Saturday, January 22, 2011

Migration wave means a third of London residents were born abroad

More than one in three people living in London were born outside Britain, an official analysis showed yesterday. Nearly half of them have arrived over the past decade in the wave of immigration that began under Tony Blair’s government.

Almost four in ten of all the foreign-born people in the country live in London, the Office for National Statistics said. They make up 34 per cent of the capital’s population. Around one in six of the population of the capital have arrived in Britain since 2000.

But many regarded as essentially British are defined as immigrants by the study, including Cliff Richard and Joanna Lumley, who were both born in India to British parents.

In most parts of the country, those born abroad are more likely than the British-born to be working in jobs classed as ‘elementary’, the figures from the Labour Force Survey of around 180,000 individuals showed.

Fewer of the population of those born abroad claim state benefits or tax credits than native-born Britons. Most are Christian by religion, although in Yorkshire and the West Midlands just under a third are Muslim.

The analysis also found that around half the foreign-born population is married, compared with only around 40 per cent of native Britons.


Chipotle between a rock and a hard place

Faces Protesters After Firings Over ICE Audit

Chipotle Mexican Grill faced protesters at one of its downtown Minneapolis restaurants in response to having fired a number of employees after an audit by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Eight protesters were cited for trespassing after they chained themselves together Thursday, blocking the doorway to the restaurant, according to Minneapolis police spokesman Sgt. William Palmer.

The Denver-based burrito chain received a notice of inspection from ICE several months ago for its Minnesota restaurant employees, according to Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold.

After Chipotle supplied officials with documentation, ICE informed the company that it suspected many of the documents to be illegitimate, Mr. Arnold said. Chipotle asked those employees for new documents or to clarify any errors, and in early December let go those who could do neither.

Mr. Arnold wouldn't disclose how many of the 1,200 employees at its 50 Minnesota restaurants were let go or how many were suspected of having fraudulent documents. He said this is the first time Chipotle has received an immigration audit.

Chipotle, known for buying meat from ranchers who don't pen their pigs or use antibiotics in their chicken, operates by the mantra "food with integrity."

The protesters, who included local members of the Service Employees International Union, claim that Chipotle fired the workers without providing much explanation and that the workers faced delays in getting paid.

Mr. Arnold said those assertions are untrue and that "ours is a culture that is built on recognizing top-performing employees and developing them into future leaders, so this is a particularly troubling situation for us because of the impact this has on future generations of leaders and managers. We'd rather keep all these people but under the law we can't do that."

The review of its employees by immigration officials is still continuing, and Mr. Arnold couldn't say whether additional employees might be let go. Shawn Neudauer, spokesman for the ICE region that includes Minnesota, says it's the department's policy not to comment on specific cases.

Mr. Arnold said current immigration law puts companies in a tough spot—they must thoroughly review workers' documentation but they can't be discriminatory in their hiring practices. "We have to thread this very delicate needle," he said.


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