Immigration and related issues, mainly in the United Kingdom.

Details of other pages are at the end of this page


Extracts in date order, except latest additions first. Updated 29 February 2020

Updating of this site is now occasional.

Immigration – numbers
Migration to UK from outside EU hits record level, figures show
Conrad Duncan
Independent, 28 February 2020.

Migration to the UK from outside the European Union hit record levels last year, according to official figures.

An estimated 379,000 people moved to the country from outside of the EU in the 12 months to September 2019, the highest number since records began in 1975.

Net migration from nations not in the EU also reached its highest level since 2004, with an estimated 240,000 more people arriving than leaving, figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.

Overall net migration remained "broadly stable" at 240,000, the ONS said, as the increase in non-EU arrivals offset a fall in EU migrants following the Brexit referendum. An estimated 642,000 people moved to the UK last year, while 402,000 people left the country.

Net migration from the EU fell to its lowest level for 16 years, the figures show.

Immigration for work has decreased due to the decline in arrivals from the EU, while immigration for study has become the main reason for migration.
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Diversity – drama
BBC drama boss Piers Wenger hits back at criticism of its 'woke' versions of classics, insisting older stories MUST be adapted for modern audiences
Daily Mail, 25 February 2020.

The BBC's head of drama has defended criticism that it is preoccupied with appearing 'woke' after repurposing classic texts to boost roles for women and ethnic minorities.

Piers Wenger said older stories must be adapted for a contemporary audience.

The broadcaster recently adapted novels to appeal to diversity-obsessed viewers, swapping male leads for female stars and casting ethnic minority actors in traditionally white roles.

Examples from last year include The War Of The Worlds and A Christmas Carol.

Mr Wenger, the BBC's controller of drama commissioning, said: 'They were adaptations of books that were written a long time ago - hundreds of years ago - but we are repurposing them for a contemporary audience.

'They need to speak to a contemporary audience and represent a contemporary world as well as being stories set in our past. That's the point of adaptation. You do that with everything.

'I really object when I hear the word 'woke' used in a pejorative way because what does 'woke' really mean?

'If it means equality being important and fair representation being important then absolutely, that is important to me.

'Whether that is what 'woke' means, I don't really know, but I do think that equality, fair representation and portrayal are all things that matter hugely to the BBC and it would be a dereliction of our duty if we didn't own those particular initiatives.'
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Politics – Conservative Party, Labour Party
Boris must beware the fault lines that could rock his new coalition
Nick Timothy
Daily Telegraph, 24 February 2020.

Second, cultural issues are becoming increasingly salient. Of course, the economy will always be an important factor in any election, and provincial and working class voters know better than anybody about the importance of their job security, the cost of living, and getting onto the property ladder. But what Brexit exposed – and, as political elites failed to respect the referendum result, hastened – was a sharp divide in cultural values between elites and the mainstream. The delivery of Brexit will not mark the end of this cultural divide, and issues like immigration control, the integration of newcomers, law and order, human rights, disruptive direct action by anarchists, transgender rights and militant identity politics will remain live issues.

... Increasingly, the Left seems to view any attempt to control immigration in any way as evidence of racism. ...

All three remaining Labour leadership candidates want to restore free movement, even from outside the EU. ...

And yet, Boris Johnson cannot afford to become complacent, because there is a line of issues that could cut right through his electoral coalition.

His new immigration policy, for example, landed well last week. But while it ends free movement and takes back control of our borders, the number of people coming to Britain under such a system is likely to be at least as high as in the days of unrestricted European immigration. The profile of migration will change in that it will become higher skilled and more ethnically diverse, but the overall numbers are unlikely to come down.
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Diversity – films
Prince William shares 'frustration' over lack of diversity during Baftas speech
Sabrina Barr
Independent, 3 February 2020.

The Duke of Cambridge emphasised the importance of diversity in the entertainment industry while delivering a speech at the Baftas, expressing his "frustration" that it still requires improvement "in this day and age".

During last night's awards ceremony, which took place at the Royal Albert Hall, Prince William presented film producer Kathleen Kennedy with the Bafta Fellowship Award.

While introducing Kennedy, the Duke – who holds the position of president of Bafta – said that Bafta is making a strong effort to "ensure that opportunities are available to everyone".

"Both here in the UK and in many other countries across the world we are lucky to have incredible film makers, actors, producers, directors and technicians – men and women from all backgrounds and ethnicities enriching our lives through film," the royal said during his address.

"Yet in 2020, and not for the first time in the last few years, we find ourselves talking again about the need to do more to ensure diversity in the sector and in the awards process – that simply cannot be right in this day and age."

Prince William said that Dame Pippa Harris, chair of Bafta, and Amanda Berry, CEO of the organisation, share his "frustration" and "continue to work tirelessly to ensure that creative talent is discovered and supported".
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Multiculturalism – racism
Curriculum bias
Nicholas Dobson
Daily Telegraph, 3 February 2020.
[Letter to the Editor]

Sheffield University has said that Shakespeare, William Blake and Virginia Woolf are on the curriculum due to racial bias (report, February 1). What other country in the world would train its students to treat its cultural icons with shame and suspicion?
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Multiculturalism – racism, education
Shakespeare, Blake and Woolf are on the curriculum due to 'racial bias', university says
Camilla Turner and Ewan Somerville
Daily Telegraph, 1 February 2020.

Shakespeare, William Blake and Virginia Woolf are among the white authors described as "not necessarily" the best but are on the curriculum due to racial bias, according to a Russell Group university.

The literary figures feature in a video that was produced by Sheffield University in an attempt to educate its students about different forms of racism.

The video, which is shown at induction events for incoming first year students, explains that "academia has historically been a white dominated space", and adds that students should challenge any parts of their curriculum that the feel represents "racial bias".

Geoffrey Chaucer, George Eliot, Charles Dickens and Samuel Beckett are given as examples of white writers whose works are studied because they "simply fit better" with academic culture.

"Many of the writers, thinkers and academics who are traditionally studied are white too," the video says.

"This doesn't necessarily mean that they're the ones producing the best work, rather that they simply better fit into an academic culture that's affected by the same racial biases that we see in the rest of society." ...

The video explains that "academia has historically been a white dominated space".
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Illegal immigration – English Channel
Channel migrants
Peter Higgins
Daily Telegraph, 27 January 2020.
[Letter to the Editor]

As a former Director (Ports) of the then UK Immigration Service, I was interested to read of plans to use aircraft to spot migrants crossing the Channel in small boats (report, January 25). Presumably to be effective this would need to be carried out 24 hours a day.

Once again, the Home Office, French and now Belgian authorities are missing the point. Instead of investing many millions of pounds attempting to stop the boats, the real answer is to return migrants to France or Belgium immediately, no matter where they are found in the Channel. Organised crime, which arranges these attempts, would soon get the message and stop.

In 2019 almost two thirds of those attempting the crossing were successful – many of them picked up mid-Channel by Border Force cutters or other UK agencies.

If the French and Belgians are serious about stopping these attempts, then they should not resist taking individuals back. Earlier this month, Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, herself advocated this approach. So what has happened to that initiative?
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Politics – Conservative Party
The Davos crowd could learn a thing or two from Boris's new liberal Conservatism
Fraser Nelson
Daily Telegraph, 24 January 2020.

... a new type of conservatism is emerging. Earlier this week, the Prime Minister told a conference of African leaders that the new post-Brexit immigration system will make it easier for their citizens to work in Britain. He's reversing the crackdown on foreign students, giving them two years to find work. The current (outrageous) demand for non-EU migrants to earn at least £30,000 looks set to be abolished. The notorious Tory target to cut net migration to the "tens of thousands" was torn up on the PM's first day. ...

His point – and one that will now become clearer – is that Britain was taking back control of migration policy to better manage globalisation, rather than torpedo it.
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Multiculturalism – child sexual abuse, political correctness
The grooming gang cover-up is Britain's real racism scandal
Allison Pearson
Daily Telegraph, 22 January 2020.

In the very week that an excoriating 150-page report revealed that Greater Manchester Police (GMP) knew of grooming gangs sexually exploiting almost a hundred girls, some as young as 12, "in plain sight", Question Time did not feature a single question on the topic. The BBC was keen to indulge the notion that a cosseted multi-millionaress had been a victim of racism, while completely ignoring girls like Victoria Agoglia, who died after having her 15-year-old veins filled with heroin so she could be raped by dozens of "Asian" (Pakistani-heritage) men.

I ask you, which case is of greater national significance? A duchess who leaves the Royal family after 20 months because it's "not working for me", or the revelation that police officers turned a blind eye to scores of children being grotesquely violated because to arrest their tormentors might look like cultural insensitivity? ...

After a five-year investigation, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has just upheld a complaint against a senior Rotherham officer who admitted that his force ignored the sexual abuse of girls by grooming gangs "for decades" because it was afraid of increasing "racial tensions". ...

Keeping the lid on social unrest, not upsetting "the community", that was the main thing. Young girls pimped, threatened, tortured? Why, they were just collateral damage in the greater project of multiculturalism. ...

So, just to recap: 27 towns and cities so far where grooming gangs, made up of predominantly Pakistani-heritage males, have plied their foul trade.

Last year, the NSPCC identified 19,000 victims of gamg abuse and admitted the true number is probably much higher. It is, without doubt, the biggest scandal this country has seen in my lifetime, yet still there is a terror on the part of officialdom of conducting the full public inquiry that is so clearly needed. ...

Consider the fate of that Home Office report into grooming gangs commissioned by Javid. Now complete, officials are refusing to make it public. Why?

We are told that this is a complex issue. I think it's horribly simple, actually. As Shaista Gohir of the Muslim Women's Network told Newsnight last week: "Pakistan is one of the worst countries in the world to be a woman." If you import Pakistan's misogynistic attitudes into parts of the UK and they run straight into vulnerable white girls who look, to a certain type of man, like easy meat, then you have a recipe for sexual abuse. Furthermore, if your authorities are afraid to confront and condemn those misogynistic attitudes for fear of appearing racist, then that sexual abuse can flourish on an industrial scale. ...

If anything is going to fuel racism in the UK, it's the attempt to brush these abhorrent offences under the carpet.
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Politics – liberalism, hypocrisy
Liberalism is collapsing under the weight of its own hypocritical intolerance
Nick Timothy
Daily Telegraph, 20 January 2020.

Last Tuesday, the country learned of yet another grooming gang scandal. After similar and harrowing tales from Oxford, Rochdale, Rotherham and other English towns and cities, we can now add Manchester to the list of places where the authorities watched mainly Asian men systematically abuse vulnerable white, working-class girls for years – and do nothing.

Already, it is clear that these new stories of appalling abuse will fall on deaf ears. Few want to address the issue that everybody knows is most pertinent: the abusers were, once again, mainly South Asian, Muslim men. Eighteen months ago, Sajid Javid, then Home Secretary, commissioned research into the characteristics of grooming gangs to understand what role cultural factors might play in the abuse.

But last week, after a long-running battle with the BBC, Home Office officials confirmed that they would not publish the report. They gave the standard lines – they wanted to avoid disclosing personal information, or disrupting ongoing investigations – but the true motives were obvious. As a senior police officer said of the Rotherham abuse, "with [the perpetrators] being Asians, we can't afford for this to be coming out." ...

And yet this knowledge does not make the authorities more alert to the danger: it appears to make them more nervous about confronting it. /.../ And so liberal decision-makers – supposedly believers in universal rights and responsibilities – end up moral relativists, expecting less of some citizens and granting fewer protections to others.

Two days after the Manchester story broke, Equity, the actors' trade union, called on its members to "unequivocally denounce" Laurence Fox. Among other things, the actor had raised grooming gangs during an appearance on the BBC. His crime was to deny that criticism of Meghan Markle was racist, and to argue that fear of accusations of racism was a factor in the grooming gang cases. Given the evidence accumulated in abuse inquiries to date, he was quite clearly correct. And yet the liberal-left reaction was to shout him down, attack his character and insult his "white privilege".

This example of illiberal liberalism is not a one-off. Last Tuesday, Sheffield University confirmed it plans to pay students to police behaviour on campus, challenging perceived "microaggressions" deemed to be offensive. Examples of microaggressions provided by the university included students arguing that too many problems are "turned into a race issue". Restricting free speech, it seems, is not enough: the university's policy prevents discussion even about the parameters of acceptable speech. ...

And if identity politics are what matters most – and for left-liberals the old liberal dream of equal political rights is no longer enough – then immutable characteristics, like race and sex, can be attacked, but only if you are attacking white men to compensate for their privilege.

This is how liberalism has become so confusing and contradictory. It is how it has grown increasingly illiberal, intolerant and – strangely for a supposedly universal theory – morally relativistic.
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Diversity – universities
Middle-class high achievers will miss out on Oxbridge places as colleges are under pressure to meet diversity targets, whistleblowers warn
Camilla Turner
Sunday Telegraph, 19 January 2020.

Middle class high achievers will miss out on Oxbridge places as colleges are under pressure to meet diversity targets, whistleblowers have told The Sunday Telegraph.

The university's radical pledge to boost the number of undergraduates from deprived backgrounds will inevitably result in bright pupils from well-off families getting "squeezed out", according to two senior Oxford dons.

Oxford has told the higher education watchdog, the Office for Students, that it will increase its intake of disadvantaged students from 15 to 25 per cent by 2023.

But two sources, both of whom are senior figures in Oxford admissions, have revealed their concern that this will lead to a degradation in academic standards.
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Multiculturalism – child sexual abuse, political correctness
We have to talk about these Pakistani gangs
Brendan O'Neill
Spiked, 15 January 2020.

This week, we have seen the true toll of political correctness. PC isn't just irritating or stupid. It isn't just woke students banning sombreros or schools getting iffy about 'Baa Baa Black Sheep'. PC destroys lives.

A report into police and council failings in Manchester has found that gangs of predominantly Pakistani men were free to abuse up to 57 girls after chief cops and local officials turned a blind eye to this foul, cruel behaviour. Why did they turn away? Partly out of fear of stoking racial tensions. Partly because they were worried that drawing attention to the grooming and exploitation of mostly white working-class girls by Asian men might 'incite racial hatred' and damage multicultural relations.

Let's put it plainly: they sacrificed girls to political correctness; they thought that preserving the ideology of multiculturalism was more important than protecting girls from harm.

The independent review into grooming and abuse in Manchester in the mid-2000s, published yesterday, makes for grim reading. It says there were up to 57 victims, mostly white girls aged between 12 and 16, and 97 potential perpetrators, mostly men of 'Asian heritage'. The review makes clear, from some of the evidence it acquired, that some of the abuse networks were made up of 'predominantly Pakistani men'. ...

The girls were groomed, sexually abused, plied with drugs and raped. They suffered, in the review's words, 'the most profound abuse and exploitation'. But little was done to help them. Their abusers were not brought to justice. And this catastrophic failing was in part fuelled by what the review refers to as Greater Manchester Police's concerns about 'sensitive community issues'. ...

... Yet hardly any of these people were brought to justice and their 'activities [were not] disrupted', as the review says. That is, they carried on abusing. Operation Augusta was wrapped up early and resources were devoted to other, less 'sensitive' crimes. As the review says, 'The authorities knew that many were being subjected to the most profound abuse and exploitation but did not protect them from the perpetrators'.

This is a scandal of epic proportions. The very organisations that are charged with looking after young people who are at risk of abuse failed to do their duty. /.../ They let their ideology – their commitment to political correctness and to multicultural censorship – distract them from the task of protecting girls from 'the most profound abuse and exploitation'.

The silence around grooming gangs, in which largely Muslim men abuse largely white working-class girls, has gone on long enough. We need a serious debate about this.

