Immigration Control

I reproduce the latest government view set out by Damien Green  of how they intend to bring immigration under control, in view of the great interest in this subject:

I am writing with a further update on the Government’s radical changes to immigration policy and on the action we are taking to bring down levels of net migration back to the sustainable rates we saw in the 1980s and 1990s. Under the previous Government, immigration rates broke all previous records and net migration reached 2.2 million – twice the population of Birmingham. A recent survey found that nearly three quarters of those polled supported bringing net migration down to the tens of thousands a year or less.

To control immigration all the main routes of entry – work, family and education – must be addressed, and the automatic link between temporary routes and permanent settlement broken. And that’s just what we are working to do. But the previous Government did not just leave the visa system in a mess. As recent reports have revealed, they spent a fortune on an asylum system that simply failed to deliver. They also failed to address illegal immigration. We are taking action to clear up their legacy in these areas too.                                  

Immediately after coming to power this Government started work to control immigration.  The first route we dealt with was work visas. Within weeks we had a temporary cap in place on non-EU economic migrants, and by April of this year the permanent cap came into effect. This is the first ever annual limit on work visas. The cap is working effectively and the limit has not been reached in any month since the permanent cap came into effect. We expect economic migration to fall by a fifth compared with 2009.

Then we introduced reforms to the student visa system – the single largest route of entry. We found many examples of unacceptable abuses of this route, as well as examples of substandard and even bogus colleges. To tackle these abuses we introduced a proper system of accreditation for colleges and tough new rules on the level of English required for students. We also brought in new restrictions to limit students bringing dependants and ended the post-study work option for all but the very brightest. Our measures will be fully in place by next year and we estimate that this will cut net migration by more than 60,000.

The spotlight has now been turned on the family route. Consultations are currently running to examine a range of measures: we are looking at language tests and considering extending the length of time before settlement – and access to benefits – can be granted. Our conclusions will be announced this autumn, but we have already taken action to address sham marriages – and produced new guidance to help those officiating spot people trying to cheat the system.

In addition, we are taking steps to cut the link between temporary and permanent migration. Under the current system, too many workers were allowed to apply to stay here permanently. In 2010, 84,000 people who entered the UK for employment were granted settlement compared to less than 10,000 who qualified for employment related settlement in 1997. That is why another consultation paper has been published to set out reforms in this area, which include putting an end to the assumption that settlement will be available to those who enter the UK on the skilled worker route.

Meanwhile, we are clamping down on those who have no right to be here. Already in the first half of this year, we removed more than 25,000 people and we are very close to clearing up the previous Government’s asylum backlog. We are taking action to control illegal immigration by creating a Border Police Command, as part of our new National Crime Agency. By April next year, every passenger on non-EU flights will be checked in advance of travel using the e-borders system.  And to give us better control over those who overstay, we will reintroduce exit checks by 2015 – to count people in and out of the country.

Recent immigration figures have shown the importance of taking action to unwind the previous Government’s disastrous legacy on immigration. The figures cover the period before our measures came into effect, underscoring the importance of our new programme of change. After almost two years of increasing net migration, the figures stabilised in the last quarter. The recent figures also showed how the vast majority of net migration is made up of non-EU movements. This confirms that the action we are taking to tackle non-EU routes is key to controlling net migration.

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90 Comments

  1. Nick
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    It’s not the level that matters. The only reason people are complaining about the level is that most of the migration is bring in the wrong sort of migrant.

    Change the rules. So long as you pay more tax than the average government spend, per migrant, you can stay. Pay less tax and you have to leave.

    1. If you are earning 40K plus per migrant you aren’t on benefits.
    2. You aren’t on the social housing list.
    3. You aren’t likely to be a crook.
    4. It’s a test that doesn’t depend on race or nationality.

    ie. even the BNP couldn’t argue the case against.

    What you need to do is address illegal migration, and how to get rid of those here.

    So.

    1. Fingerprint on the way in
    2. Copy documents
    3. Countries to provide replacement documents within 3 days. If they don’t visa costs escalate to cover the cost of keeping people until the papers are supplied.

    This also works for people caught in France. For many of them we have their papers.

    4. We need a proper exit and entry system and record of movements.

    5. If we take one country, Nigeria. Home Office says 154,000. Foreign office says 1-3 million. Lots of illegal migrants.

    Getting shot of illegal migrants means more jobs for people on benefits. Some joined up thinking is needed here. The employer’s should be made the offer, no fine if you take someone off benefits for a year.

    6. Increase the time needed before you can claim benefits. For everyone. For foreign nationals – no benefits. After all, they are earning over 40K aren’t they? Claim benefits and they are out of the country. [This also deals with EU migration]

    7. Schools. Checks need to be made as to the nationality and eligibility of all children on entry.

    8. Hospitals. Bar emergency treatment, the same applies as it does for schools.

    9. On entry, all non-EU nationals need to have health insurance in place for the period of their visa. Insurers are not allowed to cancel the insurance until there is an exit stamp.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 5, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      dont think you understand how it works in practise

      for one many folk come in legally precisely because they (or their family member) are already in need of expensive medical treatment that they wont be able to get or afford back home which they will magically be able to get free (and correctly according to the rules of the nhs) once here. some categories of work visa holder and their family members are significanly more likely to need expensive medical care than the average uk population for this and associated reasons. We are effectively providing medical insurance to the uninsurable of the world.

      many category of visa holder are entitled to work here with much lower tax and national insurance being due than rates prevailing for the general british population, this distorts the market significantly.

      many of the countrys at the top of the list flooding into this country ironically make it all but impossible for a brit to get a work visa to their country, it is all unbalanced one way

      and so on.

      all make your ideas unworkable.

      it is much simpler than all of that introduce genuine caps which cover all visa categories.

      stop agreement to any further international treaties which imposes additional immigration burdens. only give reciprocal rights to folk from countries which give similar perks to brits in their countries.

      and so on.

    • Bazman
      Posted September 6, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      ie. even the BNP couldn’t argue the case against. I can though. What you are saying is just let anyone in who has enough money. How stupid is that?

  2. A different Simon
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Job done , you can all give yourselves a pat on the back .

    Never mind that 25% of our youth are unemployed and a large proportion of the others are underemployed .

    Never mind that the door has been left open to companies who want to bring in cheap labout via the I.C.T. “visa” route . Never mind that the taxpayer has to subsidise them .

    Is this vilification and probably fatal insult to the UK I.T. industry some kind of retribution for the Govt’s failure to manage it’s own I.T. projects and choose the right suppliers ?

    Sorry J.R. but any discussion on immigration that does not include I.C.T. visas is fundamentally dishonest .

    • Andy
      Posted September 5, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      True.

    • Bazman
      Posted September 6, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Many of the immigrants are here to do the jobs the British are not desperate enough to do. What do you propose? Making British people more desperate to stop immigration?

      • Winston Smith
        Posted September 7, 2011 at 9:36 am | Permalink

        More reasoned people would use the term ‘less comfortable’.

      • A different Simon
        Posted September 7, 2011 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        Bazman ,

        YES , we need to encourage our own people to do these jobs that immigrants are doing .

        This issue transcends party politics .

        I believe MOST unemployed people would love to do even these lower paying and less desirable jobs – if they could afford to .

        Benefits and taxes have to be reformed . Fortunately the right MP’s are on the case ; Frank Field and Ian Duncan Smith .

        At the moment SOME people are better off on benefit than they are taking a low paying job . This is commonplace and not a myth . Work has to pay significantly better than being on benefit .

        Carrot –
        – People need to be able to afford to do these jobs
        – Govt needs to do something about the cost of living eg regulating retail energy prices
        – More social housing has to be built .
        – The better social housing should be something to aspire to and to qualify for it you should have to be employed and keep your nose clean . Council estates stopped working when they opened them up to the dregs .

        – Stop the supply of cheap labour from abroad will cause the rates of pay the jobs they do to rise and become more attractive

        Many people have never worked or not worked for a long time and need to break this routine . However hard it is to get them back into work once they get into the routine they won’t look back .

