Migrant amnesty never works

Letter by Sir Andrew Green
The Independent, London, 04 May, 2007


Calls for an amnesty for illegal immigrants are thoroughly misconceived. Exactly this has been attempted in Italy five times and in Spain six times in the past twenty years. On almost every occasion there were more applicants than for the previous amnesty. Clearly, a principal effect is to encourage further illegal immigration.

Furthermore, suggestions that it could "net" the Treasury £1bn per year are simply false. This calculation takes no account of the extra cost to the welfare state of a further half a million citizens. The true net cost will be of the order of at least £500m per year.

A further problem is that those granted amnesty will be entitled to social housing and, as they bring their families over, they will move up the priority list. There can surely be no justification for rewarding illegal behaviour at the expense of the taxpayer in this way.

© Copyright of Sir Andrew Green
Chairman Migrationwatch UK

The Independent, London, 04 May, 2007


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