And yet even discussing it is difficult. People are branded racist if they bring it up. ...

... As some people are pointing out, many of today's newspapers have not led with this story in the way we should expect them to, given it is a huge social and political scandal. What's more, feminists, so-called progressives and the allegedly pro-working-class left are silent about the whole thing. ...

We have to talk about this. We have to talk about how officialdom's shameful reluctance to investigate these kinds of cases allowed the abuse to continue. /.../ And we have to talk about how the ideology of multiculturalism, the PC unwillingness to look community tensions and divisions in the face, is harming the country.
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Multiculturalism – schools
Poor white boys
Professor Rosemary Sage
Daily Telegraph, 11 January 2020.
[Letter to the Editor]

SIR – Professor Sir Bryan Thwaites's offer to leading private schools to support poor white boys (report, December 31), which received Dr Tony Sewell's backing (Comment, January 7), raises an issue that has been ignored for a long time.

When teaching in the Eighties, I saw that poor white pupils were hugely disadvantaged. They came from homes where parents could not obtain work because they needed to be able to communicate formally and think in different ways.

In my class I had many white children with higher-level language and thinking problems who had to wait at least 18 months to get appointments with speech and language experts. Immigrant children, with Home Office funding, had help daily, and so made much more rapid progress in their studies. ...
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Diversity – media, BBC
BBC must engage with UK's diverse communities if it is to remain 'the broadcaster of choice', June Sarpong says in first major address
Daily Telegraph, 8 January 2020.

The BBC's newly-appointed director of creative diversity has warned that the corporation will only remain "the broadcaster of choice" by "cultivating inclusion".

In her first major address since taking up the role in October last year, June Sarpong said the BBC could not escape the fact that "the makeup of Britain's viewing audience" is changing rapidly. ...

Sarpong said: "We can't escape the fact that the make-up of Britain's viewing audience and workforce is rapidly changing.

"And we can only continue to make the case for the BBC as a broadcaster of choice by cultivating inclusion and harnessing the power of our diversity.

"Put simply, we need to reflect and engage with the UK's diverse communities both on and off screen, and to produce the inclusive conditions required for diversity to thrive. ...

Sarpong, who was made an OBE in the New Year Honours for services to broadcasting, also addressed diversity across the media industry, saying that progress had been "too slow and there is still a way to go". ...

She also promised to announce further details for the BBC's inaugural Creative Diversity Festival, a three-day event connecting Bame talent to the industry, in the near future.
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Diversity – national parks, Lake District
Lake District bids to encourage greater diversity among visitors: 'We need to sell the national park to everybody in Britain'
Sabrina Barr
Independent, 30 December 2019.

The head of the Lake District says it must strive to become more inclusive so as to attract a greater diversity of visitors.

In September, a report commissioned by the government investigating the future of Britain's protected landscapes criticised national parks for not making strong enough efforts to make all visitors feel welcome.

Richard Leafe, chief executive of the Lake District National Park Authority in Cumbria, outlined how the park must change in order to prevent the exclusion of large sectors of society.

He explained that making the relevant changes will ensure that the park continues to receive public funding. ...

Mr Leafe added that the Lake District should be seen as a site that is appealing to visitors from all backgrounds.

"We are deficient in terms of young people, we are deficient in terms of black and minority ethnic communities and we are not particularly well-visited by those who are less able in terms of their mobility," he said. ..."

Efforts to make the Lake District more inclusive have reportedly sparked a backlash among conservationists.
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Diversity – scholarships
Race row as elite schools REFUSE to take £1m donation because of stipulation it could only be spent on underprivileged white boys
Jake Hurfurt
Daily Mail, 30 December 2019.

Two leading public schools have turned down gifts worth more than £1 million for scholarships for poor white boys.

Sir Bryan Thwaites, 96, wanted to leave the money to Winchester School and Dulwich College because he had attended both on scholarships.

He planned to help poor, white students because research has shown that they are among the lowest achievers in education. The offer was apparently refused for fear it would break equality laws.

Last year a scholarship at Cambridge University, funded by grime star Stormzy, offered financial support for black British students.

Sir Bryan told The Times: 'If Cambridge University can accept a much larger donation in support of black students, why cannot I do the same for under-privileged white British?

'Winchester said it would harm its reputation by accepting my bequest, but in my opinion it would gain enormously by being seen to address what is the severe national problem of the underperforming white cohort in schools.'

Trevor Phillips, the former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said in the online magazine Standpoint that a 'lethal cocktail of inverted snobbery, racial victimhood and liberal guilt' was the reason for the reluctance to help poorer white pupils.
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Illegal immigration – English Channel
Border Force cutters patrolling the Channel are attracting migrants, former immigration chief says
Verity Bowman
Daily Telegraph, 29 December 2019.

A former immigration chief has accused Border Force cutters patrolling the Channel of attracting migrants rather than deterring them.

David Wood, ex head of immigration enforcement at the Home Office, said patrols introduced by the then Home Secretary Sajid Javid are to blame for a massive rise in those crossing the Channel.

It is thought that more than 1,700 people reached the UK via the Channel this year, compared to just 297 last year.

"Look at it from the migrants' point of view – they are getting here," said Mr Wood told the Times. "The more Border Force cutters there are in the Channel the more attractive it is for those setting sail in small boats. They know they will be picked up and taken to the UK. For them that is mission accomplished."

According to Mr Wood, migrants are "briefed" on what to do when they are caught by patrolls, including saying they are from "Iran or Afghanistan" so they "will never get removed from the UK".

The ex-immigration chief believes that sending the migrants back to France instantly - rather than taking them to British soil - would serve as the best deterrent and "help close down" people smuggling operations.
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Illegal immigration – English Channel
Home Office insists patrols on French beaches have doubled, despite 229 migrants crossing Channel in one month
Jamie Johnson and Amy Jones
Daily Telegraph, 27 December 2019.

The Home Office has insisted that patrols on French beaches for migrants attempting to cross the Channel have doubled, despite 229 people reaching the UK in December alone.

On Boxing Day, 49 people in four boats were picked up by Border Force cutters in UK waters, claiming to be from Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan, bringing the number of suspected migrants to reach the UK this year in small boats to more than 1,800. ...

Despite the huge number of illegal crossings, and Home Office threats to send people back to France, only 120 migrants have been returned to Europe this year.
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Diversity – pantomime
A joy for talking cats
Ann Farmer
Daily Telegraph, 27 December 2019.
[Letter to the Editor]

Commenting on the increasing profitability of pantomime, with production set to "gross over £60 million, the highest on record", Tinuke Craig, the director of Cinderella at the Lyric Hammersmith, is reported (December 24) as saying that a diverse audience is key to panto's success, because "when you represent people properly you get a wider, more diverse audience coming to see your work".

This reassurance is entirely unnecessary not only for the cross-dressers but also for the witches, wolves, talking cats and indeed giant beanstalks among us, who have always been over-represented in pantomime. Let us hope that the social justice warriors do not turn us into cannon fodder in their woke wars. The kings and queens can take care of themselves.
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Extremism – Islam
The real challenge for this Government lies in standing up to unelected power
Charles Moore
Daily Telegraph, 21 December 2019.

Before the recent election, the Government appointed Lord Carlile QC to review the working of the "Prevent" programme – its strategy "for supporting people vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism". He was an obvious choice for the job since he had previously been the reviewer of terrorism legislation and is an acknowledged expert.

Rights Watch UK, however, a campaigning organisation with close links to bodies like CAGE – whose research director, Asim Qureshi, described Isil executioner Jihadi John as a "beautiful young man" – demanded judicial review of Lord Carlile's appointment. He was not independent, they claimed – by which they meant he had strong views that differed from their own. They are obsessed with the idea that a programme to deradicalise young Muslims is a form of state spying on all Muslims.

Yesterday it was announced that the Government, on its own legal advice, had asked the blameless Lord Carlile to depart, in order to avoid a court clash.

Intricate process questions are in play here, but the case demonstrates how, even after its famous victory, the Government feels weak when the hard face of extreme politics advances half-concealed by the wig of the law.
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Illegal immigration – English Channel
UK cutters should halt migrants in French waters and return them to France, say ex-immigration chiefs
Charles Hymas
Daily Telegraph, 20 December 2019.

British cutters should patrol the Channel in French waters and return all migrants back to France before they get anywhere near Britain, say two former heads of the Home Office's immigration service.

The two former top officials say the current approach where the Border Force cutters bring the migrants back to Britain after they reach British waters is failing to deter the increasing numbers seeking to make the hazardous crossing.

There have even been cases where the migrants have reached halfway, often in flimsy dinghies, before calling the British coastguards so they can be rescued and brought to the UK. ...

David Wood, former director general of immigration enforcement at the Home Office, said the only way to stop the human trafficking of migrants by organised crime across the Channel was to show them that it was not going to work.

"Returning the migrants to France would remove the motivation for organised crime to be involved because they would not have a product to sell. The flow would stop fairly quickly. The way to deter migrants is to show it doesn't work," said Mr Wood.
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Illegal immigration – English Channel
Channel taxis
Peter Higgins
Daily Telegraph, 19 December 2019.
[Letter to the Editor]

As a former director of the UK Immigration Service (Ports), I was interested to see that Natalie Elphicke, the newly elected Conservative MP for Dover, is seeking urgent talks with the Home Office regarding the continuing problem of illegal immigrants being intercepted in the English Channel (69 on December 16 alone).

It is high time that more positive action was taken to discourage and curtail this mode of entry to Britain.

In January 2019, Sajid Javid, then home secretary, said the French had agreed that those intercepted would be returned to France. However, the latest Home Office figures put numbers entering Britain well in excess of 1,500, with fewer than 100 being returned to the Continent.

Currently, UK Border Force cutters positioned mid Channel collect and taxi those attempting the crossing to our shores. Surely if French cutters intercepted them sooner, and returned them immediately to France, it would negate this form of trafficking – to the mutual benefit of both countries.

Mr Elphicke is also right to question what has been done with the millions of pounds Britain has paid to France to prevent this traffic and to investigate the traffickers.
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Immigration abroad – Sweden
Sweden: The Wages of Self-Loathing Is Civil War
David Archibald
American Thinker, 19 December 2019.

The Danes have put extra resources into controlling the country's links to Sweden because of bombs going off in Denmark due to people coming from Sweden. The people from Sweden are Islamist criminals. The Swedish government reacted to the Danish move by calling the Danes Nazis. Swedish society has changed for the worse, and the Swedish people are aware of what they have lost.

All this is known, but what is interesting is that a former head of the Swedish truck-maker Scania, a Mr. Leif Ostling, has said Sweden is headed for civil war because of the problem of its violent migrants who have no inclination to integrate into Swedish society. As a successful businessman, his views can't be dismissed as being from some sort of antisocial loon living in his mother's basement. ...

The population of Sweden is now 10.1 million, of which 8% are of the Islamist persuasion. ...

The Islamist elements have most of the hand grenades in civilian possession, principally the M75 hand grenade from the former Yugoslavia. Hand grenade attacks in Sweden peaked at 40 in 2016. The Islamists also have more explosives on hand. In the first nine months of 2019, there were 97 explosions in Sweden. ..

A sign of the shift in public opinion is the fact that the leader of the Moderate Party, with 70 out of the 349 seats in the Swedish parliament, has apologized on Facebook to all those who had criticized the country's immigration policies over the years.
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Immigration abroad – Greece, Cyprus
Greece says it's 'reached limit' as arrivals of refugees show no sign of slowing
Helena Smith
The Guardian, 17 December 2019.

Sometimes en masse, sometimes alone they keep on arriving: in rickety boats carrying men, women and children looking for a freedom they hope Europe will offer.

Despite winter's limited daylight and whiplash-heavy storms and rains, the number of asylum seekers landing on Greek shores shows no sign of abating. Not since Europe's historic agreement with Turkey to curb migrant flows at the height of Syria's civil war in March 2016 have arrivals been so high.

In September alone 10,551 newcomers arrived, the highest in a single month since the deal. ...

Latest figures show there are about 40,000 men, women and children on Samos, Lesbos, Chios, Kos and Leros – the five main entry points facing Turkey – mainly accommodated in overcrowded camps designed for 5,400. Despite concerted efforts to decongest the islands, the authorities have only been able to move about 10,000 people to the mainland in recent months.

The EU's new executive body is poised to draft fresh policies on the migration challenge and Athens says it's crucial that Brussels recognises the need for asylum seekers to be shared equally among member states.

Last week, Mitsotakis told the European Commission's new vice-president, Margaritis Schinas, and home affairs commissioner Ylva Johansson – both tasked with overhauling migration and asylum policies – that Greece had "reached its limits" and could no longer handle the influx alone. ...

Targeted by people smugglers, Greece has been at the sharp end of migration flows, hosting close to 90,000 refugees and migrants nationwide – a greater number than the combined total of asylum seekers registered in Italy, Spain, Malta and Cyprus, according to the UNHCR. ...

Greece is not alone in recording a jump in arrivals this year. Cyprus has experienced a surge, with most refugees travelling into the partitioned island's Greek south through the Turkish-occupied north.

Cyprus outstrips all other EU states in having the highest number of asylum applications per capita.

"At present rates, Cyprus will have 100,000 [refugees and economic migrants] in the next five years," said Constantinos Petrides, the country's interior minister until this month.
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Terrorism – Islam
Take these claims of 'rehabilitation' with a bucket of salt
Ed Husain
Daily Telegraph, 7 December 2019.

"I ain't no terrorist," protested London Bridge attacker Usman Khan in media interviews after police raided his home in 2008. Many believed him. Officials, obsessed with processes, procedures, probabtion and parole, let Khan walk our streets. Academics, always keen to see the best in Britain's enemies, invited Khan to conferences to explain British injustices. And then he killed two of his hosts before being overpowered by brave citizens and shot dead by the police. But what went wrong?

Claims that Islamist radicals have changed their path should always be taken with bucket-loads of salt. They are trained to be devious. They believe that they are at war with the West and teach al-harbu khid'a (war is deceit"). More than 70 such convicted terrorists have been released. Twenty thousand Islamists are being watched across the country. Isil is disbanding and will activate cells here in Britain.
[Newspaper link]

Benefits and costs – violence, London
Paramedics to wear body cameras in pilot scheme
Daily Telegraph, 3 December 2019.

Paramedics in London, especially those operating in notoriously dangerous or violent areas, will wear body cameras in a 12-month trial next year aimed at curbing the hundreds of assaults by patients and the public.

About 500 physical and 800 verbal assaults are committed against London Ambulance Service (LAS) staff every year, yet only about 30 people are convicted.
[Newspaper link]

Immigration – numbers
Non-EU immigration at near-record levels
Charles Hymas
Daily Telegraph, 29 November 2019.

Migrants from outside the EU are coming to the UK at near-record levels, while migration from member nations has fallen to its lowest for 16 years. figures have revealed.

Non-EU migrants rose from 224,000 last year to 229,000 in the year to June, partly fuelled by a surge in foreign students coming to universities from countries including China and India. It is more than double the number of six years ago, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data.

EU net migration, however, fell from 74,000 to 48,000 in the year to June; down from its peak of 219,000 in 2015, before the EU referendum, as improving wages and job prospects in countries such as Poland and the lower value of the pound have encouraged EU workers to return home. Net migration from the EU is at its lowest level since 2003, when it stood at 15,000. ...

With 65,000 Britons leaving the UK, it meant that the overall net migration rate fell by 37,000 from 249,000 to 212,000 in the year to June. ...

The ONS said that the number of work-related visas for non-EU citizens granted in the year to September stood at almost 190,000 – the highest level in 11 years.
[Newspaper link]

Benefits and costs – health tourism
NHS hospitals only received a THIRD of the £91 million they billed 'health tourists' from outside of Europe last year – despite a pledge to crack down on fee dodgers
Sam Blanchard
MailOnline, 20 November 2019.

