Friday, September 6, 2013

Deep Freeze

After a few years of operation, this blog has only a small following -- less than 100 hits per day.  I have therefore decided to suspend operations here.  When major immigration events occur, however, I expect that I will cover them on one of my other blogs -- either DISSECTING LEFTISM or   POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH

Administration rebrands controversial immigration post to skirt funding cut-off

The Obama administration is being accused of trying to pull a fast one on lawmakers by re-branding a controversial immigration job -- a "public advocate" for both legal and illegal immigrants -- after Congress explicitly voted to defund it.

The administration over the summer quietly changed the name of the position, first created in February 2012, from "public advocate" to deputy assistant director of "Custody Programs and Community Outreach." It was a change in name only. The administration kept the person in charge and the job description the same.

By doing so, the White House has been able to keep the post off the congressional chopping block – a move Judicial Watch called “sneaky” in a recent report.

“It’s simply part of the president’s well-established pattern of abusing his authority to blow off Congress, especially when it comes to immigration,” the conservative government watchdog group said.

Andrew Lorenzen-Strait was appointed by Obama as the new public advocate for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in February 2012. 

The position was created to serve almost like an ombudsman, to help both legal immigrants and illegal immigrants facing removal proceedings. At the time, Obama had come under fire from his base for backpedaling on a campaign promise to enact comprehensive immigration reform. He responded by naming Lorenzen-Strait to the position.

That didn’t sit well with lawmakers like Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., who said the new position wasted taxpayer money by using it to advocate for people breaking the law.

In 2012, Black proposed a House measure to defund the job she called “an ill-conceived lobbyist position.”

“Using taxpayer dollars to fund a position whose primary purpose is to advocate on behalf of individuals who have broken our laws and entered our country illegally is ridiculous and certainly a waste of precious taxpayers’ money,” Black told “This is why language was inserted into the Continuing Resolution that was passed through the House and the Senate and signed into law last March that defunds the Public Advocate position.”

The provision, which is part of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013, reads: “None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to provide funding for the position of Public Advocate within U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

Black said the administration is "setting a dangerous precedent by breaking the very law he signed, and this kind of abuse of power will only undermine his agenda by destroying his credibility with Congress and the American people."

Chris Crane, president of the National ICE Council, the union which represents 7,600 ICE officers and agents, has called the public advocate position “nothing but waste, fraud and abuse.”

Others, like Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez, disagree.

“The only hope for recourse when enforcement goes bad is to call on the ICE Public Advocate, which seems to me like an essential tool in holding ICE accountable to the public,” Gutierrez told The Washington Times.

ICE defended Lorenzen-Strait’s position and told that “community outreach remains a necessary function at ICE in order to explain the agency’s mission and to be responsive to the needs of the public.”

ICE also credited him as “a career civil servant who serves as Deputy Assistant Director of Custody Programs and Community Outreach, has helped lead the agency’s public engagement and detention reform portfolio since being hired by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2008 during the previous Administration.”

Lorenzen-Strait began working for ICE in 2008. Prior to his government job, he worked as a lawyer in Maryland where he received awards for his pro bono work in Prince George’s County.

Calls from to several immigration advocacy groups were not returned.  The National Immigration Forum told it was too busy working on immigration policy issues to comment.


San Francisco Considers Ending Immigrant Detention

San Francisco is poised to become the first county in the country to stop detaining immigrants on behalf of the federal government.

An ordinance proposed by Supervisor John Avalos would make it illegal for local law enforcement to detain people only on the basis of their immigration status, The San Francisco Chronicle reports. The proposal heads to a committee vote on Thursday, where it is expected to pass to consideration by the full Board of Supervisors, enough of whom reportedly support the idea to withstand a veto from the mayor.

The city and county of San Francisco are governed locally by a Board of Supervisors rather than a City Council.

"The legislation is about due process against the arbitrary loss of liberty," Avalos told the Chronicle.

The first-of-its-kind law would mark a victory for immigrant rights advocates, who have opposed the soaring number of deportations under President Barack Obama and expanded cooperation between federal immigration authorities and local police under the program Secure Communities.

