Despite last week’s tough rhetoric over asylum abuse, the government’s overall immigration policy is scarily weak. This week we published a paper about new rules allowing foreign students to take up any kind of work for up to two years after finishing their studies. You can also see our press release here.
Previously, non-EU graduates (who make up the vast majority of overseas university students) had up to six months in which they could look for work and apply for skilled work visas. Such applicants required a well-paid job offer from a government approved employer.
Yet this new scheme will punish the growing number of UK unemployed by further boosting immigration into low-paid jobs in yet another loosening of border controls. What is the point in having control over immigration if it is going to be used to continuously weaken the rules?
The government’s own Migration Advisory Committee specifically recommended against the introduction of this route yet the government is recklessly ignoring their advice. We are seriously concerned by the lack of safeguards attached to yet another avenue into the UK. Nearly two-thirds of the public want to see graduates have a well-paid job before being granted a visa, while 70% support an annual cap on work permits (something the government has scrapped). You can read the full paper here.
Below is an update of our work this week:
Blog of the week
Some (including Boris Johnson) want to grant an amnesty for those who are in the UK without a legal right to be here. The fact is that such amnesties have been tried many times and almost invariably the number goes up each time. An amnesty would simply provide the traffickers with another selling point. It would encourage dangerous Channel crossings in rickety boats and the backs of lorries; endangering ever more lives and filling the pockets of vile criminals. It would incentivise clandestine entry. An amnesty would be a dangerous path to take, apart from which a majority of the public would be against it. Our case against can be found here.
Migration Watch in media
Our Chairman has been quoted in the media this week and you can read his comments here:
‘The Government have collapsed in the face of pressure from the academic establishment.
‘These changes are bound to add to competition for lower-paid jobs at a time of very high unemployment of UK workers, especially younger people. They will also unravel hard won progress in tackling previously widespread abuse of study visas.’
The Daily Mail also picked up on this same story which you can read here.
‘More than double the number have crossed this year as came during January to March 2020.
‘These dangerous crossings will continue and go on increasing until it is made abundantly clear that the pathway to entering the UK illegally in order to claim asylum is closed.’
‘These figures are an eye-opener and confirm what we have long said about those crossing the Channel illegally to claim asylum, that they are mostly young men and irrespective of whether or not their claims are successful, few are returned.’
Don’t forget to join tens of thousands of others in viewing our Channel Tracking Station in order to keep up to date with what is going on in the Channel.
Make your voice heard
The revival of the deeply defective post-study work avenue into low-skilled jobs in the midst of a major jobs’ crisis will come as no surprise to many of our followers who have already written to their local MPs about the ongoing weakening of immigration control.
While rhetoric at the leadership level is often tough, and no doubt mostly well-meant, too much policy appears to be at the mercy of the open borders industry. A critical cap on work permits has been removed, employers are under no obligation to prioritise British workers and (as our research paper this week notes) skills and education thresholds on the main work permit route have been lowered.
We are faced with a powerful and resource-rich immigration lobby. As we say every week, one of the most effective ways of fighting back is to write to your local MP and voice your concerns. To do so click here.