NHS hospitals only managed to claim back 38 per cent of the money they billed health tourists from outside of Europe last year.

Just £35 million out of a £91m total was reclaimed by the health service for care it provided to citizens from countries not in European Economic Area.

London hospital trusts were the worst affected, in some cases getting paid only £1 for every £10 they were owed and writing off more than £4 million in a year.

Statistics for 2018-19 revealed hospitals had to write off £30 million in total, some of which was payments from previous years.

One of the country's leading medical unions said the current system is 'not cost effective or beneficial to the NHS', the Health Service Journal reported.

Hospitals are losing money despite the NHS last year pledging to push them harder to charge their patients up front rather than trying to get the money back later.

NHS healthcare costs racked up by patients from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) were last year £4 million higher than they were in 2017-18.

The amount recouped by the NHS was £5 million higher, but hospitals are still scrapping almost as much debt as they can get paid off.

The NHS received £5m more in repayments than in the previous year but in turn wrote off £3m more. ...

In its 10-point funding and efficiency plan revealed in 2019, NHS England listed number nine as 'Collect income the NHS is owed'.

It said: 'In respect of cost recovery from non-UK residents, the National Audit Office says that "the best available estimates suggest that the NHS is recovering significantly less than it could".' ...

The HSJ analysis showed Barts Health Trust, which runs health services in East London, was owed the most (£10.2 million) but only managed to recoup only £1.1m.

And Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust wrote off the most debt, wiping £4.7 million from its records. It received just £600,000 of £2.3m owed. ...

Emergency medical treatment is free for everyone but government policy dictates patients from outside the EEA should be charged upfront before planned treatment.

This, however, relies on doctors enforcing the rule and refusing to treat before being paid.

Around 500 doctors at the BMA conference in the summer, however, voted 'overwhelmingly' to scrap this rule and said it was racist.

'We are doctors not border guards,' said Dr Omar Risk in a debate at the conference. 'Charging migrants for accessing NHS services is a fundamentally racist endeavour – we are complicit in the oppressive regime.'
[Site link]

Miscellaneous – self-identification
Anyone can identify as black regardless of skin colour, lecturer's union says
Victoria Bell
Yahoo News, 18 November 2019.

Anyone should be allowed to "self-identify" as black regardless of the colour of their skin, a lecturer's union has said.

The University and College Union (UCU) said people should be able to identify as different races or genders, in a report called "UCU Position on Trans Inclusion".

"The UCU has a long history of enabling members to self-identify, whether that is being black, disabled, LGBT or women," it said.

The UCU said that a "social, rather than a medical, model of gender recognition" should be accepted in modern society and that the move would "help challenge repressive gender stereotypes in the workplace."

The union, which represents more than 100,000 university lecturers and staff, was criticised by GMB presenters Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid and some of its own members.

Kathleen Stock, a professor of philosophy at the University of Sussex, tweeted that she believes the union took a "substantive position on what is clearly a matter of academic freedom."

She wrote: "I'm still a member of UCU but... they make it hard when they publish this nonsensical, anti-intellectual propaganda."

Another member of the union, Dr. Iain Brassington from the University of Manchester, tweeted: "My union genuinely seems to think that I can identify my way into being a black disabled woman, and that's all groovy."

Meanwhile, Piers Morgan also criticised the report as "insulting".

"If you're white, you're white, if you're black, you're black. That's it.

"We don't need 120,000 lunatic academics to tell us that white people are now black. It's insulting and ridiculous. To everybody. It's mad."

Susanna Reid compared the scenario to Rachel Dolezal, a highly controversial scandal in the US in which a female official with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, who was white but self-identified as black, was exposed during a TV interview after her parents disputed her claim that she was black.

A spokesman for the UCU defended the report, telling Yahoo News UK: "Self-identification is a standard practice in many organisations and, as the Office for National Statistics says, 'There is no consensus on what constitutes an ethnic group and membership is something that is self-defined and subjectively meaningful to the person concerned'".
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – UK, Europe
Up to 4.8m unauthorised immigrants in Europe in 2017 – study
Jon Henley
The Guardian, 14 November 2019.

Europe was home to between 3.9 million and 4.8 million unauthorised immigrants in 2017, about half of whom lived in the UK and Germany, according to the first comprehensive estimate in more than a decade.

The Pew Research Center study, based on data from the 32 EU and Efta member states and international organisations, found the range was significantly higher than in 2014 (3 million to 3.7 million) but had fallen slightly since a 2016 peak of 4.1 million to 5.3 million.

The study also found that unauthorised immigrants in Europe came from many different countries, had arrived relatively recently and were mostly young and male.

Andrew Geddes, the director of the Migration Policy Centre at the European University Institute in Florence, said the study presented a "rigorous, robust and credible" picture of an issue that many Europeans had "lost trust and confidence in the capacity of their governments – and the EU – to deal with competently".

Victoria Rietig, of the German Council on Foreign Relations, said there was agreement in Germany that unauthorised immigration was "bad for security, bad for the people concerned who live in the shadows, bad for social cohesion," but that the debate had become "toxic and increasingly ideological".

The study found that Germany, the UK, Italy and France, which between them represent about 50% of Europe's total population of 500 million people, accounted for roughly 70% of unauthorised immigrants, with Germany and the UK alone accounting for about half.

Between 1 million and 1.2 million unauthorised migrants were living in Germany in 2017, the study's authors said, roughly double the number in 2014 but slightly down on 2016. Another 800,000 to 1.2 million were settled in the UK, 500,000 to 700,000 in Italy and 300,000 to 400,000 in France.

The study found that in Germany the ratio of authorised to unauthorised immigrants roughly reflected the European average of four to one, while in the UK the ratio was closer to one to one, meaning there were almost as many unauthorised immigrants as authorised. In Italy and France, authorised immigrants outnumbered unauthorised by between six and nine to one.

The number of unauthorised immigrants in Germany almost doubled between 2014 and 2016, while in the UK the total barely changed. The report's authors said most of the UK's unauthorised immigrants were "likely to be people who have overstayed their visas, or asylum seekers who have remained in the UK after not seeing their cases approved". ...

Just under a third of unauthorised immigrants in Europe in 2017 came from Asia Pacific countries including Afghanistan and Pakistan, 23% came from European non-EU/Efta countries such as Russia and Turkey, 21% came from the Middle East and north Africa, including Syria and Iraq, and 17% came from sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria and Eritrea. In the UK, 52% were from the Asia Pacific region. ...

Just over half were male and 65% were younger than 35, the study found.
[Site link]

Repatriation/deportation – criminals
Under half of foreign criminals and immigrants in detention are deported, watchdogs reveal
Charles Hymas
Daily Telegraph, 30 October 2019.

Fewer than half the immigrants and foreign criminals held in detention centres were deported last year, watchdogs have revealed.

They said most of the 25,000-plus people who left detention in 2018 had instead been released on immigration bail with a tiny fraction granted leave to remain.

"As the purpose of detention is to facilitate removal, this appears to call into question the original decision to detain," said the report by Ann Owers, head of the Independent Monitoring Boards (IMBs).

"IMBs view this as a serious matter, given the harmful effects of detention on physical and mental health."

Many of those being held in detention centres are foreign nationals who have served their sentences and are awaiting deportation. ...

Of the 25,487 people who left detention in 2018, only 44 per cent were returned from the UK to another country.

Forty per cent were granted bail by the Secretary of State, while 16 per cent were granted bail by an immigration judge, were granted leave to enter or remain or left for other reasons.
[Site link]

Miscellaneous – thought control, free speech
[The maddening tactics of the 'People's Vote' campaign may soon be at an end]
Charles Moore
Daily Telegraph, 29 October 2019.

Unfortunately, there are always powerful forces which instinctively dislike freedom. In our own time, they have returned in very different form. In 1979, the struggle was about economic control. Forty years on, it is about thought control.

The list of subjects on which comment is circumscribed grows ever longer. This is enshrined in press regulation and sometimes even in the criminal law. Everything about race, sexuality, gender, disability, religion, age is minutely scrutinised.

These are sensitive matters, and the press has often had a bad record for handling them crassly. But two aspects are really alarming. One is the idea of putting group rights ahead of the rights of each citizen. These means that the lobbies of those who shout the loudest can prevail over individuals. The other is the idea that if something offends a group, it must not be allowed. Since the offence is so often defined as being in the eye of the "victim", this allows almost anything to be classified as offensive, and therefore banned.

Right now, an attempt is being made to force the media to accept a definition of "Islamophobia", itself a loaded concept. We could not be a free press or a free country if we could not criticise the doctrines and practice of any great religion or of that religion's adherents. This is not "phobia": it is free thought.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – bias, political correctness, Canada
I thought Britain had biased, Left-wing media – until I spent time in Canada
Daniel Hannan
Sunday Telegraph, 27 October 2019.

Justin Trudeau, a man who can't remember how many times he darkened his skin for comic effect, has managed to form a minority government in Canada.

His Liberal Party won Monday's election with fewer votes than the Conservatives but, under a quirk of the first-past-the-post system, emerged 36 seats ahead in the 338-member House of Commons. ...

I spent a week in Canada watching the election, and came back stunned by the lopsidedness of the political culture. It's not just that a Right-wing leader who had blacked up would have been hounded out of public life. ...

Like most British Tories, I expect a measure of media bias: immigration good, Israel bad, feminism good, austerity bad, etc. But I have never come across such a monolithically partisan commentariat as Canada's. ...

But laws shape culture. As long ago as 1971, Canada declared itslef a multicultural state. The Leftist quangos created by Trudeau père in the Seventies were designed to elevate wokeness above freedom, and they succeeded.

Uniquely in the Anglosphere, Canada has seen almost no backlash against political correctness. The doctrine of diversity and equality is enforced ruthlessly. ...

There is no market for Right-wing populism. The closest Canada got to Trumpism was a party that wanted to cut immigration from 350,000 a year to around 150,000. Anywhere else, 150,000 would be regarded as mass migration, but in Canada, it was howled down as far-Right extremism, and the party took just 1.6 per cent of the vote. Canada's Tories share the enthusiasm for high immigration, and are the only centre-Right party in the West that wins electorally significant support from ethnic minorities. ...

Imagine a Britain in which there was no alternative to the Guardian/BBC view of the world: that is what Canada has become.
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – border security
Belgians only check one in 400 containers in port where Chinese migrants were smuggled
Charles Hymas and James Crisp
Daily Telegraph, 25 October 2019.

Belgian customs only check one in 400 ship containers' papers at Zeebrugge, it has emerged, as questions over border checks intensified after the deaths of 39 Chinese migrants in a refrigerated lorry from the port.

Asked why the 39 migrants had not been detected, Francis Adyns, of Belgian customs, said checks on documents were only conducted in "very exceptional" cases, amounting to one in 400 containers.

"On transport between Belgium and the United Kingdom, the inspection is very limited," he said.

The disclosure comes despite warnings by David Bolt, UK's Inspector of Borders, and National Crime Agency (NCA) over the past three years that people smugglers have been targeting Zeebrugge and smaller British ports like Purfleet where the refrigerated container carrying the Chinese arrived.

In a 2016 report, Mr Bolt warned the "highest priority" organised immigration crime threat was clandestine people smuggling using roll-on, roll-off lorries and containers at ports away from Dover, Dunkirk and Calais to avoid their heavier police presence. ...

The Government has had repeated warnings of the rising threat of people-smuggling via Belgium and into quieter south and east coast ports.

"We've seen on the east coast evidence from Tilbury and Purfleet, up as far as Hull and Immingham. And on the south coast from Newhaven to Portsmouth," said Tom Dowdall, deputy director at the NCA.
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – border security
Europe cannot be complacent over people smugglers and must galvanise efforts to tackle this pernicious problem
David Wood
Daily Telegraph, 25 October 2019.

David Wood was deputy chief executive of the UK Border Agency

The shocking discovery of 39 dead people found in a lorry container in Essex raises profoundly troubling questions. Faced with such a tragedy, we have a duty to stop and take stock of the situation on our borders and of the broader issue of illegal migration. ...

The truth is that, over the past 10 years, austerity has diminished the resources available to UK Border Force. This has been a particular problem as political and public pressures have encouraged the authorities to devote extra attention to Calais and Dover, while other routes into the country have been neglected.

In the past, Border Force had mobile teams that travelled to smaller ports and airports. ...

Yet these small ports and airports present a greater risk now than ever. The increased security and technology at Calais has forced the organised crime gangs responsible for people trafficking to diversify their approach, using small vessels and alternative ports. ...

We should not underestimate the groups behind this. Typically, organised crime is the catalyst for illegal migration. The gangs have wide tentacles, including agents in source countries as far afield as the Indian subcontinent, sub-Saharan Africa, Afghanistan and China. ...

Families pool resources, often selling all their goods to fund a (usually) male family member to travel to the UK in the hope that others can follow later. ...

Sadly, while trafficking remains a lucrative, relatively low-risk industry, it will continue. Nevertheless there is plenty more we can – and must – do to stop it.
[Site link]

Population pressure – politics
Blair's reckless population explosion sowed the seeds of Brexit, though few will now admit it
Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph, 23 October 2019.

The greatest failure of modern British governance was to encourage mass immigration to the UK and fail to prepare for the impact it would have. It is at the root of much that afflicts the nation today, from the agony of Brexit to the near-terminal pressure on the NHS and the housing crisis with all its attendant consequences. As figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirmed this week, the last 20 years have seen the population rise faster than at any time in history.

Even though the rate of increase has slowed, the total is due to hit 70 million within a decade, fuelled predominantly by immigration, either directly or by the children of recent arrivals. This is at a time when population growth should have stalled or even gone into reverse. Indeed, just a few decades ago that was precisely what state planners thought would happen. ...

These bald statistics go a long way to explain our current politics. It is not immigration per se that is problematic but the pressures brought about by a rising population. However, for many years we were not allowed to talk about it, because the debate was always framed in a racial context.

Bizarrely, political discourse has raged around the creaking NHS, the crowded trains, the snared-up roads, the lack of homes, the crammed prisons, the cost of pensions and the woeful state of social care, all without ever focusing on the cause for fear of being denounced as racist. ...

There were many causes of Brexit, but historians will surely look at the impact of population growth on public sentiment in England (Scotland's has hardly changed) and how that fed into an animus against the EU. Of course, some people felt their country was changing, but many were aggrieved by a sense that there were now too many people competing for their jobs, access to the NHS, welfare and housing and even seats on trains and buses.

Culpability must mainly lie with Tony Blair's government. In the 20 years before Labour came to office in 1997, the population rose by two million. In the 20 years since it has grown by eight million. What was done to prepare for this? The seeds of Brexit and today's political crisis were sown.
[Site link]

Benefits and costs – parking fines
Foreign tourists are dodging UK parking fines because of their "untraceable" vehicles, council complains
Sam Meadows
Daily Telegraph, 21 October 2019.

Foreign tourists are dodging UK parking fines because their vehicles are "untraceable", a council has complained.

Figures released in response to a Freedom of Information request reveal that less than 100 of the 1,500 foreign motorists fined for parking offences in Thanet, Kent, in the past year actually coughed up. Council workers only chased up 133 of the 1,430 who failed to pay.

South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay said the failure was due to the lack of enforcement of an EU rule which means that cars registered overseas should be re-registered in the UK after six months. Thanet's location close to Dover makes it a passing place for traffic headed overseas.

The "six-month" rule requires foreign drivers to register their vehicles after six months, but a spokesman for Thanet Council said this was often ignored and all it could do was issue a parking fine which is near-impossible to follow up.

