Britain Rethinks Immigration Policy


/ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5
Time To Go Back Home
Give me your tired, your poor, your … ballet dancers? How Britain is rethinking immigration.

Would-be migrants, take note: for the first time in modern British history, the government is soon expected to release a list of just who is and who is not eligible to move in and seek employment in the country. Apart from EU citizens, who are legally entitled to settle in Britain, the country is ready to welcome ballet dancers, geologists, engineers and others who the government has decided could fill crucial holes in the workforce. But others—midwives, social workers, curry chefs and others already in abundance in Britain—are being turned away.

It's all part of a new system that awards marks to prospective newcomers based on their skills or qualifications— a system that holds no place whatsoever for unskilled laborers, and one that former immigration minister Liam Byrne has said will ensure that "only those we want and no more come here to work."

Such micromanagement reflects a growing concern over immigration, long a hot-button issue in the rest of Europe and an increasingly contentious one in Britain. Almost alone in the EU, the British threw open their doors to migrants from the new member states in 2004. Tax breaks for wealthy foreigners helped attract Arabs and Russians to London. But such generosity has its limits. Net immigration topped 300,000 in 2006, three times the average figure in the mid-'90s—a level "unprecedented in our history," according to a parliamentary inquiry earlier this year. With the exception of the United States, Britain took in more immigrants in 2006 than any of the world's leading economies, according to the latest figures from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

More recently, England outstripped the Netherlands to become the most densely populated country in Europe, apart from tiny Malta, according to government statistics. And there's more to come: over the next 50 years, the United Kingdom's population will climb roughly 25 percent, from 61 million to 77 million, according to EU projections. By contrast, the populations of Germany and Italy are expected to fall (from 82 million and 58 million, respectively), while France will gain just 10 million—a 16 percent increase from its current population of 62 million.

Given the magnitude of the numbers, immigration has ranked as the "No. 1 issue of public concern," the inquiry found, ahead of terrorism or law and order over the past several years. As the economy craters, opinion is now hardening. The mix of large numbers of incomers—particularly in London and southeastern England—has strained the budgets of local authorities in such areas as public housing and education, and complicated the standard calculus between immigration and economic gain. On the one hand, ministers are keen to claim a link between immigration and Britain's economic performance under Labour rule. On the other, they recognize that a nervous public wants action. The champions of change point in particular to the parliamentary inquiry's conclusion that there was "no evidence that net immigration generates significant economic benefits for the existing U.K. population." A poll last month found that more than 80 percent of voters from both the leading parties favored stricter curbs on immigration.

Already, the government has introduced sweeping changes. Apart from restricting immigration to particular categories of skilled workers, it has created a new uniformed border control force at ports and airports and recently launched an identity-card program for some foreign residents. But politicians, Conservative and Labour alike, are pressing for still stronger measures. A newly formed all-party coalition of M.P.s last month called for an annual cap on immigrants from outside the EU as well as limiting their stay in Britain to just four years. The goal: to stabilize the population at 65 million by midcentury.

Then there's a further complication: political strategists know that pushing too hard on the immigration issue can raise accusations of racism. Notably, Prime Minister Gordon Brown made no reference to the subject in his keynote speech to last month's Labour Party conference. For that matter, Conservative leader David Cameron, while endorsing the idea of a cap, has also shied away from the subject, eager to avoid the old image of his party as xenophobic.

Paradoxically, the country's best hope for dealing with the issue without creating a major political battle may lie with recession. A poor economy typically sparks resentment against immigrants, who are seen as taking much-needed jobs from the native-born. But anecdotal evidence suggests that tens of thousands of Poles are already heading home as the British economy falters. Others may be following, and by next year the country might not be looking so attractive to those rejected midwives and curry chefs anyhow.
When I saw this article I suddenly thought of how Pugz would be happy about it so I decided to share it here. :lol:


Endangered Species
This is one of those stories I resent and this sentence sums it up:

A poor economy typically sparks resentment against immigrants, who are seen as taking much-needed jobs from the native-born.
Immigrants do not take jobs they compete for jobs just like everybody else. They have an equal claim to apply for a job, the difference being is they dont price themselves out the market like the "natives" do. If you can not get a job due to migrant workers then you have to be realistic and ask your self a.)am I competitive b.)am I in the right job.

The question of immigration is all about the economic system it has little compassion towards the workers their ethnicity or homestead, it is the wonderful world of capitalism. We can buy our TVs from Japan, our cars from Germany, our washing machines from Italy and our clothes from China, we can also employ our staff from Poland, Bangladesh and the Philippines! There is very little difference. The economic gains in the long run will always add to and enhance the local infrastucture that has to absorb the initial population bloom.

You rarely hear a British politician complain about the number of British migrant workers in Iraq, Bahrain, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Norway, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, the US, India, China to name but a few. Where the majority of enginbering projects are led by British engineers, a large portion of the financial markets have British bankers and consultants. They may not be sweeping the toilet floor but they are competing for jobs against the local populous, whilst increasing productivity and generaly benefiting the local economy. Hell they even create a job by having a toilet floor for someone to sweep;). The migrant workers give jobs to those who manage them in admin, human resource and management, the shop keeper who serves them food and the landlord that charges them rent, to the builder who built the house.

If you blame anyone it is not the migrants but the economic system, yet when we all so blatantly abuse it who are we to judge.

Edit: I thought I throw this in to lighten things up a little
YouTube - Doug Stanhope on Immigration
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Registered Member
This is one of those stories I resent and this sentence sums it up:

A poor economy typically sparks resentment against immigrants, who are seen as taking much-needed jobs from the native-born.
The real issue here is the media linking anti-immigration policies to financially inclined xenophobia.. it sounds logical and it provides a scapegoat (a retarded joe the plumber who cannot think outside of his wallet), but it's simply NOT TRUE.
Complaints about the immigration policies are at least a decade old and were first raised in times of economic prosperity and welfare, not in times of crisis. Furthermore, it takes more than a week for politicians to come up with new policies, so it's not the current crisis who has stimulated them to come up with these 'xenophobic' ideas. It's just another part of the current 'let's link it to the crisis'-franzy combined with a politically correct urge to relate 'xenophobia' (or rather any measure that isn't pro-minority or pro-immigration) to financial egoism and shortsightedness, or downright stupidity..
It seems more logical to me that the crisis has not lead to random xenophobia, but rather to a careful reconsideration of economics and finances. Things have to be done more effectively. How? By keeping useful workers and keeping out those who are superfluous. That has nothing to do with xenophobia, it's common sense.

I've got nothing against polish people working in vital sectors, as long as the competition is equal (which is often not the case, as migrant workers tend to take things easily on the rules) and their stay is temporary.
The kind of immigration the British government wants to limit is that of people who have nothing to offer. Who are neither political refugees nor useful for the economy. People bound to end up living on state benefits.
Sounds like a healthy measure to me.


Ms. Malone
I'm actually quite indifferent about this, it's good to know that we're not just letting in ANYONE but it's still making it harder for us average joes who want a job, have qualifications but are still being beaten by forigners who are willing to work for less.