        For the tiny minority who refuse to work :-
        – benefits have to be subsistence , today for SOME people they extend to entitlement .
        – accomodation provided needs to be minimal . One bedroom even for a family of 4 .

        The problem you described was different from the one which affects I.T. workers and accountants (who contrary to common opinion are no longer paid much above the average) :- GATS mode 4 . Please look it up if you are not familiar with it .

        Almost all I.C.T. visa’s are applied for by a total of 5 massive international services firms who have tens of thousands of workers placed in the UK which is set to rise into the hundreds of thousands .

  3. Posted September 5, 2011 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    The most important thing to do is REMOVE the stigma and name calling aimed at people who want immigration drastically reduced,we are not ISTS of any kind just very concerned that this island of only 92000 sq miles can not bear the load of 70 million [much more likely]
    forecast for the near future. New Zealand has 4.5 million in 142000 sq miles and IMHO is
    Paradise on earth,watch it get harder and harder to get in to that country,they value their way of life ,what about Australia with over 2.9 million sq miles and only 22 million,the UK fits into the state of Queensland at least 10 times and as for Western Australia’s nearly 1.5 million sq miles,a NO BRAINER.PLUS it is not IST to object to the very nature of the population being changed by immigration,it is in fact extremely nasty to expect for the
    people who fought for this country and it’s way of life to adapt in any way,any newcomers
    have to adapt and assimilate as they do anywhere else that has a sensible immigration policy and outlook,go to Aus/NZ talk to young migrants especially children after say 2 yrs
    in the country ,they will sound like they were born there and if you ask them their nationality you will get only ONE ANSWER,and that answer and the accent won’t draw a Dr David Starkey like comment that caused such [FAKE] outrage,they will be DINKY DYE
    Aussies or KIWI’s,you never hear the term English/Australian,Italian /Australian or any other for that matter, anyone know where the surname BENAUD as in Richie Benaud came from he was never called a French/Australian and many many others,what about current PM Julia Gillard born in Wales and opposition leader Tony Abbott in England,what? do they sound like to anyone.

  4. Jackie Miller
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    This is by far and away the best and most reasoned account of the government’s position on immigration control I have read for a very long time. It deserves a wider readership. I hope, therefore, that you will also consider publishing the piece via the main stream media. In my opinion, the need for a just system of immigration control is an idea whose time has finally come and I can’t be the only person in the land who doesn’t wish to see Nigel Farrage and his ilk make all the running on it.

    • norman
      Posted September 5, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      I get the UKIP newsletter and also subscribe to Nigel Farage’s email newsletter and I can’t recall much of an emphasis being put on immigration, certainly no moreso that the other party’s.

      Oh, I get it know, when you say ‘Nigel Farage and his ilk’ you actually mean Nigel Farage and people like him, such as Nick Griffin and other (such people-ed).

      Sorry, I’m a bit slow on the uptake sometimes.

  5. me
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Yet another area where UKIP have the right answers.

    Keep voting UKIP until the Tories come to their senses.

  6. Electro-Kevin
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Thank you very much for addressing this subject, Mr Redwood.

    How can we convince you that our voting patterns in the last two decades have in no way been an endorsement for mass immigration ? Why on earth would the working class and lower middle-class (the majority) vote for yet more working class to be moved into their communities to compete for jobs and resources ?

    We didn’t.

    This is a crisis.

    The suspected murderer of Yvonne Fletcher, Matouk Mohammed is said to have claimed benefits here.

    The 55-year-old retired Russian policeman Valentine Simatchenko, who tried to trip up a fleeing knifeman at the Notting Hill Carnival is on disability benefits. It is believed he has never done a days work in England.

    Does any other country give benefits so freely ?

    I believe that no other action could be more effective than restricting benefits in stemming immigration -either by limiting access to benefits for foreigners and by limiting job opportunities for them by forcing our own people back into work.

    This would mean repealing the Human Rights Act.

    David Cameron refuses to do this so we know that he is not serious about controlling immigration.

    • A different Simon
      Posted September 5, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      “I believe that no other action could be more effective than restricting benefits in stemming immigration -either by limiting access to benefits for foreigners ….”

      Electro Kevin ,

      I was pretty sure that both EU nationals and non-EU nationals are only entitled to be over here if they are capable of supporting themselves financially .

      Whether that extends to proving they have a return ticket or the funds to afford a ticket home I don’t know .

      If that is the case then surely the UK is not under any obligation to provide benefits to EU or non-EU citizens is it ?

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted September 5, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

        @ Simon

        Benefit entitlement depends on visa status. Generally speaking, anyone who does not have ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain)or British citizenship will have “no recourse to public funds” marked in their passports; this includes visitors, people on spouse visas, students, work visa holders, etc. However, once someone has ILR they have the same entitlements as British citizens in the same circumstances, they can access JSA, Housing Benefit, go on the council waiting list, etc.

        Major exceptions to this concern EU citizens, who can claim “in-work” benefits like housing benefit, in the first year, and all benefits after one year working (and there are different rules for “old” EU countries than for A8 and A2 ones); also there are other countries we have reciprocal agreements with.

        Asylum-seekers are on a whole different system, not allowed to work or claim any mainstream benefits, they receive £35/week from the Home Office and basic acommodation while their claims are being processed. If they are accepted as refugees, they are given full entitlement, if they are refused they get nothing (and are still not allowed to work).

        The major flaw in the system as far as I am concerned is that in the UK natives and other eligible people (ILR, refugee) can access benefits without ever having worked. Many countries only operate contributory schemes, or else the non-contributory schemes are only for a limited period.
        Source(s):

        http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/siteco…

    • APL
      Posted September 6, 2011 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      electro-kevin: “I believe that no other action could be more effective than restricting benefits in stemming immigration -either by limiting access to benefits for foreigners and by limiting job opportunities for them by forcing our own people back into work.”

      Agreed.

      Background check to make sure the new arrival has no criminal record in any of the countries of origin. Then:

      Ten years residence with full tax and national insurance record prior to becoming eligible for any State benefits whatsoever.

      No marriage partners should be permitted to be brought in until the ten years have elapsed with a completely clean police record in this country.

      Failure to maintain any of the above leads to deportation.

  7. Posted September 5, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Please end the right to work for 20 hours per week for foreign students so that our own youths can find jobs.

    It is madness to allow people who are here to benefit our economy by paying for their education to take the jobs of our own youth. We have to pay them benefits to the unemployed so we end up losing money for every foreign student who works.

    The system also allows them to claim 20 hours work but actually work longer by fudging the hourly rate. The whole point is that student visas are about studying, not working. If they can’t afford the courses without working then they should not be allowed in the country.

    • Winston Smith
      Posted September 5, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      Yes, this is widely abused by employers, who will employ foreign ‘students’ full-time and pay them cash over the 20hrs limit. Not only does it remove part-time jobs for domestic students, mothers and those desperate for work, it drives down labour rates. The Govt wants to encourage those on benefits to return to work, but these jobs are being taken by new arrivals. I have a sibling looking for such work and vacancies are very hard to find. It breeds resentment.

  8. Nick
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    The ‘problem’ is not individual immigrants, but the societal effects they had and the political gain made from them.

    With every job that went to an immigrant another local was put on welfare. That created a block of voters which required ever more tax to feed – tax from the working economy which was already struggling.

    It feels as if immigration was deliberately abused to promote Labour’s political gain, not for anything the country would benefit from. That is simple and obvious abuse of power.

  9. lifelogic
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Non EU is still completely open to the whims of other countries controls or the complete lack or them. Immigration of self supporting, hard working, people in the right numbers at the right time is often a good thing – but something that clearly needs control and monitoring.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 5, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      So in a world according to Clegg free schools cannot make a profit. Only the teachers, caretakers, maintenance people, providers of books and white boards and doubtless the ever present parking wardens and local authorities (with their pleasant greeting tickets) hovering outside the school at leaving time.

      Why on earth not? I am far more concerned that many will be indoctrinating the young children in various religions . I assume this will be in addition to the all pervading, green religion that is now in all schools – and even throughout the examination system and course work.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 5, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      A reported £300 extra on each household’s energy bills and much of it going to rich land owners and people like Cameron’s father in law does not look like very much of a vote winner to me in May 2015 – after perhaps the exceptionally cold winters of 2013/14 and 14/15.