Mr Mackinley told Kent Online it was "uneconomic" for councils to send bailiffs to chase fines in EU countries but that the enforcement of the six-month rule was a wider issue.

"This is an issue for the government," he added. "I have proposed to ministers a simple number plate recognition system with databases at ports of entry to ensure the six-month rule is complied with. The UK is uniquely placed to manage this with few points of entry."
[Site link]

Politics – Conservative Party
It would be a huge mistake if the next PM does away with immigration targets
Nick Timothy
Daily Telegraph, 18 July 2019.

In 2010, as the Conservatives returned to government after 13 years in exile, George Osborne warned his colleagues. "Our promise to cut immigration is a big reason we're here," he said. "Support the Home Office in getting it done, or we won't be sitting here much longer."

As time went on, ministers' support for immigration control waned with Osborne's. While the numbers came down at first, they soon went shooting back up. Yet when the Tories faced the electorate again, in 2015, they repeated their pledge: annual net migration would be cut to the tens of thousands.

Today, net migration stands at 258,000 per year. And Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson want to drop the target. Boris refuses to promise to cut the numbers, and supports an amnesty for illegal immigrants. The target – and, perhaps, the Tory promise to reduce immigration – is no more. ...

On its own a target is obviously not a mechanism for reducung immigration. A target matters only if you are trying to hit it, and ministers gave up on that a long time ago. Blaming a target when the policies to achieve it have been deliberately and cynically weakened makes no sense at all. ...

This is why it is impossible to take the politics out of immigration. If you put it in the hands of liberal technocrats, they will always insist the economy needs higher and higher numbers.

Without clear and aggressive objectives to reduce immigration – set by politicians on behalf of voters – annual statements and independent offices will simply become a means of "managing" massive levels of immigration. ...

... But we must have a clear objective to cut immigration overall. Without that, there will be no pressure on ministers and officials to bring the numbers down.

And to do that, the Conservatives need to answer questions they have long dodged. If we are dependent on migration for plumbers, electricians and engineers, why do we neglect technical and vocational education? If we are reliant on foreign doctors and nurses, why is NHS workforce planning and training not better? If farming cannot find local workers to pick crops, why don't we invest in technologies to end back-breaking and miserable work? If the hospitality industry cannot persuade young people to work in restaurants and hotels, isn't one answer to pay them more? ...

If we answer these questions, we can set demanding objectives that allow us to reduce and control immigration. But if we continue to dodge them we will never get to grips with the problem.

The public consistently votes for lower immigration, and is consistently ignored. They deserve a government that listens, and has a plan to deliver what they demand.
[Site link]

Multiculturalism – Poles
Why are there so few Polish people on British TV?
Ben Sixsmith
The Spectator, 20 July 2019.

Have you ever seen a Pole on British television? Poles are the biggest immigrant group in Britain, numbering between 900,000 and one million, so you might think they would be all over the TV. But no, there are hardly any. ...

There are plenty of programmes that focus on British Asians: Informer, Muslims Like Us, Citizen Khan, Man Like Mobeen, My Asian Alter Ego, The Big Asian Stand-Up, Goodness Gracious Me and more. Meanwhile there are almost no documentaries, dramas or sitcoms about Poles in the UK. ...

Why do we not hear about this lack of representation? There are campaigns for all sorts of minority groups to be represented better on TV – and we hear a lot about the need for more female or LGBT voices to be heard. But when it comes to Poles, no one seems to care. I searched the Guardian website for any mention of Polish marginalisation. Nothing. Nic.

Granted, Poles don't seem to mind. Polish migrants rarely get involved with identity politics. Being white and Christian, they are a lesser concern to the sort of left-wing activist who gets worked up about cultural representation. ...

'Cultural representation' is a modish issue, but it is not half as important for most people as a good income, an affordable home, decent schools and healthcare.
[Site link]

Employment – drought of workers
Open up immigration or 'cripple' industry, business bosses warn the next prime minister
Tim Wallace
Daily Telegraph, 17 July 2019.

The economy faces a devastating drought of workers if the immigration system is not seriously overhauled after Brexit, businesses have warned, with a skills shortage already biting in industries such as hospitality and construction.

Retailers, recruiters, tech bosses, universities and other key sectors have written to Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt to demand a border which "works towards building a successful economy that is open and attractive".

"The proposed future immigration system risks exacerbating the UK's already chronic skills and labour shortages and could cripple a number of businesses across sectors," said the coalition of business and education groups. ...

The letter calls for the threshold for migrant workers to be lowered from £30,000 per year to £20,000; the temporary work route to be extended from one year to two years and the reinstatement of the two-year visa for international students graduating from British universities. It comes after Mr Johnson refused to commit to bringing down net migration.
[Site link]

Immigration – Brexit, Global Britain
If we want to build a Global Britain, the migrant salary cap must go
Blythe Edwards
CapX, 17 July 2019.

It's been said time and time again that leaving the European Union is an opportunity for the UK to build a fairer, more streamlined immigration policy. If we're serious about sticking to these sentiments, and becoming a more global Britain after Brexit, scrapping the current annual salary threshold for migrant workers would be a good place to start.

The current threshold of £30,000, which is set to extend to all non-UK workers once the UK leaves the European Union in October, has faced widespread criticism, including from business, policy experts and both Labour and Conservative MPs.

The White Paper from last year introducing Theresa May's 'skills-based immigration system', described by the Prime Minister as a plan that "welcomes talent, hard work, and the skills we need as a country", seemed primarily designed to crack down on low-skilled immigration.

But far from being in the UK's so-called "best interests", the tightening of immigration policy makes it harder for skilled migrants (many of whom have received their education or training here) to work in the UK. ...

Rather than extending harmful minimum salary restrictions to EU citizens, Brexit should be an opportunity to scrap damaging immigration policies altogether and establish an equal playing field for all prospective migrants. Britain needs a system which treats migrants as individuals rather than as widgets with value, determined solely by their nationality or current income level.

To establish a more global Britain, which looks as much to India and North America as to the continent, any post-Brexit government should seek to eliminate the built-in prejudice favouring European migrants. But this levelling should come by eliminating the economically damaging immigration requirements in their entirety, not by extending the policy to inflict equal detriment.

Promisingly, both Conservative leadership contenders have expressed a willingness to reconsider the policy. As well, Home Secretary Sajid Javid has recently asked the Migration Advisory Committee to reconsider the proposal. ...

After October 31, the UK should seek to preserve and enhance its position as a global hub for entrepreneurial talent. Immigration represents potential for the UK economy that will benefit everyone, it is not something to be feared.
[Site link]

Diversity – universities, USA
The Diversity Distortion
John Hasnas
James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, 17 July 2019.

In 1996, Alan Sokal, a professor of physics, submitted a hoax article to Social Text, a journal of postmodern cultural studies, which published it. Last year, in what became known as the Sokal Squared hoax, James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian created 20 fake papers that they submitted to several cultural studies journals. Seven of them had been selected for publication at the time the hoax became public.

The point of the Sokal Squared hoax was to highlight the lack of rigor in what the authors of the hoax called "grievance studies," academic programs addressing issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, and identity. But in the uproar over the hoax, a more fundamental question has been overlooked. Why are there so many such programs? What accounts for the rapid proliferation of university departments devoted to the study of minority cultural identity? ...

... Is there something beyond their inherent academic value that is driving the growth of cultural studies programs at the expense of other departments and, perhaps, the overall health of the university?

The answer is yes. It is the contemporary university's quest for a diverse faculty.

Almost all elite universities make it a top priority to increase the number of minorities and women on their faculty. Yale is pursuing a $50 million initiative to enhance faculty diversity; Brown has committed $100 million to hiring 60 additional faculty members from historically under-represented groups; Princeton committed funds to support 15 to 20 diversity hires.

The problem is that universities cannot simply go out and hire the desired minority and women faculty. ...

... Faculty hiring is an employment decision and employment decisions are governed by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. ...

Under Title VII, universities may undertake strenuous affirmative action efforts to assemble the most diverse pool of applicants possible. They may specifically recruit African Americans, women, and other minorities to apply for faculty positions. Once the selection process has begun, however, Title VII prohibits any consideration of a candidate's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. ...

These legal restrictions mean that to diversify their faculties, universities must create new positions that would appeal only to women or minority scholars or for which women and minority scholars are likely to be the most qualified candidates. The surest way to do this is to increase the number of positions in women's studies, critical race theory, LGBTQ studies, and other cultural identity-based programs. To a significant extent, the growth of what the Sokal Squared authors derisively refer to as grievance studies is a by-product of universities' efforts to obtain a more diverse faculty.

This would not be not harmful if, in fact, the university's most urgent academic need is in the cultural studies area. But it can be quite damaging to a university if this is not the case. ...

... The drive for diversity now diverts the development of the university's curriculum away from the path dictated by its educational values, needs, and goals. In a classic example of the tail wagging the dog, the university's academic mission becomes subservient to its drive for diversity.
[Site link]

Politics – Conservative Party
Most people think it is right to reduce migration. We need a Sustainable Immigration Plan
Mark Harper MP
ConservativeHome, 16 July 2019.
[Mark Harper was Immigration Minister from 2012 to 2014]

One very clear message that the electorate continues to send to politicians is the importance of having a sensible migration policy that controls the levels of immigration into our country. ...

The Conservative Party has spent nine years and three general elections pledging to bring net migration down to the tens of thousands, yet last year it stood at 253,000 a year. It is clear that some new thinking is required to make our migration policy more effective, and this involves moving beyond our current net migration target.

What was a powerful statement of intent in 2010 now stands as a visible statement of a target that we have never managed to hit. ...

Despite being maligned as too tough by the Left, the target has proved weak. It sits above different migration routes and therefore gives no indication of the government's priorities between different skills, industries or types of migration. It has no teeth with Whitehall departments, allowing the merry-go-round of departmental and business special pleading to continue with no consideration of the trade-offs.

As a result, net migration adds a city the size of Newcastle upon Tyne to the population each year. If you add up cumulative net migration since 2010, a total of 1.4 million more people have come to the UK compared to if we had hit our net migration target every year. It is hardly surprising that a majority of every age group, ethnicity and both Remain and Leave voters support reducing immigration and three quarters of people think reducing immigration to the tens of thousands is the right thing to do.

That is why I support new proposals this morning from the thinktank Onward to replace the target with a long-term Sustainable Immigration Plan – published by the Home Office every year and presented to Parliament. This would force the Government to set out its own plans and forecasts for immigration, across different routes, skills and nationalities and make the trade-offs that are inherent in immigration policy.

But this plan needs teeth. That is why we should go one step further and create a new independent Office for Migration Responsibility – along the lines of the independent Office for Budget Responsibility – to enable Ministers to be held to account on the impact of their own immigration policies. This body would provide the information needed to enable Parliament to hold Ministers' feet to the fire on their promises on immigration and bring an end to unattainable targets.

We must restore public confidence in immigration policy by not only setting out a well-structured and actionable plan to make sure politicians have the ability to decide which – and how many – people come into the country every year, but by being truly accountable for delivering on it.
[Site link]

Crime – drugs
Albanian gang of 12 men are jailed for a total of 33 years for supplying cocaine to City workers in London's Square Mile
Isabella Nikolic
MailOnline, 16 July 2019.

An Albanian gang supplying cocaine to City workers in London's Square Mile has been jailed for 33 years.

The twelve-strong gang, comprising two lieutenants, eight couriers and two others was busted with 1.2 kilos of the drug, worth £144,000.

City of London Police also recovered £20,000 cash and two phones used by the controllers which were described as 'extremely active' drug lines. ...

The two lieutenants were Bledar Ponari, 28 and Fjoralb Fera, 21.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – asylum claims, USA
Trump to stop migrants claiming asylum after crossing Mexico in major border crackdown
Chris Riotta
Independent, 16 July 2019.

Donald Trump's administration has taken steps to officially end asylum protections for Central American migrants arriving at the US-Mexico border.

The US Justice Department published a new rule in the Federal Register on Monday that would make migrants passing through another country before arriving in the country initially ineligible for asylum.

The rule appeared set to provoke an extensive legal battle between the Trump administration and immigrant rights groups.

The rule, expected to go into effect on Tuesday, also applies to children who have crossed the border alone.

There are some exceptions: If someone has been trafficked, if the country the migrant passed through did not sign one of the major international treaties that govern how refugees are managed, or if an asylum-seeker sought protection in a country but was denied.

US law allows refugees to request asylum when they arrive at the country's borders regardless of how they did so, but there is an exception for those who have come through a country considered to be "safe".

But the Immigration and Nationality Act, which governs asylum law, is vague on how a country is determined "safe"; it says the determination is made "pursuant to a bilateral or multilateral agreement".

Right now, the US has such an agreement, known as a "safe third country," only with Canada.

Under a recent agreement with Mexico, Central American countries were considering a regional compact on the issue, but nothing has been decided. ...

The rule applies to migrants who are arriving to the US, not those who are already in the country.

Officials say the changes are meant to close the gap between the initial asylum screening most people pass and the final decision on asylum most people do not win. ...

Tens of thousands of Central American migrant families cross the border each month, many claiming asylum.
[Site link]

Asylum – illegal immigration
Refugees living on British military base in Cyprus allowed to settle in UK
Simon Israel
Channel 4 News, 15 July 2019.

They were marooned on a British military base in Cyprus for 20 years, but now five refugee families are finally being resettled in the UK.

Their arrival here will end the long-running dispute with the British government, which initially refused to accept them after they were rescued by the RAF from their shipwrecked boat.

Their case went all the way to the highest court in the land before the Home Office finally relented, insisting this was an exceptional one-off decision.
[Site link]

Politics – Conservative Party
Two of Theresa May's closest aides denounce her migration target as a 'visible statement of failure'
Edward Malnick
Sunday Telegraph, 14 July 2019.

Two of Theresa May's closest aides have denounced her migration target as a "visible statement of failure" and called for it to be scrapped by her successor.

Will Tanner and Richard Chew, who advised Mrs May in the Home Office and Downing Street, warned that net migration is adding the equivalent of a city the size of Newcastle to the population each year, despite the Conservatives' repeated promises to reduce levels to "tens of thousands".

In a report to be published on Tuesday, Mr Tanner and Mr Chew state that voters from every age and ethnic minority group believe that migration levels should be reduced.

Unless Mrs May's successor replaces the target with a "proper plan to achieve control", he will leave an "open goal for Nigel Farage", according to Mr Tanner, the former deputy director of the Downing Street policy unit.

The report for Onward, a centre-Right think tank launched last year, will claim that plans put forward by Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt on migration will both fail to reduce the pressure on public services and restore public trust in the system. ...

Mr Johnson has advocated an Australian-style points-based system. ...

The report will warn that points-based systems are "typically used explicitly to increase migration, while simply abolishing the net migration target with no alternative, as proposed by Jeremy Hunt, will just release pressure on Whitehall".
[Site link]

Politics – Conservative Party
Britain's Johnson backs illegal migrants amnesty
Al Arabiya / AFP, 14 July 2019.

Boris Johnson, the frontrunner to be Britain's next prime minister, said Saturday that he supported the idea of an amnesty for illegal migrants.

However, he said any efforts to regularize the status of long-term irregular workers must be matched by a clampdown on new arrivals to avoid creating a "pull factor."

Johnson first floated the idea of an amnesty when he was mayor of London. Now running for leader of the ruling Conservatives, he said he remained in favor.

He suggested there were around 500,000 people in London who had lived there for a decade or more but never registered and "are not able to pay taxes."

"I don't think it's commonsensical to think we can deport such a large number of people. We do need to think of how to regularize their status," he told a leadership campaign event in the east of England.

