February 28, 2010
The latest headache for NSW prison authorities is how to safely house the five terrorists convicted this month of plotting bomb attacks in Sydney. With sentences ranging up to 28 years, the challenge will be how to prevent these unrepentant Islamist extremists from radicalising other inmates in Goulburn’s supermax high security prison. This week the Premier, Kristina Keneally, told Parliament the men are still a danger, as presumably were their four co-accused who were sentenced earlier. She has reportedly ordered a “deradicalisation program”, although clearly the only surefire way is to keep them in isolation.
This reminder of the reality of home-grown terrorism came as the Prime Minister released the government’s counter-terrorism white paper this week. As the Herald’s Jonathan Pearlman reported, Rudd insisted on highlighting the threat from jihadist and home-grown terrorists in defiance of advice from departmental officials, who had deemed it inflammatory. The timing of the release of the white paper was questionable – in the middle of the insulation furore – but it is still a credit to Rudd that he did not follow advice to sugarcoat the truth about terrorist threats.
Among other things, the white paper states the scale of the threat of home-grown terrorism depends on “the size and make-up of local Muslim populations, including their ethnic and/or migrant origins, their geographical distribution and the success or otherwise of their integration into their host society”.
This is something that is rarely discussed. Debate over the make-up of immigration programs has been largely shut down and marginalised as a redneck racist pastime. But we have vivid evidence of the consequences of poorly managed immigration in the disproportionate number of problems that have emerged from some Lebanese families who arrived in 1977 and integrated poorly into south-west Sydney.
The prime minister of the time, Malcolm Fraser, has been out and about lately, accusing the modern Liberal Party of extreme conservative tendencies, while promoting his new book. But he has never adequately explained why he ignored warnings from his immigration department that relaxing normal eligibility standards to accept thousands of Lebanese Muslims escaping the civil war was problematic.
As cabinet documents from 1976 revealed, he was warned that too many of the new arrivals were unskilled, illiterate and “of questionable character”, and there was a danger “the conflicts, tensions and divisions within Lebanon will be transferred to Australia”. The consequences of poor integration today include social unrest, which culminated in the Cronulla riots and their violent aftermath.
And some of our worst home-grown terrorists have come from that community. They include M, the 44-year-old ringleader of the five men convicted of preparing a terrorist act this month, who cannot be named for legal reasons. He came to south-west Sydney with his family from Lebanon in 1977, along with 11 siblings.
NSW Supreme Court Justice Anthony Whealy said in sentencing M this month: “There is no present indication that [he] will ever renounce the extremist views. [He] has all the hallmarks of an offender whose motivation is not that of financial or other material gain but … from an extremist religious conviction.”
Also born in Lebanon was his co-conspirator, Mr K, 36, who migrated to Sydney in 1977 when he was three. Justice Whealy said K had “absolute contempt for the Australian government and its laws [and an] extremist conviction that sharia law should rule, even in this country.” Also convicted was his brother, L, 32, born here and likely to represent a danger to the community “even upon his release many years hence”.
The court heard the five men had bought laboratory equipment and chemicals that could be used to make bombs: vast quantities of battery acid, acetone, hydrogen peroxide,methylated spirits and sulphuric acid. They shopped at Bunnings for PVC pipe and silver tape.
Whealy said they had on a USB stick “step-by-step” instructions for manufacturing explosives; electronic copies of The Sniper Handbook; and DVDs “glorifying the 9/11 hijackers”. There were videos showing the execution of hostages or prisoners by the mujahideen which were “particularly brutal, distressing and graphic”.
Justice Whealy also refers to an instructional video found in all but one of the offender’s houses. On it, “a masked mujahideen speaks in English with a very obvious Australian accent and says: ‘You kill us, so you will be killed. You bomb us, so you will be bombed’. This is an overly simplistic but reasonably accurate summation of the mindset of each of the offenders in this trial.”
It’s hard to believe in hindsight, now the evidence has been laid out and the men found guilty, but in 2005, when counter-terrorism laws were being amended and the men arrested, there was strident criticism of police and the government. Instead we should have been thanking police and security agencies for protecting us from attack.
But as the white paper says, past successes “should not give us any false confidence that all plots here can be discovered and disrupted”. “Australia is a terrorist target,” it says. “Public statements by prominent terrorist leaders and other extremist propagandists have singled out Australia for criticism and encouraged attacks against us both before and after September 11, 2001. “There are Australians who are committed to supporting or engaging in violent jihad in Australia and elsewhere. Most of these were born in Australia or have lived here since childhood.”
