, but we have allowed hardline Islamism to permeate our communities and mobilise the vulnerable.

To stop it we have to make it less attractive, and that is a long-term struggle, similar to the those against racism, homophobia and anti-Semitism. ...

So please stop denying the nature of jihadism. Please stop ignoring the narratives which drive these attacks.
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Extremism – prisons, fear, racism
Prison wardens are 'SCARED' of being called racist if they tackle Islamic extremism
Charlie Bayliss
Daily Express, 14 July 2016

Prison wardens are too scared to tackle extremism within their walls for fears of being called racist, a Government officials has said.

Ian Acheson, a former prison governor and senior Home Office official who is leading the review, said there was "significant fear among staff" to tackle Islamic extremism.

Mr Acheson told the Commons Justice Committee it was a "bit nuts" there was no plans in place to extend extremism training in jails beyond April.

Writing about radicalisation in prisons, the ex-prison governor proposed the idea that terrorists should have a "prison within a prison" to stop the spread of their extremist ideology. ...

There are currently around 12,500 Muslims behind bars in England and Wales.
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Extremism – free speech
Jesus Christ would be banned from UK universities today, Oxford professor says
Hannah Furness
Daily Telegraph, 31 May 2016

Jesus Christ would be banned from preaching on university campuses if he were alive today, after Britain became "too feeble" at standing up for free speech, a leading Oxford professor has said.

Professor Timothy Garton Ash, professor of European Studies at Oxford University, said the trend for "so-called safe spaces" had led to free speech being eroded from all sides, with even students insisting on shutting one another's opinions down.

Warning universities must "hold the line" against the "salami slicing" of free speech, he said it was time for the public to stand up against creeping legislation and self-censorship.

Speaking at the Hay Festival, sponsored by the Telegraph, Prof Garton Ash said he had identified four key areas of threat to free speech in Britain, including an increasing fear of violence against those who chose to share their opinions.

Home Office legislation, he added, meant that universities were now encouraged to block even non-violent extremists from sharing their opinion, in a definition that could include some of the world's leading thinkers of centuries past. ...

"Now non-violent extremists? That's Karl Marx, Rousseau, Charles Darwin, Hegel, and most clearly Jesus Christ, who was definitely a non-violent extremists. The Home Office wouldn't want him preaching on campus.

"This is a real threat I think to free speech and one we have to fight back against."

Speaking of the key threats to speech, Prof Garton Ash, author of Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World, said he had noticed an increasing trend for a small number of offended individuals to be able to shut debate down.
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Extremism – Islam
How moderate are moderate Muslims?
Rod Liddle
The Spectator, 23 April 2016

In the UK there has never been a prosecution for inciting religious hatred of any Muslim who has urged death upon the Ahmadiyyas – yet it happens frequently. In other news, the Times reported that a substantial proportion of the Muslim chaplains paid by the government to minister to the disproportionate number of Muslim criminals are actually inciting them to acts of extremism, rather than asking them nicely to be law-abiding. /.../ We pay the 200 Muslim chaplains £40,000 a pop to further inculcate in these Muslim miscreants a greater sense of victimhood and irreducible loathing of western values. Most of the chaplains – some 70 per cent, the Times reckoned – are followers of the Deobandi school of Islam. So too are the Muslims who want all the Ahmadiyyas exterminated. Deobandi scholars influenced the Taleban, and the creed is behind a whole bunch of terrorist organisations operating out of Pakistan (and banned by the country's benighted government). Did we think paying for these chaplains would help matters? What did we expect them to tell the inmates? ...

It is likely that we convinced ourselves that the chaplains were 'moderates', as opposed to 'extremists' – a mistake which has been made time and time again over the last 15 years. A consequence of our desperate wish to believe that the faith itself is beyond reproach: it is merely the actions of a few evil men that discombobulate us all – the 'extremists'. But those two terms lose all meaning when applied to the fissiparous and splenetic tribes of Islam. ...

The Deobandis were also regarded as 'moderate', you see – and indeed, compared to some of the Salafist and Wahabi maniacs, they are a little more amenable in general. Not all of them yearn for the annihilation of the Ahmadiyyas or whatever other sect fails to believe precisely what they believe. But while there is a healthy trickle of clear blue water between what most British Muslims believe and what, for example, is believed by the Islamic State, there is an ocean between what they believe and what the rest of us here in the UK believe.
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Extremism – prisons, Islam
Islamic hate literature distributed in British prisons, leaked report finds
Sophie Jamieson
Daily Telegraph, 19 April 2016

Extremist Islamic hate literature is available on the bookshelves of British jails and distributed to inmates by Muslim chaplains, according to a leaked report.

A review into extremism in prisons found misogynistic and homophobic pamphlets and hate tracts endorsing the killing of apostates were available in chaplaincy rooms, the Times reported.

Hate literature and CDs were reportedly discovered in more than ten prisons in November.

A summary of the review, led by former prison governor Ian Acheson, was supposed to have been released last month but was postponed. The review was ordered by Michael Gove.

The report is also said to have found that chaplains at some jails encouraged inmates to raise money for Islamic charities linked to international terrorism.

Muslim chaplains, appointed by the Ministry of Justice, can earn up to £40,000. There are around 100 employed full time in prisons. ...

Around 1,000 prisoners in England and Wales have been identified as being extremists or vulnerable to radicalisation. Of the 12,328 Muslim prisoners, 131 are convicted Islamist terrorists.
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Extremism – multiculturalism, Islam
Trevor Phillips's documentary on Muslims was shocking - but not surprising
James Delingpole
The Spectator, 16 April 2016

'Our findings will shock many people,' promised Trevor Phillips at the beginning of What British Muslims Really Think (Channel 4, Wednesday).

But the depressing thing is that I doubt they will, actually. I think the general British public have known for some time what Phillips's documentary professed to find surprising: that large numbers of Muslims don't want to integrate, that their views aren't remotely enlightened, and that more than a few of them sympathise with terrorism. It's only the establishment elite that has ever pretended otherwise.

As former head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Phillips was very much part of that elite. He commissioned the 1997 Runnymede report that popularised the word 'Islamophobia'. The fact that so impeccably liberal a figure is now issuing a mea culpa like this speaks volumes about how dire the situation has grown. 'Everyone who has pinned their hopes on the rise of reforming and liberal British Muslim voices are in for a disappointment,' said Phillips. ...

Normally the PC response to these surveys is to shoot the messenger, as the BBC and the Guardian and the usual dhimmi apologists did last year, when the Sun revealed that one in four British Muslims sympathised with the motives of the Charlie Hebdo killers. They'll find it harder this time, not just because Phillips is black and probably reads the Guardian, but also because the survey was so thorough. It was conducted, face to face, by people of the same religion. And when it came to the really tricky question – the one about terrorism – a blank envelope was provided for the answer, so that respondents felt freer to say what they really thought.

There wasn't much to disagree with in this brave and honest programme, except for the odd momentary lapse, as when Phillips said, of Islamophobia, 'I've no doubt that most of it emanates from sheer blind prejudice.' I doubt even he believes that excuse any more. It was just a legacy of the kind of language all public figures were pretty much forced to use about the Religion of Peace till quite recently – Cameron showing the way with that disingenuous speech about 'moderate and reforming voices who speak for the vast majority of Muslims'.
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Extremism – Islam, Islamophobia
The Canard of Islamophobia
Tom Jay
Crisis Magazine, 6 April 2016

In 2004, then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan made the grave diagnosis that the West is afflicted with Islamophobia. /.../ His remarks, astonishingly, suggested that Muslims were the real victims of 9/11. Anan went on to describe the growing concern among non-Muslims that Islam carries within it a strain of anti-Western ideology as a "caricature." ...

... John L. Esposito, University Professor /.../ defends the term Islamophobia, /.../ According to Esposito, "in 1997, the Runnymede Trust, a UK-based independent think tank on ethnicity and cultural diversity, coined the term 'Islamophobia,' to describe what they saw as a two-stranded form of racism – rooted in both the 'different' physical appearance of Muslims and also in an intolerance of their religious and cultural beliefs." ...

Claims that Islam has nothing whatever to do with Islamism ignores the prevailing exegesis of the Qu'ran and Hadith in the Islamic world. As Robert R. Reilly masterfully explains in his book The Closing of the Islamic Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Islamist Crisis, with the ascendancy of Ash'arism in the Middle Ages, the template of today's Sunni and Wahhabi Islam, God is understood as pure will. Secondary causes are denied and no act is good or evil. There is only what Reilly calls "moral agnosticism," what Allah allows or prohibits. Reilly indicates that every school of Islamic thought has rejected causality and accepted the God of voluntarism, including Shi'ites. This has serious implications for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. A God of will rather than logos leads to tyranny, the will to power. ...

In a civilization rife with fear, it's no wonder the word phobia has gained currency. Anyone who disagrees with any tenet of populist sentiments is immediately diagnosed with a phobia of some kind. /.../ No rational person can be anxious about unregulated immigration; that's xenophobia. Equally, there can be no reasonable questions asked about the connection between Islam and violence; this is now Islamophobia. ...

... Many reasonable figures have expressed quite rational concerns regarding Islam, such as Alexis de Tocqueville, John Quincy Adams, John Wesley, Hilaire Belloc, and Winston Churchill, just to name a few. ...

... Yet, the question persists: why, among the world's religions, are orchestrated acts of indiscriminate violence committed only in the name of Islam?
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Extremism
Charity backing anti-Israel rallies has state cash pulled
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 3 April 2016

The government has ceased funding a British charity which sponsored events accused of promoting hatred and violence against Jews.

The Department for International Development (Dfid) said that it no longer supported War on Want, which helped pay for "Israeli Apartheid Week" in February this year.

The statement comes as the Telegraph obtained undercover recordings of events where anti-Semitism, demands for the destruction of Israel or naked support for terror were expressed by academics and others at meetings in some of Britain's most prestigious universities.

One speaker, Max Blumenthal, the son of a close adviser to Bill and Hillary Clinton, praised a massacre by Hamas as sending an "incredible message" and said that taking up arms should be "normal" for Palestinians. ...

The meeting, at London University's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), was the London launch of Israeli Apartheid Week, held across UK university campuses to "raise awareness about Israel's ongoing settler-colonial project" and demand boycotts of Israel. ...

War on Want, whose logo appears on publicity materials for Israeli Apartheid Week and the meeting, has received £260,000 in funding from Dfid over the last two years.

The subsidy is doubly embarrassing because the Government has recently banned local authorities and other public bodies from implementing boycotts of Israel.

A Dfid spokesman said last night that it has ceased funding of War on Want, apart from a small project with a distinct branch of the charity in Northern Ireland. ...

Many Israeli Apartheid Week speakers seek to destroy the whole of Israel, not just remove it from the occupied territories. ...

Another speaker at the event was Malia Bouattia, a hardline executive member of the National Union of Students known for supporting extremist groups such as Cage, the human rights organisation.
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Extremism – no-go zones
Migration crisis: Hungarian government says EU cities have 900 no-go zones
Daniel Nolan
The Guardian, 1 April 2016

Hungary's rightwing government has claimed on a website that supports its upcoming anti-migrant quota referendum that there are 900 "no-go zones" in London, Paris, Stockholm and Berlin. ...

The government page entitled "We say no to mandatory migrant quotas" defines the 900 "no-go zones" as "neighbourhoods not under control, or hardly kept under control", where "the norms of the host society ... barely prevail".

When asked to name the areas of London considered off-limits, government spokesman Zoltán Kovács told the Guardian: "Everything is based on publicly available data and sources."

However, the Hungarian state ministry mainly cited blogs and conspiracy websites as evidence.

According to the government, 751 of the "no-go zones" are in France. The ministry quoted a 2006 blog post about France's zones urbaines sensibles (Sensitive Urban Zones) by the academic Daniel Pipes, who is said to have first used the phrase "no-go zone" to apply to neighbourhoods with high immigrant populations.

However Pipes, an academic best known for claiming the US president, Barack Obama, was a practising Muslim, later retracted this statement after visiting France. "Having this first-hand experience, I regret having translated what the French government terms zones urbaines sensibles as no-go zones," he wrote in 2013.
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Extremism – Islam
Glasgow and Edinburgh mosque leaders linked to extremist group
The Scotsman, 31 March 2016

Leading figures of two Scottish mosques have held posts in a banned organisation linked to sectarian attacks, it has been claimed.

Sabir Ali, the head of religious events at Glasgow Central Mosque, and the leader of Polwarth Mosque in Edinburgh Hafiz Abdul Hamid have both occupied senior positions in the UK branch of Sipah-e-Sahaba (SSP), a BBC Scotland investigation has discovered. ...

Sipah-e-Sahaba is a militant anti-Shia political party formed in Pakistan in the 1980s. ...

It has links to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda and was banned by the Home Office in 2001 - and in Pakistan one year later.
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Extremism – multiculturalism
Deluded political class have created a climate of hate
Leo McKinstry
Daily Express, 28 March 2016

The problem is that the Belgian authorities, like those in the rest of Europe, are overwhelmed by the sheer scale of extremism in our midst. Tragically, fundamentalist Islam is now part of the urban landscape.

Jihadism lurks in cities across Europe wherever there are significant Muslim populations. The blame for this lies not with our security agencies but with our deluded, disloyal and destructive politicians. Through their obsessions with mass immigration and multiculturalism they have helped to create the enemy within.

They blather about solidarity but have wilfully fractured our societies with their addiction to open borders. They trumpet their devotion to democracy but have imposed all this upheaval without any electoral mandate.

They boast of their determination to fight terror, then deliberately encourage the import of terrorism. They state their resolve to "defend our values", then engage in turning much of Europe into an extension of North Africa and the Middle East. ...

Cameron prattles about Christianity but he governs a nation where the most popular boys' name is Mohammed and in Birmingham a child is far more likely to be a Muslim than a Christian.