He said that despite the government's efforts to clamp down on irregular migration, deporting people was "very difficult legally" and the number of removals was "vanishingly small."

"What I'm proposing would probably not make much practical difference in the existing state of affairs, it would regularize what is already going on."

However, he added: "We have to show that we would simultaneously deport first bounce, as it were, people who are coming in illegally." ...

He himself is a strong advocate of immigration, saying it was one of the reasons London and the south-east of England was so dynamic.

However, he acknowledged many voters wanted to know there was some control, and has previously proposed to ensure new arrivals speak English, have certain skills and have a job offer.
[Site link]

Multiculturalism – misconduct, doctors, nurses
Foreign doctors are revealed to be behind 60% of all sex assaults on patients - but NHS wants fewer of them taken to disciplinary hearings
Jake Ryan and Stephen Adams
Mail on Sunday, 14 July 2019.

Foreign-trained doctors commit six in ten cases of sexual misconduct with patients, even though they make up only a third of NHS medics, shock new figures reveal.

They accounted for 23 of 38 proven incidents in the past three years, according to figures obtained by The Mail on Sunday. Allegations include indecent behaviour, sexual assault and even rape.

The alarming statistics have emerged just as the NHS has introduced targets to reduce the numbers of black and ethnic minority staff – almost two-thirds of whom trained abroad – being hauled before disciplinary hearings.

Britain's 95,000 doctors from black and minority ethnic backgrounds (BME) are more than twice as likely to be referred to the GMC as their white colleagues. There is a similar pattern with other staff such as nurses.

NHS chief people officer Prerana Issar, who recently joined from the United Nations, wrote: 'It is not acceptable that if you come from some backgrounds, you are more likely to enter the formal disciplinary process, stay in it longer and have more career-limiting outcomes. We must change this and quickly.'

A new document gives NHS trusts what it calls 'aspirational goals' to reduce the likelihood of BME staff being referred for disciplinary action, so the rates are more in line with white staff.
[Site link]

Repatriation/deportation – crime
Deported thief is allowed back into the UK under EU freedom of movement laws
Michael Hamilton
The Sun, 14 July 2019.

A Portuguese robber booted out of Britain after being jailed here has been allowed back under EU freedom of movement. ...

The man, known only as J Pedro, got 28 months in 2015 for two robberies while studying at a UK university.

At the end of his prison term, he was deported.

He was caught trying to sneak back illegally in 2016 and stopped. But his lawyers were able to argue that under freedom of movement laws, which would end under Brexit, he must be allowed to return.

His legal team also claimed he was traumatised by his mother's death three years before his crimes. ...

Judge Doron Blum said: "The offending had to be considered in the context of his mental health." ...

Last week it emerged a Romanian national who carried out a string of serious criminal offences could not be deported because he is protected by EU law.

Denis Viscu, 20, received 14 convictions for 20 offences including robbery and knife possession between July 2014 and March 2017.
[Site link]

Benefits and costs – aid for immigrants
Millions of pounds to be made available to help communities cope with influx of migrants
Kevin Schofield
PoliticsHome, 13 July 2019.

Millions of pounds will be ploughed into communities to help them cope with a large influx of migrants, it has been announced.

The cash will be spent on tackling rogue landlords, helping to alleviate rough sleeping and boosting English classes.

A total of £28m will be distributed around the country from the Government's Controlling Migration Fund, which has now made more than £100m available since it was set up in 2016. ...

Stockport Council used money from the fund to develop a bilingual teaching assistant programme to support children who start school or nursery with little or no English.
[Site link]

Population pressure – housing
Why is immigration routinely ignored in discussion of the housing crisis?
Alp Mehmet
Conservative Woman, 13 July 2019.

The UK's young people are bearing the brunt of a housing crisis that is pricing them out of owning their own homes.

At Migration Watch, we have never claimed that immigration is the sole reason for the problem – only that rapid, immigration-driven population growth is one of several important factors to consider.

The truth is that housing is a prime example of the potential negative impacts of uncontrolled immigration that are not captured by economic analyses but which are widely felt by many every day.

Despite this, many dismiss the impact that immigration-driven population growth has in adding to housing demand.

In one example, a Guardian journalist launched an attack on the outgoing Prime Minister after Theresa May uttered this sentence: 'The sheer volume [of net migration] has put pressure on public services, like schools, stretched our infrastructure, especially housing.'

The writer said the idea that immigration is putting pressure on public services and housing 'bears no resemblance to reality' and accused Mrs May of 'scapegoat[ing]' those from overseas. (Incidentally, recent polling, for instance by Ipsos Mori, suggests that two-thirds of the public agree with Mrs May that immigration puts pressure on public services and housing.)

Our updated briefing on housing says that action to reduce significantly the level of net migration (which has averaged nearly 300,000 per year over since 2014) needs to be part of any solution to the housing crisis.

The briefing makes the following points:

1 The UK has a housing crisis because supply is insufficient for current population growth. Home ownership is falling and a growing number of young people have to live with their parents due to high rents.

2 Immigration is an important factor. For example, it drove up house prices in England by about 20 per cent between 1991 and 2016 (Government bulletin, April 2018).

3 ONS statistics (summarised in Table 2 in Annex A of our paper) show that 90 per cent (or 1.1 million) of the rise of 1.2 million households in England between 2005 and 2015 can be attributed to additional households with a non-UK born head.

4 It has been projected by the ONS that immigration to England at current levels will generate the need to build one home every six minutes, night and day.

5 Even this underestimates the impact of immigration on future housing demand, since it takes account only of future arrivals. The relatively young age structure of the existing non-UK born population means this will also drive future household growth.

6 The UK housing crisis must be addressed but not by building on the green belt and eating up more of our countryside. A major reduction in immigration has to be a significant part of the solution, in addition to improvements in the supply of housing.

7 A majority (54 per cent) of those who say there is a housing crisis have said they see immigration as the main reason (Parliamentary briefing, 2017).

8 55 per cent of 18-24-year-olds support the government's promise to reduce the immigration by a significant amount. Immigration is clearly a key factor in rising housing costs.
[Site link]

Population pressure – schools
Secondary schools face 420,000 rise in pupil numbers following baby boom in the 2000s that was partly driven by high immigration
Sarah Harris
Daily Mail, 12 July 2019.

Secondary schools will need to find 418,000 extra pupil places over the next decade following a baby boom, estimates show.

Department for Education figures published yesterday predict the secondary school population will hit 3.3 million by 2027 – a rise of 14.7 per cent.

It follows a baby boom in the early 2000s partly driven by an increase in immigration, which has put pressure on primary places for years and will now feed through secondaries.

Last year the overall number of secondary pupils rose by 1.9 per cent on 2017 to 2,849,000, while primary schools saw a 1.1 per cent rise in the population – expected to fall by 2027.

The DfE document states direct immigration of pupils born outside the UK 'has a very small effect on the school age population', but adds: 'The birth rate, which has a much larger effect, is in turn affected by any increase in the number of children born to non-UK born women (who overall tend to have higher fertility rates).'

It adds: 'The number of children born to non-UK born women rose by around 75 per cent between 2002 and 2013, although this was a period of increased births generally.'
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Islam, public opinion, Germany
Half of Germany sees Islam as a threat, survey claims
James Tweedie
MailOnline, 12 July 2019.

One in every two Germans sees Islam as a threat, according to a survey published on Thursday.

The latest twice-yearly 'Religion Monitor' poll by the Bertelsmann Foundation found that 50 per cent of those interviewed were suspicious of the religion, Bild reported.

But only 13 per cent of respondants wanted immigration halted, the foundation's religion expert Yasemin El-Menouar was keen to point out.

'Widespread scepticism of Islam' did 'not necessarily equate to Islamophobia,' she said.

'Apparently, many people currently view Islam less as a religion, but above all as a political ideology and therefore exempt it from religious tolerance,' El-Menouar said.

Some 5 million Muslims live in Germany - 1.5 million of them in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
[Site link]

Crime – child sexual abuse, police politics
The child sex victims betrayed by police who were afraid of being called racist [part 1]
Maggie Oliver
Daily Mail, 12 July 2019.
[Adapted from Survivors: One Brave Detective's Battle To Expose The Rochdale Child Abuse Scandal]

For a few months, I genuinely wondered if I was going mad. As a serving police officer, I was convinced I'd witnessed a gross miscarriage of justice – and yet no one seemed to agree.

At its heart were two vulnerable young sisters, who'd been aged just 12 and 15 when they were caught up in the tentacles of an Asian paedophile gang in Rochdale.

'Trust us,' we'd told Ruby and Amber. 'We'll do our utmost to bring all of these vile men to trial, so that no other children will have to suffer at their hands.'

But we hadn't. Instead, we'd pulled back and let most of the abusers off the hook. And that made me boil with fury, particularly as it was me who'd coaxed the sisters over several months to relive their searingly painful experiences in a police interview suite.

But what could I do? I was just a detective constable, and my bosses refused to take my complaints seriously.

I appealed for help to the Police Federation, the Children's Commissioner and the Independent Police Complaints Commission, but no one would support me. I was completely on my own. ...

Not only had Amber and Ruby suffered an appalling injustice – but most of their abusers were still walking the streets of Rochdale. ...

... Two years before, Rochdale police had launched an investigation into Asian paedophiles who were abusing children – but wound it up without charging a single man. ...

Roll on a couple of years. In 2010, Greater Manchester police launched Operation Span to take up where Rochdale police left off.

And they quickly realised that without Amber and Ruby's testimony, many of the paedophile gang would walk free. That's where I came in.

Over six months, I got to know the two girls and eventually persuaded them to do a series of taped interviews. As a police officer, I'd heard dreadful things, but what the girls told me was in another category altogether.

Lured in by young men, the girls had been passed on to dozens of older Asians – chiefly Pakistani – for sex, and had even been threatened with a gun and a knife. ...

Between them, the sisters provided compelling and highly detailed evidence against 29 men. Already, Amber had identified nine of her abusers in video identity parades – and there were more to come. So I was feeling confident when the police arranged the first meeting between officers from Operation Span and the barrister appointed to prosecute the case.

As the officer dealing with the victims central to the case, I confidently expected to be there. But for some reason, I was excluded. ...

By ignoring what Amber had said on tape, and all the evidence to back up her allegations, they'd hit on a convenient way to reduce the number of Asian defendants.

Why? Because the people at the top perceived the ethnicity of the offenders and the low status of poor white girls as a toxic mix. I'd go further: by putting fewer Muslim defendants in the dock, the police calculated they'd be less likely to incite accusations of Islamophobia. ...
[Site link]

Crime – child sexual abuse, police politics
The child sex victims betrayed by police who were afraid of being called racist [part 2]
Maggie Oliver
Daily Mail, 12 July 2019.

I was in the depths of despair. How could the police force be turning a blind eye to children who'd been raped on a daily basis? Why was I the only one who seemed to care? ...

Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, there was a horrific development.

The Crown Prosecution Service had belatedly realised that they did need some of Amber's evidence for the trial, after all. Unfortunately, they had alienated her to the point where they knew she wouldn't help.

So they did something utterly inhumane. They listed Amber as an offender so that some of what she'd said on tape could be used in court. To cap it all, they didn't even tell her.

This meant Amber couldn't have access to legal representation and had no chance of defending herself. I'd never heard of anything like this in my life; nor has any lawyer I've spoken to since.

The ironies piled up.

Months before, the CPS itself had officially designated Amber as a victim; and now it was lumping her together with paedophile abusers. Yet everything she'd said on tape had been from the viewpoint of a witness and victim.

In short, the CPS tactic was screwed-up, wicked and bizarre. Yet I couldn't alert Amber or her family, because to do so might jeopardise the trial.

Just 11 men were tried in the end. Had Amber's testimony been used in full, the number would probably have exceeded two dozen.

As it was, the case was built around the evidence of Ruby and two other girls. Inexplicably, Ruby was asked only about the paedophile who'd made her pregnant at 12. Not one of her other abusers has ever been charged.

At the trial, in May 2012, eight men originally from Pakistan and one from Afghanistan were given sentences ranging from four to 19 years. Two men were acquitted.

By early 2017, all but two of the abusers had been freed. In addition, four of the offenders were granted millions of pounds of taxpayers' money to fight deportation back to Pakistan.

At the conclusion of the trial, I wept as I watched Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood deliver a speech on the court steps.

'This has been a fantastic result for British justice,' he crowed. 'These victims have been through the most horrendous of crimes, and I just want to commend their bravery.'

There and then, I decided I had to speak up about the abusers who were still at large. I needed to resign from my job and become a whistle- blower. ...

Amber, however, continues to be punished. Not long after Three Girls had been broadcast, I received a panicked phone call from her at 1am.

Someone had identified her and put a photo of her house on Facebook. Given that many of her abusers still live in Rochdale, she was understandably alarmed.

She followed my advice to call the police straight away to tell them she was in danger. But when officers looked her up on their database, they could find no record of her ever having been a paedophile victim.

So they refused point-blank to help her.
[Site link]

Crime – child sexual abuse
SYP silent on number of child abuse suspects released without bail conditions
Adele Forrest
Rotherham Advertiser, 12 July 2019.

Thousands of child sex abuse suspects were released without bail conditions across the country after the Government made changes to the bail act – but South Yorkshire Police has refused to say how many are from Rotherham.

Nationally, 2,993 child abuse suspects were released without bail conditions in the year after the Government made changes to the bail act – an increase of 1,047 per cent.

A panel of MPs led by Rotherham's Sarah Champion said this would mean fewer suspects were prevented from contacting their accusers.

South Yorkshire Police (SYP) failed to respond to politicians' requests under the Freedom of Information Act for pre-charge bail statistics as part of the cross-party inquiry into survivors' experiences of the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Ms Champion, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse, said the drop in the number of suspects given pre-charge bail conditions presented a "huge risk to survivors, witnesses and the public". ...

Across the 20 constabularies that provided information, 2,993 suspected child sexual offenders were released without conditions – termed as being "under investigation – in 2017/2018, compared to 261 the previous year – an increase of 1,047 per cent. ...

The report also found only 54 per cent of survivors had reported their abuse to police, with those not reporting citing their reasons as "not believing the police would successfully prosecute" (30 per cent) or "believing the police would be unsupportive" (27 per cent). ...

The inquiry said it recognised police were under strain from increased reporting and limited resources, noting a huge rise in reports of CSE offences over the past decade.

But Ms Champion said: "Our inquiry found overwhelming evidence of persistent failure by the police and CPS to support and secure justice for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse."

Survivors were "losing faith in the criminal justice system", she said, and did not feel listened to by the police or CPS.
[Site link]

Population – European Union
EU population rose by one million last year to 513.5 million due to immigration, report says
Jack Elsom
MailOnline, 11 July 2019.

The European Union's population swelled to 513 million last year, according to a study which says that immigration is responsible for ballooning the number of people living in the bloc.

Some 1.1 million immigrants pushed the total population figure to its highest ever amount.

In 2018 the number of deaths trumped the amount of births by 300,000, meaning that the only explanation for the expansion was the increased flow of migrants. ...

A 0.5 per cent hike was recorded in the UK's population, burgeoning the country's share of the EU's overall citizenship to 13.6 per cent.
[Site link]

Crime – child sexual abuse, police politics
The real angel of the north: The abuse of young girls by Rochdale sex gangs is one of the great scandals of our time. In a shattering new book, the policewoman who revealed the truth breaks her silence – and shames the superiors who betrayed her...
Maggie Oliver
Daily Mail, 11 July 2019.
[Adapted from Survivors: One Brave Detective's Battle To Expose The Rochdale Child Abuse Scandal]

They were robbed of their childhood by a gang of Asian paedophiles and dismissed as 'white trash' by people who should know better. ...

