The Prime Minister suggested at the Conservative party conference that the era of unskilled mass immigration is over. Resuming his characteristic boosterism the PM insisted that a newly sovereign Britain will no longer allow the economy to use low-skilled labour from foreign countries as a crutch. Really? In fact, despite the ending of free movement (hurrah!) at the wider level, what the PM said is deeply misleading as the government has also enormously widened the scope for semi-skilled labour from all over the world under the new immigration system: about half of all full time UK jobs are now exposed to competition from up to 600 million people from around the world. And, crucially, there is no longer an annual cap. There is every likelihood that immigration will increase rather than reduce. This is not control! You can read more about this here.
Earlier in the week the Home Secretary Priti Patel, again, spouted the usual empty rhetoric about breaking the business model of people-traffickers and ‘sending back the boats’ coming here on the Channel. Bearing in mind that we have already seen 17,000 people cross illegally from France this year (more than double the number by this time in 2020) and there is no sign of anyone being sent back, what possible credence can we put on a speech designed for the party faithful in the conference hall and little else. Even as Parliament considers new legislation that would give the Border Force more enforcement powers, the real question is whether the government has the ‘guts’ (the PM’s word) to take effective action. Or, will they continue to cave in to the open borders industry irrespective of what new powers the government give themselves?
Blog of the week
One reason to doubt whether changing the law on its own will be enough to make a difference is the sorry state of the authorities’ record in pursuing court action against illegal entry. From 2018 to 2021 there were more than 60,000 detected unauthorised entries (with numbers continuing to rise). However, between 2017 and 2021, there were fewer than 50 convictions per year under Section 24 of the Immigration Act 1971 – the main legal provision that criminalises illegal entry. Contrast this with the total number of people convicted for violating TV License rules (114,000 in 2019 alone!) and you get a clear picture of the warped priorities our authorities have. The double standards are stark. What is even worse is that now the Crown Prosecution Service have said that migrants entering Britain illegally will not face prosecution (see Telegraph article). So, it is ok to throw the book at ordinary citizens while turning a blind eye to tens of thousands of illegal entrants. This is not on. Read the full blog here.
Migration Watch in the news
Our Chairman Alp Mehmet was quoted widely in the news this week. You can see his comments below:
‘Until you return people, what’s the point of saying you’re going to break the traffickers’ business model.’
‘The population increased by seven million over the last 20 years, that is largely because of immigration and children of migrants. So, yeah, we are pretty full frankly.’
See here for Alp’s full response to the Home Secretary’s speech.
‘A very disappointing speech. It may have gone down well with the audience but contained little of substance or new. The flow of illegal Channel crossings, already over 17,000 this year, is not about to slow as a result of what the Home Secretary said.
‘There was also nothing in the speech about the overall scale of immigration, which the points-based system was to have controlled and reduced. It won’t. Limits have been abandoned, earnings and qualifications thresholds have been lowered, exposing some seven million jobs to workers from around the world, new uncapped routes into jobs at all pay levels have been opened and employers don’t have to look locally before recruiting overseas. Some control.’
And see also Alp’s response to the Prime Minister’s conference speech:
‘Mr Johnson is putting a bold face on potentially disastrous immigration policies. Immigration is neither under control nor reducing. Covid has helped to screw up immigration statistics but the public will be very angry when the truth comes out.’
Make your voice heard
Finally, our usual reminder to contact your MP. One of the most powerful weapons we all have to use against our politicians is the threat of not voting for them next time we get the opportunity. If you feel as disillusioned as we do with the government’s continuing failure to control and reduce immigration, make your voice heard by clicking here. You can read more about the government’s Border Control Betrayal here.