Events in Afghanistan this week have dominated the headlines, while the predictable calls from many have been to take in unlimited numbers of refugees from that blighted country. We must of course provide refuge for those who worked for us and are a target for the vengeful and barbaric Taliban, notwithstanding what their smooth-talking spokesmen may say to the world’s cameras. There will be others who would qualify for asylum, should they ask for it, under the refugee convention. Given there are some 40 million Afghans and another five million or so displaced and in nearby states, we really have to be careful about offering to take in all Afghans who want to leave Afghanistan following the Taliban’s take-over. We have already made that mistake by offering a path to settlement to over five million Hong-Kongers, (see our briefing paper) let’s not repeat that error by not thinking through the consequences of another knee-jerk reaction.
As our President Lord Green said to the Lords this week, our priority must be to British nationals and to those who have worked directly with us during our time in Afghanistan. Humanitarian efforts must be balanced with an awareness of the potential impact on our own overcrowded, congested communities (which are already facing a punishing housing crisis and the ongoing loss of green space) as our population continues to skyrocket. As our recent two papers have highlighted (see here and here), the UK has experienced unprecedented demographic change since 2001 – with nearly seven million out of the total eight million population rise driven by the massive and uncontrolled influx from all parts of the world. The price of helping Afghans cannot become a matter of robbing British Peter to pay Afghan Paul, much as we we sympathise with and want to help Paul in his hour of need.
This is all especially true at a time when the integrity and security of our borders has been revealed as a charade, with tens of thousands of people illegally crossing the Channel from safe places since the start of 2018 (some 12,000 already this year) – see our Channel Tracker here. It is vital to restore proper border control and enforcement. President Macron has said he will be tough on the amount of people who can come to Europe. We’ll believe that when it when it happens. He could signal his intent by accepting back those who cross the Channel, having made it to the northern shores of France with alacrity and then paid huge amounts to traffickers for the privilege of taking a dangerous journey towards Dover.
Blog of the week
You have no doubt heard the oft-repeated trope that Britain is a ‘nation of immigrants.’ The idea behind this empty cliché is to claim that the surge in immigration the UK has experienced since 2001, with an average yearly net intake of 300,000 people, is just par for the course. It was, the open borders advocates tell us, ever thus. Except, it wasn’t. The levels of immigration over the previous two decades are unprecedented in our history. In fact, as Ed West detailed in his book The Diversity Illusion, the UK’s population has remained remarkably homogenous for most of its history. This has, no doubt, contributed to the relative historical continuity and organic evolution that we have enjoyed as an island, especially compared to many other countries. We published a blog highlighting the key facts in Mr West’s book that debunk the claim that mass immigration is business as usual for Britain. You can read it here.
Migration Watch in the news
Our Chairman Alp Mehmet was in demand again this week. See his comments here:
‘All this will do is attract even more people to come.’
And some reactions to other stories this week:
‘The humanitarian impulse needs to balanced by common sense. There are 40 million people in Afghanistan and 5 million displaced from the country already. It is foolish and dangerous to push, as some have, simply to open the door to as many as wish to come. We cannot simply dismiss the potential impact on the communities that will bear the brunt of the added pressures from our taking in large numbers of refugees.’
‘Creating a permanent system of holding those making their way here illegally “will only incentivise people smugglers and law-breakers further”. I agree with Natalie Elphicke, MP for Dover and Deal, the money could be better spent on enforcement and turning back illegal entrants.’
Make your voice heard
Nearly six in ten British voters think immigration has been too high and nearly three quarters of the public believe the government is handling immigration badly (YouGov tracking polls result for August 2021 here and here). Even so, our out-of-touch credentialed class continues to push numbers up and up. In reality, the British public’s feelings on mass immigration are an inconvenient truth for those in Westminster who prefer to pander to vested interests and the bloated open borders industry. The government keeps adding wide new uncapped routes into the UK, and it has comprehensively weakened key controls on existing avenues such as skills thresholds and the requirement for companies to give UK workers priority for job openings. A big giveaway about the lack of control is that the principal economic work visa route has no cap on the number of people who can be granted permits to take up jobs here. If this bothers you, then please do consider writing to your MP and joining in the fight ensure democracy is respected.