S-Comm, as its opponents -- including Avalos -- refer to it, is a fingerprint data-sharing agreement between agencies that allows Immigration and Customs Enforcement to check the criminal histories of undocumented immigrants after the arrest and flag them for detention and deportation.

The program’s critics say Secure Communities funnels too many people into the detention and deportation systems, including low-level offenders. Opponents contend that widening the deportation net undermines trust between police and immigrant communities, particularly among Latinos. Some 81 percent of undocumented immigrants were born in Latin America.

The draft of the city ordinance questions the constitutionality of immigration detainers issued under Secure Communities. “Unlike criminal detainers, which are supported by a warrant and require probable cause, there is no requirement for a warrant and no established standard of proof, such as reasonable suspicion or probable cause, for issuing an immigration detainer,” the draft reads.

The ordinance, if it were to become law, would require local law enforcement to ignore civil immigration detainers requested by ICE.  Avalos first introduced the measure in July.

Last year, San Francisco handed 542 people over to ICE after holding them on immigration detainers, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

The Obama administration has repeatedly butted heads with states like Arizona that want to take greater control over immigration enforcement, a role reserved for the federal government.

But the president has also conflicted with places like San Franciso that want to limit federal immigration authorities’ influence on their communities.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

British pupils pay the price for migrant influx

Children starting school this week will experience one of the most dramatic and worrying consequences of the biggest demographic upheaval in our history.

After the uncontrolled immigration of the Labour years, thousands of four- and five-year-olds are being packed into overspill ‘bulge’ classes, many housed in temporary schoolrooms or rented offices.

Meanwhile, record numbers are in oversized classes, with nearly 72,000 five-to-seven year-olds learning in groups of 31 or more – up from 31,265 in 2010.

Adding to the difficulties, of course, are the problems of handling growing numbers of pupils who speak little English.

Indeed, how can any teacher, faced with a class that speaks dozens of different native languages, hope to convey the basics to any pupil?

Truly, these youngsters, of every ethnic background, are victims of the taboo that for decades prevented politicians from challenging reckless migration policies, for fear of being branded as ‘racists’.

As the pressure intensifies – on schools, the NHS, housing, transport and jobs – a weekend poll found that 60 per cent believe immigration has damaged Britain.

Yet disturbingly, the latest figures show a surge in net migration to 176,000 last year, exposing the hollowness of the Government’s efforts to cut the net inflow below 100,000 by 2015.

And this is even before we throw open our borders to Romanians and Bulgarians next January.

Last week, when they rejected the plan to attack Syria, MPs spoke for the people. How much longer before they treat with the same seriousness the public’s concerns about migration’s threat to our well-being and national identity?


Mass immigration is testing Britons'  tolerance

Cowardly politicians and bizarre EU rules have allowed too many immigrants to enter Britain

When does an immigrant stop being an immigrant? How about the lovely guy who runs the shop where I buy my newspapers, a benevolent giant who chats to elderly customers with infinite patience because he knows that this will be their only conversation of the day: is he still an immigrant?

Or what about my friend whose parents are Sri Lankan? Does a quarter of a century fighting breast cancer in this country put the seal on her Britishness? What do you reckon to an elderly aunt’s Zimbabwean carer doing the dirty, low-paid work natives don’t care for? Or the osteopath who fixed the repetitive strain injury that prevented me working – is she still Ugandan Asian or, 40 years after she got off a plane at Heathrow to see snow for the first time, is she now One of Us?

Then there are my children’s mixed-race friends. Count them: half-Malaysian, half-Polish, half-Jamaican, half-Catholic/half-Muslim, half-Japanese. And don’t get me started on Jews. The only thing to be said in favour of Adolf Hitler is that he gave this country some of its smartest, funniest and most productive people.

How do you think all of the above felt this week when they read the results of a poll by Lord Ashcroft that said a clear majority of people in Britain feel that immigration has been bad for the country? Sixty per cent said it brought “more disadvantages than advantages”. Only 17 per cent believed that immigration had been a good thing.

Cut to the opening scene of Simon Schama’s The Story of the Jews, which began on BBC Two on Sunday night. Sigmund Freud has been driven from Vienna by the Nazis at the age of 82, his life’s work demonised as “Jewish science”. Poor Freud was riddled with cancer, but he was still able to relish the new home he called “lovely, free, magnanimous England”.