... So why weren't they prosecuted?

As the former police officer who was once at the centre of the Rochdale sex-gang investigation – and as the whistleblower who exposed its appalling flaws – I believe I know the answer. It's politics.

Politics appear to drive too many policing decisions. Indeed, my own view is that if you're promoted to superintendent or above, you can freely let go of your conscience, it seems, and move smoothly up the ladder. ...

When I graduated from police college in 1997, I was already aged 42 and the mother of four children.

A few years later, I landed my dream job as a family liaison officer with Greater Manchester Police. Then, at the end of 2010, a detective chief superintendent summoned me to his office and asked me to join Operation Span.

It was being set up to investigate the serious sexual abuse of vulnerable white children by men of Asian origin which had been going on for a long time. And he needed me to interview the two sisters at the heart of the investigation. ...

What he went on to tell me almost defied belief.

Rochdale police had launched an investigation into the town's sex gangs a couple of years before. Yet, despite powerful evidence against them, not one man had been charged. ...

That didn't worry me, though. What did – very much so – was the thought of gaining the trust of vulnerable girls, only for the police to let them down yet again.

I knew only too well that this could happen, and not just because of their previous experience. As a police officer, I'd already taken part in a similar investigation in 2004 – and all the men had escaped scot-free. ...

Five years before, I'd had high hopes when I joined Operation Augusta, which focused on girls sexually abused by Asian gangs in Manchester.

Early on, I'd been astonished to discover that social workers had compiled lists of dozens of these abused children, and repeatedly called in the police – but nothing had been done.

Yet now, the police seemed to have had a change of heart and had become fully committed to bringing the abusers to justice. ...

By spring 2004, we had an initial list of almost 207 Asian men who we believed had been abusing at least 26 children. And we knew this was the tip of the iceberg. ...

No one had been charged, let alone convicted. I was devastated. All that work, and for what? It just didn't make sense.

I tried to speak to my bosses about it, but hit a brick wall. ...

By shutting down the operation, the police could avoid accusations of Islamophobia and the threat of riots on the streets. ...

There was a lot of boasting from the abusers about 'chilling with white girls'. Indeed, looking back, I believe strongly that we should have brought in a 'racially aggravated' element to the investigation. There was no doubt these girls were being targeted for their ethnicity – and the perception that white girls are 'easy'.
[Site link]

Crime – fraud, deportation
Sierra Leonean mother, 44, who used false ID to live in a council flat in UK for 10 years and swindle £164,000 in benefits was not deported - 'but is now applying to stay using her REAL name'
Alexander Robertson
MailOnline, 11 July 2019.

A Sierra Leone fraudster who used a bogus identity to get UK residency and swindle over £164,000 in benefits is still demanding to remain in Britain, a court heard.

Aminata Bangura, 44, was refused leave to remain as a student in 2004, but won her Home Office case under a fraudulent name.

The single mother was moved up the council waiting list after having a son, now aged ten, who needs lifelong NHS care.

Bangura, of Camberwell, was sentenced to two years imprisonment in May last year for the immigration offences, but was released after eight months.

Yesterday, Judge Silas Reid questioned why she had not been automatically deported as a non-UK resident who had received over twelve months imprisonment.

The judge was sentencing Bangura for a Southwark council benefits scam that came to light after her prison sentence.

'She's a Sierra Leone citizen so what's going on there with automatic deportation that should have followed sentencing?' he asked. ...

The sentence she received last May included fraudulently obtaining a £50,000 student loan, plus around £50,000 in working tax credits, child tax credits and child benefit. ...

Bangura was sentenced to ten months imprisonment, suspended for eighteen months and ordered to complete 80 hours community service.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – crime, Germany
German Prosecutor: Rule of Law in Berlin 'No Longer Functional'
Chris Tomlinson
Breitbart, 11 July 2019.

German prosecutor Ralph Knispel has claimed that courts in the German capital are so overburdened, they lack the capacity to carry out litigation against suspects.

In Berlin alone, there are an estimated 8,500 arrest warrants yet to be carried out, according to Knispel who said that the criminal scene in the city is "laughing at the justice system", German news magazine Focus reports.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – multiculturalism, USA
Schools scramble to handle thousands of new migrant families
Miriam Jordan
Indiana Express / New York Times, 11 July 2019.

Migrant children arriving in record numbers are creating challenges for school districts across the country. ...

Schools in places like Lake Worth, a city near President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort that has become a favorite destination for Guatemalans, are scrambling to hire new staff and add summer sessions to support the newcomers.

Last year, the Palm Beach County school district enrolled 4,555 Guatemalan students in kindergarten through 12th grade, nearly 50% more than two years earlier. Many of the students come from the country's remote highlands and speak neither Spanish nor English. The number of elementary school students in kindergarten through fifth grade more than doubled to 2,119 in that same period.

Ana Arce-Gonzalez, the principal at South Grade Elementary School, in the heart of Lake Worth's immigrant enclave, said that in 25 years as an educator she had never experienced anything like it. The school saw its enrollment rise from 820 at the beginning of the last school year to 910 in the spring, pushing it over capacity.

"It speaks to what is happening at the border," she said.

Under a 1982 Supreme Court decision, all children, regardless of immigration status, are entitled to a K-12 education. With hundreds of thousands of new parents and children crossing the border in recent months, districts across the country are having to transfer teachers to affected schools, expand bilingual training for staff and prepare for students who may be traumatized. ...

Critics say immigrant students could do better if the district provided more support, including hiring more interpreters. But district officials said it has been tough to hire speakers of Mayan languages, such as Q'anjob'al and Mam, whose educational qualifications fulfill state requirements.
[Site link]

Employment – pay, wages
Ethnic minority pay gap in UK still stubbornly wide
Valentina Romei
Financial Times, 10 July 2019.

The pay gap between white British workers and those from ethnic minorities remained stubbornly wide last year, prompting calls for government action to close it.

White British workers earned on average 3.8 per cent more, a figure broadly unchanged since 2013, and the gap rises to 20 per cent for some ethnic groups.

Only employees of Chinese and Indian background were paid more than white British ones, in contrast with large pay penalties for those of black African, Pakistani and Bangladeshi background.

Chinese employees in Britain had median hourly earnings of £15.75, about 30 per cent higher than the £12.03 of white British, according to Office for National Statistics data, released on Tuesday. This is the largest gap since data were available in 2012, when the difference was less than 10 per cent. Indian workers earned £13.47 an hour.

Yet the Chinese are the smallest ethnic group in the UK, accounting for 0.5 per cent of all employees. In contrast, the majority of other groups continued to be paid significantly less than the white British.

In 2018, the median hourly pay of those of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin was £10 and £9.60 respectively, marking a pay gap of as much as 20 per cent with white British.

Non-British white employees, the largest minority ethnic group thanks to immigration from the EU, earned 5.8 per cent less than their British counterparts. ...

The difference in median pay gaps largely reflects the fact that more than 40 per cent of Chinese employees were in the highest earning quartile.

In contrast, about two in five workers of Bangladeshi and Pakistani backgrounds were in the lowest earning quartile. Those groups also had a lower proportion of people in employment, with high inactivity rates among women.

The pay gap partially reflects differences in age, education and occupation as well as language proficiency. However, when accounting for those factors, the pay gap remains, the ONS said, although it is smaller.
[Site link]

Multiculturalism – culture, ethnic diversity
Ethnic diversity makes Britain's culture great. It would be a disaster if we lost it
Akram Khan
The Guardian, 10 July 2019.

Today, some of our most brilliant prospects in art and culture are from minority ethnic or migrant backgrounds. We present a gloriously multicultural face to the world. And that is important not just for the story we tell to others, but for the stories we tell ourselves. ...

The British actor Riz Ahmed refers to this as "stretching the flag, so it's big enough to embrace all of us". He is talking about how art can remould how we see ourselves and the country that we live in. The Pakistani-British heritage of his youth is just as much a part of our modern national story as the playing fields of Eton, remote Shetland communities or the multi-ethnic melting pots of Leicester, Birmingham and London. But it is only through the representation of that experience in our national culture that those truths are cemented across the whole country.

We should be confident and proud about this story – yet it is too rarely told.

Now a report from Global Future does exactly that, demonstrating not only the increasing diversity of our cultural industries, but how popular that diversity is. According to the report, nearly 40% of our leading cultural figures are from migrant or minority ethnic backgrounds. In other words, diversity is making an outsized contribution to British culture. And the size of the contribution is going up all the time: five years ago it was less than a third.

Global Future's survey of 2,000 UK adults suggests nearly seven in 10 of us agree that diversity has improved our culture, against 15% who disagree. Food, music and sport are the cultural industries where people believe diversity has had the greatest impact. ...

Diversity is what makes Britain's culture great. But recently it has felt as though we have lost sight of this self-evident truth. Brexit, polarisation and the poisonous debate about immigration threaten to turn our diversity into division. That would be a historic disaster for the country.
[Site link]

Diversity – cycling
RideLondon admits photoshopping picture of black woman to appear 'diverse'
Basit Mahmood
Metro, 10 July 2019.

Organisers of RideLondon, an annual festival of cycling, have come under fire after it emerged a photo on their website had been edited to make the event appear more diverse.

The photograph on the website had been photoshopped to include a black woman participating in the event.

The picture has since been deleted from the site, the Sunday Times reported.

The full picture showed a group of male riders, with female riders from ethnic minorities on either side.

However, while the two men shown in the image took part in the event in 2018, one of the women only did so the previous year.

Event director Hugh Brasher confirmed that the image had been created from three separate photos and was intended at highlighting the diversity of people who take part in events, including the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 sportive. ...

'It is not our usual practice to use composite images and this image has been removed from our website.'
[Site link]

Diversity – Labour Party
Labour has never elected a Kurdish MP. It's time for that to change
Mustafa Topkaya
New Statesman, 10 July 2019.

Like many other peoples, Kurds have found a home in Britain, a place we can enjoy freedoms not afforded to our brothers and sisters elsewhere. Today some 250,000 Kurds live in the UK, predominantly from Turkey, but from all over the Kurdish regions. ...

... In numerous areas across Britain Kurds have worked hard to deliver Labour gains. And yet, we still lack representation in the Parliamentary Labour Party. ...

However, for Labour to truly be the party for the many and not the few, the transformation must extend to political representation. We are lagging behind. In 2010 the Conservative Party selected and elected its first Kurdish MP, to a safe seat and one without any significant BAME communities. ...

It is time for Labour to give a clear voice in Parliament to the diverse range of communities from which they draw their support. By selecting MPs from diverse backgrounds, we can become a party which truly embodies a progressive vision for the Britain we should aim to build after the next General Election.
[Site link]

Politics – Brexit, Conservative Party, Labour Party
The ship of English fools: with Johnson, Corbyn and Farage at the helm, Britain is heading for disaster
George Walden
New Statesman, 10 July 2019.

Brexit, a breakdown of the national psyche, is a collective enterprise, and the sooner we talk honestly about its origins and likely results the better the chances of an eventual recovery. ...

... Nor was it David Cameron who was ultimately responsible for the referendum; it was Tony Blair, with the waves of mass immigration he triggered after 1997, and from Europe in 2004. ...

Brexit backers voted not so much on the EU itself, or on austerity – though both played their part – as in protest at migration overall, chiefly from beyond the EU, which was larger, harder to assimilate and more unpopular. That is why Farage and his Brexit Party continue to poll well today. In a typically casual, contradictory lie, Boris Johnson recently hailed the huge success of immigration – it has certainly succeeded in helping him into No 10 – while lamenting the lack of integration.

There is another area where discussion is mute. As a result of Brexit, non-EU immigrants are outnumbering Europeans still further (a February Office for National Statistics report showed non-EU net migration at the highest level since 2004). If Brexiteers are happy with this they should say so – as Jacob Rees-Mogg did when he said that preference on immigration should go to the Commonwealth rather than Europeans, "with whom we have no connection". A Catholic, like Rees-Mogg, and no connection with Italy, France and Poland? ...

These are not thoughts decent people want to catch themselves thinking, yet they cannot be indefinitely repressed. ...

To be clear: I favour immigration, at moderate levels over time. If I were a Pakistani, Bangladeshi or Iraqi I might well seek to come to Britain; if I were a low-paid worker on a council house list in a deprived northern town, I might vote Brexit to keep them out; and if I had enjoyed an expensive education, and my partner and I had jobs in the City dependent on cheap immigrant labour, we would take care to ensure that our liberal, anti-Brexit sentiments were known to all. ...

... After touring the North and Midlands in 2006 I wrote a book called Time To Emigrate?, predicting an eventual crisis over migration.
[Site link]

Crime – organised crime, gangs
Audit of organised crime
Professional Security, 9 July 2019.

Serious and organised crime (SOC) is growing; in scale and complexity; whether cyber-crime from Ukraine, Russia and Nigeria, or illicit drugs coming into the UK from transport hubs on the Continent and Channel and North Sea ports. International links of such crime are known; most cocaine that enters the UK is produced from Bolivia, Colombia and Peru, while the Mediterranean remains a major transit route for organised immigration crime to the UK.

The government is responding, yet some significant and avoidable shortcomings may prevent government and its partners from meeting its aim, according to the National Audit Office (NAO).

UK government does not yet have the data that it needs to respond effectively. In 2018, it found that it had a weak understanding of the scale of four out of nine types of serious and organised crime. /.../ The Home Office and the National Crime Agency (NCA) do not know whether their efforts are working and are not yet able to target resources against the highest-priority threats, the 57-page report concludes. ...

The NAO describes tackling serious and organised crime as a significant and complex challenge. More than 4,500 organised crime groups operate in the UK in changing and unpredictable ways, often using violence and intimidation. These crimes also know no borders and many groups work in large networks spanning countries. The nine types of serious and organised crime assessed in 2018 were modern slavery and human trafficking; organised immigration crime; child sexual exploitation and abuse; money laundering; fraud and other economic crime; international bribery, corruption and sanctions evasion; cyber crime; illegal firearms; and illegal drugs. In 2019, the government identified ten types of serious and organised crime, adding organised acquisitive crime.
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – human trafficking
More than 500 victims of trafficking detained in 2018, UK study finds
Diane Taylor
The Guardian, 9 July 2019.

Hundreds of victims of trafficking have been locked up in detention centres by the Home Office instead of being looked after in safe houses and provided with a package of support, the first research into the extent of the problem has revealed.

The report, carried out by the data mapping project After Exploitation using freedom of information responses, reveals that 507 victims of trafficking were detained in 2018 despite Home Office guidance that this group should not normally be locked up. ...

Last year, 2,726 suspected victims of trafficking were identified, meaning almost one-fifth were put in detention. It is understood that of the 507 who were detained, 422 were released within a week of a positive "reasonable grounds" decision being made. ...

A Home Office spokesperson said: "...

"Any person who claims they are a victim of trafficking will, with their consent, have their claim considered by a trained specialist and will not be required to leave the country while this decision is pending. A positive decision entitles that person to support and guidance and is taken into consideration when deciding their immigration case."
[Site link]

Multiculturalism – diversity, literature, schools
GCSE exam board adds more ethnically diverse texts, after complaints of too many 'dead white men'
Camilla Turner
Daily Telegraph, 9 July 2019.

Britain's biggest exam board has added a more diverse set of texts to its English GCSE syllabus, following complaints about there being too many "dead white men".

Edexcel, which is owned by Pearson, announced on Monday that from this September, schools will be offered more poems, plays and novels to choose from including those written by authors from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

Calls to "decolonise" the curriculum have been gaining pace at universities, where students have urged faculties to update reading lists. The move by Pearson is one of the first indicators that the movement is now gaining momentum in schools too.