The paper says one of our strengths is our “inclusive multicultural society” and we must all work together to “reject ideologies that promote violence” and work at “reducing disadvantage, addressing real or perceived grievances and encouraging full participation in Australia’s social and economic life”.
Home-grown terrorism is as much a threat to the vast majority of law-abiding Australian Muslims as anyone else. So efforts to suppress the facts are counterproductive and ultimately lead to distrust and disharmony.
February 28, 2010
The carefully worded letters all send the same sympathetic messages to local ‘white families’ about the difficulties caused by the record rise in immigration. Soothing words of comfort are combined with powerful pledges of action to ease the pressure on jobs, school places and council housing. ‘There is a great deal of worry about the pressure on schools, doctors’ surgeries and housing allocations,’ reads one of them. ‘I want you to help me keep the pressure up on the Government in relation to reforming and updating our immigration and citizenship rules and laws.’
Stirring stuff indeed. So which party do you think is promising to fight the Government on these policy failings? The Conservatives? UKIP, perhaps? No, with astonishing hypocrisy, these pledges come from the Labour Party itself. For the authors are senior Labour MPs who fear losing their seats as a result of the political fall-out from the mass immigration policy that they gladly helped to implement.
Dozens of these letters from sitting Labour MPs have been passed to the Daily Mail – and the authors all have one thing in common. They are fighting for their political lives because of the threat posed by the odious, far-Right British National Party. They include Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary and key ally of Gordon Brown, and Margaret Hodge, the Culture Minister who is fighting a seat in the East End of London.
Some of the leaflets sent out to constituents include dubious immigration questionnaires and promises that local people will be put first in the jobs queue.
Labour’s hypocrisy has come to light only days after the scale of Labour’s deliberate plan to create a multicultural Britain through mass immigration was revealed. A draft Cabinet Office report, uncovered by a Freedom of Information request, showed how, in 2000, Labour ministers deliberately plotted to open the floodgates to new migrants to achieve the party’s ‘social objectives’. Traditionally, new immigrants vote for Left-wing parties. The document also revealed how those who dared to question this policy would be branded ‘racists’.
Today, however, on the cusp of a General Election, many Labour MPs have realised that their secret plan has backfired spectacularly. As a result of mass immigration, many of their core white working-class voters complain that they feel like second-class citizens in their own communities, and believe that immigrants are given unfair precedence for jobs and public services. As a result, Labour MPs in marginal seats or with a BNP threat are desperately scrambling to play the race card in a shameless attempt to be seen as acting tough on immigration after all.
One of the MPs at the heart of the new get-tough policy on immigration in constituency backyards is Mr Balls, who is the Prime Minister’s closest political friend. Mr Balls has been at the centre of Cabinet decision-making over the past decade and will have been only too well aware of Labour’s encouragement of a multicultural Britain. Mr Balls, a front-runner to succeed Mr Brown as Labour leader, has held two public meetings and produced direct mail and questionnaires on the immigration issue in his newly-created Morley and Outwood constituency. Significantly, the Schools Secretary’s Yorkshire constituency is a fertile breeding ground for the BNP, which already has one BNP councillor and hundreds of members registered locally.
In his recent constituency newsletter, Mr Balls wrote: ‘I want to have a conversation with you about immigration. What we really need is proper discussion about the difficulties and benefits that immigration can bring to our country.’ He admitted that there were ‘concerns about jobs in our area’, and asked: ‘Do you support updating our immigration laws so that: migrants who want to settle here must speak English? A probationary period should be passed before they are able to claim state benefits?’
It is a similar story in Barking – the East London constituency where BNP leader Nick Griffin is fighting the Culture Minister Margaret Hodge. With one of the highest rates of immigration in Britain, Barking has seen a massive social upheaval as a result of Labour’s policy, with many local families struggling to come to terms with the sheer number of new arrivals from abroad. Yet in a two-page letter to constituents, Mrs Hodge paints herself as being tough on immigration, saying that it can be ‘very unsettling’ for ‘predominantly white’ and ‘traditional East End families’. She adds: ‘I respect your concerns about the pace of change. It is wrong for others to dismiss these out of hand and rest assured that you do have my support on this.’