What has happened in the past 70 years to turn that generous England into the grouchy, immigrant-resenting country revealed in the Ashcroft poll? On the same day the results were published, there was a headline in the Sun: “300 Foreign Thugs Can’t Be Deported”. It told the maddeningly familiar story of foreign criminals citing Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights to avoid deportation. A typical culprit is Sanel Sahbaz, a Bosnian living in Hertford, who has thanked the UK for its hospitality by a) committing common assault, b) theft, c) handling stolen goods, and, d) assaulting a police officer.

You and I could be forgiven for thinking that Mr Sahbaz had outstayed his welcome, but the law has other ideas. This nasty piece of work was allowed to stay in Britain because the European Court says he has “a right to a family life”, even if that “family” means children he never sees. The farcical ruling was made despite the fact that Home Secretary Theresa May warned back in February that Britain’s streets were being made more dangerous by immigration judges failing to kick out criminals.

Politicians have been in denial about the effects of mass immigration, calling anyone who expressed misgivings “racist”. Now that we have the highest birth rate since 1972, and the most popular boys’ name in the UK is Mohammed and its variants, they squabble over who is to blame for a third of councils having to lay on “bulge” reception classes.

It’s not only schools that are in crisis. Five years ago, a doctor who works at Charing Cross Hospital told me that thousands of foreigners were arriving at Waterloo station, jumping into a cab and presenting at the A&E department with non-emergency complaints. Staff had no choice but to admit them to the main hospital for costly, long-term treatments. Is that doctor racist for pointing out that health tourism and excessive immigration are putting the NHS under intolerable strain? As Sonny is from Mumbai, he’s a pretty strange kind of racist.

No wonder three-quarters of those questioned in the Ashcroft poll reckoned that a “dramatic reduction” in immigration would ease the pressure on public services. As if.

Tory promises to cut the numbers coming in are pretty hollow when the Lisbon Treaty, signed by Labour, prevents us from reducing intra-EU immigration. So we can keep out wonderful Australian teachers and Indian engineers, but 100,000 Romanians can come in and we have to send child benefit to their offspring back in Romania. No, madam, I’m not joking. We are the teat that Eastern Europe comes to suckle on. And you wonder why even the most easy-going Brit is fed up with immigration.

By far the best analysis of this mess is to be found in David Goodhart’s book, The British Dream: Successes and Failures of Post-War Immigration. Goodhart has had the guts to challenge the liberal consensus that held that unchecked immigration was simply marvellous, without ever explaining whose interests it was meant to serve. Like many of us who grew up in the monochrome Sixties, Goodhart says he is happy living in a vibrant, multi-racial society, “but I have come to believe that Britain has had too much immigration, too quickly, and much of it, especially for the least well-off, has not produced self-evident economic benefit”.

And so say all of us. With Britain’s borders reported to be in a “state of chaos” and criminals from inside the EU who are wanted in their own homeland able to arrive here unhindered, the case for renegotiating our relationship with Europe grows by the day. Getting back the ability to expel foreign criminals and to protect our schools and hospitals from collapse would be a start.

It is not immigration per se that decent Britons object to. It insults immigrants and their families settled here and contributing to our shared national life to say that it is. No, it is the indiscriminate and unsustainable mass influx permitted by a reckless and cowardly political class that has tested this nation’s tolerance to the limit. In doing so, they have eroded the very quality that was once the proudest boast of lovely, free, magnanimous England.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The British Labour party used large scale immigration to wreak deliberate destruction on Britain

Labour MP Jon Cruddas admits that “historians will look back on the past few decades and identify immigration as perhaps the major change to our country.” Not everyone thinks it is a change for the better. According to a weekend poll of 20,000 people, 60 per cent believe immigration has brought more disadvantages than advantages. Under Blair and Brown, Labour’s approach to immigration was voodoo economics masquerading as respectable politics. Its 2005 manifesto, all 112 pages, was a masterpiece of obfuscation, devoting just 16 lines to “Migration: the facts”.