Just as dangerous as uncontrolled immigration has been the attachment to multiculturalism, now the guiding ideology of Western governments. No public institution in Britain now operates without a proclamation that the quest for diversity lies at the heart of its work. But multicultural diversity is no weapon against terrorism.

On the contrary, it is a creed that helps the enemies of our society by fostering separatism and suspicion. ...

It is multiculturalism that allowed predatory Pakistani sex gangs to abuse with impunity, most notably in Rotherham where inaction by the local authorities, terrified about accusations of Islamophobia, led at least 1,400 white girls to be viciously exploited by Muslim men.

As the former local Labour MP Denis MacShane admitted, he did nothing about it because he did not want "to rock the multicultural community boat".
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Extremism – Islam
Young Muslims in the West Are a Ticking Time Bomb, Increasingly Sympathising with Radicals, Terror
Raheem Kassam
Breitbart, 22 March 2016

On the back of the Brussels terror attack it is worthwhile remembering that while a majority of Muslims in the West appear to have no truck with terrorism or extremism, there are a significant number who sympathise with terrorism and repeatedly attempt to justify attacks on the West.

An ICM poll from 2006 revealed that 20 per cent of British Muslims sympathised with the 7/7 bombers who brought terror to the streets of the British capital, killing 52 and injuring hundreds. This number rose to one in four British Muslims, according to NOP Research for Channel 4. With a British Muslim population of over 3 million today, that translates to roughly three quarters of a million terror-sympathising people in the UK.

The number rises for younger British Muslims – a sure sign that radicalisation through schools, mosques, and prisons (often via Saudi-funded groups) is creating a long-term problem in Europe. Thirty-one per cent of younger British Muslims endorsed or excused the 7/7 bombings of 2005, with just 14 per cent of those over 45 doing so.

Twenty-seven per cent of those polled in the United Kingdom say they had sympathy with the attacks on Charlie Hebdo – the French satirical magazine that published cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammed last year, with 78 per cent supporting punishment for the publication of cartoons featuring Muhammed and 68 per cent supporting the arrest and prosecution of British people who "insult Islam." ...

A 2013 study found that 16 per cent of young Muslims in Belgium believed that state terrorism is "acceptable," while 12 per cent of young Muslims in Britain said that suicide attacks against civilians in Britain can be justified.

Pew Research from 2007 found that 26 per cent of young Muslims in America believed suicide bombings are justified, with 35 per cent in Britain, 42 per cent in France, 22 per cent in Germany, and 29 per cent in Spain feeling the same way. ...

More recently, in 2015, it was revealed that 45 per cent of British Muslims think that hate preachers that advocate violence against the West represent "mainstream Islam." ...

Earlier this year it was reported that one in five prisoners in the United Kingdom's top security jails is now Muslim, a rise of 23 per cent from just five years ago. In total, a 20 per cent increase in the jail population in Britain has been outstripped by the rise in Muslim inmates – up 122 per cent over 13 years.

The same disproportionate figures are borne out across the United States, where Pew data from 2011 revealed that Muslims made up 9 per cent of state and federal prisoners though at the time Muslims made up just 0.8 per cent of the U.S. population.

In 2008, the Washington Post reported "About 60 to 70 percent of all inmates in [France's] prison system are Muslim, according to Muslim leaders, sociologists and researchers, though Muslims make up only about 12 percent of the country's population." ...

The BBC found that 36 per cent of 16 to 24-year-old Muslims believe that if a Muslim converts to another religion they should be punished by death. ...

The report again highlights the radicalisation of the Muslim youth in the West, with 74 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds preferring Muslim women to wear the veil, compared with only 28 per cent for those over the age of 55.
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Extremism – hatred, Muslims, Christians
Fleeing Christian refugees face hatred in Europe, says charity
Marco Giannangeli
Daily Express, 22 February 2016

Thousands of Christian refugees fleeing the Middle East are being targeted by radical Muslims when they reach Europe.

Charity Open Doors says there has been a spate of incidents in northern France involving Iranian Christian converts being persecuted by Iraqi Muslims.

One Iranian convert has been murdered.

"Many Christians amongst the refugees are fleeing persecution and discrimination," said Michel Varton, director of Open Doors France. ...

The reports come as David Cameron faces growing pressure to classify the slaughter of Christians by Islamic State as genocide.

Incidents of Christian persecution by fundamentalists include families being crucified after failing to convert to Islam.

Lord Alton of Liverpool said last night: "As people escape from genocide and persecution, they think they have reached safety in Europe only to find that it has followed them here.

"The persecution of Christians by ISIS is genocide. I will table an amendment in 10 days time in the House of Lords arguing that a Supreme Court judge should be empowered to hold a judicial review into this issue."
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Extremism – students, free speech
The intolerant student Left has even turned on me – a lifelong civil rights campaigner
Peter Tatchell
Daily Telegraph, 16 February 2016

Free speech and enlightenment values are under attack in our universities. In the worthy name of defending the weak and marginalised, many student activists are now adopting the unworthy tactic of seeking to close down open debate. They want to censor people they disagree with. I am their latest victim.

This is not quite the Star Chamber, but it is the same intolerant mentality. ...

This sorry, sad saga is symptomatic of the decline of free and open debate on some university campuses. There is a witch-hunting, accusatory atmosphere. Allegations are made without evidence to back them – or worse, they are made citing false, trumped-up evidence. ...

This is the antithesis of the free and open inquiry that is supposed to be the hallmark of university learning and culture. ...

The race to be more Left-wing and politically correct than anyone else is resulting in an intimidating, excluding atmosphere on campuses. Universal human rights and enlightenment values – including John Stuart Mill's On Liberty – are often shamefully rubbished as the ideas of Western imperialist white privilege.

I am all in favour of protesting against real racists and transphobes. But the most effective way to do this is to expose and counter their bigoted ideas, not censor and ban them.
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Extremism – prisons, Islam
Majority of prison imams are 'teaching anti-western' values that promote gender segregation, study claims
Tom Wyke
MailOnline, 8 February 2016

Around 70% of Muslim prison chaplains teach a hardline fundamentalist interpretation of Islam which challenges British values and encourages radical thinking.

The findings are expected to be revealed in a new study by former Home Office official Ian Acheson, which is scheduled to be published next month.

Muslim prisoners represent just 10.8% of the total prison population in the UK, with 12,622 people in jail identifying as a Muslim, according to the Ministry of Justice. ...

The news comes after it was revealed by the Guardian last year that some Islamist extremists have deliberately gained jobs in prisons or be given a custodial sentence in an attempt to radicalise vulnerable prisoners.
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Extremism – Islam
Organised campaign to hobble anti-terror fight
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 31 January 2016

An organised campaign to undermine Britain's fight against terrorism can be revealed today.

Islamist activists linked to Cage, a group known to sympathise with terrorists, are using coordinated leaks to mainstream news organisations, including the BBC, to spread fear and confusion in Muslim communities about the Government's anti-terror policy, Prevent.

Investigations by the Telegraph reveal that several widely reported recent stories about Prevent are false or exaggerated – and many of the supposedly "ordinary Muslim" victims are in fact activists in the campaign, known as Prevent Watch. The stories include a claim which became a cause célèbre for Prevent's opponents – that a Muslim schoolboy from London was "interrogated like a criminal" for using the phrase "ecoterrorism" in class.

The boy's mother, Ifhat Smith, who took the story to the media, presented herself as a traumatised ordinary Londoner. She is in fact an activist in the Prevent Watch campaign and a key figure in the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, which believes in replacing secular democratic government with Islamic government.

In a "scathing" court judgment to be published shortly, Mrs Smith's legal claim against her son's school and the Government has been dismissed as baseless and she has been ordered to pay £1,000 for wasting court time.

In November, the BBC reported that the east London council of Waltham Forest had mistakenly released the first names of some primary school pupils thought at risk of radicalisation.

The release came as the result of a parent's Freedom of Information Act request for correspondence about Prevent. The parent concerned, Haras Ahmed, described Prevent as "a disaster from start to finish", and said he was "appalled [that] children's data, such sensitive data, are released."

However, a council spokesman said that the names had been blocked out in the release sent to Mr Ahmed but that the information sent had been "manipulated by a third party to reveal the blocked-out names."

In the coverage, Mr Ahmed presented himself as merely an ordinary parent. However, he is also an activist in Prevent Watch. An online search would have revealed that he was listed to speak at a meeting with the group only four days after the story aired. ...

... "Extremists and terrorist sympathisers are using the media to make it harder for the authorities to fight terrorism," said Hannah Stuart, research fellow at the counter-extremism think tank the Henry Jackson Society. ...

Prevent Watch is linked to Cage, which notoriously defended "Jihadi John", the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant killer, and is described as an "apologist for terrorism" by Boris Johnson. Prevent Watch has links to Mend, an extremist front group which wants to let Muslims fight in Syria.
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Extremism – terrorism, Islam, Europe
European Governments Ignoring Security Warnings?
Judith Bergman
Gatestone Institute, 30 January 2016

The head of the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST), Benedicte Bjørnland, ...

"One cannot," she said, "assume that new arrivals will automatically adapt to the norms and rules of Norwegian society. Furthermore, new arrivals are not homogenous and can bring ethnic and religious strife with them... If parallel societies, radicalization and extremist environments emerge in the long run," she added, "We will have challenges as a security service." ...

Anders Thornberg, the head of the Swedish Security Service (S-PO), literally begged Swedish society for help: "The Islamist environments have grown considerably in the past five years," he said "and tensions are growing between various population groups. We need all of society to help fight the radicalization, there are limits to how much faster a security service can run."

These are sentiments that are rarely, if ever, voiced by official Norway or Sweden. ...

It is questionable, however, whether the warning cries of the Scandinavian security services will have any noticeable impact on the fundamental political course of their political leaders, especially if the latest statements by Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven are anything to take into account.

In an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 21, Löfven declared that it was "wrong" to mix up either sexual assaults on European women or the threat of ISIS with the mass migration into Europe ... ...

The head of the Swedish Security and Intelligence Services has every reason, it turns out, to beg Swedish society to help fight the security challenges Sweden is facing. Considering current Swedish government, he is going to need all the help he can get.

The additional gap between the genuine concerns of national intelligence and security services on one hand, and governments' fear of offending Muslim sensibilities and venturing beyond the politically correct "narratives" on the other hand, is not confined to Sweden, but evident across Western Europe. ...

"The increasing momentum of Dutch jihadism poses an unprecedented threat to the democratic legal order of the Netherlands," stated the Dutch intelligence service, AIVD, in the autumn of 2014.

In Germany, the intelligence agencies warned in the early fall of 2015 that, "We are importing Islamic extremism, Arab anti-Semitism, national and ethnic conflicts of other peoples, as well as a different understanding of society and law." Four major German security agencies made it clear that "German security agencies... will not be in the position to solve these imported security problems and thereby the arising reactions from Germany's population." ...

British police are monitoring over 3,000 homegrown Islamist extremists who are willing to carry out attacks on the UK, British security sources have warned. ...

... Dame Stella Rimington, former head of the MI5, estimated in June 2013 that it would take around 50,000 full-time MI5 spies to monitor 2,000 extremists or potential terrorists 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That would be more than 10 times the number of people employed by MI5.

In Germany Hans-Georg Maasen, head of Germany's BfV domestic security agency, claimed that his office was aware of almost 8,000 Islamic radicals in Germany.
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Extremism – teachers, Islam
NUT leaders 'colluding to undermine anti-terror policies'
Andrew Gilligan
Sunday Telegraph, 24 January 2016

Leaders and activists of Britain's biggest teachers' union are colluding with Islamic extremists to undermine policies aimed at preventing terror attacks.

Private emails leaked to the Telegraph show that Rob Ferguson, a senior National Union of Teachers (NUT) activist in heavily-Muslim Newham, east London, is working with Mend, an extremist front group, and Cage, the notorious organisation which backed the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) killer known as "Jihadi John".

Mr Ferguson is orchestrating a campaign with Mend to discredit Prevent, the Government initiative which aims to spot signs of radicalisation in young people. A member of the NUT's ruling national executive, Alex Kenny, and Ian Hale, the NUT's assistant secretary in Newham, are also involved.

Mr Ferguson is a senior tutor at Newvic, the borough's largest sixth-form college. ...

Under Prevent rules, college staff have a legal duty to act if they suspect a student has extremist views or could travel to Syria. However, Mr Ferguson claims the policy "effectively criminalises people for being Muslims".

The emails show he worked with Mend's chair in Newham, Tahir Talati, to organise an anti-Prevent statement, signed by Mr Hale and local imams. It claimed, falsely, that Prevent attacked "normal Muslim religious practice" with young Muslims targeted "for the views they hold on issues such as government foreign policy".

The statement also claimed that Prevent was behind moves to "ban Friday prayers" and Islamic dress in two Newham schools. School officials said this was also untrue.
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Extremism – Islam
Birmingham Central Mosque Chairman And Future Mayor Tells Muslims To Resist 'Racist' Anti Terror Laws
Liam Deacon
Breitbart, 23 January 2016

The Chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque, a Labour city Councillor who is set to become the UK's second city's Lord Mayor in May, has labeled the Prime Minister an 'Islamophobe' and called for a boycott of the government's new anti extremism laws.

Muhammad Afzal argued that the "disgraceful" PREVENT strategy unfairly targets Muslims, who should "resist" the policy, and claimed that there was no evidence that British Muslims are traveling to Syria.

In July last year PREVENT, which is designed to help authorities identify people at risk of radicalisation, was given more legal force, meaning teachers and some medical staff are now legally compelled to report those at risk.

It has also been extended to Islamic religious schools, or 'madrasas', which the councillor labeled "Islamophobic."

Mr. Afzal attacked the policy at a meeting jointly organised with Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) in Highgate, Birmingham. ...

The future Lord Mayor joins organisations such as Muslim human rights group CAGE and the Muslim Brotherhood linked Muslim Council of Britain in his opposition to the PREVENT strategy. ...

