Amnesty For London’s 500,000+ Illegal Immigrants – ‘an Appallingly Bad Idea’


Amnesty, Employment, Housing, Welfare Benefits

The
Mayor of London’s remarks in India about an amnesty for illegal immigrants in
the capital would be a ‘kick in the teeth’ for the many thousands of young
people struggling to find a job because of the unfair competition they face,
says a think tank who have today issued a report on
the situation in the capital .

Boris
Johnson suggested that an amnesty for illegal immigrants is somehow inevitable
but, says think tank Migration Watch UK, with an estimated 500,000+ illegal
immigrants in London alone such plans would be a gross betrayal of those
seeking legitimately to get into the jobs market.

The
report points out, that every country that has tried amnesties has found that
they simply increase the number of illegals who, often correctly, have assumed
that they will also be offered a further amnesty in due course.

Secondly,
they reward illegal behaviour at considerable expense to the tax payers.

Even more importantly, illegal
immigrants come to (or stay on in) London precisely in order to work and,
often, to send money home. They mainly do low skilled work, which is exactly
the kind of job that young Londoners need to get into the labour market.

To get work, illegal
immigrants undercut the wages of British workers while  reducing the
opportunities for young Londoners. They also allow unscrupulous employers to
compete unfairly with honest ones who provide decent wages and conditions.

One
specific area which is highly topical at present is housing – especially social
housing – where the impact of such an amnesty would be felt particularly
strongly. All those granted an amnesty would be eligible for social housing and
they would also have the right to bring their families to Britain. Those that
had large families would move up the housing queue. A recent report from the
London School of Economics assumes that only 40% would require social housing
but, even on that extremely optimistic assumption, the costs of the public
sector subsidy would be £6.2 billion.

It is also clear there was no
public appetite for an amnesty of the kind mooted. A YouGov poll for the Sunday
Times in January 2012 found that 67% believe that illegal immigrants should be
deported immediately with no right of appeal. This is consistent with earlier
polling.

The report recognized that it
is clearly impossible to deport half a million people. It is, however, possible
to discourage an illegal existence in Britain. Fines against employers for
employing illegal workers should be much more vigorously enforced. Action
should also be taken against those who provide accommodation for illegal
immigrants. These measures, combined with the development of electronic border
checking, should progressively reduce the scale of illegal immigration in
Britain.

Commenting,
Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migration Watch UK said “The problem of illegal
immigration has to be tackled if opportunities for young people in Britain are
to be improved. A situation in which nearly a quarter of young Londoners, and
about half of young black Londoners, are unemployed simply cannot be allowed to
continue.  Amnesties are an appallingly bad idea.  They have been a
total failure in Italy and Spain; they have just sucked in more and more
illegals. It is highly irresponsible to suggest that an amnesty in the UK
is inevitable – especially in a country that is believed to be a major source
of illegal immigrants,” he said.

5th December 2012

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