How ironic previous govt both Conservatives and Labour has tried to address the immigration issue without success which has in some cases pander to the Far right agenda.
As a son of an immigrants who is born in the UK with siblings it still amazes me after 20 yrs or more the govt is still left with egg in their faces which both Govts have tried to address still with very little achievements to show for their work.
If you ask many immigrants sons & daughters of this very subject of immigration they will all tell you we are glad that their parents came to this country to build this nation to make it a multi-cultural society today.
I’m not saying for one minute that there are not a few bad apples who abuse the system and makes it worst for others. Yes the immigration issue need to be addressed urgently.
Many govt has made half-baked promises but can not adhere to their own policies but instead they brush it under the carpet by saying it is racist to speak about immigration is this what our nation has come to that is the question that needs to be addressed in today’s society?
Refugee rights campaigners voiced scepticism today after MPs claimed a “silent amnesty” was taking place for tens of thousands of asylum-seekers.
A Commons select committee report published today voiced “serious concerns” over the UK Border Agency’s attempt to clear a backlog of up to 450,000 asylum cases, some dating back nearly 20 years.
Immigration officials told the committee in March that they had closed 403,500 cases.
Of those, 38,000 people were deported while 161,000 – 40 per cent – were granted permission to stay.
“To a certain extent, this is not surprising,” the report said.
“Some of the cases date back nearly 20 years and the longer a case is left uncompleted the more likely it is that the applicant will have married or had children born in Britain, leading to a greater probability that settlement will be allowed for family reasons.”
But the report criticised a change in ministerial guidelines which had allowed caseworkers to grant permission to stay in the country after six years rather than 10.
“We consider that in practice an amnesty has taken place, at considerable cost to the British taxpayer,” the report concluded.
The National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns objected to the report’s tone.
Campaigns co-ordinator Michael Collins said it was disappointing that immigrants were still seen as “some sort of threat.”
Many of those who had been granted leave to remain were pleased they could start looking for work, he said, while others were simply relieved that they were no longer at risk of deportation.
But Mr Collins said in many instances the caseworkers had only granted indefinite leave to remain, denying applicants the rights accorded with refugee status such as family reunion.
“For some people it’s fantastic, after waiting for five, six, seven years – but it’s not all fantastic news for everybody,” he said.
Immigration Minister Damian Green rebuffed the committee’s claims of an amnesty.
“The key point as to whether there was an amnesty or not – and there wasn’t – is if, under this government, there had been a significant increase in the percentage being granted (permission to stay) because we wanted to get rid of the backlog, and that factually hasn’t happened.”
Applications were now at a 20-year low, he said.