Immigration; to be capped or celebrated?

Mon, 28 Feb 2011 17:51 in News Digest
Dialogue Society News Digest

David Cameron opposes a rise in immigration and will therefore have to impose limits to make sure that public services will not become inundated. The Prime Minister’s policies have been heavily criticised by the Labour Party and other experts since the announcement.

BBC NEWS - Thursday 24th February 2011
Net migration rises by 36% official figures show

The government wants to reduce net migration levels to the tens of thousands by 2015. Since 2008 the amount of people deciding to stay longer in the UK as well as the number of asylum seekers has been on the rise .The Minister Damian Green said, "net migration should be brought down to the tens of thousands by the end of this parliament." However the head of the refugee Council Dianne Covey voiced her concern for the amount of asylum seekers which were being turned away by the government. She said that the government have to ameliorate and quicken their decision-making process for asylum seekers, so as not to return to their country if their lives will be at risk.

The Daily Telegraph - Tuesday 22nd February 2011
Immigration targets will damage universities

Tens of thousands may not be accepted at British Universities costing the government billions of pounds, a research by IPPR stated. The government has decided to cut net migration from "hundreds of thousands" to "tens of thousands." Nevertheless, decreasing student immigration will have little impact on net migration because only a proportion of them end up staying in the UK on a permanent basis.

The Daily Telegraph - Tuesday 22nd February 2011
Immigration: Labour migration increased because of the strength of the British economy

Labour has criticised Migration Watch for stating that their policies have brought down net migration. Gerry Sutcliffe from the Shadow Immigration Minister stated that, "this is an unbalanced, misleading and highly political report." Labour established an immigration system in which individuals were only allowed into Britain on the condition that they had the right skill set. However recent figures demonstrate that immigration from outside the EU was decreasing due to a new points based system. A third of the long term migrants, are mainly students, who return home upon finishing their studies. Labour criticize the Tory-led government for its new rules on migration stating that ’it lacks substance and credibility’. Nevertheless the cap applies only to 20% of non EU migration and should not affect students.

The Guardian - Tuesday 15th February 2011
High Earners exempted from immigration cap Alan Travis

High earning migrants such as bankers and lawyers who earn £150,000 salaries a year will be exempt from the annual limit on migration. Scientists as well as those who have a job on "the job shortage occupation list" will be favoured. However the High Court deemed this to be flagitious as the government "by-passed" parliament. Furthermore the immigration cap showed that it will close the door on a high amount of skilled workers coming from Europe. Nevertheless the immigration minister Damian Greene stated that, "this law was made to be business friendly and to dismiss claims that Britain was not open for business."

Key Players in the Field

Labour states on the BBC website that Cameron’s plans are "the worst of all worlds".

Adam Marshall, director of policy at the British Chambers of Commerce stated to the BBC that, "Business said loud and clear that any new immigration rules must still let companies access the right talent, at the right time, when domestic workers are unable to fill skills gaps.

Moving Forwards

The coalition government will introduce an annual limit on the number of non-EU economic migrants admitted into the UK to live and work. They will explore new ways to improve the current asylum system to speed up the processing of applications as well as end the detention of children for immigration purposes.