Earlier this month, Mrs Hodge even suggested that migrants should be forced to ‘earn’ the right to benefits and council housing over several years. She warned that British values of tolerance were under threat because of an increasing sense of ‘unfairness’ over immigration. Yet at no time has she accepted responsibility for her part in creating these problems, through her own Government’s bitterly controversial ‘social objectives’. Only now that her seat is under threat has she seen fit to speak out.
In Wakefield, West Yorkshire, the Government whip Mary Creagh has produced similar leaflets and surveys on immigration. ‘One issue comes up time and time again,’ she writes, ‘immigration, and in particular its impact on local communities and the Wakefield job market.’ It is a desperate response to the fact that the BNP captured 13 per cent of the vote in her area at the European elections – and may build on that support at the General Election. In an echo of Mr Brown’s doomed slogan ‘British jobs for British workers’, Ms Creagh asks her constituents whether: ‘Jobs should be advertised first to people in Wakefield before being opened up to overseas workers’ – a statement that would almost certainly fall foul of race relations legislation.
Such concerns have also preoccupied Gisela Stuart, the former junior health minister, who is defending a wafer-thin majority in Birmingham Edgbaston. She carried out a recent survey which invited responses to the proposition: ‘Migrants should have to pay into a fund to support communities experiencing significant change as a result of immigration.’
Or how about Tom Watson, the West Bromwich East MP and another close ally of the Prime Minister, who has also been busy posing as being tough on immigration? (Nick Griffin and other leading BNP figures took part in a St George’s Day parade through West Bromwich which was attended by 20,000 people). In a recent direct mail and survey about immigration, Watson declared: ‘Most people told me that they were concerned about the level of immigration. More surveys were returned than on any other subject I have asked you about in the past. ‘There is a great deal of worry about the pressure on schools, doctors’ surgeries and housing allocations. Also unsurprisingly, a lot of people also mentioned the issue of protecting local jobs. I want you to help me keep the pressure up on the Government in relation to reforming and updating our immigration and citizenship rules and laws.’
In Burton, Labour MP Ruth Smeeth has gone even further, actively campaigning to portray the Tories as the party that is soft on immigration. Defending a majority of just 1,421 – smaller than the number of BNP votes in her constituency at the 2005 election – Ms Smeeth has highlighted how London’s Conservative Mayor Boris Johnson is ‘campaigning for an amnesty for illegal immigrants’.
Such breathtaking hypocrisy from the party that has presided over the biggest influx of immigrants in British history has shocked even seasoned immigration campaigners. Sir Andrew Green, chairman of MigrationWatch UK, says: ‘It would seem that some Labour MPs are singing to an entirely different hymn sheet from the rest of the Government. ‘We have been pressing the Government on these issues for years. It appears to be only the onset of a General Election that has caused some of them to respond – even if it is in a surreptitious manner.’
Shown the evidence of Labour’s new electioneering tactic, Lord Carlile, QC, the Government’s independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, accused the MPs involved of willfully stirring up resentment and prejudice against immigrants. He says: ‘I don’t think that any candidate should demean him or herself by grovelling on the ground occupied by Nick Griffin and the BNP. ‘We need a sensible debate, and a true analysis of the effect of immigration issues on the economy, benefits and the work place. But pandering to and encouraging prejudice is a very bad idea.’
Lord Ouseley, the former chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, is similarly appalled by these 11th-hour demands for action from vulnerable MPs. ‘Where have they been for the past ten years while this is going on? It is only because it has become such a high-profile issue and they fear they are losing support that they are now raising it. No wonder people are so cynical. ‘They were too busy at Westminster to worry about the threat from the BNP. Yet their constituents have been worried about this issue for years. They are trying to shut the door now that the horse has well and truly bolted. ‘The voters these MPs are trying to reach out to will not fall for this. They feel alienated because they have seen a government that is more interested in wealth and celebrity and has allowed the financial sector to bring the whole edifice crashing down.’
One thing is certain: however offensive, it seems that Mr Balls and his fellow vulnerable MPs will stop at nothing to cling on to their jobs and perks.
February 27, 2010
The immigration minister has admitted that his own children have ‘suffered’ because of the number of foreigners who have flooded into Britain. In an extraordinary declaration, gaffe-prone Phil Woolas accepted the influx of migrants under Labour has taken a toll on local communities and services. Confronted by an unemployed man on a BBC2 Newsnight special, he said: ‘We recognise that. My own family… children have suffered from that.’