It was just two weeks ago that Councillor Afzal was selected by Labour Party colleagues to become the next Lord Mayor of Birmingham, a city which is was around 22 per cent Muslim and 27 per cent Asian at the point of the 2011 census.
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Extremism – children
More than 400 children under 10 referred for 'deradicalisation'
Sima Kotecha
BBC, 21 January 2016

A total of 415 children aged 10 and under have been referred to the government's deradicalisation programme in England and Wales over the last four years, the BBC has learned.

National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) figures obtained by the BBC show 1,424 children aged 11-15 were also referred. ...

The BBC obtained NPCC figures, under a Freedom of Information request, which showed that a total of 1,839 children aged 15 and under had been referred over concerns they were at risk of radicalisation between January 2012 and December 2015.

The figures show referrals are rising year on year. ...

Under laws brought in last summer, schools, prisons, the NHS, and local authorities have a legal obligation, known as the "Prevent Duty", to spot individuals who might be vulnerable to extremism and radicalisation.

Figures show most of the referrals in both age groups were made in November last year - after the new law came into force - suggesting it could partly be a reason for the increase in the number of referrals.
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Extremism – Islam, Europe
Muslim Brotherhood 'using migrants as invasion force' to seize control of Europe, Czech president claims
Matthew Day
Daily Telegraph, 6 January 2016

The Czech president has claimed the migration crisis in Europe is the result of a plan by the Muslim Brotherhood to "gain control of Europe".

Milos Zeman explained the Brotherhood lacked the resources to launch a military invasion of the continent so was sending waves of migrants as an alternative force.

"It cannot declare war on Europe, it does not have enough forces for it, but it can prepare a growing migrant wave and gradually gain control of Europe as it has been happening in some West European cities that police are afraid to enter at night," Mr Zeman told Czech Radio.

The president cited the Moroccan foreign minister and a crown prince from the United Arab Emirates as his sources of information behind his claim.

"Based on these two information sources, Muslims and leading Arab politicians in both cases, I believe that the invasion is organised by the Muslim Brotherhood using, naturally, the financial means of a number of states, he added.
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FRAUD AND CORRUPTION

Fraud and corruption – voting
Voters will have to show passports to combat voter fraud in 'vulnerable' areas with large Muslim populations
Steven Swinford
Daily Telegraph, 27 December 2016

Voters in towns and cities with large Muslim communities where there are concerns about election fraud will have to show their passports or driving licences before casting their ballot.

The Government has announced that voters will have to produce identification to vote to reduce the risk of "endemic corruption" and protect the democratic process.

The voter ID scheme will be trialled in 18 areas which have been identified by police and the Electoral Commission as being "vulnerable" to voting fraud, including Bradford and Birmingham. The pilot schemes will be implemented during local elections in May 2018 before they are rolled out nationwide. ...

The Government is also considering checking people's nationality to prevent immigrants who are not entitled to take part in UK elections from voting. ...

Pilots will also take place in Blackburn with Darwen, Bradford, Bristol, Burnley, Calderdale, Coventry, Derby, Hyndburn, Kirklees, Luton, Oldham, Pendle, Peterborough, Slough, Tower Hamlets, Walsall, and Woking. ...

The move comes after Sir Eric Pickles, a former Conservative Cabinet minister, warned earlier this year that election fraud had been allowed to take place in Muslim communities because of "political correctness". Sir Eric said that the authorities were in a "state of denial" and were "turning a blind eye" to election fraud.
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Fraud and corruption – benefits
Migrants have been 'lying about their age for benefits for YEARS'
Rehema Figueiredo
Sunday Express, 6 November 2016

A whistleblower has revealed that dozens of migrants have been lying about their age in order to receive benefits and cheap education.

The woman, who works at a busy job centre in a large English city, said she has dealt with numerous people who she said are clearly lying about their age.

The whistleblower, who has specialised in dealing with 18 to 24 year olds and worked as a job adviser for 20 years, said one woman from Somalia even had the audacity to admit to her that she had lied. ...

Job Centre Plus workers are trained to report suspected fraud cases.

The job adviser explained that many of those who conceal their true ages have their date of birth listed as January 1st of the year they claim to have been born.

She believes many of those arriving in Britain claiming to be unaccompanied minors are lying about their age because there is far more help on offer for those aged between 18 and 24.

She said: "It seems unfair. The reason that they do it is because if they come as an unaccompanied minor then social services have an obligation to look after them, so they get put into foster care. One they leave foster care at the age of 18 they are then a 'care leaver', so social services have to be their parent until the age of 25. They then get a council flat at a very young age, often at the age of 18 and social services help to pay for education for them. The government's been putting a lot of focus into 18 to 24 year olds so we have all these special schemes. There's basically a lot more work and training opportunities that are available for this age group." ...

She added: "This has been going on for years."

The job adviser said she is certain many migrants she deals with from countries as varied as Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia are older than they say because there is a marked difference between them and the young people she deals with.
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Fraud and corruption – political correctness, election fraud
Election fraud allowed to take place in Muslim communities because of 'political correctness', report warns
Peter Dominiczak
Daily Telegraph, 12 August 2016

Election fraud has been allowed to take place in Muslim communities because of "political correctness", a major report finds as it calls for unprecedented reforms to the British voting system.

In a report commissioned by the Government, Sir Eric Pickles, the former Conservative Cabinet minister, today warns that the authorities are in a "state of denial" and are "turning a blind eye" to election fraud.

He said that there is evidence of voter fraud "especially in communities of Pakistani and Bangladeshi background" but that the cases have been ignored because of "over-sensitivities about ethnicity and religion".

Sir Eric warns that "challenging issues" over community cohesion should never be an "excuse" for failing to "uphold the rule of law and protect British liberties".

Sir Eric's report makes a series of recommendations to Theresa May, the Prime Minister, and calls for people to require identification when they are voting and for police cordons around polling stations to prevent intimidation. ...

The former local government secretary began his investigation in the wake of the scandal in Tower Hamlets, London, where the mayor Lutfur Rahman was removed and his election declared void after he was found by a court to have committed corrupt electoral practices including vote-rigging. ...

Sir Eric also sharply criticises the Metropolitan Police for failing to follow up the election court's ruling with any criminal charges.

He says that the force's inaction "sends a worrying signal that the police are soft on tackling and prosecuting electoral fraud, when faced with competing operational demands".

Writing in The Telegraph, Sir Eric says that following his investigation, he now believes "electoral malpractice is far more common than just one isolated London borough thanks to the state's collective state of denial".
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Fraud and corruption – electoral fraud
Electoral fraud is a blight across the political spectrum – and my review can help to stamp it out
Eric Pickles
Daily Telegraph, 12 August 2016
[Sir Eric Pickles MP is the former Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government]

Since the Tower Hamlets judgment, there has been silence from our supposed watchmen. The Electoral Commission's subsequent annual report and its forward-looking corporate plan made no reference to the Tower Hamlets judgment. Sadly, the Commission has put its head in the sand before over the risks of fraud. Despite years of warnings about Tower Hamlets, the Commission previously gave the Borough's electoral system a gold-star rating for electoral integrity in its inspection reports.

No follow-up prosecution has been brought following the court judgement, the Metropolitan Police maintaining that there was "insufficient evidence that criminal offences had been committed". This is a surprising statement. The election court disqualified Lutfur Rahman and his agent for a number of offences. There was extensive oral and written evidence tested in hearings at the Royal Courts of Justice. Mr Rahman was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt, to a criminal standard of proof. ...

Divisive community politics sometimes presents challenging issues, but there is no excuse for failing to enforce British law and protect the integrity of our democratic process. Good community relations are poisoned by the failure to uphold the rule of law and protect British liberties.

... We should require some form of ID to vote at polling stations – it is ridiculous that it is harder to take out a council library book than to pick up a council ballot paper. /.../ We should consider a new role for the National Crime Agency to tackle complex election fraud cases, especially those linked to other forms of crime and corruption. ...

I believe electoral malpractice is far more common than one isolated London borough, thanks to the state's collective state of denial.
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Fraud and corruption – students, cheating
Patient safety fears as more than 1,700 nurses found CHEATING on exams
Rebecca Flood
Daily Express, 20 July 2016

Shocking figures reveal more than 1,700 nurses have been caught cheating on their exams prompting fears of patient safety.

Over the past three years 1,706 nursing students at university have been punished for a range of cheating offences, including impersonating other students, plagiarism and colluding.

And the culture of cheating could be even more widespread due to students commissioning essays online, which is harder for university plagiarism software to detect.

One such company, Nexus, based in Pakistan, offers bespoke essays to aspiring nurses, charging £195 for a "first-class essay".

Set up by Anwar Haider and Moez Mujtaba, they founded the company eight years ago and now own dozens of websites.

They sell their work under the guise of "study aids", paying a team of more than 40 writers to churn out the course-specific work. ...

Elsewhere online some essays and coursework can be bought for as little as 99p.

The figures have set off alarm bells among experts, who fear nurses could endanger patients' lives if they do not fully understand what they are doing, particularly when administering medicine.

Dr Thomas Lancaster, a plagiarism expert, said: "High hundreds or low thousands of nursing essays are bought every year in the UK."

He warned it could lead to "potentially dangerous and fatal consequences".
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Fraud and corruption – Brazil, EU passports
New migration woe: Now HUNDREDS of Brazilians 'fraudulently obtaining EU passports'
Patrick Maguire
Daily Express, 22 June 2016

Criminals are selling fraudulent documents which allow Brazilians to apply for EU passports, according to shocking new reports.

Gangs charge around £10,000 for falsified papers which supposedly prove Brazilians' links to countries such as Portugal and Italy.

Corrupt officials in isolated rural areas could reportedly also be facilitating the passport fraud – which, if successful, could allow the migrants the right to live and work in Britain as EU citizens.

The criminals exploit historic links between Brazil and EU member states such as Portugal and Italy in order to falsify family histories that would make their customers eligible citizenship in those nations.

Birth certificates belonging to families descended from European migrants are faked – or male EU citizens who have settled in Brazil are paid to add their names to bogus documentation for people born to single mothers.

Police have admitted the worrying ruse is thriving in some areas of the country – and say their job is made more difficult as it is hard to check the validity of documents produced in "rural areas". ...

Last year it was revealed that thousands of migrants from the former Soviet state of Moldova – where the average wage is just £60 a week – were legally exploiting a similar so-called "granny loophole" in order to obtain EU passports.

Though Moldova is not in the EU, close ties with neighbouring Romania mean hundreds of thousands can easily obtain the right to live and work within the 28-nation bloc.
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Fraud and corruption – asylum, children
'Absurd' court ruling slammed as 'adult migrant claiming to be child' is awarded damages
Patrick Christys
Daily Express, 22 June 2016

Britain's immigration system risks being undermined as an "absurd" court ruling now means asylum seekers posing as children could be awarded damages if they are detained.

Some adult refugees are allegedly masquerading as children to swerve strict Home Office rules.

But a judge has just awarded damages to a Sudanese "teenager" who arrived in the back of a lorry with no proof of his real age after he was detained for longer than officers are allowed to hold a child - despite one official "reasonably believing" he was over-18.

The ruling sets a precedent that other refugees of dubious age cannot easily be sent back to their point of entry into the EU. ...

The 1971 Immigration Act states that unaccompanied children can be detained for a maximum of 24 hours - a limit that does not apply to adults - and it is now feared migrants could take advantage of this to gain easier passage into Britain. ...

Delivering his verdict, Sir Stephen Silber said: "My task is not to ascertain what would lead to the most efficient running of a fair immigration system but to apply the established principles of construction."
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Fraud and corruption – students
Universities catch almost 50,000 student cheats
The Guardian, 2 January 2016

Nearly 50,000 university students have been caught cheating in the last three years, according to figures which also suggest non-EU scholars are the most likely to commit the offence.

Students from outside the EU were four times more likely to cheat in exams and coursework essays, freedom of information data obtained by the Times found.

The figures, from 129 UK universities, revealed 362 students were dismissed because of cheating, making up 1% of those found guilty of misconduct.

Eleven institutions each caught 1,000 or more students cheating over the three-year period, with Kent University finding the most guilty, at 1,947. Five students were caught arranging for someone else to sit their exams.

Non-EU students made up 35% of cases but accounted for just 12% of the student population, requests from 70 universities showed.

At Queen Mary University of London, 75% of postgraduates found guilty of plagiarism were from abroad, with a third from China.
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ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

Illegal immigration – border security
MAPPED: The new migrant route police fear has seen HUNDREDS sneak into UK
Romina McGuinness
Daily Express, 19 December 2016

Hundreds of illegal migrants have sneaked into Britain on a sparsely monitored route, police claim after snaring a human trafficking gang.

The route has come under the spotlight after two human traffickers were jailed for trafficking migrants into Britain via the northern port of Ouistreham.

Police believe they could have helped hundreds of illegal immigrants enter the UK.

The traffickers, aged 26 and from Iraq and Iran, would pick up migrants from camps in Calais and Dunkirk, then drive them to Ouistreham, 250 miles (400km) from Calais, then helping them gain access to lorries bound for Portsmouth.

François Coudert, the local prosecutor, said: "Ouistreham port is the new gateway into the UK." ...

The two men, who were both migrants themselves, have been jailed for four years and banned from French territory, officials said.
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Illegal immigration – criminals, collusion, charities, EU
EU Accuses MSF, Major Charities of Working with Criminal Gangs to Import Migrants
Virginia Hale
Breitbart, 17 December 2016

The European Union's (EU) border agency Frontex has accused major charities of colluding with criminal gangs to bring migrants into Europe.

Frontex put its concerns about charities working in the Mediterranean in a confidential report written last month, and seen by the Financial Times. The document said migrants had been given "clear indications before departure on the precise direction to be followed in order to reach the NGOs' boats."

Frontex was more explicit in its concern over non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in the Mediterranean in another report last week, which stated: "First reported case where the criminal networks were smuggling migrants directly on an NGO vessel."