In addition to the works of William Wordsworth and Robert Bridges, the GCSE poetry anthology will include the Pakistani-born Imtiaz Dharker and Grace Nichols, who is Guyanese.

Meanwhile, the post-1914 Literature paper will feature plays by Tanika Gupta, who is of Indian heritage, and Benjamin Zephania whose parents are from Barbados.

Other new texts include the novel Coram Boy by Jamila Gavin, who was born in India, and Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman, the former Children's Laureate whose parents are from Barbados.

Katy Lewis, Pearson's head of English, Drama and Languages, explained that the move followed calls for the selection of texts on offer to be more representative of different cultures and ethnicities. ...

The decision by Pearson, which will affect around 50,000 students, follows calls from Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, for schools to look beyond teaching about "dead white men". ...

She said that in order to thrive, children need to be able to see people like themselves reflected in the curriculum, adding: "If a powerful knowledge curriculum means recreating the best that has been thought by dead, white men – then I'm not very interested in it."
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Switzerland, Germany
Switzerland: Pool Lifeguards Under Constant Threat from Migrant Men
Chris Tomlinson
Breitbart, 9 July 2019.

Lifeguards across Switzerland are routinely threatened and abused by migrant-background youths, according to the president of the country's lifeguard association.

Michel Kunz, President of the Badmeister Association, said that the level of abuse, particularly towards female lifeguards, has increased saying in comments reported by 20 Minutes: "I have already experienced a lot, but what is currently happening in Swiss swimming pools is no longer sustainable."

According to Mr Kunz, swimming pools in Switzerland have become places where "cultural differences clash. This is because some believe that women have nothing to say and become aggressive towards our employees."

"Unfortunately we find that those bathers who are out of favour with women are often young people and men with a migrant background. They are not used to women giving instructions," he added.

Vice-president of the Swiss Badmeister Association Sibylle Rykart added that she had been the victim of attacks including threats and had been spat on. "It did not exist before. This disrespect is a sign of the times," she noted.

Lifeguard Alexandra Bürgi described her own encounters with migrant-background men, saying she had to flee her pool and call police after a group of four young men threatened her.

"Our problem as lifeguards is men, especially with a different cultural background. Most are between 18 and 22 years old. But it starts with 10-year-olds," she said.

Neighbouring Germany has also seen troubles with migrant-background men and their behaviour at swimming pools. Last week in the town of Kehl, the local pool was forced to close early after a group of 50 North African-background men terrorised other bathers.

Even more serious has been the number of sexual assaults committed by migrants in swimming pools, especially those involving children as victims.
[Site link]

Immigration – public opinion
Boris Johnson And Jeremy Hunt Not Trusted On Immigration, Reveals Report
Ned Simons
HuffPost, 8 July 2019.

The British public do not trust Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt to handle immigration, figures published on Monday suggest.

An ICM poll for the British Future think-tank showed Johnson was distrusted by 49% of the public on immigration and trusted by 22%, a net score of minus-27.

Fewer say they distrust Hunt on immigration (41%) but only 13% say they trust him on the issue - a net score of minus-28.

But the problem is one both Tory leadership candidates inherited from Theresa May.

Just 18% of the public – and only a quarter (25%) of 2017 Conservative voters – think May did a good job of managing immigration as prime minister and home secretary.

And only 13% of the public agrees that "The government has managed immigration into the UK competently and fairly."

The poll was conducted for British Future's "Immigration after May – what should the new prime minister change?" report published today.

Distrust in politicians is widespread, however, with no politician of any party securing a positive rating. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's trust rating on immigration is minus-37.
[Site link]

Crime – Albanians
The inside story of how brutal Albanian gangs rose from the UK's premier sex traffickers to kingpin cocaine dealers
Richard Wheatstone
The Sun, 8 July 2019.

Albanian gangs smuggling huge shipments of cocaine direct from Europe have changed the face of the UK's drug market.

The drug is at its cheapest since the 1990s and purer than it has been for a decade as Albanian gangs use the laws of retail to pull off a near total takeover of Britain's £5bn cocaine industry.

Thousands of Albanians arrived in the UK in the late 1990s and early 2000s during a refugee crisis. ...

Many took jobs as door staff in the heart of London's sex and vice trade in Soho - then dominated by the Maltese mafia - where they first came to national attention. ...

Paul Holmes, a former police inspector and head of Scotland Yard's sex trafficking unit, described how the Albanians' brutality shocked his team of officers. ...

In 1999, asylum applicants categorised under Yugoslavia (Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro) were the highest at 17 per cent of 91,200, and then eight per cent of 98,900 in 2000.

Tony Smith, former director general of the UK's Border Force, explained how immigration officials believed Albanians were claiming to be Kosovans on a large scale during that period.

He said: "It was record numbers and a lot of them were Kosovans, or at least said they were.

"The immigration service were completely swamped at Dover, getting ferry-loads of these, even camping on the beaches at Dover.

"We didn't have the time or even computers back then to process them properly. It was probably the biggest case of nationality switching we'd seen, that was the beginning.

"It's really hard to dis-prove that stuff, then more likely they will put down roots making removals very difficult and they stay by default."

The brutally violent criminals, trading on their reputation as veterans of the Balkan Wars, soon moved from smuggling people to guns and drugs into the UK.

In Europe they became allies of the Turkish and Italian gangs as enforcers, hitmen and traffickers of heroin from Afghanistan. ...

Police sources have described how in the early 2000s in London they fought against Jamaican and Chinese drug gangs for control of the illegal market.

Now they have moved on to penetrate all levels of the UK's £5 billion cocaine trade - from an army of dial-a-drug street dealers to kingpin wholesalers controlling imports from South America and northern Europe. ...

Albanians now make up the second highest total of foreign nationals in UK jails at 760, 433 of who are in for drugs offences - just a handful behind Poland on 787 - despite only tens of thousands living in the UK compared to almost a million Polish. ...

Police sources have warned that Albanians illegally flooding into the UK have provided a fresh, ready-made workforce for the crime groups.
[Site link]

Repatriation/deportation – crime, EU law
Judges rule that Romanian criminal cannot be deported under EU law
Robert Verkaik
Sunday Telegraph, 7 July 2019.

A Romanian national who carried out a string of serious criminal offences can't be deported because he is protected by EU law.

Denis Viscu, 20, arrived in the UK in 2007 with his family and between July 2014 and March 2017 received 14 convictions for 20 offences including robbery and knife possession.

But when the Home Office tried to deport him they were blocked by judges who held that under EU law he had rights to enhanced protection under the EU Citizens' Directive as he had lived in the UK for five years.

During his legal fight to stay in the UK Viscu was further convicted of four more offences, including possession of a knife in a public place, burglary and possession of a Class A drug and was sentenced to a total of 4 ½ years detention in a young offenders institution.

In September 2017, the Home Office tried to deport Viscu because he was a 'persistent offender'.

Government lawyers argued that although Viscu had lived in the United Kingdom since 2007 he was not entitled to enhanced protection under EU law because the time he had spent in custody 'broke the continuity of lawful residence'.

But a judge held that, since Viscu was a juvenile he could not be sentenced to imprisonment and so his residence in the United Kingdom had been 'continuous and uninterrupted' availing him of special EU protection.

Under Chapter IV of the Citizens' Directive, 'Union citizens who have resided legally for a continuous period of five years in the host Member State shall have the right of permanent residence there.'

A member state can only expel an EU resident where they have strong grounds to believe their presence poses a risk to the public.

But the EU has added the caveat that 'previous criminal convictions shall not in themselves constitute grounds for' denying an EU citizen their right of residency.

Now the Court of Appeal has ordered that the case be reheard in full.
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – English Channel
43 suspected illegal immigrants detained in Kent after English Channel crossing
Sky News, 7 July 2019.

More than 40 suspected illegal immigrants have been detained by border officials in Kent in the space of two days after crossing the English Channel.

Eleven men aboard a small inflatable boat were intercepted while on the water on Saturday and brought to Dover, before another 10 people were found in the nearby village of Kingsdown.

None of their nationalities have been confirmed.

The Home Office said coastal patrol vessel Speedwell and Border Force cutter Seeker were scrambled to deal with the first incident of the day, with the 11 men "transferred to immigration officials for their cases to be dealt with".

In the second incident, Kent Police and Border Force officials were called to Kingsdown and found the group, who all presented themselves as Iranian.

They have been medically assessed and are believed to be well, and have been given to immigration officials.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – deportation, USA
Ken Cuccinelli: ICE Ready to Deport Approximately 1M Illegal Aliens with Final Deportation Orders
John Binder
Breitbart, 7 July 2019.

Acting United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Ken Cuccinelli says the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency is ready to deport about a million illegal aliens who remain in the country despite having final orders for deportation. ...

"I'm just pointing out that the pool of those with final removal orders is enormous," Cuccinelli said. "It's important to note, here we are talking about ICE doing its job as if it's special. And really this should be going on on a rolling basis for ICE and they've been interfered with, effectively, and held up by the politics of Washington to a certain extent..." ...

Though Trump gave Congress two weeks to devise a plan to close loopholes in the country's asylum system – loopholes that have invited millions of border crossers to the U.S. over the last decade – no such plan has been crafted that would pass the House and Senate.

The latest Harvard/Harris Poll finds that a majority of Americans support Trump's plan to mass deport illegal aliens following inaction from Congress. This includes support from more than 8-in-10 Republican voters and more than 5-in-10 swing voters.

As Breitbart News has chronicled, there are about 1.7 million illegal aliens from Central America and Mexico, alone, living in the U.S. despite already being ordered deported or having pending deportation orders. The latest federal data concludes that there are more than 925,000 illegal aliens, in total, with final deportation orders who have continued living freely in the U.S. About 20 percent of these illegal aliens have at least one criminal conviction and almost all are not in federal custody. Roughly 60 percent of these illegal aliens come from Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.
[Site link]

Crime – slavery
Charity and police break up UK's largest modern slavery ring
Ben Quinn
The Guardian, 6 July 2019.

The largest-ever modern slavery ring uncovered in the UK has been broken up after a three-year investigation into its activities. Some of its 400 victims worked for as little as 50p a day.

Their labour earned millions for members of a criminal gang led by a Polish criminal family, which preyed on the homeless, ex-prisoners and alcoholics from Poland. Gang members were jailed on Friday.

The gang tricked and then trafficked vulnerable men and women – ranging in age from 17 to over 60 – to Britain with the promise of gainful employment but instead housed them in squalor and used them as what a judge described as "commodities".

Working on farms, rubbish recycling centres and poultry factories in the Midlands, they were made to live in cramped, rat-infested accommodation and reduced to going to soup kitchens and food banks to get enough to eat. ...

Reporting restrictions were lifted on Friday after the end of two trials of five men and three women, all originally from Poland, who have all now been convicted of modern slavery offences and money laundering.

Their conspiracy – which ran from June 2012 until October 2017 – was described by Stacey as the "most ambitious, extensive and prolific" modern day slavery network ever uncovered in Britain. ...

Ignacy Brzezinski, one of several men convicted last month for their part in the ring, is currently on the run but was sentenced in his absence on Friday to 11 years.
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – politics, Conservative Party
Migration Watch Slams Boris Plan to Give Amnesty to Illegal Aliens: 'Manna for Traffickers'
Jack Montgomery
Breitbart, 6 July 2019.

The Migration Watch UK think tank has slammed Boris Johnson's latest proposal to give amnesty to illegal migrants who have been in Britain for 15 years, saying it would be "manna for traffickers".

Migration Watch issues a press release seen by Breitbart London after the proposed illegal migrant amnesty – a policy Johnson has pushed for years as both Mayor of London and Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, in spite of his arguably unjustified reputation as a right-wing populist – cropped up among a raft of other policy proposals, including replacing the 20,000 fall in police numbers during Theresa May's time as Home Secretary and Prime Minister, and lengthening time in custody for convicted sex offenders.

"It seems Mr Johnson is considering an amnesty for illegal immigrants in order to avoid another Windrush," commented Migration Watch vice chairman Alp Mehmet, in reference to the so-called Windrush scandal in which a relatively small number of legal migrants, including convicted criminals, were wrongfully deported.

"This makes no sense," Mehmet insisted.

"Those wrongly caught up in Windrush had every right to be here and bear no comparison to people who have either entered illegally or stayed on illegally and know full well that they have no right to be here."

"An amnesty for them would be manna for traffickers. It would encourage further illegal inflows, reward illicit behaviour, be costly to UK taxpayers and be grossly unfair to migrants who follow the rules," Mehmet added.

"Amnesties do not work, as Spain and Italy have proved."

Migration Watch highlighted estimates that the illegal migration population in the United Kingdom is already over a million, with the illegal population increasing by at least 150,000 per year – or 70,000 a year net, according to their own research.
[Site link]

Multiculturalism – free speech
Bradford: Football Club Chairman Resigns over Post Supporting Burka Ban
Jack Montgomery
Breitbart, 6 July 2019.

The chairman of Bradford City Women's football club tendered his "immediate resignation" after someone complained about Facebook posts in which he suggested the Islamic burka should be banned.

Military veteran Mark Hird had been in post for only a matter of weeks when a "concerned fan" contacted the multicultural city's Telegraph and Argus newspaper to complain about his social media output, in which he is said to have supported banning the burka and suggested Muslims should either "adhere to our laws" or emigrate. ...

While polls suggest that a majority of Britons believe the burka should be banned – as it is in many European and even Muslim-majority countries worldwide – and that Mr Hird was therefore expressing the majority view, the football club appears to have come down against him very swiftly.

"Bradford City WFC have accepted the immediate resignation of chairman Mark Hird following recent allegations made against him," said Matthew Kermode, Bradford City Women's club's secretary, in an official statement.
[Site link]

Crime – deportation
Illegal immigrant who won £17,000 for unlawful detention is jailed for 11 years for trying to rape a drunk stranger on New Year's Day
Alex Ward
Daily Mail, 5 July 2019.

Joseph Mjemer, 36, attacked the woman in her flat on New Year's Day after meeting her in Carlisle city centre when she was 'completely inebriated'. She woke up to find him trying to rape her. ...

The judge, sitting at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester, said the question of whether Mjemer should be deported after he has served his sentence 'is a matter for the Home Office and not this court'.

Mjemer was the subject of a deportation order, signed in April, but is appealing against it. ...

The court was also told that Mjemer, who was once described as a 'one-man crime wave' by another judge, had a total of 64 previous convictions and almost two dozen aliases. ...

In 2011 the High Court awarded him £17,360 in compensation after it ruled he had been wrongly imprisoned for five months in 2007 as officials tried to determine where he came from.

He had arrived in the country illegally as a stowaway on board a ship in 2003 and was held at the time by Home Office officials.

But Mjemer went on to commit 20 offences in the three years after his arrival and was jailed several times before he was taken into 'administrative custody' in 2007.
[Site link]

Racism – hairstyle, California
California becomes first state to ban hairstyle discrimination
Rozina Sabur
Daily Telegraph, 5 July 2019.

California has become the first US state to ban discrimination against black hairstyles such as braids, twists and locks.

California's governor, Gavin Newsom, signed the law yesterday making it illegal to discriminate against natural black hairstyles in schools and workplaces.

The law makes California the first state to explicitly recognise that those hairstyles are associated with race and therefore protected against discrimination in the workplace and in schools.

It comes after years of nationwide reports of African American school students being sent home over braids or natural styles that violated dress code rules. ...

The law, which takes effect on January 1, is significant because federal courts have historically held that hair is a characteristic that can be changed, meaning there's no basis for discrimination complaints based on hairstyle.

