Public comprehensively reject calls for amnesty for illegal immigrants

July 05, 2006

The public has overwhelmingly rejected the idea of an amnesty for illegal immigrants.

In a poll for think tank Migrationwatch, conducted by YouGov, (see results*) 72% either strongly disagreed (45%) or disagreed (27%) with an amnesty while it was supported by just 11%. The results were broadly consistent across social class and region – except Scotland - with a stronger bias in the older age ranges.

‘One of the most fundamental responsibilities of Government is the control of a nation’s borders. However you dressed it up, an amnesty would be a clear admission of failure and an invitation to others to try their luck,’ said Migrationwatch chairman, Sir Andrew Green. ‘Wherever amnesties have been held they have failed to deal with the problem of illegal immigration. In fact they have simply made a bad situation worse.

‘An amnesty in Britain would cost the taxpayer at least £500 million a year. Our poll shows that the public fully understand that and are not fooled by the ‘spin’ put out it by its supporters in an attempt to “soften up” public opinion on the issue.’

The poll shows there is also a widespread and very strong feeling that the current level of immigration is too high. 75% either strongly agreed (47%) or agreed (28%) that there are too many immigrants coming to Britain. Just 11% disagreed or strongly disagreed.

And when asked if they thought the Government was in control of immigration into Britain a massive 81% either strongly disagreed (53%) or disagreed (28%) with just 8% strongly agreeing or agreeing.

There is also a feeling among a majority of the public that the highest level of immigration in our history is having a negative effect on British society.

When asked ‘whether Britain has been changed for the worse by immigration because something of our traditional culture has been lost’ 55% either strongly agreed (31%) or agreed (24%) with 27% either strongly disagreeing or disagreeing.

There was a similar division of opinion over the statement ‘We need immigrants to do the jobs that British people will not do.’ 52% strongly disagreed (23%) or disagreed (29%) but 26% strongly agreed (4%) and agreed (22%).

‘These findings are a damming indictment of the Government’s record on immigration and show just how out of touch they are with strong public feeling on the issue,’ said Sir Andrew. ‘They show widespread frustration that the legitimate concerns of the public on this major issue are effectively being ignored by a government that refuses to place any limits on immigration.’

* To view these results you may require Microsoft Excel Viewer. Please download from this link.

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