Mr Woolas, who has two sons, has a house in Chiswick, south west London, and Oldham, Lancashire, which is his constituency. It was not clear whether the minister was talking about class sizes or the pressure placed by migrants on school places or some other issue.
Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said: ‘The biggest impact from immigration in recent years has been on public services. ‘It seems extraordinary to have the immigration minister now admitting that – and from his own experience – but yet still defending the policy that caused the problems in the first place.’
It is the latest in a string of blunders for Mr Woolas. He was condemned as ‘deeply insensitive’ last December after claiming immigration officials were ‘putting their lives on the line’ for their country. He said UK Border Agency staff were ‘very brave’ as he defended bonus payouts of more than £10,000 each for 29 senior officials.
Just a month earlier, he was attacked for saying British troops were in Afghanistan partly to help control the number of immigrants heading to Britain – on the day five UK soldiers were killed there by a rogue policeman.
In May, he was humiliated when he was ambushed by Joanna Lumley over the plight of the Gurkhas. In hilarious scenes, the actress sought him out in Westminster and frogmarched him to a live press conference for a very public dressing down.
His bizarre declaration came as new official figures revealed the number of foreigners given UK passports has soared. A total of 203,865 people were handed British citizenship in 2009 – an increase of 58 per cent on the previous year. Tens of thousands more immigrants were also given the right to settle in the UK, with the total up 30 per cent to more than 190,000.
Quarterly immigration figures, published by the Office for National Statistics, also showed a 30 per cent increase in student visa numbers last year compared to 2008. In the final three months of 2009, 61,715 student visas were issued – an astonishing rise of 92 per cent on the same period in 2008. The figures prompted questions over the effectiveness of the new points-based system for student visas.
Separate figures showed applications by asylum seekers arriving in the UK had dropped off, 30 per cent down on the previous year at 4,765.
Whitehall documents revealed this week confirm Labour encouraged mass immigration despite voters being against it. The Government said the public stance was down to ‘racism’ and ministers were told to try to alter the population’s attitude. The approach was unveiled after a document from 2000 prepared by the Cabinet Office and Home Office was finally disclosed in full under freedom of information rules. It showed that ministers were advised that only the ill-educated and those who had never met a migrant were opposed to immigration.
They were also told that large-scale immigration would bring increases in crime, but they concealed these concerns from the public. Sections of the paper, which underpinned Labour policies that admitted between two and three million immigrants to Britain in less than a decade, have already been made public. These have showed that Labour aimed to use immigration not only for economic reasons but also to change the social make-up of the country.
February 27, 2010
Passports were given to foreigners at the rate of two a minute last year. Officials approved a record 203,865 citizenship applications, 58 per cent more than in 2008. Another 190,000 immigrants were given the right to settle in the UK in 2009 – a rise of 30 per cent on the year before. Home Office figures show that 1.5million foreigners have become UK citizens since Labour came to power. In 1997, just 37,010 were granted the status.
Officials claim the massive rises during the past year may have been caused by migrants rushing to beat the supposedly tougher system of earned citizenship due to start next year. From then, obtaining a passport will usually take between six and eight years from a migrant’s arrival in the UK – rather than the current five. The figures also reflect the huge influx into Britain in the early part of the last decade. These arrivals are now reaching the stage where they can apply for passports.
Damian Green, Tory immigration spokesman, said: ‘It is now clear that immigration has been running out of control throughout the lifetime of this Government.’
A raft of statistics released yesterday showed that huge numbers of students continue to pour into the UK – despite concerns about bogus colleges and visas. In the final three months of 2009, 61,715 student visas were issued – an astonishing rise of 92 per cent on the same period in 2008.
The figures revealed a shift in the source of the arrivals. The number of Poles registering to work fell by a quarter at the end of last year, but arrivals from Latvia and Lithuania more than doubled. Overall, newcomers from the eight former Soviet countries which joined the EU in 2004 have halved since 2007.
The Institute of Public Policy Research think-tank said the figures showed the number of immigrants was falling as was the number of UK nationals emigrating. In the year to June 2009, 146,000 British nationals emigrated and 87,000 came back to the UK. This meant that net emigration was 59,000, down from 89,000 in the year to June 2008 – and a peak of well over 100,000 in 2004. In the same time period, net immigration by non-British nationals was 206,000, down from 257,000 in the year to June 2008. The weak pound has made it harder to afford to move abroad and, for most, made it more costly to stay there.