Instead of setting out the possible consequences of a policy that would result in 1.5 million net (legal) immigrants in seven years, 2004-2010, it simply stated: “Skilled migrants are contributing 10-15 per cent of our economy’s growth”. No mention of housing shortages, pressures on schools or anything else remotely negative. The rest was a red herring about how much business visitors and tourists spend in Britain, which has nothing to do with immigration, and a wholly misleading paragraph on asylum seekers, creating an impression that Labour was on top of the problem.

This was a false prospectus. Had similar claims been made by company directors, they would be facing a ban from corporate life. After the 2005 election had been won, Home Secretary John Reid came clean, damning his department’s immigration operation as “not fit for purpose”. Strange, isn’t it, that such a glaring flaw was overlooked in the run-up to polling day.

There are, I accept, some economic benefits from high levels of immigration. They come, however, with significant costs, which were either ignored or deliberately distorted by a Labour leadership that was determined to suck in millions of foreigners, knowing that the outcome would be irreversible.

Setting aside its lust for multiculturalism, Labour’s financial case for mass immigration was that it increased annual GDP, thereby making all of us better off. In 2007, Liam Byrne, then immigration minister, told a Commons committee, “migration added about £6 billion to national output, which is quite a big number”. The other important Labour claim was that because the vast majority of legal immigrants were young, worked hard and paid taxes, they helped fill Britain’s long-term pensions hole. What’s more, through the magic of Mr Brown’s debt-fuelled growth trick, immigrants posed no threat to local workers’ jobs or wages. Those who challenged this fallacy were dismissed as bigots.

It was all an illusion. Mr Byrne’s big number was cancelled out by another big number – 200,000 — the average annual net immigration during Labour’s third term. Yes, output went up but GDP per head did not because the cake had to be shared amongst many more people. Britain’s population was soaring. Size does not equal prosperity, yet they were deliberately conflated by Labour to give the impression of a universal upside from unprecedented immigration. This deceit was exposed by an all-party House of Lords committee in 2008, whose chairman demolished Labour’s arguments as “preposterous and irrelevant”.

That is not to say there are no winners from the injection of a very large number of workers into the economy. It acts, in effect, like a King John tax, transferring resources from the poor to the rich. For the employer class, in particular London’s metropolitan elite, immigration provides a ready supply of nannies, ironing ladies and odd-job men willing to work for the minimum wage.

By contrast, for locals at the bottom of the employment ladder, the impact is deleterious. According to Cambridge University’s Professor Robert Rowthorn, it’s bizarre that the Labour Party, champion of the vulnerable (or so it claims), intentionally created what Marx called “a reserve army of labour”: a pool of workers whose presence ensures that rates of pay for unskilled staff can be kept low.

As for the argument that immigrants defuse our pensions time bomb, only those who think Ponzi schemes are sustainable could believe it. The Lords report concluded that the proposition did “not stand up to scrutiny”. Flooding the country with young overseas workers merely delays the day of reckoning, because, of course, they too will grow old and need pensions. But who will pay for them? Exponential population growth cannot be the answer.

Labour’s presentation of immigration was a bit like Bob Maxwell’s report and accounts: the focus was always on the assets with barely a mention of liabilities. For example, British companies have little incentive to train domestic employees if they are able to import foreign staff with higher skills and a stronger work ethic. If Ed Miliband is serious about wiping the slate, he should tell us what the real motivation was for his party to force social, cultural and economic upheaval on many British communities without ever consulting them.

I think I know the answer.


Recent posts at CIS  below

See  here for the blog.  The CIS main page is here


1. Pro-Immigration Cato Snubs EB-5 Program in Investment Study

2. An Unspoken Truth: It's the Immigration Enforcement System that Is Broken

3. New Amnesty for Parents and Nannies

4. An Unspoken Immigration Truth: What's NOT Broken

5. McCain, Others Keep Misrepresenting S.744 & Press Accounts Keep Failing to Correct the Record

6. Here's a Switch — Australia Hires Other Nations to Take Its Boat People

7. What Do Sen. Hatch and High-Tech Billionaires Have Against Americans?

8. McCain, Pitching for the Gang of 8 Bill, Is Juuust a Bit Outside with His Facts

9. President Obama's Administrative Amnesties Have a Long History

10. A (Relatively) New Form of Marriage-Related Immigration Fraud

11. Home Sweet Home

12. Unethical Amnesty

13. Shameless EB-5 Millionaires Overwhelm DHS Agency for the Needy

14. Presidential Discretion in Immigration Policy: Deja Vu?

15. Katherine Vargas on the State of Play in Immigration Reform

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Mass immigration has made Britain a less competitive economy