      Also the lack of UK energy infrastructure might encourage the French to hugely up the price of or even cut off the under the sea nuclear electricity supply.

      • Bazman
        Posted September 8, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

        What did Camerons father-in -law and rich landowners do to get this land? What sacrifices did his family make and skill in bushiness where required. Maybe not a vote winner but what the neither is a reduction in the 50p tax rate.

  10. Posted September 5, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Total waste of time.

    1) We are flooded with East Europeans (which is causing deep resentment). We already have far too many illegals in the country (Migrationwatch estimates are @ 1 million). We have far too many from outside of the EU sitting on benefits claiming to be asylum seekers when they’re so obviously NOT! Far too many EU citizens who have probably worked a year or so but are better off on our benefits system than they are on their own countries system. The benefit system differs vastly from country to country and we are one of the most generous! And how may I ask is it possible that we have housed and keep so many (specifies groups-ed) come from? They’re neither work or are in the EU.

    2) We can’t even deport foreign criminals (the right to a family life etc…)

    Admit it, the Conservative Party are sterile, useless, spineless and have no power. You might as well hand in your notices. We no longer have a use for you. Our Masters are now the EU!

    Reply: If you wish to influence people you might find more moderate language helps.

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted September 5, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      It’s a good job Sue didn’t use the ‘F’ word though I bet she was tempted.

      I don’t think that many of have any realistic expectation of influencing anyone here. We know that the game is up.

      We’ve lost control.

      In truth the EU ‘problem’ (for the time being) papers over the failed liberal policies of the last thirty years whilst providing cheap labour to business.

      It keeps things going for a bit but the choice – as far as our nation is concerned – is between a catastrophic ending (my prefered option) or a never ending catastrophe.

      The repeal of the Human Rights Act has to be the first bold step and that just won’t happen under this Government and nor – one strongly suspects – the next. I doubt we’d have got it even with a Tory majority. I was obviously one of the few suckers who thought it might happen. Evidently the rest stayed at home or we’d be putting the theory to the test right now.

      • John
        Posted September 6, 2011 at 7:41 am | Permalink

        I watched Mr Cameron’s speech in Milton Keynes about a year before the election. I don’t recall the exact words but he said something along the lines of “the reason people have given up on politics is because whoever they vote for, nothing ever changes. We need to repatriate powers from Westminster to the Town Hall, and – yes – from the EU to Westminster”.

        Well, he was right in the analysis, if utterly impotent in the face of the establishment on the ground. Nothing ever does change. And that’s why people like Sue are no longer using ‘moderate language’.

        Because whatever we say, no-one does anything any differently.

    • Bernie in Pipewell
      Posted September 5, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      @ Sue

      I’m coming up to 60 and have voted conservative since I was elligibile to vote.
      It grieves me to say, I agree with you.

    • Susan
      Posted September 6, 2011 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Sue

      I understand your anger, however I am not sure it should be directed at the Conservative Party. The public continued to vote for a Labour administration for 13 years even though it was obvious that immigration levels were being allowed to climb to very high levels. When Eastern European Countries joined the EU, transitional controls should have been put in place to restrict the numbers. This the Labour Party failed to do and thus the numbers coming to the UK increased very quickly. The Conservatives have merely been left with the problems of immigration and are further hampered by being in Coalition with the Lib/Dems who favour more immigration, again something the public voted for.

      It is actually the number of immigrants coming from outside the EU that needs to be adressed. This I believe, is what the Conservatives are trying to do, but big problems of this nature cannot be solved overnight.

      A certain amount of immigration is necessary in the UK to fill the skills gap in the work force.

    • APL
      Posted September 6, 2011 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Sue: “Admit it, the Conservative Party are sterile, useless, spineless and have no power.”

      JR: ” If you wish to influence people you might find more moderate language helps.”

      Firstly I don’t see anything that Sue wrote that is inaccurate.

      Secondly, even if we could influence you. You clearly have no influence with the rabidly ‘blue Labour’ administration and bunch of turncoats that implement the European Unions dictates in this country.

      In fact I would disagree with Sue in one point only, the Conservative party has the power to reassert our independence, it just chooses not to!!

      In all other respects she is spot on.

  11. Bill
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    I am worried about babies being thrown out with bathwater. The cost, so I understand it, of limiting foreign students runs to about £3Bn (I have no idea how this figure is calculated or over what period of time). That is, this is the amount of money that UK universities will fail to receive that they would otherwise have received. I understand that about £350m was claimed in social service benefits from students but, even when this astonishing amount is taken into account, British universities received substantial sums of money that the British tax payer did not have to provide.

    What concerns me more than money, however, is that British Universities educated the elites of foreign countries who, when the time came, were disposed either to buy from Britain or to send the next generation here. We are in danger of seeing a huge shift way from Britain to other countries. For instance, South Africans might choose to train their doctors in India rather than the UK in the knowledge that the training institutions they choose are staffed by those who had originally been trained in the UK.

    In short, if we cannot export goods, we ought to be able to export research and expertise. If we lose the huge advantages that our English language gives us in the field of education, we will be deeply impoverished and lose global influence.

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted September 5, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      Bill – Tuition fees should make up for the financial loss.

      Keep the key universities elitist – nothing should change in that regard. I don’t see why we should offer red brick university education for anyone – let alone foreign nationals… who then happen to become entitled to welfare and right of stay.

      What earthly good does that do us in terms of international influence ?

    • Gary
      Posted September 5, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      British universities are non profit making (so no corporation tax), foreign student fees are not taxed (e.g. no VAT), and foreign students are exempt from council tax (which is then subsidised by central government). They will pay VAT etc, but it is unlikely to be significant. So foreign students aren’t great for taxes.

      They don’t make a disproportionate contribution to university income e.g. in 2008 they contributed about 10% of university income but made up 16% of full time student numbers. They also tended to do more expensive to run courses e.g. lab based . Interestlingly in a recent select committee in March, a representative from the LSE said foreign students contribute 30% of LSE income (but also said they make up 50% of numbers). The charges for foreign students have shot up hugely in recent years, so they are probably paying more realistic fees now (which are now few thousand above what UK students will have to pay from next year).

      Even after saying that, I would not cap foreign students coming to UK universities. They keep some courses going that would not exist without their presence, they help the balance of payments a little bit, keep a lot of university staff in jobs and enrich university life.

      However, I would like to see:
      a) a charge on student visas to help fund the most talented UK students from lower income backgrounds at undergraduate level and the most talented UK phd students from any background
      b) the council tax exemption removed for foreign students
      c) compulsory private health insurance for foreign students

    • Mark
      Posted September 6, 2011 at 12:10 am | Permalink

      Some data on students:

      In 1991-96 on average just under 50,000 non-EU students came in on courses that last longer than a year (unless someone is here for more than a year they don’t count as a migrant in official statistics – the loophole taken advantage of by Mode 4 workers that blights the IT industry) – a level not radically changed since 1975 (the earliest readily available data). In 2010, there were 228,000 such students – an increase of some 359%. The planned reduction by 60,000 would leave us with about 170,000 such students a year – still more than three times as many as in the 1990s. It plainly is utterly insufficient: we need a 75% reduction in such students.

      There were some 360,000 student visas issued in 2010, so that implies 132,000 students who came on courses of less than a year. According to HESA, there were some 280,000 non-EU students attending higher education courses, contributing £2.58bn in fees – an average of £9,100 each – in 2009/10.

      Firstly, it implies a large number of “students” who are not attending HESA recognised institutions (most students come for a three year degree). These plainly include those attending bogus and very low grade institutions as referred to by Damian Green’s statement.

      Secondly, the fees are about equivalent to those that will soon be charged to domestic students (and which still won’t cover the full cost of study), so there is no economic subsidy from foreign students: indeed, it appears we are subsidising them via other taxpayer funding of universities. Take into account the lecture halls etc. that could be freed for other use, and the benefit of providing remedial education to those who failed to profit from their comprehensive schooling, who might then be able to hold down a job instead of living on benefits, and the part time jobs that the students take displacing our own school leavers, and the economics of providing all those places becomes highly questionable, if not actually significantly loss making for the UK economy.