The border agency also said migrants rescued by charities' boats often refused to cooperate with debriefing experts, with some claiming "that they were warned [by NGOs] not to co-operate with Italian law enforcement or Frontex".

Frontex figures show the number of rescues triggered by a distress signal fell from around two-thirds of all incidents in the summer to barely even one in 10 in October.

This shift coincided with a massive increase in NGO activity in the central Mediterranean, with so-called charities accounting for 40 per cent of rescues in October compared with just five per cent at the start of this year. ...

MSF "humanitarian adviser" Aurelie Ponthieu slammed the EU for even looking into the issue, saying: "It is not about whether there is collusion between NGOs and smugglers: the issue is why so many people die, which is what Frontex should be focusing on.

"They should be looking at their own actions," she added.

The pro-mass migration Daily Beast spoke to a rescue worker with one of the charities operating in the Mediterranean, who admitted that most aid agencies actually have contacts on the ground in North Africa who tell them when vessels are sent out to sea.

"That's hardly colluding", the source said of the act, adding: "What it does is give us a heads-up so we can try to save people." ...

In September, the head of Austria's anti-human trafficking force warned that much of the profit of people smugglers in the Middle East and North Africa goes to Islamic State, and is now the terror group's primary source of funding.
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Illegal immigration – numbers, border security
What are they hiding? Home Office blocks Express bid for TRUTH on illegal migrant figures
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 17 December 2016

The Home Office was last night accused of trying to cover up the true scale of illegal migration to Britain.

It is refusing to release data on numbers seized at our borders – despite a six-month battle by the Daily Express. ...

We have repeatedly asked under Freedom Of Information laws for figures on the number of migrants intercepted at the UK border on the Continent in the first six months of this year.

Our request was made at the height of a summer of migrant chaos in northern France.

It should have been answered within 20 working days – but four months later we are still waiting for a response.

The case has now been taken up by the Information Commissioner's Office.

It has confirmed that the department is in breach of the Freedom of Information Act. ...

Earlier this year the Daily Express revealed the number of people caught trying to sneak into the UK in 2015 was 84,088, or one every six minutes.

The number seized – equivalent to 230 a day or nearly 10 an hour – was more than double the number caught in 2014.

Now we are seeking to establish the number of clandestine entrants successfully intercepted at British border controls in France and Belgium during the first six months of this year. ...

The Daily Express is also waiting for replies to two other requests. One was due on October 26 and the other on November 15.

The ICO is to start formal action compelling the Home Office to respond to our requests within 35 days. ...

The Home Office said: "We take our responsibilities under the Act very seriously."
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Illegal immigration – crime, sham marriages
Pregnant women 'sought out for sham marriages to exploit human rights law'
Daily Express, 16 December 2016

Pregnant brides are increasingly being used to take part in sham marriages as part of attempts to exploit human rights laws, a new report suggests.

Officials tasked with rooting out non-genuine couples have noticed a pattern of preparing for claims under the right to family life.

Men from outside Europe were said to be seeking pregnant brides or those who already had a child, apparently with a view to a potential human rights claim. ...

A report from the immigration watchdog said: "One team reported a new trend for non-EEA (European Economic Area) men paying extra for a sham bride who was already pregnant.

"While detailed inspection of trafficked and vulnerable persons involved in shams was out of scope for this report, one representative told inspectors that their team had seen 'more vulnerability than ever before'." ...

Inspectors were also told that, before attending an interview, some non-EEA nationals made multiple new applications for leave to remain. An outstanding application, even one with no realistic chance of succeeding, can act as a barrier to removal from the country.

Concerns were raised about "displacement" of sham marriages to other countries.

"By marrying overseas rather than in the UK, the non-EEA national in question was able to avoid notifying their intention to marry and the possible IE (immigration enforcement) investigation and instead seek entry to the UK via the family permit system," the report said. ...

Figures published in 2013 estimated that between 3,000 and 10,000 applications to stay in the UK per year were made on the basis of sham marriages.
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Illegal immigration – school pupils
DfE had agreement to share pupil nationality data with Home Office
Freddie Whittaker
Schools Week, 16 December 2016

The Department for Education (DfE) did have an agreement in place to share pupil nationality data with the Home Office for immigration purposes, Schools Week can exclusively reveal.

However, documents finally seen by the paper after a several month freedom of information battle, show the policy has been overturned and no nationality information about any pupil will now be shared with the Home Office.

From September, schools were asked to collect the nationality and birth country of each pupil as a compromise won by the DfE to curb stricter proposals from Theresa May. ...

A timeline in the document suggests the nationality data was added to the data-sharing agreement last year following the compromise, but confirms it was not removed until the latest version was created on October 7.
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Illegal immigration – Calais, France
Haulage chiefs slam British-funded 'Great Wall of Calais' built to stop migrants trying to board lorries bound for Kent as work ends on £2.3m barrier
Tom Pyman
Kent News, 14 December 2016

Construction of the 4m-high concrete structure, nicknamed the 'Great Wall of Calais' along the main motorway to the port in northern France finished on Friday, a spokesman from the Calais prefecture said.

It comes around six weeks after the refugee and migrant camp known as The Jungle was demolished, with thousands of its residents taken by bus to temporary accommodation centres across France. ...

However, Kate Gibbs, of the Road Haulage Association, said it had had reservations about the wall since it was first proposed.

She said: "It has cost a great deal of money, money that could have been spent on increased numbers of security personnel.

"It is in the wrong place, in as much as, since the camp was demolished, there are fewer migrants at Calais, but they are moving to other areas.

"It has cost too much and it is too little too late."
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Illegal immigration – Calais, France
£2 million 'anti-migrant wall' funded by British taxpayer is completed in Calais - only for French to immediately call for it to be demolished
Peter Allen
MailOnline, 14 December 2016

A £2 million 'anti-migrant' wall funded by the British taxpayer has finally been built in Calais – as the French port's mayor called for it to be torn down.

Natacha Bouchart said the 14ft structure was a ludicrous white elephant that was made redundant following the clearance of the so-called 'Jungle' shantytown.

Some 6,000 UK-bound migrants living there were sent to other parts of France at the end of October, as their tents and huts were burnt and bulldozed to the ground. ...

But Mrs Bouchart said Calais was now effectively a migrant-free zone, and told an administrative court in nearby Lille that it would stay that way.

...

In turn, the administrative judges said the flow of migrants would not completely 'dry up' in the short tem, and that the wall could still 'prevent possible intrusion attempts'. ...

Jean-Marc Puissesseau, head of Calais port, meanwhile said: 'It is an extremely important tool, it shows the motorway is secure.'
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Illegal immigration – employment, fines
Revealed: Government misses out on £120m in fines for firms employing illegal immigrants
Sebastian Whale
PoliticsHome, 7 December 2016

The Government has failed to collect more than £120m in fines imposed on British firms over the past six years for employing illegal immigrants, PoliticsHome can reveal.

Figures released by Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill show that penalties worth £179.1m were issued to companies from 2009/10 through to September of this year for employing people here illegally.

Some £57.4m was collected by the Government during this period, meaning £121.7m, or two-thirds, of the fines have not been paid.

The Government stressed that the penalties levied at the initial decision stage "may be reduced, cancelled, increased or reissued at the objection or appeal stage".

In a written parliamentary answer to Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, Mr Goodwill added: "Please also note that the collection figures are not cohort based statistics and therefore do not represent payment against penalties issued in a particular year." ...

In 2015/16, £46.2m of penalties were initially issued to firms for employing illegal immigrants, whereas only £12.5m was collected.

For the current financial year to September, a total of £24m in fines have been imposed, with £8.5m collected. ...

Overall, there were 15,115 penalties issued from financial year 2009/10 to September 2016 for firms employing illegal immigrants.

PoliticsHome understands that fines can be reduced for firms who cooperate with Home Office investigations or for those who pay early.
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Illegal immigration – Italy, European Union
Something Strange Is Taking Place In The Mediterranean
Blacklisted News, 4 December 2016

For two months, using marinetraffic.com, we have been monitoring the movements of ships owned by a couple of NGOs, and, using data from data.unhcr.org. We have kept track of the daily arrivals of African immigrants in Italy. It turned out we were witness of a big scam and an illegal human traffic operation.

NGOs, smugglers, the mafia in cahoots with the European Union have shipped thousands of illegals into Europe under the pretext of rescuing people, assisted by the Italian coast guard which coordinated their activities.

Human traffickers contact the Italian coast guard in advance to receive support and to pick up their dubious cargo. NGO ships are directed to the "rescue spot" even as those to be rescued are still in Libya. The 15 ships that we observed are owned or leased by NGOs have regularly been seen to leave their Italian ports, head south, stop short of reaching the Libyan coast, pick up their human cargo, and take course back 260 miles to Italy even though the port of Zarzis in Tunis is just 60 mile away from the rescue spot.

The organizations in question are: MOAS, Jugend Rettet, Stichting Bootvluchting, Médecins Sans Frontières, Save the Children, Proactiva Open Arms, Sea-Watch.org, Sea-Eye and Life Boat.

The real intention of the people behind the NGOs is not clear. Their motive can be money, we would not be surprised if it turned out to be so. They may also be politically driven; the activities of the Malta-based organisation, MOAS, by trafficking people to Italy is the best guarantee that migrants will not show up on the Maltese shore. /.../ It is also possible that these organisations are managed by naive "do-gooders" who do not understand that offering their services they are acting like a magnet to the people from Africa and thus they are willy-nilly causing more fatalities, not to mention that their actions are destabilizing Europe. ...

Brussels has created particular legislature to protect people traffickers against prosecution. In a dedicated section of an EU resolution entitled On Search and Rescue, the text states that "private ship masters and non-governmental organisations who assist in sea rescues in the Mediterranean Sea should not risk punishment for providing such assistance."

During the two months of our observation, we have monitored at least 39,000 Africans illegally smuggled into Italy, which was done with the full consent of the Italian and European authorities.
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Illegal immigration – custody, deportation
Home Office ADMITS 119,000 illegal migrants have disappeared
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 19 November 2016

The Home Office has admitted it is unable to say what has happened to more than 119,000 illegal migrants arrested since 2011.

The department was asked in a parliamentary question whether those arrested had been deported, were still in custody or had been released to remain in the UK.

It answered that the only way it could find out would be to examine the records in each individual case. ...

Labour peer Lord Temple-Morris had demanded to know how many illegal immigrants had been arrested in each of the past five years.

He also wanted to know how many arrests there had been for immigration offences and what had happened to those held.

The Home Office insists it has the information requested but it would be too time-consuming and costly to collate.

It did confirm there had been 119,730 arrests for immigration offences between 2011 and 2106.

Lord Temple-Morris said: "I find the Home Office answer very unsatisfactory.

"It is the clear duty of a Government department to give information to the people on something about which there is such widespread concern."

A Home Office spokesman said: "The specific figures requested were not provided as doing so in the format requested would incur disproportionate cost to the taxpayer."
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Illegal immigration – boats
Migrants and people smugglers adopt Mediterranean-style tactics for illegal entry in UK
Michael Knowles
Daily Express, 14 November 2016

People smugglers bringing illegal migrants into the UK are using similar tactics to those wreaking havoc in the Mediterranean – where thousands of people have died trying to reach Europe – it was claimed today.

Lucy Moreton of the Immigration Services Union revealed that asylum seekers desperate to reach Britain are boarding "larger, more secure vessels" to cross the Channel and then carried to within miles of the coast.

They are then dumped into smaller boats and left to reach land on their own.
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Illegal immigration – fake documents
Gang of 115 arrested across Europe for 'smuggling 6,000 Ukrainians into Britain through Ireland using fake Polish passports'
Gerard Couzens
MailOnline, 12 November 2016

Police have smashed a gang said to be responsible for smuggling thousands of illegal immigrants into Britain through Ireland.

More than 100 people including the alleged gang leaders have been arrested as part of the pan-European operation, Spanish police say.

Officers in Madrid announced the crackdown today as they claimed the people smugglers had trafficked around 6,000 Ukrainian immigrants using mostly fake Polish travel documents.

The favoured route into Britain involved a flight to Dublin from Belgium, France or Spain followed by a ferry to the UK.
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Illegal immigration – crime, forged documents
More than 100 arrests in major international migrant smuggling operation
Europol, 11 November 2016

On 21 October 2016, the Spanish National Police, together with the Polish Border Police, joined forces with Europol's European Migrant Smuggling Centre (EMSC) in Operation Kolso to dismantle a transnational criminal organisation implicated in the smuggling of Ukrainian citizens into the United Kingdom and Ireland.

... In 2016, the operation concluded with more than 100 individuals being arrested for forgery of administrative documents and the facilitation of illegal immigration.

In March 2016, a major blow was delivered to the criminal network when one of the main leaders was apprehended in Spain and more than 100 ID cards and original Polish passports were seized from his apartment. ...

The migrants entered Poland using tourist visas, and travelled on to other countries using forged documents such as Polish ID cards and Baltic-country passports.
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Illegal immigration – human trafficking
Women, children being 'trafficked from Pakistan, forced into begging' in Europe
Qaiser Butt
The Express Tribune, 9 November 2016

Powerful gangs of organised criminals are trafficking hundreds of women and children from different parts of the country through Iran for labour and beggary in Europe and the Middle East, The Express Tribune has learnt on the authority of senior officials.

Investigations by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) reveal that among those smuggled through the Iran route more than 8% are women and children. ...

"In most cases, women and children are smuggled along intending pilgrims who are issued valid visas for pilgrimage of holy sites in Iran," he added. "However, from there, women and children are smuggled to European states via Turkey." ...

"Iran deports 20,000 to 26,000 illegal Pakistani immigrants every year through its immigration office near the border with Balochistan," Khan told The Express Tribune quoting from official figures. "An overwhelming majority of these people pay hefty sums in the hope human smugglers would take them to Europe."