When Mark Carney went to Nottingham last week to make his first speech as Governor of the Bank of England, media attention focused, naturally enough, on his reference to Jake Bugg, who we are told is a pop singer of some sort. Amazingly, Mr Carney had been to one of his gigs.

Yet Mr Carney’s more serious point was that UK productivity, which has been trailing other major advanced economies for decades, is no higher today than it was in 2005, when Mr Bugg got his first guitar. This appears to be the longest period of stagnation in UK productivity growth on record. Economists have widely described this phenomenon as a “puzzle”, a word they tend to use for any trend that breaks with past norms.

In the search for answers, I want to highlight two other aspects of the problem – the negative impact of mass immigration on productivity and the failure to address simple supply side deficiencies in planning, education, infrastructure, public sector efficiency, the tax system and a perennially weak export performance.

On the whole, business leaders tend to support an open door immigration policy, which helps address skills shortages in key industries. But, more particularly, it also puts downward pressure on wage costs. The effect is similar to having permanently high levels of unemployment, since it creates an inexhaustible supply of cheap labour.

This may or may not be good for corporate profits but it is certainly not good either for productivity or for living standards among low and middle income earners. By making labour cheap, it removes a powerful incentive to productivity gain.

To see why this is the case, look at what’s happened since the crisis began six years ago. During this period, more than 1m private sector jobs have been created, a remarkable achievement given the collapse in output. This has helped keep unemployment much lower than it would otherwise be, which is plainly to be applauded, but it has come at the expense of real incomes.

Much of the job creation has been in low-income or part-time employment. Real incomes have experienced their worst squeeze since the 1920s. Yet this is not just a recent phenomenon. The squeeze on real incomes, particularly at the lower end of the scale, pre-dates the crisis.

Foreign competition, both in the form of immigration and imported goods and services, has been a big constraint on wage growth. This, in turn, has limited the incentive for efficiency gain. Cheap labour has become a substitute for investment in plant, machinery, training and research and development.

When the last administration boasted of the umpteenth successive quarter of successive growth, it neglected to say that this was largely the result of population growth. Income per head was becoming progressively becalmed.

Britain is an open economy that certainly needs to be in the market for top international talent. Yet high levels of low-end immigration have been, at best, a zero sum game and, by holding back necessary investment in the future, possibly quite a negative economic influence.

No free market liberal would argue the case for preventing employers from hiring foreign labour but there are other forms of state intervention that might indeed be appropriate were it not for the fact that the European Union makes them unlawful – for instance, imposing levies on use of cheap foreign labour.

By making low skill employment more expensive, the levy system would provide a powerful incentive for productivity gain in construction, retail, social care and other largely domestically bound industries. These levies could then be channelled back into tax incentives for training and other forms of business investment.

In any case, if living standards are to start growing again, employers must relearn the virtues of doing more with fewer workers. Productivity gain can only properly occur if more efficient and innovative companies are allowed to put poorly performing ones out of business. Relying on population growth, and the falling unit labour costs it brings about, to stay competitive is a road to nowhere.

The second issue with productivity is that of an economy which has become unduly reliant on domestic demand. Why chase foreign markets, which require world class levels of competitiveness, when there is the easy option of credit-fuelled domestic demand to fall back on?

Time and again, the UK has ducked difficult supply side reform in favour of the palliative of demand stimulus. Such measures were plainly important in the early stages of the crisis, when they helped prevent a depression from becoming entrenched, but their continuation five years after the event is now very likely doing more harm than good.

The Juncker curse (after the Luxembourg prime minister) has it that Western politicians know what needs to be done, they just don’t know how to get re-elected after doing it.