      We managed to educate the key elites (who are very small numerically) with much lower numbers of students coming in from abroad. It’s a process I support. But we can also manage to provide influence via “British” schools and campuses that are located in foreign countries at much lower cost.

      Doctors are perhaps a poor example to take for your argument: 30% of NHS doctors trained outside the EU, and many of our own trained doctors emigrate. I would suggest that these statistics are increasingly driven by the poor standards of science teaching and examination standards in state schools that mean that fewer UK students are adequately prepared for medical university courses, as well as the impact of the EU Working Time Directive.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1579345/Biggest-brain-drain-from-UK-in-50-years.html

      http://www.human-resources-health.com/content/5/1/6

      • Winston Smith
        Posted September 6, 2011 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        Excellent analysis; debunking several left-wing lies.

    • nonny mouse
      Posted September 6, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      >>I understand that about £350m was claimed in social service benefits from students

      Do you have any more details on that?

      Foreign students should not be able to claim benefits.

      If they are non-EU then they should not be able to claim any type of benefits at all.

      If they are from the EU and studying then they cannot claim unemployment benefits because they are at school, not available for work. Maybe they could get other forms of benefit, but most British students don’t get anything so I don’t understand how foreign students can.

  12. Paul
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Immigration – Yet another area where only UKIP has got it right -leave the EU, a five year freeze, and a 50,000 annual cap. The Government is once again treating people like fools, it will never bring immigration down to the tens of thousands. Why? Because it is committed not only to membership of the EU, but also to new countries, e.g. Turkey, joining it. Added to this the Tories are dominated to the fiercely pro-immigration Lib Dems. How can the government reduce it by such a drastic number when its powers are severely limited by our REAL government, the EU. This is another area where the Tories have lost credibility and are losing support to the much more sensible policies of UKIP.

    • Gary
      Posted September 5, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Net immigration will fall to the tens of thousands (less than 100 thousand) from the 240 thousand last year over the next couple of years. It will then rise again.

      Most long term (more than a year) migration is temporary e.g. most students do leave. However there is a lag between arriving and leaving. So as numbers rose, the net effect is amplified. For example the large rise in student numbers between 2008-2010 increased inward migration, but as the rise in outward migration lags behind this, we will see a large increase in departures in 2011-2013. If you combine that will reductions in the numbers arriving (which won’t affect the numbers leaving for another 3 years), then you get an apparently substantial drop in net migration.

      • zorro
        Posted September 5, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        That will depend on whether the number contained within the large increase were genuine particularly after the Points Based System was implemented. Time will tell… but even the pronouncements made here state that…. ‘reforms to the student visa system – the single largest route of entry….. many examples of unacceptable abuses of this route….examples of substandard and even bogus colleges’.

        zorro

  13. Quietzapple
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    I strongly favour teaching both foreigners and Britons english.

    The tests if introduced will throw up many anomalies which will make the current government the butt of jokes world wide.

    I wish all their follies added to the amusement of nations so.

  14. Ralph Corderoy
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    The cap is working effectively and the limit has not been reached in any month since the permanent cap came into effect.

    Is a cap that’s never reached set too high? Is it effective because it’s providing a deterrent at that never-reached level?

  15. Iain Gill
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    this is all hype and no action

    i can bring in as many foreign workers as i want, all i have to do is setup a multi national company, hire abroad, and bring them in on UNCAPPED ict visas, just like the Indian outsourcing outfits do in the hundreds of thousands, all entrants allowed to bring their family in the spouse getting unrestricted right to work and the children free state schooling, and all free nhs, and all get significant tax and national insurance discount compared to what brits have to pay

    as long as they stay here a few years, and especially if they have children here, they are almost certain to be given indefinite leave to remain after a while, and then another few years and they get british passports

    Damiens quote “a temporary cap in place on non-EU economic migrants” is a downright lie while ICT visas are uncapped, and will remain so through all his published policies

    I am in a multi racial multi national family, my wife is a foreign national, i am not a rabid nutter on the extreme on this, the vast majority of people know Damien Green is pulling the wool over their eyes they only have to look around

    Expect disaster at the ballot box

  16. outsider
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    No immigration policy is likely to be credible or successful unless firm numbers (quotas) are put on different groups and an effective infrastructure is out in place to enforce these numbers.

    We cannot control net immigration from the rest of the EU or net emigration of Britons but, for the time being, these are relatively small and roughly cancel out.

    We can control net extra students: perhaps 15,000 a year to allow for growth in this industry once the rogue elements have been weeded out, plus a few staying permanently.

    We can have a quota for families, marriages and, as I think we should, some preferential treatment for people who share the same sovereign (mainly the West Indies, Canada and ANZ). Another 20,000 a year perhaps.

    We can have an overall quota for net immigration for any kind of employment, say another 30,000.

    These should be put into three pools (rather like the old dollar pool) and let demand and supply establish a price premium for entry. This would make the system honest and transparent . If the quotas are realistic, I would expect the premiums to be low for students, family etc but quite high for employment. This would ensure that only the most needed skilled workers and managers came in rather than hospital cleaners.

    The premiums could be used to run the system and support those individuals (not whole groups) to whom who we should (and most of us wish to) give asylum in our country. We can reasonably be more selective here too in a transparent way, if we help neighbouring countries more. Remember, we refused the Tsar of all the Russias.

    • Fox in sox
      Posted September 6, 2011 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      I think it an excellent idea for visas to be bid for in each pool, particularly those for work visas. This would benefit those likely to be high earners in the UK, and keep out those who would be dependent on in work benefits or competing with our own unemployed.

      Why do we need to recruit curry chefs in Bengal, when British Bengalis have one of the highest UK unemployment rates? Wouldn’t it be better to support Curry schools in Mile End? And surely with the size of settled communities here arranged marriages no longer need to be spouses from the old country?

  17. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Everything sounds hunky dory except that the Office for National Statistics latest annual figures show that net inward migration actually rose by 21% during 2010, to 239,000. Actions and results speak louder than words and at this rate the rhetoric is way from the reality. Much to do if you are to come anywhere near meeting your election pledge on immigration, always assuming that the government still intends to achieve it or, perhaps, it was just another meaningless promise made to get the votes and then be quietly ditched.

  18. Winston Smith
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    I recently flew into London from Holland. The passengers were a mix of many nationalities and ethnicities. I heard no Dutch spoken. All passed through EU passport control.

  19. David
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    My wife is from Colombia, during the last Tory Government friends of hers emmigrated to the UK. They came back to Colombia and said
    “It is great there they give you free housing you should come”.
    (Her friends have now bought their council house and might go back to Colombia with their windfall).
    She came here to study and did not try to get free housing.
    However if the Government really wants to stop the wrong type of immigration the best thing it could do would be to say no council house or housing benefit for the first 10 years and for immigrants who receive benefits you can not get British passport until you pay your way.

    What is the point of making it harder to come here and giving people free/subsidized housing when they get here?

    Of course we would have to pull out of the EU to really make this fair on all immigrants.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 6, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Many problems with your points
      For one there is little practical difference between British citizenship and “indefinite leave to remain” ILR here, many of our best members of society here choose not to take a British passport often as some kind of affection with their original nationality. Many of these people have been tens and tens of years. There is no need to ramp down hard on this group. It is the point ILR is handed out which should be a much tougher hurdle to jump it is handed out far too easily at the moment, however once its handed out tough luck I don’t think you can start going back on it.
      Re “no council house or housing benefit for the first 10 years and for immigrants who receive benefits you cannot get British passport until you pay your way.” Sounds nice as a sound bite, but then look at my wife she has been here less than ten years, if the unthinkable happens and I went under a bus tomorrow are you really saying there should be no safety net for her and my (British) children? Don’t you think I have been paying more than enough tax all these years for little more than (poor) bin collections to cover it?
      And so on. So as much as we need action I don’t think these ideas add up.

