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A lively All Party Parliamentary in Portcullis House yesterday.
Arriving a tad late thanks to an enormous queue to get through the security checks at the buildings entrance, I managed to catch the end of Dr Martin Ruhs’ address. Representing the Migration Advisory Committee, he spoke of the coming consultation on settlement and the effect of raising the skills threshold in the Points-Based System and how this could potentially have a far greater effect on migration than imposing a lower cap.
Once again, the debate was dominated by the question of what were the economic benefits to the UK on offer through immigration. Continue reading
Cameron’s speech may well have been the first in a number designed only to rev up its local election campaign, but for all of his talk of immigration having ‘immeasurably benefitted’ the UK, the message is clear; there are too many immigrants here, and as the Sun puts it, they’re ‘tearing us apart’. But are they really?
Let’s put this in perspective. According to the UNDP 2010 figures, those who were born in a foriegn country only account for 10.4% of the UK’s population– this figure is actually likely to have fallen further. Contrast this to Germany, France, Austria, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Switzerland and the US and you soon find that they all actually have higher percentages of migrants as a total Continue reading
A very interesting and productive meeting at ippr this morning. Entitled Policy Impact and Public Debate: Learning lessons from the migration cap and student visa reforms, the roundtable included campaigners, thinkers, education agencies and legal minds.
We had the written judgment in relation to our policy challenge in Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 3524 (Admin) (17 December 2010) yesterday. Please see our earlier posts on the background to this.
The judgment is available at the JCWI main website. There are various typos, and problems with the other versions currently in circulation on the net.
It’s not as yet clear whether the Secretary of State is going to seek to appeal the judgment or not, nor what their policy in dealing with cases that were refused on the basis of the interim cap is. We’re awaiting a response to some questions that we’ve put to them about this and current policy following our visa age challenge case.
We’ve just finished knocking together a quick response to UK Border Agency Consultation The Student Immigration System.
Basically the UK Border Agency has been looking for ways to significantly reduce the number of non-EEA students and graduates in the UK in order to reach its overall objective of reducing immigration to the UK to the level of the 1990s.
The wisdom of cutting student numbers – 8 facts worth knowing Continue reading
Guest Post: by Valerie Hartwich. Valerie is convenor of the ‘Visiting artists and academics’ campaign of the Manifesto Club and writes the Free Movement blog at their website. This post is the second response published here to the Government’s consultation on Student Immigration. The deadline for responses to the consultation is 31 January 2011.
For months now a clampdown on the student migrant route has been expected. Finally, a consultation on capping tier 4 was announced last month. Facing pressure by the business lobby but intent on keeping their migration electoral promise, Damian Green and Theresa May had long prepared the ground by repeatedly mentioning just how many non-EEA students come and stay in the UK after their studies. In doing so, they had been working public opinion into a dam against the strong opposition they know they will face, in order to pass a series of worrying proposals. Continue reading
The High Court’s judgment in relation to our joint challenge along with the English Community Care Association is a welcome development (all be it one which may come to be appealed). It confirms once again that the Government cannot altogether simply sideline Parliament’s role in scrutinising its Immigration Rules – in this case the numerical limits it sought to impose as part of the interim cap scheme. It also of course has significant implications for the migrants who were affected by the imposition on an unlawful interim cap.