MPs Frank Field and Nicholas Soames, who chair the cross-party Balanced Migration Group, said: ‘The Government’s points-based system has had little effect, despite their repeated claims to the contrary. ‘Employment-related visas fell by only 20,000 last year, despite the recession. ‘There was also a modest fall in arrivals from Eastern Europe, as we have long predicted. ‘But the reality is that, based on these figures, we are still firmly on course for a population of 70million in 20 years or so.’
Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said: ‘I welcome those who want to become British citizens – the increase in number of grants is as a result of UK Border Agency working through applications quicker. ‘We are clear that being British is a privilege, not a right, and that British citizenship should be earned. ‘People who wish to settle permanently in the UK must earn that right by working hard, obeying the law and speaking English.’
February 27, 2010
Posted by jonjayray under Uncategorized
Given Fraser’s shaky attachment to the truth, one should ignore the claims below. He makes a great point of being “anti-racist” — to the point of sucking up to African dictators. It is sad that he has no other claim on praise, given the many wasted opportunities for constructive reform he had whilst Prime Minister
Former prime minister Malcolm Fraser has blamed the immigration department for some policies such as remote detention centres that he believes may have racist motivations. He argues that white farmers fleeing Robert Mugabe’s regime in Zimbabwe would not have been held in remote detention centres like more recent asylum seekers have been.
“The whole idea for establishing a detention centre in a remote, harsh place … that sort of idea came out of the department,” Mr Fraser told ABC Television on Tuesday. Asked if there was a racist culture within the department, he replied: “Maybe.”
Mr Fraser added the Rudd government was “a little” better than the former coalition government when it came to the treatment of asylum seekers. He also challenged the coalition argument that Labor had lost control of Australia’s borders. The former prime minister has given media interviews to promote his book, Malcolm Fraser: The Political Memoirs by Malcolm Fraser and Margaret Simons.
February 26, 2010
Zogby Poll Finds Wide Support for Enforcement, Lower Numbers
While it is sometimes assumed that minorities, particularly Hispanics, favor increased immigration and legalization for illegal immigrants, a new Zogby survey finds that minority voters’ views are more complex. The poll of Hispanic, Asian-American, and African-American likely voters finds some support for legalization. But overall each of these groups prefers enforcement and for illegal immigrants to return home. Moreover, significant majorities of all three groups think that the current level of immigration is too high. These views are in sharp contrast to the leaders of most ethnic advocacy organizations, who argue for increased immigration and legalization of illegal immigrants. The survey used neutral language, avoiding such terms as “amnesty,” “illegal alien,” or “undocumented.”
In contrast to the leadership of many ethnic advocacy groups, most members of minority groups think immigration is too high.
* Hispanics: 56 percent said it is too high; 7 percent said too low; 14 percent just right.
* Asian-Americans: 57 percent said immigration is too high; 5 percent said too low; 18 percent just right.
* African-Americans: 68 percent said it is too high; 4 percent said too low; 14 percent just right.
Most members of minority groups do not feel that illegal immigration is caused by limits on legal immigration as many ethnic advocacy groups argue; instead, members feel it’s due to a lack of enforcement.
* Hispanics: Just 20 percent said illegal immigration was caused by not letting in enough legal immigrants; 61 percent said inadequate enforcement.
* Asian-Americans: 19 percent said not enough legal immigration; 69 percent said inadequate enforcement.
* African-Americans: 16 percent said not enough legal immigration; 70 percent said inadequate enforcement.
Most members of minority groups feel that there are plenty of Americans available to fill unskilled jobs.
* Hispanics: 15 percent said legal immigration should be increased to fill unskilled jobs; 65 percent said there are plenty of Americans available to do unskilled jobs, employers just need to pay more.
* Asian-Americans: 19 percent said increase immigration; 65 percent said plenty of Americans are available.
* African-Americans: 6 percent said increase immigration; 81 percent said plenty of Americans are available.
When asked to choose between enforcement that would cause illegal immigrants in the country to go home or offering them a pathway to citizenship with conditions, most members of minority groups choose enforcement.
* Hispanics: 52 percent support enforcement to encourage illegals to go home; 34 percent support conditional legalization.