      • Winston Smith
        Posted September 7, 2011 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        There is a distinct advantage in retaining your original passport for immigrants; to evade VAT. If you want to buy your wife a £12k necklace, she can claim back the VAT at the airport, next time she visists relatives, or use a retailer that has an arrangement with HMRC and not even bother paying the VAT. You’d save £2k. This is rife amongst immigrant communities. Many other nations do not allow dual nationality.

  20. Tony
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    This is great news and long overdue but the real issue is fast becoming eastern european migration. This EU migration isn’t even classed as immigration and the sad fact that most of the migrants are white means it has to a large degree been unnoticed by ordinary people. The sooner we, at the very least withdraw from the lunacy of the EU open borders policy the better because once they arrive here everything is open to them. Not only does the cheap labour they provide put British workers on the dole but the strain they put on communties has breached breaking point. Every EU migrant is entitled to benefits, NHS, housing, family allowance, schooling, etc etc. Who pays got all this, particularly the army of interpreters needed to translate for them?

    The last government did start to address the immigration problem and I suspect that some of the successes mentioned here are a result of their wake up call policy. Immigration is now coming back under control but EU migration has no element of control whatsoever and this is the real danger

    • Fox in sox
      Posted September 5, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

      I don’t worry tto much about the poles an other east Europeans. They work hard, want a better life, have good family values. The post war influx of Poles integrated well and apart from unspellable names are as English as myself. Some other nationalities also integrate well. Philipino nurses run most care homes and are propping up the NHS. They are mostly better nurses than our own natives.

      Those who refuse to integrate are another matter. They are the real problem and have often obtained illegal entry. Why is it that so many asylum seekers find it safe to go and visit their old country as soon as they are granted permanent leave to remain.

      Those who entered illegally should not have UK passports issued until they leave the country and apply legally from outside our Borders. If they need to reunite with their family, why does that need to be here? Family life is avaliable in every country in the world. I also favour a five year residence test for any benefits, and compulsory deportation for any crime.

      • rose
        Posted September 6, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        I thought the original right to a family life really neant the right not to have the Gestapo or KGB knocking on the door during the night, and that it has now been perverted by our judges to mean something else.

  21. stred
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Some foreign workers provide a service for british industry but earn less than £40k pa, and will now be unable to stay. For instance, I have a friend who is a chinese translator and coordinates business between the UK and China. She has a degree from Imperial. However, she was only paid £20k and will now have to return. Her ex employer seems keen to retain her services and may now lose business.

    • Winston Smith
      Posted September 6, 2011 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      There are tens of thousands of Mandarin and Cantonese speakers looking for work in London, both British and Chinese. Finding a replacement would be easy. I recently worked for a business that was looking for Chinese speakers, we were inundated with applications.

  22. Susan
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Fear seems to control the immigration debate as no one seems brave enough to speak on this issue. The truth is mass immigration is an economic problem just the same as if people were to speak of any other issue which effects the health of the economy of a Country. If net immigration does not fall substantially pressure on the public services, which are already at breaking point, will start to fail in most areas as the costs spiral out of control. Housing, schools, hospitals, transport, all services are pressured when too many people are in need of them. All the reforms the Conservatives want to put in place on Welfare and growth for the economy will be put at risk if immigration remains at such high levels. Already it seems under the Coalition, a large proportion of new jobs created have been taken by immigrants.

    There does appear to be a conspiracy to silence (words left out-ed) working class people on the immigration debate. This was particularly notable during the riots and the reporting afterwards. Trying to suppress people in this manner always leads to greater problems than it solves.

    Reducing Immigration was a major commitment made by David Cameron in the lead up to the last Election. If he does not deliver, he will pay the price from the voter for not meeting his promises or expectations. Immigration is a very important issue for the Country.

    • sm
      Posted September 6, 2011 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      No wonder Scotland/Wales want devolution of powers -at this rate how long before a Scottish passport and visa is required for English residents.Can we have the same powers for England (and then cash contributions the EU) – if not why not.

      Indeed Public services pressures – that’s why frontline spending cannot come down-demand is going up.

      Housing,Schools,Hospitals,Prisons,transport,unemployment,energy,water,food,refuse collection.

      We should also note these are official figures and probably generously prudent (to mitigate shoot the messenger play the man attacks from those that may benefit politically or monetarily from this er alleged hidden policy) .

      I suspect many more vested interests to deal with.

      This is a major reason a lot of the electorate are giving up on indirect and ineffective politicians/elite who largely do not reflect the electorate. They would of course dispute this and hence you have MP’s voting the way they do.

  23. Bernie in Pipewell
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    John
    I hear you but if the guardian and the bbc object will Cameron stay the course ?

  24. sm
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Its all about 6 figure numbers and the numbers are still unfortunately talking a different story! (Our figures are net, if leavers (say broke retirees) return enmasse it could create more capacity problems)

    You mentioned non of the capacity limits have been breached, maybe they were set too high. The cap needs to be hard and to force the change.

    Sort out the ECHR and human rights nonsense which leads to highly dubious legal decisions. Seriously break the law (fraud/violence) and deportation should be the default-no more appeals via ECHR.

    For recent arrivals:
    Change the benefit and tax codes so those that apply correctly are better positioned than those via illegal channels.
    No work visa ever – unless they return home and apply in the normal manner.
    No passport – unless they leave the UK regularize and re-apply from their host country.
    No travel documents to enable return to the UK.

    For those that have been here a longtime we may have to think real hard,and consider bilaterally with the country concerned.

    So lets get numbers under control the sooner the better. Still think such things ICT visa thing is wrong.

    • A different Simon
      Posted September 6, 2011 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      I don’t trust paperwork .

      Perhaps UK citizens and non-British nationals should be required to provide several types of biometric data such as retina scans so we can make sure they never get let back in .

  25. K. Gill
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Hi,
    I wish I could make you realize how a genuine migrant can be made to undergo so much of hardship because of the constant pressure being put by the current government. I buy the argument that we need to reduce immigration but you are stereotyping migrants into so-called categories defined by our incomes. Time and again, you have been using absurd examples to make a case against immigration without realizing it is affecting a person’s life and their families life. Inviting genuine people with open arms and then making them realized they will be the first to be cut-down, politely being asked to let go of their permanent jobs, asking them to move out of the country with their family. We did not come here for a holiday, we came here to earn reputation with our hearts and minds at the right place. If I am effectively thrown out for working hard in this country, that sour taste will live with me throughout my life and effect my attitude towards foreign migrants in my own country. I am sorry to say you have got the right to pick up your axe but your target is absolutely wrong !

  26. Damien
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    This is the best piece I have read on government immigration policy and is very welcome indeed.

    The two key factors to non-EU immigration are the Human Right Act provision for family life that allows anyone who reaches these shores to also bring their ‘family’ to join them. The second factor is the law that allows immigrants and their family who join them to receive the full access to the generous welfare benefits of the UK. Our health and welfare benefits are highly prized and the motivation behind the explosion in immigration during the Labour regime.

  27. Javelin
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    I think you still need to look at how large companies abuse the visa system. Large companies in the UK go to other large companies in India – and even though the Indian workers are only here for 6 months there is a rolling programme of workers who act like a single abuse. This is so common.

  28. Caterpillar
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    What has been the effect of the destroyed GBP on net migration? (i)Weaker currency less attactive to come or (ii) Weaker currency means people cannot emigrate/return? and (iii) Weaker currency gives more competitive education market?

    I would like to know whether all causal drivers to the net figure have been fully unpacked.

  29. zorro
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    The statement is a useful summary of what the Coalition plans to do, but has not yet delivered. There are a few points which I think should be raised…..

    Tier 2 ICT not covered by cap and is by far the biggest ‘economic’ category and the number of visas being granted in this category is likely to increase rapidly. The actual cap as described does not have much of an effect on limiting immigration in itself and has no effect on the ICT route.

    Other restrictions on the students/family routes/links between temporary and permanent migration may have an effect but it is difficult to quantify how much of an effect they will have, and also how much will actually come to fruition. Net migration is the chosen measure, but they will really need to bear down on inward migration.

