September 01, 2005
Here is a list of some of the key points which Migrationwatch has inserted into the debate on immigration and asylum:
1 Impact on population growth
Migrationwatch were first to point out that the Government had failed to include the children of immigrants when they claimed that immigration accounted for only just over half of expected population growth. After a reference to the Statistics Commission, we obliged the Government to admit that 84% of projected population growth is a result of immigration. In other words immigration will add just over 5 million, or 5 times the population of Birmingham, to the population of the UK in the next 30 years.
2 Failed asylum seekers
Migrationwatch first calculated that the number of failed asylum seekers still in Britain was over ¼ million. The Government denied it until the National Audit Office report in July 2005 confirmed that the potential pool of failed asylum seekers was between 155,000 and 283,500 as at the end of May 2004. Even these numbers do not include dependants (for whom 20% should be added). It is thus clear that the Migrationwatch estimate was a cautious one. We were also the first to point out that only one in five failed asylum seekers is actually removed.
3 Illegal immigrants
Having denied for years that it was possible to make an estimate, the Government eventually admitted that there could be up to ½ million illegal immigrants in Britain. Migrationwatch pointed out that the estimate was four years out of date and that ¾ million would be a more accurate figure. The Government have not denied this.
4 Immigration from Eastern Europe
The Home Office paper in April 2003 claimed that the maximum net migration from the new Eastern European members of the EU would be 5,000 – 13,000 a year. Migrationwatch pointed out in a report in August 2003 that this calculation was deeply flawed. We said that even 40,000 would be a cautious estimate. Immigrants are now arriving at the rate of about 160,000 a year. We do not yet know how many are leaving but it is clear that the Government estimate was hopelessly wrong.
5 Impact on housing
Migrationwatch were first to point out that, over the next twenty years, one new household in three would be the result of immigration. In other words we would need to build one million homes, purely for immigrants between now and 2021.
6 HIV, TB etc
In a report dated 18 June 2003, Migrationwatch drew attention to the implications of current immigration policy for the spread of HIV / Aids, Hepatitis B and TB. In July 2004 we called for HIV screening of visitors. In December we pointed out that 90% of newly diagnosed heterosexual infection were thought to have been acquired overseas mostly in Africa. The Government took no action on HIV but have now introduced screening for TB for applicants from high incidence countries.
7 Refugee Convention
Migrationwatch were among the first to call for Britain’s withdrawal from the 1951 Refugee Convention which limits our ability to deal rapidly with asylum claimants whose claims are clearly unfounded. Withdrawal is now Conservative policy.
8 The Hospitality Sector
Migrationwatch strongly opposed the quota system for workers in the hospitality sector introduced by the present government. We particularly opposed the importation of workers from Bangladesh, given that one in four young Bangladeshis in Britain is unemployed. The Government have now dropped the scheme owing to extensive corruption in the applications and, as we had pointed out, the availability of workers from new members of the EU.
9 Working Holiday makers
The Government widened the scheme and weakened the conditions in August 2003. We pointed out that it was wide open to exploitation and the Government have now had to tighten it up.
The Scottish Executive have been claiming that the population of Scotland is ageing and declining and have used this as a basis to call for more immigration. We have shown that the population is not declining and that immigration is no answer to an ageing population.
11 “White Flight”
Migrationwatch were the first to point to the flow of people from inner-city areas in London, the West Midlands and North of England. We were also able to demonstrate a correlation between the outflow and the ethnicity of the Boroughs which people were leaving.
12 The pensions argument
For some time, the Home Office claimed that the immigration would help to pay our pensions. We have shown that any such effect is only temporary and has the disadvantage of adding very significantly to our population. The Home Office have now dropped this argument. It is not included, for example, in their latest attempt to justify large scale immigration (in their recent consultation paper on work permits).
13 The economic arguments
We have demonstrated that the government’s economic case for immigration relies on distorted statistics. Their claim that migrants make up 8% of the population but contribute 10% of GDP does not take into account dependent children of immigrants. Their claim that immigrants add 0.4% to trend growth does not take account of their addition to the population.
27 August 2005