Human smugglers promise unsuspecting parents that their children would get decent and lucrative jobs in Europe – but instead the children are subjected to forced labour in domestic servitude.
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Illegal immigration – crime, traffickers
Just ONE year for Kurdish people trafficker smuggling 2,000 illegal migrants to Britain
Daily Express, 28 October 2016

Three Kurdish human traffickers have been sentenced to between one and three years in jail for helping more than 2,000 migrants illegally cross the Franco-British border in Calais.

But all three told a court they were just minnows working for a MASSIVE BRITISH people smuggling operation.

A Court of Appeal in Reims, a city in north-eastern France, sentenced one man – who was said to be the most heavily implicated in the illegal trade – to three years in prison. He has also been barred from re-entering French territory "indefinitely".

The two other smugglers both received a one-year jail sentence, and, once they are released, will not be able to come back to France for another 10 years.

Aged between 22 and 24, the men were based in and around the now mostly demolished Jungle shanty town in Calais, but received orders from members of a people smuggling ring based in the UK. ...

In the space of five months, the traffickers helped smuggle anything between 1,500 and 2,000 illegal Jungle immigrants into the UK.

Each migrant was ordered to pay £800 for a one-way ticket to Britain.

The men would drive the migrants from the Jungle tent camp to a motorway service area bordering the A26 highway in Reims.

The migrants would then be told to hide inside a second van bound for Britain.

Human trafficking rings tend to operate closer to the Franco-British border in Calais – police officials have smashed 29 people smuggling rings and arrested more than 500 traffickers in northern France since January – but many smugglers have started taking more discreet routes in order to bypass security checks and avoid arousing suspicion from investigators.

As a result, illegal networks have mushroomed across southern France, near the Franco-Italian border.
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Illegal immigration – activists, France
The British anarchists stoking migrants' defiance: Left-wing activists in Calais plot how to stir up hatred against authority
Sue Reid
Daily Mail, 27 October 2016

As a hazy dawn broke over Europe's biggest migrant camp yesterday, the British anarchists who encouraged residents to lob stones and flaming logs at riot police had disappeared. ...

Scuffles continued to break out among angry migrants, squabbling among themselves as they queued for coaches waiting to remove them from the squalid Jungle camp to new living quarters dotted about France.

The most disgruntled refused to get on the coaches at all.

Hundreds simply walked out to the town's bus stop to travel along the Channel coast to Dunkirk, where yesterday I saw a second camp already breaking at the seams with 1,000 Afghans, Iranians, and Iraqis waiting to get to Britain.

But if the whiff of tear gas used to quell the riots has evaporated as the Jungle is cleared of its 10,000 inhabitants during the French government's three-day operation, the migrants' dreams of reaching the UK have not.

Because what is perfectly clear is the utter futility of this latest push: When I talked to dozens of migrants about their plans they mentioned 'Dunkirk'.

And no one is more pleased about that than the Left-wing 'No Borders' activists, who were thrown out of the Jungle on Sunday night by police, but still hope to block the evictions.

Last night scores had set up home in squats throughout Calais, according to the French government, and, in middle-class accents in the ferry port's pubs, were plotting how to fight on.

'It is now our job to keep these anarchists out of the Jungle and away from the migrants who they stir up into hatred against all forms of authority,' a riot police officer outside the Jungle told me yesterday.

'Most come from your country and are only here to cause trouble,' he said. ...

And a British passport official echoed the same fears as I entered France by train on Sunday night. The Jungle, he said, 'will just spring up elsewhere near Calais, whatever the French try to do to stop it, because the migrants only want to reach Britain'. ...

At the overcrowded bus stop I found a family of four Iranians also hoping to get to the Dunkirk camp, some 20 miles up the coast.

Set in a suburb of the town, the camp was set up by the local mayor and charity Doctors Without Borders, a move condemned by the French government for encouraging more migrants to the coast. ...

Yesterday Didier Leschi, head of the French immigration office, said: 'We have yet to convince some people to accept our hospitality and give up their dream of Britain. That's the hardest part.'

The truth is those dreams are stoked by activists. ...

Recently, a senior official in the Calais region, Fabienne Buccio, said 80 per cent of the No Borders protesters in the Jungle are British, accusing them of 'manipulating and misleading' a 'hard core' of migrants to be troublemakers.
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Illegal immigration – violence
British anarchists travel to Calais to 'FIGHT police officers trying to clear Jungle camp'
Vincent Wood
Daily Express, 26 October 2016

British anarchist groups and anti-border protesters have threatened to attack police officers to halt the demolition of the Calais migrant camp.

Anti border activists, including the Anti-Raids Network and the No Borders group, met to discuss travelling to the French port town to stop the camp being dismantled.

A member of one group promised that "lots of us will be going down", while others handed out literature calling on meeting goers to "fight the raids".

A flyer handed out by the Anti-Raids Network featured masked activists holding clubs and rocks as they smashed a police van.

It also had advice for people heading to the jungle imploring them to "cover your face" and "avoid sending compromising messages on your phone".

The Anti-raids Network has previously ambushed immigration workers, slashing the tyres of border force vehicles who were trying to catch illegal migrants in the UK.
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Illegal immigration – asylum, France, EU
Why the Calais Jungle need never have sprung up
Ross Clark
Daily Express, 25 October 2016

One has to feel for the celebrities. With the removal of the Jungle camp in Calais no longer will they be able to pop across the Channel to earn virtue points by posing with migrants and weeping before the cameras.

... Celebrities aside, we can all be pleased that this insanitary shanty town is finally being cleared and its inhabitants dispersed elsewhere in France. ...

The squalor has given the Left ammunition for its claim that Britain is a heartless country which doesn't give a fig for refugees. That analysis is utterly wrong. Since 2011 Britain has spent more than £1 billion helping Syrian refugees – far more than any other European country.

But in contrast to Germany, which briefly opened its borders to all migrants last autumn, we have chosen to provide help in a way which ensures the greatest support gets to the greatest number of people.

This means pouring money into refugee camps close to the Syrian border where we can help 10 times as many people for the same money as by resettling them in Britain. ...

The shame is that the Jungle camp would never have formed in the first place had the EU's rules on asylum applications been properly observed. The Dublin Regulation, so named because it is based on a convention negotiated in the Irish capital in 1990, is clear: anyone who wants to make a claim for asylum should do so in the first "safe" country they reach.

Every EU country is regarded as being safe. Therefore there should be no case ever for granting asylum in Britain to someone who has travelled here from France. That doesn't mean that asylum seekers who first land in other countries should not be allowed to reunite with relatives in Britain – one of the reasons many give for wanting to come here.

The rules stipulate that if someone registers for asylum in France but has family in Britain then the decision on their application should be made by Britain. The regulation was framed in this way precisely to prevent economic migrants trying to take advantage of the asylum system. ...

No one who is genuinely fleeing for their lives would object to having to make an asylum application in the first safe country they reach. That migrants continue to travel all the way across Europe and are prepared to risk their lives jumping on trains and lorries travelling to Britain is a sign that their motives are something other than protecting their lives. ...

What we also need to do is systematically return any migrants who have travelled here illegally from another safe country.
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Illegal immigration – France, UK
Sooner or later, the Calais 'Jungle' will be back – and the British left can't wait
Nicholas Farrell
Spectator blog, 25 October 2016

The massive operation by 1,200 French riot police and gendarmes to bus the migrants in the 'Jungle' at Calais to reception centres elsewhere in France and to raze the illegal camp to the ground has begun. Allelujah.

You might think that the destruction of this crime-ridden and rat-infested shantytown, where up to 10,000 mainly African and Afghani migrants live in shacks and tents without running water or mains electricity, was good news. At last, those poor migrants will have a decent roof over their heads while they finally get round to applying to the French government for asylum, as nearly all are required to do by the law. But no.

Instead, the British left and the French right, joined in unholy alliance, are outraged: How dare François Hollande do such a thing! Britain, not France, must take the Calais migrants – they insist – because 'that is where they want to go'.

But wanting to get to Britain is not yet a human right. And the law – based on the right of a real refugee to refuge in a safe country – is clear. Aspiring refugees must apply for asylum either in the first EU country they reach or, if they have not applied for asylum after five months in the EU, the country where they are currently. In the case of many of the 'Jungle' migrants that means Italy, Greece – or France. Not Britain.

There are a couple of exceptions: under the latest version of the EU's Dublin Regulation, those with family connections in an EU country can apply for asylum there from another EU country. But they must stay in that country until their application is approved. Nor is it enough to say that they have an uncle in Birmingham. They must prove it. In addition, the Government has vowed to take in more unaccompanied migrant children.

But this group of unaccompanied minors are only a small minority of the total. And to get all 10,000 of those living in the 'Jungle' across the Channel, the Islington red rinse set and their imperial blue allies in France (Nicolas Sarkozy and Alain Juppé) need the camp to stay put for a while – at least until the Presidential elections next spring. Without this high viz symbol of 'our' callous indifference within sight of the promised land, their cause is doomed. ...

A group of charities even challenged the legality of clearing the 'Jungle' in a French court. While Saira Grant, chief executive of The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, says that 'focusing exclusively' on the children in the 'Jungle' 'creates an artificial distinction which suggests that all the others who fled war, atrocities and persecution are not worthy of our help because they are adults.' ...

Two thirds of them – according to a recent aid charity survey – say that they will refuse to leave the 'Jungle'. About 200 British anarchists from 'No Borders' have arrived to lend them a hand, according to the French police. So far, there has been little violence. But it is early days.

Those who refuse to leave the 'Jungle' will be arrested, say the police, but no migrant remains in jail for long. They also say that once in the reception centres, the migrants must claim asylum within an as yet unspecified period. Or else, they will be deported. Few ever are.
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Illegal immigration – border security
Three ILLEGAL immigrants caught every hour trying to enter Britain
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 24 October 2016

Three migrants have been caught trying to reach Britain illegally every hour since 2010.

The true scale of the border threat is laid bare in Home Office figures showing how the problem has worsened over time.

Data released under Freedom of Information guidelines provides a snapshot of the crisis under Labour and the Tory/Lib Dem Coalition.

On average, 74 "clandestines" were stopped at British border controls on the Continent each day between 2010 and 2015.

Six years ago 8,517 attempts were made, but 10 times that number tried last year. ...

The previously unpublished information chronicles the number of failed attempts to bypass border security year by year.

It is thought most attempted to sneak into Britain through Calais but the statistics include "clandestine entry attempts" through Dunkirk and Eurotunnel terminals in Coquelles, Brussels, Lille and Paris.

In 2011, the first full year that Theresa May was Home Secretary, 9,981 were stopped at the border. But last year the figure stood at 84,088.

In June, when she was still in charge of the Home Office, Mrs May admitted the migrant crisis "shows no sign of easing".

However, the problem is thought to be much worse than the figures show as they do not include those who managed to make it here illegally.

Experts estimate that for every migrant caught at least two are successful.

If true, between 2010 and 2015 Britain's underground population rocketed by 327,276 – more than the size of the city of Nottingham.

Between January and March this year, the latest figures available, there were 9,946 attempts or 110 a day.

The Home Office refused to disclose the number trying to gain entry to Britain on forged documents.
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Illegal immigration – border security
'They seek to cause chaos and misery' Tory MP urges government to ban militant group planning to fight French cops trying to close the Calais Jungle
Tom Newton Dunn
The Sun, 24 October 2016

A militant group planning pitched battles today with police trying to close down the Calais Jungle camp should be banned, says a Tory MP.

MP for Dover Charlie Elphicke has accused No Borders of being a secret anarchist front wanting only mayhem.

The Home Office should look at outlawing them, he demanded last night.

The call came after an investigation by The Sunday Times yesterday revealed members of No Borders have been plotting violence in the French town for weeks. ...

He added: "If No Borders are guilty of any violence towards the authorities in Calais it's right that the French authorities should prosecute them.

"The Home Office should consider proscribing this hard-Left anarchist sect."
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Illegal immigration – numbers
Do 74 people try to enter the UK illegally every day?
Claire Milne
Full Fact, 24 October 2016

Between 2010 and 2015 nearly 164,000 attempts at "clandestine entry" to the UK were detected at border controls in Brussels, Calais, Coquelles, Dunkirk, Lille and Paris.

That works out at around 75 attempts a day on average, according to Home Office figures.

However, these attempts weren't evenly spread across the six years so the average isn't all that helpful. Most of the attempts in those six years happened in 2015 when 84,000 were made.

These numbers come with a health warning: they haven't got the status of "Official Statistics" or "National Statistics". They come directly from a Home Office operational system.

The Express says "experts estimate that for every migrant caught at least two are successful". Experts at the Migration Observatory at Oxford University told us they don't know of any studies which support this figure.

Even if it's accurate, it isn't possible to simply multiply the Home Office figures on clandestine entry attempts by two to come up with a number of people illegally entering the UK.

The key word here is "attempts". One person might try to enter the UK a number of times and be counted each time they do. It doesn't mean that 164,000 individual people tried.

The head of the UK's Border Force estimated last year that around 6,000 migrants managed to enter the UK without being detected by the Border Force. But this is just the figure for those who later admitted to having entered the country clandestinely.

It's notoriously difficult to get a fix on the number of people who might be in the country without permission. As the Migration Observatory has put it in the past, estimates are:

"inadequate, vague, contested and out of date. Any efforts to estimate the number of irregular migrants in the UK or in other countries are automatically limited by the simple reality that this is a set of people who, by definition, do not wish to be found or counted".

The most recent study estimated that somewhere between 417,000 to 863,000 irregular migrants and their children were living in the UK at the end of 2007. The majority were thought to be living in London. But this was based on data from the 2001 census – there's been another since – and no major formal studies have been done more recently.

Most of those in the UK illegally are likely to have overstayed an existing visa or not stuck to the exact conditions of one, rather than snuck into the country.
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Illegal immigration – repatriation
Illegal immigrants given £2,000 to leave as UK faces colossal migrant crisis
Siobhan McFadyen
Sunday Express, 16 October 2016

The UK Government is giving £2,000 of taxpayers' cash to illegal immigrants to get them to leave the country amid the publishing of new figures which show the UK border's are at crisis point.