    The e-Borders measure would have happened under Labour as would the embarkation checks in 2015….nearly 20 years after they were abolished.

    The figure of 25,000 removed in the first six months is interesting….http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/science-research-statistics/research-statistics/immigration-asylum-research/immigration-q2-2011/

    The government’s own statistics (see 1st web link) state the following…..’Data for the second quarter of 2011 show a similar picture; 11,388 people departed, a 24% fall from 14,944 during the second quarter of 2010 – and a 37% fall compared to the quarterly peak of 18,080 during the third quarter of 2008. This is the lowest figure since quarterly data first became available in 2001′.

    Does this 25,000 six month figure just include the removal of in-country offenders or also those refused and removed at ports of entry? If the latter it is well down on previous years. If the former, it is currently a 60% increase on the previous year’s performance!! (see below)….I would be interested to see the provenance of those figures. The ‘removals’ are not all enforced and include random embarkation checks encountering illegals, voluntary departures, assisted voluntary departures, and case rationalisation.

    According to the statistics, the number of ‘enforced removals and voluntary departures’ in 2010 was 31,574. This included a very high number of ‘other voluntary departures’, as in not assisted/facilitated by government action(15,537) compared to previous years. The statistics are here….http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/science-research-statistics/research-statistics/immigration-asylum-research/immigration-tabs-q2-2011v2/removals-q2-11-tabs

    The backlog clearance appears to be coming to an end according to the Home Affairs Select Committee reports….http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmhaff/929/92902.htm

    However, an extremely large number of these cases were actively granted stay in the UK, and a lot of the ‘other’ cases involved cases which had already been granted but not properly recorded.

    zorro

  30. Posted September 5, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    For so long as we have open borders with the other 26 member states of the EU we cannot control immigration; John knows that but Damian Green would not dream of mentioning it in his summary. If the coalition government policy of admitting Turkey comes to fruition there will be more millions who now earn a dollar or two a day (in some regions) who will have free access to Britain.

    If this is not controlled soon the acres of land to be built upon will have to rise considerably and we will have to fund the construction and the related infrastructure, because those new comers rarely have any net worth with which to do it.

    Who else spotted the revision downwards in GDP numbers today. If GDP grows less than about 1% a year the GDP per head will be falling; for many it already has and is.

  31. zorro
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Some more findings from the Home Office Q4 2010 statistics which appear to show a collapse in enforcement removals of failed asylum seekers….http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/science-research-statistics/research-statistics/immigration-asylum-research/control-immigration-q4-2010/?view=Standard&pubID=864988

    Key findings for 2010:

    • In 2010, 9,375 principal applicants were removed or departed voluntarily from the UK – 14 per cent lower than in 2009 (10,935)
    • Including dependants, 9,850 asylum seekers were removed or departed voluntarily from the UK in 2010, 15 per cent lower than in 2009 (11,635).
    • 6,345 asylum seekers left via enforced removals and notified voluntary departures from the UK in 2010, 8 per cent lower than in 2009 (6,895).
    • 2,690 asylum seekers left under Assisted Voluntary Return schemes in 2010 (2,480 principal applicants and 210 dependants), 10 per cent lower than in 2009 (2,985).
    • 810 asylum seekers left via other types of voluntary departures in 2010, 54 per cent lower than in 2009 (1,755)

    Key findings for Q4 2010:

    • In Q4 2010, 2,060 principal applicants were removed or departed voluntarily from the UK, 20 per cent lower than in Q4 2009 (2,575).
    • Including dependants, 2,150 asylum seekers were removed or departed voluntarily from the UK in Q4 2010, 22 per cent lower than in Q4 2009 (2,770).
    • 1,465 asylum seekers left via enforced removals and notified voluntary departures from the UK in Q4 2010, 14 per cent lower than in Q4 2009 (1,695).
    • 530 asylum seekers left under Assisted Voluntary Return schemes in Q4 2010 (480 principal applicants and 50 dependants), 23 per cent lower than Q4 2009 (690).
    • 155 asylum seekers left via other types of voluntary departures in Q4 2010, 60 per
    cent lower than in Q4 2009 (385).

    The trend continues in Q1 2011…http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/science-research-statistics/research-statistics/immigration-asylum-research/control-immigration-q1-2011-t/?view=Standard&pubID=891312

    • In Q1 2011, 14,225 persons were removed or departed voluntarily from the UK, 5 per cent lower than in Q1 2010 (15,040) – and down 21 per cent compared to the peak of 18,080 in Q3 2008. Changes can be mainly accounted for by the significantly lower number of non-asylum cases refused entry at port and subsequently removed.
    • Within the total number of persons removed or departing voluntarily in Q1 2011, there were 2,600 persons (including dependants) who had claimed asylum (9 per cent lower than in Q1 2010) and 11,625 non-asylum cases (4 per cent lower than in Q1 2010).
    • 10 children entered detention, held solely under Immigration Act powers in Q1 2011, compared to 229 in Q1 2010

    Zorro

  32. Bob
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    Cut welfare handouts; immigration and unemployment will then sort themselves out.

    UKIP’s Policy
    To cut immigration and the heavy cost of immigration, we will –
    • End Labour’s immigration free-for-all, which let in 3 million in 13 years
    • Withhold all State benefits from immigrants for five years
    • Introduce proper border controls
    • Increase UK Border Agency staff as needed
    • Freeze permanent immigration for five years until we sort out the system
    • Deport all illegal immigrants
    • Target working visas only on those with the skills we need

    To pay for these commitments, we will –
    • End benefits in cash or in kind for all non-Britons

    • Bazman
      Posted September 6, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      Would that include non British passport holders? How do you propose to deport
      all illegal immigrants? They are here illegally. You could drive a bus through the rest of the points

  33. Tony
    Posted September 6, 2011 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    People need to wake up to the danger that is white immigration from mainly eastern Europe. EU or non EU, immigration is immigration and this island simply cannot take any more.

    In a time of mass cuts I cannot believe that the borders are still open.

    • Stephen
      Posted September 6, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      I think peoples experience of immigration varies depending where they live and which groups have settled there. Immigrants may be mainly from the EU in your area, but in other areas it will be very different.

  34. lojolondon
    Posted September 6, 2011 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Immigration was Labour’s plan to win the vote. By ensuring that the most useless, hopeless humans were shipped into the UK, they hoped to ensure they would forever be living on state handouts, and remain Labour voters.

    PS. EU immigration is a massive problem, and needs to be stopped. The Danish can do it, we can do it. Sarkozy can deport (people-ed), we can too. Time to be strong, time to be British.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 6, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      i must say having been in copenhagen i have been surprised at the ease with which they kick out and permanently bar EC citizens, the papers mention people getting kicked out for minor traffic offences and the like. compare and contrast to here where even the worst criminals never get kicked out if they have an EC passport.

  35. Mark
    Posted September 6, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    It seems to be rather lame to say that we can’t do rather better with border checks before 2015. Every airline, train and ferry operator will have statistics on the passengers who use their routes for their own management purposes: it is no significant burden to ask that these be supplied to UKBA as a first step. That would allow us to see the numbers other than stowaways who enter and leave and provide a better set of base numbers than the IPS manages for gross flows.

    Next we could require that those coming to the UK on a visa have an onward or return reservation on arrival, as the US does. Such bookings are easily identified in airline databases given PNR details, allowing overstayers to be identified and counted. It would still be possible to re-arrange return journeys within visa validity (something I have done in the US on several occasions) even with a change of carrier.

    That would leave the formal process of exit controls which could ensure that those who leave are actually the people in whose name a ticket is issued, much as the US fingerprinting system on entry and exit. Such control is clearly rather more expensive, but much could be done without installing any desks at Heathrow.

  36. Robin
    Posted September 6, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    I read this excellent article yesterday and thought it not worthy of a response. Today, Tuesday, I read your article again and thought, yes, I will respond.

    My wife and I have voted Conservative for fifty years. We have been and continue being responsible citizens, working, paying all our taxes (presently at unconscionable levels) and we are grandparents too.

