Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cleggs Immigration Policy

Hard as it may be to believe, the Lib Dems are even more determined than Labour to dismantle our borders. The Liberal Democrat leader continually boasts about his 'honesty', but by far the most dishonest moment in last Thursday's debate was when Clegg talked tough about immigration.
With frightening hypocrisy, he spoke of a crackdown and more rigorous frontier controls, while also accusing Brown of presiding over 'chaos'.

But Clegg's words were hollow. For in its advocacy of an extraordinarily lenient policy on migration, his party's manifesto represents a huge blow to Britain's social cohesion and national identity. For too long already under Labour, immigration has been out of control, with 5.4 million people settling here since 1997.
During recent years the annual number of arrivals has been running at more than 500,000, and that doesn't include the countless number of illegal immigrants. Even in 2009, after all Labour's noisy rhetoric about new restrictions, the immigrant total was still 518,000.
Never in our history has this nation been through such a dramatic demographic change, and the trend is speeding up. No fewer than a quarter of all births in Britain are to foreign- born mothers, with the figure rising to an astonishing 55 per cent in London.
For the Lib Dems want to institute a full amnesty for illegal immigrants living in Britain, meaning such law- breakers could work, demand benefits and gain British citizenship.
The party's manifesto asserts that this would not only boost our economy by turning illegals into taxpayers, but also free up the police to concentrate on real crimes.
But such claims insult the intelligence. The truth is that, once granted, an amnesty would act as a magnet for migrants from all over the world, as others would quickly realise that they would almost certainly be treated with the same welcoming leniency if they were to come here illegally.
Human trafficking would rocket. Relatives of illegals, from spouses to distant uncles, would pour into the country. The Government admits that it 'doesn't have a clue' how many illegal migrants there are in Britain, but reliable estimates point to at least 750,000.
If an amnesty were implemented, that number could be more than trebled by the subsequent, completely legal arrival of all their dependants. An amnesty would stretch our overly generous welfare system to breaking point.
The great myth of the pro-immigration lobby is to pretend that newcomers have been the engine of economic prosperity. True, many have made a wonderful contribution to this country.
But the fact is that any economic gains have been outweighed by the colossal costs to the public sector in housing, education, healthcare and social security. As a host of authoritative studies shows, migrants are more likely to be in receipt of benefits than the British-born population.
It is one of the reasons why our public finances have sunk into massive deficits during a period of unprecedented immigration. Moreover, there is a terrible injustice about an amnesty, in that it both makes a mockery of the law by rewarding criminals and is grossly unfair on those who settled here legally.
And the modern history of the western world is that amnesties do not work. Since 1980, Italy has had 20 of them and Spain six, as a result of which immigration in both countries has soared.
Similarly, the U.S. instituted an amnesty in 1986 when the number of illegals stood at 3.5 million. Today, that figure is thought to have reached 20 million. Far from serving as a symbol of decency, an amnesty represents a surrender to illegality. Such a move is a sign that a country has given up trying to maintain its borders.
But that is the entire thrust of the Lib Dems' policy. This is a party that no longer believes in the integrity of the United Kingdom. An 'EU-wide asylum system' is called for in the party's manifesto - meaning we have to surrender some of our border controls to bureaucrats in Brussels.
In the same undemocratic vein, the Lib Dems want to take power away from the Home Office and set up an 'Independent Agency For Asylum', as if Britain were not already drowning in state bureaucracy. At least the Home Secretary is answerable to Parliament and the electorate.
This quango, no doubt packed with the politically correct brigade, will be a law to itself, a honey-pot for Left-wing lawyers. In an even more unworkable measure, Clegg wants to introduce a 'regional points-based' system for the awarding of work permits, by which migrants would be encouraged to go 'to parts of the country which are short of workers'.
With more than five million Britons of working age living on benefits, the idea that there are any genuine shortages of workers is absurd. We should be pushing our own people into jobs, not importing yet more foreign labour by dishing out permits like confetti.
Furthermore, the regional basis of Clegg's plans is also hopelessly flawed - there is nothing to stop migrants gaining a permit for one area, then bringing in their family and moving to another area, where a full range of benefits can be claimed.
The Lib Dems' other policies in this area are similarly ill thought through. Everything about the Lib Dems is soft. They urge an 'end to the detention of children in immigration detention centres,' which, while sounding humane, in practice means yet more families being freed to live on the dole, since someone will have to look after these children.
They want to go easy on the deportation of failed asylum-seekers, another recipe for an explosion in bogus claims. In addition, they call for the abolition of the ban on asylum-seekers being allowed to work.
Given that a huge majority of refugees are economic migrants, this proposal amounts to a further incentive for more foreigners to arrive here, reciting their empty mantras about 'persecution'. In practice, the ban will just end up as another form of amnesty.
Yes, the British are a tolerant people but this small island and its social structure cannot cope with those numbers. The public is crying out for toughness on immigration, not more laxity and definitely not Clegg's scheme for even greater expansion of foreign incomers.

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