No mention of illegals, apparently. As far as one can make sense of them, the proposals seem to be aimed at Indians — but few Indians are accepted as legal immigrants anyway. One therefore gets the impression that the guff below applies both to legal and illegal immigrants!

Immigrants are to be given instructions on how to claim benefits as their first step in a new life in Britain. They will be told to attend ‘orientation days’ at which they will be given information including their right to claim handouts, according to plans published by ministers yesterday.

The instructions were set out in a Home Office paper on how immigrants will in future be asked to qualify for a British passport by earning points and credits. At present those allowed entry into Britain gain citizenship almost automatically after five years.

Among the ideas put forward by Home Secretary Alan Johnson is that migrants should be encouraged to return to their home countries to stem a Third World brain drain. Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said: ‘There are clear risks in depriving developing countries of people and skills they badly need. Government needs to do more to maximise the positive impacts on the developing world and mitigate the negative.’

Possible schemes include allowing workers or students into Britain for just two years before they take their new skills back home.

Ministers also backed a system of ‘circular migration’ in which those who come to the UK will be offered incentives for ‘temporary or permanent return to the country of origin’. Those who opt to return home would be able to travel to live in Britain whenever they choose. They could also progress towards UK citizenship by undertaking development work at home.

Outlining the planned system for migrants to win points that would speed up their progress to citizenship, the paper suggests tougher language and history tests. Those who commit serious crime would be barred from British citizenship. Those guilty of anti-social behaviour – including showing ‘disregard for UK values’ – would lose points.

Mr Woolas said the points test ‘establishes the principle that British citizenship is a privilege that must be earned, providing mechanisms to speed up or slow down the journey towards settlement.’ The plans won support from the all-party Balanced Migration group of MPs.

Its leaders, Labour’s Frank Field and Tory Nicholas Soames, said: ‘This is a welcome step forward. ‘We will never get our popula-tion under control if we continue to allow almost automatic settlement for all economic migrants. ‘There must be a limit for the number of new citizens otherwise the population will continue to grow.’

Sir Andrew Green of the Migrationwatch pressure group said: ‘After years of denial, the Government has at last recognised that immigration is the main component of population growth. ‘These reforms would break the virtually automatic link between work permits and settlement. It’s an important step forward as it will allow us to draw on foreign skills without adding to our population.’

Matthew Elliott of the Tax- Payers’ Alliance said of the ‘orientation days’: ‘We should welcome people to Britain to work hard in the best traditions of entrepreneurship and innovation, not with tutorials on how to claim as many benefits as possible.’

SOURCE

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