    John, the future for us and our family relies upon the government facilitating our emigration. My question is a simple one John, what are you going to do to help us to achieve our aspiration?

    • Tom
      Posted September 6, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Robin, I am also in your situation but where do you want to go? The EU apart (and it is not quite as easy as it appears) there are few places you would want to go to who would have you now – unless you are very wealthy.

      Grandchildren/children are another matter, and suitably qualified ones should emigrate (and, sadly, are doing so in increasing numbers)

    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 6, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      we could just declare the independant republic of “common sense land” with borders centred around say wokingham?

  37. Stephen
    Posted September 6, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    You should anticipate a rash of media hard luck stories about cases of would be immigrants, who most people would put in their ‘top ten thousand‘ list of deserving cases is they were to look at all immigration applications, being rejected or deported. For example, from time to time there were, under the last government, cases of ex-British army soldiers being under threat of deportation, even at times when net (never mind gross) immigration was in the hundreds of thousands. The system needs not only deliver lower immigration numbers, but to ensure that common sense is applied to the selection. It should be possible to deliver both far lower numbers and a selection process which makes the right choices, but if the selection process is discredited, then delivering lower number will be much harder.

    Immigration numbers should keep within the UK capacity to integrate new comers. Therefore, gross immigration numbers should be targeted and be a higher priority than the net immigration number. The net number target seems more of a dodge to provide a smaller headline number. The gross number is what the government’s performance should be judged by.

    It would be sensible to have diversity as a consideration in selection. Immigrants living amongst large numbers of earlier immigrants from their home country are not going to integrate as quickly as those who find only a few people from their old country and are therefore forced to mix with the wider population. Given proponents of immigration point to diversity as its key benefit, I can’t see how they can object publicly even if in private they have a goal of social re-engineering the population. Also a more diverse immigrant population will be more interesting and more readily integrated.

  38. Bazman
    Posted September 6, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Where will employers find their cheap labour if immigration was stopped? Not just cheap labour, but cheap labour with skills. This taking a locals job is true, but if the local does not have that skill required then it is not. The employer would then have to pay higher costs for that skill and maybe this might not be at a viable cost. Translation and language skills being a good example. Employers want translation skills for not much more than minimum wage arguing that the person can already speak that language and no skill is required. I’ll translate it from Russian into Russian for you then at no cost then? The reality is the employer getting something even if he does not want to pay professional charges and tries it on for the rest of the time. The person gets at least some work in their own locality using their professional or just given by parents/birth with skills.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 7, 2011 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      this is a confused set of arguments

      for one ICT visa entrants for instance often come in with no skills other than a degree from a 3rd rate corrupt college somewhere

      the “market” in the UK also needs to be incentivised to train uk residents like it always was before the outsourcing movement and collapse of immigration control

    • A different Simon
      Posted September 7, 2011 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      “The employer would then have to pay higher costs for that skill and maybe this might not be at a viable cost.”

      The relationship between demand and supply would drive wages up thus making it more attractive for more Britons to spend the time and money to learn these skills .

      “Employers want translation skills for not much more than minimum wage ”

      When do companies ever want to pay a fair price for anything if they can get it on the cheap ?

      Sadly it’s more effective for big business to pay lobbyists to get the Govt to allow cheap labour in from abroad than invest in their British workers .

      • Bazman
        Posted September 8, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

        ‘The relationship between demand and supply would drive wages up thus making it more attractive for more Britons to spend the time and money to learn these skills .’
        You seriously believe this? Especially the relationship between supply and demand and wages? You are a gift.

  39. rose
    Posted September 6, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Could we please have the gross figures given as well, every time the net figures are cited?

    • zorro
      Posted September 6, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

      Net migration over the last three years shows 20+% rise year on year….figures are, of course, ONS estimates.

      2008 – net – 163,000 inward – 590,000 outward – 427,000
      2009 – net – 196,000 inward – 567,000 outward – 371,000
      2010 – net – 239,000 inward – 575,000 outward – 336,000

      zorro

      • Iain Gill
        Posted September 7, 2011 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        this of course ignore the other elephant in the room the use of temporary entrants to displace uk residents from the workforce permanently. so for instance folk coming in for 6 months get paired up with a buddy back in their home country. one does 6 months here and gets replaced by his buddy who does 6 months then the original one comes back, and so on. some of the outsourcers have thousands of paired buddys like this who are between them permanently displacing brits from the workforce – especially since they get significant tax and national insurance concessions making it impossible for brits to compete on rate.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted September 7, 2011 at 10:05 am | Permalink

          to say nothing of the fact many of them are engaged in mass movement of british intellectual property and jobs back to their home nation, forever depriving this country of the competitive edge we worked so hard to achieve

  40. David
    Posted September 7, 2011 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    @Iain Gill
    “Re “no council house or housing benefit for the first 10 years and for immigrants who receive benefits you cannot get British passport until you pay your way.” Sounds nice as a sound bite, but then look at my wife she has been here less than ten years, if the unthinkable happens and I went under a bus tomorrow are you really saying there should be no safety net for her and my (British) children? Don’t you think I have been paying more than enough tax all these years for little more than (poor) bin collections to cover it?”
    Good point.
    You could of course change it to no benefits until you or your partner have paid £x in contributions. So if for example John Smith goes on holiday, meets the love of his life, marries her and gets her pregnant and 3 days after she arrives in the UK he gets hit by a bus she still gets benefits because John has been paying tax for 15 years.

    However the single mum who comes from Spain because we pay more to single mums, gets told to get lost.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 7, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      Re “John Smith goes on holiday, meets the love of his life, marries her and gets her pregnant and 3 days after she arrives in the UK he gets hit by a bus she still gets benefits because” this may surprise you but even at the moment she wouldnt be entitled to anything, she would in the UK on a marriage visa and wouldnt be entitled to indefinte leave until she has been here two years (or is it 5 now?) at the end of which she needs to be still married to the Brit. So at the moment she wouldnt even be entitled to be here, and without ILR she wouldnt be entitled to benefits. They may make exceptions on compasionate grounds but no way is it certain.

      The system is not really setup properly as you can see by this example genuine decent folk can get stung quite badly while at the same time people planning to abuse the system from the outset flood in.

      • David
        Posted September 7, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

        @Iain Gill
        “Posted September 7, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        Re “John Smith goes on holiday, meets the love of his life, marries her and gets her pregnant and 3 days after she arrives in the UK he gets hit by a bus she still gets benefits because” this may surprise you but even at the moment she wouldnt be entitled to anything, she would in the UK on a marriage visa and wouldnt be entitled to indefinte leave until she has been here two years (or is it 5 now?) at the end of which she needs to be still married to the Brit. So at the moment she wouldnt even be entitled to be here, and without ILR she wouldnt be entitled to benefits. They may make exceptions on compasionate grounds but no way is it certain.
        The system is not really setup properly as you can see by this example genuine decent folk can get stung quite badly while at the same time people planning to abuse the system from the outset flood in.”
        Actually it doesn’t surprise me. If I wanted to design a system that was bad in every single way I would copy ours.

        If I was in charge of immigration I would change it to.
        No benefits (unless you inherit them from your British partner)
        for x years (5-10)
        You break the law you get kicked out
        If you are a member of a fascist party (and I include communists and Islamist parties) please don’t even bother asking to come here – even if your life is in danger (individual example left out-ed).

  41. Bazman
    Posted September 8, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Many of the immigrants from the EU are young and flexible with a sense of adventure and of course a little bit more desperate than many British workers, some are a sort of middle class. Strong competition for a boy who went to the local comp and has never left his own backyard or a middle aged factory worker who has lived in the same town all his life and now had dependant children and other family. Maybe their benefits could be stopped to incentivise them to do something leaving their children to their own devices? Does anyone on this site think the middle aged man will go and live in another area eating steam in a bedsit and sending money home like some of the East Europeans. More to the pint would these soft middle aged men who suggest they should would or be able themselves?