The US Supreme Court recently declined to hear the case of an Alabama woman who said she did not get a job because she refused to change her hair.
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – English Channel
Channel migrants: Six children among 22 people in boats
BBC, 5 July 2019.

Immigration officials are questioning 22 migrants who crossed the Channel in two dinghies in the early hours. ...

All were medically assessed and found to be well, the Home Office said.

Dover MP Charlie Elphicke, who photographed the abandoned dinghy, said the "very expensive" outboard motor - which costs in excess of £2,600 - "underlines how lucrative this business is and the people traffickers behind this are making tens of thousands of pounds".

At least 827 people, including about 80 children, have crossed the Channel in small boats since 3 November 2018.

Last month, immigration minister Caroline Nokes said the government had "recently delivered drones and other surveillance equipment to France enabling their law enforcement officers to interrupt and disrupt attempted crossings".
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – violent crime, Sweden
Swedish Police Head: Get Used to Current Level of Shootings
Chris Tomlinson
Breitbart, 5 July 2019.

Head of the Swedish Security Service (Säpo) Anders Thornberg has told Swedes to get used to the current level of shootings, saying it could remain high for many years to come.

Thornberg said that he did not see an end to the current wave of shootings across the country anytime soon, saying "this can continue for five to ten years" in an interview with Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet. ...

Thornberg added that he saw the trend in gun violence, which has its roots in criminal gang activity, as being a problem for the whole of society rather than simply an issue for the police alone. Like drug trafficking, Thornberg said that the issue will be impossible to solve overnight. ...

Over the past weekend, Stockholm saw three separate shootings and two fatalities as a result, leading Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson to comment that the current situation was "extreme for a country that is not at war".
[Site link]

Politics – democracy, liberalism, Israel
Immigration Policy and the Rise of Anti-Democratic Liberalism – the Case of Israel [part 1]
Gadi Taub
Quillette, 4 July 2019.
[Gadi Taub is a Senior Lecturer at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem]

Like many EU countries, Israel now has a substantial community of illegal migrants, mainly from Africa. Illegals number about 34,000, not including some 8,000 more children born to immigrant parents in Israel. /.../ As in Europe, Israeli media often refer to migrants simply as "refugees," but this term only serves to obscure the matter. There are clear indications that many have entered the country in search of better economic prospects. Some 80 percent are able bodied men who have usually passed through safe countries on their way to Israel. ...

... Given the predominantly young and male demographic, it is perhaps not surprising that per capita crime rates within this group are three to four times the national average. Herein lies another parallel to the European situation: Israeli police have only recently released these statistics, after years of dodging requests out of fear they would end up encouraging biases.

In recent months, Tel Aviv's southern neighborhoods have become recurrent scenes of street clashes between rival migrant gangs wielding cold weapons: knives, stones, rods and the like. Mainstream media is reluctant to report on such incidents, instead leaving the issue to take on a life of its own online. Thus videos float around among Israelis on Facebook showing frightening violent scenes of fights and riots.

The Israeli legal system, like its European counterparts, is not designed to handle large-scale criminal activity by individuals whose identities and whereabouts are not known, and who have weak, if any, ties to the surrounding community. About half the indictments against migrants in 2018 never made it to court because the suspects could not be located by police and didn't show up. /.../ Life has changed dramatically for residents of South Tel Aviv.

But this isn't just a local issue. There are much greater problems with illegal immigration beyond its effects on the local way of life of certain municipalities. To begin with there is the proximity to Africa. /.../ For a country as small as Israel, this is an existential concern. ... ...

There were therefore more policy initiatives designed to underline the same message. One was the "Leave Fund" conceived by the single NGO which sided with the state – The Israeli Immigration Policy Center, founded and headed by Yonatan Jakubowicz. The idea was to withhold a portion of the immigrants' salaries, to be returned to them only upon departure from Israel. This policy was partially emasculated by the courts and then watered down further by the state in the hope that some version of it will pass muster with the judges. The question is still pending. ...

Currently things are at a stalemate again. The state is dragging its feet in examining asylum requests, but as time goes by, the immigrant community, which enjoys a wide array of social services, is taking root in the south of Tel Aviv, and everyone knows what the next step in this struggle will be: a campaign for family reunification permits which, some fear, may end up tripling or quadrupling the immigrant population, creating momentum for permanent residence in the process. ...

... There's an overwhelmingly liberal press, which has been almost entirely uniform in towing the party line, and has the power to suppress truths and disseminate falsehoods. ...
[Site link]

Politics – democracy, liberalism, Israel
Immigration Policy and the Rise of Anti-Democratic Liberalism – the Case of Israel [part 2]
Gadi Taub
Quillette, 4 July 2019.

David Goodhart best captured the sociological aspect of this relatively new class divide when he called its two factions the "Anywheres" and the "Somewheres." We may also call them, in the tradition of Zygmunt Bauman, the "mobile" and the "sedentary" classes.

The former, the mobile Anywheres, are internationalist in outlook and often in lifestyle. They are, as Goodhart emphasizes, equally comfortable in various corners of a globalized world, and work in jobs which bring them in contact with their peers in other countries. ...

The latter, the sedentary Somewheres, are tied down to a local market, a local milieu and a local language. Most importantly, their political power is also dependent on a specific nation state and its democratic mechanism of government.

It should therefore be clear why immigration policy is key to this clash over the locus of sovereignty: not only does it challenge the legitimacy of the borders of nation states – a crucial element of their sovereignty – it also challenges the concept of citizenship by deploying universal human rights against the "exclusionary" idea of citizens' rights, and citizen sovereignty. This is how universal human rights have made the subversion of democracy seem altruistic.

Yet immigration policy is but one arena in this struggle between the Anywheres and the Somewheres and between their respective world views. And once we realize that we are facing an explicitly anti-democratic form of liberalism, the common denominator of many different policies which these elites support becomes clear: a lax and inclusive immigration policy; a delegitimization of national identities; a multi-cultural balkanization of national solidarity; international trade agreements which favor mobility of both labor and capital, and which reduce the control of states over their economic policy; an erasing of borders under supra-national structures; an increase in the power of unelected bureaucracies at the expense of elected politicians; a preference for the judiciary over the legislative and executive branches; a doctrine of judicial supremacy; the subordination of national to international law; an emphasis on universal human rights at the expense of citizens' civil rights; and support for international institutions at the expense of state governments.

To the extent that such international institutions embody these Anywhere views, it is worth noting that though many of them are clearly liberal in outlook, they exercise jurisdiction over people who have no democratic reciprocal control over them.

All this may well backfire in a terrible way against the moderate forms of liberalism which have served democracies so well since World War II. If there is one crucial lesson to be learned from the horrors of the 20th century, it is that the suppression of the right to self-determination – the source from which modern nationalism and modern democracy both emerge, reciprocally supporting each other – can push nationalism to erupt in violent, anti-democratic ways. ...

Taking the long view, we may also note that this clash between extreme liberalism and democracy may well be destructive to both.
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Diversity – structural racism, implicit bias
Cambridge to assign white academics an ethnic minority mentor to combat racism and assist 'institutional change'
Camilla Turner
Daily Telegraph, 3 July 2019.

Cambridge University is running a "reverse mentoring" scheme for staff to combat "structural racism".

Under the project, white senior academics and management staff are assigned one of their black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) colleagues as a mentor in order to encourage "institutional change" at the university.

It is part of a raft of initiatives that the university's equality and diversity department has introduced over the past year, aimed at boosting diversity and driving out racism. ...

The reverse mentoring scheme aims to "raise awareness among white members of senior management of the issues surrounding structural racism".

It also hopes to educate them about the "advantages related to being white and the barriers faced by BAME staff". It is hoped that the scheme will equip senior white dons with the "confidence and skills to discuss issues related to race and racism" and enable them to challenge racism when they come across it. ...

Other initiatives under way at Cambridge include a review of academic courses "to ensure a diverse curriculum is offered", the university confirmed, adding that this is still in its early stages.

The move follows calls from students to "decolonise" the curriculum by adding more BAME writers to reading lists.

The university has set up a Diversity Fund which allocates grants to students or staff who wish to "promote race equality".

One project that has won funding was proposed by the Sedgwick Museum, the university's geology museum founded in 1728, which hopes to transform itself into a "more welcoming and accessible space for BAME people".

Cambridge has also introduced a new leadership programme for staff, which includes training on race awareness and implicit bias, and every College now has a Discrimination and Harassment Contact whose duty is to oversee "a culture of continuous improvement". ...

Cambridge is not the first university to run a "reverse mentoring" scheme for staff. Last year, a Government-funded project at Birmingham saw professors assigned a junior female colleague from an ethnic minority as a mentor to teach them about unconscious bias.

The scheme is backed by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, a government agency, which is funding eleven "Equality, Diversity and Inclusion" projects as part of an £5.5 million anti-discrimination drive in engineering and physical sciences.

Prof John Rowe, who is overseeing the project at Birmingham University, said he hoped the scheme will allow eminent professors to confront their own biases and leave them "feeling quite uncomfortable".
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Border controls – Home Office
Staff shortages and Home Office delays stopping inspectors from holding government to account, chief inspector says
Benjamin Kentish
Independent, 3 July 2019.

Staff shortages and a lack of interest from politicians are stopping the immigration inspectorate from holding the Home Office to account, the head of the organisation has said.

In a damning report, David Bolt, the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration, said his force had been able to employ less than half the number of inspectors that it is supposed to.

25 inspectors are supposed to work as part of the body but only 11 were in post at the end of March 2019. ...

While some replacements have since been recruited, Mr Bolt said the inspectorate would be "significantly under strength for at least the first half of 2019-20".

Mr Bolt also claimed that his work has "slipped down the agenda" at the Home Office, highlighting the fact that he had just one meeting with Sajid Javid, the home secretary, last year.

He said: "During 2018-19, I had just one meeting with the home secretary and two with the immigration minister. While I recognise the considerable pressures on ministers, particularly over this period, this added to my sense that the [inspectorate's] work had slipped down the agenda."

The chief inspector also criticised Home Office delays in publish the inspectorate's reports.

In one case, a report was sent to Mr Javid in early July but was not published until late November - more than four months later. None of the seven reports were released within the Home Office target of eight weeks.

The reports were often highly damning of Home Office operations.
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Repatriation/deportation – failures, cost
Taxpayers have shelled out £10 MILLION in just five years on 'phantom' flights to return failed asylum seekers that are abandoned before take-off
James Tapsfield
MailOnline, 2 July 2019.

The taxpayer has shelled out more than £10 million in just five years on 'phantom' flights to deport failed asylum seekers that are abandoned before take off.

The eye-watering costs, caused by last-ditch appeals and individuals refusing go quietly, have sparked renewed demands for the system to be tightened up. ...

Problems arise when officials book seats only for legal challenges to be launched against deportation at the last minute - meaning they have to be abandoned.

There has been criticism that the Human Rights Act is being abused to drag out cases.

Poorly-trained staff are also allegedly adding to the issues by trying to put disruptive individuals on planes alone - with pilots then refusing to have them on board.

According to the latest Home Office accounts, the bill for cancelled repatriation flights was £2.04 million last year.

That was down slightly from £2.45 million in 2017-18. But it takes the bill for the past five years to over £10 million.

Despite repeated pledges of a crackdown, the scale of the problem has grown since 2014-15 when it cost £1.58 million.
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Miscellaneous – Nigerians, prostitution
Outrage as UK agency says Nigerians respect wealthy prostitutes
Jamilah Nasir
The Cable, 2 July 2019.

Home Office, a UK ministerial department responsible for immigration, says trafficked women from Nigeria who get wealthy from prostitution are held in high esteem upon their return to the country.

In the June edition of its country policy on the trafficking of women in Nigeria, it said: "Nigeria is a source, transit and destination country for the trafficking of women and girls for forced labour and sexual exploitation".

Making reference to the 2018 UK annual report on modern slavery published by the Home Office, it said Nigeria is the 5th most common country of origin of potential victims of modern slavery.

It said while the victims are subjected to reprisals when they return home, those who get wealthy "enjoy high social-economic status".

The statement irked members of parliament and anti-trafficking/anti-slavery activists in the UK who berated the department, asking it to tender an apology. ...

"However trafficked women who return from Europe, wealthy from prostitution, enjoy high social-economic status and in general are not subject to negative social attitudes on return. They are often held in high regard because they have improved income prospects." ...

Kate Osamor, Labour MP and chair of the all-party parliamentary group on Nigeria, said home office's comment made prostitution "look like a job".

She said of all the stories of trafficking they heard "there was no happy ending" while also demanding an apology.
[Site link]

Politics – liberalism, political correctness
Letters: The PC stifling of reasoned debate is the enemy of Western liberalism
Trevor Beeson
Daily Telegraph, 1 July 2019.
[Letter to the Editor]

I fear the enemy of Western liberalism may be much nearer to home than Vladimir Putin (Leading Article, June 29). This enemy is the "political correctness" that now seeks to stifle reasoned debate with its bridle of mental totalitarianism.

This smothering of the free thought of the individual will most certainly end the Age of Enlightenment. The irony is that it has become the opposite of the diversity and cultural pluralism under which it masquerades.

The rise of nationalism may only be a form of psychological displacement: a reaction to the ever wider spread of this cultural suffocation across national life. It should therefore be viewed as a symptom, not a cause, of what may be happening in the West.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Africans, USA
The Next Influx: The Entire World's Poor and Dispossessed
Todd Bensman
Center for Immigration Studies, 1 July 2019.

Like the proverbial "bulge in the belly of the snake," unusually high numbers of non-Latino migrants, obviously not from Central America, are now reportedly passing from Colombia through Panama on their way to the U.S. southern border. ...

Word of their successful entries into the United States this year clearly reached home countries because now a swell numbering as many as 35,000 is on an infamous migrant passage through which migrants have long funneled from South America to North America: the Darien Gap.

I am told this by two eye-witnesses who have just returned from the Colombia-Panama region on either side of the Gap. ...

Neither Colombia nor Panama routinely collect and publicly release data regarding migrant flows through their territories, which American homeland authorities often refer to as "exotics" or "extra-continentals" because they are from outside the Western Hemisphere.

But Holton and Edrington separately told me in recent phone and email interviews that a surge is underway the likes of which neither has ever seen and which obviously surpasses what I witnessed in December. Both saw massive numbers of Africans overwhelming government camps and smuggling infrastructure as they push through to repeat the successes at the U.S. border of those who have gone before them. ...

Holton told me he interviewed many migrants on the Colombian side who uniformly told him they decided to go to America, claim asylum, and take advantage of the disarray and laws about which they've all heard, from media reporting and those who already made it, that guarantee they will get to live and work for years in the United States, and probably permanently. ...

Holton said everyone knew to go to American "sanctuary cities," where local authorities won't cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ...

"A lot of these guys obviously do not qualify for asylum," Holton told me. "When they talk to me, they don't have a problem telling me it's for economic benefits, to get a better job, to have a better life."

No matter, Holton said. By claiming asylum, "They know they'll have to let them into the U.S. and that they can stay for at least three years" before any ruling on their claims comes back. "They're very clear on that."

Holton said government sources on both sides of the gap estimated that 35,000 were in the pipeline. The majority appear to be Cameroonians, Congolese and Ghanaians, the largest numbers of those migrants he has ever seen and who now appear to outnumber the traditional fare of Haitians and Cubans. Every migrant he interviewed said they'd flown into visa-free Ecuador and caught buses or rides to the Colombia-Panama frontier, where they'll hook up with Darien Gap smugglers. ...

After my own trip to Panama and Costa Rica, I disclosed the existence of a formal bilateral policy by which both countries systematically transport migrants coming off the Darien Gap through their own territories and on to Nicaragua, where the smugglers can pick them up and keep them moving to the U.S. border.
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