By the same token, everyone knows that productivity-led growth is the only form of growth worth having, they just can’t seem to make the long term decisions necessary to achieve it.


People smugglers to defy  Australia's stance on asylum seekers

KEVIN Rudd's Government says it has beaten the people smugglers, but it's not what this man and many like him think.

Smuggler Amir Shojaei took this selfie after collecting $35,000 to take eight members of the Sakhravi family, from Iran, to Christmas Island by boat.  Two days later, Shojaei's phone went dead and the Sakhravis lost every cent.

Immigration Minister Tony Burke yesterday claimed Labor had "broken the back of the people-smuggling trade", but Java's smugglers are now offering massive discounts to poor asylum-seekers or, for the wealthy, express speedboat rides to join bigger boats north of Christmas Island.

And whoever wins Saturday's election will have a new problem, with a wave of Syrians expected to start filtering, and then rushing, to Indonesia, any time now.

Amir Shojaei and his like will be ready.


Australia:  Liberal Party candidate links asylum seekers to traffic jams and hospital queues

A Liberal candidate in western Sydney has said she believes asylum seekers are contributing to outer-suburban traffic jams.  "[Asylum seekers are] a hot topic here because our traffic is overcrowded," Fiona Scott, the Liberal candidate for the seat of Lindsay told the ABC's 4 Corners program.

When asked to explain her view she said: "Go sit on the M4, people see 50,000 people come in by boat - that's more than twice the population of [western Sydney suburb] Glenmore Park," she said.

Ms Scott also suggested asylum seekers were exacerbating hospital waiting queues.

Ms Scott is challenging Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury in the September election. She came to prominence last month when Tony Abbott controversially described her as having "sex appeal".


Monday, September 2, 2013

Immigration is hurting us, say six out of ten British voters: Fears over impact on jobs and public services

Sixty per cent of the public believe immigration has damaged Britain, a major poll revealed last night.

The study, commissioned by former Tory treasurer Lord Ashcroft, reveals widespread concern about the scale of immigration and its impact on jobs and public services.

Just one person in six (17 per cent) believes that the advantages of immigration have outweighed the disadvantages.

Many of the 20,000 people polled also reported direct experience of losing out to immigrants in the competition for a job or public services such as housing.

Overall, it was identified as the second most important issue facing Britain after the state of the economy.

Lord Ashcroft said the study revealed deep concerns about immigration, coupled with scepticism that any of the political parties would deal with the problem.

‘Many feel that over the past 15 years immigration has been allowed to happen on a scale we cannot cope with, and without public consent being sought or given,’ he said.

‘Politicians underestimated the size of the challenge, lost control of the situation, refused for too long to acknowledge that any problems might result, and are now struggling but failing to cope.

‘Most [of the public] do not feel there is any strategy for dealing with the number of migrants and their successful integration into British society, or for managing the effects on housing, infrastructure, jobs, the NHS, schools or the benefits system.’

More than three-quarters of people (77 per cent) said they supported a ‘drastic’ reduction in immigration, saying it would make it easier for British people to find jobs and reduce the pressure on public services.

More than one-third (36 per cent) said that they or a family member had found it harder to get work because of competition from immigrants, and almost a quarter (24 per cent) said they or a family member had lost out to immigrants in the queue for council housing or other public services.

Women were more hostile to immigration, with just 14 per cent saying immigration had been a good thing, compared to 21 per cent of men.

And there were clear differences between supporters of the political parties.  Some 62 per cent of Tory voters thought immigration had damaged Britain, compared to 48 per cent of Labour voters and 39 per cent of Lib Dems.  Ninety-one per cent of UKIP voters said immigration was damaging Britain.

The poll also identified differences in class attitudes towards immigration.  Middle-aged working-class voters were far more concerned about the issue, with 90 per cent saying it was one of the biggest challenges facing the country.

By contrast, graduates working in the public sector were likely to be far more positive about immigration, with 80 per cent saying it had benefited Britain.

But the poll also revealed some more nuanced attitudes towards immigration. Some 83 per cent said they or a family member had been treated by NHS staff from overseas, and 49 per cent said immigrants were willing to do jobs that British workers do not want to do, with 38 per cent saying they also worked harder than their British counterparts.