  42. Steve Whitfield
    Posted September 19, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Reply to Mr Damian Green
    RE: Government Changes to Immigration Policy

    Dear Mr Green,

    I read your letter setting out the governments position on controlling immigration with interest and I welcome the proposals for the action you are taking.
    However I would question the coalition’s level of commitment to this task in view of the latest record figures for migration into the UK, albeit heavily influenced by the outgoing Labour government.

    What I think many had hoped to see was a firm plan of action setting out the measures to be taken and more importantly a timetable of when these would be put in place. Then it would be relatively straightforward to see exactly were the promised reduction in annual migration from 2.25 million to ‘the tens of thousands’ was coming from. Unfortunately this isn’t entirely clear from your report.

    In your letter you discussed the capping of work visas for non EU migrants. So far you claim the limit has not been reached. But what is the limit ? – surely it is only effective if it is set low enough. How can the limit work if it has never been reached ?.

    Is a planned reduction of only one fifth in economic migration enough, given the sheer numbers of new arrivals (200,000 + annual migration) and our own unemployment problems (2.6 million officially unemployed and rising) . ?

    The work on tackling bogus colleges is welcome but it is unfortunate that it is going to take close to two years for the coalition to fully implement the new measures. This sort of delay seems far too common on migration issues and seems to underline an unwillingness to get to grips with the problems and push political correctness aside.. Why are we waiting until 2015 to re-introduce exit checks ?.

    A reduction in net migration of 60,000 as a result of these measures is welcome. I think most people would agree that our generosity should extend no further than providing an education and that it is not acceptable to permit dependents of students to stay.

    Many people are angry about sham marriages and abuse of the benefits system and it would appear that some action has been taken here. It is however unclear how effective this action has been.
    On the wider family route to migration I suspect tough actions will have to be taken on who is eligible to stay. I just hope the coalition has the courage to do what is correct for the long term future of the country and not just take the knee jerk politically correct action. I suspect that while we remain signed up to the human rights act this will be almost impossible.

    The formation of a ‘Border Control Command’ seems like a step in the right direction but is this the same as the promised ‘Border Police Service?’. I think most voters expected launch patrols, extra uniformed staff at airports etc. Using the e-borders computers system is sensible but what we really need is a more physical presence at our borders to deter cheats and bogus claimants.

    Some in the coalition may shy away from the problem believing it is too sensitive a matter to tackle. But this is only because the dire long term consequences of maintaining the current 0.7% annual increase in population growth just isn’t cutting through to the wider public.

    The facts are very simple. We can ignore the more sensitive cultural debates – the numbers speak for themselves. The formula for arithmetric growth in the textbooks is :-

    T (Time for a population to double in size ) = 70 / % rate of growth

    If current trends continue (0.7% population increase per year) the population of the UK will double in just over a lifetime. This is an undisputable mathematical conclusion (and a warning of what will happen if we just sit on our hands) but one that many seem unwilling to consider .

    If the coalition fails to bring down migration to sustainable rates (thereby delaying the necessary action and making it even more difficult for future governments ) , those who oppose taking action should be asked to face up to a number of difficult questions – and explain why they think these concerns are not important.
    These are just a few I can think of .
    I would also welcome Mr Green’s thoughts on these topics.

    Will a much larger population inevitably reduce standards of living ?
    Was the House of Lords select committee correct when it reported “there has been no empirical research that has evaluated the effect of immigration on the per capita income of the resident population”.
    If we have no idea of what effect mass long term migration will have on the UK , do you think it is time the policy was halted until a proper evaluation is made ?.

    Can you think of any measure of human well being in the UK that could be improved by increasing the UK’s population to 70 , 80 or 90 million ?.

    What would be the likely costs involved in building the housing, hospitals, sewers, etc. to accommodate a 25% or 50% + increases in population ? Are the solutions affordable ?
    How will the South East and in particular London cope when there is already severe water shortages in dry summers ?.

    Will the economy be able to grow sufficiently to provide enough jobs and pay the pensions of so many extra people ?.If so will workers be able to maintain comparable pay and conditions or is it inevitable these will be driven down ?

    Will there be enough land for agriculture food production , new roads, hospitals, houses, schools and leisure facilities and the open green spaces needed ?. How do you think the inevitable conflicts will be resolved between these competing interests ?.

    How will we be able to generate enough energy for a much larger population when we are supposed to be reducing carbon emissions substantially ? .

    Population growth cannot continue indefinitely. Have you a view on the maximum population that the UK can accommodate and how increases can be limited to this level. ? If you are of a mind that you disagree with migration control, ultimately, do you therefore think it is kinder to allow pockets of disease, starvation or conflict in our cities starting to limit population expansion ?. Do you foresee the need for family planning controls or stringent limits on migration in the long term future ?

    Does government or the civil service have a long term population management plan that is above party politics to deal with these issues, or do they only look forward as far as the next election ?.

    Do you think there is a serious contradiction in a government that oversees population growth but also wants to be seen as green and friendly to the environment ?.

    Looking forward to hearing your response

    sincerely
    S Whitfield

  43. Steve Whitfield
    Posted September 21, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Too little..too late

    What I think many observers had hoped to see from the coalition was a firm plan of action setting out the measures to be taken and more importantly, a timetable of when these would be put in place. Then it would be a relatively straightforward to see exactly were the promised reduction in annual migration from 2.25 million to ‘the tens of thousands’ was coming from. Unfortunately this isn’t entirely clear from your report the numbers don’t add up.
    There is still far too much consultation now and too little real action being taken given the scale of the problem and the overwhelming support of the public for change.

    The letter discussed the capping of work visas for non EU migrants. So far it is claimed the limit has not been reached. But what is the limit ? – surely it is only effective if it is set low enough. How can the limit work if it has never been reached ?.

    Is a planned reduction of only one fifth in economic migration enough, given the sheer numbers of new arrivals (200,000 + annual migration) and our own unemployment problems (2.6 million officially unemployed and rising) . ?

    The work on tackling bogus colleges is welcome but it is unfortunate that it is going to take close to two years for the coalition to fully implement the new measures. This sort of delay seems far too common on migration issues and seems to underline an unwillingness to get to grips with the problems and push political correctness aside.. Why are we waiting until 2015 to re-introduce exit checks ?.

    A reduction in net migration of 60,000 as a result of these measures is welcome. I think most people would agree that our generosity should extend no further than providing an education and that it is not acceptable to permit dependents of students to stay.

    Many people are angry about sham marriages and abuse of the benefits system and it would appear that some action has been taken here. It is however unclear how effective this action has been.
    On the wider family route to migration I suspect tough actions will have to be taken on who is eligible to stay. I just hope the coalition has the courage to do what is correct for the long term future of the country and not just take the knee jerk politically correct action. I suspect that while we remain signed up to the human rights act this will be almost impossible.

    The formation of a ‘Border Control Command’ seems like a step in the right direction but is this the same as the promised ‘Border Police Service?’. I think most voters expected launch patrols, extra uniformed staff at airports etc. Using the e-borders computers system is sensible but what we really need is a more physical presence at our borders to deter cheats and bogus claimants.

    Some in the coalition may shy away from the problem believing it is too sensitive a matter to tackle. But this is only because the dire long term consequences of maintaining the current 0.7% annual increase in population growth just isn’t cutting through to the wider public.

    The facts are very simple. We can ignore the more sensitive cultural debates – the numbers speak for themselves. The formula for arithmetric growth in the textbooks is (please bear with me on this it’s important but rarely understood)
    If I tell you that growth is 0.7% / year you say ‘so what’. But tell people UK population will DOUBLE in just over a lifetime most people will take notice.

    T (Time for a population to double in size ) = 70 / % rate of growth

    If current trends continue (0.7% population increase per year) the population of the UK will double in just over a lifetime. This is an undisputable mathematical conclusion (and a warning of what will happen if we just sit on our hands) but one that many seem unwilling to consider .
    Nobody knows what the effect will be but I expect, for the first time in our history, for living standards to start going backwards at an increasing rate.
    It’s already happening. And not just in economic terms, almost all measures of human well being will get steadily worse if we stay on the same path.
    A once great Country will have been utterly broken by reckless,short sighted politicians and a gullible and stupid electorate that allowed them to get away with it.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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