* Asian-Americans: 57 percent support enforcement; 29 percent support conditional legalization.
* African-Americans: 50 percent support enforcement; 30 percent support conditional legalization.
This survey of minority voters shows that when it comes to the issue of legalizing illegal immigrants, these voters disagree with the leadership of many ethnic advocacy groups. Most voters want the law enforced and illegal immigrants to return to their home countries. Overall they also feel that the current level of immigration is too high. The poll specifically asks voters to put aside the issue of legal status and focus only on the numbers. Even so, most think the level of immigration is too high and very few think it is too low. Not surprisingly, when it comes to allowing more unskilled workers into the country, most Hispanic, Asian-American, and African-American voters feel there are plenty of Americans here to do such work; employers just need to pay more.
The overall findings of this poll show a significant divide between the perception that minority voters want legalization and increased legal immigration and the reality, which is that they want enforcement and less immigration. Like most Americans, minority voters are not anti-immigrant or anti-immigration per se. Moreover there is not unanimity on the immigration issue among or between groups. What the poll does show is that, like most Americans, Hispanic, Asian, and black voters want the law enforced and illegal immigrants to go home. Moreover, they think the overall level of immigration is too high. When some leaders of minority groups speak on immigration and argue for legalization, they are merely offering their own personal opinions, not necessarily those of voters in these communities.
Zogby International was commissioned by the Center for Immigration Studies to conduct an online survey. A sampling of Zogby International’s online panel, which is representative of the adult population of the United States, was invited to participate. Zogby maintains the panel and has used it for other surveys. Slight weights were added to region, party, age, race, religion, gender, and education to more accurately reflect the U.S. population. The survey included roughly 700 Hispanic, 400 African-American, and 400 Asian-American likely voters.
The survey was conducted by Zogby from November 13 to 30, 2009. The margin of error for likely voters is +/- 0.5 percent. The margin of error for Hispanic likely voters is 3.7 percent; for African-Americans it is 4.7 percent; and for Asian-Americans voters it is 5.1 percent.
The poll is available online here
The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076. Email: email@example.com. Contact: Steven A. Camarota, (202) 466-8185, firstname.lastname@example.org
February 26, 2010
New figures show mixed results in the U.K. government’s efforts to tighten entry requirements for foreign workers and students, as immigration heats up as an election issue here. The 2009 statistics show fewer foreign workers are coming to the U.K., though the number of student visas issued to non-Europeans continues to rise.
The country has seen a dramatic increase in immigrants since the late 1990s, primarily Eastern Europeans and other foreigners seeking employment during the boom times. As jobs became scarce during the recession and U.K. citizens became increasingly uneasy about losing opportunities to foreigners, pressure has grown on the government to limit immigration.
Meanwhile, there has been pressure to tighten scrutiny of student visas, in part due to numerous incidents involving terrorism suspects who entered the country with student paperwork.
In response, the government two years ago began introducing new visa rules for non-European workers and students. Immigration specialists say the new rules—which include stiffer financial and qualification requirements—are making it tougher for some people to come to the U.K., or stay. In 2009, the number of visas issued to non-European workers and their families declined 21% from a year earlier, to 93,690, according to the Office of National Statistics. Most Europeans are free to seek work in the U.K. without a visa. Meanwhile, the number of student visas issued to non-Europeans increased 31% to 273,610. The U.K. issued two million visas in 2009, including family members and visitors, up 2% from a year earlier.
Polls show many voters want to see fewer immigrants.
Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said the decline in work visas “is a result” of the new visa system, rather than the economic downturn. The government hails the new system as the most significant changes to the U.K.’s immigration rules since World War II. The change, they say, protects British workers by allowing flexibility to prioritize entry for migrants for jobs that are difficult to fill.
However, some say the economic downturn is having a bigger impact than new policies, and point to the large increase in people leaving the country while arrivals have remained relatively steady.
The opposition Conservative Party argues that the government has lost control of the borders, putting pressure on jobs and public services. It pledges to cap the number of work visas issued, if it is voted into power in the spring election.
The net number of migrants coming into the U.K. has increased significantly to more than 200,000 in some years, up from fewer than 50,000 in 1997 when the current Labour government came into power, according to the Office for National Statistics. That equates to more than two million immigrants—a significant portion due to the inflow following the 2004 enlargement of the European Union to include countries such as Poland.
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