The poorest do not migrate

Michael McGuffie (letter, 6 September) links immigration controls with people being kept in poverty in the third world. This is not the case.

Immigration controls on legal routes to the UK do not affect the poorest people, as they would be required to pay for flights, visas and, in the case of students, their study programme. Illegal immigration often requires a payment to exploitative traffickers. Lax enforcement of immigration controls encourages illegal attempts that can end in the sort of tragedy mentioned in Mr McGuffie's letter.

Opening up our borders is not the solution, because of the vast numbers of people involved. Better to have well-published strong controls that would deter would-be illegal migrants while taking firm measures to encourage development of a kind that will help the poorest in third-world countries.

Matthew Pollard
Executive Director
Migrationwatch UK
London SW1

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