Prime Minister Theresa May, who was responsible for immigration until she assumed responsibility for running the country, is facing mounting pressure to bring the situation under control as it's revealed asylum claims are at their highest level in 12 years.

Each day immigration officials are forced to deal with queues of thousands of people desperate to secure their status in the country.

And to tackle it the Home Office has confirmed illegal immigrants are now being offered £2,000 each to leave as well as a flight home paid for by British taxpayers.

The Government confirmed they have made "assisted return" payments to a total of 529 people since they developed the strategy which was implemented in January of this year.

They say the money is offered on a case-by-case basis, up to a maximum value of £2,000 per person.

The assistance, the Government says, is to help those returning to "find somewhere to live, find a job or start a business in their home country".

According to the latest figures there's been a 41 per cent jump in the amount of asylum claims in the past year with people flooding in from Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Syria respectively. ...

Most applications for asylum are made by people already in the country who have made it past border control, the Government has confirmed.

And they say 90 per cent of applications in the year ending June 2016 were claimed after they'd arrived in Britain, rather than immediately on arrival in the UK at a port.

In addition there has been a 17 per cent increase in family visas meaning a further 47,000 non-EU nationals immigrated long-term to the UK to accompany or join others after they were granted leave to remain.

While in the year ending March 2016, the Office for National Statistics estimates there were 71,000 non-EU long-term immigrants for work, an increase of nine per cent or 6,000 compared with the previous 12 months.
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Illegal immigration – students, overstaying visas
A secret report shows that Theresa May massively overstated immigration numbers
Thomas Colson
Business Insider, 13 October 2016

Only 1% of international students break the terms of their visa and fail to leave after their course ends, according to a leaked government report obtained by The Times.

The government has suggested in the past that tens of thousands of students are overstaying their visas every year – but the figure is closer to 1,500, according to the report. ...

The government study looked at data from exit checks, which were reintroduced last year. Exit checks provide details of travellers leaving British borders, and allow the government to determine exactly who has left, and who is still in the country.

The checks are detailed enough to allow the government to know exactly how many international students have left on time, and how many have overstayed.

A source told The Times that while some students applied to switch visa categories – to a skilled work visa, for example – only about 1% of non-EU students overstay their visas. Based on past estimates of international students that number is around 1,500.

The Home Office has denied that the data is conclusive and said the study was "not completed."
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Illegal immigration – amnesty
Why the government should offer an amnesty to the UK's illegal immigrants
Rob Whiteman
The Guardian, 11 October 2016
[Rob Whiteman was chief executive of the Border Agency from September 2011 to September 2013]

The next five years will see considerable work for Home Office staff managing our border, immigration and passport systems.

Knowing that change is impending for EU nationals, the UK will see additional applications for visas, citizenship and passports from people already living here or hoping to live here. For example, the complex rules on marriage between EU and non-EU partners will be on the minds of many couples, who may now marry sooner rather than later. This will need additional staff and ongoing policy changes for any unintended consequences as a post-Brexit settlement beds down.

But it's doubtful the Home Office, even with more staff, will easily cope with the new workload unless a line is drawn on much of the historic caseload, often going back for many years.

There are no official figures on UK illegal migration. Some academic studies estimate there may be as many as 500,000 people while Migration Watch thinks it could be more than 1 million people. I think the latter is more likely and that the number will continue to grow as the total of people overstaying visas, being concealed through ports, entering on forged documents or absconding from contact will exceed the number leaving voluntarily or deported.

Tackling this caseload is massive. Scant resources are rightly focused on higher risk individuals, such as foreign-national offenders who are deported on expiry of their sentence. Over the past six years, the government has made real progress on reducing abuse, including closing the loophole of bogus colleges that saw thousands admitted without really studying. But better control now cannot reverse the fact that the system has been abused and some people are still here after many years. The vast majority of cases of illegal migration are not active and staff resources could not cope if they were.

An appropriate amnesty would make our post-Brexit system manageable, optimise resources to focus on new cases and also strengthen border control around our lengthy coastline. Replacing antiquated systems is also best achieved by closing legacy cases.

As we have seen in the US, this type of amnesty is controversial. Arguments against include that it may send the wrong signal to future would-be illegal entrants, and regularising through visas many people here may lead to their dependents overseas then applying too, if the rules allow, thus increasing net migration. And where is a line drawn to allow many to remain and the remainder to still face potential deportation?

But the prize of taking a bold step will be considerable. It could shift the public mood, with people here because they are allowed to be here, and would enable the government to tackle higher risk cases and improve its post-Brexit border operations.
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Illegal immigration – border security
EXPOSED: Thousands of illegal migrants easily sneak through Britain's 'porous' borders
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 8 October 2016

The catastrophic state of our border security is exposed today.

Former borders chief Rob Whiteman said that thousands of illegal migrants had simply vanished without trace.

Asylum seekers had also disappeared in their droves. Mr Whiteman, chief executive of the UK Border Agency from 2011 to 2013, said failures were unchecked because of scant resources.

He revealed illegal migrants and asylum seekers were disappearing in the UK in tens of thousands as staff focused on "high-risk" serious criminals. He said National Insurance numbers were being issued to migrants with false identity documents. ...

Mr Whiteman is the first senior former official to come clean about the scale of illegal immigration and the ease with which people can sneak into Britain.

Last year 84,088 people caught trying to reach Britain illegally from the Europe. It is believed at least another 170,000 made it.

He said resources were being targeted on high-risk foreigners. Those who arrived undetected or claimed asylum and subsequently absconded were largely ignored. ...

Mr Whiteman, now head of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, said: "It is not unreasonable to assume that the number detected is only a proportion of the number trying.

"I would have thought the number caught is at best half.

"The number of illegal migrants reaching the country is far greater than the rate at which we are deporting people.

"Either we have to put considerable new resources and policies into removal, including holding more people in detention, or accept there are a large number of people living in the country who are not allowed to live here but neither are they facing deportation.

If you have come here on false documents with a false identity you may well now have a National Insurance number.

"A lot of illegal migrants may be working here legally. An Italian ID card is enough to give you an NI number.

"If the public is ever going to be reassured we have to talk about the fact that there is a large amount of illegal migration that is not being dealt with.

Either the Home Office needs more staff or we accept the situation isn't going away." ...

"We don't know the true illegal migration figures but I do think it is more in the region of a million."
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Illegal immigration – border security, English Channel
'We need BULLDOG SPIRIT' Top general calls for Marines to defend Channel from migrants
Marco Giannangeli
Sunday Express, 2 October 2016

One of Britain's most respected military generals last night backed calls for the Royal Marines to defend the English Channel against illegal migrants making the crossing by boat.

Maj General Julian Thompson, a former Royal Marine who led British ground forces in the retaking of the Falkland Islands in 1982, warned that the Government "can no longer afford to delay" taking action to halt the increasing number of unauthorised dinghies washing up on British shores. ...

Gen Thompson said indications by presidential hopeful Nicholas Sarkozy that he would push Britain's border with France back from Calais to Dover would "only exacerbate the problem".

"We have only five Border Force cutters to patrol our entire coastline. But one is in the Aegean Sea while another is usually in dry dock for maintenance. That leaves just three to patrol the 700 miles between Cornwall and East Anglia, let alone the whole 11,000 miles of Britain's coastline," he said.

"The EU will not and cannot stop these smugglers."

Urging Teresa May to adopt the "Falklands Spirit" he said Britain could not afford to wait until next year for promised additional vessels. ...

"Key to the Falklands Victory was the use of STUFT Ships: "Ships Taken Up From Trade" – merchantmen of all sorts.

"We need STUFT Ships now. We could requisition a dozen fast, twin-engined civilian sea-going motor cruisers, and equip them with gun mountings, military radars and communications systems. The RN or Royal Naval Reserve can crew them. ...

"We need to do this next week, not next year."

To enhance Channel traffic Control radars, six Britten Norman Islander aircraft, fitted with electronic surveillance equipment, should also be bought or leased, along with pilots, he added.

Aerostat balloons, cheaper than helicopters or drones and able to scan 37 miles to the nearest French ports and beaches, could used to plug gaps in maritime surveillance.
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Illegal immigration – European Union, UK
Archbishop of York says EU countries are 'shunting migrants' towards UK
The Guardian, 30 September 2016

The archbishop of York has accused European countries of pushing migrants towards Britain and warned that the UK should not be regarded as a "soft touch".

John Sentamu said the refugee camp in Calais only existed because the Schengen free-travel zone allowed migrants to move from the Middle East or Africa through Europe to the edge of the Channel without passport checks.

The Church of England's second-highest cleric told the Henley literary festival that the countries in the Schengen area should "own up to what they have created".

"I think it should be that, wherever the asylum seekers arrive in that particular place, you have a responsibility for their care, their love," the Daily Mail reported him saying.

"Schengen countries have not done that with the 'Jungle' and I, for one – as much as I am sympathetic and I feel sorry for the number of people genuinely seeking asylum – I think really the issue lies with the Schengen countries and they cannot see Britain as a soft touch."

Sentamu, who fled Idi Amin's regime in Uganda in 1973 for the UK, visited the Calais camp in June.

He said the UK could not be held responsible for the camp because it had never been part of the visa-free zone. ...

"Every nation is shunting them and shunting them and shunting them in the hope that they will end up in the UK." ...

The archbishop praised David Cameron's policy of giving aid to Middle Eastern nations to help refugees stay in their home countries.

In comments that could spark criticism from refugee groups, Sentamu said that Britain should begin naval patrols of the Libyan coast to prevent people smuggling.

"What I never understood is, given the ability and the number of British ships we've got, why aren't they patrolling the coast around Libya to stop people getting into boats?" he asked.
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Illegal immigration – employment
Arrests of illegal immigrants HALVES - but ministers insist they are tackling problems
Rebecca Perring
Daily Express, 30 September 2016

The number of illegal workers arrested in the UK has almost HALVED in just two years, despite repeated promises from the Home Office to tackle the problem.

Shocking figures show the number of foreigners found to be working in the UK illegally has declined by 41 per cent.

Between 2013 and 2014, 8,143 illegal immigrants were found to be unlawfully employed in the UK.

In stark contrast, just 4,814 were uncovered between 2015 and 2016.

A drop in the number of illegal workers sent back home also emerged in results from a Freedom of Information Request.

During 2013 and 2014, the Home Office booted out 3,400 illegal immigrants.

But this had slumped by 27 per cent with 1,295 caught by 2015 and 2016. ...

Alp Mehmet, vice-chairman of the MigrationWatch campaign, said: "These figures simply show that the response to illegal immigration has fallen woefully short.

"While the government's latest legislation has led to welcome new measures to tackle the problem, it will be just as important for those enforcing the immigration rules to have the resources they need to do the job."
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Illegal immigration
Iraqi crime lord dubbed the 'Godfather of traffickers' made £364,500 a MONTH smuggling migrants into the UK from France
Sam Tonkin
MailOnline, 27 September 2016

An Iraqi crime lord dubbed the 'Godfather of traffickers' and king of the Calais Jungle made £364,500 a month smuggling migrants into Britain from France.

Twana Jamal, 36, was busted after fed-up migrants turned on him and tipped off the authorities about his illegal cross-Channel operation.

UK police are now working to smash the British arm of his smuggling empire by tracking down fellow gang members and seizing Jamal's cash.

His personal fortune includes more than £1 million made from charging migrants £4,500 a time to bring them to Britain, according to The Sun.

The money is said to have been funnelled through criminal 'bankers' in London's Kurdish community and laundered under the guise of car washes and restaurants.

Jamal was also reported to be the 'go-to' guy for getting to the UK from other camps along the French coast, ferrying lorry loads of migrants at a rate of 80-a-month.

Police estimate the operation netted £4 million this year alone – but that is feared to be the tip of the iceberg in a trade worth £3.5 billion a year. ...

He has since been jailed for five years.

Jamal's gang was one of more than 200 busted by French authorities so far this year.
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Illegal immigration – schoolchildren
Parents urged to boycott schools' requests for non-white pupils to prove they're not asylum seekers
Rachael Pells
Independent, 27 September 2016

Parents are being urged to boycott a request to disclose their children's country of birth to schools amid fears it could be used by the Home Office for immigration enforcement.

More than 20 organisations and representatives have backed a campaign calling on Education Secretary Justine Greening to abandon plans to collect the data on every child aged two to 19 in England.

The campaign comes in response to fears the information, which will go into the national pupil database, could then be accessed by immigration officials, in effect, turning school administrators "into border guards". ...

Under the new expanded census, schools are, for the first time, asking parents to say which country their child was born in.

Disclosure is not compulsory, but a report last week found many schools were misinterpreting government guidance and demanding copies of non-white British pupils' passports to determine whether or not they were asylum seekers.

Gracie Mae Bradley, from Against Borders for Children, which is leading the campaign to have the policy overturned, branded the new government guidance "risky and unnecessary".
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Illegal immigration – repatriation
'Bribed' to go home: Illegal migrants given hugely generous packages to persuade them to leave UK
Martin Beckford
Mail on Sunday, 25 September 2016

Thousands of illegal immigrants are being offered bribes to leave Britain with 'tailored packages' that include free flights, money to start up businesses and help with finding schools for their children.

The Home Office is also offering failed asylum seekers and those who overstay their visa an amnesty from arrest if they attend meetings to discuss their return.

And they are promising that anyone who leaves voluntarily could be allowed back into the UK in as little as two years, whereas those forcibly deported are banned from returning for a decade.

In an astonishing example of the official drive to effectively 'pay' illegal immigrants to leave, a senior immigration official has even appeared on a spiritual guru's TV show to promote the new measures.

But critics say the generous terms of the Voluntary Returns Scheme amounts to a bribe that sends out the message that it is OK to be in the UK illegally.

