INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION Nearly one million immigrants since 1997 Massive levels continue, despite fall in asylum

November 04, 2004

Figures released by the ONS today show that immigration remains at a very high level, despite the fall in asylum seekers that the government has been stressing. Net international migration to the UK in 2003 at 151,000 was almost the same as the 153,000 in 2002.

This was the fifth consecutive year that the level has been above 150,000 and it brings total net international migration to nearly 1 million (988,000) people between 1997 and 2003. This total, which does not include UK-born children of these migrants, is equivalent to the population of Birmingham.

An analysis by Migration Watch UK reveals that the number of asylum claimants included in the 2003 total is about 47,000 less than in 2002. This is caused by the reduction in new claims from 103,000 to 60,000 and the slight increase in the number of removals from 14,000 to 18,000.

The Government Actuarys long-term assumption for net international migration is 130,000. Even based on this assumption the UKs population will rise by 6.1 million in the 28 years between 2003 and 2031. Of this increase 5.2 million (84%) will result from immigration.

But the Government Actuarys assumption has now been exceeded in each of the last 6 years. If net international migration continues at this level of 151,000 the population of the UK will rise by 6.9 million by 2031 of which nearly 6 million (5,940,000) will be due to immigrants and their descendants. This is equivalent to six cities the size of Birmingham.

Commenting, Sir Andrew Green said This Government seems determined to pursue a policy of very large-scale immigration into the UK. They have reduced one route of entry, asylum, but opened many others. For instance, the number of work permits issued last year rose to a record 145,000 from just 36,000 in 1996. Immigration on this scale puts huge strains on our infrastructure. England is already the fifth most densely populated country in the world [1], and will become grossly overcrowded. The Government claim to have a policy of managed migration. In practice their policies take no account of the social impact on Britain, still less of the wishes of the British people of whom 80% want to see much tighter immigration controls.

[1] Excluding small island and city states such as Malta and Singapore only Bangladesh, Taiwan, South Korea and the Netherlands have higher population densities than England.

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