The poll also revealed deep public scepticism about the willingness of the government to deal with the problems produced by immigration.

A controversial Home Office poster campaign warning illegal immigrants to ‘Go home or face arrest’ was supported by 79 per cent of people, but only 17 per cent think it will work while just 37 per cent of people think illegal immigrants already in the country are ever likely to face deportation.

David Cameron has pledged to cut net migration – the difference between numbers entering and leaving Britain – to under 100,000 from non-EU countries by the time of the next general election in 2015.

But, alarmingly for the Prime Minister, the study shows most people are not aware of government initiatives to bring about this reduction.

The poll found that 76 per cent of people supported an annual cap on non-EU immigration but only 34 per cent knew it had taken place.

There was also widespread support for other initiatives, such as cracking down on bogus colleges that grant places to immigrants pretending to be students, toughening requirements for immigrants to speak English and making it harder for people to bring in spouses from outside Europe, but in each case a majority of people was unaware that action had already been taken.


Britain 'giving in to sharia councils' says Norway's anti-immigration leader

Britain is "giving into the claims of Sharia councils", according to the leader of Norway's anti-immigration party which is poised to enter government later this month.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Siv Jensen, the 44-year-old leader of the Progress party who cites Baroness Thatcher as her inspiration, said: "What I have seen that the UK has done is to give in to the claims of sharia councils, and I don't think we should give into that. In Norway we have one law, and that is the Norwegian law."

Miss Jensen, who is unmarried, said Britain was suffering the results of earlier mistakes in its immigration policy.

"I see some problems arising – You've had problems with riots, you've had problems with radical groups who aren't very fond of democratic systems and freedom of speech, and I think those are criteria that you really have to stick to in the modern world."

Miss Jensen's party has grown to become Norway's third largest since it was launched in the 1970s, pushing a libertarian economic and social policy, combined with a vehemently anti-immigrant, anti-Islamic stand.

Ahead of parliamentary elections this Sunday, she could now enter into coalition for the first time with the more centrist Conservatives, who hold a wafer thin poll lead over their rivals Labour.  "We are ready to take on the responsibility," Miss Jensen said.

Miss Jensen has steered her party to recovery since the aftermath of the twin attacks mounted two years ago by far-Right terrorist Anders Breivik, a former party member. The party's support dropped to 12 per cent but a softening in her rhetoric since the attacks has helped them recover.

"Siv Jensen used to talk about 'the hidden Islamisation of Norway', and she doesn't do that any more," said Martine Aurdal, political editor of the Dagbladet newspaper and Miss Jensen's biographer.

In recent months the party has published a hard-hitting 'Immigration sustainability report', while she has allowed other members of her party a free voice.

Christian Tybring-Gjedde, who leads the party in Oslo, speaks about a cultural war with Islam.

"We can't celebrate Christmas in school, we can't sing Christmas Carols," he told the Telegraph. "This is a small part of our culture, which is being washed away gradually, and its very painful. We gave them a home, and now it's us who are having to adapt to their culture."

The report recommends the number of non-Western immigrants coming to Norway from close to 20,000 a year to about 1,500 a year.

To do this, it recommends renegotiating international refugee treaties, making it more difficult to get citizenship, and curtailing the rights of Norwegian citizens from non-Western countries to bring over their families.

Traditional Islamic marriages would not count as marriages for immigration purposes, while a spouse would need to have studied for seven years after primary school to be eligible to come to Norway, effectively ruling out family reunion with spouses from most Islamic and less developed countries.

When asked about the proposal to make Islamic marriages ineligible, Miss Jensen stressed that the report was not yet official party policy.

Miss Jensen rejected any comparison of her party's ideas on to those of Breivik. "I haven't really spent much time reading his crazy theories, but what he did was just very awful and he attacked our democracy and I think here, nobody blames us for his actions. That would be absurd."


Sunday, September 1, 2013

A huge offensive is about to be launched against US citizens by a (tax-exempt) church, led by a foreign power, for its own secular and selfish motives

Catholic bishops and priests from major dioceses across the country will preach a coordinated message next month backing changes in immigration policy, with some using Sunday Masses on Sept. 8 to urge Congressional passage of a legislative overhaul that includes a path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants.