Tory backbencher Andrew Bridgen said: 'This looks like a bribe for people who have already committed a criminal act by being here illegally. And it could act as an incentive for more people to come illegally.'

Conservative MP Philip Hollobone added: 'If people surrender themselves, it may be an arrest is not required but we should continue to arrest illegal immigrants.'

It is estimated as many as a million illegal immigrants may be living in Britain, either having overstayed their visas or having smuggled themselves into the country.

Experts admit that the Government does not have the resources to find and deport all of them. ...

Surgeries are being held at Sikh gurdwaras and Hindu temples, mainly in North and West London, to agree travel plans. ...

The Home Office has paid failed asylum seekers and those whose visas have expired to return home since 1999. However, the latest figures show the numbers taking this up have fallen, from a high of 6,200 in 2006 to just 1,635 last year.

In 2012-13, the most recent year for which detailed figures are available, £8.8 million was spent on the scheme including £2.1 million on flights and £37,000 on travel documents, with much of the rest going on help for the returnees to start new lives back home. Each individual can get up to £2,000.

A Home Office spokesman said the new system aims to save £5 million a year, adding: 'Enforced returns cost the taxpayer several thousand pounds. Helping those depart voluntarily costs much less.'
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Illegal immigration – slavery
'We need a radical new approach': PM orders spy chiefs to block illegal immigration routes into the UK with secret operations against people-smuggling gangs
James Slack
Daily Mail, 20 September 2016

Spy chiefs will for the first time be tasked with helping to block illegal immigration routes into the UK.

Theresa May has asked the heads of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ to run covert operations against people-smuggling gangs.

She wants the intelligence bosses to help find evidence that could secure convictions and end the 'horrifying inhumanity' of 'modern slavery' in the UK.

Normally, the spy agencies' activities are limited to terrorism and the most serious organised crime. But, speaking at the UN General Assembly in New York, Mrs May said she wanted people-smuggling and exploitation to be elevated to the same level. ...

The Home Office estimates there were between 10,000 and 13,000 potential victims of modern slavery in the UK in 2013. ...

Mrs May will announce that the Government is pouring £33 million from the foreign aid budget into high-risk countries, from where victims are smuggled into the UK.
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Illegal immigration – asylum, marriage fraud
Report: Dozens Falsely Granted UK Asylum In Visa Scam
Virginia Hale
Breitbart, 17 September 2016

The Home Office has uncovered an immigration scam aimed at bringing hundreds of migrants into Britain using family reunion laws, a report has revealed.

Imams at a mosque in Kuwait were found to be signing marriage certificates for migrants claiming to be members of the Bidoon minority, the report by border watchdog, David Bolt, noted.

Britain often grants asylum to Bidoons as Kuwait refuses to grant them citizenship. At least 29 migrants claiming to be Bidoons who were given asylum in Britain were found to be linked to family reunion applications that would have brought more than 100 other migrants into the UK.

A "significant number" of cases were identified where marriage certificates originated from the same mosque and were signed by the same four or five imams. The refugee status of the 29 migrants implicated in the scam has now been rescinded.

The racket was first detected by Jordan's visa section between 2012 and 2013, Noting anomalies in application numbers, officials interviewed the migrants and reported most of those interviewed provided "implausible accounts of their journey to Jordan and the majority appeared to know little or nothing of Kuwait".
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Illegal immigration – asylum applications
UK facing more than 40,000 asylum applications this year as migrants turn to 'covert methods', report finds
Peter Dominiczak
Daily Telegraph, 16 September 2016

Britain faces more than 40,000 asylum applications this year as migrants increasingly resort to using "covert" methods to get into European countries, a report has warned.

According to projections by the Overseas Development Institute, the UK will receive around 43,381 asylum applications in 2016, costing over £620 million.

Separate figures show that there were approximately 38,878 asylum claims in 2015.

The think-tank's report estimates that that 330,000 people will reach Europe this year by sea through "overt" channels, normally across the Mediterranean.

This is a fall compared to last year, when more than a million people arrived using those routes.

The paper suggests that while fewer people will arrive this year on well-known routes, in many cases refugees and migrants may be taking alternative "covert" routes.

It said the projected number of new asylum applications is still very high, at 890,000 by the end of 2016, adding: "This large discrepancy between new arrivals and new asylum applications suggests that there are many people whose journeys to Europe we know little about."

These refugees and migrants travel to Europe through a variety of "covert" channels and means which can include travelling by plane using false documents, concealed in vehicles or by over-staying visas, according to the report.
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Illegal immigration – crime, national security
Migrant-traffickers are top security threat: Officials warn danger will spread across Britain as gangs switch focus to small ports and airstrips
Chris Greenwood and Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 10 September 2016

Migrant-smuggling gangs are one of the biggest threats to Britain's national security, a report warned last night.

Soaring numbers of organised criminals are preying on migrants desperate to evade border controls, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.

Officials said the danger will spread across the country at smaller ports and airstrips as security at Dover is improved.

They revealed investigators from a range of agencies are stepping in to 'disrupt' threats to our borders almost every day. The warning was in the NCA's national strategic threat assessment, which looks to prepare police for threats. It put organised immigration crime in the top five threats, along with child abuse, cybercrime, firearms and top-level money laundering.

Officials said they face an 'unprecedented scale' of 'irregular migration' largely sparked by the conflict in Syria and Iraq. They said improvements to security at Dover and Calais, where UK taxpayers are funding a £2 million wall, will force gangs to change smuggling routes.

The report said: 'As security around borders increases, the growth in organised people-smuggling and trafficking targeting the UK will grow through clandestine activity and use of false documents.'

Criminals already use yachts, small boats and light aircraft to smuggle people, drugs and weapons.

And the NCA said the flood of migrants is attracting ruthless individuals who want to prey on the desperate. In the majority of cases, crime gangs serve people from their home country or who share their language. Once here, criminal networks are involved in 'systematic abuse' of the UK visa system, using false documents to secure legitimate means to remain.
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Illegal immigration – number
Illegal UK entry arrests surpass 27,000 in three years
BBC, 30 August 2016

More than 27,000 people suspected of illegally entering the UK have been arrested over the past three years, figures obtained by the BBC show.

The statistics from 39 police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland showed nearly a 25% rise in arrests from 2013 to 2015.

Many of those arrested were found at motorway service stations and truck stops, having hidden in lorries. ...

Four forces - including Police Scotland - did not provide data, while some only provided partial information.

Commons Home Affairs Committee chairman Keith Vaz called for "urgent action" to tackle the problem, while former Special Branch ports officer Chris Hobbs called the figures "appalling". ...

The total over the period from January 2013 to April this year was 27,800.

This does not include people arrested for staying longer in the country than their visa entitled them to, nor those detained at ports and airports, who are dealt with by Border Force staff.

Meanwhile, a separate FOI request showed that across the Channel, officials at ports in France, Belgium and the Netherlands intercepted 145,157 would-be migrants to the UK from 2013 to the end of March 2016.
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Illegal immigration – Calais, France
More than 10,000 migrants are 'smuggled into Britain each year'
David Chazan
Sunday Telegraph, 28 August 2016

About 200 migrants from the Calais area are being smuggled into Britain in lorries each week, French officials and security sources said on Saturday.

The estimate – equivalent to more than 10,000 illegal migrants arriving each year – represents a surge in the number of so-called "lorry drops", when migrants hiding in the back of goods vehicles jump out after safely reaching the UK.

Official figures show a continuing rise in the number of migrants found in the backs of lorries and cars in Britain, which more than doubled to 6,400 last year, the chief inspector of borders and immigration said in a report last month.

The new French estimate suggests that many more are coming through undetected.

Gangs of armed people-smugglers operating around Calais have started systematically forcing lorries to stop before they reach the port so migrants can break in. ...

After months of increasing violence in and around the camp, the number of migrants sheltering there has swelled to a record of about 9,000, according to Xavier Bertrand, the conservative president of the Calais region. ...

Mr Bertrand, who is lobbying for a renegotiation of a bilateral agreement allowing UK border controls on French soil so that the Calais migrants' problem would be shifted to Britain, accused the UK authorities of being content to let the problem fester.

"I am fed up with hypocrisy. Let's tell the truth, there are migrants who get to England each day thanks to people-smugglers," he said.

"Have you seen a lot of migrants expelled from England? No. Because there are no identity cards and there are certain employers who are happy to hire them and underpay them, knowing that they won't make a fuss because they're illegal."
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Illegal immigration
BORDER SHAMBLES: Fears that bungling security chiefs have LOST gang of Iranian migrants
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 25 August 2016

Britain's immigration controls were branded shambolic after it was feared bungling border officials let a gang of Iranian migrants abscond.

Five Iranians were seized but later set free after reaching the UK on a dinghy cast from Calais.

They were told to "report regularly" before being sent on their way but the Home Office is refusing to tell the public whether the gang is on the run.

The farce comes after the beleaguered department also said it did not readily know how many asylum seekers had vanished in similar circumstances.

The response last night prompted calls for an urgent inquiry.

Ukip defence spokesman Mike Hookem said: "We need to know if this is an awful decision by local officers or complete lack of resources stemming from Home Office mismanagement.

"Can you imagine the uproar if the police caught burglars mid-raid and let them go? There would be demands for resignations.

"Well this is just like that situation. We have five men who have broken the law yet the Home Office don't think it's their responsibility to ensure we know where these people are or who they are.

"When it comes to controlling security in this country it's a case of the blind leading the blind."

The men, aged between 18 and 44, were held on suspicion of entering the UK illegally after they were caught on a south coast beach on July 31.

Almost a month later no one has been able to confirm their location. ...

Daily Express columnist and former Shadow Home Secretary Ann Widdecombe said the department "haven't known what they are doing for years", adding: "If we routinely detained asylum seekers and illegal immigrants we would not have this problem.

"I have been saying it since 1999."
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Illegal immigration – Europe
Europe must not 'cower behind borders' in face of post-Brexit immigration crisis, UN warns
Joe Watts
Independent, 23 August 2016

The United Nations has warned that Europe is on the brink of another immigration crisis and told countries facing it they must not "cower behind borders" in the wake of the UK's Brexit vote.

The UN Special Representative for International Migration reported that 95,000 people had already made the perilous journey across the Mediterranean from Africa to Italy this year.

With the summer high-season beginning the numbers are expected to rise as high as 170,000, despite thousands already having drowned trying to make the trip.

There are already 140,000 migrants, mainly from Libya, who are living in camps in Southern Italy, putting a huge strain on the country.

The UN's Peter Sutherland said the Italians were working hard, having saved 70,000 people from Mediterranean waters, and were taking "huge numbers".

Asked whether he thought Brexit had partly been caused by voters seeing pictures of the immigration crisis, he said: "It certainly was. Immigration was and is a huge issue, there's no question about that.

"But that doesn't alter the fact that... Europe is the solution, not the problem.

"The only way that we can deal with the migration problem is by having a European policy. If every country simply cowers behind borders and agrees not to cooperate as a result of a response to nationalism then Europe really will be in a mess."

He also said that arrangements made with Turkey to stem the overall crisis had done nothing to stop people coming from Libya, with migrant boats mainly carrying people from Sub-Saharan Africa.

Overall more than 264,000 people have risked their lives to reach Europe by sea so far in 2016, with more than 3,100 having drowned.
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Illegal immigration – prostitution
Nigerian women and Europe's sex trade
Punch [Nigeria], 21 August 2016

Trafficking for prostitution into Europe by Nigerians has reached a tipping point. In a newly-released report, the United Nations International Organisation for Migration warns that the trafficking of Nigerian women for prostitution is at a "crisis level." The report, which covers the first six months of 2016, laments that gullible Nigerian girls – some with the help of their families – are being recruited at an increasing rate by criminal gangs for European sex markets. This is alarming; it is embarrassing for the nation.

The IOM investigation found that criminal gangs were exploiting the migration crisis in the Middle East to smuggle Nigerian girls into their sex slavery networks in Europe. /.../ In reality, they are being sold for between £4,000 and £10,000, ending up there with debts of up to £40,000 that they have to repay by engaging in prostitution. ...

Apart from being subjected to abuse, some die on the tortuous journey. Their major destinations are Britain, Spain and, especially, Italy. ...

According to the IOM, 3,600 Nigerian women reached Italy between January and June, nearly four times the figure for 2014, and double the figure in the first half of 2015. At this rate, the final tally for 2016 might surpass the 5,633 recorded in 2015. ...

The situation is equally terrible in Britain. Kevin Hyland, head of the United Kingdom Anti-Slavery Commission, says Nigerians constitute the majority of the 13,000 modern slaves there. "The rise in the numbers is staggering. Nigerian women and girls are enslaved and sexually exploited here in the UK," Hyland says. ...

While some of the teenagers are being lured into this depraved life, there are many women who willingly subject themselves to such indignity on the grounds that they want to make ends meet. ...

In truth, most of the filthy lucre being made in the global sex trade is being shared by the vicious criminal operators. In Britain, the Office for National Statistics' computation in 2009 – the first time prostitution income was factored into the GDP – arrived at a figure of £5.3 billion a year.
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Illegal immigration – asylum claims, deportation
Migration chief attacks shambolic system that denies asylum claims but DOESN'T remove them
Oli Smith
Daily Express, 17 August 2016

The chief of Migration Watch has called on Britain's asylum seeker system to be completely overhauled as shocking statistics reveal the scale of illegal immigrants who slip "into the shadows".

Migration Watch chief Alanna Thomas tore into Britain's asylum system amid revelations tens of thousands of illegal immigrants slip through the net each year.

She told talkRADIO Britain's Home Office immediately needs to overhaul the country's system of dealing with asylum claims.

Her frustrated remarks follow news that one in three claims for asylum were made by people who were either in the UK illegally or had overstayed their visas.

Rather than applying for asylum when they first reach Britain, these figures suggest many are waiting until they are caught by immigration officers to make their claim. ...

Ms Thomas, the chief executive of the migration think tank, said the asylum system was yet another example of Britain's "soft touch" immigration policy.

She said the elephant in the room was the low removal rate of those denied asylum, which means claimants are allowed to vanish even after the lengthy appeals process.

She added: "The situation is if you apply for asylum less than half of these are actually granted asylum but then less than half of those are actually removed.

"So, if you arrive in the UK and apply for asylum you have a 75 per cent chance of staying - legally or illegally.

"This is why we have situations like the Jungle camp in Calais. France is a safe country but the UK is a soft touch." ...

Ms Thomas said around 80 per cent of claims made only after being caught by immigration officers "are denied and they only apply in the first place to avoid removal".

She added: "There's a lengthy process to go through – the Home Office decides the case and there are appeals, so the system allows people to slip through the net and go back into the shadows."
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Illegal immigration – Calais, France
CALAIS CRISIS: Migrants with iron bars ambush driver as 200 hauled from lorries in 3 HOURS
Nick Gutteridge
Daily Express, 13 August 2016

British motorists have lifted the lid on the shocking situation in Calais as migrants make increasingly desperate attempts to reach the UK. ...

Elsewhere a desperate trucker told how he saw at least 200 migrants being removed from lorries by police in the space of just three hours as the chaotic conditions in the lawless port town continue to deteriorate.

The number of migrants living at the infamous Jungle camp in Calais has rocketed in recent weeks as more and more people look to take advantage of the warmer summer months to sneak into Britain.

British van driver Glen Shadbolt revealed how he was ambushed by one mob who threatened him with metal bars and even rolled an entire tree trunk in front of his vehicle to force him to stop.

The 39-year-old from Knebworth, in Hertfordshire, told how he managed to escape the trap by driving his 3.5 tonne Sprinter van over the obstacle only to see motorists stuck behind being mugged by the mob. ...

"The cars behind me all stopped. They got their windows smashed in and some people got mugged." ...

Industry body the Freight Transport Association (FTA) is now calling on the Government to take quick action to address the severe security situation at Calais.

The group's EU Affairs Manager Chris Yarsley said: "How can it be acceptable for our members to work in such extreme conditions on a daily basis? No other industry would be expected to put up with these kind of situations on a daily basis.

"Drivers are putting themselves at risk just trying to do their job and deliver the goods."
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Illegal immigration – asylum, deportation
More than '10,000 MISSING asylum seekers in Britain' - so WHERE are they?
Giles Sheldrick
Sunday Express, 7 August 2016

More than 10,000 asylum seekers are missing in Britain, according to the UK's top ranking immigration official.

And three times as many failed asylum seekers are still here more than two years after all appeals against their removal were exhausted.

Critics of the UK's soft-touch immigration system said the figures exposed a culture of complacency from those in charge of security.

The figures come after five Iranians were caught entering Britain illegally, arrested and told to "report in regularly". ...

Figures show asylum claims increased by 38 per cent to 34,687 last year - the highest since 2004.

The largest number of applications came Iran, Eritrea, Iraq, Sudan, Pakistan and Syria. Including dependants, the number stood at 41,563.

The Home Office says the cost of dealing with asylum cases was £474,340,920 in 2014/15 - the equivalent of £1.3m a day. ...

In a report published in December 2015, David Bolt, Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, said: "Asylum casework managers told us there were approximately 10,000 asylum claims where the claimant and dependants were not in contact with the Home Office or had absconded.

"While teams could conduct residential visits to attempt to trace absconders they were reluctant to do so as this work was not a priority and was considered a drain on resources."

The damning report also found 30,406 cases where the individuals had not been removed [or granted leave to remain] over two years after appeal rights had become exhausted or lapsed.
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Illegal immigration – border security
'Report back regularly!' Iranians who landed on UK coast in DINGHY allowed to roam free
Giles Sheldrick
Daily Express, 5 August 2016

Border officials have released five Iranian migrants caught trying to sneak into the UK, telling them, "please report in regularly".

Britain's shambolic immigration system was exposed again after the gang were seized landing a dinghy on a south coast beach.

The men, aged between 18 and 44, arrived on Sunday but police only confirmed the incident today saying they would not "proactively release details".

They were arrested on suspicion of illegally entering the UK and handed over to immigration officials.

But in a breathtaking development, they now have permission to roam free.

The incident is a huge embarrassment for the Government as they landed in the Cinque Port of Winchelsea, East Sussex, in new Home Secretary Amber Rudd's constituency. ...

The alarming incident highlights the growing trade in human trafficking by boat. In May, 18 Albanians were rescued off the Kent coast having paid £5,000 each to sail from Calais. ...

Hauliers are on red alert after a fresh wave of lawlessness engulfed the northern French port town where thousands of refugees are living.

One was slashed refuelling his vehicle while another was threatened with a chainsaw on the approach road to the ferry terminal.

The alarming frequency of attacks comes three months after the industry foretold a "summer of discontent" sparked by increased migrant activity.
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Illegal immigration – number, deportation
One million migrants are living in Britain illegally and will never be deported, claims former Border Agency chief
Martin Robinson
MailOnline, 3 August 2016

One million migrants may be living in Britain illegally and there is little chance of deporting them, according to a former head of the UK Border Agency.

The figure is more than a third higher than some previous estimates and it will lead to questions over Theresa May's immigration policy while she was home secretary.

While the EU debate focused on controlling numbers of legal migrants from the continent, Rob Whiteman, former chief executive of the UK Border Agency, has said more attention needs to be paid to the large number of illegal workers.

'The scale of illegal migration and illegal working is not nearly discussed as much as other issues around immigration,' he told The Times. 'The government does not have the resources or political levers to deport hundreds of thousands of people.'

His comments suggest that the problem is now too big to tackle, the newspaper reported.

Mr Whiteman, who ran the agency from 2011 to 2013, added that on top of non-EU citizens entering illegally, migrants who overstay legitimate visas and find work are also to blame.
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Illegal immigration – border security
Why aren't Royal Navy WARSHIPS guarding British beaches and ports? MPs tear into UK border shambles that has left just three patrol boats patrolling 7,000 miles of coastline
Steve Doughty and Gareth Davies
Daily Mail, 3 August 2016

Britain's border security is 'clearly under-resourced' and warships should be drafted in to guard small harbours against people-smugglers, MPs said Tuesday.

A 'worryingly low' total of just three Border Force patrol boats are available to protect more than 7,000 miles of UK coastline, they warned.

Their report called for Royal Navy ships to help Border Force protect our lightly-guarded small ports and beaches, which are increasingly seen as soft targets by smugglers and migrants travelling in small boats who try to avoid heavy security at ferry ports and Eurotunnel trains.

As the report was released today, Dorset police and crime commissioner Martyn Underhill warned of a 'perfect storm' as Border Force weaknesses were magnified by the withdrawal of special branch officers from ports. ...

The report adds to growing pressure for naval assistance to be given to Border Force, which has just four patrol boats, one of which is currently in the Mediterranean.

Four more that are promised will be unavailable for at least another year.

In comparison, Italy has 600 vessels to guard a coastline that is 3,000 miles shorter, the report said. ...

Some 1.25 million asylum-seekers came to Europe last year and more than a quarter of a million migrants arrived in the first six months of this year.

The report from the Commons Home Affairs Committee said the union was 'too slow to respond', adding: 'The EU failed to anticipate the scale of migrant flows, and did not have the structures in place to cope.'

The MPs said the EU's £5 billion deal with Turkey in March, under which new arrivals can be sent back to Turkey, came 'far too late'. ...

The committee's report also accused former foreign secretary Philip Hammond of being 'complacent in respect of Libya, where a reported 500,000 people are waiting to cross the Mediterranean illegally'.
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Illegal immigration – campaigners
Byron Hamburgers branch is forced to close by far-Left campaigners after chain carried out immigration sting operation on its OWN workers
Amie Gordon
MailOnline, 2 August 2016

A branch of Byron was forced to close after campaigners lined the pavement outside to protest [at] the company's role in an immigration 'sting' which saw dozens of its workers rounded up.

More than 100 Left-wing demonstrators lined the pavements and waved banners outside the restaurant in Holborn, Central London. ...

Protesters accused Byron of carrying out 'underhand entrapment' after 35 workers from Albania, Brazil, Mexico, Nepal and Egypt were held after being lured to early-morning raids on the pretext of attending staff meetings. ...

Last week, the Home Office said 35 people were arrested for immigration offences at a number of restaurants across London, following an operation carried out with the 'full co-operation' of Byron in July.

The burger business carried out the correct 'right to work' checks on staff members, but had been shown false or counterfeit documentation, and will therefore not face civil penalty action, the Home Office said. ...

Attending last night's protest were an assortment of far-Left groups describing themselves as 'anti-racism, anti-discrimination and anti-sexism'.

United Voices of the World Union consists of migrants of mostly Latin American descent working in low-paid jobs such as cleaning.

Other organisations include London Latinxs – a 'direct action' group describing itself as 'radically anti-discrimination' and also mostly made up of Latin Americans.

Meanwhile, Global Justice Now wants to 'mobilise the UK to create a more just and equal world'.

War on Want targets the 'root causes of poverty and human rights violation, as part of the worldwide movement for global justice'.

Lesbian and Gays Support the Migrants is a movement that 'challenges the Right-wing media narrative' around immigration.
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Illegal immigration – Syrians
Thousands of Syrian migrants arrested for trying to SLIP into the UK
Rebecca Flood
Daily Express, 1 August 2016

Thousands of Syrian migrants are illegally sneaking into the UK, according to shocking figures.

More than 5,000 have been caught in the past three-and-a-half years getting through Britain's borders.

The statistics, obtained from a Freedom of Information request by the Daily Star Sunday, reveal 2,227 Syrians without any form of paperwork were arrested and detained in the UK last year - which equates to 42 a week.

That figure is up from 1,442 in 2014, and just 882 the year before.

And some 1,000 are already thought to have been arrested this year alone. ...

By last December, 70 per cent of illegal Syrian immigrants who had been granted temporary admission or release were thought to have slipped through the hands of authorities.

An immigration source said: "The Government has told enforcement officers to make Syrians a priority and make sure their asylum claims are dealt with above all else.

"Most are not being removed so anyone who gets here and has a claim refused just stays on temporary admission or release.

"Obviously that increases the chances of them going AWOL.

"And that's what tends to happen.

"Once their claim has been considered and refused, and they're thrown out of Home Office accommodation and given money, they just disappear and are usually only encountered when the immigration officers find them working illegally or in a house where a target is living.

"The bottom line is that we are seeing a huge increase in the number of Syrians gaining illegal entry either on boats or in the back of lorries driven by smuggling gangs." ...

From January to March last year, 524 Syrians applied for asylum in the UK and 92 were refused.
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Illegal immigration
Bugging Byron: activists release cockroaches and locusts at burger chain
Nicola Slawson
The Guardian, 1 August 2016

Two London branches of Byron have been forced to close after protesters released hundreds of live insects into the restaurants, part of a growing backlash following the burger chain's involvement in an immigration sting against its own staff.

Activists from two organisations, London Black Revs and Malcolm X Movement, let out a "swarm of insects" in Byron's Shaftesbury Avenue and Holborn restaurants on Friday evening.
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Illegal immigration
The #BoycottByron mob don't want facts on immigration, just righteous fury
Bryony Gordon
Daily Telegraph, 1 August 2016

Take the recent outrage over claims that Byron, a burger chain with restaurants in England and Scotland, worked with the Home Office to have 35 of its staff deported back to countries including Brazil, Nepal, Egypt and Albania. That doesn't sound so great, does it?

Then you discover that by "working with" the Home Office, the company was simply obeying the law by giving the Government access to workers who had used false documentation to get jobs, thus taking work away from other people (immigrants included).

Then on Friday, thousands of cockroaches and locusts were released into two of the chain's restaurants in London. ...

The great virtue-signallers of social media valiantly announced they would not be spending £8 on a burger, to show solidarity for the deported workers. ...

... Byron fulfilled its legal duty by checking its workers' documents, which turned out to be false. The fakes fooled Byron but were picked up by the Home Office, which has the final responsibiliy to verify immigration status. The system worked.

But the Boycott Byron movement is emblematic of a knee-jerk society where there is now only black and white, good versus evil; where you are right and anyone who doesn't agree with you is not just wrong but wicked. ... ... Would the people boycotting Byron rather see the company break the law, thus making them inadvertent supporters of people traffickers, not to mention liable for hundreds of thousands of pounds of fines, which would no doubt lead to the firm having to lay off migrants and others working in its restaurants?
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Illegal immigration
Former professional footballer jailed for trying to smuggle 10 Afghan migrants into England in the back of a furniture van
Ollie Gillman
MailOnline, 31 July 2016

A former professional footballer has been jailed after he tried to smuggle 10 Afghan migrants into Britain in the back of a furniture van.

Fabrice Lokembo-Lokaso, 33, was arrested in Calais after he tried to board a ferry to Dover in a van packed with four men, two women - including one who was pregnant - and four children.

The Congolese player, who played for clubs in the Belgian and Israeli top divisions, claimed he was lured into people smuggling by the prospect of clearing his £35,000 debts. ...

Lokembo-Lokaso was sentenced to 10 months in prison.
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Illegal immigration
'Massive network' of European gangs smuggling migrants
BBC, 29 July 2016

UK immigration investigators have warned of a "big challenge" to tackle a "massive network" of criminal gangs trafficking people across Europe,

In two separate cases, three people smugglers have been sentenced after groups of Albanians were brought to England in small boats. ...

Speaking to the BBC, David Fairclough led both investigations by the Home Office's Immigration Enforcement team.

"Organised crime groups work across borders, not just in the UK. They are working all over Europe, into the source countries. It is a massive network so it's a big challenge," he said.

"We face a severe threat of exploitation for illegal working, sexual exploitation and a vast amount is sponsored by organised crime groups.

"Because controls in ports are extremely strong and security has been enhanced, people smugglers are looking at more innovative ways to