The decision to embrace political action from the pulpit is part of a broader effort by the Roman Catholic Church and other faith groups that support President Obama’s call for new immigration laws…

"We want to try to pull out all the stops," said Kevin Appleby, the director of migration policy at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, who said the immigration issue was at a now-or-never moment. "They have to hear the message that we want this done, and if you’re not successful during the summer, you’re not going to win by the end of the year."

Catholic leaders, who have tried to wield their clout against Mr. Obama on issues like abortion, birth control and same-sex marriage, are betting that their congregations will be able to exert pressure on reluctant Republicans and wavering Democrats to support the president on immigration. They say they are motivated by the Bible’s teachings and by the reality that many Latino immigrants are Catholics and represent a critical demographic for the church.

This Appleby point man makes clear the rhetoric will be emotional and manipulative:

Underlying an effort by U.S. bishops to coordinate messages on the need for comprehensive immigration reform is a profound sense of pastoral care, said an official at the bishops’ conference.

‘Sometimes [the bishops] are criticized that they're encouraging lawbreaking, but the fact is, these folks are here, and their families are getting separated, and what the bishops are trying to do is change the law so they can help them,’ said Kevin Appleby, director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' migration policy and public affairs office.

Bishops' immigration outreach based on 'pastoral' concern, by Carl Bunderson, Catholic News Agency, Aug. 30, 2013

Whoa! Come here illegally and that gives you the right to stay?

Pass this kind of legislation and the U.S. on the way to becoming a banana republic.


UK Census 2011: Quarter of native Polish speakers lack good command of English

Up to a third of people from among Britain’s biggest migrant communities cannot speak English well, official figures show, prompting concerns about the strain they are placing on the NHS and schools.

Over a quarter of those who speak Polish as their main language, the largest group other than native English speakers, said their English was either not good or non-existent.

The figure was similar for people whose principal tongue was Urdu or Gujarati, while nearly a third of native Punjabi and Bengali speakers did not have a good command of English, the 2011 census of England and Wales found.

Analysis of the data revealed that people who do not speak English are less likely to enjoy good health.

A third of those with little or no English, a total of 300,000 people, were in poor health. This group makes up over 3 per cent of the population of Leicester and two London boroughs.

The figures also illustrate the extra burden faced by schools in some parts of the country in educating children who speak other languages.

Nearly one in 20 of those aged between three and 15 in Hackney, east London, is not proficient in English, a total of 1,846 out of the 39,186 youngsters in the borough.

Outside London, the place with the highest proportion of children who do not speak English well is Boston in Lincolnshire, which has recently seen a significant influx of Eastern European migrants to work on local farms.

Paul Kenny, the mayor of Boston Borough Council, said: “I am mindful that it can put a strain on resources. About five years ago, our schools were really struggling.

“They are better equipped to deal with these issues now, but I think we’ve still got a long way to go with the issue of trying to make sure that we get more integration, and teaching English as a second language is vital.”

English was the principal language for 92 per cent of people aged three and over living in England and Wales in 2011, the census found.

The majority of those with a different main language spoke English proficiently, leaving 726,000 people with a weaker grasp of it and 138,000 who could not speak it at all.

There were 88 main languages spoken other than English, with Polish the largest group, with 546,000 speakers, of whom 72 per cent also had good English.

People from countries where English was an official language or whose native tongues were Nordic or Germanic were most likely to speak English well.

Carlos Vargas-Silva, a senior researcher at Oxford University’s Migration Observatory, said the findings would help pinpoint which local areas needed more resources to help non-English speakers.

“These people who are less proficient in English with poor health may need more services, although they may not be able to access them easily,” he said.

“It is not only about the general level of people who do or don’t speak English, it’s about where these people are.”

Dr Vargas-Silva suggested that some parts of the country were better able to cope with influxes of migrants.

He said: “London is a place with a history of migration. To a certain degree the schools are prepared to deal with this kind of issue.

“It is in places like Boston, which are not used to having migrants, that you are going to have a problem.”